the DON JONES INDEX…

 

 

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

 

 

  12/10/21…    14,699.62 

    12/3/21…    14,623.74 

    6/27/13…    15,000.00

 

(THE DOW JONES INDEX: 12/10/21… 35,754,69; 12/3/21… 35,870.95; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

 

LESSON for December 10, 2021 – WHY THE BIG “O” might be THE BIG Uh-Oh!

 

The world was just starting to get into its pre-post-Covid holiday season when an unfortunate occurrence occurred – doctors in South Africa disclosed that (after the partial waning and partial mask n’ vaxx taming of the ubiquitous and lethal Delta Variant of the plague, a new strain was catching fire, making unwanted friends and influencing people.

Within days it had crossed the frontiers into other African states, then hopped planes and cruise ships and set out to conquer the world.  By Friday last, it had reached America and insinuated itself into five states… by today (thanks in no small part by an infected return who thought it a splendid idea to sojourn at a New York anime convention that had drawn 53,000 creeeepy fans of the Japanese comix featuting bad robots and big-eyed, Western-looking heroes), it was would be active in 17 states by today.

Transmission achieved.

 

 

Still and all, as Americans fumbled over the pronunciation of the latest disease… the most common mode of mis-pronunciation being “Omnichron” (as in some basketball arena, somewhere, or a tech startup or a… yes… video game)… inquiring minds wanted to know how the hell the good doctors and scientists had settled on such a clumbly, clumsy moniker when logical progressions like Epsilon (think Covid as A, then Beta, Gamma, Delta and so on) or at least some more pronounceable virus… a zeta, a theta, a phi or a mu.

The answer turns out to be as simple as A, B, C… or, rather, ά, β, γ (alpha, beta, gamma)…

Intimate conjectures about a new variant began emerging from South Africa last month, and after discovery of that new variant with the unwieldy scientific name of B.1.1.529 was confirmed, observers might have expected WHO to name it after the next Greek letter on the list: Nu.

But the health agency skipped Nu, along with the letter after that -- Xi -- and instead went straight to Omicron -- the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet.

Why?

"Nu is too easily confounded with 'new' and Xi was not used because it is a common surname," the organization explained in an emailed statement to CNN.

“And WHO best practices for naming new diseases suggest 'avoiding causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups.' "

Though pronounced differently, the Greek letter Xi bears a similarity to the Chinese surname Xi -- as in Chinese leader Xi Jinping -- fueling speculation that may have played a role in the WHO's skipping the name.

With no “nu” variant and deferentiality rising due to the potential for more hate crimes against Asians, why not the letter after Delta – Epsilon.  The rationale, according to WHO, was that Delta was so dominant that successive variants – eight in all, including Epsilon, Iota and Lambda – “mostly fizzled out.”  (See Attachment One)

 

The latest intelligence holds that the good news is that the virus is not as deadly as Delta; CNN reporting that: “The first CDC report on the Omicron variant in the US shows vaccination does not protect people against infection but it also indicates the first cases to be detected have been mild or moderate.   (See Attachment Two).  The bad is that the Big-O is apparently blowing through vaccination immunity… even the boosters… according to the Jerusalem Post. 

“Of the 43 cases attributed to the Omicron variant, 34 people had been fully vaccinated. Fourteen of them had also received a booster, although five of those cases occurred less than 14 days after the additional shot before full protection kicks in.

While the numbers are very small, they add to growing concerns that current COVID-19 vaccines may offer less protection against the highly transmissible new variant.   (Attachment Three)

Yesterday, the Guardian UK reported that “there has been 19% increase in hospitalizations over the past two weeks in the United States, according to a New York Times analysis of data.”  To be sure, the overwhelming majorit of cases have been of the tried and true ΔV, “the rise in Covid cases; holiday gatherings; and unanswered questions about the Omicron variant have sparked fresh concerns and warnings from doctors and public health officials in the US.

“Forty percent of the US population has not been fully vaccinated, and the number of doses administered each day has decreased from about 3.3m in April to about 1.7m today, according to the Times..”

To a world tired of masking, vaxxing, social distancing and economic troubles… irregardless of political orientation, scientific evidence (or its lack), a new wellspring of paranoia has sprung up – more likely to seduce the professional virologists and agency apes than your average POThead, chasing evidence of evil masterminds holding Satanic cannibal banquets in the basements of Washington pizza parlours.

Given the unique adaptability of the plague to absorb punishment in the form of vaccinations (at least among those who will take them), to spin their gears and then tailor mutations to defeat the microbial assaults of the pathetic, two-legged  hosts, a premise has been germinating…

WHAT if the PLAGUE is INTELLIGENT?

Not merely robotically smart, the way a mouse learns to run through a maze to find a chunk of cheese.  Real intelligence!  Human – level intelligence… or, even, something beyond.

“The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is behaving weirdly,” according to the Times of India (See Attachment Seven) and it appears that it has an intelligence much stronger than other related viruses, according to an Indian researcher, Dr Subhabrata Sen, Professor, Department of Chemistry at Shiv Nadar University in Greater Noida. Now, one hears increasingly, how can it be that such a critter as the plague hangs on so long, strikes so hard and counters every vaccine the brightest minds in all humanity devise with no more effort than it takes for Tom Brady to toss a football to the Gronk.  The Coronavirus, of course, lacks the five-fingered mutation enabling an advanced ape to throw a football (although, were it big enough, the “stickiness” of CV-19 might enable it to “catch” one), but there have been respected researchers funded by respectable academic and government institutions or think tanks founded by deranged billionaires that, nonetheless, keep serving up new stews of scientifically justifiable  paranoia – to the extent that colleagues (and the media – sparingly for many years but with a strong potential to, as the saying goes, “go viral”) have at least allowed the prospect to see the light of day.

 

“Viruses are very intelligent,” Francis Lai, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, posited a generation ago.   “They can think. They do things that we do not expect. They adapt to the environment. They change themselves in order to survive,” said Lai during an interview with Eva Emerson in the October 30, 1998 issue of u.s.c. news.

“Lai has long probed how these tricky parasites work,” Emerson wrote.  “He has been especially interested in RNA viruses, which carry their genetic blueprints in what scientists have long considered a relatively flimsy apparatus. Because of the way RNA is copied, it is more prone to mistakes in the genetic code and, unlike DNA, the new copy of RNA is never proofread and corrected.

“That’s part of what got Lai interested in studying the coronavirus,” the article stated – and more than two decades before the first deadly cases began trickling in from China.  At that time the designation… then lacking the appellation “19” was a simple, seldom used generic term for one of a host of parasites related to the extant SARS and MERS viruses, this one made up of 31,000 nucleotides and with the longest known viral RNA genome. “Conventional wisdom would say that having such a large RNA genome wouldn’t work, that the virus would become defective. But coronavirus seems to have broken all the rules,” he said, perhaps presciently.

Lai’s studies of coronavirus have revealed the details of how the virus enters target cells and how it turns on RNA synthesis in the host cell. Coronaviruses cause respiratory illnesses in humans and animals and may cause neurological symptoms similar to those of multiple sclerosis.

