Pangolins may possess evolutionary advantage against #coronavirus

The exotic animal’s genome could point to possible treatment options for COVID-19 in humans

Frontiers

Similar to how a smoke detector sounds off an alarm, certain genes sense when a virus enters the body, alerting of an intruder and triggering an immune response in most mammals. But, according to a recent study published in Frontiers in Immunology, pangolins – mammals which resemble an anteater with scales, lack two of those virus-sensing genes. The finding is significant because while pangolins can be carriers of coronavirus, they appear able to tolerate it through some other unknown mechanism. Understanding their evolutionary advantage may point to possible treatment options for coronavirus in humans.

Researchers focused on pangolins because the exotic animal may have transmitted the virus to humans last year, creating the interspecies jump required for the current COVID-19 pandemic to take hold (bats have also been identified as possible agents of infection). To obtain their results, they analyzed the genome sequence of pangolins and compared it to other mammals including humans, cats, dogs, and cattle.

“Our work shows that pangolins have survived through millions of years of evolution without a type of antiviral defense that is used by all other mammals,” says co-author Dr. Leopold Eckhart, of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria. “Further studies of pangolins will uncover how they manage to survive viral infections, and this might help to devise new treatment strategies for people with viral infections.”

In humans, coronavirus can cause an inflammatory immune response called a cytokine storm, which then worsens outcomes. Pharmaceutical suppression of gene signaling, the authors suggest, could be a possible treatment option for severe cases of COVID-19. Eckhart cautions though that such a remedy could open the door to secondary infections. “The main challenge is to reduce the response to the pathogen while maintaining sufficient control of the virus,” he says. An overactivated immune system can be moderated, Eckhart says, “by reducing the intensity or by changing the timing of the defense reaction.”

While the study identified genetic differences between pangolins and other mammals, it did not investigate the impact of those differences on the antiviral response. Scientists don’t yet understand how exactly pangolins survive coronavirus, only that their lack of these two signaling genes might have something to do with it. Eckhart adds that another gene, RIG-I, which also acts as a sensor against viruses, should be studied further as it could defend against coronaviruses. The study offers a starting point to better understand coronavirus’s characteristics, the body’s response, and the best options for treatment.

###

Notes to Editors

Please link to the original research article in your reporting: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00939/full

Corresponding Author’s Institution: Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Frontiers is an award-winning Open Science platform and leading Open Access scholarly publisher. Our mission is to make research results openly available to the world, thereby accelerating scientific and technological innovation, societal progress and economic growth. We empower scientists with innovative Open Science solutions that radically improve how science is published, evaluated and disseminated to researchers, innovators and the public. Access to research results and data is open, free and customized through Internet Technology, thereby enabling rapid solutions to the critical challenges we face as humanity. For more information, visit http://www.frontiersin.org and follow @Frontiersin on Twitter.

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Greg
May 11, 2020 3:41 am

You don’t need pangolin.

Dr Didier Raoult’s protocol of HCQ ( which reduces inflamatory reaction ) and antibiotic azithromycin to prevent pneumonia of other microbic infections is proving useful at his hospital 17 deaths of 3200 patients.

https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/covid-19/

The TDS struck in USA are still blocking its use because Trump said “maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t”.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Greg
May 11, 2020 9:03 am

Greg

When sampling any population, one wants an unbiased, representative sample. As I understand Dr. Raoult’s protocol, he excludes those who are most in need of treatment (i.e. the sickest). That is hardly a representative sample and raises serious questions about the efficacy. That is, those whom he claims were treated successfully may well have recovered on their own.

It is interesting that commenters here often criticize climate alarmists for doing poor science such as cherry picking, ignoring bounds of uncertainty, and other ‘short-cuts.’ Yet, on the topic of treatment of COVID-19, any study that supports a belief in a certain treatment is accepted uncritically. Those that dare say, “Wait a minute!” are accused of suffering from TDS (even if they voted for Trump). Where is your consistency and objectivity?

Greg
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 11, 2020 10:49 am

If you want an unbaised samples stop even talking about COVID. AFIAK, no country in the world is even trying to do that. Almost all stats are biased at least as being those ill enough to need to go to hospital.

Raoult’s sample is better than most in that you only have to want a test and you get one. If you are ill you get treatment.

It is true that he says up front this treatment is intended to control the initial viral infection, not cure ensuing complications in critically ill patients by which time you are not longer primarily fighting the virus.

Critical patients are shipped off to a separate ICU at the hospital for intensive care.

Those on his treatment which get critical are transferred ( but still counted ) , these include the 17 fatalities in 3200+ patients.

I do not accept his treatment uncritically, but I do not accept the despicable conflict of interest within the medical profession which is conspiring with drug companies and WHO to construct tests in which HCQ will fail by design.

The media has a separate reason to try and trash Raoult which is basically because Trump had the misfortune to say he thought it was worth trying. That is nothing but TDS.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 11, 2020 11:35 am

Clyde,
Use your common sense.

HCQ is already suspected to not work well if used too late. On patients with co-morbidities the disease progresses from first symptoms/testing positive to sicker to sickest. It would be foolish to give HCQ to the sickest. It’s probably already too late. Just needing to be hospitalized might be too late. Instead, give HCQ to those for whom it might work and compare the outcomes with the copious records of others where HCQ was not used.

