Jennifer Lake's Blog

February 21, 2021

Packing For The Millenium

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Earthships and Cob








Starting small with cob –lumps of clay-sand-straw– for the ultimate inexpensive DIY to multistory towers and other flights of imagination




Cob coming together

Building a wall in Wisconsin


Timber and cob coming together for 3 weeks


Cob house and family homestead


Improving conditions

Allan Savory – grazing cattle restore gardens and grasslands

Brad Lancaster — harvesting rainwater in Tuscon

Bjorn Lomborg — social scientist looks at real world fire, flood, and climate facts with cost/benefit projections





February 15, 2021

Ancient Egyptian Secrets: Poured Concrete and Circumnavigation

Filed under: 1 — jenniferlake @ 4:47 pm


Shown in The Pyramid Code, quartz blocks with smooth parabolic basins — lens molds?






February 3, 2021

Making and Faking Viruses


*image of ‘viruses’ in seawater sample


This post is a “cut to the chase” about the War Upon You – the uncomplicated version of context—drawn forward from the Big Science coup d’etat of World War Two and our cultural entry into the Nuclear/Space Age. The Big Science of biology and genetics goes from “Tobacco Mosaic Virus to Coronavirus” in my review Planting Viruses, as an intertwining parallel to the high-energy technology that brought nuclear missiles, satellites and global communications to the planet.  Radiation, whatever its source, is a biological weapon outside of the limited compatibility range in which we evolved. Radiation co-factored with chemistry –specifically biochemistry— is the basis of Life as we know it. Radiation and chemicals together makes, unmakes, and remakes the living world. Edward Teller, “father of the hydrogen bomb”, remarked that his weapons would “change mankind’s relationship with the universe”. Despite his own chronic health problems related to his work, Teller maintained that “radiation is good for you.”

The very “fine forces” that hold us together as living beings are electro-chemical bonds (not ‘flesh and blood’ per se) under constant over-riding assault from ‘technology’, be it frequencies, gmo foods, medicines, pollutants and the rest. That said, Planting Viruses is following the trail of documentation from TMV to CoV to show how public attention has been diverted away from the real causes of modern epidemics to the pseudoscientific Germ Theory of disease by way of planting viruses from plants! It’s a big, slow story in need of a Teller, you could say, to give it impact —  but a great deal of the evidence is straightforward at the laboratory level. Scientific “maker” culture reduces all to its smallest irreducible parts and “rebuilds” –  “build back better” as we hear it said today, applied to everything that defines us.  Planting Viruses is just one more Lost Chapter in the theft of our humanity, demonstrated here by the breaking of species barriers. Among the questions raised and addressed is the proposition that ‘universal’ polio vaccines of the 1950s were loaded with plant genes and propagated on substrates bearing plant genes, like Hela cells harboring Tobacco Mosaic Virus. The poliovirus, for all the world, is a plant.


Keep this in mind:

“It’s raining viruses, but don’t panic” (published 2018)

[article excerpt]

“Viruses and the organisms they infect are extremely highly coevolved,” Suttle explains, “and as part of that process, viruses are really, really good at moving genetic information around. In fact, the field of biotechnology originated [with the discovery] that you could use a virus to move genetic information from one organism to another. The original genetic engineering, if you like, was using viruses to actually move genes around among organisms.”

A large percentage of human nucleic acids — our DNA — is actually viruses that are “still stuck in our genome,” Suttle points out. The placenta of mammals contains a protein that was donated by viruses; major components of our nervous system are the result of genetic information donated from viruses. “Viruses are masters at moving genetic information around and, as a result of that, they’ve been absolutely crucial to the evolution of all organisms,” he says. [end except]


“Synthetic viruses: a new opportunity…” (published Dec.2009)

“Rapid progress in DNA synthesis and sequencing is spearheading the deliberate, large-scale genetic alteration of organisms. These new advances in DNA manipulation have been extended to the level of whole-genome synthesis, as evident from the synthesis of poliovirus, from the resurrection of the extinct 1918 strain of influenza virus and of human endogenous retroviruses…”


Polioviruses are “Members of the family Picornaviridae (genus Enterovirus) and of the family Secoviridae (genus Comovirus) were the first characterized members of the order and infect vertebrates and plants, respectively. The order also includes viruses infecting invertebrates (families Dicistroviridae and Iflaviridae) or algae (family Marnaviridae). Large-scale environmental genomic studies suggest the presence of a large number of uncharacterized picorna-like viruses in the ocean.”

“The poliovirus is capable of producing an encephalitis, with or without symptoms, in the absence of any damage to the spinal cord. As far as the pathologist is concerned all cases of polio are encephalitic”.[p21] It’s amazing that something so small can do so much damage…But the poliovirus doesn’t attach to and damage just any cell. It is a ‘guided missile’ that does one thing: seek out, damage, and destroy the neurons that “activate” you –the ones that activate your brain and muscles. The poliovirus is the perfect human “Off switch”…

The author of those words, Richard L. Bruno in The Polio Paradox, appears to sincerely believe in the vaccine prevention of polio and writes nothing about the radiation and chemical cause of polio-like disease, a newly immanent crisis in the United States as the country emerged from World War II and catapulted into the Nuclear Age. Doctors in the 1940s attempting to ‘isolate’ poliovirus (serum) from polio patients were overwhelmingly unable to find the infectious agents.  The mandate to prevent polio with a ‘cure’ in the era of radioactive fallout seems incentive enough to “plant” a virus and use the vaccine in a new kind of “vaccine diplomacy” among nuclear-armed nations.

* Mahoney Type 1 poliovirus


The “wild” Mahoney type 1 poliovirus was collected and filtered into solution “virus” in 1941 by Dr. Thomas Francis of the Rockefeller Hospital. Personal physician to the Rockefeller family, Dr. Francis at the time had been newly set up at the University of Michigan on U.S. Army business in the capacity of  a public health laboratory. The Mahoney sample came from the pooled feces of three Cleveland area siblings who were asymptomatic –healthy!—and became the “type species” (first to be discovered) of the picornaviruses, or “prototype” as Eckard Wimmer noted in his 2002 created-from-scratch documents. The Mahoney strain procured in the lab, it turned out, was the deadliest of the recent polio filtrates. Work on another new polio vaccine, ongoing since the 1930s, however, was delayed;  Thomas Francis and his collaborator Jonas Salk were set on the task of making an influenza vaccine during the war. Clinically observed as sickness, there was no difference between polio and flu, but polio was to retain its distinctively special character as “infantile paralysis”—by then, a political definition of great value. All “influenza-like” disease, we now know, can be produced from exposure to radiation and chemicals.

Down Under in Australia’s city of Melbourne, Frank McFarlane Burnet was set on the same task of making an influenza vaccine for his government in WWII, to which he had also recommended the making of bioweapons in the form of intestinal agents. Burnet favorably selected influenza virus over the poliovirus for influenza’s quality of stability in lab experiments –having a larger genome it was less likely to mutate out of existence as poliovirus would were it not for vaccination and revaccination.

Contemporary  investigations reveal that plant viruses are normal commensals of the human gut, as they should be, able to be collected and reconstituted from newborn, exclusively breast-fed infants. In a very small but significant study, modern observers noted that 17 plant viruses were collected from newborn human feces, including tobacco mosaic virus, the “type species” of the helical rod, filamentous group. None of the parents of these newborns used or worked with tobacco, although it is known that TMV ‘infects’ many hundreds of plant species, including the most valuable food crops and flowers. Tobacco Mosaic Virus is the first virus, the prototypical “filtrate” substance obtained and ‘confirmed’ as a disease agent in 1892.  With this tobacco virus “tool”, I propose to demonstrate how TMV mutants and by-products became the “vaccine” viruses of modern allopathic practice.


Eckard Wimmer, the elderly researcher who created poliovirus from scratch: …”My favorite virus is poliovirus… and in 2002 we published a paper that we had recreated the virus from information on the internet and no virus was necessary…. This was an enormous shock…[because] the parent of this virus…was the computer.”


“Originally trained as an organic chemist, Wimmer developed a deep understanding and fascination for viruses as replicating (living) biological entities as well as (non-living) aggregates of organic compounds, or, “as chemicals with a life cycle”.[2][3] After working on the structure of tRNAs and the structure of a plant RNA virus (satellite tobacco necrosis virus), Wimmer chose to study poliovirus in 1968. Poliovirus is the cause of the horrific disease poliomyelitis, which can cause irreversible flaccid paralysis and even death. Neither the molecular biology of poliovirus proliferation nor the mechanism of its pathogenesis was understood in the nineteen sixties…  Using the nucleotide sequence of the genome deciphered in 1981, Wimmer followed up on the work published in 1991 by synthesizing chemically the genome in the form of double stranded DNA (“cDNA”), which was then transcribed enzymatically[16] into genome RNA and “booted to life” in the cell free system.[3] This work, published in 2002 by Cello, Paul and Wimmer, was the first test-tube synthesis of an organism in the absence of a natural template achieved outside living cells.[3] The poliovirus synthesis caught global attention, high praise, ridicule and fierce condemnation…”

Wimmer’s company : CODAGENICS, is shopping its corona vaccine

“Starting from only viral sequence data (no physical virus), Codagenix can routinely design, construct, and grow multiple live-attenuated vaccine candidates ready for animal safety and efficacy testing in less than one month, and faster if needed as new outbreak strains are identified… We seek to upend the current approach to making live-attenuated vaccines”…


In reality… “Except for a few cases, viruses are not surrounded by a membrane. If present, the membrane around a virus particle – as seen in electron microscopic images – stems usually from the host cell. Viruses have no energy metabolism of their own. Consequently, they cannot perform syntheses and are thus unable to replicate themselves…  With plant viruses, the term specificity (or host-specificity) has a very narrow meaning, since no plant virus as such exists….”


“All viruses are good viruses”…”they are solvents”….”[and] the only way [people] can get a swine flu or a bird flu is if [it] is injected in them” –Aajonus Vonderplanitz, PhD


From Stefan Lanka: Pathogenic, disease-causing “Viruses Don’t Exist”




Planting Viruses is a series-in-progress. So far, part three is currently under construction out of a probable five or six. When I finish it, I’ll be back to this spot to post a summary of each segment.

It starts here:



January 30, 2021

Planting Viruses Three

*                                                                                                 Pepper Mild Mottle Virus, PMMoV, pictured in Wikipedia


Part One: Planting Viruses –From Plants!

Part Two: Planting Viruses Two



Self-assembling nano machines are not simply “inspired by biology”. They are biology. Biology is Nanotechnology.

The revelation of the present –and the point of Planting Viruses—is to show how plant viruses, derived from the original ‘filtrate’ methods made of diseased specimens from Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), have evolved into the bio-nano-technology of today. On the way, we’ll see how human viruses took the same path and ask a bigger Question based on evidence: Are modern (20th century) “emerging” virus diseases derived from plant viruses? The expanding scope of the virus industry recognizes more and more pathogens infecting a greater range of hosts,  phenomena known as species jumping and host-switching, but read almost any biology research document from a lab of the modern era and you can observe the species-jumping-host-switching activity for yourself by human intervention. Laboratory science in biological ‘evolution’ is not just a practice of learning methods but a goal  in itself with a very long technology-dependent history.

The field of virology is looking for “common ancestors” to prove evolutionary lineage but the ancestors I’m postulating are not viruses at all. We know their names, like Wendell Stanley, Hilary Koprowski, Aaron Klug, Craig Venter, etc. etc. Their names include mathematicians and physicists as well as contemporary software designers and gamers.  (–the learning game ‘Plague, Inc.’, for example)

Do viruses evolve?  –well, that’s a trick question. Viruses and their stuff can disassemble and reassemble, inside or outside of host cell environments. Viruses, like poliovirus, have been made from scratch with laboratory chemicals and formulas but then so has human DNA.

Fabricating DNA Evidence (news from the NYTimes)

Entire living organisms such as E.coli bacteria have been made from scratch in labs.  This puts the trick in evolution. Nature does have some ‘keepers’ among the genetic fragments and “virus-like particles” spread over the earth, and those are called “conserved regions” in protein language. Conserved regions, which are small and dispersed orderly segments of proteins, show up along the replicated strings of genetic material in reproducing entities. They may or may not be evidence of evolution, but for the time being, evidence of identity and ‘targets’ for gene testing.  PCR tests, for example, are designed to target and “amplify” conserved regions in genetic specimens. In effect, PCR is a factory for making those certain ‘codes’ of interest and the reason you can stop wondering why a COVID PCR test is not a ‘heath’ test.


