A batch of early coronavirus data that went missing for a year has emerged from hiding.

In June, an American scientist discovered that more than 200 genetic sequences from COVID-19 patient samples isolated in China early in the pandemic had puzzlingly been removed from an online database. With some digital sleuthing, Jesse Bloom, a virus expert at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, managed to track down 13 of the sequences on Google Cloud.

When Bloom shared his experience in a report posted online, he wrote that it “seems likely that the sequences were deleted to obscure their existence.”

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But now an odd explanation has emerged, stemming from an editorial oversight by a scientific journal. And the

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