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JAXA PCG (Third Session) Begins

Last Updated: September 13, 2010

* All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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

Samples for the experiment were launched to the ISS aboard the Russian Progress (39P) cargo spacecraft at 7:22 p.m. on September 10, and delivered to the ISS at 8:58 p.m. September 12. After arrived at the ISS, the samples were inserted into the experiment facility by a crew member. Temperature of the experiment facility was controlled from the ground, and the experiment began at 4:01 a.m. September 13, 2010.

In the past, JAXA performed 11 protein crystal growth experiments aboard the ISS collaborating with Russian Federal Space Agency (Two experiments were performed in the Kibo facility and the rest of them were performed in the Russian ISS module).
Based on the previous experiments, JAXA developed new techniques and procedures for sample evaluation, optimization of crystallization condition, and data collection. With this new method, scientists on the ground can obtain high resolution images of high quality protein crystals.

During the experiment, 96 samples (48 different proteins) will be grown in the PCRF Cell Units (using two cell cartridges.) Proteins to be used for creation of drugs for Malaria, Influenza, and or muscle dystrophy, proteins to be used for biofuel development, and proteins which dissolve nylon products, are also included in the samples. Russian, Malaysian research groups, as well as Japanese research groups, are participating in the experiment.

The experiment will continue until the end of November 2010, and the samples will be returned to the ground on the Soyuz TMA-19 (23S) spacecraft.

High Quality Protein Crystallization (JAXA PCG)

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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