Covid testing is switching to sewerage anyway –despite the ‘social benefits’ of maintaining individual testing –and we’ll look at the sewerage situation with plant viruses. Vaccines made from fecal matter extracts –as it appears all the older vaccines were—injected plant virus particles directly into the bloodstream. It prompts another set of questions about CoV positive tests: if COVID positivity is the outcome of prior vaccination for polio. They have the same ancestors. Poliovirus likeness to plant virus is demonstrated in Part Two.


Part Three is going to focus on plant viruses infecting humans directly, without the need for an intermediate vector, like insects and vertebrates. It will also describe the peculiar differences between “infection” and “infectious” as it’s used in the literature, therefore determining a qualitative interpretation of “safety” as “non-infectious”, and I’ll apply that to TMV-derived nano-products. And, my favorite part –Pictures!—micrographs and progressive comparisons of “real” plant viruses, and some comparisons to “fake virus” images like the “clathrin-coated vesicels” pictured in Part One.


Here’s the Worksheet first (with clips from ‘search)


“Humans have antibodies against a plant virus: evidence from tobacco mosaic virus”


Can a plant virus make you sick?

29 April 2010

Pepper mild mottle virus is present worldwide in field-grown peppers. It is composed of an RNA genome wrapped with many copies of a viral protein that forms a rod-like particle with helical symmetry (pictured)…



Pepper Mild Mottle Virus, a Plant Virus Associated with Specific Immune Responses, Fever, Abdominal Pains, and Pruritus in Humans



Our study identified a local source of PMMoV and linked the presence of PMMoV RNA in stool with a specific immune response and clinical symptoms. Although clinical symptoms may be imputable to another cofactor, including spicy food, our data suggest the possibility of a direct or indirect pathogenic role of plant viruses in humans.

… PMMoV is a non-enveloped, rod-shaped, single-stranded positive sense RNA virus classified in the genus Tobamovirus, which includes viruses extremely resistant to physical and chemical agents [8][9]. It is one of the major pathogens of Capsicum spp (chili peppers). Complementary data from Zhang et al.‘s study have shown that PMMoV could be detected in non-diarrheic stool from 12 out of 18 individuals living in San Diego, USA or in Singapore, suggesting it might be geographically widespread, and in 3 out of 22 fresh and processed pepper samples. Moreover, the fecal PMMoV was viable and could infect host plants.

…All N. tabacum cultivar Xanthi NN plants inoculated with each of the three PMMoV RNA-positive food products developed local lesions typical of PMMoV infection within 5–7 days post-inoculation (Figures 2a–h)…

…We also identified statistically significant differences in the occurrence of fever, abdominal pains, and pruritus and the detection of specific immune responses to PMMoV in the case-control study. We, therefore, believe that we provide the first evidence that plant viruses may cause disease in humans…


*“Pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) is a plant pathogenic virus that occurs worldwide on species of field grown bell, hot and ornamental pepper species. It is caused by members of the plant virus genus Tobamovirus- otherwise known as the tobacco mosaic virus family

The origin of PMMoV has been linked to Tomato mosaic virus, as they both reside in the Tobacco mosaic virus family. The Tunisian Journal of Plant Protection brought about the link between PMMoV to ToMV from a French study dating back to 1964. ToMV affects a wide range of Solanaceous crops and a strain of this virus likely mutated into PMMoV.[3]”



Tobamoviruses can be frequently present in the oropharynx and gut of infants during their first year of life

 …”Plant viruses have been reported to be common in the gut of human adults, presumably as result of food ingestion. In this work, we report that plant viruses can also be found frequently in the gut and oropharynx of children during their first year of life, even when they are exclusively breast-fed. Fecal and oropharynx samples were collected monthly, from birth to 1 year of age, from three apparently healthy children in a semi-rural community and analyzed by next generation sequencing. In 100% of the fecal samples and 65% of the oropharynx samples at least one plant virus was identified. Tobamoviruses in the Virgaviridae family were by far the most frequently detected, with tropical soda apple mosaic virus, pepper mild mottle virus, and opuntia tobamovirus 2 being the most common species. Seventeen complete virus genomes could be assembled, and phylogenetic analyses showed a large diversity of virus strains circulating in the population. These results suggest that children are continuously exposed to an extensive and highly diverse collection of tobamoviruses. Whether the common presence of plant viruses at an early age influences the infant’s immune system, either directly or through interaction with other members of the microbiota, remains to be investigated…

surprisingly, [plant viruses] were found as early as 2-weeks after birth in exclusively breast-fed infants. Tobamoviruses, in the Virgaviridae family, were the most abundant, and were present in most of the samples analyzed. Of interest, antibodies to plant viruses have been found in animals, including humans3, and it has also been shown that cowpea mosaic virus can disseminate systemically when orally administered to mice12. Whether the common presence of these viruses at an early age has an effect in the infant’s immune system and maturation of the gut remains to be investigated…





Antibodies in the bloodstream are taken as an unequivocal sign of infection by public health authorities. Livestock farmers have, many times over, had their antibody-positive (seropositive) animal herds seized and destroyed as a heavily enforced cautionary measure against the “presence of disease” even when no other signs of disease were manifest. In the animal world, this kind of “herd immunity” can get you killed.  Despite our understanding of antibodies as proof of immunity against disease, this seemingly paradoxical situation is used to define “infection” with pathogenic entities. A pathogen (as I was taught in nursing school)  is a microbe outside of its natural place. We recognize pathogens only in their ability to induce changes, but in the dynamic biosphere of our planet which is continuously building-up, breaking-down and on the move, pathogens are everywhere. Pathogens, in fact, are the “cause” of evolution if we stick to my foundation principle of out-of-place microbes.

Antibodies problems:

So, where are the “natural places” of some of these pathogens making us sick?  Many of them, of the least in size, belong on a long string of RNA and DNA.  The evolution of microscopic technology itself  took decades of unrelenting improvement and investigation into the tiniest classes of genetic fragments (made of nucleic acids) that amounted to something “microbe-like”.  A new class of ‘subunit’ entities discovered by science learning methods is called “subviral agents” and has emerged to categorize these genetic fragments. In plants these ultra-small pathogens are called “viroids”.


“Viroids are small (about 300 nucleotides), single-stranded, circular, non-encapsidated pathogenic RNA molecules. They do not code for proteins and thus depend on plant host enzymes for their replication and other functions. They induce plant diseases by direct interaction with host factors but the mechanism of pathogenicity is still unknown [in 2004]. They can alter the expression of selected plant genes important for growth and development…”

[otherwise known as mRNA]

Viroid is a term exclusive to plants — a viroid associated with human disease is called “viroid-like**”. One particular viroid-like infection known in human disease is Hepatitis D, caused by a so-named “delta agent” that uses the Hepatitis B virus as a “helper virus” to provide it with functional parts –and a demonstration case of the HepB being a ‘host factor’. The Hepatitis D virion below looks like a ‘delta’ viroid (in blue) swallowed by a HepB ‘envelope’ shell (red and tan), or a virus-within-a-virus structure.  I’ll post some electron micrograph images of virus-within-virus structures further on.

**Viroid-like particles are also called “virusoids” –here’s a basic explanation of the differences in jargon, including ‘prion’ (infectious protein with no DNA/RNA) .

Newborns are routinely vaccinated against HepB, a practice begun in 1983 and mandated in the U.S. in 1991.



So, how did science discover viroids? Accordingly, the credit belongs to Theodor Otto Diener, a Swiss plant pathologist who emigrated to the United States in 1939:

“In 1959, Diener joined the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Pioneering Laboratory for Plant Virology at the Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland,[2] where he investigated the cause of the potato spindle tuber disease. This led to the unexpected discovery of the causative agent, a small RNA molecule, eighty times smaller than the smallest known viruses, for which he proposed the term viroid.[6][7] Later, viroids were characterized as single stranded covalently closed circular RNA molecules occurring as highly base-paired rod-like structures.[8] Viroids, together with viroid-like satellite RNAs have been officially endorsed by the International Committee for Virus Taxonomy (ICTV) as a novel order of subviral agents,[9] which, in its 2014 publication, encompassed 2 families, 8 genera and 32 species.”


Diener himself wrote the following:


“The discovery of the viroid in 1971, which initiated the third major expansion of the biosphere towards smaller living entities—after discovery of the “subvisual” microorganisms in 1675 and that of the “submicroscopic” viruses in 1892—has been officially endorsed by the International Committee on Virus Taxonomy as a new order called subviral agents.

“In 1989, I proposed that, based on their respective molecular properties, viroids are more plausible “living fossils” of the hypothetical RNA World (widely assumed to have existed prior to the evolution of DNA or proteins) than are intron-derived RNAs, which were, at that time, suggested as putative survivors. There were few citations of my proposal—and virtually none of viroids—beyond plant virology unil 1994, when Cheles-Flores critically examined the hypothesis and pointed out a serious difficulty, as well as a process by which this difficulty could be overcome. In 2013, when investigations by Koonin and Dolja revealed that of extant RNAs, viroids “strikingly” display some of the molecular properties posited for the earliest evolving, selfish RNAs (primordial RNAs), but, because extant organisms, aside from higher plants, appear not to harbor viroids, they cannot be regarded as primordial fossils, but appear to have evolved post LUCA (the Last Universal Common Ancestor). Here, I review whether some evidence nevertheless is compatible with the original postulate of the 1989 hypothesis. My analysis reveals no unequivocal evidence for an ancient origin of viroids, but suggests, alternatively, that viroids may have evolved de novo more recently, probably by novel processes similar to those suggested by each reviewer.”


“…we show that circular RNA replicons analogous to [viroid family] Pospiviroidae emerge if evolution is seeded with minimal circular RNAs that grow through the gradual addition of nucleotides. Further, these rod-like replicons often maintain their structure if independent functional modules are acquired that impose selective constraints. The evolutionary scenario we propose here is consistent with the structural and biochemical properties of viroids described to date.”




  • A) Tobacco Rattle Virus
  • B) Tobacco Mosaic Virus
  • C) Pepper Mild Mottle Virus



Obtaining viroids (a word not-yet coined) for experimental purposes dates back to the 1955 Tobacco Mosaic Virus publication by Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat and Robley C. Williams from the Virus Laboratory of the University of California (Wendell Stanley’s lab). The men dissolved TMV in a chemical solution, purified and then reconstituted it in solution, obtaining a ratio of infective particles. Their experiment, set to prove the existence of RNA/DNA, caused quite a stir : “Gunther Stent wrote to Sidney Brenner, ‘Frankel-Conrat seems to have done the biggest thing with TMV since Stanley crystalized it. He can add soluble TMV protein to soluble TMV RNA, aggregate the whole mess into rods of which 0.1% are infective!!! Naturally, you don’t believe it–nor did I or anyone else, but unless he has made up the whole thing it seems that it must be true. You can’t beat that for laughs, can you buddy?’ It was true.”

Reference source


This electron micrograph image shows their reconstituted virus



*Original document


The denaturing and reconstitution of infective TMV at UCBerkeley was paid for by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, NFIP known as the March of Dimes for polio research, and the National Cancer Institute of the NIH. Rosalind Franklin’s “structure group” at Birbeck, University of London, was also paid by NFIP and NCI to study polio (see part two), and these same entities paid for the development of both influenza and polio vaccines from the beginning of World War II forward.


When we get to the Common Cold section of this series, we will also see that the ‘discoverer’ of human coronaviruses, Dr. David Tyrell, launched his career as an epidemiologist with the British government following a polio outbreak in his hometown of Sheffield UK, famous for its metal products. Tyrell, however, was notably attached to the WWII U.S. Armed Forces Epidemiological Board (AFEB) during the war and returned to the States in 1951 to work (1951-1954) at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York.

Polio is, was, and remains a hub of constancy in nano-bio-tech; structurally identical to the common cold rhinovirus and the cowpea chlorotic mottle virus — its viroid cowpea mosaic virus is mentioned in the citations above as infecting and provoking antibody response in mice –from “antibodies to plant viruses have been found in animals, including humans3, and it has also been shown that cowpea mosaic virus can disseminate systemically when orally administered to mice12.” Cowpea mosaic virus has proven more infective than its parent (or descendent, if evolutionary) and is another darling agent of nano-bio-tech, as are all viroids generally. Viroid research opened the way to new RNA technologies of the 1970s forward.

(search clip)

·  The unique potency of Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV) in situ …

[2020] “Our results indicate that CPMV in situ vaccine outperforms Cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV), Physalis mosaic virus (PhMV), Sesbania mosaic virus (SeMV), bacteriophage Qβ VLPs, or Hepatitis B virus capsids (HBVc). Furthermore, ex vivo and in vitro assays reveal unique features of CPMV that makes it an inherently stronger immune stimulant…”


Viroid-type (not showing RNA) protein “disks” of TMV on the left, matched to the UCBerkeley (‘Fig.2) EM graph above, are compared to the assembled TMV rod with the dark RNA coil shown on the right in this illustration.

The next year [1956], Professor Fraenkel-Conrat and his team, which included his wife Beatrice A. Singer, ‘hybrized’ their TMV specimens, mixing the protein disks of one strain type with the purified RNA of another, illustrated below.  TMV mutants from these and other experiments were prepared in Berkeley’s particle accelerators by ‘Bea’ Singer and sent to Rosalind Franklin’s group in London for structural study along with ‘Mahoney’ strain polioviruses (crystals in filtrate). The Mahoney poliovirus strain was collected in 1941 from the feces of three siblings who were asymptomatic and considered the most deadly of ‘wild type’ poliovirus.



“Tracking the Elusive Viroid”

…”Like a virus, the viroid invades a cell and…forces the cell to duplicate the viroid’s RNA instead of its own. The viroid has no DNA. RNA and DNA are nucleic acids, the molecules of heredity; with the exception of viroids and some viruses, all genes are made of DNA.

“The difference between viroids and RNA viruses is that viroids have no protective protein coat. The scientific dogma in 1971 was that an organism with no protein wasn’t supposed to be able to replicate itself, even with a host cell’s help. And an entity as small as the PSTV (potato spindle tuber viroid)—130,000 daltons—wasn’t supposed to be able to infect anything, even a potato.

“Until that time, scientists believed that the minimum weight necessary for infectivity was about 1 million daltons. (A dalton, also called an atomic mass unit, equals one-twelfth the mass of a carbon-12 atom.)  Diener wasn’t much impressed by scientific dogma. He’d seen it turned upside down too many times. But he was very careful to prove that the viroid really existed. In all, it took him 6 painstaking years”… [1965-1971]

  • viroids in their two alternate 2D structures of ‘rod’ or ‘ring’


“Viruses (Virus particles or virions) are usually units consisting of nucleic acids and coat proteins called capsids. Viroids consist only of RNA, i.e. they contain no protein at all. Except for a few cases, viruses are not surrounded by a membrane. If present, the membrane around a virus particle – as seen in electron microscopic images – stems usually from the host cell (see picture to the left). Viruses have no energy metabolism of their own. Consequently, they cannot perform syntheses and are thus unable to replicate themselves…  With plant viruses, the term specificity (or host-specificity) has a very narrow meaning, since no plant virus as such exists. Instead, plant viruses can be grouped in a number of ‘varieties’. The tobacco mosaic-virus (TMV), for example, multiplies within Nicotiana-species, several other solanaceous plants, and a few species of other plant families. The name of a virus is usually derived from the name of its main host plant. Although with viruses, the term ‘species’ may not quite correspond to the way it is defined in biological systematics, it is perfectly reasonable and common to use it for viruses, too, since all viruses and viroids contain an original genome with a species-specific information. Its continuity over generations is [only] guaranteed by replication in the host cells. The genetic information of viruses is either encoded by single-stranded RNA (most plant viruses), double-stranded RNA (wound tumor viruses), single-stranded DNA (gemini-viruses) or double-stranded DNA (cauliflower mosaic-virus: CaMV). Based on the shape of the virus particle, it is distinguished between rod-shaped and icosaedrical viruses with a capsid that seems almost spherical.”

Picture : Viral membranes. Maturation of the virion (Maus-Friend-leukaemia virus) by budding off the host cell’s plasma membrane. Notice the similar structures of the membrane surrounding the virus and the membrane of the host cell (deHARVEN, New York).



…making new ‘things’ with TMV:


“The pH affects molecular charge, since it is well known that proteins disaggregate as the charge increases, and they aggregate as the charge decreases. Two often quoted examples are hemoglobin (Fanelli et al., 1964) and tobacco mosaic virus protein (Klug, 1979”)…


2015– Metal-Based Nanoparticles (MBNPs)

“This review explores the synthesis of inorganic metallic-based nanoparticles (MBNPs) (metals, alloys, metal oxides) using biological and biologically inspired nanoreactors for precipitation/crystallisation. Such nanoparticles exhibit a range of nanoscale properties such as surface plasmon resonance (nobel metals e.g. Au), fluorescence (semiconductor quantum dots e.g. CdSe) and nanomagnetism (magnetic alloys e.g. CoPt and iron oxides e.g. magnetite), which are currently the subject of intensive research…  Biological nanoreactors for crystallizing MBNPs within cells (magnetosomes), protein cages (ferritin) and virus capsids (cowpea chlorotic mottle, cowpea mosaic and tobacco mosaic viruses), are discussed along with how these have been modified for applications and for the next generation of new materials.  Biomimetic liposome, polymersome and even designed self-assembled proteinosome nanoreactors are also reviewed for MBNP crystallisation and further modification for applications. With the advent of synthetic biology, the research and understanding in this field is growing, with the goal of realising nanoreactor synthesis of MBNPs for biomedical applications within our grasp in the near future.”


Display of epitopes on the surface of tobacco mosaic virus: impact of charge and isoelectric point of the epitope on virus-host interactions

M Bendahmane 1M KooE KarrerR N Beachy


The biophysical properties of the tobacco mosaic tobamovirus (TMV) coat protein (CP) make it possible to display foreign peptides on the surface of TMV. The immunogenic epitopes G5-24 from the rabies virus (RV) glycoprotein, and 5B19 from murine hepatitis virus (MHV) S-glycoprotein were successfully displayed on the surface of TMV, and viruses accumulated to high levels in infected leaves of Nicotiana tabacum Xanthi-nn.


Rabies virus is in a family called rhabdoviridae

Rhabdoviridae – Wikipedia

Rhabdoviridae is a family of negative-strand RNA viruses in the order Mononegavirales. Vertebrates (including mammals and humans), invertebrates, and plants serve as natural hosts. Diseases associated with member viruses include rabies encephalitis caused by the rabies virus, and flu-like symptoms in humans caused by vesiculoviruses.


RHABDOVIRIDAE – Stanford University

Rhabdoviridae is a virus family within the Mononegavirales order, which also contains the Bornaviridae, Filoviridae, and Paramyxoviridae families. Rhabdoviridae contains six genera: vesiculovirus, lyssavirus, ephemerovirus, norvirhabdovirus, cytorhabdovirus, and nucleorabdovirus.



“Classical plant rhabdoviruses infect monocot and dicot plants, have unsegmented negative-sense RNA genomes and have been taxonomically classified in the genera Cytorhabdovirus and Nucleorhabdovirus. These viruses replicate in their hemipteran vectors and are transmitted in a circulative-propagative mode and virus infection persists for the life of the insect. Based on the discovery of numerous novel rhabdoviruses in arthropods during metagenomic studies and extensive phylogenetic analyses of the family Rhabdoviridae, it is hypothesized that plant-infecting rhabdoviruses are derived from insect viruses. Analyses of viral gene function in plants and insects is beginning to reveal conserved and unique biology for these plant viruses in the two diverse hosts. New tools for insect molecular biology and infectious clones for plant rhabdoviruses are increasing our understanding of the lifestyles of these viruses.”


“The Hemiptera /hɛˈmɪptərə/ or true bugs are an order of insects comprising some 50,000 to 80,000 species[3] of groups such as the cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, bed bugs and shield bugs. They range in size from 1 mm (0.04 in) to around 15 cm (6 in), and share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts.[4] The name “true bugs” is often limited to the suborder Heteroptera…Most hemipterans feed on plants, using their sucking and piercing mouthparts to extract plant sap.”


Plants — “Monocots, as the name implies, are defined by having seeds that contain a single (mono-) embryonic leaf known as a cotyledon. This is a monophyletic group that constitutes a majority of our agricultural biomass and include many important crop staples including, but not limited to, rice, wheat, corn, sugar cane, bamboo, onion, and garlic… the biggest difference of all between monocots and dicots, is the seed… Often incorrectly thought of as a tree, the banana plant is actually a monocot and is closely related to the grass family…


Murine Hepatitis Virus (MHV) is a coronavirus

2001, Abstract “Inoculation of mice with most neurotropic strains of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus results in an immune response-mediated demyelinating disease that serves as an excellent animal model for the human disease multiple sclerosis. Recent work has shown that either virus-specific CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells are able to mediate demyelination and also that the antibody response is crucial for clearing infectious virus. Another exciting advance is the development of recombinant coronaviruses, which, for the first time, will allow genetic manipulation of the entire viral genome.”



1999, “Hybrids of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) were constructed with the use of fusion to the coat protein peptides…containing the…epitope from the spike protein of murine hepatitis virus (MHV, [coronavirus])… The TMV hybrids were propagated in tobacco plants, and the virus particles were purified. Immunogold labeling, with the use of the monoclonal MAb5B19 antibody, showed specific decoration of hybrid TMV particles, confirming the expression and display of the MHV [coronavirus spike protein] epitope on the surface of the TMV…  Mice were immunized with purified hybrid viruses after several regimens of immunization. Mice that received TMV-5B19L intranasally developed serum IgG and IgA specific for the 5B19 epitope and for the TMV coat protein. Hybrid TMV-5B19, administered by subcutaneous injections, elicited high titers of serum IgG that was specific for the 5B19 epitope and for coat protein, but IgA that was specific against 5B19 was not observed. Mice that were immunized with hybrid virus by subcutaneous or intranasal routes of administration survived challenge with a lethal dose (10 x LD50) of MHV strain JHM, whereas mice administered wild-type TMV died 10 d[days] post challenge.  …These studies show that TMV can be an effective vaccine delivery vehicle for parenteral and mucosal immunization and for protection from challenge with [corona] viral infection.”

January 21, 2021

Planting Viruses Two




Have you wondered HOW or WHY a vegetable tests positive for COVID-19?

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·  Can Coronavirus Be Transmitted via Fresh Fruits and Vegetables?…

“Mar 09, 2020 · In fact, a research study from 2013 on coronavirus in strawberries and lettuce found that the virus only survives on produce between four and 10 days”…


The keyword above is “on” the produce as opposed to “in” the produce, suggesting outside contamination of CoV spreading in 2013.  But a case of Tanzanian paw-paw fruit that tested CoV positive last May took the tack of faulty testing, even though goats tested with the same tool were also positive –animals test positive and develop covid, we’re told, just like people—and was accepted.  But fruit?? A coronavirus gene sequence in fruit?– now, that just can’t be allowed.

It’s a wild story.

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Faulty coronavirus tests suspected as fruit tests positive…

“May 06, 2020 · Coronavirus test kits have aroused suspicions in Salaam, Tanzania after results taken from goats and fruit came back positive in what the country’s leader has dubbed a “technical error.”


In Part One previously, I posted a 2005 vaccine research document that showed SARS-CoV antigen (the immune ‘provocation’ element) genetically embedded in tomato, tobacco, and potato plants as a plausible food vaccine that was demonstrated to be successful. The scientists wanted to show  “that the plant system provides many practical, economic, and safety advantages compared with conventional systems… without injection-related hazards”…

That was 2005.  Here’s the link again:

Despite an outcry against it be aware that food vaccines are coming back. Tobacco after all is a food, a “Feed The World” kind of nutrient-dense, protein-rich food source (see the previous post Planting Viruses) that has a lot of appeal over, say, worms and insects. It just isn’t a snack like a tomato or a pawpaw and that’s what’s coming back –the whack in your snack!

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·  GMO tomato as edible COVID vaccine? Mexican scientists work ……

“May 06, 2020 · The only similar work that can be found in the bibliography is the development of a tomato with SARS-CoV antigens, which was responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Southeast Asian countries in 2002-2003 and has 70 percent genomic similarity to the pathogen behind the current pandemic”…



In Part Two, here as you read, we’re going to look back at the small group of researchers who worked with Tobacco Mosaic Virus to discover it’s properties –its structural properties—and how they learned what constitutes “virus,” including the genetic makeup of its proteins, all from architectural models of structure.  Revealed by X-rays, electron microscopes, mathematical algorithms, and cleverly designed cameras –the tech-heavy core of discovery– a simply-derived liquid ‘filtrate’ called “virus” was turned into building blocks of nanotechnology. The Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) today is both a tool and a medium for redesigning biology.

