Chinese virologist who fled to the US after claiming Covid-19 was made in a military lab releases 'evidence' to back up her theory

A Chinese virologist who alleges the coronavirus was cooked up in a military lab has published a report which she claims backs up her theory.
Li-Meng Yan, who alleges to be a former researcher at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, says the virus was built by merging the genetic material of two bat coronaviruses.

She claims its spike protein – a structure on the surface of the virus which it uses to bind with cells – was edited to make it easier for the virus to latch on to human cells. 
But scientists have slammed her report — which she promised she would release in an interview last week — as 'unsubstantiated' and said it 'cannot be given any credibility'.
Research papers have already determined the origin of the virus as bats, leading to top experts dismissing suggestions the virus was created by humans as having 'zero evidence'.
SARS-CoV-2 — the scientific name of the pathogen — is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans and jumped to people after an earlier version of it mutated. The previous virus is thought to be one that infected bats and then reached humans via another animal. 
Ms Yan's report has not been published in a scientific journal and has not been peer-reviewed, meaning it has not been checked and approved by scientists.  
But it has gained widespread public attention, being viewed more than 150,000 times since it was posted yesterday on the website Zenodo, which is operated by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.
Ms Yan writes that her research discounts the theory that coronavirus evolved in the wild and was then transferred to humans, claiming it 'lacks substantial support'.
'SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring virus,' she wrote.
'The evidence shows that [the virus] should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone.'
She alleges the virus 'should' have been built using stores of these bat viruses, of which she claims samples are kept in Hong Kong and China.
Ms Yan also alleges that her work shows the virus could be built in just six months in the report's abstract, but she does not return to the subject later in the paper.

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