Reverse Transcriptase, Antibody-Dependent Enhancement: Did A Lab Leak Interrupt China's Assembly Of A Genetic Weapon?
Chairman Mao put it bluntly: power comes from the barrel of a gun. The world's power is held by those with nuclear weapons. The Second World War was ended with them and created two superpowers. To be the world's most powerful superpower, you need the world's most powerful weapons. What's more powerful than an atomic bomb? Perhaps the weather. Or maybe it's DNA itself.
It was clear as day from the beginning SARS-CoV-2 had leaked from the Wuhan Institute or Virology, and also clear who was behind the research then trying to cover it up. The question is...
What gain-of-function research were they attempting?
Were we about to be Japan in 1945, as the Manhattan Project was underway?
South Africa: The Ethnic Bioweapon
Experimentation with substances which could kill one human genotype over another go back at least a century. The Soviet Union, for instance, had a well-known biological research program to investigate novel vectors based on susceptibility to disease.
One example is the USSR's 'invisible anthrax', resulting from the introduction of an alien gene into Bacillus anthracis that altered its immunological properties (Pomerantsev et al., 1997). Existing vaccines proved to be ineffective against this new genetically engineered strain.
In more recent times, circa 1981, South Africa's Project Coast aimed to produce weapons to target black people but leave white people unaffected:
The top-secret program that Basson directed was called Project Coast, and it lasted from 1981 to 1993. The South African National Defense Force created it at a time when the white-minority regime was under increasing threat by indigenous black South Africans. Daan Goosen, the former director of Project Coast’s biological research division, told the Post he was ordered by Basson to develop ways “to suppress population growth among blacks” and to “search for a ‘black bomb,’ a biological weapon that would select targets based on skin color.”
The extent to which this program went was staggering: https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/attach/169/169033_ProjectCoastEugenics.pdf
Noted quietly at the bottom of its Leftipedia entry is this strange paragraph:
Research on birth control methods to reduce the black birth rate was one such area. Daan Goosen, the managing director of Roodeplaat Research Laboratories between 1983 and 1986, told Tom Mangold of the BBC that Project Coast supported a project to develop a contraceptive that would have been applied clandestinely to blacks. Goosen reported that the project had developed a 'vaccine' for males and females and that the researchers were still searching for a means by which it could be delivered to make black people sterile without making them aware. Testimony given at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) suggested that Project Coast researchers were also looking into putting birth control substances in water supplies.
(Helen E. Purkitt, Stephen F. Burgess: The Rollback of South Africa's Chemical and Biological Warfare Program, Air University, Counterproliferation Center, Maxwell Airforce Base, Alabama, 2001) can be found here, page 21: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/CSDS/Books/therollbackofsoafricachembio2.pdf
Although we cannot surmise the success of this research, what we can determine authoritatively is the idea of a "vaccine" being used in an offensive military context, or as a "weapon", has a clear, empirical precedent in history, as much as it has as in the defensive context against biological agents.
The BMA & Israel's Ethnic Bomb
In 1998, The Sunday Times published a highly disturbing story which went largely unnoticed. The materials from South Africa had emerged elsewhere in an area of ethnic conflict, and had alarmed the British Medical Association:
“Unnamed South African sources,” according to a report cited by the Times, “[say] Israeli scientists have used some of the South African research in trying to develop an ‘ethnic bullet’ against Arabs.” Reported links between Israel’s ethnic weapons and South Africa’s Project Coast are tentative; some would say tenuous. But the possibility of such links is terrifying, and justifies as much scrutiny as was focused on Iraq’s imaginary arsenal.
According to Wired it used viruses and bacteria to change RNA:
The "ethno-bomb" program is based at Israel's Nes Tziyona research facility. Scientists are trying to use viruses and bacteria to alter DNA inside living cells and attack only those cells bearing Arabic genes. The task is very complex because both Arabs and Jews are Semitic peoples. But according to the report, the Israelis have succeeded in isolating particular characteristics of certain Arabs, "particularly the Iraqi people."
A year later in 1999, the BMA had produced an influential report discussing this new frontier in warfare titled "Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity": https://www.amazon.com/Biotechnology-Weapons-Humanity-Malcolm-Dando/dp/0954861507
The Lancet had also sounded the alarm bell:
Tamas Bartfai (a neurochemist at the University of Stockholm), writing in the 1993 yearbook of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, noted the possibility that “genetic weapons might be developed in the wake of increased knowledge about the human genome and genetic diversity”.
The Sunshine Project: SNPs
Barely five years later, the BMA had darkened its perspective on whether genetic weapons were viable, despite the difficulties. Ironically, those concerns came out of research by a group trying to prevent them.
