Challenge to Christine Massey
Written by Jeff Green - 07/29/2022
For context, read my article on the “No Virus Challenge”, and listen to my two lectures on the topic. These can be found on my Substack page.
For further information, do visit my website: https://virusesarenotcontagious.com/
Christine Massey is one of the signatories of the “No Virus Challenge”.
Challenge to Christine Massey and her colleagues
I would like to present a few questions and points to Christine Massey and her colleagues. This challenge will not focus only on the existence or non-existence of the so-called SARS-CoV-2 virus but will mainly be focused on the existence of viruses as a whole. This does not include genomic sequencing, which does not necessarily prove viruses exist but facilitates the characterization of individual nucleic acids of a structure, which allows for a genetic fingerprint.
Can Massey prove that all viruses do not exist? Let us see if she can answer these basic questions I pose below.
The first question posed to Massey:
You have stated the following:
”We all know that "isolation" to a virologist means the opposite of it's usual meaning. It's about whether or not "the virus" has been shown to exist.”
You, and those you align with, have claimed virologists changed the meaning of isolation itself.
Question: What is your definition of isolation as used by virologists?
Note: Do understand that there are two isolation terms in virology that must be differentiated. These two terms have been falsely intermingled by those that deny the existence of viruses to suggest they carry the same meaning when they do not.
1. Isolation: Purification of a sample via centrifugation.
*Isolation Definition: “To separate (a substance) from all foreign substances; to make pure; to obtain in a free state.” - Do note that isolation of particles the size of viruses must naturally allow for a very small percentage of minute debris in the purified sample. 100% purity, which is impossible for many microscale objects, is not needed to show a virus exists.
Thus, the absolute fundamentalist/strict adherence to “pure” in the basic definition as used by Massey is not a realistic reflection of what true organic purification entails. Massey and associates then claim that virologists are changing the meaning of isolation/purification, when in reality, they are merely dealing with a realistic level of purification due to scale.
The basic definition for “isolation” does not account for these intricacies, and is being taken at a fundamental face value, which is wholly incorrect. In their view, nothing can exist, be characterized, or seen, without first being 100% purified.
2. Isolate (noun)(in this case, pronounced ‘ī-sə-lət’ (i-so-lit), not ‘ī-sə-lāt’(i-so-late)): A sample placed into cell culture, then shown to cause cytopathic effects (CPE), then purified.
*Isolate Definition (i-so-lit): “An individual, population, strain, or culture obtained by or resulting from selection or separation.” or “A culture of microorganisms isolated for study.”
Definition sources: merriam-webster
Thus, the term ‘Isolate’ (i-so-late) and ‘Isolate’ (i-so-lit), both spelled the same, but pronounced differently, carry notable and important differentiations. With this known, virologists are not changing the definitions of isolation whatsoever, and it is erroneous to state otherwise.
Summary of terms
The word isolate (noun)(‘i-so-lit’), is the term used to describe a whole process—normally a sample placed into cell culture, shown to cause CPE, then isolated/purified thereafter, then deemed an ‘isolate’.
The word isolate (as in ‘isolation’ - ‘i-so-late’), is used to describe the purification of a sample at any stage (i.e. before and/or after culture).
These differentiations are vitally important to note.
Further clarity of terms:
Isolation and purification are often used interchangeably in virology, but there are potential differentiations that arise in the language of studies that must be noted. While isolation/purification can take place before placing purified samples into a culture, this is not always the absolute rule, especially in modern times when technology has advanced to the degree of being able to isolate viruses directly from a clinical sample that has been turned into a culture to concentrate viruses for study purposes; i.e. one process to save time and money. Is the Era of Viral Culture Over in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory? - PMC (nih.gov)
The word “isolation” may sometimes be used in studies to describe the entire process to isolate a virus from a sample, including cell culture isolation, producing an 'isolate'. Such language must be interpreted properly where studies infer such language without mentioning term distinctions.
