US and Chinese scientists were plotting to form a new coronavirus before the pandemic erupted, leaked proposals reveal. Last month, a grant application submitted to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) showed that an international group of scientists had intended to mix genetic data of similar strains to form a new virus. The grant application was made in 2018 and leaked to Drastic, the pandemic origins analysis group. [tweet_embed] October 6, 2021[/tweet_embed] "We will compile sequence/RNAseq data from a panel of closely related strains and compare full length genomes, scanning for unique SNPs representing sequencing errors." "Consensus candidate genomes will be synthesised commercially using established techniques and genome-length RNA and electroporation to recover recombinant viruses," the application declares. This would end in a virus that had no pure ancestor in nature, a World Health Organization (WHO) specialist told The Telegraph. The specialist, who asked the paper not to reveal their name, announced that, if such a method had been carried out, it could reveal why no close match has ever been discovered in nature for Sars-CoV-2. The closest naturally occurring virus is the Banal-52 strain, reported in Laos last month. It shares 96.8 percent of Covid-19's genome. [tweet_embed] October 6, 2021[/tweet_embed] No direct ancestor, which would be expected to share approximately 99.98 percent, has been discovered thus far. The WHO specialist told The Telegraph that the process detailed in the application would generate "a new virus sequence, not a 100 percent match to anything." "They would then synthesize the viral genome from the computer sequence, thus creating a virus genome that did not exist in nature but looks natural as it is the average of natural viruses." "Then they put that RNA in a cell and recover the virus from it. "This creates a virus that has never existed in nature, with a new backbone that didn't exist in nature but is very, very similar as it's the average of natural backbones," the specialist said. The proposal was rejected and the database of viral strains at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was taken offline some 18 months later, making it impossible to check what scientists there were working on. [tweet_embed] October 6, 2021[/tweet_embed] The institute's scientists have consistently denied forming the coronavirus in their very lab. The grant application proposal was submitted by British zoologist Peter Daszak on behalf of a group, which included Daszak EcoHealth Alliance, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the University of North Carolina, and Duke NUS in Singapore, The Telegraph reported. Specialists explained to the paper that creating an "ideal" average virus could have been part of work to form a vaccine that works across coronaviruses.