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IPFS News Link • Pandemic

Chinese scientists 'create' a mutant coronavirus strain that attacks the BRAIN...


Chinese scientists have been experimenting with a mutant coronavirus strain that is 100 percent lethal in mice — despite concerns such research could spark another pandemic.

Scientists in Beijing — who are linked to the Chinese military — cloned a Covid-like virus found in pangolins, known as GX_P2V, and used it to infect mice.

The mice had been 'humanized', meaning they were engineered to express a protein found in people, with the goal being to assess how the virus might react in humans.

Every rodent that was infected with the pathogen died within eight days, which the researchers described as 'surprisingly' quick.

The team were also surprised to find high levels of viral load in the mice's brains and eyes - suggesting the virus, despite being related to Covid, multiplies and spreads through the body in a unique way.

Writing in a scientific paper that has not yet been published, they warned the finding 'underscores a spillover risk of GX_P2V into humans'.

Professor Francois Balloux, an infectious disease expert based at University College London, wrote on Twitter (X): 'It's a terrible study, scientifically totally pointless. 

'I can see nothing of vague interest that could be learned from force-infecting a weird breed of humanized mice with a random virus. Conversely, I could see how such stuff might go wrong...'

Professor Richard Ebright, a chemist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, told he wholeheartedly agreed with Professor Balloux's assessment.

He added: 'The preprint does not specify the biosafety level and biosafety precautions used for the research. 

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