Massey and her colleagues have claimed there must be absolute purity of samples, and use strict definitions of "isolation" and "purity"—that if viruses are not completely isolated, purified, and shown to cause disease, they cannot exist or be seen and determined.
However, while the isolation and purification of samples remain closely related, they have been, and continue to be, distinct processes in the past for many other biological entities.
"The terms “isolation” and “purification” often are used interchangeably by virologists to describe separation of virus particles in a pure form, free from [plant] host constituents. In this chapter the term “purification” will be used to describe this activity. The term “isolation” will be used to describe the pure culture isolation of a single virus from a mixture of co-infecting viruses."
Thomas, P.E., Kaniewski, W.K. (2001). Isolation and Purification. In: Loebenstein, G., Berger, P.H., Brunt, A.A., Lawson, R.H. (eds) Virus and Virus-like Diseases of Potatoes and Production of Seed-Potatoes. Springer, Dordrecht. - p.1
In the above study, you know that the term "isolation" refers to the isolation of cell culture. And that "purification" refers to the purification of the original sample itself; that is, the separation of virus particles in a pure form, free from host constituents.
It is also worth noting the capabilities of electron microscopy itself in determining the presence of viral particles in purified samples. This is another falsehood that Massey and her colleagues are incorrect about since they claim that samples must be completely pure of all debris (as in 100%) in order to be observed and proven to exist.
“The observation of particles in the electron microscope, whilst not a good criterion of purity, does allow the detection of 'unwanted structures'.”
Killington RA, Stokes A, Hierholzer JC. Virus purification. Virology Methods Manual. 1996:71–89. doi: 10.1016/B978-012465330-6/50005-1. Epub 2007 Sep 2. PMCID: PMC7155528. - p.88
Note on archaic virus purification circa 1953
“Animal viruses are usually purified for the purpose of learning their properties. To this end, nothing less than the highest possible purity is acceptable, regardless of the tedious procedures and small yields.”
“No purification procedures are known that are based on specific selection of infectious particles from crude material. All depend on the selection of particles homogeneous with respect to the sedimentation rate (size, shape, and density), electric charge, adsorption behavior, or some other physical or chemical property. Much of the evidence of purity is, consequently, based on the degree of this homogeneity observed in the purified product.”
Advances in Virus Research - Volume 1, 1953, Pages 277-313 - D. GordonSharp - p.1
Therefore, purification is not as strict/ideal as Massey and associates have claimed it needs to be, nor is it necessary to obtain 100% completely pure samples in order to conduct research. Only the “highest possible” is needed. Indeed, if what Massey and her colleague’s claims were true, studies would begin with such crucial information in their abstract by stating viruses cannot be purified whatsoever. In this way, Massey and associates create a strawman fallacy by adopting an absolute meaning of “purification” where there is none in practice since purification is never perfect. In reality, minor compromises must be made when purifying viral and organic tissue of macro and micro scales.
Further information on purification and sample nature
"Ultracentrifugation is the usual technique of choice for the purification of particles of defined size (i.e. virions) from their contaminating materials. In any suspension of particles their rate of sedimentation depends not only on the size, density and morphology of the particles but also on the nature of the medium in which they are suspended and the force applied to the particles during centrifugation. One important contributory factor to consider in the separation and ultimate purification of virions from contaminating materials is therefore the viscosity of the medium in which they are centrifuged..."
Killington RA, Stokes A, Hierholzer JC. Virus purification. Virology Methods Manual. 1996:71–89. doi: 10.1016/B978-012465330-6/50005-1. Epub 2007 Sep 2. PMCID: PMC7155528. - p.72
When samples are originally extracted from a host organism, those samples must be put into suspension to prepare them for purification through centrifugation. As such, samples must be combined with fluids and serums of certain viscosity. Massey and associates falsely claim these fluids are contaminating the sample making it a crude “soup”, yet do not include the fact that this is before centrifugation takes place. After centrifugation, the virus is purified, waste removed, and the band containing the virus is extracted for further research.
The second question posed to Massey is a two-part question:
You have stated the following:
“What viral structures? You have to prove there's a virus before designating something as "viral".”
