As the new coronavirus which causes the disease Covid-19 continues to infect the global population with the number of confirmed cases being over 350.000, there is also a lot of misinformation being spread around as well.
One theory was that the virus was made by scientists in Wuhan, and that it broke out causing a global pandemic. This is highly improbable.
Experts in the field of microbiology have observed the genetic template of the spikes from the surface of the new coronavirus, which the virus uses to attach to the external cell walls of its host and afterwards enter those cells. Scientists have examined the gene sequences responsible for the two key attributes of these spikes: their method of hooking to the host and entering the cell.
The analysis has shown that the part of the spike called “the hook” has developed to target the receptors from human cells called ACE2. The virus proved to be highly capable of hooking up to the human cells that the scientists have concluded the origin of the spike proteins in SARS-KoV-2 to be a result of natural selection, not genetical engineering.
Scientists have researched the connection between SARS-KoV and SARS-KoV-2. Through data gathering, we can see that the computer simulations of SARS-KoV-2 mutations show low capabilities of the virus connecting to the human cells. From there on we can conclude that the new coronavirus isn’t man-made. If a person decided to create a deadly virus, they wouldn’t choose one with such poor abilities to latch onto a host. However, nature proved to be smarter than the scientists, going against all odds and making the virus completely different than anything scientists could’ve made.
Another evidence that suggests SARS-KoV-2 wasn’t made in a lab is its molecular structure, which discerns from other known coronaviruses. It mostly resembles viruses found in bats and crustaceans, which were considered to be low-risk for humans due to their unexplored properties.
How did SARS-KoV-2 become a threat to humanity? There are a few theories. The first one is that we got it directly from an infected animal, as was the case with both SARS and MERS. In this case, the animal was probably either a bat or a crustacean. Another theory is that the virus mutated to its current pathogen structure after the virus was transferred to humans.
If the first theory is true, it could mean bad news because the virus could return causing another outbreak, but if it has to be present in humans to mutate the probability of it happening is significantly lower.