Genetic evidence links coronavirus to raccoon dogs 14:40 abroad Because Chinese researchers shared details about samples, a French biologist was able to examine the data.

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There is a new indication that the coronavirus originated in animals, to be more precise: in the raccoon dog. Samples taken by Chinese researchers at the start of the pandemic now show high levels of raccoon dog DNA. De Volkskrant and various international media write that.

China has always denied that those virus samples also contain animal DNA. But last week, Chinese researchers briefly shared virus data on Gisaid, a database where scientists exchange information.

Just before that data disappeared again, a French researcher, among others, was able to download the data, and he discovered the many DNA traces of the raccoon dog.

Moreover, there appears to be more animal DNA in the virus samples than human DNA. This makes the theory that the virus originated in animals a lot more plausible.

Labs

Virologist Marion Koopmans does not yet want to anticipate the publication in de Volkskrant. “But it is clear that there were many other animal species on that market.” It has long been suspected that bats in the Wuhan market were the cause of corona.

There are also many laboratories in Wuhan, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where animal viruses are researched, among other things. This in turn can give the impression that the virus originated in a lab. The US FBI last month called that theory “plausible”, but has still not drawn any conclusions.

Furious

In the scientific journal Science, the WHO calls it inexcusable that this information has been withheld for so long. “The moral and scientific interest and public health should have taken precedence over this.”

Despite this latest research, it is still not possible to definitively determine whether and in which animal species the virus originated, but several scientists call this discovery “a next step” in the research into the origin of the corona virus.

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