The Irish Times summarised it for harrowing reading:
Two key developments were highlighted by the experts. One is the Human Genome Project which aims to map the entire human genetic blueprint by 2003. The other is gene therapy, a technology still in its infancy, which uses "vectors" such as harmless viruses to carry corrective DNA into malfunctioning cells.
According to the Guardian, work was centered on "RNA interference":
The BMA, which dismissed the idea of genetic weapons in a 1999 report (Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity I), has lifted its new concerns from the work of a German group called the Sunshine Project. It looked at how mutations in our genome called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) differ between specific ethnic groups and concluded: "Genome data in public databases revealed that hundreds, possibly thousands, of target sequences for ethnic specific weapons do exist. It appears that ethnic specific biological weapons may indeed become possible in the near future."
Rather than specifically triggering the toxic effects of organisms such as anthrax, the Sunshine project warned that weapons based on a new medical technique called RNA interference could shut down vital genes. If the sequence of the target gene varies between two different populations the technique could be used to interrupt key body functions in one population and not the other. "If as little as 10% or 20% of a target population would be affected, this would wreak havoc among enemy soldiers on a battlefield or in an enemy society as a whole," the group said.
The Sunshine Project was an international NGO which closed its doors in 2008 due to lack of funding. RNA Interference is described as "a biological process in which RNA molecules are involved in sequence-specific suppression of gene expression by double-stranded RNA, through translational or transcriptional repression. Historically, RNAi was known by other names, including co-suppression, post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS), and quelling."
The Director of the Sunshine Project co-authored a paper published in PubMed around 2003 which also cited other approaches:
But considering the rapid development of molecular biology, it is only a question of time before the artificial synthesis of agents or new combinations of agents becomes possible. This danger was highlighted last year by a worrying article in Science: a research team at the State University of New York in Stony Brook chemically synthesized an artificial polio virus from scratch (Cello et al., 2002). They started with the genetic sequence of the agent, which is available online, ordered small, tailor-made DNA sequences and combined them to reconstruct the complete viral genome. In a final step, the synthesized DNA was brought to life by adding a chemical cocktail that initiated the production of a living, pathogenic virus.
By 2008, the US Congress was deeply worried:
In 2008 the US government held a congressional committee on, ‘Genetics and other human modification technologies: sensible international regulation or a new kind of arms race?’ The bulk of which discussed advances of in genetics and its potential to be weaponized. During this they discuss how, “we can anticipate a world where rogue (and even not-so-rogue) states and non-state actors attempt to manipulate human genetics in ways that will horrify us”. They spoke about the using “DNA to create modified infectious agents, new toxins, using genetic DNA techniques”. New bio-weapons.
The 10-Year Silence: Nothing To See Here
Then, something unusual. Total silence. The threat was cyber. Between 2008 and 2018, there are few, if any, mentions of bioweapon research in journals or editorials. All mention of this horror rescinded.
Putin warned about Russia's defense capabilities towards genetic weapons in 2012: https://foreignpolicy.com/2012/03/27/genetic-weapons-you-say/.
A stray article from Dartmouth University casually theorised diferent scenarios for these hypothetical weapons:
1. Binary Biological Weapons
This technique involves inserting plasmids, small bacterial DNA fragments, into the DNA of other bacteria in order to increase virulence or other pathogenic properties within the host bacteria (2).
2. Designer Genes
According to the European Bioinformatics Institute, as of December 2012, scientists had sequenced the genomes of 3139 viruses, 1016 plasmids, and 2167 bacteria, some of which are published on the internet and are therefore accessible to the public (6). With complete genomes available and the aforementioned advances in gene synthesis, scientists will soon be able to design pathogens by creating synthetic genes, synthetic viruses, and possibly entirely new organisms (2).
3. Gene Therapy
Gene therapy involves repairing or replacing a gene of an organism, permanently changing its genetic composition. By replacing existing genes with harmful genes, this technique can be used to manufacture bioweapons (2).
4. Stealth Viruses
Stealth viruses are viral infections that enter cells and remain dormant for an extended amount of time until triggered externally to cause disease. In the context of warfare, these viruses could be spread to a large population, and activation could either be delayed or used as a threat for blackmail (2).
5. Host-Swapping Diseases
Much like the naturally occurring West Nile and Ebola viruses, animal viruses could potentially be genetically modified and developed to infect humans as a potent biowarfare tactic (2).
6. Designer Diseases
Biotechnology may be used to manipulate cellular mechanisms to cause disease. For example, an agent could be designed to induce cells to multiply uncontrollably, as in cancer, or to initiate apoptosis, programmed cell death (2).