Water vapor has been increasing faster than possible from temperature increase. This alone proves that CO2 increase has not caused temperature increase. Without having any effect on temperature, CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

Matheus Carvalho
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
May 11, 2020 12:18 pm

Can you please give more details about this water vapor phenomenon?

Reply to  Matheus Carvalho
May 11, 2020 2:11 pm
john harmsworth
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
May 11, 2020 12:38 pm

What is your reference for increasing humidity levels, Dan. I have wondered about this for some time.

Reply to  john harmsworth
May 11, 2020 2:08 pm

Total precipitable water (TPW) i.e. water vapor, is measured using satellite based instrumentation by NASA/RSS and numerical anomalies are reported monthly. Data through April, 2020 is at http://data.remss.com/vapor/monthly_1deg/tpw_v07r01_198801_202004.time_series.txt and will be until about 10 June. They change the link every month so after that you will need to change the last digit from 4 to 5. Their home page is at
http://www.remss.com/measurements/atmospheric-water-vapor/tpw-1-deg-product
I add the base value of 28.73 to the anomalies to produce the graphs (Click my name)

Alfred (Cairns)
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 11, 2020 8:02 pm

“he excludes those who are most in need of treatment”

When people initially seek medical treatment, they are not in that category. What is your problem with saving them? Do you want them to wait until the medication no longer works?

It is amazing how many psychopaths there are out there who are trying to get the maximum deaths possible for political purposes.

Tish Farrell
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 12, 2020 5:36 am

Clyde Spencer – Greg
From all I have read hydroxychloroquine should be administered as soon as possible when Covid 19 is suspected. When one uses it as an antimalarial you have to have it your system before entering a malarial area for it to be effective. In Covid, as in malaria with the stemming of parasite proliferation, its function appears to stop the virus replicating through the cells. Dr. Raoult’s protocol would thus appear to be correct. It is not appropriate to use on those in whom the virus replication has already massively taken place. Some clinicians also warn that hydroxychloroquine is not suitable for segments of the population whose ethnic heritage is in a malarial area as some 20% of such people may have a G6PD deficiency which means they do not respond well to the drug.

William Astley
Reply to  Greg
May 11, 2020 10:14 am

Hydroxychloroquine does not work without Zinc supplements.

This is one of the vitro test papers that shows that Zinc stops this class of viruses from replicating

https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1001176

This a slick Medcram explanation of the cellular microbiology as to why that is true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7F1cnWup9M&feature=youtu.bei.e. Patients get sick from covid because they have low Zinc and they have low ‘Vitamin’ D. Those who are ‘Vitamin’ D normal are 19 times less likely to have a serious case of covid or die than ‘Vitamin’ D deficient people. Zinc deficient chorots (vegetarians) have a worse covid outcome. Vitamin D deficient chorots (dark skin people) have more than twice the chance of dying than white people how are less vitamin D deficient.

Viruses are simple things that must use our cells to replicate. Zinc has been shown to stop the virus from replicating at a microbiological level.

The virus cannot mutate to get around the ion Zinc making the ACE-2 connector molecule in our cells slightly positive, which stops the covid virus from replicating and any other virus that must connect to the ACE-2 connector molecule to replicate.

Hydroxychloroquine is a Zinc Ionophore.

A Zinc Ionophore helps get the positive zinc ion into are negative cells.

It is appears that ‘Vitamin’ D which is a prohormone (it turns genes on and off to make 200 microbiological processes in our body work) is required to turn one of those processes, which gets free Zinc into our cells which stops an entire class of virus replication. This explains why there are people who have been infected by the covid virus and show no symptoms. 40% of the US population is ‘Vitamin’ D deficient and 80% of US blacks are ‘Vitamin’ D deficient.

No replication, no virus spreading, and no serious symptoms.

Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine can stop the virus from replicating if those drugs are given within zinc supplements BEFORE the patient is exposed to the virus.

This is a link to a Jewish doctor who treated 700 covid patients who were showing symptoms, with Zinc plus Hydroxychloroquine, with only one death.

https://www.ibtimes.sg/us-doctor-claims-have-cured-nearly-500-coronavirus-patients-using-hydroxychloroquine-video-42075

https://techstartups.com/2020/04/03/updates-from-dr-vladimir-zelenko-now-treated-700-coronavirus-patients-with-99-9-success-rate-using-hydroxychloroquine-zinc-sulfate-and-z-pak-1-outpatient-died-after-not-following-protocol-exclusi/

“I blended the two treatments from South Korea and France and made a three drug regimen which are hydroxychloroquine, which is the common denominator by both treatments, then I used zinc, and azithromycin. The virus gets inside the cell and begins to hijack the cell industrial machinery. It is well known that zinc interrupts that. So, the concept is that it interferes in the replication of the virus,” said Dr Zelenko while revealing about his course of treatment.

“But the problem with zinc is that it does not get inside the cell very easily, only very small percent gets in. What is interesting is that hydroxychloroquine is a ionic core; so it is the key that opens the canal and facilitates the work of the zinc. When you have a severe viral infection, it is well known that you can get a secondary infection, so I believe the zithromax is there as a precaution and if there begins a bacteria process, it kills it before it causes a bigger problem,” he went on to add.

Greg
Reply to  William Astley
May 11, 2020 10:56 am

Thanks William, nice overview.

