The hunt for COVID variants

ABC News’ Will Carr takes us inside a California lab that’s tracking the new COVID-19 mutations.
3:33 | 01/30/21

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Transcript for The hunt for COVID variants
And now to the hunt for those new cove in nineteen variant scientists warned that the corona virus we'll continue to evolve and mutate we only hope into something that's not more deadly or vaccine resistant ABC's world car takes us inside a California lab that's investigating. And has this report. Scientists in this stand overlap or racing to get a grip on the latest threat rapidly spreading mutations of the corona virus. Do you anticipate that will be encountering even more variance throughout the rest of the year. I think I think we will definitely did he seem more variance as I'm concerned about their further. Spread throughout the United States in the world. Doctor Benjamin. Hinske was stamp for medicine says scientists are scrambling to learn more about the mutations in how the virus can continue to have all. Here variants are more contagious and possibly more deadly countries can lose the upper hand on this pandemic. Stanford's clinical pathology lab is analyzing thousands of coping test for the variance there and we were granted access to see how they do it. Out to those lost the samples are brought to this extraction machine which is a pretty cool robot what this does is extract the RNA and DNA to see if the virus inside. So each curve represent somebody who is tested positive for code and that's exactly correct so each one of these curves for efforts sense. Positive sample. Scientists are looking for highly contagious variance from across the globe and one from the UK and another from Brazil in the south African buried detected in South Carolina just yesterday. That's south African strain appears to be concerning because. I think two factors and it appears that it is spreading rapidly across the globe. So it's now in twenty plus countries. Com and then in addition there is evidence is that it is resistant to antibody fertilization which is something that could. Impact the efficacy of vaccines. There's also a new variant in California discovered by cedar Sinai in Los Angeles today. Are able to compared the genetic sequences with the genetic sequences burials there able to see. A rip current set. Five mutations. That define. This. Strain that we didn't that we. That strain spreading like a California wildfire. Nearly half of the positive tests they've received at the California Bay Area history and it we unidentified. Really just appeared overnight and took over the yeah the the prevalence surging higher and higher prevalence. While the spike was. Scientists say it's normal to see viruses mutate to question now will they become more lethal. We would keeps me up at night. Is having a situation. Well we have a mutant that it really escapes everything I don't think that's the case because our technology is such. That she could always make a vaccine pretty quickly. What this advanced technology that you could address but given mutant. But it is concerning but there is hope. The vaccine still give us protection against the current variance in drug makers are working on tweaks in boosters to address this new threat. A lot of people think. That we're seeing a lighted the end of the tunnel here would you agree with that we'll be safe to. I think there is reason for optimism we just need to be vigilant about monitoring these new variants. Reporting can California will call ABC news lives.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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