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Odessa National University (ONU) take a lead in the development of the online teaching/communication tools (virtual laboratory) and responsible for organization of International Summer School Odessa

Training Virtual Laboratory

The purpose of this project is to create a virtual gaming platform in the form of a virtual educational scientific laboratory of molecular biology.


The created laboratory will become a multiplayer simulation of a polymerase chain reaction for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA fragments. At the same time,
connected users will have the opportunity to virtually master the skills of conducting PCR, under the control of the virtual room moderator, receive appropriate instructions and points for the work performed.


During covid-19 pandemic all partner universities has engaged in the online education and communication. Representatives from High Five partnership has joined to the Summer School organize online by ONU (summer 2020).


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Development Tools

The creation of a virtual laboratory is carried out using the Unity3D development environment. To create models and equip the laboratory, 3D modeling software - Blender is used.

Currently designed

A 3D laboratory with basic tools has been created and furnished as part of a working scientific laboratory with the possibility of simultaneously finding a large number of users. To give it the original look, the basic overlay of the models textures and their adjustment in the program environment were carried out. A block of scripts and plug-ins has been adapted and partially configured in the laboratory, allowing you to work using the Photon virtual server. To perform the PCR reaction, texture models were developed and applied: an amplifier, a set of reagents for the PCR reaction, a set of pipettes and a stand with Eppendorf tubes, tips. A laboratory user action script was written and its intermediate graphic components were created. Part of the codes has been written to ensure the interaction of the components and their performance within the framework of the script.

Prospective development

In the future, it is planned to refine the visual content with its functional
expansion. Also adding more methods and tests. A moderator-teacher control system creation. Optimization of the demo version for Android and iOS mobile platforms.


From June 20 to July 12, 2022, at the Microbiology, Virology and Biotechnology Department of the Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University the XVII International Summer School for young scientists, postgraduates and masters in molecular biology, biotechnology and biomedicine was held.

Cloning, expression and purification of recombinant proteins

As part of the 17th Summer School the Laboratory course "Cloning, expression and purification of recombinant proteins" was held from June 20 to 25. The course participants including students, postgraduates and young scientists worked in the laboratory of the Microbiology, Virology and Biotechnology Department. The classes were conducted online by scientists PhD Oleksiy Schmidt and PhD Olena Rakhimova from the Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics Department of Umeå University (Sweden), and in the laboratory of the Microbiology, Virology and Biotechnology Department in Odesa by PhD. Andriy Merlich and PhD Nadiia Korotaieva. The participants of the practical course had the opportunity to purify plasmid DNA, conduct PCR products electrophoretic purification, perform restriction and ligation of vectors and DNA fragments with subsequent bacteria transformation.

Challenges and perspectives of online learning in higher education institutions

From June 23 to 24 the Practical seminar “Challenges and perspectives of online learning in higher education institutions” was held as part of the Summer School. Scientific and educational workers from 9 higher education institutions took part in the seminar. Among them were 7 Ukrainian universities: Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Pirogov National Medical University, SHU «Uzhhorod National University», Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Odessa National Medical University, Karazin Kharkiv National University and two foreign ones – Nikolae Testemitanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Republic of Moldova, Republic of Moldova and Umeå University, Sweden.


On the completion of the Summer School an online Conference of young scientists "Modern problems of biology, biotechnology and biomedicine" was held on July 11-12. During the conference 13 oral presentations were made and 7 poster presentations were presented. According to the conference results the participants` reports were recommended for publication in the Conference materials, and the best works - in the scientific journal "Microbiology and Biotechnology".


Leading scientists from France, Georgia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and the USA gave lectures on modern achievements of molecular biology, biotechnology and biomedicine, in particular from the O.V. Palladin Institute of Biochemistry NASU, Kharkiv V.N. Karazin National University, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, D.K. Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, EXPLODJEN Society, Lviv, Research Center LLC "YURiA FARM", Dnipro State Medical University, Ukraine, Lviv Danylo Halytskyi National Medical University, Odesa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland), Hannover Medical School, (Hannover, Germany), German Cancer Research Center (Heidelberg, Germany), Nantes University (France), Umeå University (Sweden), University of Leuven (Belgium), Autonomous University Barcelona (Spain), University of Southampton (Great Britain), Institute of Cancer Research (London, Great Britain), London Institute of Medical Sciences, Biotechnology Research Center (Canada).

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