INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Frank Visser, graduated as a psychologist of culture and religion, founded IntegralWorld.net in 1997. He worked as production manager for various publishing houses and as service manager for various internet companies and lives in Amsterdam. Author of “Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion” (SUNY Press, 2003), which has been translated into 7 languages, and of 150+ essays on this website.
THE CORONA CONSPIRACY
Part 1: Corona, Oxygen, 5G: The Paranoid Worldview of David Icke
Part 2: Debunking Andrew Kaufman's Virus Equals Exosome Hypothesis
Part 3: We Need to Talk about Exosomes
Part 4: Why Viruses are Not Exosomes
Part 5: The Alternative Facts of Virus Denialism
Part 6: The Subtle Science of Whole Genome Sequencing
Part 7: Stefan Lanka's Vanishing Virus Act
Part 8: Coping with Corona: The Cautious vs. The Reckless
The Corona Conspiracy
Part 4: Why Viruses are Not Exosomes
Real scientists publish their views in scientific journals, not through YouTube videos or obscure online radio shows.
Researching further on the topic of exosomes, and their supposed equivalence with virusesan idea proposed by conspiracy-scientist Andrew KaufmanI found two relevant videos that clarify the scientific point of view even further. I also contacted several real experts in the field of exosome research to see if my essays contain any errors. To recap: Kaufman believes there is no virus, but people get sick because of stress, radiation, toxins or any other environmental impact. We have discussed his views in Parts 1-3.
But first, let's give a bit of chronology of the various YouTube video postings following Andrew Kaufman's original presentation containing this claim, which expose him as a pseudo-scientist who cherry picks from the scientific literature whatever (he thinks) supports his own opinionsdisregarding large areas of solid science.
A Bit of Chronology
The original Icke/Kaufman videos
Online Criticisms of Icke/Kaufman
THE REAL EXOSOME EXPERTS
Searching in Google for any other relevant attempts to debunk Kaufman's ideas about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, I stumbled on two highly relevant vlogs between to exosome experts. They don't mention Kaufman by name but because the commenters to their videos bring up his ideas, they felt compelled to respond:
Jan Lötvall is an expert on exosomes, as his Wikipedia page tells us:
Jan Lötvall (also spelled Lotvall) is a Swedish clinical allergist and scientist working on translational research primarily in the field of asthma. He is the former director of the Krefting Research Centre at the University of Gothenburg.
Methinks we have a scientific authority here who can dispel erroneous notions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus actually being an exosome.
Lötvall speaks in these two videos with Kenneth Witwer, who has the following credentials in this particular field:
Kenneth W. Witwer is an associate professor of molecular and comparative pathobiology and neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. His laboratory studies extracellular vesicles (EVs), extracellular RNA (exRNA), and retroviruses, including HIV. Witwer has served as Secretary General and Executive Chair of Science and Meetings of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV), has been a scientific advisor to the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US National Institutes of Health, and is an associate editor of the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles. (Wikipedia)
According to his Linkedin page, Witwer has been active in combatting the HIV/AIDS denialism movement, consisting of the small but vocal minority of scientists who deny that HIV causes AIDS, through the website AIDSTruth.org. Apparently, he is now confronted with "scientists" who deny that SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19. Some extremists, like Kaufman, deny even the very existence of this virus.
Let's see what these exosome-experts have to say about these conspiracies about COVID-19.
Is COVID-19 virus an Exosome?
Conspiracy theories about exosomes and COVID-19
DIFFERENCES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE
You might recall that in his video presentation Kaufman stressed the (supposed) similarities between exosomes and viruses, with the implication that they might be the same thing. Let me repeat his claims: "many times scientists have actually said they are the same thing, or they have substantial overlap." (see Part 3)
This is from an interview Kaufman did with London Real, the same platform that interviewed David Ickewhich started off this whole series of articles:
So, the reason why this is so important is, one, the similarities have been recognized by scientists, including virologists, and many times scientists have actually said they are the same thing, or they have substantial overlap. Including prominent virologists. And they also found them to have a combination of what they call viral RNA or DNA mixed with human RNA or DNA. So remember from what I said earlier that we don't know the true source of what they call "viral genetic material". And nonetheless, whatever it is, they found it in our own body, in these exosomes. (1:40) ["Unmasking The Lies Around Covid-19: Facts vs Fiction of the Coronavirus Pandemic", londonreal.tv, no date.]
