At the same time, one of the younger scientists of the LOS team, a very ambitious and fanatically atheist, Ruvim Moiseevich Berman, launched another research project ‘Istok’ (The Source) under the aegis of Commissar of Internal Affairs G.G. Yagoda. This project concentrated on the possibilities of a controlled abiogenesis – creation of artificial life using scientific methods.
In May 1936, Berman’s team achieved a fundamental success – an artificial living cell was synthesized. At least he reported it so to his patron Yagoda in June 1936.
Berman received additional funding and resources immediately. His sponsor gave the young genius an additional truly kingly gift: a giant underground four-level facility was added to the construction plans of a first house to be built at Kotelnicheskaya embankment – a secret lab entirely for Berman.
This underground laboratory was built very quickly, and in great secrecy, during the first phase of the home’s construction. Berman ordered a unique complex of chemical reactors, X-ray machinery and autoclaves to be installed there, intending to emulate the conditions which were on Earth 4 billion years ago during the genesis and early evolution of simplest life – prokaryotes. These devices looked very impressive – twenty meter long cylinders, lots of tubes, gauges and thick lead screens where applicable.
Berman called the process, which he attempted to achieve, explosiolution (explosive revolution), while his devices were referred to as the explosiolutors. Ambitious, Berman intended not only to create colonies of simple organisms using abiogenesis, he also wanted to evolve them into complex multi-nuclear organisms in a forced, ultra-fast evolution process. This project was named Life-2.
During 1937-1938 the founders and key persons of TAFR – Tukhachevsky, Kurchevsky and Hellman - were repressed. In this case all theoretical and experimental developments made by Hans Hellman on Homo Arbeiter project were inherited by Ruvim Berman, who became the director of LOS.
Besides Ruvim Berman, who made a brilliant career, only aged professor Alexey Bakh, who combined official work in SRIPC with secret research in the lab of Hans Hellmann, avoided repressions.
Unlike Commissar Yagoda who was arrested in 1937, Professor Bakh treated the work of Berman without any enthusiasm. Moreover he considered an imitation of accelerated life evolution on Earth "either showing off and fraud or a venture that can be deadly to already existing life" (quoted from a letter to his wife).