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Another Call for Another Investigation

The Biden Administration has called for another look into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, according to the Financial Times.

Some have posited that the virus may have originated through an accidental lab release, though experts largely say that the virus is more likely to have originated in bats before being passed through another, unknown animal before infecting humans. A recent World Health Organization-led investigation issued a report that found SARS-CoV-2 likely arose in bats and said that the "lab leak" theory was "extremely unlikely."

However, the US, UK, Japan, and other countries noted flaws with the investigation, particularly that investigators did not have full access to needed data and called for an additional, more transparent investigation. Similarly, more than a dozen researchers have also called for a new investigation, arguing that the previous one did not look into the lab leak theory as deeply as other possibilities and should not have ruled the idea out.

According to FT, this new call by the US for an additional investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2 comes on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report on the early days of the outbreak in Wuhan. The Journal reports that three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and had to be hospitalized, though it's unclear what was wrong with them.

Andy Slavitt, a White House coronavirus advisor, says at FT that the earlier WHO investigation was not thorough enough. "We need to get to the bottom of this and we need a completely transparent process from China," he tells it. "We need the WHO to assist in that matter. We don't feel like we have that now."

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.