With life returning to normal as Covid-19 wanes, a new Covid strain which has 80% kill rate has been CREATED in the US. A team of Boston University scientists claim that they have made a hybrid virus — combining Omicron and the original Wuhan strain — that killed 80 per cent of mice in a study.
Experts have slammed the scientists for “playing with fire” and engaging in such “dangerous virus manipulation” research which has not been peer-reviewed.
Professor Shmuel Shapira, a leading scientist in the Israeli Government, said: ‘This should be totally forbidden, it’s playing with fire.’
There are theories that a virus manipulation research in China may have started the pandemic. A lab in China’s Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected, carried out similar research on bat coronaviruses.
Dr Richard Ebright, a chemist at Rutgers University in New Jersey said the research is a clear example of gain of function research. “If we are to avoid a next lab-generated pandemic, it is imperative that oversight of enhanced potential pandemic pathogen research be strengthened,” he added.
Researchers extracted Omicron’s spike protein — the unique structure that binds to and invades human cells -- and attached it to the original wildtype strain that first emerged in Wuhan at the start of the pandemic. The scientists call this new hybrid virus "Omicron-S"
The researchers looked at how mice fared against the new hybrid strain compared to the original Omicron variant. “In…mice, while Omicron causes mild, non-fatal infection, the Omicron S-carrying virus inflicts severe disease with a mortality rate of 80 percent,” they wrote in the paper.
However, rodents survived and experienced only ‘mild’s symptoms when they were exposed to the standard Omicron strain.
“It is especially concerning that this new US-government ePPP research - like the previous US-government ePPP research on chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses at Wuhan Institute of Virology that may have caused the pandemic - appears not to have undergone the prior risk-benefit review mandated under US-government policies. If we are to avoid a next lab-generated pandemic, it is imperative that oversight of ePPP research be strengthened,” Ebright said.