A new study published in the journal Nature Medicine by researchers at the Scripps Institute suggests that the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is the product of natural evolution,media reported. Coronary virus is a large family of viruses that can cause very serious diseases. The first known serious disease caused by the coronavirus occurred in 2003 with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and the second severe outbreak began in 2012 in Saudi Arabia’s Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
Shortly after the outbreak began, Chinese scientists sequenced the genome of SARS-CoV-2 and made the data available to researchers around the world. Anderson and several other researchers used the sequencing data to explore the origin and evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by focusing on several characteristics.
The scientists analyzed the genetic template for the protoprotein, the main surface protein used by the virus to bind to the receptor. More specifically, they focused on two important characteristics of the protoprotein: the receptor binding domain (RBD) and the cleavage site.
Analysis of public genomic sequence data for SARS-CoV-2 and its associated viruses found no evidence that the virus was manufactured in the lab or otherwise designed, the researchers said.
“By comparing genomic sequence data from known coronavirus strains, we can determine that SARS-CoV-2 is produced through natural processes,” said Dr. Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Institute. “