Researchers in China say they’ve found a brand new group of coronaviruses in bats that’s much like the COVID-19 virus that has swept the world.
The researchers mentioned they collected samples from small bats that lived in forests in Yunnan Province between Might 2019 and November 2020. The samples consisted of urine, feces and mouth swabs.
“In complete, we assembled 24 novel coronavirus genomes from completely different species of bats, together with 4 SARS-CoV2-like viruses,” the researchers wrote within the journal Cell.
One pressure from a bat species, Rhinolophus pusillus, bears a very sturdy similarity to SARS-CoV-2, the researchers mentioned, though there are variations within the thorny protein that viruses use to bind to the cells they infect.
Along with the virus associated to SARS-CoV-2 collected from Thailand in June 2020, these outcomes clearly present that viruses carefully associated to SARS-CoV-2 proceed to flow into in bat populations, and in some areas could happen with frequency Comparatively excessive they wrote.
The research, launched Thursday, comes amid rising curiosity within the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many researchers consider the illness originated in bats, though it’s doable that it handed by an middleman animal earlier than infecting people.
America has additionally pushed for an investigation into whether or not the virus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China – a declare that alarmed Beijing.
Observers notice that even when the virus leaked from a laboratory, it doesn’t essentially imply that the virus was created in a laboratory and will have been studied there solely earlier than the scientist left the ability unknowingly contaminated.
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