The group, which I’ll call the ‘Structure Group’, has in its members some of the most renown scientists of modern history; Watson & Crick and their Nobel-winning colleague Maurice Wilkins who won their Prize for modeling the structure of DNA; Rosalind Franklin who supplied them with the graphs to prove it; and John Desmond (J.D.) Bernal, the genius who showed them the way. The art and artifice of the Structure Group in London created a cultish destination point of pilgrimage, a Mecca of methods where eager young protein chemists vied for a place. Many of them are still living and teaching today, responsible for the ‘classic’ images of viruses I’ll be showing you in this post.

…Such as…

A Comparison Example: Turnip Crinkle Virus (TCV) is one of a half-dozen plant viruses we’ll look at that were analyzed by students of the London Structure Group. It’s identical to a number of human viruses; poliovirus, rhinovirus, Norwalk virus, and more. Dr. Jim Hogle signed his name (with lab colleagues) to the TCV image ‘map’ below. We’ll meet Jim Hogle briefly in this work as a polio researcher at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla CA, a neighbor facility to the (Jonas) Salk Institute and campus of UCSD in northern San Diego.

Turnip Crinkle Virus (TCV), image source



and this: Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV), identical and structurally ‘solved’ by the same friendly small group of students under tutelage by the Structure Group                     ****************************************************************************************


*And before I change the subject away from food-borne virus, the U.S. government says that Norwalk virus is the most common viral contaminant on fruits and vegetables.

*Norwalk Virus*

Norwalk virus is structurally alike to Turnip Crinkle and Tomato Bushy Stunt viruses, at least by protein analysis methods, which teaches that surface (capsid) proteins of these “macromolecules” can turn, twist inward, and project outward on “protein hinges”, exposing different amino acids (proteins) on their surfaces with or without changing their gene sequences. They can move, in other words, subject to something acting upon them. Mutants, which occur naturally, or deliberately, and easily from very minor or single alterations of chemistry, can signify a gene change as well as a surface protein shape change.

Part Two will also endeavor to define “virus” in a greater context. Tobacco Mosaic Virus was the first ever created with a scientific purpose, credited to Dmitri Ivanofsky, a Russian botanist who was sent to investigate a failing tobacco crop in the Ukraine.  In the late 1880s, Ivanofsky mashed his diseased leaf samples together, added water, and ‘purified’ the liquid through an ultrafine filter. For decades to follow, indiscriminate liquid filtrate from disease specimens has been called “virus”.  If you had a polio vaccine as a child, the viral component was likely to have originated by this method:

Poliovirus: procured as described

“Materials and Methods

“Virus.–The Lansing strain of poliomyelitis virus used for this study was obtained from Armstrong (2) September 27, 1950, in the form of an infected mouse brain and cord representing the 379th mouse passage [through the brains of others]. It was passed twice through cotton rats in this laboratory. The second passage material was homogenized to a 20 per cent suspension in distilled water with the aid of a Waring blendor and served as a stock pool”…

Document source: “THE INTRACELLULAR DISTRIBUTION OF LANSING POLIOMYELITIS VIRUS IN THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM OF INFECTED COTTON RATS* BY CARLTON E. SCHWERDT, I~.D., ANO ARTHUR B. PARDEE, PH.D. (From the Virus Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley) (Received for publication, April 25, 1952)”


Recent news on Polio, issued August 2013

An article by Scientific American.

“Global eradication of polio has been the ultimate game of Whack-a-Mole for the past decade; when it seems the virus has been beaten into submission in a final refuge, up it pops in a new region. Now, as vanquishing polio worldwide appears again within reach, another insidious threat may be in store from infection sources hidden in plain view. Polio’s latest redoubts are “chronic excreters,” people with compromised immune systems who, having swallowed weakened polioviruses in an oral vaccine as children, generate and shed live viruses from their intestines and upper respiratory tracts for years. Healthy children react to the vaccine by developing antibodies that shut down viral replication, thus gaining immunity to infection. But chronic excreters cannot quite complete that process and instead churn out a steady supply of viruses. The oral vaccine’s weakened viruses can mutate and regain wild polio’s hallmark ability to paralyze the people it infects. After coming into wider awareness in the mid-1990s, the condition shocked researchers.”





“Watson began working on tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), which contains a nucleic acid called RNA. He hoped that his studies would help him eventually learn about DNA. Watson began learning how to make X-ray crystallography images in order to try to show that TMV had helically stacked protein”…,to%20show%20that%20TMV%20had%20helically%20stacked%20protein.&

“In 1952 he determined the structure of the protein coat surrounding the tobacco mosaic virus but made no dramatic progress with DNA. Suddenly, in the spring of 1953, Watson saw that the essential DNA components—four organic bases—must be linked in definite pairs.”


Tobacco Mosaic and Polio viruses were the ultimate study objects of the London Structure Group when Rosalind Franklin joined the Birkbeck College Lab (Univ. of London) in 1953 on the invitation of J.D. Bernal.  In those pursuits, thanks to the intrepid networking of Franklin as history records it, an intimate partnership was forged with the University of California Berkeley. Carlton E. Schwerdt, cited above with his polio mouse-brain virus, sent his wife Patsy from San Francisco to Birkbeck carrying a sealed vial of poliovirus crystals in her purse for the exclusive study of the Structure Group. The polio crystals sent by Schwerdt to Birkbeck, however, were the Mahoney strain of poliovirus considered deadly and the cause of the “Cutter Incident” which suspended the original Salk IPV until ‘fixed’.

UCBerkeley, many biology historians will tell you, was the seed-point of modern virology as the academic home of Wendell Stanley who created the Virus Laboratory (Stanley Hall) after his prize-winning accomplishment of crystallizing Tobacco Mosaic Virus (1935), thus opening the way.  Crick & Watson’s ‘DNA’ colleague, physicist Maurice Wilkins, spent his time on the Manhattan Project at the Berkeley Virus Lab with Wendell Stanley– and Stanley became a constant friend and asset to the Group.

For as much as the Manhattan Project was a joint British-American enterprise, the spread and control of tobacco was it’s larger and historical counterpart.  No entity on the planet would possibly benefit more (excepting the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation & co.) if tobacco could ‘Feed the World,’ or feed-and-vaccinate the world, than the British American Tobacco corporation –the BAT in your Covid soup. British American Tobacco is the contractor for DARPA’s tobacco corona vaccine. ( See ‘Tobacco Vaccines, by DARPA )


132) Tobacco Vaccines by DARPA

The Movie, Race For The Double Helix, the 1987 British-made film (originally titled ‘Life Story’), is a mostly fair account of discovering the structure of DNA –with a few omissions. Tobacco Mosaic Virus gets a mention, if you can catch it, when Jim Watson (Jeff Goldblum) says, misleadingly, “maybe I should study Tobacco Mosaic Virus, but it’s not DNA”. Watson did in fact study and attempt TMV crystallography without the needed quality results. What Crick and Watson really needed were Rosalind Franklin’s pictures, photograph #51 to be precise, which she called the ‘B’ form –a diffraction grid pattern showing two helical chains. Franklin’s TMV samples had from one to four internal ‘strand’ helices by her evidence. The photo(s) and notes were stolen from her lab and passed to the men by Max Perutz, Francis Crick’s doctoral supervisor at the Cavendish who was himself supervised for his PhD by J.D. Bernal. By then Bernal had already arranged (since March 1952) for Franklin to leave Cambridge (King’s College, and Cavendish Lab at U. Cambridge) and join him at Birkbeck (U. London, across town) to work on TMV.

Worth the watch:

Max Perutz ultimately won his own Nobel Prize standing with Crick & Watson in 1962. (left-to-right; F.Crick, M.Wilkins, John Steinbeck, J.Watson, Max Perutz and John Kendrew)



*Advisors on the movie included Aaron Klug and John T. Finch who were Rosalind Franklin’s own assistants and doctoral students: the two Structure Group members who remained at the hub of Birkbeck, collaborating together for more than forty years and training students of their own (and others) from around the world. Max Perutz and John Kendrew maintained ties with the Birbeck Structure Group (as did Crick and Watson) winning their Nobel together for the structure of hemoglobin and myoglobin.


“ ‘Rosy, of course, did not directly give us her data. For that matter, no one at King’s realized they were in our hands,’ Watson admitted.”


Nobel winner Wendell Stanley became “the father of virology”

*** Quote attributed to Francis Crick: “Any child could make a virus”


 The Structure Group, Birkbeck College U.London


Lab leaders J.D. Bernal (beg,1937) and Aaron Klug (beg.1958)


Aaron Klug


John Desmond ‘J.D.’ Bernal (b1901-d1971) graduated from Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge (London) in 1922 at the age of 21 with a degree in mathematics. From there he was sponsored at the Royal Society’s Faraday Laboratory by William Henry Bragg to learn the art of crystallography (X-ray diffraction physics) and was set to work for the British government studying the structure of graphite. In 1927, he returned to Cambridge as a lecturer in crystallography and by 1934 was made assistant director of the Cavendish Lab. Bernal began studying organic molecules at the Cavendish; oestrin and cholesterol (1929); vitamin B1 and liquid water (1933); pepsin(1934), vitamin D2 (1935) and Tobacco Mosaic Virus in 1937. His doctoral students included Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, who became his confidant and lover, Alan Mackay and Max Perutz. His nickname in these years became ‘Sage’. Denied a fellowship at the Cavendish in 1937 by Ernest Rutherford, Bernal was invited to Birkbeck, University of London, where he assumed the laboratory developed by Patrick Blackett and moved into the apartment upstairs. He was honored with membership in the Royal Society. After the war, Bernal’s lab expanded to become the Biomolecular Research Laboratory (BRL), set up in two buildings on the University’s Torrington Square, becoming in the process an arm of the British government’s Medical Research Council (MRC). The spirited atmosphere of Birkbeck under Bernal’s influence led to a continuously dynamic interplay of politics and science carried on nightly among students and visitors. Bernal is remembered for his war work (advising heads-of-state and planning for D-Day), his devotion to Soviet communism (which caused ‘distancing’ from his peers in the mid-fifties) and his legacy of books and articles.

“His first adult visit to the USA (his mother was a bilingual English and French speaking American, but he was educated in Ireland and England) was curtailed by the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Post-1945, many of Sage’s visits to the USSR and Eastern Europe (several of whose scientific academies awarded him Membership) and to China and India included both scientific lectures and peace campaigning. He met Khrushchev, Mao Zedong and Nehru, gave a demonstration to Churchill, and participated in committee meetings in the White House, the Kremlin and 10 Downing Street. His experience of less developed countries began with laborious and uncomfortable war-time travel for Mountbatten but thereafter he made many lengthy tours to countries with emerging economies to advise on the development of each nation’s science…   Perhaps Bernal’s greatest scientific contribution was to nurture a clutch of Nobel prizewinners in the development of molecular biology”….



Aaron Klug (b1926-d2018), born in Lithuania and raised in South Africa, Klug arrived at Cambridge in 1951 to work on his PhD (rec’d 1953). He went to Birkbeck to study Tobacco Mosaic Virus with Rosalind Franklin, along with John T. Finch. Klug and Finch were key investigators of the plant viruses when the lab ‘took a step’ to poliovirus obtained from UCBerkeley.  A peak moment for their small group was the creation and display of ‘person-sized’ models of TMV and poliovirus made for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels Belgium. Rosalind Franklin died in the midst of these preaparations –Klug tookover her work and the operational leadership of the lab. In 1962 he received a teaching fellowship at Cambridge and relocated his academic base with the headquarters of the Medical Research Council, maintaining his ties with Birkbeck, especially in course of Bernal’s deteriorating illness brought on by a series of strokes. In 1969 Krug was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1982 he won a Nobel Prize for advancements in crystallographic electron microscopy. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 1988 –this one year after the tele-broadcast of “Race For The Double Helix”– and in 1995 he became President of the Royal Society. In Israel, where he was a frequent visitor, Ben Gurion University named an institution for him in 2013, the Aaron Klug Integrated Center for Biomolecular Structure.

