Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Июль 2006 г.
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Июль
2006 г.
Российская наука и мир
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январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь

    40 лет назад Франция и СССР подписали договор о сотрудничестве в области космических исследований.

Il y a 40 ans, la France et l'Union soviétique signaient un accord de coopération sur l'exploration pacifique de l'espace.
Le 30 juin 1966, alors que le monde est en pleine guerre froide, le Général de Gaulle décide de signer un accord de partenariat franco-soviétique sur l'exploration spatiale. À l'heure où les blocs de l'Est et de l'Ouest, se tiennent mutuellement en respect sous la menace de leurs armes nucléaires, l'initiative est audacieuse. D'autant que ce sont précisément des technologies spatiales qui seraient à même de déclencher le feu nucléaire.
Malgré ce contexte difficile, des liens fructueux se tissent très vite entre scientifiques et ingénieurs des 2 pays. Des 1970, la France est associée au programme lunaire soviétique et reçoit une partie des échantillons de roches lunaires prélevées par les sondes soviétiques Luna.
Exploration de Mars, Vénus, survol de la comète de Halley,... Par la suite, les programmes scientifiques de coopération se sont diversifiés. En 1982, le 1er spationaute français, Jean-Loup Chrétien, accède à l'espace sur une fusée soviétique. Et ce n'est qu'un début. Pas moins de 8 vols avec des cosmonautes français seront réalisés en coopération avec les Russes.
Aujourd'hui la situation internationale a beaucoup changé. Mais l'entente entre la France et la Russie dans le domaine spatial est plus que jamais d'actualité. En 2008, c'est depuis le centre spatial guyanais, à Kourou, que les lanceurs russes Soyouz s'élanceront. Cette perspective, inconcevable en 1966, montre bien ce que l'accord signé il y a 40 ans jour pour jour, avait de visionnaire.
Pour commémorer la signature de l'accord de coopération entre la France et l'Union Soviétique, le Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) organisera à Moscou à l'automne prochain un colloque intitulé "Racines du futur".

© 2004-2005, e.net.

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      People's Daily Online - Beijing, China / July 15, 2006
      Chinese, Russian scientists to jointly study minerals in Siberia
    Приступает к работе совместная российско-китайская экспедиция по изучению минеральных ресурсов Сибири.

A group of Chinese scientists and journalists will fly to Irkutsk of Russia on July 19, to join in Russian scientists to study mineral resources in Siberia.
The Sino-Russian joint expedition is part of China's Year of Russia programs, to bolster bilateral relations in all fields. China hopes the Siberia tour would help Chinese scientists find a new way to look for mineral resources in the country's northeastern area, which neighbors Russia's Far East region.
In addition to mineral resources, the joint expedition team will also study local environment, regional economy and aquatic biology.
The 32-member Chinese team will comprise scientists from five institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and journalists from Chinese media.
The Siberia tour is regarded as an extension of last year's Sino-Russian expedition of the Lake of Baikal in Russia. In August 2005, a group of Chinese and Russian scientists conducted the first Sino-Russian joint expedition for the study of aquatic animals and biology in the area.

Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved.

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    Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin Buch (press release) / 10 July 2006, N 19
    Professor Sergei Nedospasov at the MDC and the Deutsche Rheuma-Forschungszentrum in Berlin - Receives Helmholtz-Humboldt-Award
    Российский иммунолог, профессор Сергей Недоспасов получил премию имени Гельмгольца и Гумбольдта за исследования так называемого фактора некроза опухолей (TNF). Это совместная премия Объединения имени Гельмгольца и Фонда имени Гумбольдта, присуждается с 2004 года международно признанным учёным из-за рубежа в знак благодарности за их заслуги в области научных исследований.

The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and its role in inflammation and cancer is the focus of the research of the Russian immunologist Professor Sergei Nedospasov and his collaboration with the Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and the Deutsche Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin. This collaboration with two German research institutions has been made possible through the Helmholtz-Humboldt Award, which was presented to Professor Nedospasov on July 11, 2006 in Berlin. The Prize is given by the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres, of which the MDC is a member, and the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung. Professor Nedospasov heads a research group at the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and is Professor at the A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology at Moscow State University.
Together with Professor Hendrikus Granzier from Washington State University in Pullman, USA who will come to Berlin in September of this year, the MDC will host two winners of the Helmholtz-Humboldt Award.
At the MDC, Professor Nedospasov will collaborate with the immunologist and cancer researcher Professor Thomas Blankenstein. At the Deutsche Rheuma-Forschungszentrum, he is currently setting up his own research group.
Research Head in the USA
Sergei Nedospasov was born in Moscow in 1952. He studied physics and biophysics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and received his doctorate in 1980. Afterwards, the Soviet Union still existed, he went to pursue postgraduate studies at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Lausannne, returning to Moscow in 1983. In 1986, he stayed at ISREC again as a guest scientist for a short period of time. From 1993 until 2006, he has served as a research group leader at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, USA, while maintaining his laboratory in Russia.
Professor Nedospasov has received many honors in his country and abroad. Since 1995, he was named an International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute three times. In 2000, he received the Peregrinus Award of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences in Berlin and, in 2003, was elected as an Associate Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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      innovations-report / 30.06.2006
      How volcanoes are formed

