Potentials of
Pushchino Biological
Research Center

Potentials of Pushchino Biological Research Center

Because of the approach of global ecological crisis caused by the growth of world's population, exhaustion of natural resources and contamination of the environment, a transfer to the new resource-keeping and wasteless technologies is of great significance. The problems of the use of compensated resources, food supply, protection of health and the environment take the first place and can be solved only with the use of biotechnology. The twenty first century, according to the opinion of many scientists, will be a century of biology.

Hence, now it is important both to keep a potential of basic biological science and to develop the applied trends as biomedicine, biotechnology, biological computer science, ecological safety, agroecology. These trends should make the basis for the development of high-tech ecomony providing the production of goods and services associated directly with the protection of human life.

Further achievements in the field of basic science considering the availability of accumulated private knowledge and developed informative network will be first of all related to the integrative interdisciplinary approach. Some Pushchino Institutes (Institute of Protein Research, Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorgnaisms) have been organized on this principle. It is obvious that fundamental research is to be developed in the laboratories and groups of a high international rating, appropriately equipped and having got financial support from the Russian Fond of Fundamental Research and other fonds and organizations. In all Pushchino Research Institutes there are some laboratories which meet the above requirements providing a widely enough front of fundamental research considering their goal support.

The applied sciences which have been existing in Pushchino from its foundation although they have not been outlined have to be emphasized with the help of the rest research subdivisions. Due to the direct connection with fundamental research it makes it possible to provide a high level of the applied sciences even compared with the international sciences in particular in the field of biological principles of health protection (biomedicine).

Biological investigations are aimed to produce drugs and diagnostic systems. For instance, in the Institute of Protein Research a system of cell-free protein synthesis has been developed what allows to solve the problem of the production of antibiotics of new generation.

The first example. Synthesis of magainins. This class of low- molecular proteins of antibacterial action, first observed in excretion of frog's skin, have been later revealed almost in all organisms including human body. Unlike applied antibiotics which are alien not only to pathogenic bacteria but even to ill organism, magainins do not evoke allergy.

Antiviral and bactericidal preparations, clinical biosorbents, food addings, diagnostic kits, blood substitute and preserving media, artificial skin, software for cardiodiagnosis have been developed in the Institutes of Pushchino Biological Research Center and used in medicine. The projects on the use of skeletal muscles for cardiotransplantation, on cytotechnological methods for compensation of liver functions, on individual selection of cytostatics on the cut culture of tumor tissue of the patient, on acoustic methods of diagnosis of tumor in soft tissues, on impact of electromagnetic and magnetic fields on regulatory mechanisms of the cells, etc. have being developed jointly with the other research and medical institutions. The agreement with the Moscow Regional Research Clinical Institute on organization in Pushchino of gastroenterological Center as the basis for introduction of the deveopments of Pushchino research scientists and for personel training has been signed.

Biotechnology. The Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorgnaisms is the head institute which deals with the problems of "Biotechnology of the environmental protection", "Biotechnological methods of chemical weapons destruction". The research scientists of the above Institute have developed biotechnological methods how to produce the means for plant protection, pharmpreparations, biotechnological treatment methods from industrial and agricultural wastes. The Institute is involved into the complex program of the development of Kirov oblast.

Other institutes also widely use biotechnological approaches, for instance, to microclonal multiplication of plants, production of new types of plants resistant to pests and climate, to cloning of animals, production of light-sensitive proteins and bioregulators, etc..

Ecological safety. Studies of the mechanisms of chemical and physical contaminations of the environment on molecular and cellular level allows to Pushchino Biological Research Center to be a natural center of uniting research groups working in different directions of ecological safety. So, the Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorgnaisms is the head institute on the problem "Microbiological safety in Russia". Biotechnological treatment methods from oil contaminations, effluences of heavy metals and organic chemistry, biotechnoolgical methods of plant protection, regulation of intestinal cenoses have been developed by the institute's research scientists and can be used both during ecological disaster and to create closed production cycles which will be safety for the environment.

During ecological disaster blood substitute and artificial skin (antiburn cover), biosorbents and antiviral prepations could be widely used. The Institute of the Center participate in the activity on realization of International Conventions on preservation of biodiversity (low-temperature genetic bank of rare and disappearing species, collection of microorganisms, program on regeneration of ichthyofauna, ecological resistance of plant communities and landscapes to clobal climate changes, a role of soil in stabilization of gas composition of atmosphere, protection against the consequences of destruction of ozon layer of the Earth).

The second example. For eight years complex investigations have being carried out within the framework of international program in Artic region. Due to these studies it is possible to forecast the results of hothouse effect and to find ways to avoid destructive consequences after moving the boundary of permafrost.

The methods of monitoring of the environment, soil treatment from pesticides and heavy metals pollutions are being developed, the laboratory for food quality, water and other natural media control is functioning.

It should be taken into account that bacteriological weapon is the most dangerous type of weapons of mass destruction. Low prices, easiness in production and use make it available not only to the states but to separate terroristic groups and organizations. Spontaneously or by the methods of gene engineering agents of highly dangerous infections with unusual particular features which require new approach to prevent and treat (AIDs) can be obtained.

Therefore, it is quite necessary to preserve the potential of fundamental and applied sciences and developed and streamlined biotechnologies of the production of antiviral and antibacterial preparations.