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    DONGA.COM / MARCH 11, 2004
    Relics of Past Give Proof that Balhae Is Kokuryo's Successor
    • By Jae-Dong Yu
    Археологические открытия российских ученых на территории Маньчжурии чрезвычайно заинтересовали корейских ученых.

Russian scientists are receiving unusual interest from the academic world because of their discovery of remains from an unearthing expedition in the old territory of Balhae, including the Russian territory in Manchuria, which can prove the relationship between Kokuryo and Balhae.
The museum of Korea University in Seoul on Wednesday, said, "We invited Boalding, the director of archeological laboratory of the Russian Institute of Science, his assistant Geller, and Lickytin and held a meeting for the interim findings of Balhae's remains around the Russian territory in Manchuria."
This was the first time to define the relationship between two countries from the actual remains, even though there have been many similar assumptions.
Since the late 1990s, Russian scholars have found several ruins of Kokuryo in their territory in Manchuria. During the meeting, they reported to witnesses about "on-dol," which was Kokuryo's unique heating system in Balhae's old territory, and verified the similarity to an earthenware which followed Kokuryo's ways. They also mentioned, "We found the same type of items in the Korean museum which we did not know how they were used in the past." adding, "Russian scientists admit that Balhae's culture succeeded Kokuryo's." Chun Ho-sup, a researcher at the museum of Korea University, said, "These results, which were proven by the scholars from the third country through their unearthing efforts, will be very precious data for our recent studies of the history of Kokuryo."

Copyright 2002 donga.com.All rights reserved.

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    Informnauka (Informscience) Agency / 15.03.2004
    Water Is Purified From Fluorine
    Исследователи Кольского научного центра РАН разработали эффективный метод очистки сточных вод от ионов фтора с помощью сорбентов, содержащих титан. Этот метод также решает проблему повторного применения насыщенных фтором сорбентов.

Researchers of the Kola Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, have developed an efficient method for sewage water purification from fluorine ions. Fine purification of water can be achieved through utilization of sorbents containing titanium. In addition, the method solves the problem of recycling spent sorbents saturated with fluorine. The majority of contemporary toothpastes contain sodium fluoride as a fluorides agent to reinforce enamel. In the natural environment, this substance is found in the form of transparent deep cherry-colored crystals called will omits after a French traveller, whose collection of minerals from Guinea was the first to reveal this crystal. Williomits get washed out, this causing the fluorine ions' presence in the water. Normally, their concentration should not exceed 1.4 milligram per litre of water, however, the fluorine content should be twice lower that that in the water intended for fish industry activity: the fish accumulate fluorine in the organism and then it is consumed by people. The substance which in small amounts is contained in the toothpaste and strengthens the teeth has become the reason for serious problems in Kola Peninsula and other regions, where mining enterprises work intensely to process ores containing williomits.
This results in millions of cubic metres of sewage with high content of fluorine ions, their concentration exceeding the maximum allowable concentration by ten times, and this is very dangerous for human health. Abundant fluorine content in the organism may cause the fluorosis disease. As a result, the enamel decays, white spots appear on the enamel and turn yellow as time passes. In addition, abundant fluorine inhibits some enzymes' action in the organism. Poison is curative only in small dozes.
So far, there has been no inexpensive and efficient technology for water purification from fluorine ions. Researchers from the Tananaev Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Rare Elements and Mineral (Kola Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences) suggested that various titanium compounds should be used as sorbents: titanyl hydroxides or sulphates, which tightly bind fluoride ions.
For example, when processing the mineral, which contains titanium, it is easy to get titanyl sulphate that can be efficiently used to purify water from ions of fluoride. This compound is added to the sewage water while mixing, it dissolves rather easily, and then, as a result of hydrolysis, it turns into the loose deposit. It is the deposit that plays the role of sorbent in purification of water from ions of fluoride.
After such processing, sorbents containing fluorine in the form of deposit can be simply filtered. This method provides for fine purification of water, decreasing the flurine ion content down to 0.5-0.6 milligram per liter, which poses no threat to human health. For example, if the water contains 10 milligrams of fluorine ions per liter, then processing of one liter of such water would require 80 milligrams of titanyl sulphate.
The new water purification method also solves the problem of disposal of spent sorbents with fluorine ions contained in them. Previously, fluorine saturated sorbents, accumulated, and fluorine penetrated the soil and contaminated the environment. Under the new method, spent solid sorbents may be processed with sulphuric acid, thus getting valuable hydrogen fluoride and fresh portions of water soluble titanyl sulphate, which can be reused. Therefore, the method suggested by the researchers will allow to purify water from fluorine, to obtain a valuable chemical product and to save sorbent.