“His certificate of election to [president of] the Royal Society reads:

Mathematical physicist and crystallographer distinguished for his contributions to molecular biology, especially the structure of viruses. Development of a theory of simultaneous temperature and phase changes in steels led him to apply related mathematical methods to the problem of diffusion and chemical reactions of gases in thin layers of haemoglobin solutions and in red blood cells. Then the late Rosalind Franklin introduced him to the x-ray study of tobacco mosaic virus to which he contributed by his application and further development of Cochran and Crick‘s theory of diffraction from helical chain molecules. Klug’s most important work is concerned with the structure of spherical viruses. Together with D. Caspar he developed a general theory of spherical shells built up of a regular array of asymmetric particles. Klug and his collaborators verified the theory by x-ray and electron microscope studies, thereby revealing new and hitherto unsuspected features of virus structure.”





Don Casper, who co-developed the “Caspar-Klug” theory of structure was a career collaborator and visitor to the Structure Group.

“Caspar completed his BA in physics from Cornell University in 1950. He joined Yale University from where he earned his PhD in biophysics in 1955.[1] He was supervised by Ernest C. Pollard. His thesis was on the structure of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) titled The Radial Structure of Tobacco Mosaic Virus. While waiting for his degree he worked under Max Delbrück at the California Institute of Technology as post doctoral student.[5] He worked with James D. Watson, with whom he had close professional association throughout his career. After receiving his PhD, he went to England having been awarded a fellowship at King’s College London under Rosalind Franklin and during 1955–1956 worked with her at Birkbeck College in London. Their meeting was fruitful both personally and professionally. He remained one of Franklin’s closest friends during her brief lifetime. In 1956 he and Franklin published individual but complementary papers in the March 10 issue of Nature, together showing that TMV was a hollow rod, rather than a solid structure as generally believed. They also demonstrated that RNA in TMV was wound along the inner surface of the hollow virus…”


“Kenneth Holmes was born in London in 1934… He obtained his B.A. at St. Johns College, Cambridge. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1959 at Birkbeck College London working on the structure of tobacco mosaic virus with Rosalind Franklin (officially supervised by JD Bernal). Tragically, Franklin died during this period and the work was completed with Aaron Klug… After a post-doc (1960-61) at Childrens’ Hospital Boston, with Don Caspar where he also started to work on muscle structure with Carolyn Cohen, he returned to the newly opened Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. Here he developed methods and X-ray optics for the analysis of structures by X-ray fibre diffraction. He worked with Aaron Klug on the structure of tobacco mosaic virus… In 1968 he moved to Heidelberg to open the Department of Biophysics at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research where he remained as director until his retirement in 2003. During this time he completed the structure of tobacco mosaic virus…”,the%20analysis%20of%20structures%20by%20X-ray%20fibre%20diffraction.


Rosalind Franklin and her three assistants (Klug, Holmes, and Finch) were funded by the Agricultural Research Council – Holmes was assigned to work on the structure of TMV for his PhD while Klug and Finch investigated additional plant viruses. In all, they produced 17 papers on TMV. In October 1957, with funding from the U.S. (Public Health Service and NIH) they began the study of poliovirus.


John T. Finch –“John’s first project on TYMV [turnip yellow mosaic virus] was technically demanding because of the very large unit cell (700 Å), then the largest that had been studied… Comparing the patterns from the full and empty particles, they showed that the protein coat was likely to have icosahedral symmetry, with the nucleic acid having lower symmetry (4), in accord with earlier suggestions about the symmetry of the coats of small spherical viruses (Crick & Watson 1956). At the time it was not feasible to take the analysis to high resolution by X-ray diffraction, so John later turned to electron microscopy to study TYMV.

…At the Birkbeck lab… Finch’s “second PhD project involved crystals of poliovirus, which were given to Rosalind in 1957 by Drs Schaffer and Schwerdt from Berkeley… [P]olio was still a scourge in the 1950s. However, Sir Lawrence Bragg (FRS 1921), director of the Royal Institution, was very interested in the project and he allowed John to continue to use the X-ray set up there, even though the containment facilities were no better than at Birkbeck. Aaron wrote out a protocol for storing and handling the crystals, which were transferred to the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, across the road from Birkbeck. John mounted them there and then took them to the Royal Institution for X-raying. Only crystals mounted in [glass] capillaries could be brought into the laboratory, with adequate supplies of neutralizing formaldehyde close by in case of accidents. The members of the group were vaccinated against polio with the newly available Salk vaccine. X-ray exposures were long, sometimes overnight, and, as someone had to be in attendance, John remembered the nighttime Royal Institution as an eerie place…  The study showed that poliovirus was rather similar to the small, spherical plant viruses also being worked on then, but the analysis was not taken any further.”

*(Mrs. Carlton Schwerdt, Patsy, hand-carried the crystal poliovirus from San Francisco to London in her purse)


Poliovirus was not just “rather similar to the small, spherical plant viruses” –it was identical, and the ‘next generation’ of  protein crystallographers trained under this group and their associates would have to learn it for themselves.


Learning about the identical structure of the small (but ‘macromolecule’) plant viruses and poliovirus came as a “surprise” to crystallographer Michael G. Rossmann, who was convinced by his ‘team’ crystallography expert, Roland Rueckert, not to compete with his friend and colleague Jim Hogle studying poliovirus 1 (the Mahoney strain).  The Mahoney strain makes the best crystals, but it is also considered highly virulent, paralyzing 80% of those infected with it. No infections at the laboratories handling the Mahoney strain (in this work) have ever been recorded. The Mahoney type 1 poliovirus was collected in 1941 from the pooled feces of three children of the Mahoney family who were ‘asymptomatic’ during an outbreak in the Cleveland Ohio area.


Poliovirus type1 Mahoney strain



GRASP (project) computer-generated video of rotating poliovirus1

More elaborate video of poliovirus1(Mahoney) modeling structure, movement, and antiviral drug ‘entry’


*During most of the 1970s, Michael Rossmann studied Southern Bean Mosaic Virus, although he was eager to work on a human pathogen. He was persuaded to study human rhinoviruses and picked rhinovirus #14.


*Southern Bean Mosaic Virus (SBMV), with two views*



Michael Rossmann –‘MR’– gave an Oral History to Sondra Schlesinger –‘SS’– of Washington University St. Louis in February of 1999. Here’s an edited excerpt:

SS. Let’s spend a little more time on southern bean mosaic virus, because that was really the first time you really had a structure to look at.

MR It was the second virus structure.

SS What you said was that it told you more about evolution than about function.

MR It told us about evolution but then when I started to learn the graphics – I spent a half a year studying the graphics – I worked out all the structural relationships …and of course this was published in a paper..[where] I go into great detail about the way the T=3 symmetry works. And the T=3 symmetry doesn’t actually work quite like Caspar and Klug predicted, but it roughly works. There are deviations and what is accurate and what is inaccurate, what is quasi and what is not quasi. I worked all this out for southern bean mosaic virus…

About that time…in 1980 I went to the Strasbourg International Conference of Virology. I had the opportunity to talk with Roland Rueckert . We were not that far away [from] each other in America but we had to go all the way to France to talk and we decided to combine our projects on rhinovirus. Actually, even before, Aaron Klug had shown that poliovirus crystallizes and so I had Sherin Abdel-Meguid, a post doc with me go to Ellie Ehrenfeld’s lab in Salt Lake City to start working on poliovirus. Of course Jim Hogle was working on poliovirus too and so Roland said you really shouldn’t compete like that. Roland was quite right because we had no idea or very little idea that rhino and polio viruses would be so similar.

SS Maybe this is really hindsight but since you had just found that southern bean mosaic virus and tomato bushy stunt virus were similar, it couldn’t have been quite as surprising to expect polio and rhino to be similar.

MR No, No, in fact, when we did solve rhino virus – it is very, very similar to southern bean mosaic virus – the only difference is that southern bean and tomato bushy stunt have 3 identical subunits A, B and C. In the picornaviruses [rhino and polio,ie ] A is VP1, B is VP3 and C is VP2.

SS I would have thought you would have expected rhino and polio to be similar.

MR No. we really didn’t. But something did happen. Our first crystals, not very good, of rhino virus were actually pseudo-isomorphous to Aaron Klug’s crystals of polio. Then we realized, although we could never do much with those crystals, they weren’t very good. Then we realized there would be a relationship, but not before that. Maybe we were just stupid. Maybe you would have realized [it] as a virologist.

SS No, I think it’s hindsight in a sense…

SS In fact, let’s go back to Francis Crick, we all use the example that he and Watson made about viruses being composed of identical subunits. Did that influence your thinking at all?

MR Yes! Definitely. That was the reason why I wanted to study viruses. They are ideal for molecular replacement.

SS Because they are identical?

MR We didn’t know how identical. Lots of people argued with us.

SS So now we’re just about ready to start with rhinovirus. You had chosen them partly because of your discussions with Roland?

MR Yes and he was extremely helpful…

SS How did you choose which rhinovirus to work on?

MR Roland made that decision. He rightly wanted a rhino virus that was easy to propagate that could be propagated in quantity. He looked into what was a good serotype for that and it was rhino 14…

[end excerpt, page 9 on WORD pagination]


                           *computer model rhinovirus showing receptors*

                           *model rhinovirus with antibodies attached *



MR…Now what we did for rhino virus was to extend from 6 angstroms, where the map was just nothing really to 3.5 angstrom resolution and the map changed from nothing to something which we could interpret very quickly and we must have got to this on some early date in April [1985]. … we printed out the map and we stacked the map – that took all day… I started looking at it in the evening and, before it was too long into the night, I had been able to trace the VP1 chain and there was some helpful data from Roland and Barbara Sherry about mutations which were involved in binding antibodies and these should be on the surface …and I think it was by the end of that 2nd day [which]..was a Tuesday that we had placed all the amino acids of VP1, 2 and 3. VP1 I had done in the evening [before] and then we did VP2 and VP3 the next day. It was a very, very good map… You might have had 30 steps, I’m not quite sure of the exact number, in going from 6 angstroms to 3.5 and at each step you do many cycles and each cycle takes a long time. It was a big computer operation in which we had made a mistake halfway through and had to backtrack. We wasted about 2 weeks in that but I knew when I saw that 3.5 angstrom map that it was an incredibly good map.

SS At that time what was the resolution for southern bean mosaic virus?

MR About 3 angstoms. The other thing which we realized in those two days was that the structure [of rhinovirus 14] was like southern bean mosaic virus, that VP1 corresponded to the A subunit, VP2 to the C subunit and so on- and that was an immediate realization. Actually, Jim Hogle was working on polio at that time at Scripps in La Jolla and I visited him on a number of occasions. He called me just before lunch so I couldn’t go out with the rest of the lab and by the time the lab got back I was still on the phone. One thing I remember very clearly, I was describing to Jim the structure and I was assuming that Jim had realized this would be like tomato bushy stunt and turnip crinkle which he had worked on in Steve Harrison’ lab and suddenly I realized that Jim didn’t understand what I was saying. I said, ‘Jim, this is like tomato bushy stunt and southern bean mosaic virus.’

[end excerpt, p14]

  •                                                                             James M. Hogle




The upshot of Michael Rossmann’s long phone call to Jim Hogle was a decision to help him ‘understand’ and use the rhinovirus model to resolve the structure of poliovirus. A key to this effort was in identifying the ‘canyons’ on the capside surface –the deep depressions which Rossmann figured to be receptor binding sites, where a cell surface and a virus interact. Rossmann’s team also discovered capsid surface mutations where antibodies would not bind to the virus –called escape mutations:


MR …we saw that the escape mutations were on the surface. We didn’t have [as] many sequences of rhinoviruses as there were for poliovirus which had just been published. [But we still] saw that these were hypervariable regions and that they were on the surface and were not in the canyon. We didn’t know anything about conservation of residues [the amino acid regularity of sequences that stay the same in replication, from one virus to the next] in the canyon but it immediately suggested why the canyon was there – namely for receptor binding.

SS So you’re saying that the idea of receptor binding came immediately?

MR Yes, within days of the structure… [So] When I wrote the initial draft paper [on rhinovirus], I was looking up all the foot-and-mouth disease virus stuff, all the poliovirus stuff. Unfortunately its my habit that I don’t usually read until afterwards and so I was reading…and it was really a very good education for me at this point.

SS Had the receptor for rhino been identified by then?

