No, the coronavirus was not genetically engineered in a Wuhan lab, scientists believe

unnamed

You could be forgiven for wondering how a disease as fast-moving and deadly as COVID-19 could just appear naturally, out of nowhere, seemingly overnight. President Trump expressed doubt, saying that “a lot of people” were looking at the possibility that a Chinese lab was responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. …

But the truth is almost certainly not that salacious. Robert Garry, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine, said this dynamic is familiar. “Every time there’s an outbreak, people say, oh, there’s a lab close by.”…

According to a growing body of research, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is almost certainly a naturally occurring virus that initially circulated in bats then spilled into humans….

Related article:  All the resources you need in the global battle against the coronavirus

To genetically engineer a new virus, scientists can combine pieces of viruses they’ve seen before. In the case of a genetically engineered coronavirus that was designed to infect humans, the bulk of its genetic material — its “backbone” — would come from SARS or a close relative… . But the backbone doesn’t look like any disease-causing virus, and other key parts of the virus are new to science.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’ve been really lucky to know a lot of talented virologists, and they’re not clever enough to come up with a virus that’s quite this good at spreading,” [Garry said].

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend