Coronavirus: Thread

jamesd at jamesd at
Tue Oct 27 01:00:19 PDT 2020

On 2020-10-27 14:28, jim bell wrote:
>  On Monday, October 26, 2020, 03:25:41 AM PDT, grarpamp <grarpamp at> wrote:
> Full disclosure:  While I consider myself conversant with many sciences and technologies, 'biology' is probably my area of least knowledge.
> I rapidly skimmed this article, but was doubtful when I saw this:
>> "RaTG13 looks like a “close cousin” of the Wuhan coronavirus – the two are 96% identical throughout the whole sequence of the viral genome. If RaTG13 is a nature-borne virus, one can comfortably conclude that the Wuhan coronavirus must very likely also come from nature and must share a recent common ancestor with RaTG13."


We are far more closely related to a chimp, than the Wu Flu is related
to RTG13

four percent difference is a huge difference.

Wu Flu is mostly bat virus with a little bit of Aids virus, which is
what led some people to suspect it is lab created.

However, Wu Flu is an RNA positive strand virus, and Aids is is an RNA
positive strand virus, and RNA positive strand viruses are always
undergoing genetic interchange (having virus sex) with each other.  New
flus are usually descended from strange hybrids of various diverse
kinds, and were such long before we had the capability to engineer them.

The usual pattern of a new flu is that it starts off more deadly than
most, then evolves rapidly to normal levels of virulence.  Wu Flu fits
the usual pattern, initially worse than most, but it looks like total
excess deaths for the 2020 flu season will only be modestly worse than
total excess deaths for the 2018 flu season (which was a very bad flu

> [end of quote]
> My impression is  that if two viruses are ONLY "96% identical"  "throughout the whole sequence of the viral genome", they shouldn't be described as a "close cousin".   Should it be called a "not-so-close cousin"?   I don't know.  

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