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Leading researchers of the coronavirus call for a ‘Proper investigation’ of the origin of COVID-19


A new letter in the journal Science identifies transparent and data-driven inquiries on the origins of the epidemic.

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Since the coronavirus broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan 17 months ago, scientists have been puzzled by its origins. As many countries accelerate the release of the vaccine and begin bringing the epidemic under control, looking at the end of the pandemic, some countries are starting to look back to try and understand how it all started.

Knowing where the virus came from is key in preventing the next outbreak. But isolating the origin of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which caused COVID-19The problem becomes unnecessarily complicated, messed up by political enticement and conspiracy. Scientists have two hypotheses. One virus occurs naturally, tends to originate in bats and spread to humans. Or both, it accidentally leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan that was conducting research on the coronavirus.

There isn’t enough information to rule out any theory – but a group of scientists hope to change that.

In a new letter published Thursday in Science, the world’s leading academic journal, 18 international experts in virology, molecular biology, evolutionary biology and epidemiology call for “Proper investigations” in the origins of the outbreak stressed the need for transparency. An objective and data-driven analysis of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the signatory was Ralph Baric, a renowned corona researcher at the University of North Carolina Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale and supported by the Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Washington, and David Relman, a microbiologist at Stanford University.

The letter said the China-WHO joint study conducted in Wuhan in January and February of this year did not provide. Instead, focus on the leak hypothesis.

“There are only 4 out of 313 pages of the report and appendices that identify the possibility of a laboratory accident,” the authors write.

Members of the cohort visited the laboratory at the center of the Wuhan Virology Institute’s leak hypothesis on February 3, but did not have access to the data.

The letter also underscores the statement made by World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus following the findings of the joint study published on March 30, Ghebreyesus concluded that the laboratory’s leak assessment was not sufficiently comprehensive. And said the team had a problem Access to raw information in Wuhan

Although the joint study only analyzed a small amount of the theory of laboratory leaks. But the Chinese team and the World Health Organization have branded “Highly unlikely”, while suggesting that the spontaneous event A widely condemned third hypothesis is that SARS-CoV-2 may be transported to Wuhan in or on frozen food packaging.

Although the joint study concluded that there is no conclusive evidence of food transmission. But the situation was considered “plausible”, making the leak in the lab trial confusing.

Science Letter is an attempt to revise the record and push the investigation forward.

“A joint Sino-World Health Organization study report misleads the public that escaping the lab is highly unlikely,” said Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and co-author of the study. Write a letter saying

But why now? The resurgence of the laboratory leak theory has been spurred by the new administration in the United States and a growing number of scientists’ belief that the Sino-World Health Organization joint study is not comprehensive enough.

Although scientists argue that a large number of epidemiological and genomic data suggest that the virus has spread in the Wuhan market. But the call for an independent investigation into its origins has grown louder, an open letter published by a team of independent scientists and analysts known as the Paris Group calls for an early investigation. Born in early March

Other high-profile personalities also welcomed additional studies, including Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In an exchange with Sen. Rand Paul at a Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday, Fauci said, “I am fully pleased with the further investigation into what happened in China.”

The authors of the letter notes the debate about the origin of the coronavirus has become difficult and complicated by growing anti-Asian sentiment in some countries. Some believe Donald Trump’s use of the problematic racist term for the coronavirus spurred an increase in hostility to Asians last year.

Within the letter, the author tried to soften the call for investigation from the rhetoric, drawing attention to “Doctors, scientists, journalists and the Chinese public who share important information about the spread of the virus with the world are often very costly.”

In recent years, political and foreign rhetoric has been a mainstay of the debate. Now the author says it is necessary to have. “Discourse based on science that does not agree”

See also: 16 important things and don’ts to do to get the COVID-19 vaccine

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