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Kobe University lab creates 'novel' H5N1 in 'secret' lab --Emails from Kobe virologist and H5N1-H1N1 virus creator, Teridah Ernala Ginting --Story in e-mails: Kobe University PhD student Teridah Ernala confesses to creating H1N1-H5N1 "novel" viruses; Yoshihiro Kawaoka's virus thief Akiko Makino lies to Indonesian authorities to avoid arrest for attempted smuggling of H5N1 out of Indonesia, gives authorities another university as research facility she works for By Robert S. Finnegan 05 Jan 2012
This young Indonesian "scientist" through the years of our contact revealed to me the inner-workings of her "secret" lab at Kobe University and a new BSL-4 in Tokyo that was working on H5N1 and H1N1 viruses, among others. Kobe University does NOT officially have a BSL-4 lab, and yet this microbiologist was assigned by her professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka to work on recombinant H5N1 and H1N1 in a "secret" (her words) lab at their facility. How and why was this allowed to transpire? I have kept our association secret for years, however now that this individual has gone over to the "dark side," and I have decided to reveal everything we discussed in the hope it may stop this ghastly, man-made weaponized virus that is capable of killing millions of innocent people across the world.
Kobe University virologists Kawaoka and his PhD student Terida Ernala
The Japanese "professors" and "directors" of these nefarious projects preyed upon a young, incredibly naive and inexperienced Indonesian virologists to do their dirty-work.
There may be a few repeats, however they are worth noting again as they comprise separate keys to the entire story which is now unfolding and being watched nervously by the world at large. The e-mails will not be corrected for spelling, punctuation or format - and are republished in the original.
The graphs and charts accompanied Ernala's e-mails, that are annotated are in bold. Content that was clearly personal was redacted as it does not apply to the case.
On Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 7:37 PM, Ida - Teridah Ernala <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I'm fine thank you. I have returned to the work again.. Have a trouble here. My supervisor tried to smuggle human samples from Indonesia. The carrier got caught in Surabaya airport without any supporting documents. They marked the sample tubes with 'zoonotic material', but actually it was human RNA.
I wanna give up this project if they keep doing illegal things.
Somehow I agree with Obama's statement, about swine flu vacination. People should choose whether they want to be vaccinated or not. Vaccine has lot of side effect, lot of death reported because of vaccination. Especially, this vaccine is a new thing, lack of tests and trials. If I had a kid, I wouldn't give my kid swine flu vaccination.
Someone can also spread disease by mandatory vaccination. If it happens, this can eliminate US population.
---- Original Message -----
From: Ida - Teridah Ernala
To: C. A. Nidom
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 2:59 AM
Subject: Re: Apa kabar?
1. The material you handed to Dr Masaoki Yamaoka on August 5th 2009, and then kept in ITD, should have been reported previously to us (at least to the head of ITD). In particular, if the material preceded using ITD's material and equipment.
2. The materials been brought by Ms. Makino without any supporting document from you, so that Ms Makino and materials could not depart to Japan. Because Ms Makino declared that the materials derived from Airlangga University, she was not arrested and allowed to embark. However the materials are still kept in Juanda airport.
3. We regret the statement of Ms Makino mentioned that the materials came from Airlangga University, and described as zoonotic material. In fact, written statement from Dr Shinya and you mentioned that they were human samples.
4. Regarding to the points above, we require you to come to Surabaya as soon as possible to solve this problem. This is a serious illegal practice related to MTA.
Regarding to your fax, dated 7 September 2009 to the President of Airlangga University, about your materials for cytokine profiling in healthy people study:
They have samples actually, but no recent human samples since MOH banned the material transfer to other countries. That's why this is very illegal.
I told everything I know to the head of avian influenza lab in TDC Airlangga University, dr Nidom.
After this incident, the relationship between my professor and dr Nidom went bad. When got caught, the carrier mentioned that the samples were belonging of Airlangga University, but actually no one knew about that.
Now, Indonesia govt blames dr Nidom as the sample 'dealer', condition is not really good for him now. Inn Japan, my professor's telling everyone that dr Nidom tried to trap them at the airport.
I heard lot of things in Japan contrary to what I heard from dr Nidom. Because of this we're exchanging information through mail. My professor doesn't know that we're mailing to each other, we're keeping things this way.
After the incident, my professor became very nice at me. Of course, because they know that I know what's going on exactly. Few days later, they asked me to sign a document, mentioning that I'm a researcher belonging to my supervisor, and every matters between my supervisor and I should be kept confidential. I didn't have any reason not to sign it.
If you want to, I will forward the conversation between Dr Nidom and I. It's in Bahasa Indonesia, but that's the actual story. It's a very long mail, maybe it's pretty difficult for you to understand the whole story but just keep it for your reference.
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The accident report said that they used common lab H3N2 virus with 'some' H5N1 gene.
Common lab H3N2 probably the old human H3N2 with is known circulting in pigs for 20 years (check the Genotype map).
But 'some' H5N1 gene is vauge.
If you check the genotype map again, you'll see two gene NA and M (indicated by pink) are special. Those gene look like suddenly jumped into the whole virus. Compare with other genes which are reassortant and already established before.
Those NA and M recognized as Eurasian avian type, means originated from Europe or Asian avian strains.
They compare the whole gene with H1N1 only, noone tried to compare it with H5N1.
I will try to do it, but it takes time I think. I only have free analysis software which is very slow so that sometimes manual analysis is faster :)).
But I will try.
I made several mutation in HA gene and one mutation in NA gene. Then made several virus combinations of those two genes.
From all combinations, they are growing effectively in MDCK (Madin Darby Canine Kidney) cell culture. I failed to grow one virus, I have tried three times but still failing. I assume this one may not able to grow in nature. To know if it's transmitted to human, I will use human trachea cell line later and ferret (usually used for studying influenza transmission in human). So I don't know if it's transmissible to human yet.
I'm working in BSL-2 laboratory, that's the requirement from the government because the original virus was only common H1N1. For H5N1 virus, I'm working in BSL-3 laboratory.
My experiment is confidential (please keep this only for you), noone except my professor and I know this (even we keep it secret from other lab members). Especially after the H1N1 emerged, my work will cause lot of trouble. We will go to the public after everything is set up.
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The University of Kobe has not returned repeated requests for comment and has been offered access to all documentation should they wish to perform an internal investigation. To be continued.
Robert S. Finnegan is a retired investigative reporter, journalism professor and U.S. Marine Corps NCO based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has been working this case since 1997.
Originally published at The 5th Estate. Published by Citizens for Legitimate Government with permission. CLG has redacted the email addresses from Mr. Finnegan's original article. See also: CLG's Flu 'Oddities'.