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Originally published November 9 2014

Ebola modifies genes as it kills infected hosts

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The mechanism by which Ebola and other filoviruses attack and kill their hosts has been identified as what we now know to be genetic modification, according to shocking new research published in the journal mBio. Upon entry, Ebola and the related Marburg viruses demonstrably "edit" their genetic material, turning them into GMOs, of sorts, that eventually kill their hosts by "melting" their organs.

Pioneered by researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Rockville, Maryland, the new study highlights how filoviruses replicate and transcribe genetic material, also known as the virus life cycle. Because of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the team focused specifically on that strain as well as a related filovirus known as Marburg, which caused a large outbreak in Angola in 2005 and more recently emerged in Uganda.

Using a laboratory technique known as deep sequencing, investigators deliberately infected both a monkey and human cell line with either virus, and analyzed the resulting genetic material, known as RNA.

What they found is that the RNA of both Ebola and Marburg become altered when the polymerase of the viruses, or the protein that synthesizes the production of viral RNA, falters in certain areas. The result is the production of additional nucleotides, which are molecules that underlie the production of genetic materials like DNA and RNA, leading to changes in the new RNAs.

In the Ebola glycoprotein RNA, which produces the protein material that coats the surface of the virus, scientists observed major changes in the expression of messenger RNA. As stated by the research team, the introduction of Ebola virus triggers the production of new proteins "that we previously didn't realize."

"Our study suggests that the Ebola virus is making forms of proteins previously undescribed," said lead author Reed Shabman, Ph.D., an assistant professor at JCVI. "Understanding the products of these viruses is critical to understanding how to target them."

Ebola virus appears to grow stronger as more genetic modifications take place

What the findings of this study suggest is that the introduction of filovirus into mammals causes genetic changes similar to those induced through intentional modification of genes in food crops like soy and corn. Ebola, in a sense, is the pathogenic equivalent of a Monsanto scientist who quietly enters the body and triggers genetic changes that in this case lead to death.

As demonstrated in the study, the new proteins generated as a result of the Ebola-induced RNA changes are directly associated with the disease's virulence, presumably meaning that the more they're produced, the worse the infection. These genetic changes, in other words, give the virus a footing and allow it to become progressively stronger the more these genes are altered.

With this in mind, Shabman expressed that figuring out how these proteins are made, in as much detail as possible, is "of great interest."

"We infer that this probably contributes to how the virus grows in a person or an animal," added Christopher F. Basler, Ph.D., senior author of the study and professor of microbiology at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine.

The frightening implication here is that GMOs may themselves act as a type of virus inside the body, altering normal genetic expression and causing illness and even death. Though the full consequences of GMOs on human health are still largely unknown, no long-term studies proving their safety ever having been conducted, a growing body of independent science points to major adverse effects from GMO consumption.

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