I have looked around for scientists to question these dubious claims, and found one very close to home. Edwin van der Pol, Assistant Professor Biomedical Engineering & Physics at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, wrote his PhD on "Detection of extracellular vesicles: size does matter" (University of Amsterdam, 2015) and is co-author of 41 publications on exosomes. He is interested in the detection of exosomes, microvesicles and other extracellular vesicles as possible biomarkers for disease. He sent me the following information, which highlights the salient differences between viruses and exosomes, and which I reproduce below with his permission:
The international society for extracellular vesicles (ISEV) endorses “extracellular vesicle” (EV) as the generic term for particles naturally released from the cell that are delimited by a lipid bilayer and cannot replicate, i.e. do not contain a functional nucleus. Since consensus has not yet emerged on specific markers of EV subtypes, such as endosome- origin “exosomes” and plasma membrane-derived “ectosomes” (microparticles/microvesicles) assigning an EV to a particular biogenesis pathway remains extraordinarily difficult unless, e.g. the EV is caught in the act of release by live imaging techniques .
Perhaps Kaufman should look more closely at the photos he comments on, or through his microscope, if he does that at all, or even better, use multiple detection techniques to see the real and relevant differences between exosomes and viruses.
MORE THEN A THOUSAND WORDS...
As a bonus, and to add animations to words, here is a simple, two-minute video about the nature and behavior of these "circulating microvesicles" or exosomes.
END OF THE VIRUS = EXOSOME STORY
This concludes my series on Icke, Kaufman, viruses and exosomes and hopefully it has become clear that disinformation about these scientfic topics can only be dispelled by allowing ourselves to be educated by real science.
Self-appointed exosome specialists, like Andrew Kaufman, who declare there is no virus to worry about, and that the cause of COVID-19 is 5G, stress or any other environmental variable, but who neglect to mention sophisticated disciplines such as bioinformatics and genomics, are irresponsible and should be refuted.
Real scientists publish their views in scientific journals, not through YouTube videos or obscure online radio shows, seeking recognition and fame directly from the public, as fringe scientists such as Andrew Kaufman tend to do. For example, at the start of his presentation Andrew Kaufman thanks the following people who have been "instrumental and inspiring" to him. So you know where he is coming from:
They have turned into viruses themselves by spreading their harmful memes of misinformation across the Internet.
 Théry C, Witwer KW, Aikawa E, Alcaraz MJ, Anderson JD, Andriantsitohaina R, Antoniou A, Arab T, Archer F, Atkin-Smith GK, others. Minimal information for studies of extracellular vesicles 2018 (MISEV2018): a position statement of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles and update of the MISEV2014 guidelines. J Extracell Vesicles Taylor & Francis; 2018; 7: 1535750.
 van der Pol E, Coumans FAW, Grootemaat AE, Gardiner C, Sargent IL, Harrison P, Sturk A, van Leeuwen TG, Nieuwland R. Particle size distribution of exosomes and microvesicles determined by transmission electron microscopy, flow cytometry, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and resistive pulse sensing. J Thromb Haemost 2014; 12: 1182-92.
 van der Pol E, de Rond L, Coumans FAW, Gool EL, Böing AN, Sturk A, Nieuwland R, van Leeuwen TG. Absolute sizing and label-free identification of extracellular vesicles by flow cytometry. Nanomedicine Nanotechnology, Biol Med 2018; 14: 801-10.
 van der Pol E, Coumans FAW, Sturk A, Nieuwland R, Van Leeuwen TG. Refractive index determination of nanoparticles in suspension using nanoparticle tracking analysis. Nano Lett 2014; 14: 6195-201.
 Tang VA, Fritzsche AK, Renner TM, Burger D, Lannigan JA, Brittain GC, Ouellet C V, Van Der Pol E, Langlois M-A. Engineered Retroviruses as Fluorescent Biological Reference Particles for Nanoscale Flow Cytometry. BioRxiv Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; 2019; : 614461.
 Coumans FAW, Brisson AR, Buzas EI, Dignat-George F, Drees E, El-Andaloussi S, Emanueli C, Gasecka A, Hendrix A, Hill AF, Lacroix R, Lee Y, Van Leeuwen TG, Mackman N, Mäger I, Nolan JP, van der Pol E, Pegtel DM, Sahoo S, Siljander PM, Sturk G, De Wever O, Nieuwland R. Methodological guidelines to study extracellular vesicles. Circ Res 2017; 120: 1632-48.
 Arraud N, Linares R, Tan S, Gounou C, Pasquet JM, Mornet S, Brisson AR. Extracellular vesicles from blood plasma: determination of their morphology, size, phenotype and concentration. J Thromb Haemost 2014; 12: 614-27.
Thanks to Edwin van der Pol who reviewed this series of essays for accuracy and provided valuable input on the differences between exosomes and viruses.
YouTube channel of Andrew Kaufman
YouTube channels critiquing Andrew Kaufman / London Real
Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8
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