In a Wuhan-esque study, Chinese scientists are testing a mutant COVID-19 strain with a 100% killing streak in “humanized” mice.
The deadly virus – known as GX_P2V – attacked the brains of mice that had been engineered to mimic the genetic makeup of humans. The study was shared from Beijing last week.
“This underscores the risk of GX_P2V transmission within humans and provides a unique model for understanding the pathogenic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-related viruses,” the authors wrote.
The deadly virus is a mutated version of GX/2017, a relative of the coronavirus that was reportedly discovered in Malaysian pangolins in 2017 – three years before the pandemic.
All of the mice infected with the virus died within eight days, a “surprisingly” rapid death rate, the researchers noted.
GX_P2V infected the lungs, bones, eyes, trachea, and brain of dead mice, the latter being severe enough to cause animal death.
In the days leading up to their death, the mice rapidly lost weight, exhibited a hunched posture, and moved very sluggishly.
After all, their eyes turned completely white the day before they died.
While alarming, this is the first study to report a 100% mortality rate in mice infected with a virus related to COVID-19 — a number higher than previously reported results from another study, the researchers wrote.
More importantly, the results of the study did not clearly address how they would affect humans.
Francois Bouloux, an epidemiologist at University College London's Institute of Genetics, slammed the research as “appalling” and “scientifically completely pointless”.
“I couldn't see the vague interest that could be learned from forcibly infecting a different breed of humanized mice with a random virus. Instead, I could see how things like this could go wrong,” the professor said. Wrote in X.
“The biosafety level was not specified in the preprint… due to this lack of information… it is possible that… this research, similar to the research in Wuhan… which may have resulted in… Covid…, was done without… biosecurity… necessary for research with a potential pandemic pathogen. “
Richard H. Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Ruger University. Ebright supported Balloux's concerns Simple: “Accept.”
Dr. Gennady Klinsky, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Stanford, wrote: “This madness must stop before it's too late.”
The 2024 study does not appear to have any connection to China's Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has been at the center of lab leak theories surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
US intelligence agencies over the summer found no direct evidence that the lab leaked the coronavirus, although they did not rule out the possibility that the virus came from someone else.
The origin of COVID-19 is still unclear.