Kirara try crystallization of cellulase in space for neutron diffraction
The research team lead by Ms. Sora Yamaguchi, Dr. Naoki Sunagawa and Associate Professor Kiyohiko Igarashi from the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, will try crystallizing the samples of cellulase (*) in space, using the high quality protein crystal growth service "Kirara" provided by JAMSS, which is to be launched in December 2020 (Kirara#2).
Cellulose, the main component of plants, is the most abundant biomass on earth. In nature, cellulose is decomposed at normal temperature and pressure by an enzyme called "cellulase" produced by various microorganisms and is used as a nutrient source for various species. Utilizing cellulases will lead the production of liquid fuels and plastics made from cellulosic biomass such as trees and grasses.
<Past news >The first space manufacturing demonstration model of “Kirara” was launched on the International Space Station (ISS)
Kirara is a high-quality protein crystal growth service provided by JAMSS for drug discovery support. This technology was realized through a technical tie-up with Confocal Science, which has been supporting protein crystal generation on ground and in space since its foundation in 1994. The small incubator, which JAMSS developed and in which crystals are grown, is launched through the ICE Cubes Service and accommodated in the ICE Cubes Facility (ICF) owned by Space Applications Services who has a commercial partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). Kirara is a commercial service partnership between Japanese and European companies. It could be applied to the field of materials such as cellulose as well as drug discovery support.