Thesis strengthens the case for a lab origin of the pandemic
Summary of new article in Independent Science News:
In 2012 six miners became ill while shovelling bat guano at a mine in Yunnan Province, China. These miners developed symptoms very similar to COVID-19 and three of them died. Their symptoms and treatments were described in a Chinese Master's thesis that Jonathan Latham, PhD and Allison Wilson, PhD previously arranged to have translated.
From this translation, Drs Latham and Wilson developed a theory of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 called the Mojiang Miners Passage theory. It proposes that the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolved in one of these miners. Samples from them were then sent for testing and research to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in 2012 which is how the virus reached Wuhan.
A key point of contention since then has been that, whereas the Master’s thesis states that tests done at the WIV gave positive results, scientists from the WIV have implied (but never stated) that the miners had no coronavirus. Hoping to resolve this mystery, Drs Latham and Wilson have now translated large sections of a second Chinese thesis. It is a PhD written in 2016 by a student of virologist George Gao (now head of China’s CDC). The student, called Canping Huang, sampled for viruses in the Mojiang mine in 2014.
This PhD contradicts the account of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in several ways. Most importantly, it too claims that coronavirus tests on the miners’ samples sent to the WIV were positive. This substantially strengthens the case for a lab origin of the pandemic. It also implies that scientists from the WIV are not telling the truth about the miner’s samples.
Read the full article in Independent Science News: