Dr No was going to call this post Habeas Virus, a stab at applying the legal principle of Habeus Corpus — roughly, bring me the body, or the accused must be brought before the court, though that is not a literal translation — to say that we need to see SARS-CoV-2, the virus accused of causing covid–19, before the court of scientific enquiry, if we are to determine its guilt. The trouble is, Google translate has habeus virus mean ‘have virus’, which conjures up Have Virus — Will Replicate, which won’t do at all. Other translations suggest ‘you have the stench’, which might work on some levels, but not on others. It is all too ambiguous. Instead, Dr No went with Schrödinger’s Virus, aiming to suggest an experiment in which you have a box said to contain pure, isolated SARS-CoV-2, but until you open the box, there is no way of telling not so much whether the virus is dead or alive, as whether it even exists. When you do open the box, you find Macavity’s not there!         

That is where Dr No found himself, at the end of his last post, and the many excellent comments since added to the post. No one has isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus, let alone got a mug shot. Non habeas virus. For a while, it looked like no one has ever got a mug shot of any pure isolated virus, ever, but persistent online searches came up with convincing scanning election microscope images of the polio virus, so it can be done, but polio is very much the exception to the rule. The dengue virus might be another. Try the same search with other viruses — SARS, MERS, rabies, HIV, HPV, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, whatever — and you will find you are out of luck. Try the same search for pathogenic bacteria — Mycobacterium (tuberculosis), Salmonella, Treponema (syphillis), Vibrio (cholera), Staphylococcus, whatever — and you will be inundated with images of pure isolated bacteria. To qualify, the image needs to show the pathogen on its own, on a surface of some sort, and not in culture, or emerging, Alien the Movie style, from cells that it has infected. Generally that means a scanning electron micrograph. Such images are always greyscale (B&W), with a 3D appearance, typically flat in perspective and limited in depth of field. Any variations to these characteristics — as in the image at the top of this post — means that Professor Photoshop has been called in to play.

The paucity of images of pure isolated virus is intriguing of itself — why so few images, when polio, and perhaps a few others, show that it can be done — but more to the point for today’s concern: how is it possible to determine the whole genome sequence for a virus, when the viral RNA is suspended in a vile cocktail of cellular entrails that make the sweepings from the abattoir floor used to make certain brands of sausages seem positively wholesome? This objection, the lack of purity of the sample, often forms part of the backbone of there is no proof this virus causes that disease arguments. It is as if you took a real cocktail containing gin and vodka, sequenced a botanical, and claimed you had identified the essence of pure gin. The problem is, how do you know the botanical came from the gin rather than the vodka?

Recall that the hell broth produced by the cell culture contains, inter alia, debris from monkey kidney cells, fetal bovine serum, other mediums and an abundance of antimicrobials, and very possibly other cellular contaminants that piggy-backed on the swab from the patient, all in addition to the fragile RNA molecules said to come from SARS-CoV-2. Perhaps we should also factor in the weirdness of endogenous retroviruses, genomic remnants from ancestral retroviral infections that have become incorporated into mammalian genomes, and now play an essential part in placental biology. And what do we have in the hell broth? Fetal bovine serum. There has to be a purification step, one that isolates, in the true sense of the word, only alleged SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA from the lysate (from lysis, the disintegration of a cell by rupture of the cell wall or membrane), before the sequencing process can begin.

The CDC paper is rather coy on the matter, skimming over the crucial step in six words: ‘We extracted nucleic acid from isolates…’. Isolates here means the lysed supernatant hell broth, and we have to assume nucleic acid means viral RNA, but there is not even a clue as to how this essential step was done. The McMaster paper (Dr No is sticking with the same two papers used in the last post) does better. ‘RNA was extracted…using the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini kit (QIAGEN)…’ and this Mini Kit is indeed intended to achieve ‘[r]apid isolation of high-quality, ready-to-use RNA’ by ‘[c]omplete removal of contaminants and inhibitors’. It does this, we are told, by altering the chemistry in such a way that viral RNA, and only viral RNA, binds to a retaining membrane, and all contaminants can be washed away.              