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    AlphaGalileo / 12.03.2004
    Thermal Portrait Of Atherosclerosis Patients
    Современные приборы тепловидения могут быть использованы в медицине для диагностики и контроля. Например, для наблюдения за кровоснабжением конечностей больных атеросклерозом до и после инъекций специального препарата, нормализующего циркуляцию крови и очищающего стенки сосудов.

Contemporary thermal imaging equipment may be applied to medicine for diagnostics and treatment efficiency control. Russian biophysicists used a thermal imager for recording the blood supply of atherosclerosis patients' extremities prior and after the treatment by gas-transport blood substitute injections.
Researches in this area by Russian biophysicists have been funded through the "Abstract Sciences for Medicine" research program (Russian Academy of Sciences), State Foundation for Promotion of Small-Size Enterprises in Scientific and Technical Areas and the 2003 Moscow Regional Grant.
Contemporary devices allow to measure the body surface temperature accurately within several hundredths of a degree. A domestic infra-red thermovision system (thermal imager) possesses the 0.03 degree thermal sensitivity and makes 25 measurements per second. Based on such devices, new methods can be developed for medical diagnostics and treatment efficiency control. Testing the method capabilities, Russian biophysicists (specialists of the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biophysics of Cell, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Institute of General Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences) used the thermal imager to record the blood supply of atherosclerosis patients' extremities prior and after the treatment by perftoran gas-transport blood substitutes injections. The arterial blood temperature remains practically constant in a relatively wide range of environment conditions. The temperature of skin, on the contrary, changes significantly depending on the climate and genetic peculiarities of a person. The thermal imager registers the temperature distribution on the skin surface. The development of inflammations, burns, tumors or phlebitis is accompanied by intense heat release, therefore, in these cases the heating locations and reasons can be determined with rather high precision. If the blood supply is deranged, the skin cools. This can be caused by the capillary spasm due to significant loss of blood, lesion of walls of small or great vessels, or simply because a person is at rest. Russian biophysicists obtained the thermal portrait of a patient suffering from lower extremities atherosclerosis. On the thermogram, the diseased left leg, which is undersupplied with blood, looks notably darker than the right one, particularly its lower part.
To normalize the blood circulation, the patient was injected perftoran gas-transport blood substitute developed at the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, based on the perfluoro-organic emulsion. Perftoran possesses high oxygen capacity and low viscosity; therefore, it can participate in the oxygen and carbonic acid gas transfer. Along with various other clinical uses, Perftoran is used to improve microcirculation of blood. Particles of the emulsion, which are more than 100 times smaller than the erythrocyte, do penetrate even capillaries narrowed due to organic lesion, and deliver oxygen to the tissue. The capillaries start opening, and normal gaseous exchange in surrounding tissues is gradually restored. Besides, particles of perftoran act as a sorbent, which cleans the walls of microvessels, thus increasing their lumens.
The patient felt better after two intravenous injections of perftoran. His legs "warmed up" straight away, the changes being particularly noticeable in the diseased extremity. The temperature of its surface rose significantly, particularly in the most remote and affected areas: the left foot heated up almost by two degrees. On the thermogram, both legs look bright and evenly light.
On the whole, although the "thermal portrait" of each person is rich in information, but it is exclusively individual, that is why the researchers still find it difficult to define the notion of "standard". For wide adoption of thermal imagers in medical practice, it is necessary to accumulate and analyze a large volume of thermographic information for genetically varying people and patients with different diseases. It is also necessary to develop the "thermal portraits" interpretation methods, comparing the same person's measurements carried out for a long time. However, this laborious effort will certainly pay back. Contemporary thermal imaging equipment can become a powerful research tool for medicine; it may be also applied for both diagnostics and treatment efficiency control, the proof of which is the effort by Russian biophysicists.

© AlphaGalileo Foundation 2003

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    BELLONA / 2004-03-18
    Nuclear plant in earthquake zone
    The site of the planned Russian nuclear power plant in settlement Rikasikha, Arkhangelsk region, is unstable.
    Площадка для предполагаемой АЭС в Архангельской области находится в сейсмоопасной зоне. Об этом в январе заявил директор Института экологических проблем Севера Уральского отделения РАН Феликс Юдахин. Специалисты института провели геологические исследования грунта на месте предполагаемого строительства и установили сейсмическую нестабильность территории.

