Swine Flu May Be Human Error; WHO Investigates Claim
By Jason Gale and Simeon Bennett
May 13, 2009
The World Health Organization is investigating a claim by an Australian researcher that the swine flu virus circling the globe may have been created as a result of human error.
Adrian Gibbs, 75, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu drug, said in an interview that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines.
Gibbs said he came to his conclusion as part of an effort to trace the virus’s origins by analyzing its genetic blueprint.
Gibbs said his analysis supports research by scientists including Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, who found the new strain is the product of two distinct lineages of influenza that have circulated among swine in North America and Europe for more than a decade.
In addition, Gibbs said his research found the rate of genetic mutation in the new virus was about three times faster than that of the most closely related viruses found in pigs, suggesting it evolved outside of swine.
“Whatever speeded up the evolution of these genes happened at least seven or eight years ago, so one wonders, why hasn’t it been found?” Gibbs said today.
Gibbs said he has no evidence that the swine-derived virus was a deliberate, man-made product. “I don’t think it could be a malignant thing,” he said. “It’s much more likely that some random thing has put these two viruses together.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has received the report and has decided there is no evidence to support Gibbs’s conclusion, said Nancy Cox, director of the agency’s influenza division. She said since researchers don’t have samples of swine flu viruses from South America and Africa, where the new strain may have evolved, those regions can’t be ruled out as natural sources for the new flu.
(End of excerpt - Read full article here)
Hmm... So, “some random thing” brought together these two viruses. Don’t you just love how scientists are always so precise—“some random thing” brought two viruses together, which previously lived on two different continents separated by two great oceans.
So even if they came together, so what? How did two viruses become one? Viruses cannot be “combined”! Viruses reproduce asexually, which means they can only make
copies of themselves using the reproductive mechanism in the host animal’s cells, with some mutation in
between. They cannot “combine”, which is sexual reproduction. That requires cell division resulting in genetic material from half of one parent and half of the other parent. That is not within the scope of a rudimentary organism like a virus. That is why they have to hijack a more complex organism like an animal or human being to make copies of themselves.
So then, how can genetic material from two different strains of viruses be combined into one? Can it happen in nature? No. It can only occur with human manipulation.
Mr. Gibbs also said that the virus tripled its normal rate of mutation, and that it evolved outside its regular host animal—it evolved in chicken eggs that were used to create vaccines. Vaccines are created by humans.
Isn’t it convenient that the pharmaceutical industry is now only a few months away from producing 2 billion doses of a vaccine for which there was previously no demand? Is it a pure coincidence too that Roche, where this virus purportedly came from, is also the maker of Tamiflu, the only drug that can treat this disease, and Mr. Gibbs was a researcher working in Roche, creating Tamiflu, and he recognised the virus because it looks similar to the ones that he grew?
Has he been found dead in a ditch yet?
Update: Denial from WHO (dated May 14, 2009).
And the basis of this denial? A thorough investigation completed in... ONE day.
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