Development of biotechnology gains momentum in Kazakhstan
Development of biotechnology gains momentum in Kazakhstan. Kazakh scientists have developed a biocompatible adhesive. It is applicable in medicine and biology. In particular, it can be used to replace conventional surgical sutures. The project has been developed in two years by scientists from the National Center for Biotechnology. According to experts, they obtained the highly strong adhesive material, about 100 times stronger than existing analogues. Only a few research groups are engaged in creation of medical adhesives. Kazakh scientists’ development will help to achieve import substitution, and eventually enter foreign markets.
ALEXANDER SHUSTOV, HEAD OF GENETIC ENGINEERING LABORATORY:
As part of this project, we used natural adhesion proteins as a prototype, and set up an experimental system that allows us to obtain proteins. We obtain analogs of natural adhesive protein in the laboratory. If this technology is expanded to industrial production, our protein would be significantly cheaper than its natural counterpart and it will be comparable to the cost of modern adhesive materials.
At present, National Center for biotechnology works in other spheres as well. A separate set of studies is devoted to agriculture. For example, scientists created a special variety of cotton with a bacterial gene resistant to the herbicide. This improvement will lead to further increase in productivity. National Biotechnology Centre’s scientists will continue creating their developments. The institution is recognized as one of the most cited among Kazakhstan’s scientific organizations between 2011 and 2015. A growing number of scientists’ articles is published in international journals with high impact factor.
YERLAN RAMANKULOV, CEO, NATIONAL CENTER FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY:
We breed new varieties of wheat, potatoes using biotechnological methods that are resistant to salinity, drought, and certain pests. We test plants and animals for diseases. We perform the diagnosis for medicine. We do extensive research in the field of human genetics.
The fourth industrial revolution that is mentioned in the President’s annual address to the Kazakh people is not possible without the development of biotechnology, scientists say. Therefore, the Center’s specialists intend to further create innovative developments making people’s lives easier. Another important task, they say, is to turn this industry into a profitable business.