Can a DNA-based vaccine ‘transform’ a human cell into something genetically different?/ Children’s Health Defense

Why I Won’t Take the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine–A Scientist’s Perspective 

Ken Biegeleisen, M.D., Ph.D., explains why he believes Johnson & Johnson cannot guarantee its COVID vaccine won’t alter your genetic code.

… With all this in mind, we can now ask the question of whether or not a DNA-based vaccine might “transform” a human cell into something genetically different.

This is no small question, because if the answer is “yes,” and if the transformation proves to be harmful, then that harm may be passed to every subsequent generation — forever.

From 1972-1978, I was an M.D. – Ph.D. student at the New York University School of Medicine. Our lab addressed a question which was current at that time: In “productive infections,” where a virus replicates in cells and ultimately destroys them, might there nevertheless be integration of viral DNA into the host cell chromosomes?

We asked that question because, at that time in virological history, it had become abundantly clear that many different types of viruses could transform many different types of cells into malignant cancer cells. Those cells, if transplanted into animal hosts, would then form cancerous growths which would quickly kill the animal.

This sort of virus-mediated malignant transformation always began with the insertion (i.e., integration) of viral DNA into the chromosomes of the host cells. (Yes, I’m talking about that which the vaccine companies “assure” us will not follow vaccination with their “fast-tracked” new products).

Once these viral genes take up residence in host cell chromosomes, they are thereby empowered to seize control of the cell’s metabolism, perverting it to their own purposes.

So the question virologists were asking in the 1970s was this: Is the insertion of viral genes into host cell chromosomes a process uniquely associated with cancerous transformations? Or might the insertion of viral genes into host cell chromosomes take place in any and every sort of viral infection, whether it was a “productive” infection leading to virus multiplication and cell death, or whether it was a “transforming” infection where there was no virus multiplication at all?

We looked into this question by studying the infection of mammalian cells by herpesviruses. In the end, we published three papers, all in leading virology journals. These papers, listed below, are very difficult reading for anyone not familiar with the peculiar jargon of the field. But for those who are interested, here are the three references:

  1. Rush MJ & Biegeleisen K.  Association of Herpes simplex virus DNA with host chromosomal DNA during productive infection. Virology, 69:246-257 (1976).
  2. Rush MJ, Yanagi K & Biegeleisen K.  Further studies on the association of Herpes simplex virus DNA and host DNA during productive infection.  Virology, 83:221-225 (1977).  DOI:  10.1016/0042-6822(77)90227-6.
  3. Yanagi K; Rush MG; Biegeleisen K.  Integration of herpes simplex virus type 1 DNA into the DNA of growth-arrested BHK-21 cells. Journal Of General Virology, 44(3):657-667 (1979).  DOI: 10.1099/0022-1317-44-3-657.

The first paper proved that herpesvirus genes are integrated into host cell chromosomes, but left some important questions unanswered concerning the physico-chemical nature of the linkage between viral and host DNA.

By the third paper, however, all reasonable doubt about the integration of viral DNA into host chromosomes had been laid to rest.

Another line of investigation going on at about the same time, in the laboratory of W. Munyon, led to the same conclusion. Munyon and his associates studied an enzyme called “thymidine kinase.” What that enzyme does is extraneous to this discussion. What matters is that the gene for the enzyme is normally found in human chromosomes, and also in herpesvirus chromosomes.

Munyon and his team had a mutant strain of cells that lacked the thymidine kinase gene. They infected those cells with herpesvirus that had been irradiated, and thereby rendered incapable of multiplying in and killing the cells.

But the virus did, nevertheless, carry in its own thymidine kinase gene. Upon infection, the cells were shown to suddenly have acquired that enzyme, even though they were mutants who had none of their own. Because the virus had been irradiated, it did not kill the cells, which continued growing in the laboratory.

Eight months — which is hundreds of generations — later, the progeny of those cells were still producing thymidine kinase!

So if a DNA vaccine company alleges that their vaccine will cause my cells to temporarily manufacture corona spike protein, but will not permanently “transform” my cells in any other way, what am I to think?

Or, perhaps I’m not supposed to think?

So far we’ve talked only about herpesvirus. The new Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses “reproductively incompetent” genetically engineered adenovirus as the carrier for the corona spike protein gene.

Should we worry? After all, unexpected integration of viral genes may be peculiar only to herpesvirus, and not adenovirus, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. What I did not realize, at the time I was doing my own Ph.D. research on herpesvirus, was that other labs were conducting the same type of research on the adenovirus. Here’s an example of that work:

Schick J, Baczko K, Fanning E, Groneberg J, Burgert H, & Doerfler W (1975).  Intracellular forms of adenovirus DNA: Integrated form of Adenovirus DNA appears early in productive infection.  Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 73(4):1043-1047.  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.73.4.1043.  PMID: 1063388.  PMCID: PMC430196.