Director of the Institute of Environmental Problems of the North at the Urals Department of the Russian Science Academy Felix Yudakhin informed the press about that in January. The specialists of the Institute explored the ground in the area of the planned nuclear plant's construction and detected seismic variability. Yudakhin said, "although the research is not completed, we can absolutely confirm the fact that this territory is seismic".
In response to this statement the deputy governor of Arkhangelsk region on economic development Vladimir Kolomentsev, who is responsible for the nuclear plant's project, told the journalists that "the scientist did not make any discovery" and all this information is available from before, adding that the planned nuclear plant is designed to resist grade 9 earthquake on Richter scale. He also said that Rikasikha chosen as a staring point for the nuclear plant, but the final location would be determined this year after the state expert review. The State company Unified Energy System of Russia emphasized many times that Northwest of Russia has excessive energy supplies, but Vladimir Kolomentsev was sceptical about the idea to build power lines from the Kola nuclear power plant or Pechora hydroelectric power plant.
Agreement to build nuclear heat and power plant near Rikasikha was signed in the end of November 2001. The project's cost is about $700m and should be financed by Rosenergoatom concern's investment program, but no money has been allocated yet. The plant's capacity with the VK-300 type power unit is 600MW and it should be put in operation in 2010.

[c) BELLONA -- Reuse and reprint recommended provided source is stated

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    PR Newswire / Thursday March 18
    Alan Guth and Andrei Linde Win International Cosmology Award
    Peter Gruber Foundation Cites Theoretical Physicists for Development of Concept of Cosmic Inflation
    Премия по Космологии Фонда Питера Грубера - одна из главных международных премий в этой области. Фонд ежегодно вручает золотую медаль и денежную премию выдающимся ученым, сделавшим значительный вклад в области космологии. В прошлом году лауреатом стал ведущий российский астрофизик Рашид Сюняев. Премия 2004 года присуждена Алану Гуту и Андрею Линде за развитие и усовершенствование теории космической инфляции.

