I'm very happy to share that I will be co-authoring a book on the #OriginsOfCovid with @mattwridley - coming this November!

When Matt asked me to collaborate on Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19, I knew that we had to write this book.
I've done an insane amount of tweeting this past year (more than 10,000 tweets) and co-authored 2 articles with Matt in the @WSJ and @Telegraph

But, a friend told me that these would all be lost & scattered with time.

If you write a book (a very good one), it can become canon.
I know that there will be possibly dozens of books on the #OriginsOfCovid - many on the politics & management of the pandemic in different countries (especially the US and China), and several very focused on persuading us that this virus definitely has natural origins.
So, it was an inevitable decision for a towering figure in science writing @mattwridley and a scientist-turned-detective (me) to write the book telling the stories of key characters and our journey with them piecing together clues to understand the origin of COVID-19.
I don't know how to pre-order. But I'll post it as soon as it becomes available!
US cover (red) versus UK cover (white).

The book is about the search for the origin and many of the stories and pieces of information unearthed along the way. It is not about definitively ruling out any hypothesis except maybe #PopsicleOrigins or #MultipleOrigins

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Alina Chan

Alina Chan Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Ayjchan

8 Jun
I promised an analysis of This Week in Virology x Bob Garry on #OriginsOfCovid but was stunned by recent events, e.g., the lead, most vocal author of Proximal Origin @NatureMedicine correspondence article deleting half of his tweets and then his account.

I'll do it now, after spending a large amount of time reassuring (rebutting) people that I'm not a Canadian-Chinese-US NIH-suck-up scientist-spy with connections to the billionaire class.

S = scientific arguments
NS = non-scientific arguments
Garry says the 1st Proximal Origin draft was completed Feb 1.

SARS2 (Covid-19) genome was released Jan 11.

By Feb 1, they did not yet have access to RaTG13 (the closest genome match still) or the pangolin coronaviruses... unless we get more FOIA'ed emails to show otherwise.
Read 24 tweets
7 Jun
The problem with being a moderate is that you get bashed by people on both sides, depending on where the momentum is at that given moment.
More than a year ago, I said we should consider the lab leak hypothesis, regardless of how likely, not just natural origins #OriginsOfCovid

The natural origins crowd called me a conspiracy theorist, misinformation-spreader, attention-seeker, outsider with no proper expertise.
This year, I still have the same position: we should consider the lab leak hypothesis, not just natural origins.

Now the lab origins crowd calls me disingenuous, a coward, an apologist, misinformation-spreader, attention-seeker, an insider with ties to gain of function research.
Read 11 tweets
6 Jun
I’m going to make a long thread later today going through natural origin arguments recently presented on TWiV and the Washington Post. But before that, I think the responsible thing to do is to explain what virology is.

What do virus researchers do? Why is this work important?
With the lab leak hypothesis #OriginsOfCovid now being considered seriously, there’s been some new concerns or fears about what virus researchers / virologists are doing in the lab and why they grow and study viruses in the first place.
I’d say that, in my experience, very few virologists are engaged in dual use research. Most of the virologists working on pathogens are sincerely just trying to understand the biology of the virus, build models of the infection, and find ways to treat patients.
Read 12 tweets
5 Jun
Another balanced analysis of the lab leak theory. In @Slate by @RebeccaSohn2

People are going to find that I prefer to amplify articles that give careful consideration to both natural and lab hypotheses.
Some scientists & journalists are rushing to say "but the lab leak is so unlikely!" (not a conspiracy theory any more, just unlikely)

I told @RebeccaSohn2: It would be like trying to guess what’s the likelihood of rolling a 6 without knowing how many sides of the dice there are.
The fact remains that we don't know what strains of viruses were collected and under study in Wuhan. We don't know all the research experiments that were done.

We have the scientific literature which describes some of these, usually studies of samples from several years ago...
Read 12 tweets
30 May
Today, karma finally kicked in. After spending the last year "just asking questions" and trying to fish out information relevant to the #OriginsOfCovid, I finally became a target of a conspiracy theory and an anonymous twitter mob.
I had been warned about this situation by well-intentioned colleagues, journalists, and even other anonymous twitter users. That a day would come when I would get attacked by anonymous users.

There was always a stream of online harassment, but it definitely peaked this week.
It definitely made me feel more empathy for other scientists who are in a similar situation. I had already been expressing empathy for them and actively asked people on twitter please not to attack because it just makes the conversation immediately adversarial and non-productive.
Read 10 tweets
30 May
I see this is raising eyebrows so I better nip it in the bud.

The work I did on human artificial chromosomes (HAC) had been widely presented at local meetings & on the lab website. I talked so openly about it that it could not be patented because it had been publicly disclosed.
The rest of the thread above rightly criticizes the meeting being “secret” - but I always thought that it had been labeled “secret” by the organizers to drum up media coverage (sorry, organizers!).

As far as I could tell, all of the research at that meeting was in public domain.
I’m sorry to reveal this gimmick but actually I think many of the scientists and organizers were eagerly awaiting journalists to call them to talk about the “secret” meeting.

In reality, most scientific meetings happen without any journalists paying attention.
Read 12 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!