Lab That First Shared Novel Coronavirus Genome Still Shut Down by Chinese Government

Genome Editing Research

The laboratory at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre from which researchers conducted the first genome sequence of the deadly coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was immediately ordered to close for “rectification” after Professor Zhang Yongzhen’s team published the genome sequence on open platforms in January.

One source at the laboratory said the closure has hampered scientists’ research when they should be ‘racing against the clock’ to help respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The centre was not given any specific reasons why the laboratory was closed for rectification. [We have submitted] four reports [asking for permission] to reopen but we have not received any replies,” a source with the centre said, requesting anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.

The release of the data helped researchers develop test kits for the virus.

Read the full story by Zhuang Pinghui in the South China Morning Post

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