Olympia- WA — A group of 8 squatters were evicted from an Olympia rental home on June 4, 2021 by the Thurston Sheriff’s Department. They were seemingly unaware that they were about to be evicted, caught off guard by a locksmith, friend of the homeowner and journalists showing up early to the scene.
A team of prominent scientists has doubled down on its controversial hypothesis that genetic bits of the pandemic coronavirus can integrate into our chromosomes and stick around long after the infection is over. If they are right—skeptics have argued that their results are likely lab artifacts—the insertions could explain the rare finding that people can recover from COVID-19 but then test positive for SARS-CoV-2 again months later.
Stem cell biologist Rudolf Jaenisch and gene regulation specialist Richard Young of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led the work, triggered a Twitter storm in December 2020, when their team first presented the idea in a preprint on bioRxiv. The researchers emphasized that viral integration did not mean people who recovered from COVID-19 remain infectious. But critics charged them with stoking unfounded fears that COVID-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) might somehow alter human DNA. (Janesich and Young stress that their results, both original and new, in no way imply that those vaccines integrate their sequences into our DNA.)
Researchers also presented a brace of scientific criticisms, some of which the team addresses in a paper released online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). “We now have unambiguous evidence that coronavirus sequences can integrate into the genome,” Jaenisch says.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has genes composed of RNA, and Jaenisch, Young, and co-authors contend that on rare occasions an enzyme in human cells may copy the viral sequences into DNA and slip them into our chromosomes. The enzyme, reverse transcriptase, is encoded by LINE-1 elements, sequences that litter 17% of the human genome and represent artifacts of ancient infections by retroviruses. In their original preprint, the researchers presented test tube evidence that when human cells spiked with extra LINE-1 elements were infected with the coronavirus, DNA versions of SARS-CoV-2’s sequences nestled into the cells’ chromosomes.
Many researchers who specialize in LINE-1 elements and other “retrotransposons” thought the data were too thin to support the claim. “If I would have had this data, I would have not submitted to any publication at that point,” says Cornell University’s Cedric Feschotte, who studies endogenous retrovirus chunks in the human genome. He and others also said they expected higher quality work coming from scientists of the caliber of Jaenisch and Young. In two subsequent studies, both posted on bioRxiv, critics presented evidence that the supposed chimeras of human and viral DNA traces are routinely created by the very technique the group used to scan for them in chromosomes. As one report concluded, the human-virus sequences “are more likely to be a methodological product, [sic] than the result of genuine reverse transcription, integration and expression.”
In their new paper, Jaenisch, Young, and colleagues acknowledge that the technique they used accidentally creates human-viral chimeras. “I think it’s a valid point,” Jaenisch says. He adds that when they first submitted the paper to a journal, they knew it needed stronger data, which they hoped to add during the review process. But the journal, like many, requires authors to immediately post all COVID-19 results to a preprint server. “I probably should have said screw you, I won’t put it on bioRxiv. It was a misjudgment,” Jaenisch says.
In the new PNAS paper, the team provides evidence that artifacts alone can’t explain the detected levels of virus-human chimeric DNA. The scientists also show that portions of LINE-1 elements flank the integrated viral genetic sequence, further supporting their hypothesis. And they have collaborated with one of the original skeptics, Stephen Hughes of the National Cancer Institute, who suggested an experiment to clarify whether the integration was real or noise, based on the orientation of the integrated viral sequences relative to the human ones. The results support the original hypothesis, says Hughes, a co-author of the new paper. “That analysis has turned out to be important,” he says.
“The integration data in cell culture is much more convincing than what was presented in the preprint, but it’s still not totally clean,” says Feschotte, who now calls Jaenisch’s and Young’s hypothesis “plausible.” (SARS-CoV-2, he notes, can also persist in a person for months without integrating its genes.)
The real question is whether the cell culture data have any relevance to human health or diagnostics. “In the absence of evidence of integration in patients, the most I can take away from these data is that it is possible to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA retroposition events in infected cell lines where L1 is overexpressed,” Feschotte says. “The clinical or biological significance of these observations, if any, is a matter of pure speculation at this point.”
Jaenisch’s and Young’s team do report hints of SARS-CoV-2 integration in tissue from living and autopsied COVID-19 patients. Specifically, the researchers found high levels of a type of RNA that is only produced by integrated viral DNA as the cell reads its sequence to make proteins. But, Young acknowledges, “We do not have direct evidence for that yet.”
