In a recent study, scientists in China conducted experiments with a novel coronavirus strain, GX_P2V, leading to a 100% fatality rate in genetically-modified mice. This particular strain is a mutation of GX/2017, a virus initially identified in Malaysian pangolins in 2017.
Deadly Impact on Mice
The study, originating from Beijing, highlighted the swift and lethal impact of GX_P2V on mice with human-like genetic structures. The virus targeted multiple organs, including the brain, resulting in rapid deterioration and death within just eight days. The mice exhibited severe symptoms such as rapid weight loss, impaired mobility, and discolored eyes before succumbing to the virus.
According to the authors of the study, “SARS-CoV-2-related pangolin coronavirus GX_P2V can cause 100% mortality in human ACE2-transgenic mice, potentially attributable to late-stage brain infection. This underscores a spillover risk of GX_P2V into humans and provides a unique model for understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-related viruses.” However, it remains unclear how these findings directly correlate with potential effects on humans.
Some experts, including Francois Balloux from the University College London, have criticized the study, calling it scientifically pointless and potentially dangerous. Dr. Gennadi Glinsky, a retired professor, also voiced concerns, stating, “This madness must be stopped before it’s too late.” This raises significant questions and concerns about the ethical implications of conducting such risky experiments with viruses.
Implications and Cautions
The study in question is separate from the controversial research in Wuhan, which has been linked to various hypotheses regarding the origins of COVID-19. As the origin of COVID-19 is still not definitively known, the new study in China has sparked discussions about the potential risks associated with conducting experiments with lethal virus strains.
Amidst these developments, the scientific community and policymakers must carefully evaluate the risks and benefits associated with conducting experiments involving highly virulent pathogens. It is imperative to prioritize safety and ethical considerations to prevent any unintended consequences or potential threats to public health.
In conclusion, the recent experiments conducted in China with a ‘lethal’ COVID strain have raised serious concerns and sparked debates within the scientific community. As the implications of such studies remain uncertain, it is crucial to adopt a cautious and responsible approach towards conducting research involving potentially dangerous pathogens. This calls for increased vigilance and ethical oversight to mitigate any potential risks to both human health and global biosecurity.
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