The publication of a study by Chinese researchers on a lab-created mutant coronavirus-related virus that supposedly kills humanized mice 100% of the time has sparked debate within the scientific community. Conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 virus’s origin have been rekindled by the study, which suggests a potential connection to a botched Chinese lab experiment.
The coronavirus variant GX_P2V, which was found in Malaysian pangolins in 2017 before the Covid-19 pandemic, was the subject of the investigation. This strain was allegedly utilized by Chinese researchers in Beijing to infect genetically edited mice that were designed to have human genetic characteristics. The startling outcome was a 100% death rate in the afflicted humanized mice, which was significantly higher than any previous study’s findings.
The infected mice exhibited rapid deterioration, with visible symptoms such as weight loss, sluggish movements, and a hunched posture. The virus infiltrated various organs, including the lungs, bones, eyes, tracheas, and brains of the mice. Strikingly, their eyes reportedly turned completely white a day before succumbing to the virus. The study’s authors defended their work, stating that it highlighted the spillover risk of GX_P2V into humans and offered a unique model for understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-related viruses.
The study’s results, however, infuriated Western scientists and virologists, who deemed it “terrible” and “useless.” Many questioned the dearth of important information regarding the GX_P2V virus’s possible effects on people. The research’s use of biosafety procedures was also questioned; specialists such as Francois Balloux and Richard H. Ebright brought up the lack of detailed information on biosafety levels and safeguards.
The study’s controversy has stoked concerns about careless experimentation and insufficient biosafety procedures, which are similar to worries expressed concerning research conducted in Wuhan between 2016 and 2019. Experts like Gennadi Glinsky are warning against rushing into this kind of research and stressing the need to stop it before it gets out of control as the debate progresses.