Harmit Malik, a specialist in ancient viruses in the human genome at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, says it’s a “legitimate question” to ask why people who should have cleared the virus sometimes have positive polymerase chain Reaction tests for its sequences. But he also remains unconvinced that the explanation is integrated virus. “Under normal circumstances, there is so little reverse transcription machinery available” in human cells, Malik says.
The controversy has grown decidedly more civil since December. Both Young and Jaenisch say they received more intense criticism for their preprint than any studies in their careers, in part because some researchers worried it played into the hands of vaccine skeptics spreading false claims about the newly authorized mRNA vaccines. “If there ever was a preprint that should be deleted, it is this one! It was irresponsible to even put it up as a preprint, considering the complete lack of relevant evidence. This is now being used by some to spread doubts about the new vaccines,” Marie-Louise Hammarskjöld, a microbiologist at the University of Virginia, posted in a comment on bioRxiv at the time.
And what of the original journal submission? “They rejected it,” Jaenisch says.
This FaceBook community chat group (Shelton Talks!) is so notorious for its egregiously obnoxious censorship habits, it has all but reduced unwitting forum participants to the status of children–prompting this investigation of the four’s (Cassandra Rhoades, Jessica Christine? Renecker, Kevin Richard, Sarah Meyer) bonafides in the belief from the acorn comes the tree and not far at that. It is anticipated the review will stir controversy, the kind (not even close) that isn’t permitted on ‘Shelton Talks!’, but with the distinction of being applied according to the arc of cronyism and the weak excuse FaceBook makes them do it as well as write bad checks and be mean to their dog.
JESSICA Christine(?) RENECKER — dob:8-1-93
120 Foxglove Ave, SE, Shelton, WA 98584. (360)426-4471
Shelton School Dist. para-educator, email@example.com
3737 N Shelton Springs Rd, Shelton, WA 98584, USA
Cassandra Cleo Rhoades DOB:2-15-88
Photos can be deceiving and these are undated. Presumably these lions of FB censorship have reached puberty. I’ve never met the girls. But the courts have.
04-8-00191-4 | STATE OF WASHINGTON VS RHOADES, CASSANDRA Cleo
Comment (Sentenced By: TONI A. SHELDON; Community Supervision: Y; Restitution: TBD; Court Costs: 100 CVF; Sentence Description: 02-22-2005 DISPOSITION: 12 MOS SUPERVISION; 30 HR COM SERVICE; 6 DAYS DETENTION; WITH CREDIT; ART; UA’S; NO CONTACT WITH SARA HARTMAN; KAYLA GUILLO; DANIELLE; DUGGER OR WALMART, $100 CVF; RESTITUTION TBD; PARENT PAY TBD; 06-28-2005 MODIFIED: 12 ADDITIONAL HRS COMMUNITY SERVICE; 08-02-2005 MODIFIED: NO SANCATIONS; )
Comment (SCOMIS JUDGMENT BASIC INFORMATION: Judgment Type: CRI; Date Signed: ; Signed By: ; Date Filed: 2005-02-22; Effective Date: 2005-02-22; Judgments This Case: 1; Judgment Status: SAT; Date: 2008-04-14; )
Comment (SCOMIS JUDGMENT EVENTS: 2005-02-22 ORD ORDER OF DISPOSITION ; 2006-04-13 JD JUDGMENT OFFENDER HAS REACHED THE AGE OF 18 100.00; 2008-04-14 STFJG SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT ; )
Events and Hearings
10/08/2004 Motion for Arrest Detention Probable Cause
This video depicts why ANTIFA acolytes see cops as violent unchecked homicidal Fascists. These are not idiosyncratic rogue cops, but examples of a culture that continues to murder profiled victims because WE indicate to these thugs the lives they take/destroy don’t matter. It isn’t just a few bad cops. Racism is systemic because it is endemic. WE, even more than the cops, are the racists, We are the bigots, WE are the oppressors!
Marine researchers in the Pacific say they’ve unearthed an underwater dump of as many as 25,000 barrels — an estimated 350 and 700 tons — of toxic DDT in what they believe to be a long-forgotten waste site dating back to World War II.
Scientists at University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography used underwater “Roombas” — drones with sonar technology — to trawl more than 36,000 acres of seabed between Catalina Island and the waters off the coast of Los Angeles, a region previously known to contain high levels of DDT in the ecosystem.
