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It seems one mutation in the original virus perhaps led to the Covid-19 pandemic

It seems that there was one mutation in the genetic material of the virus, which enabled the virus to infect humans.

This mutation coded for an alanine, instead of a threonine (different amino acids). This change made it more
difficult for certain sugars to bind to the attachment spike protein which enables better attachment with the human receptor. Apparently, those sugars got in the way of the attachment.

It is likely, that this mutation has occurred many times and until the virus infected a human, it may not have been a trait that was selected as favorable.
As we have witnessed with the emergence of new variants, it seems that the virus readily mutates.
Those mutations that are advantageous to the spread of the virus are selected for.

While it is possible, that the bat directly came in contact with the human, it is more likely, that the bat bit an animal (perhaps a pet, livestock, or other animal that comes in contact with humans) and it was passed onto humans by such an intermediate animal, perhaps from a sneeze or cough from that animal.


You can read about this new research from the following link;

Comments (11)

Given that information about the mutation, does it rule out that the mutation may have occurred at the Wuhan lab?

I'm not suggesting the mutation was engineered in some way, I'm just asking if the mutation could have appeared there.
While I don't think it 100% rules out that it was created in a lab, it seems most likely that it wasn't.
I think it is too complex an issue for scientists to engineer.
If they were to intentionally change the structure of the spike protein, it likely would be more direct
than the subtle one, that involved sugars. They would have more likely changed the attachment area
to directly better match the receptor. But, I think the discovery better explains how it could randomly change to bind to other species naturally.
Jaavisst
It does not matter how and where the virus originated. What matters is what happened next. Next killer virus is likely to be ignored, due to this one being over exaggerated! To many people are being fed up with counter measures. One can only hope next one comes later then a couple of generations from now because many now think this was handled ludicrously and will not care about next one.
Like I said, I'm not asking if the mutation could have been engineered.

I'm asking if the mutation could have appeared in the lab.

But that was an interesting reply, all the same.
@jac what's happened? Has the river of words dried up? It seems never have I seen a jac-post that did not occupy the page. Whose cat has got your tongue I wonder! Succinct laconic do not sit easily I usually think of a word ending in 'e' and starting with 'v'! (just joking as I am sure you know). I value your considered comments.
Jac - "could it have appeared at the lab" ? It has appeared in many labs. How else could they have studied it and sequenced it ?

If you meant, could it have appeared FIRST at the Wuhan lab and spread from there ?
We don't know. It could have. But, it seems unlikely. Think of nature as a huge lab. But, in nature there are no strict precautions, as in a virology lab, and a lot more bats and a lot more free-roaming animals and a lot more human interacting animals. Thus, the odds are, that it first happened in nature and spread in nature.

The problem is, that there is no forensic timeline, because the disease was new and spread through the air before anyone knew what it was. Indeed, it spread to other countries before anyone knew what arrived. It spread near and far before anyone knew what it was. It may even have originated in another country and first identified in Wuhan because it eventually arrived there, where there are experts studying OTHER Covid viruses.

We will probably never know.

What is important, is effectively controlling this virus and future viruses.
It's almost the exact opposite of your statement. Millions dead from this virus and people are STILL attempting to minimize it. Indeed, many more people died, because of politicians like Trump, who knowingly intentionally minimized the potential for illness and death from the virus.

It's human error, or more accurately incompetence and carelessness, which leaves me questioning those 'strict precautions'.

However, I take on board your analogy where nature can be conceptualised as a huge lab. I think I can lay the idea of accidental escape from the lab to rest, although, as you say, not completely proven to be off the list of possibilities.

Thankyou, that's changed my perspective.
Yes, early on I read about post-mortem tissue samples in Italy testing positive for covid long before the official outbreak in Wuhan.

It did cross my mind that it either started much earlier and more slowly than originally thought, or that it might have started somewhere other othan Wuhan.

I like the way you wrote that, though. Again, an evocative visual conceptualisation of possibility.

You're on a roll today, Jim, waxing all lyrical there. laugh
Jaavisst
More then likely it was incompetent western medicin who diagnosed early deaths as influenza in for an example in Italy and now they try to push the blame on China! When in reality no one is to blame exept evolution. It's turned to political pie throwing. I am surprised that any country would dare to dig in biopsies from summer of 2019. The oldest found in any country will get a sit storm from other countries.
Jac - I'm glad someone is smart enough to understand what I have said.

Jaa - that's a good statement. It became a finger pointing exercise, that benefited no one. When people FINALLY learn to work TOGETHER to solve problems, more will be accomplished.

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