Scientists Yuri Deigin, Adrian Jones, Karl Sirotkin, Alejandro Sousa, Kevin McCain and Daoyu Zhang carried out a new study. This paper makes clear how the Wuhan laboratory contamined biosphere. In fact, very serious biological pollution due to viral leaks was evident in the rural area around the building.
Driven by the strong motivation to understand the nature of possible flaws in mechanisms of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the authors documented the unexpected discovery of multiple coronaviruses and a BSL-3 pathogen in the soil located near the research centers. The quest has been possible exploiting a set of cotton and rice data sequenced by Huazhong Agricultural University. Specifically, they identified a new HKU5-related Merbecovirus and a sequence of infectious clones containing:
- A novel HKU4-related Merbecovirus proximal to coronavirus Mers (from the rice dataset sequenced by Huazhong Agricultural University in early 2020);
- Another HKU5-related Merbecovirus (cotton dataset sequenced by Huazhong Agricultural University in 2018);
- Japanese encephalitis virus (cotton dataset sequenced by Huazhong Agricultural University in 2018);
- A HKU3-related Betacoronavirus (Mus musculus sequencing dataset from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2017);
- A Betacoronavirus similar to SARS-WIV1 (in a rice dataset sequenced by Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in 2017).
Researchers assembled also complete genomes of two new unpublished Coronaviruses using contaminant readings.
A meddling puzzle
Another very important piece of the puzzle collected by the members of the Drastic team. As imaginable, in light of the discovery of some dangerous human pathogens released in the wild and the evidence that the Wuhan laboratory contamined biosphere, it is possible to raise major concerns to the international community about violations of the biosecurity protocol in agricultural sequencing laboratories in Wuhan and Fouzou City, China.
Smoking gun? Not yet, but unquestionably a document that will make a lot of talk and give the definitive impetus to publicly understand that the WIV was a bomb ready to explode, and, perhaps, already exploded.