“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.
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?