Like coronavirus, there are dozens of known adenovirus types, most of which are classified as “cold viruses.” But some adenoviruses cause much more serious disease, including cancer.

In the 1970s, the adenovirus researchers were asking the same questions that the herpesvirus workers were asking. And they were coming up with the same answers: In “productive infection,” where adenovirus was supposed to only replicate and destroy the cell, there was indeed extensive integration of viral genes into the host cell chromosomes — even though there was no obvious biological reason for the virus to do that.

No guarantees, despite what vaccine makers say

It seems that in many, perhaps most viral infections, integration of viral DNA into the host cells is a very real possibility. When this occurs, there is absolutely no way to “guarantee” that the genetic code of the host cell will not be re-written.

The question then arises: If this is the case, why do vaccine manufacturers “assure” us that their marginally tested products are genetically “safe?”

I would suggest three possible explanations, all equally reprehensible:

  1. It may be that the scientists in these companies simply do not know the history of this field. What can one say? “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
  2. It may be that anything in industry which does not improve the quarterly profit report is at great risk of being ignored.
  3. It may be that calling a new vaccine “safe,” in the pharmaceutical world, means little more than that the company has the legal resources to deal with any liability claims that arise.

Which of these three possible explanations is the correct one? Or is it all three?

In any event, you now know why I shall not take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

What about RNA vaccines?

We’ve been discussing DNA vaccines. What about RNA vaccines, such as Pfizerand Moderna?

Although I have no personal experience working in the lab on genetic transformation of human cells by RNA viruses, it is appropriate to comment briefly on that subject before closing.

The RNA vaccines are alleged by their promoters to be genetically “safe” because RNA cannot be directly incorporated into human chromosomes.

Is that true? Yes. But does that make them “safe?” Perhaps not.

What the vaccine companies forgot to tell you is that our cells have several types of “reverse transcriptase” of their own, which can potentially convert the vaccine RNA into DNA.

In December 2020, a team of researchers from Harvard and MIT (Zhang et al) posted an article at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory-hosted bioRxiv preprint server showing that, in all probability, incorporation of coronavirus spike protein genes, into the chromosomes of infected cells, does indeed take place, and is mediated by the so-called “LINE-1” type of human reverse transcriptase. (For more on the Harvard-MIT study and its implications, read this article previously published by The Defender).

To be clear, this was not a vaccine study, but a study in which cells were deliberately infected with whole, non-inactivated virus, as happens in nature, and which apparently can result in genetic transformation of the cells after all.

This, suggested the authors, may account for the now-frequent observation of COVID-19 test “positivity” in people who are clearly not sick. That is, the bodies of such people are continually manufacturing corona spike protein, from the viral genes which have been permanently incorporated into their genetic codes.

It could be said, in defense of the genetics-based-vaccine lobby, that since infection with whole, functional coronavirus clearly appears capable of transforming the human genetic code, causing our cells to forever manufacture the viral spike protein, there may therefore be some justification in mimicking this natural transformation via an unnatural RNA vaccine.

In condemnation of that lobby, however, we cannot overlook the obviously unwarranted assurances of vaccine manufacturers that alteration of our genetic code “will not happen.” Such a statement casts doubt on (a) their competence in their own field, and (b) their willingness to accept the consequences of their own actions.

Moreover, reverse transcription is a known means of normal human chromosome-to-chromosome gene mobility, a fascinating process whose study goes back to the pioneering work of Barbara McClintock in the 1930s. It has thus been well-known, for the better part of a century, that the effects of moving genes around will very much depend on where they are moved, and on exactly and precisely what is moved.

In the case of the current vaccine-borne corona spike protein gene, no one has any clue as to where in our genomes it will wind up, or what it will do when it gets there.

There is a corona vaccine, Novavax, which contains no genetic material at all (i.e., no DNA or RNA), but rather consists solely of the corona spike protein. Of all the available vaccines, this is the one least likely to cause human genetic harm. But almost no one gets it, because it’s not available in most countries. Why not?

There are also at least two corona vaccines (SinopharmSinovac) which are made from whole inactivated virus, analogous to the polio vaccines of the 20th century. This is a tried and tested form of technology, but very few people get those vaccines either.

Instead, we’re all being pressured into taking hastily prepared genetic vaccines, which are likely to transform our heredity, permanently. Is there any reason for this, other than countless billions of dollars in windfall profits?

It is my view that the massive and barely studied global human genetic experiment going on right now is the biological equivalent of a drunk driver, speeding down the highway with impunity at 60 mph — at night without headlights — because he says that “he knows the road.

