W dniach 31 października do 3 listopada 2010 r. odbyły się w Pekinie w Instytucie Biofizyki Chińskiej Akademii Nauk międzynarodowe warsztaty poświęcone rozwojowi nauki i technologii w odniesieniu do konwencji o broni biologicznej. Spotkanie było sponsorowane przez InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP), International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS), International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB), Chinese Academy of Sciences i U.S. National Academy of Sciences. W spotkaniu wzięli udział prof. dr hab. Andrzej Górski, prof. dr hab. Ryszard Słomski i dr Marlena Szalata. Prof. Słomski wygłosił w sesji (prof. dr hab. Andrzej Górski, prof. dr hab. Ryszard Słomski - Developments in Design, Fabrication, and Production na zaproszenie wykład poświęcony transgenezie zwierząt.

Bioreactors and transgenic animals – Ryszard Słomski

Ryszard Słomski opened plenary session three with a discussion on bioreactors and transgenic animals. He began by highlighting the importance of working with a large group of experts covering a number of sub-disciplines for success in sphere. Professor Słomski continued to outline how there were a number of systems for transgensis that are now recommended and it requires humans to take the difficult decision of firstly which specific system is best and secondly, agree, inter alia, the most suitable selection of valuable protein for production; the most suitable targeted site of transgenesis; and the most appropriate organism for transgenesis. In addition, the presenter identified other considerations that need to be taken into account and suggested that although many scientists believed the best bioreactor for certain agent production is milk, there were other approaches for producing hormones or proteins.

Professor Słomski then proceeded to highlight a number of key examples of bioreactors, including silkworms, rabbits and goats. It was posited that the silkworm is a particularly useful bioreactor, because of the productive capacity of the silkworm’s silk gland, ease of harvesting the product from the cocoon, and the relative ease in which transgenesis can be achieved. Rabbits were a second example cited as being useful because of their capacity for milk production, which can reach as much as two liters of milk per lactation. This milk can be manipulated through transgensis to exhibit antibacterial characteristics. Similarly, goat’s milk can be used to produce a recombinant form of human antithrombin, indeed it was suggested that goats milk had been applied to produce the first transgenically produced protein to be approved for use anywhere in the world. He also described work being done to “humanize” pig tissue to make it available for use for organ and tissue transplants.

Professor Słomski proposed that there were a number of advantages to the exploitation of animal bioreactors including the fact that animal bioreactors exhibited high efficiency of expression, though this is not currently controllable, and required comparatively low maintenance costs. There are also a few disadvantages, namely the time required for development of the transgenic animal and the chance that the genetic modifications may not pass through to the second or third generation. This latter problem can be countered by introducing cloning of animals, though this does bring with it a new set of challenges. With respect to specific concerns that might arise from transgenic animals that could have an impact on the BWC, Professor Słomski stated that work in this area is tightly controlled and regulated. He could not identify any work that he knew of that would be currently of concern.