This could instruct scientists on the steps they should take to come up with a cure for coronavirus.
By isolating the bat genome, the scientists came to the conclusion that this animal has a unique immune system and is resistant to coronaviruses, said University of Dublin professor Emma Teeling.
If scientists could find a way to mimic the bat’s immune system, perhaps a cure for the coronavirus could be found in nature, Teeling points out.
All this could instruct scientists on the steps they should take to come up with a cure for coronavirus, reports the BBC.
Professor Emma Teeling has launched the Bat1K science project, with the goal of decoding the genomes of each of the 1,421 known bat species.
So far, six species of bats have been decoded, as follows:
- Great Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum)
- Egyptian fruit-eating bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus)
- Fruit-eating bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus)
- Big bat (Myotis myotis)
- White-fronted bat (Pipistrellus kuhlii)
- Molossus molosslo
The treatment of the disease, but also the prevention of aging in humans, would take place the moment it was determined how the bat genome had evolved, Teeling claims.
Environmentalists and conservators have warned that bats should not be chased, and if left unhindered in their natural habitats, they pose a minimal risk to human health.
Bats are vital to the balance of nature. Many species of bats are pollinators, scatter seeds from fruits, and others are insectivores and eat millions of tons of insects per night.