This is satisfactory, to a degree. The QIAamp Mini Kit uses established technology, so this isn’t one company black box chemistry. But it is not entirely satisfactory. Although the technology has been used to isolate RNA from DNA and other contaminants (and, by altering the conditions, DNA from RNA and other contaminants), the QIAamp Mini Kit specific handbook tells us that ‘is not designed to separate viral RNA from cellular DNA, and both will be purified in parallel if present in the sample‘. To achieve that separation, additional steps, not detailed in the McMaster paper, are required. Furthermore, the QIAamp handbook tells us, the technology ‘isolates all RNA molecules larger than 200 nucleotides‘, in other words, most RNA molecules, which typically have thousands rather than hundreds of nucleotides. Flu RNA, for example, has around 13,500 nucleotides. The fundamental problem remains: there is no guarantee that the RNA that goes on to be sequenced is exclusively from SARS-CoV-2. And that is before we even start on the algorithmic abracadabra involved in the sequencing itself.   

All this comes back to the fundamental problem, that the majority of modern virology is based on Schrödinger’s virus. The virologists tell us the virus exists in pure isolated form, but when we open the box, we find the virus isn’t there. When we cry Habeas Virus — Bring us the virus! — we are answered with a deafening silence. Instead, we are asked to suppose that the alleged whole viral genome must have come from the presumed viral particles seen in transmission electron micrographs. This may or may not, depending on your point of view, meet the lower requirements for a test of ‘on the balance of probabilities’, and so you may, or may not, consider the case proven. But on the higher test of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, be in no doubt, modern virology is on quicksand. That is not to say certain viruses don’t cause disease, rather, it is to say that the evidence is far from concrete, and far far from complete.  


  1. Tom Welsh Reply

    Curiously, when you look deep into modern science, you often find that you are thinking about politics, psychology and marketing rather than science itself. In other words, you must keep asking, “Why did these people do this?” and “Why did they then publish that?”

    Usually the answer is, to put bread (be it focaccia or a baguette or whatever) on the table. Or to get promotion, or to gain prestige, or to avoid defenestration (see “James Forrestal”, etc.) or a “heart attack”.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

  2. Ed P Reply

    I know peer review has its problems and inconsistencies, but how imaginative all these colleagues/peers must have been/are, to have failed to spot this rather big omission in what should be scrutinised under the scientific principle.

  3. dr-no Reply

    Ed P – the Corman/Drosten paper (the original (sin) PCR test paper, for many, the fons et origo of the pandemic) not only managed to evade any meaningful peer review (Article submitted on 21 Jan 2020 / accepted on 22 Jan 2020 / published on 23 Jan 2020), it achieved the impossible, the immaculate conception of a virus for which they had no sample. From the introduction to the paper:

    “In all [prior] situations, virus isolates were available as the primary substrate for establishing and controlling assays and assay performance.

    In the present case of 2019-nCoV, virus isolates or samples from infected patients have so far not become available to the international public health community. We report here on the establishment and validation of a diagnostic workflow for 2019-nCoV screening and specific confirmation, designed in absence of available virus isolates or original patient specimens.”

    Note: edited 1201 30 Oct 2021 to expand publication timeline

  4. The Meissen Bison Reply

    Habeas: 2nd person singular of the present subjunctive of Habeo [to have]

    Thus “You may have the body” meaning that “the body”, or suspect, must either be released or charged with an offence and brought before the court.

    If I understand you correctly, the virus can be neither released nor brought for examination because it lacks a discrete physical entity.

  5. Tom Welsh Reply

    Seen this morning:

    “Is Covid Caused by More than One Virus?”

    Sounds plausible, at least, and might help to explain the wide variety of signs and symptoms attributed to The Lurgy.

