Early Samples Of The Virus Were Most Likely Deleted From The NIH Database; Experts Express Doubts

0
272
Early Samples Of The Virus Were Most Likely Deleted From The NIH Database; Experts Express Doubts

A specialist in the field of virus evolution has made a shocking claim as he believes that presently the scientists can be working with the wrong strains of the virus.

Early Samples Of The Virus Were Most Likely Deleted From The NIH Database; Experts Express Doubts

The claim is based on the fact that some early strains of the virus deposited to the NIH by some Chinese researchers have been deleted.

According to Jesse Bloom, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, it has been found that the genetic sequences from the virus strains of the initial pandemic surge in China were deleted from the database of the US National Institute of Health.

Early Samples Of The Virus Were Most Likely Deleted From The NIH Database; Experts Express Doubts

What the finding implies:

Analysis has shown that the genetic sequence of the virus that caused the initial cases in Wuhan, China, the city from where the virus had originated, is different from the genetic sequence of the strains that later caused the infections across the world.

Bloom adds that the finding does not give any further information on whether the virus emerged as a laboratory leak or jumped into humans from bats through some intermediate host.

However, it signifies that the samples that are being presently used to determine the origin of the virus may not be absolutely credible.

Bloom further claims to have retrieved the files that were deleted from Google cloud and reconstructed part of the genetic sequence of the 13 different strains of the virus that emerged during the initial days of the pandemic.

The claims have been put forward in a paper posted on bioRxiv, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Bloom is presently assisting in studying the mutations in the various strains of the virus.

How is the claim viewed:

The NIH has accepted that the genetic sequence of the earliest strains of the virus that was submitted by the researcher in March 2020 was deleted on request from the same individual by June 2020.

NIH has stated that it is a common practice to allow such changes and scientists across the globe have been sharing their data on the platform since the beginning of the pandemic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been trying to find out the origin of the virus for a long, and in March, they issued a report stating that the virus was most likely transmitted from an animal to human-like all past cases of coronavirus infections.

The WHO had completely discarded any possibility of the virus being the product of any lab leak or genetic engineering experiments.

Much of the investigation was solely based on the early cases that originated in the seafood market of Wuhan, the initial hotspot of the virus, which caused WHO to face some criticism as it accepted all the evidence from China.

What does the deleted data signify:

Bloom states that the deleted data is not a smoking gun.

 It does not provide any additional information based on which the origin of the virus can be determined.

Rather it shows that the early strains of the virus circulating during the initial pandemic days are still unknown. It can carry evolutionary evidence that the virus causing the pandemic might actually be older than the one circulating in the Wuhan market.

The contrary opinion:

There are contradictions to the claims made by Bloom; scientists holding a different view are somewhat hesitant to accept the theory of deleted database.

According to Robert Garry, a professor of immunology at Tulane University, if the early sequences were deleted to hinder the study of knowledge about the origin of the virus, then such effort did not make much of a change.

These sequences do not provide any new knowledge about the genetic variation of the virus in the early pandemic days.

Gary believes that it can be attributed to mistakes and non-ideal situations regarding the submission of such details, which happens around sharing of scientific data at all times.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here