Novosibirsk [Russia], May 22 (ANI/Sputnik): Russian scientists have already identified more than 13,000 coronavirus mutations, but most of them do not have any significant impact on the course of the pandemic, Rinat Maksyutov, the director of the Vector research center that developed the EpiVacCorona vaccine, said on Saturday.
"Since June 15, 2020, we have been continuously monitoring the genetic variability of the novel coronavirus. Every month, all Russian Federation regions send samples of viral isolates which are then subjected to genomic sequencing. To date, the joint efforts of all organizations in the country have already identified more than 7,000 complete genomes of the novel coronavirus. More than 13,000 mutations have already been identified from these Russian isolates," Maksyutov said at Russia-hosted science clinic New Knowledge.
Russia likely has tens of thousands of coronavirus variants currently circulating across its territory, according to the official. He stressed, however, that the majority of these variants have little effect on the "epidemic process" and that variants with higher contagiousness will likely become progressively more commonplace in all populations in the future.
The mutations that cause greatest concern get studied more closely at Vector, Maksyutov said.
"At the moment, 370 complete genomes have been identified in Russia for the British strain, 27 for the South African variant, and 10 for the Indian one," he added.
Organizers of the annual New Knowledge event call it a "marathon" in that it includes several days of lectures, talks and discussions by prominent experts and professionals across a range of fields, including science, technology, sports, history, and culture.
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are among some 150 guest speakers invited to address this year's edition, which kicked off in Moscow on Thursday. (ANI/Sputnik)