|Российская наука и мир|
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)
Medical News Today / 21 Sep 2005
Using Glow-Beetles help to find microbes
Чтобы пересчитать микробов - хоть в молоке, хоть в операционной комнате - надо заставить их светиться, как светлячков. Исследователи из МГУ им. М.В.Ломоносова не только синтезируют необходимый для свечения фермент, но и делают на его основе наборы для экспресс-анализа, с помощью которых можно пересчитать микробов "по головам" практически в любом объекте анализа всего за несколько минут.
To calculate microbes in milk or in the operating-room, it is necessary to make them glow like well-known glow-beetles (Lampyridae gen.) do. Now that the secret of glow-beetles' luminescence has been discovered, and researchers of the Lomonosov Moscow State University not only synthesize the enzyme required for luminescence, but they also produce snap analysis sets based on it, the sets allowing to literally calculate microbes practically in any analysis object within several minutes. The most complicated cases would require the six-hour analysis.
"Our method is based on measuring intensity of luminescence, which occurs upon interaction of a special enzyme, luciferase, with molecules of the so-called ATF - adenosinetriphosphoric acid, says Professor Ugarova, (Doctor of Science (Chemistry)), research manager. This substance called universal accumulator and energy source of living organisms exists in any bioplast. Accordingly, it does exist in microbes as well."
If membranes of microbe's sells are destroyed, ATF will, bluntly speaking, simply flow out of them and its quantity may be determined with the help of luciferase. The relation is direct: the more bioplast the sample contains, the more ATF is contained in the solution and the more it will glow upon addition of the enzyme. Certainly, this is a highly simplified outline of the process, and the way from the first investigations up to a simple and reliable methodology took years. However, it has been almost passed through, at any rate the first pilot batches of snap analysis sets have already been released.
It is worth noting that the word "snap" in the name of the method is very important. The point is that the microbial contamination analysis is now performed in a traditional way. A sample is placed in a nutrient medium. If microorganisms exist in the sample, they propagate themselves and in a day or two their number is usually sufficient for counting under a microscope.
Evidently, the method is not very accurate, and most importantly - it takes too much time. A prompt response cannot be expected, particularly if it comes to the objects where microbes are knowingly few, for example, sterile instruments or premises. However, in the absence of a better one, this method is so far the sole approved by the all-Union State Standard.
However, already by the end of 2005, it can be expected that the all-Union State Standard for microbiological purity control of unboiled milk for example will include two methods for choice, one of them being based on the research by the Moscow chemists. The method will not always work instantly either, but the authors warrant that it will definitely be precise. If microbes are few in the object, they will have to be bred as the researchers put it, but no longer than for six hours versus one hundred and twenty hours under the ordinary method. This, of course, will be done in exclusive cases, when the premises is indeed practically sterile, and bioplast is scarce in it. The standard analysis takes only several minutes, i.e. dozens of times less than the traditional microbiological one.
The LUMTECH small-scale enterprise will produce sets for snap-control of microbe contamination. The company exists for about a year, since February 2004 when researchers of the Lomonosov Moscow State University established it up with assistance of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE). Methods are basically ready, although the authors continue scientific research to develop new ones. They also carry put paper work in parallel to approve the new method and to include it into the all-Union State Standard of the Russian Federation.
In the meantime, pilot batches of the sets are already being manufactured by the company. Luciferase for reagents is already produced not by glow-beetles but by bacteria specially taught by chemists, a special gene being embeded in the DNA of these bacteria for this purpose. So the enzyme is obtained absolutely identical to the natural one and at any time of the day. This does not sound very romantic, but it is reliable and enzyme can be produced in any required amount.
© 2003-2005 Medical News Today
* * *
Informnauka (Informscience) Agency / 11.10.2005
Cerebral Attack Against Burn
Специалисты НИИ трансплантологии и искусственных органов МЗ РФ впервые использовали для лечения обширного ожога клеточную культуру, полученную из стволовых клеток костного мозга. По мнению трансплантологов, подобная методика - перспективный и безопасный метод лечения тяжелых ожогов.
Specialists of the Scientific Research Institute of Transplantology and Bioartificial Organs (Ministry of Public Health of the Russian Federation) have for the first time used the cell culture obtained from marrow stem cells for treatment of vast burn. Transplantation of cells allowed to restore quickly blood supply in burnt tissues and to significantly accelerated healing of the burn and overall recovery of a patient.
