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Leading biologist dampens his 'smoking gun' Covid lab leak theory

Nobel laureate David Baltimore says he overstated case, and the origins of the virus are still unknown

In the midst of the renewed controversy, one of the key scientific debates has drilled down into whether the virus's furin cleavage site is so novel that it occurred through human manipulation rather than evolving naturally.

Supporting the latter theory, some scientists point out that the same feature occurs in other common coronaviruses including ones that cause colds and that it appears intermittently in the family tree of coronaviruses.

Baltimore's clarification came as he was also challenged in Nature on another of his claims relating to Covid-19, that the coding of a segment found in the furin cleavage site was not usually found in viruses, with a fellow scientist pointing out the same coding was also a feature of the Sars virus.

Column: A Nobel laureate backs off from claiming a `smoking gun' for the COVID-19 lab-leak theory | LA Times |

h/t gk

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jun 9th, 2021 at 09:26:42 PM EST
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