Most sensible people are wary about “GMO,” even in food. Now we’re going to genetically modify ourselves? Why? What madness is this?

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1 year ago

I'm not interested in getting the mRNA or DNA vaccines but this article does have me asking, if whole live virus also affects our genetic code, isn't catching covid also a risk along these lines, one that must be weighed and measured? I'd prefer to see that acknowledged and discussed openly and one's reasoning for choosing one risk over another. (Maybe I missed something in my reading of the article.) Similar to the blood clotting conversations now happening – clots are a risk with the virus as well. I say that as someone who is choosing not to get a vaccine for at least another year, but the virus is also a risk!

As well: he seems to imply that the Novavax is being withheld or downplayed, but as far as I know it's not through trials, so not licensed anywhere. Perhaps in South Korea as they seem to have plans to begin production there in June. I'm a bit concerned about the protein nanoparticles in that one and will wait to hear the dialogue and see how things go, but at least it contains no genetic instructions.

Meryl Nass, M.D.
Meryl Nass, M.D.
1 year ago

Apparently somewhere between 5% and 50% of our genome does come from viruses. How often does this occur? I don't know. Will SARS-CoV-2 be one of these viruses? I don't know that either.

1 year ago

Yvette, my take on the article was the same with regards to the genetic code integration possibility from both the mRNA/DNA vaccines and the disease. But since humans have roamed the earth for some time, it would be reasonable to think that our immune system and our genome could deal with the effects of diseases. What concerns me is the arrogance of scientists thinking they can override the natural way of achieving immunity by rewriting the code themselves.

I read an article about a gene-editing technology called CRISPR. Proponents were excited because they said it was able to precisely remove a section of code and allow them to insert an alternate piece of code; the makings of gene therapy. But a few years later, a different set of scientists developed tools to evaluate the preciseness of CRISPR and the results were appalling. Apparently the affected cells noticed the gene splicing and tried to repair it, but when that was not possible, the cells jettisoned whole chunks of genetic code. These tests were done on human embryos. What got jettisoned? A hand? An eye? We don't know what we don't know, and that should give the prudent among us a reason to reflect.

1 year ago

The Novovax might indeed be safer, but it got set back recently a little. Sadly it contains an "adjuvant" which is called Matrix-M, which very broadly speaking is a sort of soapy irritant.

1 year ago

Thank you!

1 year ago

– CRISPR does sound like a nightmare. I don't know what to make of viral impact on DNA in general, but my conclusion is I will keep taking covid seriously for now just as I will hold off on vaccination because I agree with you about the arrogance factor.
– Re the adjuvant for Novavax: I was cautiously optimistic about it because it is "based on" a tree extract – which I realize is an irrational way of looking at it. I was just happy at first to see that it wasn't aluminum or some mysterious genetic concoction like many other adjuvants. Adjuvants in general (in my limited understanding) are supposed to cause an inflammatory reaction to provoke your immune system, so they're not great. If I were to get the Novavax I would take as many anti-inflammatory supports as possible to help offset that. But the jury is out on Novavax.

1 year ago

Meryl I’m curious if you HAD to get a vaccine, which one would you choose? Is there one that leans safer than others? This article seems to think the Novovax one. I know it must depend on the person.

If only local smaller companies could produce vaccines, I think people would trust vaccines way more. There would be more transparency and less hesitancy among people who are scared of big pharma. Small companies wouldn’t cut as many corners and would actually be held liable if something went wrong.

I believe in the science of vaccines (smallpox and polio vaccine were successes) I just don’t believe in the system and process they undergo through capitalism. (I want more transparency, nationalize the big pharma companies, throw the CEOs in jail, have more testing and debate around vaccines, have the companies be liable if something goes wrong).

I’m curious what you think of this Meryl or if you just think all vaccines are bad no matter what.

Meryl Nass, M.D.
Meryl Nass, M.D.
1 year ago

Terry, may I rephrase your question?

"If I had to be in an experiment, which experiment would I choose?"

The answer is that I do not have to be in an experiment. I am not a lab rat, and to me it is really important to stand against the pressure pushing people to do something they are neither legally nor morally required to do.

I have Vitamin D, zinc, HCQ and ivermectin to treat Covid when/if I get it, and I will be fine. And my immunity will be of far better quality than from an experimental vaccine whose longterm side effects are unknown, and whose short-term side effects are worse than from any other (licensed) vaccine.

The drugs work. Repeat after me: the drugs WORK.

1 year ago

How about other vaccines? Are you just against all vaccines no matter what? Do you have any faith in the intranasal vaccines that are in development?

