(ORDO NEWS) — An international group of scientists does not exclude that the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 could have entered the environment as a result of an incident in a closed laboratory. This was reported on Thursday by the Austrian Press Agency, citing a microbiologist at the University of Innsbruck, Rossana Segreto. She and her colleagues have previously published their own research on this topic in the scientific journal BioEssays.
As the scientist points out, the version of the laboratory origin of the pandemic was ruled out too early without a thorough study of this issue, but the information she studied in 2020 after the start of the pandemic points to laboratory manipulation as a possible cause of the pandemic. “I wish I never discovered these relationships. Searching for the origin of the virus is politically explosive. As a scientist, I don’t want to play into the hands of conspiracy theorists,” Segreto said. scientifically proven evidence that the pathogen evolved naturally and did not originate in the laboratory.”
According to the microbiologist, from the very beginning, the scientific community ruled out the version of the incident as a result of the human factor, but such an attitude towards the origin of the virus can be called negligence. In this regard, humanity is in danger, since there have already been cases of incidents in laboratories involving mutations of various pathogens. According to the Austrian Press Agency, in January 2020, the microbiologist, together with colleagues at the University of Innsbruck, after the appearance of information about the first cases of coronavirus infection in the Chinese city of Wuhan, collected evidence that indicated the laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2.
Laboratory in Wuhan
Segreto noted that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is geographically close to the exotic animal market in Hubei province, where the first cases of pneumonia were recorded in January 2020. “In this laboratory, mutations of coronaviruses have been studied for many years,” the specialist informed and added that this institute in Wuhan is a high-risk laboratory where work is underway with highly infectious pathogens. At the same time, after the start of the pandemic, no one studied the state of this laboratory, and all open data on the work carried out there were destroyed, the microbiologist emphasizes.
“In China, as in other countries, research has been carried out in order to recognize dangerous viruses and fight them,” the scientist argues. At the same time, some viruses have been purposefully altered or mutated to make them more infectious and deadly, but this work can fail, she added.
Segreto believes that SARS-CoV-2 is of artificial origin, because it is unlikely that the virus is able to develop a sequence in a short time that allows it to infect a large number of species, including humans. This sequence is an integral part of the spike protein typical of the new coronavirus, in which it destroys the membrane of the host cell and enters it, the microbiologist concluded.
An outbreak of the disease caused by the coronavirus was recorded at the end of 2019 in Central China, after which it spread to most countries. According to the most common version, the very first outbreak of COVID-19 is associated with the seafood market in Wuhan. However, a year after its start, there is still no consensus among scientists about the origin of the infection. Most experts are inclined to the version about the natural origin of the new coronavirus, although assumptions about its artificial removal in one of the laboratories continue to sound.
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