With little or no public interest in the origins or effects of the Coronavirus, Lai more or less dropped the subject to focus on the then-more imminently prevalent and dangerous hepatitis C virus, an RNA predator that attacks liver cells, spreading from person-to-person mainly through blood products and intimate sexual contact.  In 1998, with the world still emerging from the AIDS panic, Hep C was considered among the most dangerous infectious diseases in the United States, so the extant Coronavirus was boxed up and wheeled down a slope to the basement of academic and medical irrelevant – there to languish while speculation (always a good thing in medical research, inasmuch, as curiousity generates cures) crossed over to the related (but, thankfully, less prevalent) SARS and MERS plagues while any questions of virus intelligence (or its lack) was deferred – eventually to the viral entymologists

Some of the adaptations that help viruses spread sound like the tricks that animals sometimes use and more than a few of these tricks that researchers have ferreted out (a choice of verbiage that is deliberate… see next week’s Lesson) are insectoid. In a lecture entitled ‘Viruses travel tricky routes’, recorded as part of the Science-Inspired Tales series, one Dr. Colin Russell, Royal Society University Research Fellow at Cambridge University, says understanding how “clever” viruses are can help us to outsmart them.  Each virus has its own unique ways of spreading to new victims, Russell says… “For example, rabies makes animals paranoid and thus more likely to bite other animals and spread the disease to new hosts,” adding that rabies-infected animals also avoid water which increases the concentration of viruses in their saliva. (See Attachment Eight)

 

We are told that “Adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 virus to the immune system are not purely random”:  Research shows that the emergence of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 are not purely random. Rather, the virus has repair and adaptation mechanisms in its genome that can accelerate the occurrence of particularly dangerous mutations. In the light of these findings, it appears that the most effective strategies to combat the pandemic are those that aim to achieve the lowest possible incidence rates… Systems capable of solving problems with a higher rate of success than might be expected with random processes, can indeed be called ‘intelligent’, even if the virus is not actually ‘thinking’ or ‘planning’.

 

(Viruses use ‘hive intelligence’ to focus their attack” contended Jessica Hamzelou in New Scientist - 21 january 2010referring to a Life magazine investigative video, produced in 2010, correlating viral penetration, domination and subjugation of host cells with the “hive mentality” that impels certain insects to co-operate in avoiding predators and conquering prey.

Geoffrey Smith and his team of virologists at Imperial College London were curious about the vaccinia virus, (see below) and set up a video microscope to watch how the virus spreads through cells.

The video catches viruses only a few hundred nanometres in size in the act of hopping over cells that are already infected. This allows them to concentrate their energies on previously uninfected cells, accelerating the spread of infection fivefold.

“It’s as if the proteins are telling the virus: ‘Hey guys, there’s no point in coming in here’,” said Dr. Smith. “If you think about it, it makes sense – it’s very Darwinian.”

An American response was that this finding was “pretty cool” (Erik Barton, a virologist at Purdue University, Indiana), who added: “What I find most fascinating is that it suggests that viruses can function with a sort of primitive ‘hive mentality’ to ensure efficient use of host cell resources, akin to the way worker bees tell others where to locate the best food sources.”

(Or, perhaps, fire ants’ capacity to detect and deter intruders?)

 

The emergence of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 are not purely random according to Christopher Then of testbiotech.org.  “Rather, the virus has repair and adaptation mechanisms in its genome that can accelerate the occurrence of particularly dangerous mutations. In the light of these findings, it appears that the most effective strategies to combat the pandemic are those that aim to achieve the lowest possible incidence rates.”

Similarly to other corona viruses, SARS-CoV-2 has ‘learnt’ during the course of evolution to adapt more efficiently to its host than if this were a purely random process,” contends Mr. Then… “overall, the virus appears to have a lower mutation rate than might be expected statistically. The reason for this are proteins which ‘proofread’ the correct composition of the genome (RNA) during replication and repair it if need be. Without these control mechanisms, too many mutations could strongly impact replication and infectiousness of the virus.

Moreover, to complicate the picture, giant viruses like Mimivirus can behave in some ways like the one-celled life forms to which both Shapiro and Damasio are prepared to credit some type of cognition. As Harvard neuropsychiatrist Jon Lieff put it a few years ago:

 

“Viruses appear to have functions, different in nature but comparable in complexity to bacteria. If bacteria have a form of sentience, then can we really say that viruses don’t?”

 

Front line healthcare workers have plenty of Deltoids to keep them busy – and the reasons for the persistence of the plague are ubiquitous.  “I think we have chosen one of the most painful paths through the pandemic in this country” because of people’s refusal to get vaccinated,” said Dr Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at New York University.  (Guardian UK, above)

 “I think we have prolonged our pain unnecessarily.”

Also from the U.K., swelling street demonstrations against masking and vaxxing, violence against enforcers and the stubborn belief that a cabal of wicked billionaires is behind both the plague and the response to the plague by turning the world into a medical dictatorship persists.  There was no Djonald in England… Boris Johnson genuflected to the colonial but, as soon as he was deposed by President Joe, BoJo pivoted, got vaxxed (after getting the disease) and has, more or less, enlisted in the ranks of the international brotherhood of Satanic, reptilian pedophiles – as foreign offshoots of Q-Anon have also promoted.

BBC reporters Marianna Spring and Mike Wendling contend that the Q-wazees and the true believers in a “swirling mass of pseudoscience” claiming that coronavirus does not exist, or is not fatal, or any number of other baseless claims are now increasingly coming together, in a “grand conspiracy mash-up” or, in the words of the conspiracy theorists, a "plandemic".

Recently, the medical establishment… including the various initialed agencies, the vaccine researchers and manufacturers and public spokespersons like Dr. Jah and Dr. Fauci have, on occasion, mentioned… but mostly sloughed off… the possibility of a “worst case scenario”, largely consigning that term to a persistence of vaccine refusenicking based on an absurd loyalty to deposed President Donald Trump, or to the manifestation of a variant whose injectable antidote may require several weeks or months to develop and a bit longer to distribute.

But what if a Coronavirus hybrid were to appear – one for which there was no vaccine extant or even remotely in the pipeline… a planet-killer vastly more transmissible and more lethal than the Big O.

 

Emerson’s article hints at this possibility in Lai’s Hep C researches, particularly in regards to the “receptor” issue common to all pathogenic viruses.  Receptors… sort of like the lock picks that burglars use to enter a home or a bank safe (or, in some cases, like the iron bars or dynamite used to just smash through the cellular defenses… “are an important part of the story of how viruses cause infection. But we don’t know what receptor hepatitis C uses to get into the cell,” Lai said (let alone any details of CV mutations potentiatable in 1998.

What’s more, Lai added that no one knows how to grow hepatitis C in the lab (a deficiency not corrected until 2015). That meant that any 20th century research on how the virus replicates in cells was incredibly difficult. But Lai and his research group have managed to study the function of some of the viral genes.  They have discovered that one of the hepatitis C viral proteins binds to a few key players in the human immune system, members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family.

And now that the smart boys are making diseases in the lab – well, you compute the possibilities…

Lai suspects that this may help explain how the virus is able to escape the immune system’s attack and so can develop into a chronic infection in many patients. It may also explain how the virus damages the liver and causes hepatitis.  It may also… given the propensity of the occasional merged or “crossover” disease to exploit a sort of cellular miscegenation that, in the Middle Ages, transmitted bubonic plague from fleas to rats to human, transmitted what is now still called Covid-19 from infected bats to hungry humans and which, given a genetic turn of the screw, might generate a Covid/Hepatitis hybrid both vaccine resistant and, given Emerson’s contention that about 20 percent of the chronic carriers of the virus would “go on to develop more serious liver disease, including cirrhosis and cancer,” raises questions that decent people, perhaps, would rather not think about.

