State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR
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The State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR, also known as the Vector Institute (Russian: Федеральное бюджетное учреждение науки «Государственный научный центр вирусологии и биотехнологии „Вектор“» федеральной службы по надзору в сфере защиты прав потребителей и благополучия человека (ГНЦ ВБ «Ве́ктор»)), is a biological research center in Koltsovo, Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia. It has research facilities and capabilities for all levels of Biological Hazard, CDC Levels 1–4. It is one of two official repositories for the now-eradicated smallpox virus,[a] and was part of the system of laboratories known as the Biopreparat.
|Jurisdiction||Government of the Russian Federation|
|Headquarters||Koltsovo, Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia|
|Parent agency||Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing|
Recently the facility has been upgraded and secured using modern cameras, motion sensors, fences, and biohazard containment systems. Its relative seclusion makes security an easier task. Since its inception there has been an army regiment guarding the facility.
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Organized in 1974, the center has a long history of virology, making impressive Soviet contribution to smallpox research. Genetic engineering projects included creation of viruses that manufacture toxins as well as research on bioregulators and various peptides that function in the nervous system. In the post-soviet times the center made research and development cotributions in many projects like a vaccine for Hepatitis A, influenza vaccines, vaccines for the Ebola virus, antiviral drugs with nucleotide analogs, test-systems for diagnostics of HIV and Hepatitis B and other development.
In March 2020 it was reported that Russian scientists have begun to test vaccine prototypes for the new coronavirus disease, with the plan of presenting the most effective one in June, a laboratory chief at Vector Institute said. The prototypes have been created and the testing on animals began.
The main tasks of the Center according to Vector:
- Basic research of causative agents of especially dangerous and socially important viral infections, and their genetic variability and diversity, pathogenesis of viral infections.
- Ensuring constant readiness for implementing diagnostics of especially dangerous infectious agents.
- The development and introduction into healthty practice of diagnostic curative and preventive medicines.
- Post-graduate training, and scientific training of higher qualification in the field of Virology, molecular biology and biotechnology through graduate school and higher education.
Fifteen years later, on September 17, 2019, a gas explosion occurred at Vector. One worker suffered third-degree burns, and the blast blew out window panes. The lab has highly contagious forms of bird flu and strains of hepatitis.
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- Nellis, Kathy (October 26, 2007). "Smallpox Eradication Memories and Milestones". The Global Health Chronicles. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
- "Vector Institute in Novosibirsk, Siberia: Where Russia stores its smallpox". Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- "Is Siberia a Safe Place for Smallpox?". Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- United States. Congress. House. Committee on Armed Services. Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities. (11 October 2013). Biodefense: Worldwide Threats and Countermeasure Efforts for the Department of Defense : Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, First Session, Hearing Held October 11, 2013. p. 34. Google Books website Retrieved 13 April 2020.
- "Coronavirus updates". March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- "State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR / Institute of Molecular Biology". Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- "About The Center". Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- "Russia to test coronavirus vaccine prototype on animals". Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- Blast sparks fire at Russian laboratory housing smallpox virus | World news | The Guardian