Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Ноябрь 2003 г.

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2003 г.
Российская наука и мир
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)

январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь

    RosBusiness Consulting / 19.11.2003
    Gov't to step up allocations for scientific research

    В 2004 г. российское правительство увеличит на 50 процентов ассигнования на фундаментальные научные исследования по сравнению с 2002 годом, на награждения лауреатов за научные и технологические достижения. Касьянов отметил, что в настоящее время российские ученые в области точных и гуманитарных наук нуждаются в особом внимании со стороны властей. По словам Касьянова российское правительство полагает, что необходимо обеспечить ученым социальную защиту и увеличить финансирование научно-исследовательских проектов, особенно тех, которые связаны с такими отраслями, как машиностроение, сельское хозяйство и нефтегазовая промышленность

MOSCOW, In 2004, the Russian government will increase allocations for fundamental scientific research by 50 percent against the year 2002, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said at a function for awarding laureates of the Russian government prize for scientific and technological achievements. Kasyanov noted that at present Russian scientists and scholars were in need of particular attention on the part of authorities. According to him, the Russian government believes it is necessary to ensure social security of Russian scientists and scholars as well as to increase the financing of scientific research projects, particularly those related to such industries as machine manufacturing, agriculture and the oil and gas sector.
"The development of science and technologies is among the top priorities of the state, especially after Russia adopted an innovation approach to spurring economic recovery", the prime minister stressed. Kasyanov also pointed out the high authority of Russian scientists in the world arena. According to him, Russia remains one of the leaders as to scientific and technical potential. Kasyanov emphasized the necessity of taking every measure to ensure that scientists were needed by the economy. "This will attract youth to scientific research and preserve the continuity of science", the prime minister concluded.

© 1995-2003 RosBusinessConsulting

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    europa.eu.int / 06 November 2003
    EU and Russia sign renewed science and technology co-operation agreement

    Во время встречи на высшем уровне в Риме Российская Федерация и ЕС подписали новое "Соглашение по сотрудничеству в области науки и техники" (S&T). Это соглашение является основой для обеспечения участия российских ученых в Шестой Программе Исследований ЕС (FP6 2002-2006). Предыдущее научное соглашение о сотрудничестве России - ЕС вступило в силу в мае 2001 и истекло 31 декабря 2002. Новое соглашение предполагает объединение усилий в исследованиях в таких областях, как биомедицина и здравоохранение, окружающая среда и климат, наблюдение земли, неядерная энергетика, информационные технологии, общественные науки, обучение и передвижения ученых

MOSCOW, "The Russian Federation has high-quality researchers and top scientific facilities," said European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. "At the EU-Russia Summit in St Petersburg last May, it was agreed to launch a common area of research and education. During my recent visit to Russia and meetings with Russian policy-makers, research and business executives, I had first-hand contact with Russian excellence in research, and I found a firm political will to step up co-operation with the EU. Moreover, the enlarged European Union will have direct frontiers with Russia. Scientific co-operation will help to deepen the relationship with those countries and can contribute to the progress of a European Research Area open to the world, for the mutual benefit of the EU and Russia."
Joining forces with Russian partners
According to the agreement, co-operation may be pursued in research, technological development and demonstration activities. This will include basic research in several areas, such as biomedical and health research, environment and climate research, earth observation, non-nuclear energy, information society technologies, social sciences research, science and technology policy, and the training and mobility of scientists. Co-operation will be conducted subject to applicable laws and regulations in force on each side.
Putting the S&T Action Plan into action
A strengthened co-operation between the European Union and Russia in the R&D sector will not only encourage Russian economic development and the training of skilled human resources, but also enhance the EU's own scientific and technological research activities. The co-operation under the renewed agreement will continue to be strengthened by the "Action Plan to enhance co-operation in Science and Technology between the EU and Russia"1, established and adopted in 2002 under the previous Science and Technology co-operation agreement.
The Sixth Framework Programme on Research offers opportunities for the Russian scientific community to get closer to the European one. In fact, as a demonstration of the strong interest of Russian scientists in European research, within the first call for proposals for the Sixth Research Framework Programme there have been more than 500 participants from Russia with a total budget requested of around €75 million.