    As the first comment reminds us,

    “No one ever thought before every time you had an infection you were to know exactly what it was. The answer was and is always to boost general immunity vitamin D, zinc etc.”

  6. dr-no Reply

    Tom – an interesting read, but beware the proposal for a way forward: test everyone with any covid related symptoms for herpes. This sounds rather like piling Pelion on Ossa.

    TMB – yes, Dr No has drawn a parallel between habeas corpus and we need to see (the body of) the virus before we can determine its guilt or not (in causing an illness). So far, we have only seen the accused in a mob (TEM images), which begs the question, how do we know the accused blob in the mob is actually the villain, rather than an innocent bystander, or had bits of the accused (say, as an example, an arm or a leg, or in the case of a virus, the alleged genome) brought before us, and we are told, without direct proof, that this somehow proves guilt (causation). But it is an imperfect parallel (largely because of the ambiguities in translating the Latin into English, which is why it only got a mention, rather than making it into the title of the post.

    Dr No agrees habeas is the 2nd person singular present subjunctive of habeo, to have. We are generally not very consciously familiar with present subjunctives in modern English, and the OED isn’t exactly crystal clear on the matter:

    [as an adjective]: “Designating or relating to a verbal mood that refers to an action or state as conceived (rather than as a fact) and is therefore used chiefly to express a wish, command, exhortation, or a contingent, hypothetical, or prospective event. Also: (of a verb or form) belonging to this mood.”

    Dr No supposes the essence is that it refers to something that might, and can, happen, but hasn’t actually (yet) happened. ‘Let’ and ‘may’ often appear as auxiliary verbs to signal the mood: ‘Let it rain today’ or ‘May he rest in peace’. These are still ambiguous: are they hopes (that it will rain today/he will rest in peace) or commands aimed at God (make it rain today/ensure he rests in peace)? The same ambiguities, and more, exist in habeas corpus. ‘You may have the body’ could mean ‘yes, you can have the body after all’ but it can also be almost a question (this probably being the closest approximation to its use in law): ‘you have the body?’ (because if you don’t, the detention is illegal). Like a lot of Latin, it makes the writer or speaker sound learn’d, but it is not by any necessary means always our friend.

    PS non illegitimi carborundum

  7. dearieme Reply

    They seek him here, they seek him there,
    Those doctors seek him everywhere.
    Is he in heaven? — Is he in hell?
    That damned, elusive Pimpernel.

    Or is he illusive? Dunno.

  8. Robert Reply

    Even the history of the polio virus deserves more scepticism, Between 1923 and 1953 (before large scale vaccination) polio had decreased by over 50% in the UK. Very few in the scientific community are keen to acknowledge that there is an interesting correlation between the use of pesticides (esp. DDT) and disease prevalence. Many have pointed out that pesticides are neurotoxins and may cause the same disease. Then there’s the issue that disease prevalence sometimes increases in populations post vaccination. Guess it all boils down to Germ vs. terrain hypothesis. The first one we are all taught as proven theory in the education system, the other your granny taught you.

  9. dr-no Reply

    Robert – interesting point. Here’s a chart of notified polio cases for England and Wales from 1912 to 1973, using data from this PHE page:

    To put the cat further among the pigeons, or should that be DDT among the peregrines, this article from the West Sussex History of Medicine Society website makes for an interesting read. Note (it isn’t immediately obvious) that it is an account of the lecture, and some further researches, not the lecture itself, and sources of data for the key chart are not given, but nonetheless, here it is: The History of Polio.

    • steve Reply

      I was aware of the DDT Polio hypothesis but not aware of the “Low Blood Sugar and Susceptibility to Polio hypothesis.”

      I’m aware of terrain theory and germ theory.

      So, where does this leave yours truly?

      Where I’ve always been… curious!

      And more doubtful than ever at what humans are told to consume, from food, drugs and vaccines etc.