Transplantation was made to a forty-five-year-old woman. During conflagration, the outer clothing caught fire on her and stuck to the skin. Heavy burns covered 40 percent of her body surface. For a whole month, the patient had been treated in traditional ways, however, blood supply of the burnt skin did not restore. Damaged tissues mortified, infection was constantly present in the wounds. In such conditions, it is impossible to make skin transplantation, i.e. to cover the surface of the burn. Then physicians treated the wound by marrow stem cells.
Cellular therapy has been used for treating vast burns for a long time. Cultured cells of adult person's connective tissue - fibroblasts and keratinozites - are applied to the surface of the burn. However, the method turned out to be very expensive. Besides, transplanted cells of adult donors lose quickly their stimulating activity. This forces clinicians to use embryonic fibroblasts, but all bioengineering methods, which are somehow connected with embryos, come across unsolved ethical, legal and juridical issues and lack of legislation that allows sampling and utilization of embryonic cells. In recent years, work for utilization of marrow stem cells is in full swing worldwide. Stem cells are received from marrow of ilium of adult donors under intravenous anaesthetic. Donors and their marrow are checked for dangerous infections.
Under certain conditions of cultivation, marrow stem cells not only propagate themselves but also differentiate into cells of other tissues, including fibroblast-like ones, which may be used for treatment of deep burns. Specialists of the Scientific Research Institute of Transplantology and Bioartificial Organs already conducted successful experiments on animals, and now they have applied stem cells for treatment of human beings.
All necrotizing tissues were removed from the wound, the wound was carefully cleaned and on the same day the entire surface of the burn was covered directly from a pipette by suspension of fibroblasts obtained from marrow stem cells, and then the wound was covered by a gauze cloth. 20 to 30 thousand cells were placed on 1 square centimeter. Recovery process is easy to observe during bandaging. Already three days later, the patients evidently felt better, the pain from burns decreased. The entire surface of the burn "revived", it was penetrated by tiny capillaries. On the fifth day after transplantation, physicians were able to perform the first skin grafting. The skin was taken from the anterior and outer surface of both thighs. Donor's wounds were poured by stem cells suspension. Thanks to cellular therapy, the wounds did not hurt much or get wet, and healed up quickly. 28 days after the first skin grafting, the patient was discharged from hospital in satisfactory condition, and three weeks later she was able to return to work.
In transplantologists' opinion, grafting of marrow stem cells allowed to significantly accelerate rehabilitation of homeostasis and the process of thermal burn healing and thus the overall recovery process of a burn patient. Taking into account the results of experiments on animals preceding the transplantation, the researchers believe that grafting of fibroblasts (obtained from the culture of marrow stem cells) on a burning wound represents noninvasive and secure method for treating heavy thermal skin injuries.
Copyright © 2003 "Himiya i Zhizn'". All rights reserved.
* * *
AlphaGalileo / 14 Oct 2005
Emotionally Labile Interlocutors Are More Susceptile To Fear And Anger
Эмоции гнева и страха на лице собеседника точнее и быстрее опознают люди, эмоционально неустойчивые, выяснили российские физиологи при поддержке РГНФ.
Russian physiologists supported by the Russian Foundation for the Humanities have found out that emotions of anger and fear on the face of an interlocutor are quicker and more precisely recognized by emotionally labile people.
To communicate with congeners, it is necessary for a person to be able to identify emotions on the interlocutor's face. This is an important part of communication. It can be assumed that different people possess this ability to a different extent, and probably this accounts for success or failure in communication. Physiologists from the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, jointly with physicians from the Research Center for Mental Health, Russian Academy of Sciences, investigated dependence of this ability on the type of personality.
The research involved 68 healthy young men and women - students or graduates from institutes of higher education. In the course of the experiment, photographs of faces with expression of joy, anger and fear were shown to them. The researchers selected from the album the photos of two men and two women, each of them with expression of three types of emotions, i.e., altogether 12 photos were shown to the persons under consideration. In response the person was to push a special key with three positions corresponding to the three emotions. In each case, accuracy of identification and response time were recorded.
To evaluate personal traits of probationers, the so-called Cattell methodology was used - i.e., a detailed questionnaire where personal traits are grouped in three blocks of factors: emotional and volitional characteristics, communicative properties and intellectual peculiarities. The first block includes, for example, imperturbability/impulsivity, subordination/dominance, tranquillity/anxiety, the second one - unsociability/sociability, shyness/courage and many others. All probationers were classified in two groups. The first one - emotional, anxious, suppressed, dreamy and trustful persons - formed a group of emotionally labile. The second one - self-possessed persons with high self-control - made a group of emotionally stable people.
