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Inside the Chinese lab central to the search for the coronavirus' origin
投稿者: xysoom 投稿日時: 2021-2-19 13:34
Inside the Chinese lab central to the search for the coronavirus' origin



Cloistered off a major thoroughfare, the Wuhan Institute of Virology could pass for a college campus, its red brick buildings distinguishable from their busy surroundings only by a long, imposing driveway lined with cameras, with a security guard standing sentry.To get more news about china industry research centers, you can visit acem.sjtu.edu.cn official website.

On the neatly manicured grounds beside a small man-made lake is a newer structure with silver sidings and few windows. This, the institute's BSL-4 lab — the first in China to receive the highest level of biosafety clearance — stands at the center of an international firestorm of recrimination over China's role in the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, NBC News became the first foreign news organization to be granted access to the institute since the outbreak began, meeting with senior scientists working to pinpoint the origins of the virus. The Wuhan institute and its scientists have become the focus of intense speculation and conspiracy theories — some emanating from the White House — about China's alleged efforts to downplay the outbreak's severity and whether the virus leaked from the facility.

During the roughly five-hour visit, which included a tour of the BSL-4 lab, where technicians clad in bubblelike protective suits handled small vials and other equipment while sealed inside a thick-walled glass enclosure, Wang Yanyi, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said she and others felt unfairly targeted. She urged that politics not cloud investigations into how the coronavirus spilled over into humans."It is unfortunate that we have been targeted as a scapegoat for the origin of the virus," she said. "Any person would inevitably feel very angry or misunderstood being subject to unwarranted or malicious accusations while carrying out research and related work in the fight against the virus."

The first clusters of a pneumonia-like illness were reported in December in Wuhan, a sprawling city of 11 million people that hugs the Yangtze River in China's central Hubei province.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology, founded in the 1950s, is a prominent research facility that enjoyed an even more elevated profile after it opened the BSL-4 lab in 2015. These days, scientists at the lab are focused on the coronavirus, but normally, work at the facility includes research on some of the most dangerous known viruses, including the Ebola, Nipah and Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever viruses.

It is partly because the Wuhan institute is equipped to study the world's highest-risk infectious agents and toxins — including those, like the latest coronavirus, that are believed to have originated in bats — that it is entangled in accusations that it had something to do with the outbreak.

During a White House event on April 30, President Donald Trump referred to a possible link. When asked whether he had seen evidence that suggested that the virus originated at the Wuhan lab, Trump responded: "Yes, I have."