Richard Ebright, one of the world’s leading biosecurity experts, also told The Mail on Sunday that the possibilities of the new virus having such rare components and happening naturally were “possible – but improbable”.
Mr Ebright is a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, in New Jersey.
He said researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were devising chimeric coronaviruses (new hybrid micro-organisms) and requesting funding to test their ability to invade human cells while using methods that leave no traces of human interaction.
Asked about the chance of a leak, he replied: “There definitely is a possibility.
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