A Chinese scientist at the center of the controversy over the virus denies the theory of laboratory leaks


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The Chinese scientist at the center of theories that the coronavirus pandemic originated with a leak from her specialized laboratory in Wuhan City has denied that her institution was to blame for the health disaster.

“How the hell can I offer evidence of something without evidence?” Dr. Shi Zhengli told the New York Times in rare comments to the media.

“I don’t know how the world came about, constantly pouring dirt on an innocent scientist,” he told the American newspaper.

U.S. President Joe Biden ordered last month investigate the origin of the pandemic, including the theory of laboratory leaks.

The leak hypothesis had previously been presented during the global outbreak, including Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, but was widely dismissed as .

But it has recently gained strength more and more, driven by reports that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in 2019 after visiting a in the Chinese province of Yunnan.

Shi is an expert in bat coronavirus and some scientists have said she may have been conducting so-called gain-of-function experiments, in which scientists increase the strength of a virus to better study its effects on hosts.

According to the New York News, in 2017 Shi and colleagues at the Wuhan lab released a report on an “experiment” in which they created new hybrid bat coronaviruses by mixing and matching parts of several existing ones — including at least one that was almost transmissible to humans. »In order to study their ability to infect and replicate a . “

But in an email to the newspaper, Shi said his experiments differed from function-gain experiments in that they did not seek to make a virus more dangerous. Instead, they tried to understand how the files worked could jump through the species.

“My lab has never performed or collaborated in conducting GOF experiments that increase the virulence of viruses,” he said.

Fauci urges China to publish medical records of bat cave patients: FT

© 2021 AFP

Citation: A Chinese scientist at the center of the controversy over the virus denies the theory of laboratory leaks (2021, June 15) recovered on June 15, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-chinese- scientist-center-virus-controversy.html

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