The new coronavirus is actually a result of natural evolution, said scientists from Scripps Research Institute.
According to a medical press release published on MEDICALxpress, the scientists analyzed the genome of the virus to reveal its true nature. They paid attention to the genes encoding proteins that form adhesions – protrusions that allow the virus to attach to the cell and penetrate inside it. Scientists have focused on two important features: a receptor-binding domain (RBD) and a cleavage site that allows the virus to invade the cell.
Analysis of the genome sequence data of known strains of coronavirus showed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, causing COVID-19 disease, arose as a result of natural processes.
As it turned out, RBD evolved to efficiently interact with the ACE2 cell receptor. According to scientists, this domain is so effective for binding to human cells that it is simply impossible to create such an artificial way today.
Scientists noted if the new coronavirus were created artificially, then a virus that is already known for causing the disease would be used. However, the basis of the new coronavirus is significantly different from the already known coronaviruses that infect humans.