After all these years, studying viruses’ shifty ways continues to leave Lai with a sense of amazement. Part of this comes from the ability of viruses to shuffle genes with as much deft as some genetic engineers.

“Viruses can pick up pieces of cellular genes or incorporate their genes into the cell’s genome. That means that evolution occurs all the time in viruses. It’s a very dynamic process – that’s why I always feel that the viruses are alive,” he said.

 

That which lives can… in fact, must… die eventually: or be killed, sooner or later.  And what is applicable to individuals is also applicable to species… although over millions or billions (or, in the case of hominid skyrockets) a few hundred or even dozen years.

There are also strange proteins afoot – mysterious entities that could aid, rather than destroy, the world.

Vaccinia (Above and Attachment Five) was used in the vaccine that rid the world of smallpox some 35 years ago. It doesn’t cause disease in humans or any other animal, and its origin is unknown.

The traditional idea of how viruses spread goes like this. A virus first enters a cell and hijacks its machinery to make its own viral proteins and replicate. Thousands of replicated viruses then spread to neighbouring cells to wreak havoc.

When Geoffrey Smith watched the vaccinia virus infecting monkey liver cells, he thought that it was spreading far too quickly. “It takes 5 to 6 hours for the virus to replicate, but it was spreading from cell to cell within 1 or 2 hours,” he says.

On the larger scale, Dr. Smith contends that: “Strategies based on the maximum possible reduction of the virus incidence rate and the establishment of ‘green’ virus-free zones appear to be the best way forward.

His given example is Vaccinia – used in the vaccine that rid the world of smallpox some 35 years ago. It doesn’t cause disease in humans or any other animal, and its origin is unknown.

The traditional idea of how viruses spread goes like this,” Smith explains.  “A virus first enters a cell and hijacks its machinery to make its own viral proteins and replicate. Thousands of replicated viruses then spread to neighbouring cells to wreak havoc.”

When Smith watched the vaccinia virus infecting monkey liver cells, he thought that it was spreading far too quickly. “It takes 5 to 6 hours for the virus to replicate, but it was spreading from cell to cell within 1 or 2 hours,” he said.

Another option derives from Indian researcher, Dr Subhabrata Sen, Professor, Department of Chemistry at Shiv Nadar University in Greater Noida. who has recently created a molecule that has the potential to be developed into a drug that can cure Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients.  (See Attachment Seven)

Yet in this flowering of deep state sleep and deep biological conspiracies, some (and some with advanced degrees and a facility with complicated words and theories about proteins and receptors and such) are beginning to ask: “Well, could it be that if the Coronavirus is intelligent… it might be an intelligent entity?  An intelligent entity imbued with evil intent – like the worst sort of hive-mind plague engineered by wicked hive-mind-creatures like, oh, the Chinese?

Or an angry God - exasperated with the crawling, yammering two legged creations that will absolutely not follow the dictates he passed down to them in His Book or, further, seem hell-bent upon destroying their own environment with carbon-spewing SUVs, cow farts and toxic plastic packaging?

“Are viruses part of God’s good creation,” asks Joshua Moritz of tandfonline.com, or are they evil in their very essence? (See Attachment Ten)

Viruses are not life, Moritz contends… unlike certain other researchers… “but are in their essence parasitic on life rather than mutualistic or symbiotic.” The evolutionary origin and mode of existence of viruses lies in a deep tendency towards extreme selfishness—a sort of biological incurvatus in se—that leads to the destruction of living beings. “They are the original vampires and the sub-cellular undead of the microscopic world…” Moritz calls them “genetic thieves”.

And remember – in traditional vampire lore, the victim… or host… has to invite Dracula in to feed on him or her.  Could all the genetic tinkering… not to mention simple and contemptuous deeds like refusing masks and vaxxes… be that sort of invitation.

This is the stuff of Christmas homilies… or ranting televangelists… but also of (usually) sober and respectable theorists and experimenters in the field of disease analysis and combat, and some of these have been working out their intimations for decades.

Next week, we’ll join them.

 

 

 

DECEMBER 3 – DECEMBER 9

 

 

Friday, December 3, 2021

 

Infected: 48,990,143

Dead:  787,855

Dow:  34,580.08

 

 

Five states now “enjoy” breakthrough Big O plague.  “Enjoy” because, while speaking as cautiously as lawyers, most doctors concur that the new variant, while more transmissible, is weaker (or at least not more lethal).  New laws and mandates start spreading outwards – refusenik athletes and celebrities are fired from their jobs and attacks on enforcers (which had been declining) up-tick again.

   In Washington, the politicians kick the budget ceiling can down the road again, to mid-February.  Next up, the debt limit, expiring the 15th.  (or maybe it was the other way around.)  Republican strategy of holding American economy hostage to President Joe relinquishing Inf.Two fizzles like a shaken can of Dr. Pibb.

   Parents of Michigan school shooter Ethan Crumbley investigated, then indicted as accessories when audio and video of them presenting the killer with an early Christmas present.  They promptly help their own cause by disappearing, presumably fleeing to Canada (which has a no-fault extradition treaty with America).  Elsewhere, the trials trot on… Ghislaine Maxwell, Jussie Smolett and killer cop Kim Potter in Minnesota.

 

 

 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

 

Infected:  49,051,140

Dead:  788,202

 

 

           

 

Big O now in ten American states.  Some red states are fighting back against Federal vaccine mandates and lockdowns while straggling tourists returning from here and there in Africa tell tales of airport chaos.  New American plague hotspots are New Hampshire, New Mexico and upstate New York.

   Fugitive Crumbley parents captured in a warehouse and locked up in the same jail as Ethan (but in separate cells).  Mama C. counsels baby boy: “I’m not mad at you but you have to learn how not to get caught.”  Flash mobs and follow-home robbers on the rise all across America.  A plumber finds a cache of cash in televangelist Joel Osteen’s megachurch.

   Supply chain issues now impacting Christmas food and toy banks.  Nerds are hoarding and gouging the kids.  Consumer utility shutoffs triple as heating costs rise 30%.  The poor and elderly freeze to death. 

 

 

 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

 

Infected:  49,085,367

Dead:  788,363

                

 

 

Big O in 16… no… 17 states.  Covid cruise ship “Norwegian Breakaway” docks in New Orleans with a load of plague passengers.  Dr. Walensky falls back on the tried and true: masking, vaxxing, social distancing.  Refuseniks clench their fists, stomp their freet and hollaback “No!”  Dr. F. predicts: “Boosters are going to be critical!” but refuseniks who refuse 1st and/or 2nd doses will refuse boosters, too.”  Freedom!

   Another TV Doctor, however, tells America that the Big O is a good thing because, as a weaker but more transmissible variant, it will elbow ΔV out of the way and deaths and hospitalizations will decline.  Others say this is because Omnicron “borrowed” too much genetic material from the common cold.