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    Vietnam, Russia boost bilateral cooperation

Vietnamese and Russian scholars on Thursday spoke of possibilities for global, and regional cooperation.
During the two-day scientific conference, the academics discussed issues relating to Vietnam's integration into the world's economy and Vietnam and Russia in globalisation and economic adhesion, and the role of Vietnam-Russia relations in the Asian-Pacific region. Vietnamese and Russian scholars agreed to boost bilateral relations in the globalization process.

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    The Albuquerque Tribune / 10.11.03
    Siberian challenges beckon to bioscientists
    • By Sue Vorenberg
      Tribune Reporter

The University of New Mexico is hoping to ship some of the nation's top biological scientists off to the far reaches of Siberia.
This isn't a forced exile. Rather, it's part of a program by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency designed to help biological weapons scientists in the former Soviet Union work on nonweapons projects and bring them into the international scientific community.
"Russian biological weapons laboratories are run-down, but they're still terrific high-level containment facilities," said Al Zelicoff, a biological weapons expert and UNM professor. "When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Russian government stopped funding those labs. The thing of it is, if we don't fund them, somebody else will."
That somebody else could be a terrorist or foreign country with dubious intentions toward the United States, Zelicoff said.
Instead of leaving the situation to deteriorate, UNM officials asked the Defense Threat Reduction Agency if they could create a scientific collaboration program. They will work with officials from New Mexico State University and Penn State University on the project, said Roger Hagengruber, director of UNM's Office for Policy, Security and Technology.
"We want to help these former bioweapons researchers convert to other types of work, and we want to bring them into the larger scientific community," Hagengruber said.
"Obviously the people best suited to do that are from universities. UNM is in a wonderful position to offer that sort of support because we have a very strong bioscience and medical science programs."
NMSU and Penn State add to that package, through their expertise in agriculture and animal sciences, he said.
The former Soviet Union's weapons labs are spread out in some of the far reaches of its territory, including Siberia, Kamchatka and Russia's neighbor, Kazakhstan.
Living conditions won't be ideal, but the labs will offer American scientists opportunities to work on projects that aren't feasible in the United States, Zelicoff said.
"The problem (in the United States) isn't containment or lax regulations; it's public perceptions," he said. "Take smallpox. It's a window on the human immune system - it interferes with every component of the immune system. There's a lot left to study about it, but most Americans would be pretty upset if they found out the college down the street had a supply of it."
Other possible projects include studying the SARS virus, looking at different strains of anthrax and how symptoms vary with each strain, and investigating new ways to fight diseases such as Ebola virus or even West Nile virus.
"These projects will use Russian biological expertise to give their scientists a future that can help mankind," Hagengruber said. "In the process, we hope it also helps their economy and leads to the formation of new companies. Those are very good things to do."
Americans working in Russia, under U.S. law, must follow the same safety precautions required in the United States, even if they are in a foreign country with fewer restrictions, Zelicoff said.
"Even if they're sloppy over there, we can't go to Russia and be sloppy," he said. "Another benefit is the Russian health system is much quicker to approve research than the U.S. health system is."
The program is somewhat similar to previous efforts aimed at nuclear scientists in the former Soviet Union. Those have been very successful in preventing Russian nuclear expertise from leaving the country, Hagengruber said.
"In biology, you could argue the need for a program like this is even greater," Zelicoff said. "It's hard for a nuclear scientist to build a bomb. That takes a lot of large, hard-to-find equipment. A biological weapon doesn't take much space, and the equipment is available everywhere."
The university group plans to start recruiting scientists from all over the country - not just the three main universities - in the spring. Those that choose to go will be fully funded for a year or two and can get post-Ph.D. college credit for their work, Hagengruber said.
"To start off, we'd like to get somewhere between 12 and 24 researchers to go," he said. "The ideal thing, because of the remote location, would be to get a husband-and-wife team that wants to be in Russia for a year or more."
Funding for the program will come from Defense Threat Reduction Agency's $400 million budget, although the specific amount dedicated to it hasn't been released yet. It will probably be $4 million or more during the next three years, Zelicoff said.

