Pandemic of the new coronavirus is being talked about todayall. The magnitude of what is happening and the impending financial crisis are a serious cause for concern. No one knows when the pandemic will end, you can only make forecasts based on the current situation. Unfortunately, such uncertainty often leads to conspiracy theories. So, one of the most popular theories says that evil scientists invented CoVID-19 in the laboratory and did it on purpose. To all claims that coronavirus is of natural origin, many react with almost the same distrust with which they relate to climate change. At least on open spaces. Make sure this is simple - take a look at the comments on articles on coronavirus and global warming. But now - and I sincerely hope so - one conspiracy theory will become less. Scientists have proven that CoVID-19 appeared naturally.
- 1 Where did the new coronavirus come from?
- 2 When did China realize the seriousness of the spread of COVID-19?
- 3 What genetic data have scientists studied?
- 4 Evidence of Natural Evolution COVID-19
Where did the new coronavirus come from?
As scientists from non-profit foundScripps Research Medical Research Center, the new CoVID-19 coronavirus originally from Wuhan, China. The first cases were recorded at the end of last year and caused a large-scale epidemic. On March 10, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted that the epidemic had turned into a pandemic, as the virus spread to more than 100 countries. According to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, CoVID-19 is a product of natural evolution. The analysis of publicly available data on the genome sequence of the new coronavirus and its associated viruses did not reveal any evidence that the virus was created in the laboratory or otherwise constructed.
“By comparing the available data on the genome sequence of known strains of coronavirus, we can determine that CoVID-19 arose as a result of natural processes”- write the authors of the study. Moreover, coronavirus also entered other countries as a result of a natural evolutionary process.
At the time of this writing, a pandemiccoronavirus in Europe and Russia is gaining momentum. Unsurprisingly, this caused a panic mixed with fake news - fake news. Indeed, if you briefly distract from what is happening today, you begin to recall that the information surrounds us everywhere and it is often unreliable. In fact, fake news is a very interesting phenomenon that creates many different problems. We wrote about this in one of the previous articles. The abundance of information along with the lack of a habit of checking this information was the result of the birth of a conspiracy theory about the unsuccessful attempt of the Chinese government to control the population of the Celestial Empire. These rumors appeared from the very outbreak in Wuhan, as there is a laboratory for the study of dangerous viruses near the seafood market - the epicenter of the outbreak. At the same time, no one can explain why China is something so potentially harmless and at the same time uncontrolled.
Another equally popular conspiracy theory,states that the virus was brought to China from the United States. I must say, some liked it. By the way, about what personal qualities lovers of conspiracy theories have in our special material.
But the results finally put everythingdots over “and”: as lead author of the study Christian Andersen, Ph.D., associate professor of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research writes “if someone wanted to construct a new coronavirus as a pathogen, he would create it from the backbone of the virus, which it is known to cause disease. ” Analysis of the publicly available sequence data of the CoVID-19 genome and its associated viruses did not reveal any evidence that the virus was created in the laboratory or in any other way.
When did China realize the seriousness of the spread of COVID-19?
December 31, 2019 Chinese authoritieswarned the World Health Organization about the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus, which was later named SARS-CoV-2, and the general public is known as CoVID-19 or just coronavirus. Shortly after the outbreak, Chinese scientists sequenced the SARS-CoV-2 SARS gene and provided the data to scientists around the world. The data showed that the Chinese authorities quickly discovered an epidemic and that the number of cases of infection with CoVID-19 is growing due to the acquired ability of the virus to be quickly transmitted from person to person, once in the human population. Andersen and staff at several other research institutes used the coronavirus sequenced genome to study its origin, focusing on several characteristics of the virus.
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What genetic data have scientists studied?
Scientists have analyzed the genetic patternspike-like proteins - these are the spikes of the same corona on the outside of the virus - which it uses to capture and penetrate the outer walls of human and animal cells. More specifically, the researchers focused on two important features of the spike-like protein: the receptor-binding region (RBD) - a kind of hook that captures the host cells, and the restriction site - a molecular can opener that allows the virus to open the host cells and enter.