   Weird weather, 75° in Montana while blizzards strike Hawaii.  Instead of the usual “pineapple express”, the islands now face “snakes of rain” and Pearl Harbor’s water supply is contaminated by petroleum – perhaps caused by weather, perhaps not.  (And there is also a volcano.)  Larger volcano Semeru strikes Indonesia, 39 people are dead, 17 people are missing and thousands are displaced by landslides.

 

 

 

Monday, December 6, 2021

 

Infected:  49,278,242

Dead:  789,742

Dow:  35,184.27

 

               

 

R.I.P Bob Dole, 98, lost to Clinton in ’96… eulogized as a strong conservative able to work with Democrats.  And tell jokes.

   Sen. Dole would know what to do with Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border as President Joe prepares to discuss the matter with Putin tomorrow.  And it’s not only the Russians but the Chinese, moving to conquer the world (and feed little girl athletes to their bosses).  Beijing will laugh at a “diplomatic boycott”, but the real thing might motivate them to action – one way or another.

   Annual awards season mashes up with Hollywood revival craze… West Side Story, Nightmare Alley and live versions of old sitcoms.  Tom Holland to star in Fred Astaire biopic.  Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat and Negro Leagues legend Buck O’Neill named to MLB Hall of Fame.  Kennedy Center awards go to Bette Midler, Lorne Michaels and Joni Mitchell with Stevie Wonder’s rousing tribute to Berry Gordy.

   Big O’s breakthrough toll from anime convention now “dozens”, Norwegian plague ship toll up to 17 and even the hippopotamuses in Belgium get it.

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

 

Infected: 48,278,278                       Dead:  789,745

Dow:  35,719.43

 

 

On the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbour, President Joe and Putin discuss Ukraine invasion – resolution, if any, is mysterious… Joe threatens economic but not military sanctions (unless Russia also invades the Baltics).  WW2 ceremonies disrupted by the wild Hawaiian weather… flooding caused by “snakes of rain” and/or “Maui Wowee!” and the dedicated are surfing volcanoes.

   Big O comes home to Texas – over there in South Africa, it now comprises a quarter of all new cases.  But never fear – ΔV is spiking too.  (Actually, say the W.H.O. and Dr. F., “preliminary data” and “inklings” hint that Omnichron is a weaker variant, even if more transmissible and probably vaxx/proof.)  Pfizer CEO promises an O-vax by “spring”.  France shuts down all nightclubs until New Years’ Day.

   Supply chain woes easing – gas prices are down.  But there remains a shortage of department store Santas willing to let snotty kids sit on their lap and an Unhappy Hanukkah looms with shortages of cream cheese for your bagel.

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

 

Infected: 48,278,278 *

Dead:  789,745 *

Dow:  34,804.38

 

 

 

 

* Somebody at JHUapparantly taking a long weekend – then struggled to catch up, as below…

 

 

Djonald Unstaffed’s former Chief of Staff Mark (“must be Democrats”) Meadows pivots on his deal with the Probesters to rat out his comrades (including… you know?...) and will share a cell with Steve-O (above).  “The President has claimed Executive Privilege and I am going to respect that,” Mark says.  The problem is that Djonald is no longer “The President” and Meadows is not Djonald.

   Pfizer CEO admits Big-O breaks through vaccines, but it’s a good thing because the symptoms are milder.  Plague cases, still mostly ΔV, are up 57% with Omicron now in 23 states. 

   Finnsh PM Sanna Marin gets it, then goes out clubbing until 4 AM.  Other party girl Angela Merkl celebrates her last day as Fuhrerette of Germany by attending a punk rock party before handing over the prospect of war with Russia to the new guy, somebody named Olaf.

 

 

 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

 

Infected:  49,661,145

Dead:  795,659

Dow:  35,754.69

  

 

 

Despite its perceived “weakness”, Dr. Walensky says that its breakthrough potentials and ubiquity will overwhelm hospitals and lead to occasional “poor outcomes”.  Covid post-O language takes a turn down a narrow, winding road… Pfizer now says that “fully” vaccinated means a fourth shot, TV’s Dr. Agus proclaims: “Viruses are not alive,” (contradicting some of the researchers, above) “… they go into our cells and use them.”  Sort of like prison rapists.

   Arsonists busted – the father/son Caldor fire firebugs on the West Coast, a homeless pervert for torching the Fox tree in NY.  This perp previously busted for exposing himself at ghislaine Maxwell’s trial but the Fox Lives Matter tribe… Tucker Carlson commender in chief, cry “Hate Crime!” and insist it was political.

   Kellogg’s strikers reject deal, so Tony the Tiger fires them.  Next labor strife will hit Starbucks.  Pizza parlours in Thailand marketing cannabis pizzas for the fat and weary mob.

 

 

 

Back to work go more and more Joneses, sparking another big week for the Don.  So many are employed and so many better jobs are available that Americans are starting to quit their jobs and seek something better – and it’s also a boon to the previously moribund unions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

 

CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

(REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

 

See a further explanation of categories here

 

ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX

(45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

 

CATEGORY

VALUE

BASE

RESULTS

SCORE

SCORE

OUR SOURCES and COMENTS

INCOME

24%

6/17/13

LAST

CHANGE

NEXT

12/3/21

12/10/21

SOURCE 

Wages (hourly, per capita)

9%

1350 points

 10/8/21

   +0.53%

 12/17/21

1,487.38

1,495.31

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages  26.26 6.40

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

 12/3/21

  +0.02%

 12/17/21

676.27

676.41

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   35,761

*Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

 12/3/21

   -9.52%

 12/17/21

477.95

477.95

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS140000004.2%

*Official (DC – in millions)

2%

300

 12/3/21

  +8.40%

 12/17/21

530.23

574.79

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      7,365 6,794

*Unofficl. (DC – in millions)

2%

300

 12/3/21

   -3.97%

 12/17/21

473.01

491.80

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    12,250 11,782

Workforce Participtn.

     Number  

     Percent

2%

300

12/3/21

 

 +0.013%

    +0.87%

 12/17/21

 

 

321.43

 

 

324.22

In 154,168 224  out 100,472  99,970 Total: 254,640 194

 

http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 60.67

WP %  (ycharts)*

1%

150

 10/8/21

  +0.32%

 12/17/21

152.23

152.72

https://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate    

61.80

OUTGO

(15%)

Total Inflation

7%

1050

 11/12/21

+0.8%

 12/17/21

964.60

956.88

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.9 nc .8

Food

2%

300

 11/12/21

+0.7%

 12/17/21

270.11

268.22

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.9  .7

Gasoline

2%

300

 11/12/21

+6.1%

 12/17/21

236.57

224.50

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +6.1 nc

Medical Costs

2%

300

 11/12/21

+0.3%

 12/17/21

283.62

282.77

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.5 .3

Shelter

2%

300

 11/12/21

+0.5%

 12/17/21

285.89

284.46

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.5 nc

WEALTH

(6%)

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

 12/3/21

    -0.32%

 12/17/21

382.15

380.37

https://www.wsj.com/market-data/quotes/index/DJIA  35,870.95  35,754.69

Home (Sales) 

   (Valuation)

1%

1%

150

150

 12/3/21

   +0.79%

   +0.31%

 12/17/21

201.36

178.11

201.36

178.11

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics

     Sales (M):  6.29 6.34 Valuations (K):  352.8 nc 353.9

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

 12/3/21

   +0.12%

 12/17/21

264.99

264.47

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    66,610  688

 

 

 

AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

NATIONAL

(10%)

 

Revenue (trilns.)

