China to help ID unknown viruses
China will help lead a project to identify unknown viruses from wildlife to better prepare humans for major epidemics — if not global pandemics. The project is to be launched this year, according to one of the country’s top health officials. The Global Virome Project will start in China and Thailand with field work to collect samples from wild animals and analyze the viruses detected, says Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Scientists will collect virus samples from animals such as bats and rats for study using techniques like next generation (DNA) sequencing to find whether new viruses exist,” he says.