French scientists have discovered something new about the coronavirus, and how come it's so easy for people to spread it to each other.
A French research team looked at the genetic sequence of COVID-19 and found that the virus contains four additional amino acids, making the viruses transmission much easier. This discovery has led the research team to speculate whether COVID-19 is "synthetic", and whether or not China's scientists intended to develop a virus that was much more powerful than SARS. National Taiwan University (NTU) public health researcher Fang Chi-tai, who cited the French scientist's research, said that it's likely the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is extremely close to the original epicenter of the outbreak. Fang also said that China is known for a poor track record with lab safety management.
Why do the scientists speculate that COVID-19 is "synthetic"? Analyses of COVID-19 have shown that it has 96% genetic similarity with a RaTG13 bat virus, which is known to be located at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. According to Fang, who spoke to the Taipei Times, viruses need to be at least 99% similar to be called the same, and COVID-19 is 96% similar to the RaTG13 bat virus. The differences between the RaTG13 bat virus and COVID-19 are small, and have been found to be the four additional amino acids.
Fang explains that viruses that occur naturally have small mutations that are mostly singular. Fang also says that it's extremely unusual to find a virus that is believed to be natural to suddenly mutate with an additional four amino acids. Fang does say that such a large mutation isn't impossible, but is highly unlikely.
Unfortunately, scientists can't know for sure if China's scientists genetically modified the RaTG13 bat virus, which then resulted in the COVID-19 outbreak as they need to examine the laboratory records. China recently made a big move towards controlling the coronavirus narrative, so it's highly unlikely that international scientists will be able to review the lab's records. More on that story can be found here.
Important Coronavirus COVID-19 Information:
The human body fight: A video has been released showing exactly how the coronavirus kills you, more on that can be found here.
Protection - The Surgeon General has released a video showing you how to make a face covering in just 35 seconds, find out how here.
Coronavirus killing drugs: A drug has been found that can remove any trace of the coronavirus in just 48 hours, read more on that here.
Coronavirus symptoms - An important early warning sign for the coronavirus has been found, discover what it is here.
Prevention: A coronavirus expert has revealed why soap is better at preventing you from contracting the the disease than hand sanitizer, read why here.
Masks: A study has shown that masks aren't an effective way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, here's why.
New symptom: A new coronavirus symptom has been found by doctors, check out what it is here.
Airborne: Scientists have managed to be able to pinpoint just how far the coronavirus can travel in the air, more on that can be read here.
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