TWiV 619: Recombination led to emergence of SARS-CoV-2

May 27, 2020

Raul Rabadan joins TWiV to explain the use of computational biology to demonstrate how recombination and mutation led to emergence of SARS-CoV-2.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, and Brianne Barker

Guest: Raul Rabadan

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Download TWiV 619 (43 MB .mp3, 72 min)
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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees.

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6 comments on “TWiV 619: Recombination led to emergence of SARS-CoV-2

  1. Robert W. Armijo May 27, 2020

    In the spirit of your pet peeve with Hollywood’s display of their lack of accurate knowledge of virology in their movies and TWiv episode 619 concerning recombination, I submit for your consideration a link (see below) to a scene from the si-fi movie classic: Blade Runner.

    In said scene, two characters (Roy Batty ((a Replicant)) and Tyrell of the Tyrell Corporation ((the god of bio-mechanics))) engage in a dialogue awash in vervois verbiage of virology.

    My question to you, Professor Vincent Racaniello is what grade would you assign the aforementioned scene? An A, B, C, D, F, Credit/No Credit or Incomplete?

    Robert W. Armijo

    P.S. May I give a shout out to my son, Ben and to my new friend, Dianna? Both of whom I have made recent converts to TWiv. After all, if you tell two friends and they tell two friends and they tell two friends and they tell two friends…

  2. Speaking of Coronaviruses, I have been reading that there is a theory that a bovine coronavirus related to the HCoV-OC43 human virus may have been the cause of the 1889-1890 Russian Horse Flu Influenza A pandemic . . . in that case is it technically even influenza, or would it be something like B.CoViD-1889 or such … and how likely is this compared to other agents that have been proposed, such as Influenza A subtypes H3N8, H2N2, H3N11, H1N1, H1N2 and I am sure there are even others?

  3. Dave LaPointe May 28, 2020

    The comment around mortality rate studies converging was particularly concerning at 17:10. I believe 1.4% was mentioned, and the comment that “”big cities, there are were people infected and this is why the number of deaths is so high”. This seems a bit obvious and it was hard to take seriously anything Mr. Rabadan said afterwards. He seemed to be discussing IFR, not CFR. I’m surprised it wasn’t challenged by the regular panel.

    It is so important to use precise and accurate language. I’m a nuclear engineer and this sort of imprecise language would not be acceptable in the world of physics.

    Question: The CDC just indicated that 0.4% was the best estimate of fatality rate for people showing symptoms (so, is this CFR?). The common range of IFR I’ve seen from serology studies is 0.1%-0.4%, But will we ever really know IFR?

    I do very much appreciate the outstanding podcast.

  4. Rob van der Mark (from rural New Zealand) May 28, 2020

    Thanks for another great podcast and bringing the value of science to a broader audience world wide! New Zealand population 5 mil, 1500 cases. 22 deaths, no new cases last 6 days. Early border closure, (early and extensive) tetris and well adopted social distancing measures (great political leadership).

  5. Roderick Jacob May 29, 2020

    Fascinating discussion. Thanks for uploading. Why are some people asymptomatic and others succumb? Is anyone looking at vitamin D status? Just a thought.

    gain of function experiments’ end is nigh – and so is your end.
    bleeding mice torturers.