2%

300

 12/3/21

 +0.015%

 12/17/21

346.49

346.54

debtclock.org/       4,052 052.6

Expenditures (tr.)

2%

300

 12/3/21

  -0.07%

 12/17/21

218.51

218.35

debtclock.org/       6,858 863

National Debt tr.)

3%

450

 12/3/21

 +0.06%

 12/17/21

316.76

316.57

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    29,003 020

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

 12/3/21

 +0.05%

 12/17/21

371.48

371.31

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    85,114 153

GLOBAL

(5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

 12/3/21

  +0.46%

 12/17/21

273.45

274.70

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   7,678 643

Exports (in billions)

1%

150

 10/8/21

  +7.55%

 12/17/21

184.54

198.47

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/index.html  207.9 nc 223.6

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

 10/8/21

  +0.76%

 12/17/21

113.20

114.06

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/index.html  288.5 290.7

Trade Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

 10/8/21

+17.06%

 12/17/21

85.46

100.04

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/index.html    80.9 67.1

 

SOCIAL INDICES (40%) 

ACTS of MAN

(12%)

World Affairs

3%

450

12/3/21

      -0.4%

 12/17/21

378.68

377.17

Myanmar’s dictators sentence former President and Nobel winner Aung Sun Kyi to four years.  France shuts down nightclubs until 2022.

Terrorism

2%

300

12/3/21

     +0.3%

 12/17/21

217.75

218.15

Haitian kidnappers release three more hostages – 12 still held.  “Experts” deny cyberterrorism knocked out Amazon, Alexa, Netflix, McDonald’s and many more… insist it was just a “glitch”. 

Politics

3%

450

12/3/21

     +0.6%

 12/17/21

439.91       

442.55      

Buoyed by debt ceiling deal that kicks that can down the road until Feb. 18th and averts “catastrophic consequences”, President Joe promises carbon neutrality by 2050, then warns Putin of economic (but not military sanctions).  Ex-Pres. Djonald Unforgiving pays back disloyal GA gov. by endorsing a primary challenger to kick off his revenge tour, gladdening Democrats.  Devin Nunes (R-Ca) quits the Congress to join Trump’s incipient media empire. 

Economics

3%

450

12/3/21

     -0.2%

 12/17/21

405.86

405.05

Inflation spikes (but gas prices trending down).  Heating costs rise 30%, utility shutoffs cause freeze deaths and lingering supply chain woes impact food and toy banks.  Anemic (210K) new jobs stats send Dow “slipping” despite unemployment rate drop.  Tony the Tiger reaches pact with Kellogg’s workers, then the deal falls apart and the company fires them all and goes questing for scabs.  Evil CEO Vishal Garg (better.com) fires 900 via zoom, calls them lazy and dishonest and then decides to “take time off.”  With pay?  Discovery and Warner’s plot merger – consumers suspicious.

Crime

1%

150

12/3/21

      -0.3%

 12/17/21

237.54

236.83

Ethan Crumbley’s parents flee, get caught and now are in the same jail (but not cell) as their boy.  Homeless drifter from Miami busted for killing 14 year old boy.  13 year old kills sister with “ghost gun”.  Gangbanger parolee kills Columbia student, wounds Italian tourist, another parolee arrested in Avant home invasion murder.  14 flash mob bandits arrested, then released because jails are too full.  Dr. Phil warns that “five hundred thousand pedophiles” are trolling the Internet.  Arsonist sets fire to the Fox News Christmas Tree.

 

ACTS of GOD

 

(6%)

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

 12/3/21

        -0.3%

 12/17/21

380.21

379.07

Weird weather - 78° in Montana, Hawaiian blizzard has surfers-turned-skiers groovin’ but 8 inch “snake” of rain drenches Honolulu on Pearl Harbor’s 80th.  Sea grass kill-off also killing off Florids’s manatees. Total solar eclipse, but its in Antarctica.

Natural/Unnatural Disaster

3%

450

 12/3/21

        +0.5%

 12/17/21

218.19

219.28

Dancing grannies back to work in Wisconsin after tragedy.  Indonesian volcano and landslides kill 14 but many more missing. 

 

LIFESTYLE/JUSTICE INDEX   (15%)

 

Science, Tech, Education

4%

600

 12/3/21

      -0.2%

 12/17/21

404.87

404.06

Nerds develop computer “grinchbots” to buy up all the scarce, hot toys and gouge the kiddies on resale.  High winds postpone Michael Strahan’s space jaunt til’ next week.

Equality (econ/social)

4%

600

 12/3/21

      -0.1%

 12/17/21

408.84

408.43

New York gives non-citizens the right to vote.  Feds close 1955 Emmett Till case over the objections of relatives.

Health

     

          

            Plague

4%

600

 12/3/21

     +0.1%

 

 

  

      -0.2%

 12/17/21

397.26

 

 

 

- 103.23

397.66

 

 

 

- 103.44

725K Hondas recalled for flyaway hoods.  Doctors agree that plague and attendant worries have raised Don Jones’ blood pressure.  FDA approves Vuity eyedrops to cure blurry vision by making the pupils smaller – sort of like heroin.

 

Dr. Walensky downplays mandates and lockdowns to fight the Big O… promotes the usual masking, vaxxing and social distancing.  New York, however, imposes total vaxxing mandate on over 100,000 private firms.  Dr. Fauci predicts “boosters are going to be critical in the way we fight this.”  Big O breakthrough anime boy’s toll now “dozens”.  Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Jon Tester side with GOP to kill mask mandates, Sen. Ossoff (D-Ga) proposes vaxxing patent reforms.

Freedom and Justice

3%

450

 12/3/21

      -0.1%

 12/17/21

462.26

461.80

Meadows pivots – won’t rat out Djonald Unforgiving (might have been the Chuck E. Cheesehead on his bed).  Criminal negligence imbues Kim Potter trial and Alex Baldwin investigation.  Ghislaine’s girls and their psychiatrists hit the talkshow circuit.  (Among disclosures: 17 Epstein meetings w/ Slick Willie.)  Capitol riot probers promise “multiple weeks” of hearings. 

 

MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX           (7%) 

 

Cultural incidents

3%

450

 12/3/21

    +0.3%

 12/17/21

 534.70

 536.30

Picasso-esque 10 year old Andrew Valencia shines at the Chicago Art Festival.  Memphis sets NBA record with 152-79 blowout of OK City.  Alabama upsets Georgia – both go to NCAA final four with Cincinnati and Michigan.  NFL’s Detroit Lions finally win a game.  Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” goes Diamond.  David Grohl releases album of Jewish rockers… Gene Simmons?  David Lee Roth? RIP: Last man standing of WW2’s “band of brothers”, Edward Shames.  Laverne & Shirley’s Eddie Melden, Grand Ole Opry star Stonewall Jackson, Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.

