A biosafety level 4 laboratory that studies the “world’s most dangerous pathogens” is based in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, leading some to claim that the virus could have accidentally escaped the lab.

In a 2017 article, Nature reported on the Medical Research Institute at Wuhan University, which houses the biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) lab, which cost 300 million yuan (US$44 million) to set up.

The purpose of the lab included a plan to study “the pathogen that causes SARS,” prompting Nature to cite worries about preventing viruses from escaping the lab.



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