7. Personalized Bioweapons
In coming years it may be conceivable to design a pathogen that targets a specific person’s genome. This agent may spread through populations showing minimal or no symptoms, yet it would be fatal to the intended target (4).
During the gain-of-function research ban, the NIH admitted it had indirectly funded coronavirus research at Wuhan, and lied about it: https://nypost.com/2021/10/21/nih-admits-us-funded-gain-of-function-in-wuhan-despite-faucis-repeated-denials/
Genetic material was also being collected. China had become the world's leader in DNA sequencing and gene editing, with more than half the world's capacity for decoding DNA. Mostly from their Ughur concentration camp population.
The International HapMap Project of 2002 to 2010 developed a human genome map and provided a massive genotype data from Caucasian, African and Asian population samples. Many differences in susceptibility to some diseases, and response to certain drugs between different ethnic groups were reported in a 2015 study in bmcgenomics. Multiple reports in scientific journals in 2016 such as in Oncotarget, in Cell and from Pasteur Institute in Paris, found differences in antibody responses and cellular immunity between those of African ancestry and Caucasians. Those of African ancestry had a stronger inflammatory response and immune overreaction like cytokine storm and autoimmune diseases. Genetic differences affecting the immune system lead to racial differences in the response to infections, drugs and vaccines. In a pandemic, racial differences exist in mortality rates and vaccine efficacy and complications. Genetic data from blood samples about racial differences can be used for racially targeted bio warfare.
Why was it so interested in DNA? The New "Hundred Flowers" campaign. Tracking.
Collecting genetic material is a key part of China’s campaign, according to human rights groups and Uighur activists. They say a comprehensive DNA database could be used to chase down any Uighurs who resist conforming to the campaign.
Then something changed around 2017 after China launched the "National Genebank" in 2016, the PLA's 13th 5-year plan citing the "importance of civilian-military fusion with genetic research", and the ban on gain-of-function research was lifted. Around the same time Peter Daszak was on the board of the new Global Virome Project.
The New Weapons of The East: Invisible Enigma Machines
In 2015, a document written by Chinese scientists and Chinese public health officials titled "The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons" predicted WWIII would be biological and discussed the weaponisation of SARS coronavirus. Naturally, an extensive Chinese state media campaign erupted, attempting to play it down.
Released five years before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it describes SARS coronaviruses as a “new era of genetic weapons” that can be “artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus, then weaponised and unleashed in a way never seen before”. Among the 18 listed authors of the document are People’s Liberation Army scientists and weapons experts.
DefenseOne notes 4 egregious examples of Chinese military interest in biological weapons:
In 2010’s War for Biological Dominance (制生权战争), Guo Jiwei (郭继卫), a professor with the Third Military Medical University, emphasizes the impact of biology on future warfare.
In 2015, then-president of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences He Fuchu (贺福初) argued that biotechnology will become the new “strategic commanding heights” of national defense, from biomaterials to "brain control" weapons. Maj. Gen. He has since become the vice president of the Academy of Military Sciences, which leads China’s military science enterprise.
Biology is among seven "new domains of warfare" discussed in a 2017 book by Zhang Shibo (张仕波), a retired general and former president of the National Defense University, who concludes: “Modern biotechnology development is gradually showing strong signs characteristic of an offensive capability,” including the possibility that “specific ethnic genetic attacks” (特定种族基因攻击) could be employed.
The 2017 edition of Science of Military Strategy (战略学), a textbook published by the PLA’s National Defense University that is considered to be relatively authoritative, debuted a section about biology as a domain of military struggle, similarly mentioning the potential for new kinds of biological warfare to include “specific ethnic genetic attacks.”
In 2019, the Telegraph published policy research from Cambridge that wasn't joking around:
Biological weapons could be built which target individuals in a specific ethnic group based on their DNA, a report by the University of Cambridge has warned. Researchers from Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) said the government was failing to prepare for ‘human-driven catastrophic risks’ that could lead to mass harm and societal collapse.
"World must prepare for biological weapons that target ethnic groups based on genetics, says Cambridge University"
In the thick of the pandemic, China's obstructionism was clear for all to see. What was less commonly known, and quietly reported by Foreign Policy and The Times, was their complete corruption of the World Health Organisation, as declared previously by the US president:
"Most critically, Beijing succeeded from the start in steering the World Health Organization (WHO), which both receives funding from China and is dependent on the regime of the Communist Party on many levels. Its international experts didn’t get access to the country until Director-General Tedros Adhanom visited President Xi Jinping at the end of January. Before then, WHO was uncritically repeating information from the Chinese authorities, ignoring warnings from Taiwanese doctors—unrepresented in WHO, which is a United Nations body—and reluctant to declare a “public health emergency of international concern,” denying after a meeting Jan. 22 that there was any need to do so."
