China’s Testing of ‘Lethal’ COVID Strains Sparks Concerns Among Experts: ‘This Madness Must Be…’

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person holding test tubes
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Scientists in China have recently conducted experiments on a novel coronavirus strain, GX_P2V. It resulted in a 100% fatality rate in genetically-modified mice. This strain is a mutation of GX/2017, a virus initially identified in Malaysian pangolins in 2017.

The study, originating from Beijing, notes the swift and lethal impact of GX_P2V on mice with human-like genetic structures. The virus, targetting multiple organs including the brain, led to rapid deterioration in the mice’s condition, culminating in death within eight days.

The mice got very sick quickly. They lost a lot of weight, couldn’t move well, and their eyes turned white before they died. This study is different because all the mice died, which is more than what happened in other studies about similar viruses.

“SARS-CoV-2-related pangolin coronavirus GX_P2V(short_3UTR) can cause 100% mortality in human ACE2-transgenic mice, potentially attributable to late-stage brain infection. This underscores a spillover risk of GX_P2V into humans and provides a unique model for understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-related viruses,” wrote the authors.

But, it’s not clear what this means for people. The study does not directly correlate these results with potential effects on humans.

Experts slam the study

Some experts, like Francois Balloux from the University College London, think this study is not useful and could be dangerous.

“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 humanised mice with a random virus. Conversely, I could see how such stuff might go wrong,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter).

“This madness must be stopped before too late,” posted Dr. Gennadi Glinsky, a retired professor.

This study is separate from the research in Wuhan, which was linked to different ideas about where COVID-19 came from. The origin of COVID-19 is still not known. The new study in China raises questions about doing risky experiments with viruses.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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