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Malaysia's first astronaut to do bioscience research
2007-07-03 07:30:48 Xinhua English

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's first astronaut would conduct bioscience research on cells, bacteria and the crystallization of protein in outer space, the national news agency Bernama reported on Tuesday.

A sample would be given to the astronaut, and hopefully it would lead to new discoveries in science, technology and industry, said Dr A. Rahman A. Jamal, director of Molecule Medical Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Malyasia's first astronaut was expected to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on Oct. 10.

The research on the crystallization of protein was important in industries like cosmetics and pharmaceutical, Rahman said on Tuesday, adding that research in space with its unique microgravity surrounding would affect organisms and the biological system.

"The research is aimed at giving local scientists the opportunity to study, design and experiment in space," he added.

Cooperation in research with scientists from Russia, Europe and the United States would also help develop Malaysia's expertise and capacity in gravitational biology and space research, he said.

On completion of the research, the cells and bacteria would be analyzed to study its effects when in outer space, Rahman said.

Areas to be analyzed include gene mutation, gene expression and three dimensional growth of cancer cells and the growth rate of bacteria, he said.

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