© The Albuquerque Tribune

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    timesofmalta.com / Sunday, November 9, 2003
    Science in Russia for Library
    • Ibn Campusino

The Russian Ambassador, Valentin S. Vlasov, recently presented the University of Malta Library with back numbers of the prestigious journal Science in Russia, published by the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The presentation was made to University Rector Professor Roger Ellul Micallef in the presence of the new director of the Russian Centre for Science and Culture, Dr Sergey Medvedev, and the University's Director of Library Services, Anthony Mangion.

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    Fuel Cell Today / 11 November 2003
    MMC Norilsk Nickel & Russian Academy of Science sign hydrogen and fuel cell agreement
    • Alton Parrish, Editor, Fuel Cell Technology News

The Russian Academy of Science and mining giant MMC Norilsk Nickel have signed a general agreement to cooperate on hydrogen energy and fuel cell research. This is the first major agreement between the Academy of Science and one of Russia's leading industrial corporations.
The main objective of the agreement between the two bodies is the planning, financing and implementation of top-priority high-tech projects and the production of competitively priced equipment and materials in the field of hydrogen energy and fuel cells that would substitute.
The main areas of activity foreseen by the general agreement are the following: the creation of highly efficient and environmentally friendly electric power installations and electro-chemical generators based on fuel cells; the development of key infrastructure elements for hydrogen energy production; the development of high-tech products and perspective technological processes using palladium and platinum group metals.
Under the agreement academic institutions and industrial enterprises will set up joint ventures in order to produce fuel cells with competitive characteristics using the palladium and platinum group metals produced by Norilsk Nickel.
The agreement was signed by Yuri Osipov, the President of the Academy of Science, and Mikhail Prokhorov, the General Director and Chairman of the Management Board of MMC Norilsk Nickel. Norilsk Nickel is Russia's largest producer of nickel and palladium, and it has a 10% market share of cobalt production worldwide. The company became Russia's largest gold producer when it bought ZAO Polyus. Norilsk Nickel also owns a controlling stake in Stillwater Mining, a US based platinum producer.

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    Rosbalt / 09/11/2003, 14:11
    Russian Scientists Develop New Treatment for Osteoporosis
    Российские ученые создали новое лекарство против остеопороза

MOSCOW, November 9. Russian scientists have developed a new treatment for the most common form of rheumatism - osteoporosis. The Bioform scientific center press service said that on 30 October 2003 a commission on traumatology and orthopedics for the Health Ministry approved the application of a new device for treating osteoporosis, which was developed by employees of the center. The device will be sold on the Russian market later in 2003 and in Europe in the second-half of 2004.
Commission Chairman Gennady Onoprienko said that 'the emergence of the effective and accessible treatment of this, in essence, incurable disease will play a great role in changing the difficult situation in regard to therapy and treatment of osteoporosis in Russia and around the world.'
The Bioform press service said the in the US alone 43 million people (15% of the population) suffers from arthritis and osteoarthritis. Specialists say that the number will increase to 60 million (18.2% of the population) by 2020. More than half of the patients are less than 65. The US Health Department estimates that arthritis treatment costs the US economy approximately USD 65 billion per year.

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    RosBusinessConsulting / 25.11.2003
    Russia and NATO to sign plan for joint activities

MOSCOW -- Representatives of NATO and Russia will sign a plan for joint activities in the sphere of defense, research and technologies in 2004. The document will be signed in Brussels (Belgium) on December 16, 2003. A corresponding decision has been made at a meeting of Russian and NATO experts in Moscow today, the press service of the Russian Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology reported.
Moreover, Russia and NATO are planning to form a task force for cooperation in the sphere of defense, research and technologies by May 2004.
According to participants of the meeting, Russia-NATO cooperation should be developed within the framework of three main directions: the upgrade of military equipment of former Warsaw Pact members, scientific and technical cooperation in the defense sector and reforms in the defense industry.

© Copyright 1995-2003 RosBusinessConsulting

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    BUSINESS WIRE / November 25, 2003
    InnoCentive Sponsors Scientific Conference at St. Petersburg State University

"New Trends in Modern Chemistry" Featured Presentations by InnoCentive Executives on Benefits of Global R&D Collaboration Celebrating the 135th anniversary of the Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society and the 12th anniversary of its scientific library, InnoCentive is honored to sponsor the scientific conference, "New Trends in Modern Chemistry" being held at St. Petersburg State University. The conference, which was held on November 19 and 20, included lectures from esteemed academicians and scientists, and senior executives and scientists from InnoCentive.
"We are delighted to be among our Russian colleagues to celebrate such an impressive milestone of the organization," said Alpheus Bingham, Ph.D., chairman and founder of InnoCentive. "In addition to interesting presentations from Russia's top scientists, members of the InnoCentive team discussed how Russian scientists have the opportunity to collaborate with the world's preeminent corporations through our online community and receive global recognition and financial rewards for their work."
InnoCentive is the first online forum that brings together leading global corporations and scientists from across the globe to solve tough R&D challenges. Global companies including BASF, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly and Company, and Procter & Gamble post their tough R&D problems confidentially on the InnoCentive Web site where more than 40,000 leading scientists and researchers (known as Solvers) in over 150 countries can solve them. Scientists who deliver solutions that best meet InnoCentive's Challenge requirements receive a financial award for their work, ranging up to USD $100,000.
"Russia is an integral segment of the worldwide scientific community, and InnoCentive is happy to sponsor our international colleagues once again at the annual scientific conference at St. Petersburg State University," said Ali Hussein, vice president of marketing at InnoCentive. "Numerous Russian scientists have been rewarded for successfully solving InnoCentive Challenges posed by leading corporations, and we look forward to furthering our relationship with this esteemed university as well as additional institutions throughout Russia."
"This marks the second consecutive year that InnoCentive has joined us in St. Petersburg for our annual conference. The audience was comprised of scientists from leading research institutions throughout Russia, and more than 15 members of the Russian Academy of Science participated in the event. The vast audience and renowned speakers exemplifies the high regard in which Russia views InnoCentive and the importance it places on being a part of its virtual scientific community," said Academician Anatoly Rusanov, president of the Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society.
New Challenges are continually being posted to the InnoCentive Web site and can be viewed at www.innocentive.com/challenges

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    informnauka / 14.11.2003
    The Nanotube Cable Will Connect the Earth and the Moon

    Researchers from the Institute of Problems of Microelectronics Technology and Extra Pure Materials (Russian Academy of Sciences) have designed and tested a new device for production of a new promising material - nanotubes. The researchers believe that it is exactly the material a transport cable can be produced of to connect the Moon and the Earth

Back at the beginning of the last century, the idea was born to build a transport cable between the Earth and the Moon to deliver goods from our planet to the Moon. Until recently, there has been no material enabling to make this idea a reality. Polymers would not stand cosmic radiation, and the steel cable would have enormous weight. The most durable material as of today - Spectra 1000 - would allow to produce a cable of only 315 kilometers long, as the longer cable is simply unable to bear its own weight.
Carbonic nanotubes would very well suit the role of a structural material for such a cable. According to the researchers' estimates, a lightweight cable of required length can be produced from this material, the cable being 50 times stronger than the current most durable materials. The problem is that the researchers have not learned yet to produce high quality nanotubes in large quantities: that is either too expensive or feasible only in the laboratory environment. Therefore, this material is still pretty exotic, its price varying from $60 through $100 per gram. The scientists from Chernogolovka have designed a device that allows to produce pretty large amounts of high quality nanotubes. The device is based on a rather simple scheme: spirit, glycerin or their mixture gets from a specially cooled chamber into the zone of graphite heater bar, where the temperature reaches 1000-2000 degrees C. That results in ultraspeed heating and substance combustion. The products precipitate on a special carbonic glass bell covering the device, or they are removed outside together with vapors and gases, thus allowing to protect the product from various unnecessary impacts.
Precipitations of such kind normally contain amorphous carbon, soot and various particles covered by a shell of carbon, as well as carbon fibre and nanotubes. However, in this particular case the researchers came across a surprise: the precipitations obtained in the device turned out to contain only nanotubes and carbon fibre. No other admixtures were found. It means that a laborious procedure is not required for rectification from unnecessary compoments. The fibres are 30-150 nanometers thick, and nanotubes are 20-50 nanometers thick, their length being several micrometers.
The growth of nanotubes can be accelerated with the help of catalysts - iron, nickel, cobalt and gold. If the surface where nanotubes are to be precipitated is covered with a thin film of such catalyst in the form of some pattern, then nanotubes will precipitate only upon the pattern, the other parts remaining clean.
In principle, such devices may lay the foundation for industrial production of nanotubes. Maybe, a nanotube cable will soon connect the Moon and the Earth.

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    informnauka / 06.11.2003
    EARTH Can be Protected from Space

    The method for remote designing of conserved natural territories has been developed by Russian researchers from the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University, supported by WWF. The method was applied to the territories of the Far East, mountains of the south of Siberia, Urals and some areas of the European part of Russia

In compliance with the Pan-European strategy, the conserved natural territories system or ecological network should consist of several elements. The most spacious and precious territories of high species diversity make the nuclei of ecological framework. There is no way to preserve them in isolation - they need to be connected with each other by "corridors" to ensure contacts and genetic exchange between the populations. And, finally, buffer zones around nuclei are intended to preserve them from the ill effect of anthropogenic surroundings. Designing the ecological network and all the above elements requires drawing up an inventory of the territory, which is an uneasy task in enormous sparsely populated areas outside the boundaries of the European part of Russia. Can remote methods be applied in this case? Specialists in landscape geography under the guidance of Yu. G. Puzachenko tried to solve the task. They proceeded from the concept that biological diversity is tied up with variety of ecotopes. It does not always directly depend on the area of the territory; for example, in the mountains, where the zoning is vertical, species diversity per unit area is higher than that in the valley. In other words, the more complicated the relief is, the potentially richer the biological diversity is. Therefore, relief data can be a guide to single out potentially preserved territories. Such information can be obtained from topographic maps. However, the relief complexity reflects only potential variety of ecotopes, and real diversity can be assessed based on the satellite multi-channel photographs.
The 1:1,000,000 scale digitized topographic map and images of four channels of the SPOT satellite serve the source material for investigation. Proceeding from the relief structure analysis, a specially designed program helps to single out "corridors" aligned with linear components of the relief, such as river valleys, mountain ridges, etc. Corridor intersections form the nuclei of ecological framework.
Then the specialists analyze spectral density and intensity of the image. The intensity depends on the density of plants, wood species ratio, shrubs, level of moistening and other factors. As it reflects the real physical properties of ecotopes, the mosaic of intensity can be considered the index of variety of ecotopes for specific territories. For each territory the researchers calculate the index of variety and the index of originality, and then they use all these data to single out potentially preserved natural territories. However, they emphasize that the territories singled out in such a way require further on-site survey.
Having scanned the territory of Yakutia in such a way, the researchers singled out 185 regions which need conservation, the total area being equal to 338,718 square meters or 11.2% of the total area of the republic. Since biological diversity in Yakutia's territory is relatively low, it can be assumed that all plant and animal species populating Yakutia will be under protection.

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