      So far I’ve resisted this vaccine, the influenza vaccine and my doctors’ suggestion that I should consider statins and yes, I’ve read Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s book, “The Great Cholesterol Con”

      Neoliberalism is geared towards continuous consumption. Consumption of foods which make us ill, followed by consumption of drugs to treat some symptom or surrogate marker of some sort.

      Not sure when or whether this craziness will ever stop? I don’t think it will, even with the pressure to live more sustainably. The call of GDP growth is so tied in to our money and economic system that we can’t stop.

      What does seem apparent is that Covidness or whatever it is seems to make life and living for those with co-morbidities more difficult than those who are healthier and possibly fitter?

      Vaccinating everyone seems to me to be most clumsy, it is though easy for those in power to make sweeping gestures and be guided by so-called experts who all sing from the same hymn sheet.

      I was told I had antibodies to covidness, but this was more likely to be from a previous coronavirus. What about T-cells? They seem to me to be as important and possibly more so than antibodies.

      I could go on but won’t or this will become a very long essay and I know I tend to drift from the initial post and comments, my apologies.

  10. Peter Hickey Reply

    I hope Dr No is still following this thread as the truth around the elusive Sars Cov 2 virus particle remains unresolved in my simple mind. After reading Dr No’s blog and researching further I have come to the following conclusions:-

    1) It does not seem possible to isolate and purify the Sars Cov2 particle directly from the lung fluid of infected patients.

    2) The only way we can see evidence of this so called virus is by placing the infected lung fluid within an in-vitro cell culture and observing a cytopathic effect. In other words, it appears that this cell culture acts as a “surrogate detector” for the presence of the virus. I believe the “virus” can then be seen budding from these cells using electron microscopy.

    3) It appears that a virus cannot exist outwith a cell and that it requires the cell to provide its lipid coating.

    So my dilemma, which I hope Dr No might help with is this. We are told that the “virus” infects a cell within an organ of the body (eg the lung) and then goes on to replicate and infect all other vulnerable cells within the body, thereby causing symptoms of disease. Indeed, I would assume this could be described as a cytopathic effect within the body.

    I would therefore assume that this “virus” must be extremely prolific within the body. So, ok on the basis that a virus cannot exist on it’s own, outwith a cell, that might explain why the virus cannot be directly seen within lung fluid, as I suppose it is likely that no cells are present in this fluid.

    So a question Dr No may be able to help with is it possible to see the so called virus budding out of human cells using a biopsy of an infected organ, or indeed even in autopsy ? If you can, then using the QIAamp Mini Kit one could at least eliminate the need for the nefarious cell culture.

    However, even if that could be done, as Dr No explains, even with extensive filtering, the min-kit seems unable to distinguish different types of RNA / DNA and we would still be left with the magic computerised genomic sequencing to determine the presence of the suspected virus. Indeed if Stefan Lanker is correct, this process can more or less come up with any virus you want as it seems you need to give the system some sort of clue as to what you are looking for. (My simplistic interpretation of how it works)

    So as far as I can see, there is still no conclusive proof that the virus exists or is the actual cause of the disease we call Covid.

    I would suspect that if we looked at the organs of people afflicted with Covid, we would find evidence of some form of cytopathic effect. We might even see particles budding from the cells of infected organs but that in itself would not prove that these minute particles were the cause of the disease. As Dr Tom Cowan [1] says, it’s like always finding firemen at the scene of the fire and deducing they must therefore be the cause of the fires.

    So while I remain unconvinced that a “naturally occuring viral particle” has been proved to be the cause of the disease we call Covid, one cannot deny that some people do appear become sick and die from this so called novel disease.

    Yes it is a possibility that this disease has always been around and I have no doubt that many already existing illnesses have been incorrectly tagged as Covid, so exaggerating and inflating the actual number of cases.

    However, I do believe that something novel was / is out there. The symptoms of loss of taste and smell were indeed unusual and do not appear to be due to the nasal congestion one might experience with a heavy cold. Also the extremely low oxygen levels seen in many patients did not seem to be associated with lung congestion and were more associated with the hypoxia due to the blood being unable absorb oxygen from the lungs. These symptoms seem as if they could be associated with some form of toxic effect acting on the body.