The so-called pathogenic attributes of viruses are irrelevant to if such entities actually exist or not. Therefore, I will not address the ‘viral’ part of the statement. However, I will address the structure below.
Question 2, p1: How do you explain the readily apparent and clear structure of non-enveloped adenoviruses, as shown in the micrographs below?
Note: Adenoviruses are icosahedral in form. They contain 12 vertex points. At each point, there is 1 glycoprotein fiber shaft/spike, totaling 12 spikes. There are 12 penton base proteins that meet at the base of each glycoprotein shaft. The rest of the capsid is constructed of hexon proteins, which are equilaterally spaced with an exact number. Between the hexon proteins exists a minor protein that binds the hexon capsid together like a glue. Each protein of this structure is known and documented.
Na, Ha-Na & Nam, Jae-Hwan. (2011). Infectobesity: a New Area for Microbiological and Virological Research. Journal of Bacteriology and Virology. 41. 65. 10.4167/jbv.2011.41.2.65.
For comparison, below is a micrograph of an average exosome (vesicle). You can easily tell the vesicle is merely a lipid bilayer that carries cellular parts and has no specific and defined structure as the adenovirus exhibits.
Yang, C., Zhang, M., Sung, J., Wang, L., Jung, Y. and Merlin, D. (2020). Isolation and Characterization of Exosomes from Mouse Feces. Bio-protocol 10(8): e3584. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3584.
For further comparison, here is cellular debris from cell lysis and disintegration.
Context for 2nd question, p2:
It has been your assertion that there are no viruses, thus no viral structures, as I quoted you suggesting above. It has also been your assertion, as well as those you align with, that electron microscopy, cell cultures, and the chemical serums used therein by researchers are causing particles (claimed as cell debris) to appear that researchers are mistaking for viruses.
Question 2, p2: How do you explain the cohesive structure apparent in the micrographs presented above, which could never form from manmade causes, and which shows intelligent structure created from a living organism (cell)?
Note: No normal amount of electron degeneration would prevent one from seeing the structural shape and form of a virus. Even with minuscule damage from the serums used in culture, and EM processes to view them, these structures are still readily visible and apparent and their parts can be inferred.
Damaging effects of EM, staining, or the culturing process—if truly damaging to the extent you and your associates claim—would cause such an intelligent structure to be worn away to the point of being unrecognizable; its edges becoming indistinct. We can still infer these structures exist and are different from other proteins coming from cells. You and your colleagues have claimed these are merely cellular debris. Cellular debris does not appear as cohesive structures, and especially not to such a degree as is seen in the micrographs above.
Final Note on Mischaracterization of Sample Purity:
Massey, among many things, you and your colleagues claim that samples taken from an organism are placed into a culture in their unpurified state and remain that way, which is where your hyperbole language of “soup” comes about. The original sample itself is a natural soup from the body, which must then be purified in the end. You and your colleagues share this same erroneous and false notion, which your audience regurgitates as ‘fact’.
This is a blatant mischaracterization on your part (and of those you represent) that attempts to make it sound as if purified samples contain a plethora of waste contaminants, when in fact, samples are centrifuged and isolated/purified to a high degree before being analyzed and characterized through the various modes that exist. Thus, whatever contaminants exist in the purified sample are in no way comparable to being a “soup”.
With this information now understood, I will now properly explain the study concerning SARS-CoV-2, which has thus far been misinterpreted by Massey and her colleagues.
Massey states this on her website:
“Isolation is step 1. Instead, their first step is to adulterate a sample with fetal bovine serum and toxic drugs (look up the CDC’s recipe for “viral transport medium”). Then they typically add more of each, and the monkey cells. They conflate isolation with culturing all of the genetic material from a patient sample mixed with FBS (never an isolated virus).”
Clearly, Massey does not understand the study in which she is reading, and the meanings of procedures and terms therein. Purification does not have to be step one. That is an incorrect expectation as I will show below. Massy’s views on the ‘crude’ nature of culture, ingredients, and procedures used, are greatly exaggerated.