Evidence of Natural Evolution COVID-19
Scientists have discovered that part of the RBD spikeProtein SARS-CoV-2 has evolved to adapt to the molecular features of human cells called ACE2 - a receptor that is involved in the regulation of blood pressure. The spiky protein SARS-CoV-2 was so effective at binding human cells that scientists came to the conclusion that it is the result of natural selection, not a product of genetic engineering.
See also: Why is coronavirus not the flu? Explain on the fingers
Evidence of naturalThe evolutionary process was supported by data on the general molecular structure of SARS-CoV-2 - its skeleton. If someone wanted to construct a new coronavirus as a pathogen, he would create it from the skeleton of the virus that causes the disease. But the scientists who conducted the COVID-19 study found that the SARS-CoV-2 scaffold is significantly different from the skeleton of the already known coronaviruses and basically resembles the related viruses found in bats and pangolins.
These two features of the virus, mutations in the RBD part of the spike protein and its clear skeleton, exclude laboratory manipulations as a potential origin of SARS-CoV-2, the authors of the study write.
According to ScienceDaily, Josie Golding, Dr.Medical Sciences, head of the epidemiological department of the British Wellcome Trust, believes that the findings of Andersen and his colleagues are extremely important in order to convey to the general public scientifically sound information about the origin of coronavirus and put an end to all rumors. Moreover, the results of the COVID-19 study revealed two possible sources of its origin. Based on the analysis, Andersen and his colleagues concluded that the most likely origin of the new coronavirus follows one of two possible scenarios.
Scenario 1: transmission of the virus to humans from a sick animal
According to the first scenario, the virus has evolvedto its current pathogenic state through natural selection in the host animal, and then jumped to people. This is how the previous outbreak of coronavirus arose when people became infected after exposure to camels by MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). In other words, the virus has already mutated into something dangerous and simply passed on to humans.
As a natural reservoir forSARS-CoV-2 bats were selected, as the CoVID-19 genome is 70% similar to the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) genome. However, there are no documented cases of direct transmission of the virus from bats to humans, which suggests that an intermediate carrier was most likely involved between the bats and the human. In this scenario, both distinctive features of the SARS-CoV-2 spike-like portion of the protein — RBD, which binds to cells, and the restriction site that allows the virus to enter — would evolve to their current state even before the virus passed to humans. In this case, the current epidemic would probably have arisen very quickly, since the virus would have already developed those traits that make it pathogenic and able to spread between people.
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Scenario 2: transmission of the virus to humans from a healthy animal
According to scenario 2, the non-pathogenic version of the virusjumped from the host animal to man, and then evolved to its current pathogenic state already in the human population. In other words, the virus became dangerous when it got inside a person.
For example, some pangolin coronaviruses -armored mammals that live in Asia and Africa have an RBD structure very similar to that of SARS-CoV-2. Coronavirus from pangolins could be transmitted to humans either directly or through an intermediate host, such as ferrets. In this case, another spike-like protein characteristic of the coronavirus — the restriction site — could evolve inside the person, possibly circulating undetected in the population until the outbreak. The analysis of COVID-19 showed that the restriction site of SARS-CoV-2 is similar to that of strains of bird flu, which are easily transmitted between people. A new coronavirus could develop a restriction site in human cells and provoke an epidemic.
This increases the likelihood of other outbreaksdiseases in the future. Study co-author Andrew Rambo warned that it is currently difficult, if not impossible, to know which scenario is most likely. If coronavirus enters the human body in its current pathogenic form from an animal source, this increases the likelihood of future outbreaks, since the virus-causing strain of the virus can still circulate in the animal population and can go back to the person. The likelihood that a pandemic will recur is reduced if scenario No. 2 is correct, as it will be more difficult for a new coronavirus to evolve within a person.
Experts note that the reaction of governments tocoronavirus should be targeted at populations that face the most devastating consequences. So far this has not happened. It must be understood that the world is facing an unprecedented and huge wave of mortality among older people. Rambo also warns that at the moment it is very difficult, if at all possible, to find out which of the scenarios is most likely.
And yet, today we can say with confidence that CoVID-19 was not artificially created in the laboratory. And I think this is good news. And you?