    So I believe we should be looking for some other cause of what does indeed appear, on the face of it, to be a contagious, novel illness. I struggle to accept that these so called virus particles, which apparently cannot exist outside of a cell and cannot be isolated or directly detected in the lung fluid of an infected person, are somehow able to become so prolific that they are breathed out by infected individuals, exist on surfaces and in the air for hours and then go on to infect other susceptible individuals.

    A big clue as to why the above theory might be flawed and needs re-examination is that we are now seeing plenty of evidence that states and countries which do not have mask mandates and lockdowns actually have a lower incidence of “Covid” cases than those with strict mask and lockdown restrictions. Another factor is that there are also many reports of Covid apparently spontaneously occuring where there is no known contact with an infected person.

    So I remain of the view that the conventional viral contagion theory is flawed and that there is some other vector at play that cleverly gives the impression of person to person transmission.

    Indeed, I understand there were several, what would now be considered unorthodox attempts to directly infect healthy individuals with various secretions from sick individuals afflicted with the Spanish Flu and none of the healthy people became sick.

    Interestingly I understand that there is currently a similar experiment being carried out at a hotel in Whitechapel where volunteers are being subjected to a Covid 19 human challenge study.


    It would be very interesting to know exactly what Covid 19 material these volunteers are being challenged with. Is it actual human secretions, as in the Spanish Flu experiment, or is it material that has just been synthesized using the genetic sequence of the alleged virus.

    So in conclusion, as of yet, I remain unconvinced by the current heavily pushed narrative. As to what else could be going on, who knows, but I have this impression of some form of “energetic wave” sweeping through the population, taking no heed of masks or lockdowns and afflicting those who are vulnerable, who then manifest the symptoms we now know as Covid, and no doubt also show signs of a cytopathic effect and exhibit the minute particles we call a virus.

    Indeed this actually reminds me of the famous double slit experiment where-by light can either appear as a wave or a particle, depending on whether or not we are observing it. So is there some form of quantum effect involved here ?

    Finally one further observation I have made regarding the ubiquitous PCR test. There does seem to be a distinct correlation between increases in so called cases, hospitalisations and deaths with an increase in the PCR positivity rate. So it appears the PCR test does indeed pick up so called Covid cases. However, I believe it probably also detects many other illnesses also and effectively detects a particular genetic material produced by the body when it is diseased in a particular way. It cannot prove that Sars Cov2 causes Covid

    I put this treatise out here as it has helped me to formulate my thoughts and theories on a subject I and no doubt many others find great difficulty in making any sense of and I would welcome any further insights on the matter. I would be particularly be interested in hearing a convincing argument that could persuade me that the official narrative is indeed correct.

    [1] Dr Tom Cowan’s book, Breaking the Spell

    • Peter Hickey Reply

      I would agree Dearieme. I believe this so called pandemic certainly doesn’t fit with the ‘common man’s’ understanding of a global pandemic. We would indeed expect to see considerable excess mortality across all countries around the world. However the WHO, from which all governments now take their lead, conveniently changed the definition of a pandemic to remove the requirement for excess mortality and severe illness. A pandemic now simply needs to be a contagious disease that spreads around the world. That seems to be the name of the game now. If an accepted definition no longer fits the narrative, just change it as they have now done with herd immunity ie remove the emphasis on natural immunity, with the implication this can only come from vaccine induced immunity. But then they find the definition of vaccine doesn’t fit the new Covid Mrna innoculation so they change the definition of a vaccine from providing immunity to providing protection from disease. Seems to conflict with their definition of herd immunity if you ask me. Something is definately rotten in the State of Denmark !

  11. dr-no Reply

    Thank you all for your valuable contributions, all noted. Dr No has been working on a new post, hoping to have it ready for posting by this evening.

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