Wuhan lab leak: Chinese virologist denies blame for health disaster

Wuhan lab leak: Chinese virologist denies blame for health disaster
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A Chinese scientist denied reports of the coronavirus pandemic origins through a Wuhan lab leak.

But how can one put to rest all the reports and studies that apparently suggest it to be a Chinese engineered virus?

“How on earth can I offer up evidence for something where there is no evidence?” Dr Shi Zhengli told the New York Times.

“I don’t know how the world has come to this, constantly pouring filth on an innocent scientist,” she told the NYT.

US President Joe Biden had earlier ordered a deeper probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

The lab leak theory has been dismissed by China as a conspiracy against it. But lately, the Wuhan lab leak theory has gained traction after reports of three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick in 2019. They fell ill after visiting a bat cave in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan.

As per the New York Times, in 2017 Shi and her colleagues at the Wuhan lab had published a report on an experiment.

Gain of function and Wuhan experiments

It pertains to creating new hybrid bat coronaviruses by mixing and matching parts of several existing ones. Moreover, it had that one hybrid also that was nearly transmissible to humans. The experiment was done to study their ability to infect and replicate in human cells.

Since Dr Shi Zhengli is an expert in bat coronaviruses. Some scientists believe that she could have been leading so-called ‘gain-of-function experiments.

Gain of function research involves altering an organism or disease to increase pathogenesis, transmissibility, or host range.

Gain of function research helps in revealing the targets to better predict emerging infectious diseases and to develop vaccines and therapeutics.

But in an email to the paper, Shi has cleared the air on her experiments. She maintains that her experiments differ from gain-of-function experiments since they did not seek to make a virus more dangerous. STUDY CLAIMS COVID-19 NOT NATURAL?

Instead, they were trying to understand how the virus might jump across species. But this Wuhan lab leak theory has become a hot topic on global platforms too.

The world over countries are trying to convince China for a deeper probe into the coronavirus origins. The United States continues its pressure campaign against China.

Expanded a blacklist of Chinese firms that are off-limits to American investors over their links to Beijing’s military-industrial complex, this is how it is affecting business also.

Most importantly, the Wuhan lab leak theory is going to have repercussions across sectors and economies.

ALSO READ: US Continues Its Pressure Campaign Against China, Expands Blacklist Of Chinese Firms

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