In 2015, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wuhan Institute of Virology conducted research showing the virus could be made to infect the human HeLa cell line, through the use of reverse genetics to create a chimeric virus consisting of a surface protein of SHC014 and the backbone of a SARS virus. However, it has been shown to differ in over 5,000 nucleotides from SARS-CoV-2, the cause of a human pandemic in 2019-2020.
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- Butler, Declan (12 November 2015). "Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research: Lab-made coronavirus related to SARS can infect human cells". Nature News. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2015.18787. Archived from the original on 14 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
- Shan-Lu Liu, Linda J. Saif, Susan R. Weiss & Lishan Su (2020) No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2, Emerging Microbes & Infections, 9:1, 505-507, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22221751.2020.1733440 Archived 2020-03-02 at the Wayback Machine
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