Russia’s Roscosmos has announced that the first stage of a unique experiment called Magnetic Fabrication has been completed aboard the Russian section of the International Space Station (ISS). Despite fears that the ISS may be disbanded in the coming years, experiments and scientific studies aboard it continue. As ongoing tensions between states continue over the conflict in Ukraine, scientists pummel ahead with groundbreaking collaborations.
The name of the experiment may not be of extraordinary significance, but the experiment itself relates to Coronavirus.
The experiment methodology was about the potential of growing protein crystals of coronavirus using a magnetic 3D-bioprinter under space conditions. Numerous studies have already occurred on Earth, but this is the first of its kind on the ISS. The experimental drug, remdesivir, was launched to the ISS last December. The experiment by the Russian scientists was conducted wholly on the ISS itself.
During the study, the scientists investigated the possibility of controlled formation and fabrication of 3D structures in microgravity from organic and inorganic materials. The results are already in.
The results are in
The first experimental stage implied the growth of protein crystal structures of unique size and purity for their further investigation on Earth. However, further analysis is required.
The grown protein crystals are planned to be studied in detail using different crystallographic methods in order to determine the structure of different strains and to select appropriate drugs.
According to Roscosmos, the samples have already been delivered to Earth in the descent vehicle of the Soyuz MS-19 manned spacecraft. At the first stage of the experiment the nucleocapsid and RBD proteins of different strains of coronavirus were investigated.
Other partners included in the project include: 3D Bioprinting Solutions, the Federal Biotechnology Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the RAS, the Baikov Institute of Metallurgy and Material Science of the RAS, and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
The story is developing.