It just seems like the same problem with pro vaxers and that is the belief that all vaccines are created equal (either good or bad). Isn't there grey area within vaccines? Was the polio or small pox vaccines not successes? Again not talking about the experimental covid ones.

And do you think ivermectin/non vaccines will protect people from the covid blood clots and all other health concerns of covid?

Thanks for responding Meryl. Keep up the good work. Word is spreading.

1 year ago

Thanks Meryl – your thoughts are really helpful. Here in Canada we don't have a list of doctors who will prescribe and as you know, so many doctors are so timid right now, so it's an ongoing project to find one. Other means of getting the drugs are iffy though I'm working on it. I admit I have been moved by the stories of reasonably healthy people – who obviously didn't get appropriate treatment – who ended up severely ill or with long covid. And of course being surrounded by people with zero personal empowerment to even look up treatment on the internet – it's isolating. But you're right, any way you look at it, all the vaccines are rushed and some are brand new tech.

The withholding of treatment, the censorship, and the active campaigning against using the drugs that work – all makes it clear we are dealing with crimes against humanity, nothing less.

Meryl Nass, M.D.
Meryl Nass, M.D.
1 year ago

I am in favor of every drug and every vaccine when the risk benefit ratio for each individual patient is positive.

When we don't have enough data to make that calculation I do the safest thing I can to solve the problem.

And when it has become clear that the information I need to make the calculation is being withheld, I realize there is a problem. Probably a big problem.

Ken Biegeleisen, MD, PhD

I’m the author whose work was reproduced above. I don’t think I succeeded in getting my primary point across. I’d be perfectly willing to believe, ON PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE, that the current crop of ‘vaccines’ (or whatever-you-want-to-call-them) might perhaps NOT cause permanent genetic harm. But that’s not the point. The real problem is that people whom I regard as thoroughly amoral, clearly intend to unilaterally seize control of free speech, and also clearly intend to unilaterally seize control of the human genetic code. Zuckerberg thinks he has the wisdom to decide who should be allowed to post on social media. Really? The courts found him guilty of stealing the intellectual property of his Haaavard classmates, and they made him pay. Is this the ‘wisdom’ necessary to be the sole arbiter of who may, and who may not, post on social media? Gates and his visible/invisible cronies have forced the western world to acquiesce to the injection of viral DNA and RNA, for no obvious reason (since they could readily have made a ‘traditional’, non-transforming vaccine available, but steadfastly refused to do so). Why? I’ll suggest a reason (which will be solely my own opinion, which you are therefore free to ignore or reject): I believe that these people have done this monstrous thing because they KNOW that they can, in small steps, get us to spinelessly acquiesce to the presence of unknown genetic material, in ALL SORTS OF INJECTIONS, in the years to come. Virtually everything that happens these days is ‘EUA’ (‘Emergency Use Authorization’), meaning woefully-inadequate testing (if indeed any real testing at all), no disclosure of ingredients or manufacturing methodology, and NO LIABILITY when things go wrong. So we will NOT KNOW what’s being injected. It is said that ‘power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Gates is about as close to absolute power as any one man has ever been, thus far. Based upon the grandfatherly-but-condescending attitude he seems to display, I have little doubt that, just as Zuckerberg fantasizes that he somehow has the ‘wisdom’ to control free speech, Gates seems likewise to have the fantasy that he has the ‘wisdom’ to decide what the human genetic code should be. Gates has never been formally charged with any crimes of which I am aware, but all of us who saw ‘Silicon Valley Pirates’ know that he expropriated the so-called ‘Windows’ OS from Steve Jobs, a man of much greater vision than Gates. In my mind, although I cannot justify calling Gates an ‘intellectual property thief’, I personally regard him as such. That is not a legal evaluation, since, as I’ve already noted, he has not been charged with a crime. That is merely the way I personally see things. So it appears to me that the rights to free speech and genetic integrity shall be placed into the hands of intellectual property…….well, let’s just call them intellectual property ‘expropriators’. Am I ‘better’ than that? Who knows. If I was King of the World, I might genetically program my children to be physically strong and intellectually superior, whereas I might then go on to program yours to be physically strong (but only to serve me), and intellectually feeble (so they couldn’t fight back). I’D LIKE TO THINK THAT I AM INDEED ‘BETTER THAN THAT’, but I cannot shake from my mind the saying that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’. I also fear God, or, if you’re of the Eastern orientation, you could say that I fear endless reincarnation, in each of which lives I might have to painfully learn, re-learn, and re-re-learn all the lessons I failed to learn during the previous times around. In other words, I know I’m not ‘good’, in any meaningful sense of that virtually-indefinable word. Gates and Zuckerberg, however, clearly seem to believe that the ARE ‘good’, and that they therefore ought to be permitted to rule over us. Get me outta here……

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