Learning by Proxy | Mutation Vs Mute Nation

Why is this happening in India? Scientifically speaking

The only difference between what Hitler did in Germany and what is happening in India today is "Plausible Deniability". Hitler could not deny his actions or his motivations. Shame on us for having elected someone like this.

I could rant about every single bad decision, every single action tainted by political expediency but that would render this post too long and at the same time would only add to your misery. So I will not do that.

Let us talk about the underlying science that has brought us here.

Mutation

In the post I had written two weeks earlier, I had explained the role of DNA and how it is being used to make vaccines. I would recommend reading it if you have not already. As mentioned there, DNA is made up of base pairs of proteins and the number of base pairs differs by the organism. The protein structures that form the base pair represent a Nucleotide. These nucleotides can undergo mutation.

The Mutation Rate is the speed at which these nucleotides undergo mutation.

In some viruses, mutation rates may be as high as 10-3 to 10−4 per incorporated nucleotide (e.g., in retroviruses such as human immunodeficiency virus, HIV), whereas in others they may be as low as 10−8 to 10−11 (e.g., in herpesviruses), which is similar to the mutation rates seen in cellular DNA.

Source: Science Direct

Translating these numbers into what they really mean is complex. The simple way to put it is, the mutation rate represents a probability. At 10 to the power -3, the rate at which the nucleotide would undergo mutation is 0.001.

OR

How many generations will be required to change the frequency of A2 (1) from 0.1 to 0.2, (2) from 0.8 to 0.9, if the mutation rate from A1 to A2 is 10−4?

The number of generations is

t=1/μ[ln(1−q0)−ln(1−qt)]=1/μ[ln(0.9)−ln(0.8)]=1/μ(0.1178)

Therefore, for a mutation rate of 10−4, 1178 generations are required, whereas for a mutation rate of 10−5, 11,780 generations are required to change the frequency of A2 from 0.1 to 0.2. On the other hand, to change the frequency from 0.8 to 0.9 requires 6932 generations if the mutation rate is 10−4 and 69,315 generations if the mutation rate is 10−5.

Source: Science Direct

Here generations represent the number of times the virus is reproduced. We all know how quickly COVID 19 has been reproducing! The more the virus spreads, the more it reproduces, the more generations, the more the possibility of a mutation.

Source: Nature

As far back as Sep 2020, there had already been an incidence of a large number of mutations that had been seen in COVID-19. The DNA of COVID-19 has close to 30000 base pairs and the graph above represents the prevalence of the mutation in each of the base pairs.

Then began the appearance of the mutations in the wild. Britain saw the first mutation which was considered deadlier. Then came the South African mutation and there were serious questions about the ability of the vaccines to resist that one. As I had mentioned in my post on vaccines, they use the DNA of the virus to fabricate the RNA. But if there is a change in the spike protein then the vaccine can be rendered useless.

And changing - it is.

And therefore

1: So, what’s a triple mutant? For understanding this, you must know what a double mutant of the coronavirus is. In simple terms, the virus has the nature to mutate or change its structure depending on the scale of transmission. So, the more the virus spreads, the more it will mutate. Since the discovery of the novel coronavirus in China’s Wuhan, the virus has spread around the globe with unmatched ferocity. In the UK, Brazil and South Africa, the researchers spotted new variants of the virus, which have been named after the place of the discovery.

2: Now coming back home, Indian scientists have also been researching the genome sequencing of the virus. According to an Indian Express report, the Indian researchers had discovered the Indian variant of the virus back in October last year. Scientifically known as B.1.617 – the Indian variant of the coronavirus has two kinds of mutations – L452R and E484Q.

3: This mutant has been dominant in all surge states such as Maharashtra, Delhi and Chhattisgarh. Now, the scientists say that the virus has mutated further and has three types of mutations – hence the name triple mutant. It is scientifically known as B.1.618.

Source: Financial Times

If you would like to learn more, highly recommend the thread below.

But evidence is emerging that other mutations could help the virus to avoid some antibodies. A team led by virologists Theodora Hatziioannou and Paul Bieniasz, at Rockefeller University in New York City, genetically modified the vesicular stomatitis virus — a livestock pathogen — so that it used the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to infect cells, and grew it in the presence of neutralizing antibodies. Their goal was to select for mutations that enabled the spike protein to evade antibody recognition. The experiment generated spike-protein mutants that were resistant to antibodies taken from the blood of people who had recovered from COVID-19, as well as to potent ‘monoclonal’ antibodies that are being developed into therapies.

Source: Nature

You do not need DNA mutation to be wild to deliver us a virus that has very different characteristics. Remember, Humans and Chimpanzees share 99% of the DNA. Of the 30,000 base pairs that COVID 19 has, if 300 mutate, we could go from Chimpanzee (SARS-COV-2) to Human (far more destructive variant).

The moral of the story is:

It does not matter where in the world you are. So long as there is one active transmissible case of COVID, it can potentially mutate. It may not be B.1.617, it could be B.1.627. Maintain as many of the protocols as possible, till transmission can be really brought down to low 3 digit numbers across the world.

This is especially true if your country is even 50% full of fools (seems to be true for every country) and is being run by a narcissistic demagogue whose intelligence can only be compared with that of an amoeba (seems to be true for countries that cannot afford another wave).

Israel was having wedding parties last week. And now - this

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Vaccine Manufacturing

How to Vaccinate against COVID-19?

If you asked the geniuses in our government they would tell you Haldi (turmeric), Elaichi (cardamom), Adrak (ginger), Loung (clove) and Tez patta (Bay Leaf). It is even better if you mix it all in milk and drink it.

