Newly Discovered Bat Viruses Give Hints to Covid’s Origins

Newly Discovered Bat Viruses Give Hints to Covid’s Origins

Matter Newly Discovered Bat Viruses Give Hints to Covid’s Origins Coronaviruses discovered in Laotian bats are surprisingly adept at infecting human cells, showing that such deadly features can indeed evolve outside of a lab. In the summer of 2020, half a year into the coronavirus pandemic, scientists traveled into the forests of northern Laos to catch bats that might harbor close cousins of the pathogen. In the dead of night, they used mist nets and canvas traps to snag the animals as they emerged from nearby caves, gathered samples of saliva, urine and feces, then released them back into the darkness. The fecal samples turned out to contain coronaviruses, which the scientists studied in high security biosafety labs, known as BSL-3, using specialized protective gear and air filters. Three of …
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