MR No, not until 1989…

[cont.]…the polio work now had a lot of help from us because Jim (Hogle) knew what to look for. It was like turnip crinkle virus which Jim had worked on with Steve. He also learned how we had solved it…

SS In the poliovirus work, did they have all these escape mutants?…

MR Oh yes, absolutely, in fact there was a meeting in Philadelphia…in March of 1985 where Philip Minor was and he had escape mutations but he couldn’t organize them [to predict their locations] and [Barbara Sherry] showed him how to do it…

[Inserted by author] When Philip Minor read Michael Rossmann’s oral history he wrote that his ‘data of which there was a substantial pile had well organized long before he met Barbara Sherry at the 1985 Philadelphia meeting… He continued to explain, ‘Polio suffered from its peculiar antigenic properties. Most of the monoclonal antibodies against type 2 and type 3 are against a site which is not normally seen at all in type 1 [the Mahoney strain]. This is hard to believe for such similar viruses and the field fell into a morass of peptides…and immunogenic sites…[which] was seriousy misleading…[and] clearly thought by Michael to have seriously misinterpreted their data…  Philip Minor wrote that he thought that ‘the strange imbalance in immunogenicity in the [polio] virus (which is not seen to the same extent in rhinovirus) has major effects on the pathogenesis and epidemiology of polio and the type specific distribution of disease, and is therefore of absolutely no interest to x-ray crystallographers.’ …..

SS So what were some of the surprises from the rhinovirus work?

MR The biggest surprise which we didn’t expect was that it was like the plant viruses, that animal viruses were like plant viruses. That was a big surprise

[end excerpts at]


Philip D. Minor is head of the UK government National Institute for Biological Standards and Control and advisory member of the WHO


In this slideshow presentation, the author introduces plant viruses and states that Four Families out of eleven plant virus families infect plants and animals.



to be continued…..

Coming soon, Planting Viruses Three




January 15, 2021

Planting Viruses –From Plants!


Tobacco plants at harvest time*


*How much fakery can you take? What if I told you that since the 1950s, if not before, all the “viruses” promoted as dangerous, deadly, and necessary to vaccinate against actually came from common plants?  –and that all the “pictures” from electron micrographs of these so-called viruses are entities derived from either (1) plant extracts or (2) the harmless natural cell components of living systems? I’m going to post a series of articles as ‘proofs’ that the familiar virus images of the past and present are indeed particles derived from plants –and suggest in particular that one plant, tobacco, is the mother of them all.


‘Fake it ‘til you make it’ seems to be a creed of modern times, in science as much as politics and other endeavors.  Keeping Up With The Hoaxes and other staged events has potential for full-time occupation –not how you want to spend your time in this life, I suppose – nor I, so I’ll do my best to make it quick. But I’ve also promised not to skip the “bats, rats, and vats” in these contrivances, especially now as it applies to COVID. The long version will be here, just not today.  Scroll past my “clathrin”  picture example and read about the SARS-CoV positive tomato and tobacco plants fed to mice in 2005 –created by a group of researchers that included a famous medical scientist named Hilary Koprowski, who created polio vaccines in the ‘50s and was implicated in the creation of HIV/AIDS. Poliovirus, if you scroll down to ‘COVID: Going Down With Polio’ is identical to Tobacco Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV) and many other plant viruses. The researcher, Barbara Pearse, who discovered clathrin –my fake virus example– shown below, was married to John Finch and learned her craft under his tutelage. John Finch was a member of Rosalind Franklin’s Virus Structure group, studying Tobacco Mosaic Virus and poliovirus at Birkbeck College London


Today, briefly, is one example with some pictures of how to deceive people with “Virus”photo fakery:

*Cells need to eat. They take in nutrients and other materials by “endocytosis”, which is a way of packaging and transporting matter from the outside of a cell membrane to the inside of the cell.  One of these methods that makes a virus-like particle at the cell membrane is called “clathrin-mediated” endocytosis.  It looks like this:

*  Left side image is the formation of a “pit” along the vertically oriented cell membrane which has outer cell receptors clustered along the depression (long fuzzy gray mass in picture 1). The membrane “pits” ( in picture 2) and encloses itself ( in picture3) with the help of “adapter” proteins (Aps) and clathrin particles on the opposing inner side of the membrane. Picture 4 is a newly created ‘vesicle’inside the cell, made by and from the cell, that has swallowed the extracellular particle-containing fluid. Not many electron micrographs are as good as these images, which are excellent.


*Here’s “clathrin-mediated” endocytosis illustrated –CCV stands for Clathrin-Coated Vesicle:



*And here are more clathrin-coated vesicles. There are ‘no viruses’ in these pictures below, but a “virus” in extracellular fluid can be ingested (called invagination) by the same method, which is key to inducing artificial nanobio ‘virus’, carrying drugs and genetic cargo, into the cells.


Picture ‘B’ above is a “clathrin cage” showing the structural propensity of clathrin assembly. Clathrin architecture is shown below with its ‘triskelion’ subunit.







2005 SARS-CoV research from Hilary Koprowski (and colleagues)

“Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) S protein production in plants: Development of recombinant vaccine…”

“In view of a recent spread of ..SARS, there is a high demand for production of vaccine to prevent this disease. Recent studies indicate that SARS-coronavirus (CoV) spike protein (S protein) and its truncated fragments are considered the best candidates for generation of the recombinant vaccine. Toward the development of a safe, effective, and inexpensive vaccine candidate, we have expressed the N-terminal fragment of SARS-CoV S protein (S1) in tomato and low-nicotine tobacco plants. Incorporation of the S1 fragment into plant genomes…was confirmed by PCR and RT-PCR analyses. High levels of expression of recombinant S1 protein were observed in several transgenic [plant] lines by Western blot analysis using specific antibodies. Plant-derived antigen was evaluated to induce the systemic and mucosal immune responses in mice. Mice showed significantly increased levels of SARS-CoV specific IgA after oral ingestion of tomato fruits expressing S1 protein. Sera of mice parenterally primed with tobacco derived S1 protein revealed the presence of SARS-CoV-specific IgG as detected by Western blot and ELISA analysis.”


“Of drugs or nutrients, taken or given by any route other than by the alimentary canal. Parenteral routes include the intramuscular and the intravenous.”


Virology: Fake Science

by Jim West (please share and cite)

Virology is at the root of much unsupported Medical propaganda with regard to disease causation and vaccination. Due to Medicine’s acknowledged bad reputation, it is unwise to accept medical announcements (press releases) without first running them through a critical gauntlet.

Therefore, proof of virus existence and character should always be required from the claimers of viruses — before going into the related topics, i.e., before going out on the thin limbs, leaves and flowers of a tenuous rootless tree.

This will get you nowhere with a doctor or judge, as they represent authority over science, even if irrational. Nevertheless, virus criticism is essential for an honest conversation, to keep the mind sharp.

Virology: Two Achilles Heels

1) Isolation of viruses is not actually achieved, as it is claimed. Critical examples are poliovirus and HIV.

2) Toxicology is missing. That is, the toxic effects of antibiotics used in virological studies are not discounted. The clinical diagnoses and the epidemiology avoid environmental toxicology.

Going into detail

1) Virus Isolation “Isolation” of viruses has always been broadcasted as a great achievement, because it intuitively conveys a sense of total dominance and understanding of the so-called virus.

Example, poliovirus:

That famous “isolation of poliovirus” in 1909, by Landsteiner and Popper, consisted of the injection of emulsified extract of spinal cord taken from one paralyzed human child into two monkeys. The monkeys became ill, and one died. This illness was interpreted as “polio”, “infection” and by subsequent journalists and scientists, “virus isolation”  …. The term “isolation” is derived from the true success of inorganic chemistry (non-biological chemistry).

Example: H2O can be split into two isolates, i.e., two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, through electrolysis. Endless types of experiments can then be run on each of these isolates to determine their properties, density, weight, etc. Examples: A) Fill a balloon with hydrogen and watch it rise into the sky. It must a low density element. B) These isolates can be reacted with each other again to produce H2O again.  D) The proportions  of H2O can be ascertained. E) They can be reacted individually with metals to form metal oxides and hydrides, e.g., rust was determined to be iron oxide… Clever virologists faked this method and its terminology. They did this by (in practice) redefining the word “isolate” to mean  “mixture”, the opposite of its actual meaning. In practice, “virus isolates” are complex mixtures of biological matter…

[Stefan]Lanka notes the lack of evidence for measles virus. He specifically critiques the work of virologist John F. Enders, PhD. [Article 2015] [Article 2001] [Interview 2018] [Virology details 2/2017, German Language]
Lanka: “The first paper was published in 1954 by Enders et al… Enders… cut down dramatically on the nutrient solution and added cell-destroying antibiotics to the cell culture before introducing the allegedly infected fluid. The subsequent dying of the cells was then misinterpreted as presence and also isolation of the measles virus. No control experiments were performed to exclude the possibility that it was the deprivation of nutrients as well as the antibiotics which led to the cytopathic effects.”

And a few notes from me on the fakery of virus isolation by Enders…  John Enders is also falsely credited for isolating the poliovirus, according to a critical review by journalist Neenyah Ostrom, on the authority of biochemist Howard Urnovitz, PhD. [Ref] “[P]oliovirus was not actually isolated by these investigators, either. They successfully grew “filterable agents,” which they assumed to be poliovirus, in human embryonic tissues.”

Enders’ fame as “The Father of Modern Vaccines” is perhaps due to his tremendous inheritance and elite membership in Yale’s wealthiest secret society. No joke. [Ref]

(read more)


….thank you Jim!


*Genesis 3:22 –“Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever’ ”

*(verse 23)”therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.”


*Back to the garden:

A Few Words on Tobacco

“ The Old World encountered tobacco at the dawn of the European Age of Exploration. On the morning of October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus set foot on a small island in the Bahamas. Believing himself to be off the coast of Asia, the Admiral dressed in his best to meet the local inhabitants. The Arawaks offered him some dried leaves as a token of friendship. Those leaves were tobacco. A few days later, a party from Columbus’ ship docked off the coast of Cuba and witnessed local peoples there smoking tobacco…


By the end of the 16th century Spain controlled the ‘global’ tobacco trade which was worth its weight in silver well through the next century as the English developed a rival market.

“Probably the most famous Englishman associated with the introduction of tobacco is Sir Walter Raleigh. Settlers rescued from his Roanoke Island expedition in 1586 had picked up the habit of tobacco smoking (or “drinking” as it came to be called). Hariot remarks in his account of 1588 that: ‘We ourselves during the time we were there used to suck it after their [the Native Americans’] manner, as also since our return, and have found many rare and wonderful experiments of the virtues thereof…

“In the spring of 1610, the young John Rolfe arrived at Jamestown, a member of the party which had been delayed by shipwreck on the Bermuda Islands. This new settler observed the Powhatan Indians growing N. rustica. An English pamphlet of the time reported that: ‘The people in the South parts of Virginia esteeme it [tobacco] exceedingly . . . ; they say that God in the creation did first make a woman, then a man, thirdly great maize, or Indian wheat, and fourthly, Tobacco.’  Rolfe, however, was not impressed with the quality of N. rustica…[as] inferior in quality to the fine Spanish weed N. tabacum…  How Rolfe came by fine Trinadad tobacco seed is not known, but he was growing it experimentally by 1612 in Virginia. Rolfe’s agricultural attempt was an unqualified success. By 1614, Ralph Hamor, a secretary of the Colony, reported: ‘. . . Tobacco, whose goodnesse mine own experience and triall induces me to be such, that no country under the Sunne, may, or doth affoord more pleasant, sweet and strong Tobacco, then I have tasted. . . . I doubt not, [we] will make and returne such Tobacco this yeere, that even England shall acknowledge the goodnesse thereof.

…”2,300 pounds of tobacco were exported to the Mother Country in 1615-16. True, this was a paltry amount compared with the over 50,000 pounds imported from Spain in the same period, but it was a start. In 1616, Rolfe visited England with his new wife Pocohontas and presented James I with a pamphlet in which the Virginian modestly revealed tobacco as “the principall commoditie the colony for the present yieldeth”… Little did Rolfe guess how important his tobacco crop would become to the economic survival of Virginia…”


As tobacco crops spread among the English colonies of America so did written observations and advice on managing this “demanding” commodity:    …“[In] the world of the eighteenth-century Virginians, [t]obacco touched nearly every aspect of their existence…Indeed, the majority of the planters’ waking hours were spent, as they would have said, in ‘making a crop’. Almost every surviving letterbook from this period contains a detailed description of tobacco production, and even Thomas Jefferson, who never distinguished himself as a successful plantation manager, instructed a European correspondent in the mysteries of cultivating the Virginia staple.” [p41, Tobacco Culture, by T.H.Breen, 1985 Princeton Univ. Press] George Washington failed at tobacco and grew wheat instead. “Tobacco was not like wheat… [It] could never be taken for granted. It dictated a series of tasks…[ throughout the year, wherein] [e]ach step in the annual process required skill, judgement, and luck… [A] French traveler reported that ‘the culture of tobacco is difficult, troublesome, and uncertain’ “[p45, ibid.]

Curiously, the principal judgement of when to harvest ‘ready’ tobacco, depending on the appearance of the plants, fits the categorical descriptions of disease: “…to cut unripe tobacco was folly. Immature leaves heavy with moisture seldom cured properly…[It] had [to have] the ‘right’ appearance. According to Tatham, ‘the tobacco when ripe changes its colour, and looks greyish; the leaf feels thick and if pressed between finger and thumb will easily crack’…Richard Henry Lee, a gentleman who possessed the necessary experience, advised growers to look for ‘spots appearing on the leaf’ ”[p49, Tobacco Culture] Other descriptors include yellowing, wilting and curling.

A more contemporary account from Kona Hawaii states: “The object of curing was to produce a yellowing of the leaf by prolonging the death of the green cells in the leaf. The yellowing was essential. Too short a cure produced a green leaf.”   And though we might guess the golden harvest was disease-free, being strict on terms, pictures tell a different story –a natural story—that the “viruses” ubiquitous in tobacco (and other plants) that confer shape, decoration, and color to leaves were desirable in outcomes of commerce.


  • TMV-infected tobacco



Tobacco goodnesse thereof:

“Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is the third of eight B vitamins. Niacin is a term that relates to several chemical forms of vitamin B3. These forms include nicotinamide and nicotinic acid. These names are all based on the research done on tobacco in the 1930s in which vitamin B3 was first isolated in a laboratory while working on the nicotine collected from tobacco leaves. Niacin, like the other B-complex vitamins, plays an important role in energy production in the body. Two forms of vitamin B3, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), are needed by the body to convert protein, fat, and carbohydrates into useable energy. The processing of fats in the body, like those involved in the building of cell membranes and even fat-based hormones (otherwise known as steroid hormones), all require the presence of vitamin B3 to initiate synthesis. Niacin has also been used to lower total blood cholesterol with great success, even though the body actually requires vitamin B3 to produce cholesterol in the liver.Vitamin B3 is also involved in the manufacture of DNA. A link between DNA damage and a deficiency of niacin can be found. It is being researched particularly in terms of the formation of cancer and its possible prevention.  Blood sugar regulation is another benefit of vitamin B3, as it has been shown to be involved in the metabolism of insulin. Although researchers are yet to completely agree on the process by which vitamin b3 does this, they do support the idea that glucose tolerance factor (GTF), of which vitamin B3 is a part of, must be present in the body to help maintain optimal insulin activity.”


Tobacco can Feed the World:

Tobacco “may in time become one of the world’s principal sources of protein for human consumption and livestock feed.” So stated no less an authority than the World Health Organization’s Farm and Agriculture Organization in 1981. . Nevertheless, tobacco as a protein source has received so little publicity over the years that most of us are still largely unaware of it’s potential to feed a hungry world. Protein From Tobacco : Among the protein extracts that were prepared from a variety of green plants and forage crops, those originating from the leaves of the tobacco plant, Nicotiana tabacum, according to Wildman, a leading protein chemist, had “properties which make them uniquely desirable as sources of edible leaf protein”.


Feeding the world with tobacco, apparently even when this article was published in 1992, was a nonstarter. The public mind is set against it, they say. We live in a world were a tobacco plant is dangerous and a nuclear plant is safe, and these concepts start really getting mixed up as the history carries forward into the twentieth century –the interlacing history of tobacco, virology, and high-energy nuclear tools –coming back as “Part Two.”


One more ‘goodnesse’ you may have heard:


“Reports from various countries suggest that tobacco smoking might protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection, since the prevalence of smoking in COVID-19 hospitalized patients is lower than in the respective general population. Apart from nicotine or other chemicals contained in tobacco smoke, we propose that a single-stranded RNA virus that infects tobacco leaves, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), might be implicated in this effect. TMV, though non-pathogenic, is found in smokers’ airways, and stimulates adaptive and innate immunity, with release of specific antibodies and interferons. The latter may have preventive and/or therapeutic effects against COVID-19. If confirmed by epidemiological and interventional studies, this might lead to the use of TMV as an immunological adjuvant against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.”


*continue to Part Two,


January 13, 2021

Biology Is Nanotechnology



Founder of Humane Genomics, which is creating artificial viruses for therapy, and chair of Singularity University, Andrew Hessel, shares his enthusiasm for synthetic biology:

minute9: “we’re able to take a drop of blood and get a full genome”

minute11: [The company] “Health Nucleus is starting to build avatars, a digital health representation of the human being… that gets deep into your personal health…[at] the core of your story.”

— three companies mentioned; Illumina, Grail, and Health Nucleus, are briefly introduced below.


Andrew Hessel, interviewed by Josh Wolff, Aug.2020:

Wolff: Can you tell me more about the process of developing the viruses?

[A.H.] We begin with small molecule drugs. We sort of throw away those because while you can computationally predict those, you have no idea how they are going to end up in the body – and what kind of reaction will ensue. So, we began with biologics, and we tried to remove this hard-to-predict problem.

Cells, viruses – they’re all machines, in a way. So we began by making a synthetic virus totally from scratch. It’s not as difficult as it may seem. You see, it’s just that no one is doing it. There has been paltry development in the field over the past 20 to 30 years. If you look at the number of viruses that have been sequenced, there may be around 8300. If you look at the number of viruses that have been synthesized, there may have been 30. This field is ripe for growth…


Illumina, Inc.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Illumina, Inc. is an American company. Incorporated in April 1998, Illumina develops, manufactures, and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. The company provides a line of products and services that serves the sequencing, genotyping and gene expression, and proteomics markets. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California.

…In January 2014, Illumina already held 70% of the market for genome-sequencing machines.[25] Illumina machines accounted for more than 90% of all DNA data produced.[26] In fact, the amount of data produced by Illumina machines is such that the company invested in the acquisition of the pre-commercial firm Enancio in 2020, which had developed a DNA data compression algorithm specifically targeting Illumina data capable of reducing storage footprint by 80% (e.g. 50 Gb compressed to 10 Gb).[27]    …In late 2015, Illumina spun off the company GRAIL, focused on blood testing for cancer tumors in the bloodstream. In 2017 the company had planned to raise $1 billion in its second round of financing, and received funding from Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos investing $100 million in series A funding, and with Illumina maintaining a 20% holding share in Grail.[30] The company is working with a blood test trial with over 120,000 women during scheduled mammogram visits in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as a partnership with the Mayo Clinic. The company Grail uses Illumina sequencing technology for tests.[31] The company plans to roll out the tests by 2019, with a cost of $500 per individual.[32] In September 2020, Illumina announced a proposed cash and stock deal to acquire Grail for $8 billion.[33][34],_Inc.


GRAIL (company)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GRAIL is an American biotechnology and pharmaceutical company, which began in 2015 as a San Francisco start-up, with the purpose of developing an early cancer screening test for people who do not have symptoms. The parent company is Illumina of San Diego. Its headquarters is in Menlo Park, California, with locations in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and the United Kingdom.

Their liquid biopsy, still undergoing research as of November 2020 and called the ‘Galleri test’, detects fragments of DNA in a blood sample via next-generation sequencing, which identifies DNA methylation, distinct patterns of which are associated with particular cancers, potentially allowing for the early detection of cancer and providing information of the origin of the cancer. It is one of three multicancer screening tests under investigation; the other two being the CancerSEEK assay and the PanSeer assay. On 27 November 2020 GRAIL announced a commercial partnership with the United Kingdom’s (UK) National Health Service (NHS), to trial the Galleri test…


Health Nucleus

“If you enter Health Nucleus, a new facility in San Diego cofounded by J. Craig Venter, one of the world’s best-known living scientists, you will get a telling glimpse into the state of medical science in 2015. Your entire genome will be sequenced with extraordinary resolution and accuracy. Your body will be scanned in fine, three-dimensional detail. Thousands of compounds in your blood will be measured. Even the microbes that live inside you will be surveyed. You will get a custom-made iPad app to navigate data about yourself…

“[At] age 67, Venter cofounded Human Longevity, a company based in San Diego with branches in Mountain View, Calif., and Singapore that is building the largest human genome-sequencing operation on Earth, equipped with massive computing resources to analyze the data being generated…

“Franz Och, the former head of Google Translate and an expert on machine learning, is leading a team that’s teaching computers to recognize patterns in the company’s databases that scientists themselves may not be able to see. To demonstrate the power of this approach, Human Longevity researchers are using machine learning to discover how genetic variations shape the human face.  “We can determine a good resemblance of your photograph straight from your genetic code,” said Venter.

Health Nucleus could become yet another source of income for Human Longevity…There are plans to open more sites both in the United States and abroad. “You can do the math,” Venter said.

“Health Nucleus is already taking in customers who can afford the tests, drawing them with a high-end video that promises “individualized services including advanced genomes and other measures combined with advanced laboratory testing,” and declaring the program “creates a model for precision medicine, monitoring wellness in treating disease before it occurs.”



January 5, 2021

COVID: Shit Storm! Extrapolating By Effluent

(UC Berkeley)

Written by Betsy Foresman
Nov 4, 2020 | EDSCOOP

The University of California, Berkeley set up a temporary laboratory where it is testing sewage water to spot signs of COVID-19 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the university announced last week. University leaders said the new high-throughput pop-up lab is helping health officials collect data on where the virus may be spreading, circumventing some of the limitations of testing people individually.

“From the very beginning of the pandemic, it was clear that there were major limitations to the ability to test every individual in a population frequently enough to find out whether they were infected or not,” Kara Nelson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley, told Berkeley News. “Wastewater naturally pools the waste from hundreds to even millions of people in a single sample, so if you can collect a representative sample of wastewater and analyze it, you can gain a tremendous amount of information that you likely couldn’t gain through testing people individually.”

…The UC Berkeley team has begun testing sewers for the virus in 11 municipalities and is processing approximately 30 samples a week, according to Berkeley News. The testing technique takes about eight hours to complete, Adrian Hinkle, a graduate student in Nelson’s lab, said, and public health officials receive results within three days.

By the end of the year, the team said it plans to scale up to as many as 200 samples a week to meet growing demand from regional public health agencies.

… “Depending on where they sample, [researchers] can get a comprehensive picture of the virus on a large scale, or we can use their skills to zoom in down to the building level,” Harlan Kelly, general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, told Berkeley News.

This wastewater data can then be used to advise health officials on how to slow the spread of COVID-19 by implementing health guidelines and testing programs.

“One goal of this regional working group is to hear from public health officials how they think this wastewater data might help inform decision-making,” Sasha Harris-Lovett, a postdoctoral fellow at the Berkeley Water Center, told Berkeley News.

Wastewater testing has also been used in other areas across the country, including Arizona, Massachusetts and Nevada, to help combat COVID-19 and inform pandemic response decisions.


Sewage Early Warning System by “Matrix Recovery” method:

In Hampton Roads, VA “…they collect the samples either directly by scooping up unfiltered wastewater or through the treatment centers. Once it is collected, they concentrate the water down and take it to the laboratories where they extract genetic material from the samples.

The traces, which are not an active or living part of the virus and can stem from anyone who had symptoms, was asymptomatic, or even pre-symptomatic. 

His team began the research in winter of 2020 when the pandemic was reaching the United States. Ever since then, they have been reporting their data to the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health.

“The thought from the beginning was we could use this as an early warning system, so we could get results faster in wastewater than through clinical testing,” explained Gonzalez.

Because the wastewater testing can detect the presence of the virus from people who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, it gives scientists the opportunity to detect an outbreak or hotspot earlier on than other traditional testing methods.


All this time they’ve been shitting us.


Actually, the story is that effluent collection for coronavirus by CDC predates the pandemic, and the method was and still is applied for epidemic surveillance (polio, for example). For COVID they want it done everywhere—job creation, yes?, unless they get robots. Save them the trouble if you like and drop off a turd…and pasteurize it on your way out.




January 3, 2021

COVID: Going Down With Polio




COVID-19 vaccinees are going down with polio (tranverse myelitis, Guillain-Barre, AFP paralysis, etc) and its primary form of encephalitis which makes “polio forever” relevant once again.