Many Indians are traditionally veggies ( the asian doctors an staff in UK ) . I don’t know if they remain so when wealthy in the West.

FranBC
Reply to  Greg
May 11, 2020 5:47 pm

By and large, women stay mostly or all veggie, men tend to go for meats. Those who are religious will be strictly veggie. In India the warrior cast eats meat, goat, chicken and wild meat.

Greg
May 11, 2020 3:48 am

So far nothing bad has happened in Italy and Spain after greatly relaxing confinement and starting back to work:

comment image

There is a noticeable change in Spain where the drop in daily cases seems to have stalled at a manageable 1000 new cases per day, having peaked at over 8000 per day.

Change in Italy is imperceptible in daily graph, but just detectable in this graph of rate of change:

comment image

Vuk
May 11, 2020 4:33 am

European casualties appear to be concentrated in the countries with high concentration of Afro-Asian ethnic population. Germany appear to be an exception although the non-native population there is mainly from Balkans and Turkey.
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/EuropeCV.htm
It is possible that genetic make up might be an important factor which needs more detailed investigation. Deficiency in the vitamin D3 assimilation due to a darker skin colour, lack of BCG vaccination in the countries of origin, or some other factors related to diet etc, all need to be considered.

pro eng
Reply to  Vuk
May 11, 2020 5:06 am

Good one Vuk. It seems that statistics on ethnic identity is being hidden by rubbish on occupations. Early findings showed in UK deaths of BAME (Blacks, Asians and Middle East) made up a far greater proportion than in the population. In New York state it was African Americans and Hispanics which were over represented. Couple ethnic origin with obese, lack of exercise in fresh air and sunlight, and locked up in dingy places one has the major reason for most deaths from the virus. Sweden does not seem to be too worried -maybe the majority there are refugees that can not cope with the cold of winter.

Scissor
Reply to  Vuk
May 11, 2020 6:00 am

You may wish to add Russia to your chart. In terms of cases, Russia just passed the U.K. and likely will pass Spain in 5 or 6 days.

Vuk
Reply to  Scissor
May 11, 2020 6:24 am

Where did you get your data from?
Up to today, the total number of fatalities in Russia is 2009, Russian population is 145 million, that makes it about 1.4 deaths per 100,000 population, same as in Greece, and only tiny 2.5% of the Spanish rate, i.e the Spain’s death’s rate at the moment is forty times (40 x) Russia’s. However that may change significantly in next few weeks or months.

Scissor
Reply to  Vuk
May 11, 2020 6:35 am

I said “cases” but just like that it looks like the U.K. moved back in front of Russia. They’re neck and neck now in terms of cases.

I doubt that Russia catches up in terms of death rates because of demographics and other factors, that you mentioned.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

Vuk
Reply to  Scissor
May 11, 2020 7:24 am

Number of infection cases is the next to irrelevant since many infected people are non-symptomatic and are not tested or even known, only number that matters is how many people any country looses per head of its population.
As you can see the ‘worldometers’ shows death cases for Russia 14/million, comparing to Spain 572/million i.e. as I said 1 : 40 , or comparing to the UK 472/million i.e. 1 : 34 death rate ratio.
Number of cases in China is slightly more than in Luxembourg, while the China’s population of 1.5 billion is 2,500 times that of the Lux’rg’s 600k.

Vuk
Reply to  Scissor
May 11, 2020 7:42 am

correction: Number of death cases in China is slightly more than 40 x that in Luxembourg while ….

Scissor
Reply to  Scissor
May 11, 2020 7:44 am

I agree to some extent except that infected cases are relevant to what is happening politically in the very least.

Several cities and states in the U.S. are choosing metrics related to testing and the number of infected cases in their decision making process around distancing restrictions. These statistics are relative easy to manipulate, for example more cases can be found by increasing testing.

Still, there is a direct relationship between real cases and outcome, the worst being death. For the past week, in the U.S., deaths = 0.06 * cases.

That multiplier had been almost continuously moving up from the very early stages, as it did in the U.K. data that you used to plot. For whatever reason, it appears to have at least temporarily plateaued in the U.S.

Greg
Reply to  Scissor
May 11, 2020 10:35 am

Scissor, is it good or bad when that number rises ? Why ? No good calculating at statistic unless you know what it represents. I raised this innumerable times with Vuk on his graphs.

While cases and deaths are rising in the early , near exponential phase, their daily ratio is also an exponential ! Expect it to rise. Now cases will flatten before deaths due to x days of illness in hospital before those who will eventually die actually do.

At this point that ration gets bigger faster. That is probably the first good sign.

Unless you understand a metric you can not just go OMG it’s getting worse.

FranBC
Reply to  Scissor
May 11, 2020 5:50 pm

In Russia a lot of the ‘vulnerable’ over 80’s are probably already dead.

Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
May 11, 2020 6:05 am

Lighting up a fag is a Hobson’s choice.
MORE evidence emerges that smokers are protected from coronavirus: Italian study finds them FIVE TIMES less likely to end up in hospital, but twice as likely to die if they do.

Greg
Reply to  Vuk
May 11, 2020 10:58 am

Firstly it was a major risk factor, now it’s 5x better if you do smoke.

Clearly a lot of BS flying around here one side or the other.

