In light of current evidence,
to what extent do you agree with the statement
'SARS-CoV-2 both originated and spread to humans entirely naturally,
i.e. it was neither engineered nor, even if not engineered, did it leak out of a research laboratory'?

aggregated votes
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current thinking:

process vote code

41, Wednesday, 10-Feb-21 15:47:55 UTC, plant & animal science, voting: fully

I am increasingly convinced that the virus emerged from the wild, from bats.

40, Wednesday, 10-Feb-21 15:04:17 UTC, microbiology, voting: mostly

With other pandemic/epidemic human coronaviruses (SARS, MERS) and also historical endemic human coronaviruses there is precedent based on genetic analysis for interspecies transmission from bat host reservoirs to intermediate hosts and spillover to humans. The closest strains to SARS-CoV-2 genetically are from bats, including a recent strain identified from bats in Thailand. SARS-related strains have been confirmed in bats including ones that can bind to the human ACE2 receptor. So there is evidence and precedent for bats as coronavirus reservoir hosts and spillover to humans and also livestock.

39, Wednesday, 10-Feb-21 14:07:14 UTC, microbiology, voting: fully

The new report didn't really change much in my opinion.

37, Wednesday, 10-Feb-21 12:14:32 UTC, molecular biology & genetics, voting: partially

Hardly, little, and actually lacks of any empirical data to make conclusion as the above statement! Worse, the Chair and members of the current WHO investigation is a total deceitful!

36, Wednesday, 10-Feb-21 10:50:32 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: partially

No reservoir of the virus in animal population found. Only genetic relatives including most isolates of SARS-like viruses from bats but all species not sampled nor domestic animals. Source of virus in Wuhan market could have been human, animal product or live animal but failure to isolate virus from live animals suggests either product probably frozen or humans.Farmed wildlife species are likely epidemiological factor as shown with mink and zooanthroponosis and subsequent zoonosis but failure of SARS to persist through zoonosis and lack of evidence for COVID of an animal source suggests that the virus may not have an animal reservoir and is an adapted virus to humans and not a zoonosis therefore. Could be a rare virus in a small population of animal with a chance spill over to in contact humans which spread but hard to detect or confirm this. Hard to rule out genetic engineering in truth especially given the focus of work on the Beta coronavirus at Wuhan Labs with US support - the presence of a Wuhan lab US co-researcher in the WHO team raises the question of conflict of interest in information coming out of this mission.

35, Wednesday, 10-Feb-21 09:43:41 UTC, microbiology, voting: mostly

after a one year delay no one can seriously speak about transparency, although the inspection was performed by a team of independent experts.

33, Wednesday, 13-Jan-21 19:56:44 UTC, plant & animal science, voting: fully

More data are accumulating from various countries that COVID-19 existed even before December 2019 when the fist OVID-19 case was reported in China. Those countries include Italy, Spain, and the US, eliminating the possibility that the virus was leaked out from the laboratory. Also, it is highly unlikely SARS-CoV-2 can be engineered, although the engineering technology is available.

31, Wednesday, 13-Jan-21 10:19:36 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: mostly

what prevented me from ticking 'fully' is the claims that this virus is so much more dangerous than other Corona viruses in so many respects (infectiveness, mortality, short immunity following an infection). This is the only scientific argument, in my view, which justifies discussing the engineered origin.

28, Friday, 08-Jan-21 08:36:10 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: fully

All the genomic and other scientific evidence clearly indicates that it did not arise from laboratory or by genetic engineering. Rather it originated from a wildlife source, almost certainly from a horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus species), and through an as yet unknown intermediate animal host.

26, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 19:30:12 UTC, social sciences, general, voting: fully

The spread of the disease seems to be consistent with zoonotic transmission.

25, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 17:30:46 UTC, multidisciplinary, voting: fully

There is only the very very very very small chance this could have been engineered/leaked.

24, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 14:02:45 UTC, molecular biology & genetics, voting: mostly

All genetic evidence indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 genome or the genome of its direct progenitor have not been purposely manipulated in lab. However, the SARS-CoV-2 genome has signatures of its relatively long persistence in humans. A zoonotic transfer from an animal to human did not definitely occur in 2019 but long before. Hence, there is a possibility that an animal virus was cultivated in human cells gathering essential mutations which make it eventually highly contagious and particularly deadly. Thus, an escape of SARS-CoV-2 from the laboratory cannot be a priori excluded. An in depth investigation in labs (not only Chinese) by independent experts (not only WHO) is therefore warranted in line with an opinion of other researchers.

19, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 12:12:59 UTC, clinical medicine, voting: mostly

SARS-CoV-2 mishandling from a BSL4 Wuhan lab facility is likely to occur. There is no evidence for the engineering of the virus for the sake of pursuing a pandemic. An in depth transparent investigation in lab by independent experts (other than WHO or Chinese government) is therefore warranted in line with an opinion of other researchers.

16, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 10:29:15 UTC, molecular biology & genetics, voting: little

1- The location of the pandemy start should be highly unlikely to be downtown Wuhan when these type of viruses are naturally found >1000 miles away. 2- The sequence of the Spike protein is highly unlikely to have evolved naturally, in particular with i) the Furin-Cleavage Site which is unique to SARS-CoV2 in sarbecoviruses, ii) has 2 rare codons in a row that are very seldom used in Coronaviruses, iii) is higly biased in the third base of the codon ONLY in a defined place of the Spike 3- The PI of the Zhou et al. Nature paper (Zhengli Shi) stated in an interview in Science that 'she was relieved when she checked that there was no such sequence in her lab', and she later admitted that there was the 4991 isolate sequence which is 100 % homologous--She thus lied. 4- She admitted also that 8 other SARS sequences were found in the TG cave. Why are the sequences not available? 5- The thesis describing the physiopathology clearly says that it is a SARS-like disease, and that samples were taken to Wuhan, which in itself is a strong reason tobelieve that it is a probable source of emergence. 6- The PI of the Zhou et al. Nature paper (Zhengli Shi) ommitted to show in the Extended data Figure 3 the insertion at aa position 680 of this totally novel Furin Cleavage Site. Since she has been working n these sites in the past, it is totally unlikely that she (and 28 other to chinese virologist authors) did not see it. They stopped the aa alignement at aa 685.They chose or were told not to mention it, indicating that it was troublesome. 7- the evidence of a natural origin is not supported by any serious claim other than the wishful thinking 'it evolved from a natural host'. The intermediate host is still missing. 8- there are serious problems with the assembly and veracity of the RaTG13 sequence. 9- If it is evolved naturally why China is blocking the WHO team? 10- If it is evolved naturally why China is blocking access to sequence databases since october 2019?

15, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 10:20:09 UTC, other, voting: mostly

It is the breakdown of barriers between humans and animals (habitat loss, wet markets, intensive farmign systems) that are promoting emergence of zoonotic diseases. Not engineered diseases, but the causativew factors are human pressures.

13, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 10:06:10 UTC, microbiology, voting: fully

The zoonotic origin of the current SARS-CoV-2 virus is the most likely option, and it is what often happens in the contest of interaction of human with animals. There is no reason, at the moment, to think differently.

11, Thursday, 07-Jan-21 09:14:09 UTC, immunology, voting: fully

Based on the phylogenetic analyses of the circulating strains there is no evidence that this virus came from a laboratory

8, Wednesday, 06-Jan-21 15:08:27 UTC, plant & animal science, voting: mostly

A virus scape from a BSL4 facility is likely to occur, though not necessarily was engineered pursuing a pandemic

4, Wednesday, 06-Jan-21 11:00:32 UTC, biology & biochemistry, voting: fully

As long as there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, the default must be that this is a zoonotic virus whose host jump occurred naturally

3, Wednesday, 06-Jan-21 10:25:15 UTC, biology & biochemistry, voting: partially

If it is evolved naturally why China is blocking the WHO team.

1, Wednesday, 06-Jan-21 06:09:56 UTC, microbiology, voting: fully

There are genetically diverse SARS-related coronaviruses which exist in their natural reservoirs for a long time. SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 are two examples jumping to humans.