It’s Been Isolated ! … Beyond Me

from John Dee’s Almanac facebook site.

Is this clear ? (You’re joking, right ?)

Depends on what folk mean by isolated. An ‘isolate’ is the term virologists use for the supernatant that comes from ultra-centrifuge of the virally-charged growing medium (e.g. monkey gland). The supernatant contains the smallest of particles but it is not a pure isolate since it will be full of other small stuff like exosomes and fragments from both human and monkey. Turning this into a purified viral sample is another matter entirely so they stick with sequencing whatever is in the isolate and try to make sense of that. Dr Wuzunyou is referring to a purified viral isolate, which no lab possesses, but they all possess ultra-centrifuged isolates.The statement that the complete genome has been sequenced also requires careful interpretation. What they sequenced is whatever was in the impure isolate. Something like 36 sequences were identified so they sat down and computer modelled what they thought the virus should look like, with 40 leading virologists from several institutes being tasked by CDC to boil findings down into a single plausible virus. A good analogy would be experts sitting down with a box of lego. It’s always best to fact check the fact checkers these days.

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