ST. THOMAS, U.S, Virgin Islands, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading theoretical cosmologists Alan Guth, Weisskopf Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Andrei Linde, Professor of Physics at Stanford University, who played prominent roles in developing and refining the theory of cosmic inflation, have been selected by an international panel of experts to receive the 2004 Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation.
The Foundation annually presents its gold medal and a $200,000 unrestricted cash award to an outstanding scientist, or scientists, who have made groundbreaking contributions in the field of cosmology. This year's award (which will be shared by the co-recipients) will be presented on June 4, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
The official citation reads: "The Cosmology Prize of The Peter Gruber Foundation is hereby proudly presented to Professor Alan Guth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Professor Andrei Linde, Stanford University, for their development of fundamental ideas of cosmic inflation, which has been one of the dominant themes of cosmology for more than two decades.
The original concept of inflation and its many variations, including chaotic inflation, proposed and developed by Guth and Linde, have led to a revolution in our approach to studying cosmology and to understanding the history of the universe."
Inflationary theory describes the very early stages of the evolution of the universe and its structure. A modification of cosmology's Big Bang theory, it holds that all matter in the universe was created during a period of inflation, as the universe expanded at an incredible rate: It doubled in size each 10 to the minus 37 seconds. (Imagine a pea growing to the size of the Milky Way in less time than the blink of an eye.)
Models of inflationary cosmology had been considered by others in the 1970s, but in 1981, Alan Guth pulled the ideas together and pointed out the cosmological problems solved by inflation, publishing his work as "The Inflationary Universe: A Possible Solution to the Horizon and Flatness Problems."
There were problems with specific details of Guth's model (acknowledged by him also), and later in 1981, at an international conference in Moscow, Russian cosmologist Andrei Linde presented an improved version, called "new inflation." Others added to the refinements, and Linde went on to propose additional versions of inflationary theory, including the chaotic inflationary universe scenario and the theory of eternal chaotic inflation. Inflationary concepts have influenced more of modern cosmology in the past two decades than anything since the hot Big Bang of the 1960s.
Alan Guth, 57, received his bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in physics from MIT and worked at Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, and Stanford Universities before returning to MIT in 1980. Elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is the author of many technical publications and of the popular general audience book "The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins."
Born in Moscow in 1948, Andrei Linde received a B.S. from Moscow State University and a Ph.D. from Moscow's Lebedev Physical Institute. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty in 1990, Linde worked at the Lebedev Physical Institute and at CERN, Switzerland. He also is the author of many scholarly papers and has written two books on particle physics and inflationary cosmology.
"We are extremely pleased to honor the work of Professors Guth and Linde and to pay tribute to the theory of cosmic inflation," said Peter Gruber, chairman of the Peter Gruber Foundation. "Their original ideas over more than 20 years have profoundly changed the field of cosmology."
The Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation is one of the premier international prizes in the field. Last year's prizewinner was Professor Rashid Sunyaev, a leading Russian astrophysicist and pioneer in the field of X-ray astronomy. Dr. Vera Rubin, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington received the prize in 2002. The recipient in 2001 was Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal of the United Kingdom and Royal Society Research Professor at Cambridge University. Recipients of the Cosmology Prize in 2000 were Professor Allan R. Sandage, Staff Astronomer Emeritus, The Observatories (Pasadena, California) Carnegie Institution of Washington, and Dr. Phillip J.E. Peebles, the Albert Einstein Professor of Physics at Princeton University.
A distinguished Advisory Board selected the Cosmology Prize recipients for 2004 after a worldwide solicitation of candidates. Current members of the Advisory Board are: Professor V. Radhakrishnan of the Raman Research Institute in Bangalore; Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell of the University of Bath, U.K.; Dr. Robert Halleux of the University of Liege, Belgium; Professor Virginia Trimble of the University of Maryland and the University of California at Irvine; Dr. Katsuhiko Sato, Director, Research Center for the Early Universe at the University of Tokyo; Professor John Ball of the Mathematical Institute, Oxford; and Professor Robert Williams, Distinguished Research Scholar at the Space Telescope Science Institute in the U.S. Dr. George V. Coyne of The Vatican Observatory and Dr. Owen Gingerich of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics serve as special cosmology advisors to the Foundation.
Affiliation with International Astronomical Union
In 2000, the Peter Gruber Foundation and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced an agreement by which the IAU provides its expertise and contacts with professional astronomers worldwide for the nomination and selection of Cosmology Prize winners. Under the agreement, the Peter Gruber Foundation also funds a fellowship program for young astronomers with the aim of promoting the continued recruitment of new talent into the field. The International Astronomical Union, founded in 1919, is a worldwide organization of professional astronomers. Its membership includes more than 9,000 astronomers from 67 countries worldwide.
The Peter Gruber Foundation
The Peter Gruber Foundation was founded in 1993 and established a record of charitable giving principally in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where it is located. In recent years the Foundation has expanded its focus to a series of international awards recognizing discoveries and achievements that produce fundamental shifts in human knowledge and culture.

Copyright © 2004 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

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    Rocky Mountain News / March 19, 2004
    Boulder scientists ride train in Siberia to gauge pollution
    • By Jim Erickson
    Передвижная обсерватория, совместный проект американских, российских, австрийских и германских ученых, отправилась в свое первое путешествие из Москвы в Хабаровск и обратно. Цель – определение уровня загрязненности воздуха на всем пути следования.

Three Boulder scientists boarded the Trans-Siberian Railway on Thursday for a 13-day journey to measure atmospheric pollutants along a 5,300-mile route. The Boulder researchers are part of an international team measuring levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting chemicals, and pollutants that form smog. "We'd like to know how much Siberian pollution is contributing to the global total, so it's really quite a coup to arrange this with the Russian government," said James Elkins, a physicist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder.
"Very little is known about pollution from the former Soviet Union," Elkins said.
"And we can't get the numbers from the Russians because they don't know," he said. The Siberian data will be used to refine computer models used in global change studies.
The project is a collaboration between American, Russian, Austrian and German scientists. The Russians contributed a new $2 million observatory car that carries the scientists and their analytical gear. The 50-foot car, trailed by more than 20 passenger cars, rides directly behind the electric locomotive. The trip began in Moscow and will end in Khabarovsk, in eastern Siberia. The train route is electrified over that stretch, so engine emissions won't contaminate air measurements.
Air samples are collected through intakes in the sides and top of the observation car. Once the researchers arrive at Khabarovsk, they will turn around and head back to Moscow - a round trip of 10,600 miles. The expedition involves coupling the observatory car to regularly scheduled passenger trains. NOAA provided $50,000 to fund the excursion and a gas chromatograph to measure levels of 12 gases, said Elkins, supervisory physicist at the agency's Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory in Boulder.
The three Boulder scientists on the trip are Dale Hurst, Debbie Mondeel and Pavel Romashkin. They work at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, a collaboration between NOAA and the University of Colorado. The scientists will cross seven time zones in six days on their trip from Moscow to Khabarovsk.

