Is there Spike Escape?
This is hot debate stimulated by Geert Vanden Bossche. The critiques levied against his hypothesis (March 15th) are not completely compelling as more evidence matures demonstrating the waning protection of the vaccines and frequent transmission of the virus in Israel, Iceland and many other highly vaccinated countries. The premise of the argument against Geert appear to be rooted in a technophiles desire to always change the treatment. This is a desire to obtain the ultimate ring of power: A vax platform one can continually update (with no liability) and mandate to return freedom to its subjugates. I am more optimistic than Geert in that I believe many jurisdictions have enough natural immunity to thwart this experiment and the pandemic will cool down once all the vaccinated experience and develop immunity to the full 29kb virus.
So do we have Spike Escape?
A frequent question these days but more akin to a retrospective “Oh Shit” inquiry. While it is deserving of its own captain obvious meme, it is important to explain why this is not only the expected outcome but how re-applying the same selective agent will only accelerate the escape.
The more parsimonious response: If you can’t detect selection against the spike RNA sequence, you have no basis upon which to claim your vaccine has influence over this evolutionary experiment we have engaged in. This isn’t a small experiment. This is the grandest medical experiment ever imagined so it is important we reflect on the type of selection being applied.
These are non-sterilizing vaccines. There is a difference between being infected (RNA+) and being infectious (Virus+ and shedding). Non-Sterilizing vaccines leave the breakthrough patients as both. They can be PCR positive with a new virus. It can be replicative and have similar Ct scores as the unvaccinated control and the vaccinated can still transmit the virus.
There are suggested benefits of these vaccines ( and risks) but one such benefit is not the reduction of RNA polymerase activity and evolution of the virus.
The selection being applied is very narrow compared to how our bodies traditionally fight viruses and how most vaccines prior to 2020 fight viruses. 4,284 bases of this ~29,500 base pair virus (14% of the virus) encode the spike protein of a spike-only vaccine. This is a very narrow pressure point and is akin to using low dose antibiotics across the whole population… all at the same time.
In other evolutionary fights in medicine, narrow is naive. We fight sepsis with broad scale antibiotics. We fight cancer with cocktails that attack multiple pathways to prevent mutagensis. These are genomic diseases and one trick pony solutions are a hubristic trainwreck.
To supercharge such a narrow directed evolution experiment, it is best to lower the defenses of the host. Tie all of their foot soldiers boots together. Get a good head start for your RdRp polymerase to kick into high gear. Promiscuous copying of viral genomes with low fidelity and a pinpointed selective pressure on a narrow region of the genome.
This is a viral evolution accelerant to populations that are already in poor health due to lockdowns. There are various manifestations of this. but they are very hard to extrapolate onto less controlled populations. One such example that led to much twitter debate is the bottom chart. A quick glance, unvaccinated had a lower incidence rate than the single shot vax cohort.
This turns out to not be a simple apples to apples comparison as the age of the cohorts are different. There is also a classic survivor bias. It is really unfortunate we no longer have a Placebo arm for the Pfizer trial.
The third tsunami at play is the selective mobility passports. Allow the Neutropenic population (capable of high viral loads and transmission) under spike selective pressure to evade PCR testing/detection and freely circulate. To add insult to injury, they are then restricting the mobility of those with full and durable 29Kb immunity (the naturally infected and COVID recovered). These are terminal ends in the transmission chain and evolutionary dead ends. They act as buffers in transmission. When you remove the fully immune from the population with neutropenia, your herd immunity threshold (HIT) escalates for the neutropenic cohort. The regulators have run into their own buzz saw again. They want herd immunity but are actively sabotaging it by segregating the most immune members of the herd from those who can still get breakthrough infections and who can still transmit the virus.
If the population at large has decreased lymphocytes and neutrophils (white blood cells are your bodies marines), and you apply an “Anti-Spike” selection that does not inhibit viral replication, you will see selection in the population for spike proteins that diverge enough to ensure further transmissibility.
The proper answer to “Is Spike Escape occurring?” is to remind the person asking such a question:
that it better be!
or you have no argument for engaging in the experiment you are participating in. If these vaccines fail to produce selective pressure on the spike sequence.. that would be the most damning evidence of their futility.
The discussion should shift to not repeating that which is already obsolete (boosters with identical spike selections), to a honest discussion on broad vs narrow selective strategies. 29Kb of protection is currently best achieved with C19 exposure and generic prophylactics for 1/10th the price. There are many. The ones slowing RdRp polymerase (evolution) are worth mentioning such as Ivermectin. No coercion. No exploding VAERs database. With manufacturer liability still on the table and decades of ADME/Tox data. Ivermectin has multiple modes of action one of which is to inhibit viral replication while also inhibiting binding to ACE2.
So what is a directed evolution experiment?
For this, you need to understand some seminal work in the directed evolution field from Tawfik and Griffiths. These chaps brilliantly leveraged emulsion PCR to become an emulsion Transcription and Translation workhorse. We call this TnT or in vitro Transcription and Translation. This is akin to making synthetic cells (massively parallel compartmentalization) that have Darwin inside. All of the ingredients to copy DNA with a little mutagensis, turn it into proteins, and create feedback loops where the protein products alter the DNA in a desired direction which maximizes protein performance. The most replicated bubbles are your most evolved DNA sequences for the given selection you designed.
What isn’t obvious from the single bubble experiment depicted below is that emulsion TnT can be performed on billions of bubbles at a time by simply mixing oil and water together for a few minutes with a few emulsifying soaps. You can make libraries of genes and add a sloppy viral polymerase to the mix and out comes an experiment that mimics how a virus will behave under certain selective pressures in billions of compartments at a time.
This would be a handy way to model how a spike only vaccine might evolve in vitro but no one has time for this. The main point of bringing up Tawfik and Griffiths work is to remind people this was invented in 1998 and has been used at industrial scale to evolve new polymerases that are now the workhorses of the current genomics field monitoring SARs-CoV-2 with qPCR. It works and it works very quickly and we should expect similar selection to become obvious in the current scariant parade.
How will we know it’s here?
The genetic code has some interesting redundancy built into it. There are more than one codon for each amino acid and as a result the 3rd base in each codon is more free to mutate than the first 2 bases in the codon. These mutations create non-coding change. Same amino acid, different DNA sequence. A silent change. A synonymous change. The ratio of silent changes to loud changes is evidence of evolutionary selection.
Also known as a Ka/Ks analysis. This is the measurement of the number of variants that occur in the virus and an itemization of which ones are non-coding(Ks) vs coding (Ka) variants. A high non-synonymous (Ka) to synonymous (Ks) ratio is a sign that evolution is making changes under pressure.
We should be keeping a close eye on the Ka/Ks of the regions of the virus within and outside of the spike sequence encoded by the vaccines. That is where we will see evidence of selective pressure.
This recently published paper suggests it is already here.
1)Spike only vaccination doesn’t stop transmission
2)Vaccine passports are thus illogical
3)Spike only vaccine is easy to evolve around and we are witnessing it happening.
4)Booster shots are with the same selection against spike, will prolong the escape selection experiment.
What could make this worse…?
Further segregating the fully immune population from the vaccinated and boosted cohorts will only accelerate spike escape. Given the vaccinated can still transmit this virus, vax passports are simply an apartheid tool. The population needs to understand that there is no scientific basis for this segregation and it will enable the virus to potentially pull a Marek’s disease on us.
This is a political move stoking envy, hatred and division amongst your family and friends. One should deeply question any agency that so blatantly attempts to centrally plan the global human immune system. Particularly when they recommend segregation based on non-sterilizing vaccines. This is not a lucid biological separation. This is meant to separate ideologies and identify who is compliant. They don’t care about the ballot box. Your jab is a stronger predictor of who they can control. And control they will.
These vaccines have harm. There is a host selection (human) that will occur in this experiment. It will weed out the comorbid (many of which are genetic in nature), it weed out other genetics that more prone to myocarditis.
When you trade personalized medicine for herd medicine, you invariably invite eugenics to the party.
Additional References for this catnip.
Pfizer Trial data. This demonstrates 409 patients post 1st Pfizer vax were C19+.Only 287 in the placebo group. This wasn’t included in their proclaimed 95% relative risk reduction.