Adrian Gibbs, the virologist who said in May that swine flu may have escaped from a laboratory, published his findings today, renewing discussion about the origins of the pandemic virus.If this latest strain did originate in a laboratory, that raises an even more ominous question: Was its release accidental or intentional?
The new H1N1 strain, which was discovered in Mexico and the U.S. in April, may be the product of three strains from three continents that swapped genes in a lab or a vaccine-making plant, Gibbs, and fellow Australian scientists wrote in Virology Journal. The authors analyzed the genetic makeup of the virus and found its origin could be more simply explained by human involvement than a coincidence of nature. ...
... While the exact source of the new H1N1 strain is a mystery, their research has "raised many new questions," they said. The authors compared the genetic blueprints of flu strains stored in the free database Genbank and found the pandemic virus's nearest ancestors circulate in pigs.