The study states:
“We used Vero CCL-81 cells for isolation and initial passage. We cultured Vero E6, Vero CCL-81, HUH 7.0, 293T, A549, and EFKB3 cells in Dulbecco minimal essential medium (DMEM) supplemented with heat-inactivated fetal bovine serum (5% or 10%) and antibiotics/antimycotics (GIBCO).
Dulbecco medium information:
"Gibco Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) is a widely used basal medium for supporting the growth of many different mammalian cells. Cells successfully cultured in DMEM include primary fibroblasts, neurons, glial cells, HUVECs, and smooth muscle cells, as well as cell lines such as HeLa, 293, Cos-7, and PC-12."
“Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium (DMEM) is modified to contain 4 mM L-glutamine, 4500 mg/L glucose, 1 mM sodium pyruvate, and 1500 mg/L sodium bicarbonate.” - Thermo Fisher
Therefore, this is the medium used to suspend cells in a tube culture, as well as facilitate the growth of viruses in cells. There is nothing inherently toxic in the medium. Apparently, Massey believes that cells can exist without some fluid in which to sustain them.
Fetal bovine serum information:
“Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is used as a growth supplement for the in vitro cell culture of eukaryotic cells.”
”FBS contains growth factors and very low levels of antibodies, allowing for versatility in many different cell culture applications. There are 1000+ components found in FBS, including proteins, electrolytes, lipids, carbohydrates, hormones, enzymes, and other undefined constituents, which are necessary in many culture conditions to support cell growth.” - Thermo Fisher
Therefore, fetal bovine serum is basically non-toxic in nature.
Other notes on substances used in the study:
“Amphotericin is used to prevent the contamination of cell cultures by yeast and multicellular fungi.” - Thermo Fisher
“The antibiotics penicillin and streptomycin are used to prevent bacterial contamination of cell cultures due to their effective combined action against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.” - Thermo Fisher
I am of the view that antibiotics should be excluded from cell cultures because they cause harm to cells if used at higher levels. However, viruses are a different story altogether since they are more robust to withstanding damage than most cells. Either way, viruses produced by cells during toxicity is one of my driving points. If a cell can produce a virus in the presence of toxicity in cell culture, it can do so in the body.
Furthermore, remember that viruses are non-living, therefore the effects of normal amounts of cell culture antibiotics pose little threat to a virus itself.
However, Sigma-Aldrich states:
“It is wrong to assume that antibiotics are entirely bad for cell culture; the correct approach is to use the optimum concentration in your cell culture experiments to prevent contamination and protect cells in your lab.”
It is worthy to note that the study being referenced uses an antibiotic concentration of 2.5 × 105 cells/mL.
The study goes on to state:
"We used both NP and OP swab specimens for virus isolation" [in the culture]
These are the clinical samples taken from a human being as described in 'Specimen Collection' of the study.
"Clinical specimens from a case-patient who had acquired COVID-19 during travel to China and who was identified in Washington, USA, were collected as described (1). Nasopharyngeal (NP) and oropharyngeal (OP) swab specimens were collected on day 3 postsymptom onset, placed in 2–3 mL of viral transport medium, used for molecular diagnosis, and frozen. Confirmed PCR-positive specimens were aliquoted and refrozen until virus isolation was initiated."
Thus, these human samples are included in the isolation process. Do remember that isolation as referred to in this study takes place in one process; in the same tube, not involving the moving of substances from medium to medium.
Final isolation described:
"We added 100 μL of cell suspension directly to the clinical specimen dilutions and mixed gently by pipetting. We then grew the inoculated cultures in a humidified 37°C incubator in an atmosphere of 5% CO2 and observed for cytopathic effects (CPEs) daily. We used standard plaque assays [cell culture] for SARS-CoV-2, which were based on SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) protocols (9,10).
When CPEs were observed, we scraped cell monolayers with the back of a pipette tip. We used 50 μL of viral lysate for total nucleic acid extraction for confirmatory testing and sequencing. We also used 50 μL of virus lysate to inoculate a well of a 90% confluent 24-well plate.”