Results of recognition of emotions on photos were compared with probationers' personal traits. It has turned out that while there is no difference between groups in recognition of joy on the faces, anger and particularly fear are more accurately and quickly recognized by emotionally labile individuals. The researchers assume that such information is of more importance for people with such type of personality, than for emotionally stable ones. The expression of fear and anger on the face gives warning of possible threat, and anxious people are more precise in recognition of these expressions. Such people are more dependant on external factors of the environment, and the expression of fear or anger - is an alarm signal which requires prompt reaction. Emotionally stable people with high self-concept are more sure of themselves and therefore may disregard this danger.
Apparently, difference in ability to recognize emotions is connected with peculiarities of brain functioning of persons with different personal profiles. At least, the areas responsible for emotions function differently with them.
© AlphaGalileo Foundation 2003
* * *
MOSNEWS / 03.10.2005
Asteroid Impact May Wipe out Life on Earth in 2035 - Russian Scientists
Всероссийская конференция "Астероидно-кометная опасность - 2005" началась сегодня в Институте прикладной астрономии РАН в Санкт-Петербурге. Ее участники обсудят вопросы изучения малых тел Солнечной системы - астероидов и комет, оценят вероятность их столкновения с Землей и другими телами. Например, сотрудник Института прикладной астрономии РАН Виктор Шор считает, что в 2035 году серьезную опасность для Земли будет представлять астероид 2004 МН 4 - вплоть до практически полного уничтожения жизни.
A scientific conference dedicated to asteroid and comet security opened in the Practical Astronomy Institute in St. Petersburg on Monday, Russian news agencies report. One of its participants said that the 2004 MN4 asteroid could hit Earth in 2035, wiping out all life on the planet.
One of the scientists taking part in the conference, Viktor Shor of the Practical Astronomy Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that at present many experts see a real threat of Earth's collision with the 2004 MN 4 asteroid. Initially the collision was predicted for 2028, but the latest calculations show that in 2028 the asteroid will only pass very close to Earth. However, Shor says that his research predicts that the asteroid's orbit could change and it may return in seven years this time crashing into the Earth's surface.
Experts from the Russian Institute of Calculus Mathematics and Mathematical Physics also presented models of space-originated and landslide tsunamis. "A powerful asteroid impact on the ocean could cause tsunamis several hundred meters high," the scientists said, adding that regular tsunamis caused by earthquakes rarely reach 50 meters high.
According to the model, the impact of a 500-meter asteroid traveling at a speed of 10-20 kilometers per second hitting the ocean would cause a circular wave 200-meters high. An asteroid 10 kilometers in diameter would cause a tsunami 4 kilometers high which would be about 400 meters high as it hit land. The scientists say that a similar disaster took place millions of years ago and resulted in the extinction of 90 percent of all living species.
Copyright © 2004 MOSNEWS.COM
* * *
PhysOrg.com - Evergreen, VA, USA / September 28, 2005
Wind is swaying the Earth
Земную кору можно исследовать, наблюдая за колебаниями высотных зданий от порывов ветра. Этот простой и экономичный способ сейсмического наблюдения разработан учеными Архангельского института экологических проблем Севера и Института физики Земли им. О.Ю.Шмидта. Помимо небоскребов, вполне годятся башни, столбы, скалы и даже подъемные краны - все, что возвышается над поверхностью. Ветровые пульсации передаются сооружениям и превращают их в своеобразный сейсмический источник, излучающий сигналы на одной длине волны.
The upper layer of the earth's crust may be investigated using high-rise buildings' vibrations under the wind pressure. This simple and economical method of seismic survey was developed by the specialists of the Arkhangelsk Institute of Ecological Problems of the North (Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and the Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth (Russian Academy of Sciences) under the guidance of F. N. Yudakhin, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The method was born from revision of the active snap location in the earth's crust in the Arkhangelsk Region, at the Northern Dvina mouth.
Winds are rather strong in the surface atmospheric layers. Internal whirlwinds occur, creating wind surges. Wind impulses cause vibrations to the objects protruding from the relief for 10 meters and more, these vibrations, for their part, being transmitted to the earth's crust. A Russian scientist B.B. Golitsyn considered possibilities of this effect back at the beginning of the last century. However, field observation did not provide distinct results at that time due to equipment imperfection. Contemporary experiment equipment, including digital recording and methods of weak signal extraction allow to solve such tasks and to use results for deep sounding of the earth's crust.