Reply to  Vuk
May 11, 2020 3:20 pm

Some virologist say, one especially one in Germany, Drosten, there must be a mistake in the study, he can’t believe it 😀

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Vuk
May 11, 2020 7:32 am

just took another 200000 IU shot, half life of 90 days
20 bucks

Vuk
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 11, 2020 8:13 am

Taking that much in one go you are going grow gills and a dorsal fin.

Scissor
Reply to  Vuk
May 11, 2020 9:06 am

Symptom of toxicity include: frequent urination, stomach pain, weight gain, bone pain and brittle bones, confusion, trouble thinking, dexterity issues, inability to use shift key (that’s a logical consequence anyway).

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
May 11, 2020 9:08 am

Mosher
BFD! Did you have a blood workup to indicate a vitamin D deficiency that needed to be addressed? Or, did you self-medicate based on a belief that evolution doesn’t work and you needed to intervene? Very scientific of you! Does that behavior spill over into other aspects of your life?

Scissor
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
May 11, 2020 11:08 am

It does seem boneheaded, but what a deal, only 20 bucks.

It kind of reminds me of those people skydiving in Mexico because they couldn’t resist the cheap price.

George V
May 11, 2020 4:35 am

“Hey, this cure for Covid-19 developed from Pangolin works!”

“Great news! Any side effects?”

“Besides the scaly skin and the patient’s tongue growing to about a foot long?”

Reply to  George V
May 11, 2020 6:46 am

+100^10
😀

Scissor
Reply to  George V
May 11, 2020 7:45 am

Umbrella sales plunge.

ozspeaksup
May 11, 2020 4:35 am

While the study identified genetic differences between pangolins and other mammals, it did not investigate the impact of those differences on the antiviral response.

one has to ask?
why the hell not?

Jeffery P
May 11, 2020 5:08 am

Of course pangolins are not responsible for this pandemic. But learning what makes the invulnerable may lead to a vaccine or cure.

The Dark Lord
Reply to  Jeffery P
May 11, 2020 6:09 am

good lord dogs and cats are invulnerable too … no need to study some exotic anteater …

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  The Dark Lord
May 11, 2020 7:07 am

Dogs, apparently, can catch the virus. That is to say, test positive. Whether they develop systems similar to those in humans is an open question. Cats can also get the virus, and at least one case showed some respiratory response. However, cats are susceptible to respiratory illnesses in general, so it’s also unclear if this case was COVID-19 or some other agent.

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/news/can-dogs-get-coronavirus/

mikewaite
May 11, 2020 5:15 am

Referring to both Greg and Vuk’s comments and also looking at the Worldometer tables: although no part of the world (except N Korea) is immune to this virus, those parts of the Indian subcontinent, SE Asia , Indonesia and East Africa, where curries are the most common form of main meal seem to be less affected, judging by cases or deaths per /million of population, than those of us used to a more Western style of food.
Could it be that the spice tumeric, whose curcumin component is known to have anti inflammatory , and allegedly anti tumor properties, may help protect individuals from this virus ?
I have a second motive for posting which I am trying to sneak under the radar of moderation: weeks of toil in the garden during lockdown have increased arthritic and muscle pain and tumeric supplements are said to help give relief .
Given the vast range of life experiences of vistors to this site has anyone found these supplements – which are quite expensive – to be of any use in giving relief.

GregK
Reply to  mikewaite
May 11, 2020 6:08 am

…”those parts of the Indian subcontinent, SE Asia , Indonesia and East Africa, where curries are the most common form of main meal seem to be less affected,”…

Could be true and I don’t mind a curry but could also be due to under-reporting.
If you die in a remote village who’s going to check to find out whether you died from COVID 19 or witchcraft?

Scissor
Reply to  mikewaite
May 11, 2020 6:42 am

Where do you live that tumeric is expensive?

If you can obtain a CBD lotion where you are, I know some people swear by it for relief of arthritic and muscle pain. Like curcumins, most relatively safe cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory and pain relieving, though THC is psychoactive.

Reply to  mikewaite
May 11, 2020 6:50 am

Curcuma + black pepper is a good choice, add ginger to the daily diet .

FranBC
Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 11, 2020 6:00 pm

Way back in the 80’s I recall they had a problem with a resurgence of rickets in Indian populations in the UK. The explanation they reported was the combination of low Vit D plus tumeric in the food. Tumeric apparently binds Ca+2 – I seem to recall it prevents absorbtion. I have always wondered about the current fashion for tumeric, particularly in women where bone loss after menopause is a major problem.

Curious George
Reply to  mikewaite
May 11, 2020 10:43 am

Don’t buy turmeric supplements. Go to an Indian grocery store and buy turmeric. They deal in pounds, not ounces.

Reply to  Curious George
May 11, 2020 1:31 pm

Right 100 %
I buy dried, and in a mill I make the powder when I need it.

mikewaite
Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 11, 2020 2:06 pm

Thank you all for the suggestions – the extract +black pepper costs about £30/ month so quite expensive on a UK pension, but worth trying for a couple of months.

John Tillman
Reply to  Curious George
May 11, 2020 2:09 pm

Don’t buy ground, especially if from India or Bangladesh. It’s often adulterated with lead compounds of similar color to tumeric powder. Buy the root, if at all possible.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 3:00 pm

Which is not to say the the turmeric powder I get from Peru hasn’t likewise been adulterated. But I use it anyway. Old as I am, what added damage could a little more lead do?

Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 3:33 pm

Old as I am, what added damage could a little more lead do?
It depends the knock resistance your valves may have 😀

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 6:50 pm

My valves have been knocked from here to kingdom come.

I’ve inhaled enough lead fumes to be knockproof well into the majority of this century which I won’t survive to experience. Much as I look forward to 3D printed fusion reactors and flying cars.

TonyL
May 11, 2020 5:30 am

Understanding their evolutionary advantage may point to possible treatment options for coronavirus in humans.
*may* or *may not*, either way – wild eyed speculation. Not a shred of factual information to support the claim.
and this might help to devise new treatment strategies for people with viral infections.”
I thought we just read this.
Pharmaceutical suppression of gene signaling, the authors suggest, could be a possible treatment option
More wild speculation.
Getting down to cases:
Moderating the inflammatory response has been around since Aspirin. Lots of ways to do it now. Attempting to mess with gene signaling seems to be the hard (and expensive) way around.

All in All: 100% content-free EurekAlert! posting.

Charles Higley
Reply to  TonyL
May 11, 2020 8:28 am

I take 4 normal aspirin twice a day for my back muscles, which try to act up if I miss too much running., I had this virus back in late Jan and Feb, two weeks after our Chinese students got back from Break. I actually had all the symptoms but milder than expected while my wife was knocked down big time for two weeks, she takes no aspirin.

I should also point out that, having taken so much aspirin for years, my blood clots just fine.

Gary Pearse
May 11, 2020 6:04 am

It’s reassuring that there are still good scientists out there. Of course, I knew there were but there was so little excess space in the media for non-climate developments and the constant barrage of end-of-world hype made scientific inquiry look irrelevant. Even medical researchers were moving over to the dark side probably because of competion for funds. The Team Climate ones eclipsed and reduced respect for science as a whole.

This is a wonderful story. Real science always seems to have a large counterintuitive aspect, like this one, which makes me feel Dr. Eckhart is onto something special here. The bat genome seems like an important next thing to look at. He mentions the genome of other mammals and the inference is that they are unlike the pangolin. The question is therefore, how come dogs and cats and others are not infected?

“Pharmaceutical suppression of gene signaling, the authors suggest, could be a possible treatment option for severe cases …”

..of cytokine storms, which are the main problem for humans. Greg above bingoed HCQ. “Dr Didier Raoult’s protocol of HCQ” –  17 deaths out of 3200 cases in his hospital and its likely most if not all of them had comorbidities that were possibly the main issue.

When is there going to be a revolt against what must be the TDS Democrat establishment in medical institutions. Look Docs, Covid is also taking out the climate establishment, so don’t count on that when the pandemic is over.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 11, 2020 6:49 am

Interesting that both pangolins and bats eat loads of insects, the pangolin mainly ants and termites which are high in formic acid which has a carbon atom double-bonded with an oxygen atom, singl-bonded with a hydrogen atom and single bonded with a hydroxyl (OH) group. Quinine also has hydroxyl group and oxygen attachments, but also a lot of nitrogen

Formic acid is used for its antibacterial properties in food preservatives etc. (does it also have anti-viral properties?).

A little free associative outburst!

Scissor
Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 11, 2020 7:50 am

Fruit bats eat a lot of vitamin C.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Scissor
May 11, 2020 8:46 am

Vampire bats get lots of Vitamin D from the blood of their victims.

Further, I have not seen a single case in the data from the Balkan countries where a vampire has tested positive for coronavirus. 😉

John Tillman
Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 11, 2020 10:26 am

Bats, pangolins, carnivores and ungulates belong to the clade Scrotifera. Bats are the sister group to Ferae, the clade containing pangolins and carnivores.

Rodents and bats are the main mammalian transmitters of endogenous retroviruses, so possibly of other viruses as well. Pangolins and ferrets got ERVs via bats, which originally came from tree shrews (which aren’t rodents).

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 2:14 pm

Pangolins and cetaceans, though ancestrally members of Scrotifera, have lost their visible, external scrota.

Whether primates evolved our scrota independently or this feature has been lost in some descendants of the last common ancestor of primates and scrotiferans, requires further study.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 2:49 pm

Our fellow archontaglires, colugos, tree shrews, rabbits and rodents, also have scrota.

Twenty-first century advances in rodent scrotal research:

Scrotal enlargement and constipation in a male rat

https://www.nature.com/articles/laban0707-17

Some of our top people are working on this issue (Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2014):

Cool sperm: why some placental mammals have a scrotum

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jeb.12373

Throughout the Cenozoic, the fitness benefits of the scrotum in placental mammals presumably outweighed the fitness costs through damage, yet a definitive hypothesis for its evolution remains elusive. Here, I present an hypothesis (Endothermic Pulses Hypothesis) which argues that the evolution of the scrotum was driven by Cenozoic pulses in endothermy, that is, increases in normothermic body temperature, which occurred in Boreotheria (rodents, primates, lagomorphs, carnivores, bats, lipotyphylans and ungulates) in response to factors such as cursoriality and climate adaptation. The model argues that stabilizing selection maintained an optimum temperature for spermatogenesis and sperm storage throughout the Cenozoic at the lower plesiomorphic levels of body temperature that prevailed in ancestral mammals for at least 163 million years. Evolutionary stasis may have been driven by reduced rates of germ‐cell mutations at lower body temperatures. Following the extinction of the dinosaurs at the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary 65.5 mya, immediate pulses in endothermy occurred associated with the dramatic radiation of the modern placental mammal orders. The fitness advantages of an optimum temperature of spermatogenesis outweighed the potential costs of testes externalization and paved the way for the evolution of the scrotum. The scrotum evolved within several hundred thousand years of the K‐Pg extinction, probably associated initially with the evolution of cursoriality, and arguably facilitated mid‐ and late Cenozoic metabolic adaptations to factors such as climate, flight in bats and sociality in primates.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 2:32 pm

Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are viral elements in the genome that closely resemble and can be derived from retroviruses. They abound in the genomes of jawed vertebrates, comprising for example five to eight percent of the human genome (other estimates range as low as ~1%). ERVs are a subclass of sequences called transposons, which can be packaged and moved within the genome to serve a vital role in gene expression and regulation.

Transposons are Mobile Genetic Elements (MGEs), which group includes plasmids and viruses. Transposons and other MGEs are important in evolution, and help researchers reconstruct evolutionary history.

Transposons, like plasmids and viruses, aren’t usually considered life forms, but “replicons”. They span the supposed gap between complex organic chemistry and definitely living cellular organisms.

MGEs are genetic material that can move around within a genome, or be transferred from one species or replicon to another. MGEs are found in all organisms. They may account for approximately 50% of the human genome.

Mike From Au
May 11, 2020 6:04 am

“Similar to how a smoke detector sounds off an alarm, certain genes sense when a virus enters the body, alerting of an intruder and triggering an immune response in most mammals.”

What you seem to be describing here could also be in part what is known as ‘quorum sensing’, that occurs among bacteria and viruses too can also have this kind of social life. Up-regulating and down-regulating/modulating each other and more via ‘quorum sensing’.

Scratching the surface of the subject in this random link.
From: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01880-6
“The secret social lives of viruses”
“Scientists are listening in on the ways viruses communicate and cooperate. Decoding what the microbes are saying could be a boon to human health”

As for Pnagolins…Just another opinion.
The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV2 — Special Report — J.C. ON A BIKE
3,445 views
•Mar 28, 2020
From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmSCMb8Nds4

Bruser
Reply to  Mike From Au
May 11, 2020 6:36 pm
Dennis
May 11, 2020 6:18 am

Please send me tons of money . I will study Pangolins and probably not find much useful , but
I will enjoy my expensive new house and lifestyle . I will buy a Learjet, so I can fly all over the world and also pretend to find the cure for Global Warming.

Thanks Suckers !!!!!!!

eyesonu
May 11, 2020 7:39 am

A pangolin is nocturnal and has a hell of a sunscreen in the form of an armor plated skin of scales. That should keep the sunshine away. A bat is nocturnal and hides from the sunshine in caves and other dark places in the daytime. Both carry the virus in question. Any relevant association/correlation?

Anyway, if the human body was infected with the virus and the body did not react to it, what would happen? In other words what would be the impact without an immune response?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  eyesonu
May 11, 2020 9:17 am

eyesonu
“… what would be the impact without an immune response?”
Blood clots, strokes, Covid toes, …

eyesonu
Reply to  eyesonu
May 11, 2020 9:33 am

While on the topic of viruses, consider the rabies virus in the USA. The primary carriers are ALL nocturnal for the most part. These include bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and feral cats. What is it with a virus and the general lack of sunshine?

John Tillman
Reply to  eyesonu
May 11, 2020 2:33 pm

Also however carried by mad dogs out in the noonday sun. Englishmen, not so much.

eyesonu
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 4:05 pm

John,

I thought about the dogs as well as foxes and raccoons in midday. Once rabies becomes apparent and show symptoms that is a warning sign. Question is, were wild dogs nocturnal prior to becoming infected and showing symptoms? I don’t know if there is any relationship. It’s just an observation. Anyway, a daytime ‘coon or fox will become target practice if the means is available!

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 5:38 pm

The Caniformia (wolves, domestic dogs, wild dogs, foxes, bears, raccoons, badgers and other mustelids, seals, walruses and sea lions) are primarily diurnal. Even among the other great carnivore clade, Feliformia (cats, hyenas, mongooses, civets, etc.), there are species active during the day.

ren
May 11, 2020 8:57 am

“Fighting the inflammatory process
He also explains that the cytokine storm is the body’s immune state in which it begins to produce various types of substances that on the one hand are designed to fight the inflammatory process, but on the other can also intensify the inflammatory response. So, as a consequence, the patient’s condition can get much worse.
– Knowing about the occurrence of such a situation, we reach for Tocilizumab – a drug that counteracts the inflammatory storm arising as a result of virus infection – says prof. Życińska. He points out that Tocilizumab is an antibody that blocks an important substance that enhances the development of inflammation – interleukin 6.”
The Australasian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergy recommend tocilizumab be considered as an off-label treatment for those with COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome. It states this because of its known benefit in cytokine storms caused by a specific cancer treatment, and that the cytokine storm may be a contributor to mortality in severe COVID-19.[36]

On 11 March 2020, Italian physician Paolo Ascierto reported that tocilizumab appeared to be effective in three severe cases of COVID-19 in Italy.[37] On 14 March 2020, three of the six treated patients in Naples had shown signs of improvement prompting the Italian Pharmacological Agency (AIFA) to expand testing in five other hospitals.[38] Roche and the WHO are each launching separate trials for its use in severe COVID-19 cases.[39]

In March 2020 a randomized study, at 11 locations in China, which should conclude by 31 May 2020, started to compare favipiravir versus tocilizumab versus both.[40]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocilizumab

John Tillman
May 11, 2020 5:30 pm

The most cursory review of reality would show that you could not possibly be more wrong.

