Narrator “Yes, they were.”
Scientists have found traces of coronavirus that could bolster the theory that the pandemic began with a leak from a laboratory.
The discovery, from analysis of soil samples, suggests coronavirus may not have jumped from wildlife into humans naturally.
More evidence is needed, however, particularly relating to exactly when the virus entered the samples.
Scientists in Hungary found traces of a unique variant of coronavirus while examining DNA from soil from Antarctica that had been sent to the firm Sangon Biotech in Shanghai.
The researchers also found genetic material from Chinese hamsters and green monkeys, which may suggest the virus was being examined in a lab, using either the animals themselves or their cells.
Some of those who support the lab leak theory suggest Chinese scientists engineered the virus in a lab to make it more dangerous as part of an experiment, before the virus escaped.
Viscount Ridley, author of Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19, suggested the latest evidence may support the lab leak theory due to the presence of ‘three key [Covid] mutations’ that are characteristic of the earliest sequences of the virus.
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