Protruding elements of the relief may be both natural (mountain peaks, rock pillars) and artificial ones (towers, hoisting cranes, high-rise buildings). Their vibrations under the wind are described in a well-known task about vibrations of a rod with fixed end. In reality, the object is never rigidly fixed and it transmits vibrations via its foundation to geological environment. Thus, shuddering under blasts, any sky-scraper or hoisting crane turn into a peculiar seismic source emitting its own signals. Such sources are much more convenient than vibrating oscillators, which are commonly used for the earth's crust survey.
The first advantage is that constructions more than 10 meters high irradiate low-frequency seismic signals of 5 Hz and below, that is within the frequency band of deep seismic sounding intended for research of the earth's crust and upper mantle. Normally low-frequency signals are obtained with the help of explosions in water, powerful pneumatic irradiators or hundred-ton vibrators. High-rise constructions tremble constantly, even if the wind is weak. The second important advantage of wind vibrations is that they send a signal of stable frequency. The shape of a construction is invariable, therefore the signal frequency may be impacted only by the change of construction's effective stiffness, for example, total glazing of balconies in a high-rise building. But researchers' observations of a 44-storey Moscow sky-scraper showed that these changes were insignificant. The next point important for obtaining a stable seismic signal sounding the environment - is concordance of vibration source and the soil. The seismic vibrator first "tramples down" the soil where it is installed, but a steady picture can not be expected until the seismic vibrator finally condenses the soil. A signal from the artificial construction may be used immediately, without a transition period.
Nevertheless, the method also has shortcomings. The wind is blowing at different velocity, therefore, wind vibrations have a non-constant amplitude. This inconvenience can be avoided in two ways. Additional vibration recorders can be installed in the vicinity of the source, and then readings of all devices are to be compared. Changes in vibrational amplitude of each construction can be statistically evaluated and the researchers can further work with one station.
In any case, vibrations caused by wind influence on high-rise constructions may be used for seismic survey of the earth's crust upper layer. Such scheme is simple and economical, which is important in the course of reconnaissance for selecting areas for more detailed survey, particularly in almost impassable regions. Relay towers are installed almost everywhere. Research by the Russian scientists is not only of application importance but also of fundamental significance: wind vibrations - are one more way of interaction between the planet's geospheres, atmosphere and the earth's crust.
© PhysOrg.com 2003-2005
* * *
CORDIS NEWS / 2005-09-09
Project to build bridges between Russian and European innovation
Проект TechBrid - "мост" между российскими и европейскими информационными инфраструктурами, виртуальное место встречи, призванное облегчить взаимодействие между ними и продвигать обмен технологиями и методами.
Organisations involved in European innovation and looking for Russian partners, as well as Russian innovation players wishing to take part in the EU's research and innovation activities, will soon have a virtual meeting place that aims to support greater collaboration.
A European-funded project called TechBrid (Technical Bridge between Russian and European Online Infrastructures for Innovations) is currently working to establish "technical bridges" between European and Russian online infrastructures in support of innovation. These include online information resources and online services.
The project has its origins in a national initiative to build a digital information space for innovation actors called the Russian Online Infrastructure for Innovations (ROII). A number of Russian organisations and projects are currently involved in the construction of ROII, including the Russian Network Infrastructure for Innovations, known as the SININ project. SININ is an associated project providing TechBrid with information on Russian innovation.
TechBrid aims to integrate the ROII into EU online innovation support services and develop an English language version of the online workplace. This will allow EU innovation players to use all SININ services to find Russian partners and vice versa.
The final information system will apply an "online work-bench" design. It will allow the innovation actors themselves to create, update and delete material and documents in the online information space, and use the existing material created by others. A personal information agent set up with individual user preferences will automatically monitor the incoming information and notify the user by e-mail. The project started on 1 January 2005 and will last for 12 months. It is coordinated by Professor Sergei Parinov, Head of Department at the Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering of the Information on the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IEIE SB RAS). Technical experience and tools from another running project, SOCIONET, will also be employed in TechBrid to bridge different types of EU and Russia online resources and services.
TechBrid aims to facilitate the interaction between EU and Russian innovation players and promote technology transfer and exchange of best practice between them. It will make its services, including a partner search facility, available for SMEs and large firms, public and private research centres, institutes and laboratories as well as individual researchers and entrepreneurs from Russia, the EU and the Associated Countries. TechBrid will also raise awareness among Russian scientists about EU research and development programmes in which they can take part.
The project hopes that its example and technical results will encourage other organisations to integrate their services and resources into a unified online infrastructure so that the innovation actors can, quickly find relevant information, partners and potential end-users.
CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities
* * *
Innovations-Report - Germany / 21.09.2005
Российские исследователи разработали технологию очистки овечьей шерсти от колючек и прочих "посторонних примесей", причем шерсть при этом не только не портится, а улучшается.
Russian researchers have literally suggested burn to ashes thorns and other vegetative admixtures in the sheep's fleece. It should be noted that that burning to ashes is done intricately, so that the future fiber only benefited from it -becoming solid, elastic and snow-white. The information on this development is placed in the section of promising projects on the site of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
* * *
An ingenious fleece cleansing technology has been developed and patented by Russian researchers. It is based on raw stuff irradiation by bright light of power tubes. In the course of this, all vegetative admixtures - their content in the domestic raw stuff making nearly 3 percent and getting rid of them without spoiling fleece has not been successful so far - turn into ashes. Fleece itself becomes better than it previously was. This idea is so non-trivial that it is simply difficult to believe in. However, a pre-production model of the plant is already functioning in the laboratory of the Moscow State Textile University named after A.N. Kosygin. The ISTC experts considered the development so interesting that they placed the information about it in their database - in the advanced researchers section on the site: www.istc.ru
The problem is not purely Russian, but it is typical for the countries where economy is not highly developed. As for Australian merino sheep, their life is good, if not splendid. They wear special shirts and are tendered in special pastures without thorns or agrimony. So their fleece is clean, without admixtures. The fleece of Russian sheep is all over covered with bur. It is practically impossible to comb out the burs. They have to be pulled out together with fleece, as a result nearly one tenth of the raw stuff being lost, besides the fiber being broken or the raw stuff being processed with sulphuric acid. Certainly, all vegetative admixtures are successfully removed, but the quality of raw stuff drops inevitably. It loses elasticity and a fiber made of it will never be really durable.
The method suggested by Russian researchers does not in the least spoil the raw stuff. The essence of the method is as follows. The raw stuff, i.e. the fleece preliminary washed clean off mud, sweat and grease, is illuminated by very powerful (20 kWt) lamps. But not for a long time - for fractions of a second. During this time, darker vegetative admixtures get strongly heated up - nearly up to three hundred degrees C, and literally turn into ashes. At the same time, the lighter fleece has time to get slilghtly warm - up to sixty degrees C. After that, it is sufficient to shake up the fleece - there are nor burs or grass in it any longer.
Quality improvement of fleece itself has turned out to be an exclusively interesting "by-product" of this influence the authors did not even expect. Although there is nothing supernatural about it - specialists do know that wool "likes" moderate heat. The fiber surface becomes smoother, and the fiber itself, or more precisely, its internal layer, the so-called cortical one, becomes more elastic and flexible. So, as a result the thread and products based on it become more durable and the color becomes snow-white.
However, it is also easier to dye fleece processed under a new technology. The dye keeps on better and stronger, and therefore, the fleece does not lose color and less dye gets into waste, i.e. is washed off to washwater, which is good for environment protection and saving.
The authors have been conducting investigations on the issue for more than twenty years, since 1982. It is interesting to note that they initially used lasers for irradiation and then, relatively not long ago, switched to ordinary lamps' light. The light is certainly filtered - both off destructive effect of ultraviolet and infrared-range irradiation - as it does not matter for the light what to heat: fleece or thorns.
The scientists have solved basic research problems. They have even constructed a laboratory-scale plant jointly with specialists of the "Granat" (Garnet ) Special Design Office. Nevertheless, manufacturing technologies have not been developed yet. However, this is more of financial issue.
Innovations-Report - Germany / 12.10.2005
Papaya Heals Burns
Жители Юго-Восточной Азии и Африки издавна используют плоды и листья папайи для заживления ран и ожогов. А теперь и российские ученые подтвердили ее целебность.
Inhabitants of South-East Asia and Africa have been using papaya fruit and leaves for a long time to heal wounds and burns. Now, Russian scientists have confirmed curative properties of the exotic fruit.
* * *
The papaya-based medication accelerates healing of burn wounds, as the fruit possesses antiphlogistic and antibacterial action. That has been confirmed by the researches of Russian State Medical University. It has turned out that papaya weakens the action of enzyme excreted by pathogens in the wound. Pathogens excrete the enzyme to protect themselves from the enemies - phagocyte cells that destroy bacteria. In the presence of papaya, these purifying cells find themselves in an advantageous position, and efficiency of their work increases. Therefore, the wound will depurate and heal up quicker. In addition, the precious fruit does not allow leucocytes to produce too much oxygen and nitrogen, which further hurt the wound.
