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Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19

At the top, this book is controversial. Matt Ridley has a checkered past for miss-managing a bank and for bizarre climate change views. More generally, this book is controversial because the notion of a lab leak origin for SARS‑CoV‑2 is controversial. The theory is framed a conspiracy theory or a pretext for anti-China animus.

Coronavirus SARS-CoV-1 Outbreak (2002-2004) Mòjiāng viral outbreak SARS‑CoV‑2


  • Author Alina Chin published a paper that showed that the virus is relatively stable in humans (well adapted to humans already vs. SARS which evolved)

  • Pangolin papers (multipel groups republishing on the same sample set with different names)

    • Lightens the idea that they were an intermediary species for bats
  • S1-S2 Boundary

  • CGG found more commonly in human than virus

RaTG13 - 96.2 match to Wuhan SARS-COV-2, with the smaller sequence of it BtCoV/4991 98.7 match to Wuhan outbreak. In 2022, viruses discovered in Laos in bats were found to have a higher NT match that RaTG13: BANAL-52 (96.8%)

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