Natural selection is the opposite of random.

Please study biology instead of regurgitating the preposterous mendacities of professional creationist liars.

The fact of evolution is observed every day in every way, everywhere. But nowhere moreso than among viruses.

Please quit embarrassing yourself.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 8:31 pm

Dean,

You have a lot of elementary biology upon which to catch up.

There is zero evidence whatsoecver in support of the blasphemous lie of ID and all the evidence in the world in support of the fact of evolution.

The genetic code obviously evolved, because only an intensely stupid designer would have come up with it. Please quit posting utter gibberish from blasphemous lying creationist websites and start educating yourself as to biological reality.

Do you really believe that the researchers currently trying to develop vaccines against the virus behind COVID-19 imagine that viruses don’t mutate?

Only a delusional fool or blithering moron could possibly imagine that evolution isn’t an every day, every second fact.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 8:46 pm

Your response is nothing but false argument to non-authority.

All the evidence in the world shows that evolution happens all the time. To deny this obvious fact is delusional.

Do you also deny that Earth is spherical? Do you believe, as per the Bible, that Earth is flat, immobile and that the Sun travels over it, under the dome of heaven?

Again, please provide evidence that, contrary to all observations of nature, all organisms, plasmids, transposons and viruses don’t mutate and evolve.

Thanks!

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 12, 2020 10:01 am

It’s an oblate spheroid.

In the Bible, it would assume this shape, since it is immobile. But also in the Bible, it’s not spherical at all, but flat, covered by a solid dome, upon which God walks, operating the levers on the storehouses of rain, snow and other precipitation. The sun daily runs over the flat earth, then returns to his tent.

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  John Tillman
May 14, 2020 8:31 am

1. “All the evidence in the world shows that evolution happens all the time.”

2. “please provide evidence that all organisms, plasmids, transposons and viruses don’t mutate and evolve.”

Tillman is obviously beyond reason. However, other readers, please note that what we see in these cases is micro-evolution, where the genetic profile of a species can change across time; this is different from macro-evolution.

Darwin was interested in the question of where did our entire range of organisms come from? How is it that we have the platypus and the octopus?

Darwin’s theory says that the platypus and the octopus share a common ancestor.

A virus mutating into a virus is micro-evolution.

We can have better Evolution / Intelligent Design debates if the God-Hating Materialists, such as Tillman. could get pat their faith in Materialism and engage their intellect.

John Tillman
May 11, 2020 5:50 pm

There is no such thing as “Intelligent Design”, only Idiotic Design. Please see my previous comments of transposons and viruses. Kindly also stick to science here and eschew false religion. Thanks!

Evolution of immune systems:

Evolution of Immune Systems From Viruses and Transposable Elements

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00051/full

Virus-derived sequences and transposable elements constitute a substantial portion of many cellular genomes. Recent insights reveal the intimate evolutionary relationship between these sequences and various cellular immune pathways. At the most basic level, superinfection exclusion may be considered a prototypical virus-mediated immune system that has been described in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. More complex immune mechanisms fully or partially derived from mobile genetic elements include CRISPR-Cas of prokaryotes and the RAG1/2 system of vertebrates, which provide immunological memory of foreign genetic elements and generate antibody and T cell receptor diversity, respectively. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the contribution of mobile genetic elements to the evolution of cellular immune pathways. A picture is emerging in which the various cellular immune systems originate from and are spread by viruses and transposable elements. Immune systems likely evolved from simple superinfection exclusion to highly complex defense strategies.

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  John Tillman
May 14, 2020 8:34 am

“Immune systems likely evolved from…”

Likely? I thought this was established fact that is undeniable to all but the foolish!

Tillman, please account for this vague, probabilistic “likely” stuff!

John Tillman
May 11, 2020 5:52 pm

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00051/full

Evolution of Immune Systems From Viruses and Transposable Elements

Virus-derived sequences and transposable elements constitute a substantial portion of many cellular genomes. Recent insights reveal the intimate evolutionary relationship between these sequences and various cellular immune pathways. At the most basic level, superinfection exclusion may be considered a prototypical virus-mediated immune system that has been described in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. More complex immune mechanisms fully or partially derived from mobile genetic elements include CRISPR-Cas of prokaryotes and the RAG1/2 system of vertebrates, which provide immunological memory of foreign genetic elements and generate antibody and T cell receptor diversity, respectively. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the contribution of mobile genetic elements to the evolution of cellular immune pathways. A picture is emerging in which the various cellular immune systems originate from and are spread by viruses and transposable elements. Immune systems likely evolved from simple superinfection exclusion to highly complex defense strategies.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 6:51 pm

Sorry for dupe. Thought that yet again, I had been censored.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 11, 2020 8:21 pm

Dean,

Yes, duplication is a major source of the variation in genetic material upon which evolution works.

