A new browser-based tool, COVID CG, pulls together hundreds of thousands of sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes and allows users to detect emerging genetic mutations and viral variants. It also lets scientists monitor which mutations and viral genomes are present in specific parts of the world and how their prevalence changes over time, and identify which variants they should test their vaccines and therapeutics against.
Coronavirus Variants and Mutations
Each coronavirus contains nearly 30,000 letters of RNA. This genetic information allows the virus to infect cells and hijack them to make new viruses.
As an infected cell builds new coronaviruses, it occasionally makes tiny copying errors called mutations. Scientists can track mutations as they are passed down through a lineage, which is a branch of the viral family tree.
CoVariants provides an overview of SARS-CoV-2 variants and mutations that are of interest. Here, you can find out what mutations define a variant, what impact they might have (with links to papers and resources), where variants are found, and see the variants in Nextstrain builds!
Click one of the colored buttons to look at a particular Variant - to read information, see graphs and the protein structure, and link out to focused Nextstrain builds.