How did scientists know that the new coronavirus was not made in the lab?

According tomedia BGR, the origin of the new crown virus pandemic is the subject of conspiracy theories circulating on social media, claiming that the virus was produced in the laboratory. Now researchers have shown that the virus originated in animals. A new report explains exactly why the scientific community agrees that the virus is the result of the natural evolution of a bat coronavirus that is then passed on to humans.

How did scientists know that the new coronavirus was not made in the lab?

A study in March showed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolved naturally from animals. The study explains that there is no doubt that the virus grows in animals before it is transmitted to humans. It is not clear how the new coronavirus spreads directly to humans or has been in different hosts for some time. U.S. intelligence announced a few months ago that there was no evidence that the virus was manufactured in the lab and agreed with the scientific community that the virus evolved naturally. Dr Anthony Fauci also commented on the incident, saying there was no evidence that the virus was made in the lab. Now, another scientist has explained the key evidence that the researchers have come to conclusions.

Polly HiSilicon, a lecturer in parasitology and medical microbiology at the University of Westminster, explains in The Conversation how scientists know the virus came from bats, not made in the laboratory. “How on earth do we know that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has a ‘zoonotic’ animal source, not man-made?” HiSilicon wrote. “The answer lies in the genetic material and evolutionary history of the virus, and the ecology of bats.”

The SARS-CoV-2 genome has been sequenced and shared thousands of times by scientists around the world, the scientists explained. “If the virus is genetically engineered in the lab, there are signs of manipulation in the genomic data, ” HiSilicon said. This manipulation will include “evidence of existing virus sequences as the backbone of the new virus, as well as obvious, targeted insertions (or deletions) of genetic elements”.

“Any technology used for genetically engineered viruses is unlikely to leave a genetic signature, such as specific identifiable DNA code snippets,” the scientists explained. In other words, the creators of this virus will not be able to hide their tracks. The genome of the new coronavirus is similar to that of other bat coronaviruses and the coronaviruses circulating in pangolins. The differences between the genomes show the natural evolution of pathogens, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 evolved from previous coronaviruses.

One of the key characteristics of the virus’s stingy glycoprotein seisopers infects humans is that the stingy glycoprotein binds to ACE2 receptors. But other types of coronaviruses have similar characteristics, hayes writes, proving that new viruses evolved naturally. HiSilicon also spoke of concerns that the virus may be similar to that found in RaTG13, another known bat virus that researchers have discovered. The genomes of the two viruses are 96% the same, but their genomes are significantly different. In addition, both have been shown to have a common ancestor, so RaTG13 is not a precursor to SARS-CoV-2.