What's in the AstraZeneca jab?

Recombinant, replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vector — active ingredient

Histidine — amino acid

Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate — amino acid salt

Sodium chloride — salt

Magnesium chloride hexahydrate — salt

Disodium edetate (EDTA) — salt

Sucrose — sugar

Ethanol absolute — alcohol

Polysorbate 80 — surfactant

Water

Source: ABC

Screw Serum Institute, let us get cracking! The bottom 9 ingredients can be easily sourced and produced locally. Some of them could be found in your average kitchen. The trouble is with the 10th and in this case, the first ingredient. The adenovirus vector is the hardest to make. It requires what you call a Bioreactor to produce in large quantities.

A bioreactor refers to any manufactured device or system that supports a biologically active environment. In one case, a bioreactor is a vessel in which a chemical process is carried out which involves organisms or biochemically active substances derived from such organisms. This process can either be aerobic or anaerobic.

Source: Wikipedia

India does not manufacture bioreactors. We import them. Sometimes I wonder, why we make a brouhaha about the startup ecosystem. We can't seem to produce the most important things in this country.

America is one of the countries that we import them from and they have banned the export of bioreactors to India. And then they said something that you might have expected from the Trump Administration but not the Biden Administration.

Not that India has been doing right by everyone. The contract for the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine was given to Serum Institute of India which is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world. As they ramped up production they have been pandering to the Indian government. Sending the shots to various countries to further "Vaccine Maitri". India has donated vaccines to 84 countries till now. In the meantime, SII has not lived up to its contract with the EU.

Angela Merkel got vaccinated just last week!

Angela Merkel has said India has become "too big" of a pharmaceutical producer as major concerns rise in the bloc that they will not receive enough medicines as jabs are redirected in India to cope with rising infections. Speaking at a meeting of the European Commission on Wednesday Merkel took aim at India as it is engulfed in a massive second wave of covid. Despite India having exported an estimated 66 million doses to 94 countries as of April 22 through the Serum Institute of India according to India's Ministry of External Affairs, Merkel said she “expect it to honour its promises" in delivering to the bloc. She also branded the EU has not "treated" it's pharmaceutical industry "so well" over the years.

Source: Express

Everyone for their own.

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From Pandemic To Humanitarian Crisis

As we continued to discover that the PM is still sitting on money collected last year through the PM CARES fund which is above all law. We also found out that it was being put to use in such a way that it could deliver great PR today while delivering no relief.

Others could not bear to see the humanitarian crisis that was unfolding in India. First, people took things into their own hands.

Twitter avatar for @c_assisiCharles Assisi @c_assisi
A shoutout to Mashrin Srivastava for creating this dynamic app on
covidsos.live. Do give it a look on his thread below and share please 👇#CovidResources #CovidReliefForIndia @hchawlah @sidin @rmnth

Mashrin Srivastava | covidsos.live @sri_mash

https://t.co/JI4pIXv50X Built this app to dynamically curate the essential resources from the most helpful/verified posts. I am constantly improving the app based on user interactions. Don't have enough reach to help a larger population. Please share.

On April 21, when Max Healthcare went to Delhi high court with an urgent plea to get oxygen supply for its hospitals that had almost exhausted their reserves, the judge snubbed the Narendra Modi government saying, “Ask Mr Tata. He’ll be willing to help.”

About a week since then, even as the country’s government has pretty much failed to find concrete solutions, the 150-year-old Tata Group is not the only corporation stepping forward to help. From diverting oxygen from their factories to helping mobilise the supply of oxygen concentrators or simply providing medical support to their staff, many big and small companies in India have come forward to help those affected by the ferocious second wave of Covid-19.

Source: Quartz

Several other companies mentioned in the article above stepped up. And then everyone apart from the India Central Government started stepping up.

Even the United States lifted their ban on exports.

The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India. To help treat COVID-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the United States has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India.

Source: White House

Others joined in...

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian says that Beijing is “ready to provide support and help according to India’s need.” Suspending old rivalries, they are currently in talks with Indian health officials.

[...]

Germany sent 23 mobile oxygen generation plants for use in military units tending to Covid-19 patients. They’re expected to arrive in India this week.

[...]

The Pakistani government is sending medical equipment to its arch-rival. “As a gesture of solidarity with the people of India in the wake of the current wave of COVID-19, Pakistan has offered to provide relief support to India including ventilators, Bi PAP, digital X ray machines, PPEs, and related items,” a government spokesperson said in an April 25 statement.

Social welfare organization Edhi Foundation is also ready to send a fleet of 50 ambulances manned by Pakistani health professionals to help in India’s pandemic response. They are awaiting clearance from the Modi government.

[...]

The Saudi government sent 80 metric tons of liquid oxygen on April 24 via the Indian-owned shipping companies Adani Group and Linde. The first tanks are headed to the port of Mundra.

[...]

The Indian Air Force picked up four cryogenic oxygen tanks donated by Singapore on April 24.

[...]

The UK rushed 140 ventilators and 495 oxygen generators to Delhi, according to the Guardian. Additional aid in the coming weeks is expected.

[...]

Bloomberg reports that the Biden administration is sitting on 20 million doses of the Oxford University developed drug, which has yet to be approved by health regulators. The US has also previously provided $5.9 million in Covid-19 relief to India.

Source: Quartz

All while the Indian government was busy running twitter handles...

and managing PR

Then a piece of research emerged from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation which pinned the current daily case rate in India at about 13.5 Million cases per day as opposed to 300,000 that is being reported.

And then a ray of hope. Mumbai had been in lockdown for the past four weeks.

After that depression inducing summary of India

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