RIA Novosti has been told by the press service of the Russian Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology that a session of a ministerial board is today discussing the problem of preserving the nation's genetic reserves. The ministry believes that the genetic resources have strategic importance for the stable development of the country's economy and its biological and nutritional security. For example, the use of a collection of genetic resources belonging to the Vavilov All-Russian Research and Development Plant-Growing Institute has enabled Russian scientists alone to grow more than 25,000 species of useful plants, 450 of which are being currently cultivated. Russian scientists have bred more than 60 bacterial strains and developed more than 200 medications on the basis of the plants. According to the ministry's data, up to a third of the most in-demand medicines (antibiotics, immunity treatments and enzyme medications) come from micro-organisms. The ministry believes that the lack of a nation-wide strategy to monitor, store and collect the genetic resources could lead to the danger that they would be misused, thereby leading to the collection being lost.
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