The researchers made these conclusions, having carried out experiments with rats: the animals were divided into two groups, in one of which the papaya gel was applied to burns, and in the other -was not. As a result, lucky were the rats whose wounds had been treated by papaya, the wounds got much less inflamed and healed up quicker. The action was noticeable already on day eight, and on day 12, their wound area was twice less than that of the rats deprived of the curative gel.
The scientists have discovered that the papaya medication reduced by twice the oxygen and nitrogen production by leucocytes (oxygen and nitrogen hurt the wound). And bacteria extermination efficiency increased by 500 times - this is, however, fair only for the bacteria that are able of producing the protective enzyme, as the action of papaya is particularly targeted at the enzyme, not bacteria. As per the enzymes that are required to heal the wounds, the fruit acts as stimulator for them.
Space Ref - USA / Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Russians to Partner With NASA Astrobiology Institute
Российский астробиологический центр Физико-технического института имени академика Иоффе стал членом Астробиологического института НАСА. Астробиологический институт был создан в 1997 году и виртуально объединяет десятки научных учреждений из многих стран мира, действующих по единой программе.
The Russian Astrobiology Centre will become an affiliate of the NASA Astrobiology Institute through its international partners program.
The NASA Astrobiology Institute, headquartered at NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, is leading the scientific study of life in the universe - its origin, evolution, distribution and future. This multidisciplinary field brings together the physical and biological sciences to address some of the most fundamental questions of the natural world: How do living systems emerge? How do habitable worlds form and how do they evolve? Does life exist on worlds other than Earth? How could terrestrial life potentially survive and adapt beyond our home planet?
"The new, formal affiliation between the Russian Astrobiology Centre and the astrobiology institute opens up new possibilities for collaborative studies," said NASA Astrobiology Institute Science Director Bruce Runnegar. "For example, Russian Astrobiology Centre scientists are deeply involved in studies of the microbiology of the Siberian permafrost in places where recent volcanic activity has melted the ice, as may have happened in the past on Mars," he said.
"We are very pleased to be an affiliate member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. It is an honor for us," said Russian Astrobiology Centre Director Dr. Anatoliy Pavlov of the A.F. Ioffe Physical and Technical Institute, St. Petersburg, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. "The Centre has already had several successful collaborative initiatives with NASA Astrobiology Institute scientists, and we hope that the formal relationship will make future collaborations easier and more efficient."
The Russian Astrobiology Centre, which was founded in 2002, has 20 active members at universities and research centers in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Khabarovsk. Its primary goal is to coordinate and assist different astrobiology-related research initiatives in Russia.
The Centre's main research areas include studying the evolution of the atmosphere and biosphere; the transfer of plant and animal life between Earth and Mars and the survivability of different microorganisms during space travel; and examining life in extreme environments.
"In the near future, we are planning to organize several joint expeditions of NASA and Russian scientists," said Pavlov.
"We're planning an expedition to Kamchatka to study the unique microorganisms in the area of interaction of active volcanoes, hot springs and permafrost," he added.
"We are excited by the addition of this sixth international partnership," said NASA Astrobiology Institute Executive Director Rose Grymes, who also serves as director of the institute's international partners program. "Our colleagues in Russia will expand the NASA Astrobiology Institute family. We are enthusiastic about sharing in the unique expertise of the members of the Russian Astrobiology Centre, to visiting astrobiology field sites in Russia, exchanging students and researchers, and conducting joint workshops, symposia and courses. Our mutual commitment to education and public outreach will lead to new and innovative communications activities, benefiting students and teachers in both the United States and Russia."
The Russian Astrobiology Centre will join the existing NASA Astrobiology Institute affiliate and associate partners: Centro de Astrobiologнa of Spain (associate), Astrobiology Society of Britain (affiliate), Groupe des Recherches en Exobiology of France (affiliate), Australian Centre for Astrobiology (associate), European Astrobiology Network Association (representing 17 countries, affiliate).
Founded in 1997, the astrobiology institute is a partnership between NASA, 16 major U.S. teams and six international consortia. The NASA Astrobiology Institute's goal is to promote, conduct and lead integrated multidisciplinary astrobiology research and to train a new generation of astrobiology researchers.
Copyright © 1999-2005 SpaceRef Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.
* * *