TWiEVO 52: Virus evolution by land and by sea and by CoV

February 26, 2020

Nels and Vincent examine SARS-CoV-2 from an evolutionary viewpoint, examining what the spike glycoprotein sequence informs us about the origin of the virus.

Hosts: Nels Elde and Vincent Racaniello

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Science Picks 1:18:59

Nels – Alejandro Sanchez TED Talk
VincentWHO SARS-CoV-2 Sitrep

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5 comments on “TWiEVO 52: Virus evolution by land and by sea and by CoV

  1. Now there is scrutiny over how the CDC handled the COVID-19 evacuees protocol at Travis Air Force Base that has lead to a whistle blower complaint and now a community acquired infection in Solano County, CA that is now becoming a national issue all over the USA. Expect more conspiracy theories to come out at Travis Air Force base in the next few weeks though.

  2. Steve Hawkins Mar 6, 2020

    Hi Vincent and Nels,

    Another interesting and thought provoking conversation, thanks.

    If I’m understanding/hearing it right, the Coronavirus 19 has surface projections with binding proteins on the end that have evolved to ‘dock’ with the angiotensin receptors in our lungs that are part of the delicate feedback system that regulates blood pressure, and delivery of the right amount of oxygenated blood to each part of the body.

    So, I’m now wondering if people on ACE inhibitor meds (like me) are less susceptible to the new virus than others, because a proportion of sites the virus could use to enter our cells, is being blocked by the blood pressure meds. (Rivaroxaban in my case.)

    I note that the Wiki on ACE mentions some work on the inhibitors and pneumonia already:

    ” In 2012, there was a meta-analysis published in the BMJ that described the protective role of ACE inhibitors in reducing the risk of pneumonia when compared to ARBs. The authors found a decreased risk in patients with previous stroke (54% risk reduction), with heart failure (37% risk reduction), and of Asian descent (43% risk reduction vs 54% risk reduction in non-Asian population). However, no reduced pneumonia related mortality was observed.”

    They don’t mention what might have been the particular cause of the pneumonia they were trying to affect. Maybe these people weren’t suffering from the ‘right virus’ for this strategy to work?

    Worth a try?

    Steve in Luton UK, on a beautiful sunny blue morning.
    Incidentally, you mention the cherry blossom isn’t out yet, but the related cherry *plum* blossom is flowering in my garden at the moment. Around New York, you have your own wild plum the ‘Beach Plum’ Prunus maritima, along your beaches, and that is where Plum Island gets its name. Looks like you could make a nice drop of ‘sloe gin’ with these if there are any near you! I would (but tuck pants in socks when collecting!).

  3. Bob Landers Mar 7, 2020

    Update the NBA has just issued a statement in regards to the uncertainty of their games as COVID-19 enters the the rest of the USA and so far they are going with CDC recommendations

    • Bob Tacto Mar 16, 2020

      Now the sports talk pundits are now putting a list of athletes who came forward with positive tests of COVID-19, So far the NBA and XFL has players who tested positive with COVID-19

  4. Jeffery Biss May 9, 2020

    Good discussion and thanks for mentioning that our victimization of wildlife is why we are suffering this pandemic. The solution is to leave wildlife alone. People do not need meat to sustain life or health so there is no valid reason to allow these horrors to continue victimizing animals and ensuring that we will suffer more events like this.