The Times was absolutely damning:
After being heavily criticised by the World Health Organisation for its response to Sars in 2003, China decided it would not accept such public humiliation again. What followed was a concerted campaign over many years to seize power within the organisation.
A Sunday Times investigation raises serious concerns that the independence and leadership of the WHO were severely compromised by the time the first cases of a mysterious new coronavirus appeared in Wuhan in 2019 — with profound consequences for the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and the world.
By 2021, Strategic Studies was publishing reports on genetic warfare and openly citing China:
Most bacterial and viral agents struggle to maintain their virulence when confronted with common environmental factors, such as sunlight and humidity, and high temperatures or radical temperature changes. They also evolve and mutate. Genetic instability is typical for microorganisms. With increased transmissibility often comes reduced virulence. Production of virus molecules involves passage through host organisms. As the virus is not subject to any evolutionary pressure to maintain virulence during this scaling-up process, it tends to accumulate mutations that generate an attenuated strain.
Two years after the chaos of Covid, the UK Parliament was finally told it was most likely it came from a lab:
A laboratory leak is now the more likely origin of Covid, MPs have heard, because after two years of searching an animal host has never been found.
Speaking to the Science and Technology Select Committee, Dr Alina Chan, a specialist in gene therapy and cell engineering at MIT and Harvard, said there was also a risk that Covid-19 was an engineered virus.
So, What Do We Know, And What Do We Do?
Because China is so opaque and deeply corrupt, it's almost impossible to get at the truth. We can glance at it, get slithers of it, and put the pieces together.
Covid-19 doesn't look like a bioweapon itself.
What it does look like is the intermediate material being used as the experiment to attempt one. Which got out accidentally - like the 4 other lab leaks before it - because of poor control standards in a military university (there are no "civilian" or non-governmental laboratories in China).
What we know for certain:
- Genetic weapons have been pursued for at least 50 years without success.
- Genetic research has been greatly accelerated by AI-analyzed genomic databases and cost-reducing technology like CRISPR.
- "Vaccines" have been pursued for offensive military use.
- The scientific consensus is genetic weapons are extremely complex to produce, but now entirely viable on a practical basis - if potentially, imprecise.
- National leaders and intelligence agencies have sounded the alarm over genetic research for 20+ years.
- China has a history of eugenics, population control, embryo gene-editing, organ harvesting, genocidal mass murder, and is openly experimenting with biological methods of control.
- China has corrupted the WHO, obstructed inspectors, and openly declared its belief in the importance of biological domination - including its theory genetics will determine the outcome of the next world war.
- Multiple international researchers are deeply in bed with the Chinese authorities and have aggressively tried to cover up their activities.
- The US has lied about funding research in Wuhan.
You can shoot down a nuclear missile, a plane carrying a nuclear bomb, or block a nuclear torpedo. The damage from a single ordnance is confined to 50 sq miles, at worst.
You cannot shoot down viruses or bacteria designed to disrupt our genetic makeup. You cannot control their spread, as Covid has shown. You can't evacuate whole populations or isolate people.
China is opening Pandora's Box in its blind drive for global dominance. Once one country has the technology, the others must develop it as defense measure, prompting the arms race.
Consider this observation by Hammond in 2003:
If it should become possible to rebuild variola major, the smallpox virus, in the laboratory from scratch—and the virus's genome sequence is available from biological databases—this risk could change greatly. Smallpox is an ideal biological weapon, particularly for terrorist groups, because it is highly infectious and lethal and there is no effective treatment available. The relative safety that can be assumed today will then be gone.
.... when it is linked to Bill Gates' warning several years later:
Six years ago, Gates also warned that an infectious virus was likely to kill millions of people across the globe. "You say, OK, what if a bioterrorist brought smallpox to 10 airports? You know, how would the world respond to that?” he continued. "There's naturally-caused epidemics and bioterrorism-caused epidemics that could even be way worse than what we experienced today and yet, the advances in medical science should give us tools that, you know, we could do dramatically better."
Gates isn't behind any of this; he's trying to warn us what box the Evil growing in the East is unleashing.
DNA weapons are a nightmare which we can never come back from. We can decommission rockets and stockpiles of radioactive source materials, but if a virus gets into the wild, we cannot contain it. If we produce tools which unravel or disrupt the basic building blocks of organic life - including our own - the apocalyptic scenario we will face will dwarf any talk of "global warming" or "nuclear armageddon".
Economies would be completely devastated. Entire land masses could suffer contamination area-denial. We'd have to leave for a different planet, and even then, we could bring it with us.
These are true doomsday weapons. And all power comes from the barrel of a gun. When you want to be the world's hegemon, they are exactly what you'd pursue to gain it.