Hello, I, cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, shall tell You about biotechnological experiment Konjugatsia. Now I am in Mini Research Module MRM1 where Aleksei Ovchinin will conduct experiment Konjugatsia.
Experiment Konjugatsia is the testing of the genetic material transfer process by the bacteria conjugation method (“conjugation” (from the Latin conjugatio – connection) is a one – way transfer of genetic material from a donor to a recipient). The purpose of the experiment is to develop methods of constructing new strains of recombinant proteins (DNA of these proteins is created artificially using genetic engineering) relevant to medicine. Principal investigator of the experiment is Russian enterprise Biopreparat.
In up-to-date biotechnology genetic engineering or recombinant DNA technology plays an important role. There are several methodological approaches for transferring genetic material into the cells of microorganisms. One of the approaches is the bacterial conjugation. The bacterial conjugation is the process of transferring genetic information in which two bacterial cells are in contact. As a result, the recipient cell receives a portion of the donor genetic material.
Conjugation can serve as a universal method for transferring genetic information, which allows, for example, to construct new biological means to protect plants or in medicine to obtain new drugs, diagnostic and veterinary preparations.
Thus, the developed methodology will allow to create new highly productive strains – producers of biologically active substances in the interests of medicine and biotechnology.
For conducting the experiment the following is used: the Rekomb-K hardware consisting of two identical hybridizers (bioreactors), each of which consists of three tanks.
|The Rekomb-K hardware with a liner||The Rekomb-K hybridizer|
Just recently the Progress vehicle docking to the ISS Service Module occurred. According to the experiment conditions, Aleksei Ovchinin immediately after docking must place the hardware in thermostat TBU-V for storage at a temperature of +4°С. The conjugation process itself will be performed in several days. For this purpose the Rekomb-K hardware will be moved to the second thermostat TBU-V at a temperature of +29°С to heat the hybridizers contents. Then the hardware shall be withdrawn from the thermostat and the contents of tank 1 shall be expelled into tank 2 resulting in the following: the recipient cell (tank 2) will receive a portion of the donor genetic material (tank 1) – the conjugation process will begin. To continue conjugation the contents of tank 2 shall be expelled into tank 3 with nutrient medium of a larger size as compared to tank 2. Upon completion of the conjugation process the Rekomb-K hardware is returned to the thermostat at a temperature of +4°С, it will be here till the return to Earth together with Yuri Malenchenko crew. After the return to Earth the Rekomb-K hardware will be delivered to the laboratory for analysis and selection.
During the experiment it is necessary to observe the SE cyclogram strictly, as well as the time and temperature conditions as in each specific case the active conjugation, storage and delivery process requires its own terms and conditions.