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    EurekAlert / 23-Mar-2004
    Physicists see golden needle in a micro-cosmic haystack
    Еще в 1960-х годах ученые выдвинули предположение о существовании сил, выходящих за рамки стандартной модели физики элементарных частиц. Возможное подтверждение этому было обнаружено недавно совместной группой канадских, японских, российских и американских физиков в ходе исследования крайне редкой формы распада субатомной частицы К-мезон.

UPTON, NY, -- An international team of physicists examining an extremely rare form of subatomic particle decay -- a veritable golden needle in a micro-cosmic haystack of 7.8 trillion candidates -- has discovered evidence for the highly sought process, which could be an indication of new forces beyond those incorporated in the Standard Model of particle physics. That long-standing theory of all particle physics precisely predicts the rate of such decays to be half that observed by the experimenters although it is still too soon to say if a deviation has occurred. The innovative experiment, which uses the most comprehensive particle detector ever built, is located at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. The result is being presented at a colloquium at Brookhaven Lab today and has been submitted to Physical Review Letters.
The experiment detects the disintegration of an unstable subatomic particle called a K meson, which can decay, or break apart, in a variety of ways. One particular decay -- in which the K meson turns into other particles, a positively charged pion, a neutrino, and an antineutrino -- is extremely important due to the internal subatomic processes involved and its sensitivity to new physical effects not accounted for in the Standard Model. The decay is so rare that it was predicted to happen only once in all the decays ever observed by all of the experiments that have searched for it since the 1960s.
The latest evidence of the long-sought process was found in just-analyzed data. It followed two earlier sightings at Brookhaven in 1997 and 2002. The new data were obtained using improved apparatus that exploited higher beam intensities and achieved greater efficiency of detection than any previous experimental setup.
The current result indicates that this particular rare K meson decay occurs once in every 7 billion decays. The improved result continues to suggest a possible discrepancy with the Standard Model, although with only 3 events, the result is still consistent with this model's prediction of one in 13 billion decays.
"It is very important to establish whether these first few events represent a statistical fluke or an important breakthrough," said Douglas Bryman, Professor of Physics at the University of British Columbia, one of the experiment's spokespersons. "This can only be done with an enhanced event sample, which could be obtained by further running of the experiment. "Additional running would resolve the issue and firmly establish whether we are seeing an extremely significant departure from standard theory," Bryman said. Such further running would require program funding not presently planned.
The long trek leading to discovery
The experimental collaboration -- now composed of 70 scientists from Canada, Japan, Russia and the United States, -- has been conducting the search for the past decade at the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, a particle accelerator at Brookhaven Lab that produces the world's most intense beams of K mesons. K mesons are elusive particles that exist for only 12 billionths of a second before decaying into other forms. So, to catch the fleeting events and identify the rare decay, the scientists built a state-of-the-art particle detector the size of a small house, capable of examining 1.6 million decays every second. Interesting events get recorded on tape, with several tens of thousands of gigabytes of data stored so far. The physicists then use sophisticated software to pore over the data to find the most interesting events and examine them in exquisite detail.
Although a neutrino and an antineutrino are also emitted in this K meson decay, these particles interact too weakly to be detected. Thus, evidence that one positive pion -- and only a positive pion -- was produced by the K meson decay must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, eliminating the possibility that other detectable particles are present. To establish the validity of the observations, the scientists must reject all background cases where a K meson decays in other ways, usually involving a charged particle or a neutral pion. In order to achieve the unprecedented level of filtering required, the group developed the most efficient particle detector system ever built.
The hard part here is that neutral pions immediately decay into two high-energy gamma rays (photons), and the experiment must not miss them more than once in every million decays. To do this, the detector stops the K mesons in their tracks -- in a scintillating fiber target -- before they decay. The decay products then travel through a particle-tracking chamber surrounded by a huge magnet and plastic scintillation counters, so their momentum, trajectories, and energy can be precisely measured to positively identify the types of particles detected. Events that emit photons are picked up by sensitive detectors and rejected, leaving only the rarest decays as candidates for the process the scientists are seeking.
Out of all the data analyzed, the scientists have now seen three events explicable by the rare K meson decay they've been searching for. Their goal is to increase the experimental exposure by five times. If their findings continue at the current pace, 20 or more events would be observed. Such a result could profoundly alter our current picture of particle physics, forcing an expanded view of the fundamental constituents of the universe and their interactions since the 'Big Bang.'

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