Scientists have long suspected bats to be the natural reservoir for coronaviruses such as the one responsible for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). The animals have been identified as the source of many dangerous viruses, such as Nipah and Hendra, and have also been linked to Ebola and the new coronavirus causing a SARS-like illness, dubbed MERS. In 2005, Daszak and others found viral DNA closely resembling the SARS virus in three species of Chinese horseshoe bats. However, while the sequences of those viral genomes were 88% to 92% identical with that of the SARS coronavirus, they showed marked differences in a region coding for the so-called spike protein. In the SARS virus, this protein binds to a receptor on the surface of human cells mediating its entry.