I have covered genomic research for years and written several books on the topic. I have a reputation as a strong supporter of biotechnology. But I had not realised just how risky some of the experiments being done on viruses have become in recent years, let alone that they are happening in the centre of a large city.
In recent years in the city of Wuhan, in China, scientists were combining the genomes of coronaviruses taken from bats and making chimera (hybrid viruses) that grew up to 10,000 times more quickly than their parent viruses and were more than three times as lethal to ‘humanised’ mice. Whether similar experiments resulted in the Covid-19 pandemic is still unknown, but they could have done.
In researching our book Viral, updated and newly released in paperback, on the origin of Covid-19, the scientist Alina Chan and I concluded that it is highly likely the outbreak began in Wuhan.