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JAXA PCG (Fourth Session) has started

Last Updated: July 8, 2011

All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

The fourth session of the High Quality Protein Crystallization (JAXA PCG), which uses the Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF), has started on board Kibo.

Samples for the experiment were launched to the ISS aboard the Russian Progress (43P) cargo spacecraft at 11: 38 p.m. on June 21, 2011, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and delivered to the ISS at 1:37 a.m. June 24. After arrived at the ISS, the samples were inserted into the experiment facility by JAXA Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa. Temperature of the experiment facility was controlled from the ground, and the experiment started at 10:46 p.m. on the same day.

In the past, JAXA performed 12 protein crystal growth experiments aboard the ISS collaborating with the Russian Federal Space Agency (three were performed on Kibo, and nine were performed on the Russian ISS module). As a result of developing new techniques and procedures for sample evaluation, optimization of crystallization condition, and data collection, JAXA now obtains the experiment results that lead to other space agencies.

During this time experiment, 96 samples (58 different proteins) which include proteins to be used for the creation of medicines for muscle dystrophy and infectious diseases such as malaria and influenza, proteins to be used for biofuel development, and proteins which may alleviate the environment and energy problems by dissolving nylon products, will be grown in the PCRF Cell Units (using two cell cartridges.)

By conducting the space experiment on Kibo, acquisition of much higher quality protein crystals is expected than the ones grown in the ground. Continued from the previous experiment, proteins from Russia and Malaysia are also aboard as an international research cooperation.

The experiment will continue until the beginning of September 2011, and the samples will be returned to the ground on the Soyuz TMA-21 (26S) spacecraft.

See for more details of this experiment:

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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