This article will show that Omicron is likely an outgrowth of experiments to develop a Covid-19 variant causing serious disease in wild-type mice, and point at the person and the lab who was documented doing just that — Ralph Baric of UNC.
To give you a preview:
Omicron is very unlikely to be a product of natural evolution of SARS-Cov-2 in infected people.
While the original Sars-Cov-2 could NOT infect wild-type mice, Omicron readily does infect wild mice.
It would take a very long time to naturally evolve Sars-Cov-2 to infect wild, non-humanized mice, without laboratory involvement.
Baric’s article in Nature describes steps to genetically edit and develop a genome for such a mouse-infecting virus, derived from Wuhan Sars-Cov-2.
Ralph Baric’s UNC owns US patent 11,225,508, which describes how he made a lab-made Covid-19 variant that infects mice and causes serious disease in mice (making Baric’s patented invention a bioweapon by definition).
This patent by Baric makes UNC the only organization with a legal monopoly on his method of creating murine/human variants of Sars-Cov-2 due to patent protection
Baric tested that his Mouse-Adapted (MA) virus is still capable of infecting human cells
Baric also tested whether the new mouse-adapted variant could evade existing spike protein vaccines.
Any design of mouse-adapted version of Sars-Cov-2, like Omicron, could only be done with UNC’s permission due to patent protection.
Let’s explore this if you are interested in details. If you are not, the main conclusions are above and feel free to share of express your opinion in the comments section.
Artificiality and Mouse Origin of Omicron
I personally posted on this substack, on Dec 2, saying that Omicron is likely to be lab made.
By the standards of today, my article, while presenting a hypothesis that turned out to be correct, is missing many important details that only became known long after Dec 2, the date it was written. I am not editing to preserve it as a historical artifact.
Let me also point out to an excellent (as usual) contemporary article by Sharyl Atkisson about Omicron’s artificial origin and affinity to mice. Please read it.
A typical natural evolution of a virus (due to host-to-host transmission) includes so called “synonymous” mutations, that alter unimportant genes that would not change any protein expression. Think of that as a innocent typo, that does not change the mAEning of a sentence. These innocent and mAEningless synonymous changes are carried along as the virus is passed on from replication to replication.
However, almost all mutations in Omicron were non-synonymous. The non-synonymous mutations actually change the proteins that the genes produce. Usually, genetic evolution includes a balanced mix of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations.
The so called dN/dS ratio (how many non-synonymous to how many synonymous mutations were encountered) is very much unlike the typical ratios encountered in human viral evolution. This means that these mutations were very unlikely to have been randomly selected in Covid patients, and thus Omicron is a result of direct gene editing or serial passage in mice.
Another article explains why Omicron is a product of a lab, using all available evidence. Where was the lab work done? How did it happen? Read below.
Ralph Baric of UNC created a Mouse-Adapted version of Sars-Cov2 that Could Still Infect People
Ralph Baric, whose name is familiar to our readers, is a brilliant scientist at UNC who is the top name in research related to coronavirus modifications.
He is the researcher who
experimented with adding HIV genes to SARS-1 spikes
found ways to mutate nsp-14 protein to make SARS-1 to spawn 21 times more variants. Sars-Cov-2 inherited a 5% mutated nsp-14 from SARS-1, and is now producting endless variants, oddly enough
Found ways to enhance function of SARS-1 in 2007, to cause much more severe disease in mice, killing most older mice
Created chimeric coronaviruses engineered to effectively infect humans
Was given a “Moderna Vaccine Candidate” on Dec 12, before Sars-Cov-2 was officially known.
Here in this story, Baric brilliantly created a “Mouse-Adapted Sars-Cov-2”, that successfully infects mice as well as people. He modified the original Wuhan virus taken from a person in Washington State in January 2020, so that it could infect regular wild type mice.
This is a big deal. Unlike SARS-1, the new SARS-Cov-2 (Covid-19) virus was not capable of infecting wild mice, except for “humanized” mice, genetically modified to have human ACE2 protein in the lungs. Normally, people do not interact with mice the way they closely interact with cats or dogs. So, if human Sars-Cov-2 does not infect mice, it could take a very long time before enough mutations happen, by purely random accident of nature, to create a virus that could infect both mice and people.
Ralph Baric short circuited this natural process. He used “reverse genetic engineering” to computer guess correct mutations that need to happen, in order to create a version of spike protein receptor that interacts with human ACE2 as well as murine (mouse) ACE2 called mACE2.
