Institute of Biophysics of the
Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded on
1st July 1981 on
the basis of the Department of Biophysics at the Kirensky Institute of Physics (Siberian Branch, Russian
Academy of Sciences).
Director of the Institute - Academician Terskov
Ivan Aleksandrovich (1981-1984).
Iosif Isayevich was Director of the Institute from 1984 to 1996 (Current
status - Advisor at the Russian Academy of Sciences).
1996 the head of the Institute is Degermendzhy
Andrei Georgievich - Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of
direction in biophysics of supra-organism systems pursued at the Institute of
Biophysics (Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences) has substantiated the
feasibility of integrated approach to diagnosing the state of biological systems
of different organization and complexity.
variety of objects under study - from bacteria and protozoa to higher
organisms, including humans and natural ecosystems - are integrated by common
methodological approach: analysis of biosynthesis control mechanisms in
biological communities; the results obtained are generally recognized.
developed to analyze the state and dynamics of erythroid populations, the
biophysical approach was used to study red blood systems in animal and human
organisms. Based on revealed mechanisms, the Biophysics Laboratory developed
methods for variation analysis of hemogenic system by hemolysis kinetics
(erythrogram method) and determined basic principles of controlling this system.
Later on, the
potentialities of the biophysical approach, initially used to study red blood
systems, induced the development of a new line of research - parametrically
controlled biosynthesis of producing cell populations. Theoretical and
experimental investigations demonstrated the feasibility of creating steadily
functioning biophysical systems with continuous biosynthesis. The working body
in such systems is living organisms, and their functioning is automatically
controlled by sensors monitoring the condition of organisms and habitat. It has
been experimentally proved that these controlled bioengineering systems are able
to regulate the rate and biochemical direction of biosynthesis in organisms
within their genotype limits. This made possible, in a relatively short time, to
develop automated bioengineering systems for parametrically controlled
biosynthesis of organisms of various complexity - lower and higher
phototrophs, lithoautotroph and heterotroph bacteria, yeast, protozoa, higher
plants, isolated organs and tissues, and manmade biocenoses and microecosystems
controlled biosynthesis systems have demonstrated their capacity of
realizing the tremendous potential of genetic program of growth and
biosynthesis of organisms at a maximum intensity, without limiting
their growth and development. The implementation of parametrically
controlled biosynthesis was the basis for the construction of an
actually functioning closed human life support system (LSS).
the unique property of the biosphere - material cycling - such closed
systems are of great fundamental value for experimental investigations of laws
of the biosphere.
practice, the LSS's maintain high quality of life for humans in space outside
the biosphere, under extreme conditions of Arctic and alpine areas, in deserts,
and under water.
gas-closed two-component "human-chlorella" LSS was first constructed in
1964 and in 1965 the water cycling was realized in this system; first
experiments in a three-component "human-microalgae-higher plants" system
were conducted in 1968.
results have formed the basis for designing and building the "Bios-3"
experimental complex - an autonomously controlled closed ecological human LSS.
in "Bios-3", which was completely gas- and water-closed, lasted up to half a
year; the system included a crew of 2 - 3 people; up to 80% of the crew's
diet was reproduced within the system.
Continuous cultures of
microorganisms proved to be a convenient model to quantify ecological and
evolution processes. Theoretical and experimental studies revealed a more
accurate general pattern and certain quantitative laws of microevolution in
microbial populations; the autoselection phenomenon was described and used to
produce fast-growing microorganisms and super-synthesizers of target products.
microorganisms with a unique type of metabolism (hemolithoautotrophic
hydrogen-, CO- and iron-oxidizing bacteria), which were discovered in the 1950s
but received little consideration, became the focus of intense investigation in
the 1970s; on their basis the Institute of Biophysics has studied, developed
and realized unique efficient biosystems to produce protein of unicellular
degradable thermoplastic biopolymers and biohydrometallurgical processes to
extract non-ferrous metals from ores, concentrates, and rock.
of the Institute give particular consideration to marine luminous
microorganisms and marine bioluminescence as a global oceanic phenomenon. The
Institute has developed unique equipment and methods for bioluminescent
visualization of the spatial structure of ocean biocenoses.
of luminous bacteria over the area of the Global Ocean.
pioneer investigations of ocean bioluminescence have now become routine
practice of marine research expeditions. The unique specialized Collection of
Cultures of Luminous Bacteria has been maintained since 1960s. Intensive
studies on cultures of luminous bacteria helped establish laws of emission by
a bacterial cell. The luciferase enzyme system isolated from lyophilizated
luminous bacteria has been used to develop a number of techniques of rapid
bioluminescent assay to be used in medicine, monitoring the environment, and
controlling biotechnological processes.
The expertise gained in oceanographic expeditions and the demand of modern
ecology for integrated techniques led to substantiation and formulation of a
new ecological line in biophysics - it has been proved that the state of
large natural ecosystems can be estimated indirectly, by measuring the
perturbations in natural physical fields caused by natural biospheric
processes and by human impact. For remote sensing measurements of optical
characteristics of water bodies and plant communities, the Institute has
developed and built the equipment to gather information on the primary
productivity of aquatic biocenoses, agricultural crop, and forests, and on
water pollution, at the speed of the carrier. The investigations carried out
at the Yenisei River, Lake Baikal, the Caspian Sea, and the Pacific and Indian
Oceans demonstrated that these methods can be successfully used under various
hydro-optical conditions. This has formed the basis for various
scientific-social projects and programs: "Ecology of Great Rivers of the
World", "Green Wave", "Chlorophyll in the
Biosphere", and "Clean Yenisei", supported by UNESCO Hydrological
Society, "Earth Sciences" Working Group of the Russian Academy of
Sciences, US National Astronautical Federation, Russian Foundation for Basic