Images snapped during their search show 27,345 “barrel-like” objects containing the insecticide, the Associated Press now reports, just 3,000 feet below the water’s surface.
Shipping logs dating back through the century show that Southern California’s industry had used the area of seafloor as a dumping site until 1972, when the so-called Ocean Dumping Act went into effect.
Eric Terrill, director of the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, called the discovery “staggering.”
“It really was a surprise to everybody who’s worked with the data and who sailed at sea,” said Terrill, the excursion’s chief scientist, during a press conference on Monday.
More testing is needed to confirm the presence of DDT and whether surrounding water, sediment and sea life has been contaminated.
A 2015 study by Scripps oceanographer and professor of geosciences Lihini Aluwihare first identified high amounts of DDT and other synthetic chemicals stored in the fat of deceased bottlenose dolphins.
“These results also raise questions about the continued exposure and potential impacts on marine mammal health, especially in light of how DDT has been shown to have multi-generational impacts in humans,” said Aluwhihare, who was not involved in the recent barrel search.
First developed in the 1940s, DDT was originally used to ward off malaria, typhus and other insect-borne diseases in humans, as well as providing insect control for US crops. Bolstered by Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” a book that prompted widespread concern over the rampant use of manmade pesticides, the newly established Environmental Protection Agency ordered a stop to DDT in 1972 following public outcry. Since then, studies have shown its potential for damage to the environment and human health, including a risk of developing cancerous tumors at high levels of exposure.
If systemic racism is rife, systemic bigotry is ubiquitous. Indeed, it may be incorrigibly inherent in all our institutions and democracy itself. It (profiling) preceded the advent of AI which has now amplified it to an especially pernicious form in our justice, employment, rental, financial, sentencing, romantic, and social credit scores.
I hope you’ve been well. I write this letter to you from an apartment that’s a five-minute drive from where my wife and 2-month-old daughter are living. Yet I’m too scared to visit them, let alone hold my baby anytime soon. I tested negative for COVID-19 three days ago and have no symptoms. But I was recently on a plane. And, most crucially, I’m in India.
The world’s largest democracy is battling a devastating COVID-19 wave that has left its hospitals short of oxygen, its government out of ideas and its people increasingly without any hope in sight. More than 350,000 people were infected on Sunday and more than 2,800 people died. But those numbers, like all statistics, tell only a part of the story. A severe shortage of testing kits means many Indians who are carrying the virus can’t get tested. Meanwhile, hospitals are only admitting patients who have tested positive, creating conditions where many who are dying from COVID-19 simply aren’t being counted.
Who will the pandemic take next? That’s the question I’ve been pondering as I wait for the next WhatsApp message, text or Facebook alert with a cry for oxygen or worse, news of another death. Just last week, I lost a cousin and two friends, all in their 30s. I have uncles, aunts and other friends who are battling for life. These are all people who come from backgrounds of reasonable privilege. But even money and connections can’t buy them basic health care at the moment. No one knows if their oxygen supply will be intact by the time you read this. These are the experiences of millions of Indians like me. I can’t take any risks with my wife or daughter, because right now, if you need critical care in India, you might as well start saying your final goodbyes.
So how did India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines and a pharma industry giant, turn into this picture of desperation, so woefully underprepared for this wave? Over the past year, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to build oxygen plants and expand hospital facilities. Earlier this year, when cases were low, Modi’s party even declared victory over COVID-19, crediting the prime minister for his leadership. Hubris has a way of biting back — though it invariably hurts not those guilty of it, but those most vulnerable.
Still, this isn’t only about India. Michigan’s hospitals are quickly filling up with younger patients amid a surge in infections there, even as America aggressively vaccinates its population. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the virus knows no borders. The double mutant variant of COVID-19 that’s wreaking havoc in India will, sooner or later, spread to other parts of the world. It’s already been detected in Greece.
Yet I’m also spotting a silver lining. Complete strangers are helping each other source oxygen and hospital beds on social media platforms, showcasing the best of humanity in a time of shortage that could so easily have brought out our worst instincts. Ignoring the tensions between their countries, ordinary Pakistanis are offering aid and solace to Indians in strife. In the U.S., the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin is sending oxygen concentrator machines to India. You can contribute to their efforts here.