Miscellaneous incidents

4%

450

 12/3/21

    -0.1%

 12/17/21

 489.88

 489.39

CNN fires Chris Cuomo after mystery accusers say he touched them – then he loses his book contract – says he’ll focus on “what comes next.”   Brits, ordered back into lockdown, denounce their gift Norwegian tree in Tralfalgar Square as “Charlie Brown” shabby.  Cream cheese shortage portends Unhappy Hanukkah, but pizza parlors in Thailand introduce happy customers to cannabis pizzas.  Hillary Clinton, perhaps disoriented by those Epstein disclosures, reads her discarded 2016 “victory speech” and confuses Americans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Don Jones Index for the week of November 26th through December 2nd, 2021 was UP 75.88 points.

 

The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or, at best, mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

Comments, complaints, donations (especially SUPERPAC donations) always welcome at feedme@generisis.com or: speak@donjonesindex.com.

 

ATTACHMENT ONE – FROM CNN

WHY WHO SKIPPED TWO LETTERS OF THE GREEK ALPHABET IN NAMING OMICRON

 

By Faith Karimi, CNN Updated 5:12 PM ET, Mon November 29, 2021

 

(CNN)The naming of the new coronavirus variant Omicron is causing some confusion.

Since May the World Health Organization has been using letters of the Greek alphabet, in order, to name coronavirus variants. Delta was the most dominant one, followed by eight others -- including Epsilon, Iota and Lambda -- that so far have mostly fizzled out.

So after a new variant with the unwieldy scientific name of B.1.1.529 was discovered last week in South Africa, observers might have expected WHO to name it after the next Greek letter on the list: Nu.

But the health agency skipped Nu, along with the letter after that -- Xi -- and instead went straight to Omicron -- the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet.

 

The Greek alphabet has 24 letters.

 

The Greek alphabet has 24 letters.

"Nu is too easily confounded with 'new' and Xi was not used because it is a common surname," the organization explained in an emailed statement to CNN.

"And WHO best practices for naming new diseases suggest 'avoiding causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups.' "

Though pronounced differently, the Greek letter Xi bears a similarity to the Chinese surname Xi -- as in Chinese leader Xi Jinping -- fueling speculation that may have played a role in the WHO's skipping the name.

China has sought to distance itself from the Covid-19 pandemic and has pushed back against assertions that the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Scientific names for diseases "can be difficult to say and recall, and are prone to misreporting," WHO said in May. "As a result, people often resort to calling variants by the places where they are detected, which is stigmatizing and discriminatory."

 

Coronavirus variants: Here's what we know

To avoid these stigmas, WHO has been avoiding associating viruses with specific regions of the world. Some believe use of the terms "Wuhan virus" and "Chinese virus" to describe Covid-19 have led to persecution of people of Asian descent.

On its website, WHO said it's identified best practices for the naming of new human diseases, "with the aim to minimize unnecessary negative impact of disease names on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare."

So that's how this latest coronavirus variant became named Omicron.

And if even newer variants emerge, there are nine more letters in the Greek alphabet. The next one is Pi.

 

 

ATTACHMENT TWO – From CNN

 

MOST OMICRON CASES IN US HAVE BEEN MILD BUT MOST WERE VACCINATED, CDC REPORTS

 

By Maggie Fox. Updated 3:05 PM ET, Fri December 10, 2021

 

WHO chief scientist urges caution over Omicron variant 

 

(CNN)Most of the 43 people known to have been infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the United States had mild symptoms, but most had been vaccinated and 14 of them had already had booster doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

The first CDC report on the Omicron variant in the US shows vaccination does not protect people against infection but it also indicates the first cases to be detected have been mild or moderate.

"One vaccinated patient was hospitalized for 2 days, and no deaths have been reported to date," the CDC Covid Response Team reported. "Case investigations have identified exposures associated with international and domestic travel, large public events, and household transmission."

"The earliest date of symptom onset was November 15 in a person with a history of international travel," the researchers added. "Fourteen (33%) persons reported international travel during the 14 days preceding symptom onset or receipt of a positive test result."

They said 79% of those infected had been fully vaccinated with either two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's or Moderna's vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. Five of the 14 who got booster doses had been boosted at least two weeks before and should have had maximum levels of immune protection.

"The most commonly reported symptoms were cough, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose," the researchers wrote.

Delta is still the dominant variant in the US, the research team said.

"Given the 2-3 weeks from the time of specimen collection to availability of sequence data for analysis, it is likely that additional infections with Omicron from late November will be detected during the coming days," they wrote.

"Scientists around the world are working to rapidly learn more about the Omicron variant to better understand how easily it might be transmitted and the effectiveness of current diagnostic tests, vaccines, and therapeutics against this variant," they added.

"Many of the first reported cases of Omicron variant infection appear to be mild, although as with all variants, a lag exists between infection and more severe outcomes, and symptoms would be expected to be milder in vaccinated persons and those with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection than in unvaccinated persons."

People who have recently traveled internationally are likely to be younger, healthier or both and might not be representative of the general population, the researchers noted. If the Omicron variant spreads widely, sheer numbers could mean there will be may severe cases. "Even if most infections are mild, a highly transmissible variant could result in enough cases to overwhelm health systems. The clinical severity of infection with the Omicron variant will become better understood as additional cases are identified and investigated," they wrote.

"Scientists in South Africa and elsewhere have established systems that allow study of the laboratory, clinical, and epidemiologic characteristics; CDC is collaborating with health officials around the world to learn more about the characteristics of patients with Omicron variant infections."

Separately, a team of government and academic researchers in the UK reported that many people there infected with the Omicron variant had also been vaccinated and boosted.

"Our findings show that vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease with the Omicron variant is significantly lower than with the Delta variant," the team, led by Nick Andrews of the UK Health Security Agency, reported in a pre-print posted online.

They looked at 581 cases of people infected there whose tests showed they had been infected with the Omicron variant, looked at their vaccination records and compared them to thousands of people who had been vaccinated when the Delta variant was dominant.

Two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine -- widely used in Britain but not authorized in the US -- provided no protection after 15 weeks, they wrote. People who had been vaccinated more recently with two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine seemed more strongly protected against Omicron, but effectiveness fell to no more than 37% if they had been vaccinated four months or more earlier.

A booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine restored vaccine efficacy to about 75% against Omicron, they wrote. But the findings involved a small number of people, they said.

"We are unable to determine protection against severe forms of disease due to the small number of Omicron cases so far and the natural lag between infection and more severe outcomes," they wrote.

The British and US teams both urged booster doses of vaccine.

"Booster doses are especially urgent for those at higher risk of severe disease, such as persons residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In addition, CDC recommends that everyone aged 2 years or older wear masks in public indoor places in areas of substantial or high transmission," the CDC team wrote.

All the known mitigation methods should be employed, the CDC said. "Implementation of concurrent prevention strategies, including vaccination, masking, improving ventilation, testing, quarantine, and isolation, are recommended to slow transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and to protect against severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19," the team wrote.

"A number of measures have been implemented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States through travel. For example, masks are required in indoor areas on public transportation conveyances traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and on the indoor premises of U.S. transportation hubs," they added.

 

ATTACHMENT THREE – From the Jerusalem Post

 

MOST REPORTED US OMICRON CASES HAVE HIT THE FULLY VACCINATED -CDC

 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that of the 43 cases attributed to the Omicron variant, 34 people had been fully vaccinated.