Virus was viewed under microscopy after purification. Purification was carried out twice per study language:
"We scraped infected Vero cells from the flask, pelleted by low-speed centrifugation, rinsed with 0.1 mol/L phosphate buffer, pelleted again, and fixed for 2 h in 2.5% buffered glutaraldehyde. We then postfixed specimens with 1% osmium tetroxide, en bloc stained with 4% uranyl acetate, dehydrated, and embedded in epoxy resin. We cut ultrathin sections, stained them with 4% uranyl acetate and lead citrate [water soluble form], and examined them by using a Thermo Fisher/FEI Tecnai Spirit electron microscope."
In this way, the virus was first collected from a human host, placed into a culture medium, incubated with other cell lines (Vero) to increase viral load, then centrifuged (purified), then finally observed under electron microscopy. At no time was the process taking place in different mediums. The amount of agents used to accomplish viewing of the sample under microscopy is only 1 to 2%; very small amounts.
Massey and her colleagues have claimed repeatedly that no virus is being viewed under microscopy during this process. This, according to the study referenced, is wrong.
Massey states the following on her website:
“…typical monkey business of mixing a patient sample with Vero (aka monkey kidney) cells and universal transport medium – which Professor Quiñones-Mateu neglected to mention typically includes fetal bovine serum (another source of genetic contamination) and toxic drugs.”
In reality, these mediums must be used to suspend samples in sustaining fluids in order to be purified, in part. What Massey and her colleagues are doing is confining researchers to unreasonable, unmeetable rules, which do not take into account the real challenges faced in biological research.
If, by some chance, none of these substances were necessary for the purification of viruses, except for some pure fluid base to suspend a virus in without destroying it in order to centrifuge it, these same people would begin to claim the pure fluid was not “pure” enough and that we cannot trust the results. We would still be in the exact spot we are now with such people.
Here is the process of a separate SARS-Cov-2 study:
“Bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid samples were collected in sterile cups to which virus transport medium was added. Samples were then centrifuged to remove cellular debris. The supernatant was inoculated on human airway epithelial cells…”
February 20, 2020 N Engl J Med 2020; 382:727-733 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001017
As you can read, the sample was purified directly after extraction from the host. No CPE culture was used before first purifying the sample.
Massey and her colleagues are using the virus deemed ‘SARS-CoV-2,’ and all the political deception it encompasses, which has leaked over into science, in order to claim no viruses exist. They appeal to their audience in this manner and lead them down the path of no return. Such a position is dishonest and attempts to rewrite the whole of basic science without any counter-theory. The damage leads to many denying the existence of basic science facts because of ignorance.
In fact, those like Massey have no theory, and they are proud of it. They go out of their way to assert that science does not require the need to establish a new theory. I disagree wholeheartedly—that’s not at all what true scientific minds have done throughout time. Such minds have attempted to resolve errors by establishing something better reasoned. Such minds have proclaimed, “I can do it better!”.
In the end, they are engaged only in deconstructionism without doing the necessary work to establish reasoned theories that counter infectious disease theory, as those like myself have attempted to do.
Among these few points I have presented, there are so many more I could use to refute the claims of Massey and other virus-deniers if need be.
If Massey and her colleagues cannot admit that they are using improper definitions of applicable terms, as I have just shown, then they are arguing in complete ignorance and futility whilst misleading their audience in the process. Through this, they suggest to their audience that viruses do not exist and cannot be shown to exist because they are not 100% purified from host fluids. This is fallacious reasoning.
In the end, and more importantly, they have no explanation for the appearance of such cohesive structures as briefly presented in this writing. They also have no explanation for symptoms that are unique to viral illness. Their mission is to attempt to deconstruct by misrepresenting the complexities of science. They have no sound and reasoned theory to replace those that have been postulated in modern science. As such, their positions do not truly improve anything in a person’s life.
Source for Massey quotes from article: https://www.fluoridefreepeel.ca/6055-2/
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