He brilliantly succeeded and created a mouse-adapted SARS-COV-2 MA, that can infect both mouse (murine) cells, as well as human cells.
Why did he do this? To give UNC a legal monopoly on above described human-to-mouse research.
Ralph Baric patented his approach to design such a human/mouse Frankenstein virus in a patent for an obvious reason. He wanted his employer to have a patent, a legal monopoly, on their specific method of creating such species-jumping viruses so that only UNC could do any future work on this.
In plain language, this patent protects UNC’s rights to create mouse versions of SARS-Cov-2 using Baric’s methods. Thus, any such murine SARS-Cov-2 work done legally, would need to have UNC’s permission due to patent protection, usually involving a payment of money, which is the whole point of patent protection.
So: if a mouse-infecting Omicron was created in a lab under a legal framework, it was done with UNC’s permission as the patent holder. Omicron is lab made, and it does infect mice, so then Omicron was created with UNC’s permission, right? We are not sure if the answer is yes, of course, but we can ask this question.
Baric Designed “Sars-Cov-2MA” to be Pathogenic and Tested if it Evades Vaccine Immunity
This is, perhaps, the strangest part of the Nature article. In addition to designing human and mouse-capable version of Sars-Cov-2, researchers made sure that SARS-Cov-2MA is highly pathogenic to old mice, as well as checked if it evades spike vaccine-created immunity in vaccinated mice.
I am not sure what is the point of making sure that his Sars-Cov-2MA is pathogenic to old mice, but the article seems to make a point that it is a valuable research finding. Strictly speaking, while mice are not people and researchers do not have the same ethical obligations towards them as they do towards people, this work created a new biological weapon directed against aged wild mice. Make of this what you want.
If they can make a virus particularly pathogenic to aged mice, that lab or someone else can make a virus particularly pathogenic to aged people. Was that actually done by anyone at some point? We do not know.
They also tested Sars-Cov-2MA for vaccine evasion.
They found, luckily for the mice, that the “mouse Covid vaxx” was still effective against this new frankenvirus. What happened after this article was written? Did someone modify this virus further to engineer it for immune evasion, kind of like Omicron?
Was this virus later serially passed through immunized mice to evade vaccine immunity?
Sars-Cov-2MA is NOT Omicron
Sars-Cov-2MA has some similarities to Omicron. It infects mice and people. Both have a mutation in Q498 gene. But many other mutations are different. Omicron has many more mutations (52) compared to Sars-Cov2MA, whose mutations are listed below. (ignore the luciferase one, it is for lab purposes)
Most importantly, both are mouse-adapted and both are carrying mutations that are computer-designed and likely directly genetically edited:
In addition, the date of the progenitor variant for Sars-Cov-2-MA, a virus strain MN985325.1, roughly matches the date of Omicron progenitor as well. MN985325.1 is dated January 2020 and was obtained from a patient in Washington State.
Trying to put a time stamp on the progenitor of Omicron puts it close:
So… If Omicron was lab designed… And it was engineered to infect mice… And the process was patented… Was Omicron designed with UNC’s knowledge?
We have a lot of questions, but now we know who to ask.
Igor Thank you for all the effort, skill, knowledge, attention to detail you put into every single article you publish. Your thinking & consistency in adhering to the principles of critical thinking as well as clarity in which you present and approach the themes you cover is exemplary. Your work is perfect in so many ways and should be used to teach critical thinking & Big Data Analysis in schools and/or on the job learning. Public Service in Australia, every policy department is lacking adequate Data Analysis skills. Thank you for the outstanding articles that are well researched, analysed, presented, easy to understand and accessible.
There were multiple mouse-adapted (gain of function) studies, not just MA10. All of them used either pre-B.1.1 isolates or in the UNC case, a house-grown clone of the Wuhan strain, and none of them "reproduced" the B.1 mutation signature (including D614G). That includes MA / MA10 (the latter is the subject of the patent, see the mutation list in Fig 1 of https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7510428/ - no D614G).
So if Omicron (BA.1 / BA.2) has the B.1 mutation signature, it didn't come from any published mouse study. This was extensively considered in my own review of the evidence. It had to be from a non-published lab "experiment" (i.e. intentional gain of function using a B.1 template) https://unglossed.substack.com/p/omicron-origins-part-2