The New Coronavirus Could Live Next To A Person For Decades

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The New Coronavirus Could Live Next To A Person For Decades
The New Coronavirus Could Live Next To A Person For Decades
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The new coronavirus could live next to a person for decades

Scientists have been trying for three months to figure out how and where the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus came from. Perhaps the virus has lived with people for a long time, new research shows. The new scientific work sharply criticizes the myth that this pathogen was created in the laboratory.

The new coronavirus could live next to a person for decades
The new coronavirus could live next to a person for decades

Photo: torange.biz /

Scientists have been trying for three months to figure out how and where the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus came from. Perhaps the virus has lived with people for a long time, new research shows. The new scientific work sharply criticizes the myth that this pathogen was created in the laboratory. The study is published in Nature Medicine.

Scientists have analyzed data on the genomes of the new coronavirus and other, close to it, coronaviruses. They concluded that the RNA regions of the new virus, which are responsible for the synthesis of a protein responsible for binding to human cells, are so efficient that they could only appear as a result of natural selection.

“By comparing the available data on genomes, we firmly found that SARS-CoV-2 came naturally,” says co-author of the study immunologist Kristian Andersen (Kristian Andersen).

Along with the theory of "laboratory origin" of the new coronavirus, scientists have considered other hypotheses. They were interested in at what stage the virus evolved into a dangerous pathogen that could cause a pandemic. Researchers believe that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not similar enough to animal coronaviruses, although it is similar to the viruses of bats and pangolins.

"The differences between the coronaviruses of flying flies and other animals are greatly underestimated," the authors write. They concluded that the most important changes in the virus did not occur when it lived only in animals.

The authors believe that the hypothesis that the virus evolved in the human body after being transmitted to it from animals seems more likely.

“Gradual evolutionary changes over years or decades eventually resulted in the virus's ability to spread from person to person and cause serious illness,” said the director of the National Institutes of Health in a blog post.

Scientists note that now it is difficult to say which of the two hypotheses (the development of the virus in the body of animals or humans) is correct.

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