Please explain why you deny the obvious fact of evolution. Explain in your own words why you believe that a phenomenon observed over and over again every day for 162 years doesn’t exist.

Thanks!

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 12, 2020 10:43 am

Sorry, I missed that.

Please then state how a creationist explains the evolution of antibacterial resistance in pathogenic microbes. And how is it that viruses keep evolving, so that immunity usually doesn’t last forever, and new flu shots are needed every year to handle the novel strains which have evolved?

How can it be that a single point mutation (deletion) turns a sugar-eating bacterium into a nylon-eating microbe?

Since irreducibly complex structures don’t exist, how is it possible to regard “Intelligent Design” as anything other than a laughable attempt to sneak creationism into public schools?

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
May 12, 2020 11:08 am

It’s not just MRSA anymore! A tiny sampling of recent novel drug-resistance mutations in bacterial and viral pathogens:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0166354211004621

Identification of a novel resistance mutation for benzimidazole inhibitors of the HCV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27261264

A novel resistance mutation in eccC5 of the ESX-5 secretion system confers ofloxacin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(03)00939-9/fulltext

Resistance to adefovir dipivoxil therapy associated with the selection of a novel mutation in the HBV polymerase

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3278914/

A novel ALK secondary mutation and EGFR signaling cause resistance to ALK kinase inhibitors

And drug resistance evolution in cancer cells:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjh.16069

Characterization of a novel venetoclax resistance mutation (BCL2 Phe104Ile) observed in follicular lymphoma

Pests also evolve resistance to herbicides:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.00568/full

A Novel Single-Site Mutation in the Catalytic Domain of Protoporphyrinogen Oxidase IX (PPO) Confers Resistance to PPO-Inhibiting Herbicides

Now kindly explain to me how you can imagine that genomes are immutable, such that evolution can’t happen, despite the obvious fact that it does, all the time. Thanks!

TheLastDemocrat
Reply to  John Tillman
May 14, 2020 8:55 am

“How can it be that a single point mutation (deletion) turns a sugar-eating bacterium into a nylon-eating microbe?”

Cute. Nice try. “microbe” should be “bacterium.” A bacterium evolves into a bacterium. By micro-evolution.

Further:
These bacteria were already doing something that was very complex: manufacturing an enzyme to help it digest a food source. The mutation apparently shifted the bacteria from producing one enzyme to producing a different enzyme.

This is quite an amazing story. With this mutation, the bacterium apparently acquires the ability to use a food source that previously was not a food source. And, this little bacterium survived one way or another, and divided himself into his own little progeny bacteria, and thus survived to see another day, and to divide again, carrying the genetic change forward.

It takes a very firm, complex belief system to have faith that the ability to form an enzyme, at all, arose by the same processes. That is quite a different matter.

It is a far cry from having a mutation that produces a different protein from the previous protein produced to being able to produce a protein at all. but Keep The Faith! Keep Fighting the Infidels!

Here is an analogy. Once upon a time, I first heard of “NLP.” “Neurolinguistic Programming.” This faith asserts that if you think and act in certain ways, you get all kind sof control over your own psychology and that of others.

What is their proof? When people remember a true event, their eyes tend to look one way, but if they are imagining a hypothetical event, their eyes look the other way.

Wikipedia says, “They claim as well that, often in a single session, NLP can treat problems such as phobias, depression, tic disorders, psychosomatic illnesses, near-sightedness,[5] allergy, common cold,[6] and learning disorders.[7][8] NLP has been adopted by some hypnotherapists and also by companies that run seminars marketed as leadership training to businesses and government agencies.”

And also says: “There is no scientific evidence supporting the claims made by NLP advocates and it has been discredited as a pseudoscience.[11][12][13] Scientific reviews state that NLP is based on outdated metaphors of how the brain works that are inconsistent with current neurological theory and contain numerous factual errors”

I note this because the fervent faith in macro-evolution similarly relies NOT on observable, replicable science, but on metaphors. Like the nylon-eating bacterium that has evolved to become a bacterium, and so by being an example of micro-evolution “proves” macro-evolution.

Be careful if you argue with a True Believer in NLP. Since it does not really hold up to scrutiny, they have to resort to a range of unrelated strategies as they “argue” their point. Name-calling, claiming “it is as plain as the nose on your face,” “everybody knows this except you stupid people,” etc.

Versus showing us observable evidence of how a bacterium first gained the ability to synthesize a protein at all – a tall order – or how the platypus and octopus each evolved form their common ancestor.

Phil Salmon
May 11, 2020 10:13 pm

So – pangolins seem to lack a genetic-immunological apparatus which over-reacts to an agent that would otherwise be a non-threat, and causes a self-destructive storm which destroys the animal’s tissues and eventually causes death – from the immune system, not from the external agent. So the smart pangolin survives where others succumb to pointlessly triggered self-destruction.

I wonder if the pangolin is a model of what a country would be like without a left wing self-hating subculture and media?

Brett Keane
Reply to  Phil Salmon
May 12, 2020 4:31 pm

Ah Yes, Phil, that might be a Nation where folk take responsibility themselves, and work things out by mutual effort and common sense. Research has shown how the democratic will of individual enterprise usually comes closest to the optimum, and “Big Brother” is essentially stupid for lack of intelligence.
Being willing to admit mistakes and change course, while anathema to Big Brother, is the other sign of real successful societies…… Brett Keane, NZ

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