Pushing aside all controversies that the Coronavirus emerged from a laboratory in the city of Wuhan, China, a new study revealed that the virus has a natural origin. The study has come up in Nature Medicine Journal.
The study claims there was no evidence to show that the virus was developed in a laboratory or was engineered. It said that the analysis of public genome sequence data from SARS-CoV-2 conformed this, the study claimed.
Kristian Andersen, PhD, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research said that they can firmly determine that the virus originated through natural process. This is known after analysisng the available genome sequence data for known coronavirus strains, said Kristian Andersen. He is also corresponding author of the paper “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2″.
Robert F. Garry (Tulane University), Edward Holmes (University of Sydney), Andrew Ram baut (University of Edinburgh), and W lan Lipkin (Columbia University) are the other authors of the study.
They say that Coronaviruses belonged to a large family of viruses. The first known illness emerged with the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in China. A second outbreak was in 2012 in Saudi Arabia with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). In the study, the researchers say that Chinese authorities had on December 31 itself alerted the World Health Organization of an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus. They also claim that scientists in China sequenced the genome of SARSCoV-2 soon after the epidemic. The genomic sequence showed that the number of cases have been increasing because of transmission among humans.
The scientists found that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was so effective at binding the human cells. As a result, they concluded the virus has a natural origin. It was also supported using data on SARS-CoV-2’s backbone. The researchers said that if someone had developed the virus, they would have done from the backbone of the virus. But they found that backbone of SARS-CoV-2 differed substantially from already known coronaviruses. The distinct backbone and mutations in the RBD portion of spike protein rules out that the virus was engineered, Andersen said.