Today I can say this is the start of polioforever’s last chapter and it all comes down to the simplicity of viral forms –call it Shape Matters Two: The essence of biological currency and the universal foundation of ‘recognition’ from our immune systems and among all creatures. Viruses as we ‘see’ them have three shapes, like primary colors — spheres, rods, and the combined sphere-rod. Everything else is dressing.


The primitive nanotechnology of the 20th century called Virology has come of age with Three Master Keys to the Kingdom: bacteriophage (sphere-rod), poliovirus (sphere) and Tobacco Mosaic Virus (rod). Unmasking the keys and dressing them down will tell the story of viruses in our time, from tobacco mosaic virus to coronavirus, or what some of you know from me as “TMV to CoV”. Breaking down and rearranging these biological master keys for useful purposes was called “metabiology” by Jonas Salk, who coined the term and brought the OPV polio vaccine to fruition as we entered the ‘peak fallout’ period of atmospheric nuclear testing. Polio is caused by radiation and chemical toxins.





poliovirus sphere*                                                                                                                                 icosahedron



*tobacco mosaic virus rod*



Poliovirus by other names and other species:

Tobacco Bushy Stunt Virus* TBSV*



Poliovirus electron micrograph

Aggregation of poliovirus*


………………………………………………………….BMV = Brome Mosaic Virus………………….TBSV = Tobacco Bushy Stunr Virus…………….TYMV=Turnip Yellow Mosaic Virus




Cowpea Mosaic Virus*                                                                                          icosahedron, showing pattern of regular pentamer  subunits.



…transitional forms*


Human Rhinovirus*

Rhinovirus infections are the chief cause of the common cold. Thrive in the lower temperature of the nose (33oC) They are transmitted by airborne respiratory droplets or contact with contaminated objects. Figure 15.02: A Rhinovirus. Human rhinovirus 16: Picornaviridae; Rhinovirus; Human rhinovirus A; strain (NA). Hadfield, A.T., Lee, W.M., Zhao, R., Oliveira, M.A., Minor, I., Rueckert, R.R. and Rossmann, M.G. (1997). The refined structure of human rhinovirus 16 at 2.15 A resolution:



Norwalk virus*

Cucumber Mosaic Virus,’negative’ image of Norwalk*


Look again at poliovirus*






If you’re uncertain about what you’re really looking at with the virus images (re: the same thing), see the previous posts: ‘Virus: Shape Matters’ and ‘The Nanoflower Shop’ for clarity. After this, a storyline begins about poliovirus and tobacco mosaic virus investigated by a group of researchers who gathered around Rosalind Franklin and J.D. Bernal at Birkbeck College London.  In 1958, this group made two virus models for the Brussels World Exhibition; poliovirus and tobacco mosaic, the subjects of their study.

1958 World’s Fair poliovirus model*

1958 World’s Fair TMV* displayed at Int’l Science Building, Brussels*




The Virus Structure Research Group at Birkbeck College London, under the direction of J.D. Bernal, a communist and transhumanist since the 1920s, included Rosalind Franklin, Aaron Klug, John Finch, Kenneth Holmes and several others; Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, Americans Don Caspar and, by extension, Barry Commoner, the Fraenkel-Conrats, and more. The Birkbeck researchers focused on polivirus and TMV. Crick told the group that ‘any child could make a virus’. In 1958 Crick was invited to become a lifetime staff scientist at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies, then forming in La Jolla near San Diego. His ‘group’ at Birkbeck deferred to him often. Aaron Klug took over leadership of the group after Rosalind Franklin died of ovarian cancer in ‘58 and Crick accepted his honors and appointments in the U.S.

Klug wrote to Crick on Feb.13, 1959:

“Dear Francis,

… I feel it is now appropriate to draw attention to the occurrence of icosahedral symmetry in 5 viruses (although I haven’t mentioned Bea’s result on SBMV). I am now trying to see whether it is possible to classify the ways in which a large virus like Tipula IV might be built up out of subunits, a problem you suggested some time ago. It seems to me that one must start off with…a small virus and then try to make a ‘crystal’ of it, by adding more subunits to try to achieve close packing. In this way…one can arrive at 3 families of icosahedra, namely : truncated icosahedron, small rhomb-icosadodecahedron and snub dodecahedron.”


“Bea’s SBMV” refers to Beatrice A. Singer, the wife of TMV expert Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat, who worked at the University of California Berkeley ‘Rad Lab’ –the famed ‘Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’ (LBNL, and its affiliate Lawrence Livermore) founded by Ernest O. Lawrence. Singer and her husband were jointly working on Tobacco Mosaic Virus mutants and sharing their samples and knowledge.

“Southern Bean Mosaic Virus (SBMV) .  The virus of our story is Southern Bean Mosaic Virus (SBMV), a humble RNA-containing plant virus that infects bean plants in the South of the United States. Neither SMBV nor its relative TBSV were ever as famous as the animal viruses that are fashionable today as human pathogens (for instance, AIDS virus or common cold -rhino virus-). Small…plant viruses like them were easy to obtain…[and] easy to crystallize and consequently they were the objects of a concerted effort to obtain their atomic structure by X-ray diffraction methods with conventional in-house X-ray sources. Viruses had to be constructed from a few identical subunits. [We call them “virus-like particles”, or VLPs, today—JL]. The icosahedral symmetry of small spherical viruses had been proposed by Watson and Crick in the early fifties[1]… they predicted that the virus envelopes would be highly symmetrical, and most likely icosahedral, containing at least twenty copies of the coat protein in the shell, or capsid.  The detailed arrangement of the proteins in the capsid on the surface, and a preliminary classification of icosahedral viruses was presented by Caspar and Klug in their classic 1962 paper [2].”

The Ballad of the 2.8 Ångstroms Structure of SBMV


Southern Bean Mosaic (SBMV)*



* 1957

…”Electron micrographs showing details of the internal structure of plant virus crystals are presented to demonstrate the values of the procedure. Crystals of purified tobacco ringspot virus and squash mosaic virus and some portions of turnip yellow mosaic virus crystals have been shown to exhibit hexagonal packing…”


At Birkbeck lab, Franklin’s graduate student assistant John Finch’s “second PhD project involved crystals of poliovirus, which were given to Rosalind in 1957 by Drs Schaffer and Schwerdt from Berkeley… The study showed that poliovirus was rather similar to the small, spherical plant viruses also being worked on then, but the analysis was not taken any further.”




*Rosalind Franklin (b1920—d1958) became posthumously famous for failing to be included in the Nobel Prize given to Crick, Watson and Wilkins for discovering the structure of DNA, presumably learned from her crystallography images of Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV):

“Although best known for being the British physical chemist whose crucial experimental data enabled James Watson and Frances Crick to solve the structure of DNA as early as 1953, she received no gracious mention from either of them during their Nobel Prize speeches. Indeed, until 1968 when Watson wrote The Double Helix, she had only received vague credit for stimulating their work rather than specific credit for contributing to their original proposal.”



“Tobacco mosaic virus, which causes tobacco leaves to curl and discolor in patches (hence “mosaic”) had been a model for virus studies since the 1880s; it was a simple, stable, and highly infectious organism. Understanding the structure of viruses was the first step in learning how they caused disease. By 1950 it was known that viruses consisted of protein and DNA or RNA (ribonucleic acid). Bernal and Fankuchen had found that TMV was composed of identical protein subunits. James Watson, during his hiatus from DNA modeling in 1952, worked briefly with TMV and established that the protein subunits were arranged in a spiral. Franklin’s challenge was to find out whether the RNA was in the middle of the spiral, like a candle wick, or embedded in the proteins. She was aided in this work by Aaron Klug, then a postdoctoral fellow in theoretical physics and chemistry, and two research assistants, Kenneth Holmes and John Finch. For a time, the team also included Donald Caspar, an American biophysicist. When her Turner and Newall fellowship ended in 1954, Birkbeck arranged three years of support from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) for Franklin’s team…

“…1954 also marked Franklin’s first visit to the United States. Invited to the Gordon Conference to give a paper on coal chemistry that summer, she also scraped together funding for visits to virus researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole (where her visit coincided with the 1954 hurricane), Washington University in St. Louis, the University of California in Berkeley, and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, among others. She made new contacts and renewed older ones, building a network of colleagues whose work complemented and informed her own. She returned home with virus samples and promises of collaboration from leading American scientists such as Wendell Stanley and Barry Commoner…

“[By] the summer of 1956, she was at the top of her profession. She had assembled a fine research team, and their work produced a steady stream of publications. She had established a wide network of research contacts and collaborators, and was invited to meetings everywhere. (Wendell Stanley would later call her “an international courier of good will and scientific information.”) And though she struggled with the ARC over funding (they disapproved of her working on “second hand material” from other labs, among other things) there was a good chance that a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health would provide alternative funding. While in America she was honored with a request from the Royal Institution for models of helical and spherical viruses, for an exhibit in the International Science Hall of the 1958 Brussels World Fair. (The five foot tall models–modified from early versions constructed from ping pong balls and plastic bicycle handlebar grips–were well received.)

…. “Work continued on plant viruses–the team prepared over a dozen papers for publication in 1956-57–and Franklin had also started planning a project examining polio virus. She applied for and received a three year research grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, ensuring the survival of her research group. In March 1958, the cancer advanced again, and Franklin returned to the hospital. She died on April 16, not quite 38 years old.

“In the obituaries he wrote for the Times and Nature, J. D. Bernal praised her beautifully executed researches, carried out with apparently effortless skill, and her gift for organizing research projects. He noted, “As a scientist Miss Franklin was distinguished by extreme clarity and perfection in everything she undertook. Her photographs are among the most beautiful x-ray photographs of any substance ever taken.” Her life, he concluded, was a perfect example of single-minded devotion to research.”



“The nature of the three-dimensional architecture of viruses and the assembly of viral subunits and nucleic acids have been among the central issues in virology over the past fifty years. Sir Aaron Klug (Medical Research Council Laboratory, Cambridge, UK), President of the Royal Society of London, offered his own historical perspective on the resolution of TMV architecture and its implications for virus self-assembly. Klug began working with R. Franklin in 1954, just two years before the first big picture of TMV quaternary structure emerged (Franklin et al., 1956). This picture was based largely on the high-quality x-ray photographs Franklin obtained from her samples of repolymerized, nucleic acid–free TMV particles (Franklin, 1955). Franklin thus confirmed J.D. Watson’s deduction that the rod-shaped virus was helical (Watson, 1954), but she also provided evidence that the helix was hollow rather than solid and that TMV RNA was embedded in the protein helix (Caspar, 1956; Franklin, 1956). Experimental evidence from these studies on TMV provided the basis for F.C. Crick and Watson’s contention that all viruses must be built up symmetrically from identical protein subunits that surround the nucleic acid (Crick and Watson, 1956). The elegant simplicity of this observation prompted the witticism, attributed to Crick, that “Any child could make a virus.” In listening to the participants at the Edinburgh symposium, one could not help but note that TMV research has been a serious playground (pace Max Delbrück) for some of the most formidable structural biologists of the twentieth century.”





………………………………………………………………………………………………..West Nile Virus*

December 25, 2020

The Nanoflower Shop



* *

* *

*These ‘nanoflowers’ were made in a liquid beaker from two chemicals on a small copper plate. Their creator, Wim Noorduin, works in nanomaterials engineering at Harvard in the lab of Joanna Aizenberg and is featured in this Creators Project video.




Nanoflowers  more typically look like this (below)


“A simple method is reported here for fabricating hybrid organic–inorganic nanoflowers using copper (II) ions as the inorganic component and natural amino acids as the organic component. The results indicate that the interactions between amino acid and copper ions cause the growth of the nanoflowers composed by C, N, Cu, P and O elements. The Cu ions and Cu(AA)n complexes containing Cu-O bond are present in the nanoflowers. The nanoflowers have flower-like porous structure dominated by the R groups of amino acids with high surface-to-volume ratios, which is beneficial for exerting its peroxidase-like activity depending on Fenton-like reaction mechanism with ABTS and Rhodamine B as the substrates. It is expected that the nanoflowers hold great promise as enzyme mimics for application in the field of biosensor, bioanalysis and biocatalysis.”

The graphic image above looks like this ‘real’ micrograph of HIV-1


And sometimes the display is obvious  HIV-1


Growing nanoflowers, it appears, is the key to replicating complex viral shapes and surface structures.


Materials scientists are investigating how to mimic the biological processes that create nanomaterials with desired structures. For example, lipids (a), proteins (b) and sugar-based compounds (c) can self-assemble into an array of shapes and configurations.


Illustration of techniques used for surface modification of different types of viruses.








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