Australian experts believe that the speculation that the new coronavirus origin in the laboratory is unfounded
Several virology and epidemiology experts in Australia recently said that there is no basis for speculation about the origin of the new coronavirus in the laboratory.
Professor Edward Holmes, a virology researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia, said in a statement on the 16th that speculation that the new coronavirus origin in the laboratory was unfounded. The international research team that Holmes participated in analyzed the new coronavirus genome-related data, and published an article in the British journal “Nature · Medical” in March that scientific research evidence shows that the new coronavirus is a product of natural evolution.
Holmes said in a statement that coronaviruses such as the new coronavirus usually exist in wild animals and often “jump” to new hosts, which is also the most likely explanation for the origin of the new coronavirus. There is no evidence that the new coronavirus originated in the laboratory.
Holmes said the closest known relationship with the new coronavirus is a bat virus codenamed RaTG13. In addition, pangolins also have viruses similar to the new coronavirus gene sequence, which indicates that other wild animals may also carry close relatives of the new coronavirus. He said that the number, diversity and evolution of coronaviruses in wild animals all support the idea that the new coronavirus is a product of natural evolution, and determining the exact source of the new coronavirus requires large-scale sampling and detection of animals in nature.
Nigel McMillan, director of the Infectious Diseases and Immunology Program at the Menzies Institute of Health, Queensland, Griffith University, Australia, said in an interview with the media on the 17th that so far, all the evidence shows that the new coronavirus is a natural product, not a human. made.
He also mentioned that close relatives of the new coronavirus can be found on bats and pangolins. For some differences between the new coronavirus and other coronaviruses, there is no tool in the laboratory to achieve such transformation. In particular, he pointed out that Christian Stevens of Mount Sinai Medical School in New York has a detailed study on this and supports that the new coronavirus originates from natural evolution.
Australia ’s Associate Professor of Epidemiology Hassan Wali also said that the conspiracy theory that the new coronavirus originated in the laboratory is groundless. Wally said that the dangers of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus have been known before, so the emergence of new coronaviruses that can cause pandemics is not surprising.
Wally said, “We must be careful not to give rumors a living space,” noting that some people are using the rumors for political purposes.