By REUTERS.  Published: DECEMBER 10, 2021 20:51

 

Most of the 43 COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant identified in the United States so far were in people who were fully vaccinated, and a third of them had received a booster dose, according to a US report published on Friday.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that of the 43 cases attributed to the Omicron variant, 34 people had been fully vaccinated. Fourteen of them had also received a booster, although five of those cases occurred less than 14 days after the additional shot before full protection kicks in.

While the numbers are very small, they add to growing concerns that current COVID-19 vaccines may offer less protection against the highly transmissible new variant.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been found through testing in about 22 states so far after first being identified in southern Africa and Hong Kong in late November.

Among the Omicron cases, 25 were in people aged 18 to 39 and 14 had traveled internationally. Six people had previously been infected with the coronavirus.

Most of them only had mild symptoms such as coughing, congestion, and fatigue, the report said, and one person was hospitalized for two days. Other symptoms reported less frequently including nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, diarrhea and loss of taste or smell.

The CDC said that while many of the first reported Omicron cases appear to be mild, a lag exists between infection and more severe outcomes. Symptoms would also be expected to be milder in vaccinated persons and those with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The first known US Omicron case was identified on Dec. 1 in a fully vaccinated person who had traveled to South Africa. The CDC said that the earliest date of symptom onset was Nov. 15 in a person with a history of international travel.

The Delta variant still accounts for more than 99% of all US cases. But reports from South Africa show that the Omicron variant is very transmissible.

Even if most cases are mild, a highly transmissible variant could result in enough infections to overwhelm health systems, the CDC cautioned.

Laboratory studies released this week suggest that the Omicron variant will blunt the protective power of two doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, although a third dose may restore that protection.

The US has authorized COVID-19 vaccine booster for all Americans age 16 and older.

 

ATTACHMENT FOURFrom usc news (1998)

RESEARCHER TEASES OUT SECRETS FROM SURPRISINGLY ‘INTELLIGENT’ VIRUSES

PRINT

BY Eva Emerson   OCTOBER 30, 1998

 

Are viruses alive? After more than 25 years of studying the tiny disease-carrying microbes, Michael Lai thinks so.

“Viruses are very intelligent. They can think. They do things that we do not expect. They adapt to the environment. They change themselves in order to survive,” said Lai, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

The reason why some high school biology teachers might argue with his stance, Lai notes, is that a virus can be crystallized similar to nonliving matter. Plus, viruses depend on other living things to reproduce.

Viruses have ways to enter the human body (through the nasal passages, mouth, skin or via injection). Many have evolved defenses to help them evade the immune system. Viruses that cause infection in humans hold a “key” that allows them to unlock normal molecules (called viral receptors) on a human cell surface and slip inside.

Once in, viruses commandeer the cell’s nucleic acid and protein-making machinery, so that more copies of the virus can be made.

Lai has long probed how these tricky parasites work. He has been especially interested in RNA viruses, which carry their genetic blueprints in what scientists have long considered a relatively flimsy apparatus. Because of the way RNA is copied, it is more prone to mistakes in the genetic code and, unlike DNA, the new copy of RNA is never proofread and corrected.

That’s part of what got Lai interested in studying the coronavirus, which is made up of 31,000 nucleotides and has the longest known viral RNA genome. “Conventional wisdom would say that having such a large RNA genome wouldn’t work, that the virus would become defective. But coronavirus seems to have broken all the rules,” he said.

Lai’s studies of coronavirus have revealed the details of how the virus enters target cells and how it turns on RNA synthesis in the host cell. Coronaviruses cause respiratory illnesses in humans and animals and may cause neurological symptoms similar to those of multiple sclerosis.

Lai is also an expert on the hepatitis D virus, a satellite of hepatitis B virus that can worsen hepatitis infection. In the past few years, hepatitis D infection rates in the U.S. have fallen inexplicably.

Recently, Lai has shifted much of his research efforts to the hepatitis C virus. He counts hepatitis C among the most dangerous infectious diseases in the United States right now. Hepatitis C, an RNA virus that attacks liver cells, spreads from person-to-person mainly through blood products and intimate sexual contact.

Already, four million Americans are believed to be chronic carriers of the virus. About 20 percent of the chronic carriers of the virus will go on to develop more serious liver disease, including cirrhosis and cancer.

The virus was only identified in 1989, and there’s still much that scientists don’t know about it. “Receptors are an important part of the story of how viruses cause infection. But we don’t know what receptor hepatitis C uses to get into the cell,” Lai said.

What’s more, no one knows how to grow hepatitis C in the lab. That means that any research on how the virus replicates in cells is incredibly difficult. But Lai and his research group have managed to study the function of some of the viral genes.

They have discovered that one of the hepatitis C viral proteins binds to a few key players in the human immune system, members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family.

Lai suspects that this may help explain how the virus is able to escape the immune system’s attack and so can develop into a chronic infection in many patients. It may also explain how the virus damages the liver and causes hepatitis.

“This protein is now a potential target for new anti-viral agents,” Lai said.

He hopes his research will lead to new ways to treat people already infected with hepatitis C, so that doctors can stop the virus before it causes serious liver disease.

After all these years, studying viruses’ shifty ways continues to leave Lai with a sense of amazement. Part of this comes from the ability of viruses to shuffle genes with as much deft as some genetic engineers.

“Viruses can pick up pieces of cellular genes or incorporate their genes into the cell’s genome. That means that evolution occurs all the time in viruses. It’s a very dynamic process – that’s why I always feel that the viruses are alive,” he said.

 

ATTACHMENT FIVE – From Life

 

VIRUSES USE 'HIVE INTELLIGENCE' TO FOCUS THEIR ATTACK 

By Jessica Hamzelou   21 January 2010

 

A tactic familiar from insect behaviour seems to give viruses the edge in the eternal battle between them and their host – and the remarkable proof can be seen in a video.

The video catches viruses only a few hundred nanometres in size in the act of hopping over cells that are already infected. This allows them to concentrate their energies on previously uninfected cells, accelerating the spread of infection fivefold.

Geoffrey Smith and his team of virologists at Imperial College London were curious about the vaccinia virus, and set up a video microscope to watch how the virus spreads through cells.

Vaccinia was used in the vaccine that rid the world of smallpox some 35 years ago. It doesn’t cause disease in humans or any other animal, and its origin is unknown.

The traditional idea of how viruses spread goes like this. A virus first enters a cell and hijacks its machinery to make its own viral proteins and replicate. Thousands of replicated viruses then spread to neighbouring cells to wreak havoc.

When Smith watched the vaccinia virus infecting monkey liver cells, he thought that it was spreading far too quickly. “It takes 5 to 6 hours for the virus to replicate, but it was spreading from cell to cell within 1 or 2 hours,” he says.

Vaccinia is known to spread from cell to cell in a characteristic way. After attaching to the cell membrane of its target, it releases a protein that enters the cell, where it communicates with actin – a protein that helps maintain the cell’s structure. The actin responds by growing longer, and then attaches itself to the virus, still sitting on the surface of the cell, as a so-called “actin tail”. This tail helps the virus take off from the cell and find the next victim.

Smith’s team labelled the virus with green fluorescent protein, and labelled some – but not all – cells with a red marker that tagged the actin. They found, to their amazement, that a virus leaving a cell would travel to another cell and merely bounce off it if it already contained the virus.

The researchers could tell that a single virus had travelled over more than one cell because some viruses which left a cell with an uncoloured actin tail picked up a red actin tail from another cell. “This means that the viruses can change their actin tails as they bounce along the surfaces of cells,” says Smith. “This allows the virus to reach distant cells really quickly.”

Dr. Smith reckons that two viral proteins which are presented on the surface of the infected cell effectively tell the virus not to bother reinfecting that cell. When he looked at virus strains lacking each of these proteins, the virus spread at the slower rate that would expected without the “bouncing infection” mechanism. “It’s as if the proteins are telling the virus: ‘Hey guys, there’s no point in coming in here’,” says Smith. “If you think about it, it makes sense – it’s very Darwinian.”

This finding is “pretty cool”, says Erik Barton, a virologist at Purdue University, Indiana. “What I find most fascinating is that it suggests that viruses can function with a sort of primitive ‘hive mentality’ to ensure efficient use of host cell resources, akin to the way worker bees tell others where to locate the best food sources.”

Finding ways to block the cell surface proteins might provide new antiviral drugs, Barton adds.

Tim Harrison, a molecular virologist at University College London, agrees that the idea is an interesting one, but he points out that the theory might not apply to all viruses. “I’m not sure how important this will turn out to be. It depends on how widespread the phenomenon is among viruses and whether it hold true in the body as it does in cell culture.”

Journal reference: Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1183173

Read more: 
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18423-viruses-use-hive-intelligence-to-focus-their-attack/#ixzz7EV5Shz2x

 

ATTACHMENT SIXFrom test.biotech.org

 

CORONAVIRUS: “INTELLIGENT” MUTANTS 

Adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 virus to the immune system not purely random

 

25 February 2021 / Research shows that the emergence of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 are not purely random. Rather, the virus has repair and adaptation mechanisms in its genome that can accelerate the occurrence of particularly dangerous mutations. In the light of these findings, it appears that the most effective strategies to combat the pandemic are those that aim to achieve the lowest possible incidence rates.

Similarly to other corona viruses, SARS-CoV-2 has ‘learnt’ during the course of evolution to adapt more efficiently to its host than if this were a purely random process: overall, the virus appears to have a lower mutation rate than might be expected statistically. The reason for this are proteins which ‘proofread’ the correct composition of the genome (RNA) during replication and repair it if need be. Without these control mechanisms, too many mutations could strongly impact replication and infectiousness of the virus.

On the other hand, the mutation rate at specific sites on the virus RNA can be much higher. These regions are mostly relevant for the human immune response. When the virus interacts with the immune system it appears to ‘learn’ how to evade it. There are specific patterns of gene deletions in the Sars-CoV-2 genome which enable it to rapidly acquire genetic and antigenic novelty.

Systems capable of solving problems with a higher rate of success than might be expected with random processes, can indeed be called ‘intelligent’, even if the virus is not actually ‘thinking’ or ‘planning’.

Against this backdrop, strategies based on the maximum possible reduction of the virus incidence rate and the establishment of ‘green’ virus-free zones appear to be the best way forward. Such strategies can also be supported by vaccines. However, to solely rely on the ongoing development and improvement of vaccines could mean continuing to underestimate the true potential of SARS-CoV-2.

Contact:
Christoph Then, 
info@testbiotech.org, Tel + 49 (0) 151 54638040

 

 

ATTACHMENT SEVEN From the Times of India

 

'COVID-19 VIRUS HAS INTELLIGENCE MUCH STRONGER THAN OTHER VIRUSES'

IANS / Apr 30, 2020, 20:31 IST

 

 

NEW DELHI: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is behaving weirdly and it appears that it has an intelligence much stronger than other related viruses, according to an Indian researcher who recently created a molecule that has the potential to be developed into a drug that can cure Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients.
Speaking to IANS, Dr Subhabrata Sen, Professor, Department of Chemistry at 
Shiv Nadar University in Greater Noida, said that they hope their therapeutic approach will unravel solutions against maladies associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome.


His team found a set of New Chemical Entities (NCEs) with the ability to cure Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) or Acute Lung Injury (ALI) induced by COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) or other 
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which are also caused by coronaviruses.

The two-fold strategy devised by the research team involved the application of the New Chemical Entitles (NCEs) to inhibit attachment, entry and infection of the new SARS-CoV-2 through a known target on the virus and co-administration of a known drug (that modulates a set of hormonal receptors in human) and these NCEs to attenuate Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) caused by a novel coronavirus.
"The new molecule that we have discovered is based on an indigenous ligand in the human body. In general, one of the disadvantages of small molecule therapeutics is that human body considers them as xenobiotic. Once they are administered in the system, the body tries to eliminate them quickly, through enzymatic reactions primarily in the liver," Dr Sen explained.

"The advantage of developing small molecules based on indigenous ligands is that the body accepts it more thinking as its own. Consequently, the molecule has lesser chances of getting excreted thereby gets more time to achieve its therapeutic purpose," he told IANS.
The research team has filed a provisional patent in India to protect the new chemical entities.
They believe their therapy would not only prevent COVID-19 from affecting a person's lungs but will also address lung injuries already inflicted by the virus, in cases the ventilators are not bringing much relief to COVID-19 patients suffering from ARDS.
Responding to the question on a human clinical trial, he said: "Our aim to start the animal trial by next month and then have the compounds ready for the human trial by the end of this year."  2020 – what happened?
Speaking on the COVID-19 vaccine, Sen said that it is very difficult to say anything at this point of time.
"One of the ways to discover a vaccine involves administering a small fragment of the virus or a viral protein inside the human body to stimulate an immunological response. The trial by Professor 
Sara Gilbert's team in Oxford University started a week ago, so until a month goes by, nothing can be said with certainty," he informed.
According to Sen, the lockdown has helped India to curb the spread of COVID 19.
"Lockdown is a strategy to slow down the pandemic so that the government gets enough time to prepare for the worst-case scenario, which is yet to come," the professor added.

 

ATTACHMENT EIGHT – From vaccinestoday.eu

VIRUSES ARE ‘SMART’, SO WE MUST BE SMARTER

 

 ‘Viruses cause many of the most dangerous infectious diseases and have evolved some ingenious strategies for spreading through communities.’

Colin Russell, Royal Society University Research Fellow at Cambridge University in England, studies how viruses develop and spread, in the hope of finding new ways to prevent disease.

In this lecture entitled ‘Viruses travel tricky routes’, recorded as part of the Science-Inspired Tales series, Dr Russell says understanding how “clever” viruses are can help us to outsmart them. Each virus has its own unique ways of spreading to new victims, he says.

“For example, rabies makes animals paranoid and thus more likely to bite other animals and spread the disease to new hosts,” says Dr Russell, adding that rabies-infected animals also avoid water which increases the concentration of viruses in their saliva.

Influenza has a different strategy, according to the renowned Cambridge scientist. He explains how seasonal influenza viruses survive and change, and why it is necessary to have a new flu vaccine every year.

“Unlike many other viruses to which we develop immunity after infection, influenza has the capability to infect us many times in our lives. After a year or a few years our bodies won’t recognise the virus as something we’ve been infected against before. That’s why we have to be vaccinated every year to keep pace with the virus.”