Virus was cultured to attack human cells, according to research.
A scientific study in Austria has found that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that has led to a pandemic, was likely created in a lab, barring some “remarkable coincidence” that led to the virus naturally evolving to be optimised to attack human cells.
The study was led by Nikolai Petrovsky, a vaccine researcher at Flinders University. The scientists in his team discovered that the coronavirus is optimized for penetration into human cells, rather than animal cells, which means that the theory that it emerged from an animal market and jumped to humans naturally is unlikely.
Lifesite News reports that the scientists “used a version of the novel coronavirus collected in the earliest days of the outbreak and applied computer models to test its capacity to bind to certain cell receptor enzymes, called “ACE2,” that allow the virus to infect human and animal cells to varying degrees of efficacy.”
The authors believe this means that the virus “became specialized for human cell penetration by living previously in human cells, quite possibly in a laboratory.”
The Study notes that “a virus would be expected to have highest affinity for the receptor in its original host species, e.g. bat, with a lower initial binding affinity for the receptor of any new host, e.g. humans. However, in this case, the affinity of SARS-CoV-2 is higher for humans than for the putative original host species, bats, or for any potential intermediary host species.”
It continues, noting that a “possibility which still cannot be excluded is that SARSCoV-2 was created by a recombination event that occurred inadvertently or consciously in a laboratory handling coronaviruses, with the new virus then accidentally released into the local human population.”
Dr Petrovsky added in a statement that, rather than being rapidly genetically spliced and mutated, the virus shows signs of being ‘cultured’ to evolve over time.
“Our and other analyses of the genomic sequence of the virus do not reveal any artificial gene inserts that would be the hallmark of a gene jockey, genetic engineers who manipulate or even create viruses by splicing in artificial inserts into their genome.” Petrovsky said.
“These are generally easily recognisable and hence clear signatures of human intervention in the creation of a virus. The fact that these artificial inserts are not present has been interpreted by some to mean this virus is not the result of human manipulation.” he added.
If all of this sounds familiar, it is because this is exactly what the scientists inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology were doing with bat borne coronaviruses.
From Live Science:
In an email to LifeSite, Dr Petrovsky said that his study suggests that “there are some highly unusual features, including optimal human adaptation, that in the absence of identification of a close to identical virus in an animal population from which COVID19 could have arisen, would point in the direction of human intervention at some point in the evolution of COVID19.”
He added that scientists have been unable to find any evidence of this coronavirus strain present in animals, which would support the natural evolution theory.
“Whilst the facts cannot be known at this time, the nature of this event and its proximity to a high-risk biosecurity facility at the epicentre of the outbreak demands a full and independent international enquiry to ascertain whether a virus of this kind of COVID-19 was being cultured in the facility and might have been accidentally released,” Petrovsky concluded.
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