In a recent study conducted by a team of scientists in China, a new strain of Covid-19, named GX-P2V, has raised concerns due to its 100% mortality rate in a specialized breed of genetically modified mice designed to mimic human reactions to the virus.
The mice, engineered with human-like protein expression in their brains, succumbed to the virus within eight days, exhibiting severe symptoms such as weight loss, impaired movement, and ultimately, white eyes before death.
The virus, a mutated form of GX/2017 discovered in Malaysian pangolins in 2017, was cloned and stored for experimentation. The researchers acknowledged the potential for a “virulence-enhancing mutation” occurring in storage, making the virus more lethal.
However, the study’s alarming findings, including the virus’s widespread impact on the mice’s organs, particularly the brain, have sparked concerns about potential catastrophic effects if the virus were to spread among humans.
The research team emphasized the speculative nature of their findings, given the study’s reliance on mice models, albeit genetically modified to resemble human responses. Some experts, such as Francois Balloux from University College London’s Genetics Institute, criticized the study as “scientifically totally pointless,” expressing concerns about the lack of biosafety information and potential risks associated with the research.
Professor Richard Ebright from Rutgers University also highlighted the absence of biosafety details, raising concerns about the possibility of conducting research without essential containment measures, akin to the circumstances surrounding the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Gennadi Glinsky, a retired professor of medicine at Stanford, echoed concerns, calling for intervention to halt what he referred to as “madness” before it becomes a greater threat.