Did monkeypox come from a lab?
closes 2028
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Gigacasting avatar

The evidence is that there were a huge number of mutations, matching those produced by one human enzyme.

No evidence of unnatural codons or splicing (which Covid was loaded with…); someone would have likely found the “smoking gun” of any genome manipulation by now

Hard to imagine a positive resolution, as it’s compatible with an unmonitored outbreak or passage in lab cells.

To the extent future pathogens have pure “passage/long-term infection” signatures, probabilities almost entirely depend on your priors about how many people are playing with these things in labs and rates of intentional or unintentional lab escape.


EricMoyer avatar
Eric Moyerbought Ṁ50 of NO
I'd have bet a lot more, but the market resolves in several years, and the question is ambiguous. It needs resolution criteria. Monkeypox has been around since the 70s - the chances a lab knew enough to modify it and was doing so are pretty low. If the question said, "Did the strain of monkeypox infecting the US resident diagnosed on 18 May come from a lab?" I'd be less confident.
JoyVoid avatar

I think this market pretty clearly refers to the current outbreak? Maybe I am reading it wrong

MathiasFoster avatar
Mathias Foster
What date is this likely to resolve? What criteria will you use to resolve (given that a COVID-19 lab leak is still not officially confirmed)?
EnopoletusHarding avatar
Enopoletus Harding
No, lol.
SG avatar
Great market idea.
GeorgeVii avatar
@SG Thanks 😌

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