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Scientist’s press case for Covid Lab Leak theory – News

In the latest volley of the debate over the origin of the coronavirus, this week’s group of scientists said: Review Many of the scientific discoveries they claim show that the natural spillover from animals to humans is far more responsible for the pandemic than in the laboratory.

Above all, scientists say that the Wuhan market in China Sold live animals that are susceptible to virusesIncludes palm civet and raccoon dogs two years before the pandemic began. They observed the surprising similarity of the appearance of Covid-19 to other viral diseases caused by natural spillover, and were newly discovered in animals closely associated with the virus that caused the new pandemic. Pointed out various viruses.

There is going back and forth between scientists while intelligence agencies are working together Deadline for late summer Provide President Biden with an assessment of the cause of the pandemic.I have it now Split Among intelligence officials about which scenario of viral origin is more likely.

New paper, Posted online Written on Wednesday, but not yet published in a scientific journal, by a team of 21 virologists.Four of them also cooperated 2020 treatise Nature Medicine has largely ruled out the possibility that the virus could become a human pathogen through laboratory manipulation.

In a new treatise, scientists provided more evidence in support of virus spills from animal hosts outside the laboratory. Joel Wertheim, a virologist and co-author at the University of California, San Diego, said a key support for natural origin was the “mysterious similarity” between the Covid and SARS pandemics.Both viruses have emerged In late autumn China, he said, the first known case occurred near the city’s animal market. — Wuhan for Covid, Shenzhen for SARS.

In the SARS outbreak, new treatises point out that scientists eventually pinpointed the origin of a virus that infects bats far away from Shenzen.

Dr. Wertheim and his colleagues predict that the origin of SARS-CoV-2 will also be far from Wuhan, based on the distribution of new coronavirus-like viruses throughout Asia.

Since first surfaced in the last few months of 2019, the cause of this pandemic virus has not yet been discovered to occur naturally in any animal.

In May, another team 18 scientists We have published a letter arguing that we need to take the possibility of a laboratory leak seriously because there is too little evidence to support the natural origin of the coronavirus or its leak from the laboratory. Wuhan, where the pandemic was first recorded, is home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV for short), and researchers have been studying coronaviruses from bats for years.

Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona, one of the signatories of the May 2021 letter, has become a co-author of a new treatise claiming natural spillover.

He said his view evolved as more information became available. Among other reasons for Dr. Wolobay’s shift is increasing evidence of Wuhan’s South China animal market. When the pandemic first occurred in Wuhan, Chinese authorities tested hundreds of samples from animals on the market, but found no coronavirus in any of them.

But last month, the research team presented an inventory of 47,381 animals from 38 species sold on the Wuhan market between May 2017 and November 2019. This included species such as civet and raccoon dogs that could act as intermediate hosts for the coronavirus.

Dr. Wolobay called the study a “breakthrough treatise.”

He also pointed out the timing of early cases of Covid in Wuhan. “The Wuhan market is at the epicenter of the outbreak, from which subsequent incidents radiate into space,” Dr. Wolobay said in an email.

“Early cases are not gathered near the WIV, which is the focus of most speculation about the possibility of escape from the lab,” he said.

But other scientists say such an argument is speculative and the new reviews are mostly rehashes of what is already known.

“Basically, it’s summarized in the argument that almost all pandemics to date have been of natural origin, so they also need to be of natural origin,” said Stanford University, who wrote a letter to science in May. Microbiologist David Relman said.

He stated that he did not oppose the hypothesis of natural origin as a plausible explanation for the origin of the pandemic. However, Dr. Lerman believes that the new treatise presents “selective sampling of findings to discuss one side.”

Dr. Wolobay and his colleagues are also so-called Gain of function research Intentionally changing the function of the virus may have contributed to the pandemic. Researchers claim that the coronavirus genome does not show convincing signs that it is being manipulated. And the diversity of coronavirus scientists found in Asian bats may have served as a source of evolution for Covid-19.

But Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University who constantly criticizes attempts to reduce the possibility of laboratory leaks, said this was a Straumann argument.

Dr. Ebright said WIV laboratory workers may have been infected with the coronavirus on a field expedition to study bats or while processing the virus in the laboratory. He argued that the new treatise could not address such a possibility.

“Reviews don’t move the discussion forward,” said Dr. Ebright.

Scientist’s press case for Covid Lab Leak theory

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