    Вулканы часто образуют группы или так называемые "горячие точки" - районы продолжительного вулканизма. По одной из версий, они возникают над горячими мантийными потоками - плюмами. Исследованием термохимических плюмов занялись сотрудники Объединенного института геологии, геофизики и минералогии (ОИГГМ СО РАН) под руководством академика Н.Л.Добрецова.

Volcanoes often gather in groups, the so-called hot spots. The Hawaiian Islands are a striking example. One of the reasons for such hot spots appearance - is formation of the so-called thermochemical plume in the Earth’s mantle.
Researchers from the United Institute of Geology, Geophysics and Mineralogy (Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences) under the guidance of Academician N.L. Dobretsov have developed such object formation model. The researchers are interested how the plume would behave near the Earth’s surface and whether lava would pour out on the surface. To this end, they have built a mathematical model.
The thermochemical plume is formed at the core and mantle boundary, in the location where chemical additive is present, which lowers melting temperature at the mantle bottom. At this section, the melted rock column starts to move through the mantle and it rises until it reaches the infusible layer of lithosphere. Having set against it, the plume spreads under the infusible layer, forming a mushroom-like head. The head supported from below grows up gradually, the heat coming from the Earth’s interior fuses the lithosphere bottom, the diameter of molten section is also growing. The secondary upflow appears, which in the long run bursts open to the surface as red-hot lava.
All these processes take up rather long time and depend on multiple parameters. Russian scientists tried to take everything into account. According to their calculations, the secondary plume rises up from the depth of 100 to 200 kilometers at the rate of 1.2 - 2.4 centimeters per year, and it can burst out to the surface from the depth of about 30 kilometers. Consequently, this path takes, depending on the depth and the traverse speed, from 2.9 to 14.2 million years. Thus, contemporary eruptions have a long-standing history.
Eruption can take place only under definite conditions and depends, specifically, on heat flow rate and the plume head diameter. If the head diameter is big, then lava may burst out into the surface at a vast territory in several hot spots. According to the Novosibirsk geophysicists’ calculations, if the flow rate is 3?10^11 Wt, eruption will happen, should the head diameter be 770 to 1310 kilometers, but if the flow rate is thrice as little, diameter of the region to be covered by volcanoes soon or not that soon, would make 450 to 770 kilometers.
Determining the growth length and size of the plume head, that rose from deep mantle layers toward the lithosphere, is an important task for geodynamics, and researchers are now actively solving it. Russian geophysicists’ calculations allow to determine the plume head diameter dependence upon time and thermal power of the source, and, consequently, to characterize known upflows and to forecast eruptions several million years in advance.

© copyright 2006 by innovations-report.

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      innovations-report / 07.07.2006
      Browsing through the internet with a mouse in the mouth, or life on the tip of the tongue

    Московские ученые разработали устройство, с помощью которого практически полностью обездвиженный человек сможет пользоваться компьютером. Устройство представляет собой нечто среднее между клавиатурой и мышью, размещается во рту и управляется с помощью языка и зубов.

At the "IT Business" contest in June this year in Moscow, the first place was awarded to the project under the title "Return to Active Life" represented by the Moscow company Gravitonus' Gt. Its authors do not certainly promise to set on the legs the people, whose body is, alas, motionless. But they give them an opportunity to actively use a PC. For those persons whose hands do not obey to commands of the brain this is still the only chance to play PC games, browse through the Internet, communicate in the chat and even to work. Alexy Kosik, practicing orthopaedist surgeon, and his colleagues designed, patented and learned to produce the device to be placed in the mouth to allow controlling the PC with the help of the tongue and the teeth.
"Certainly, attempts were made before us to make something similar to this device in terms of purpose, but not execution, says Alexy Kosik. However, when designers faced technical problems, they receded. Among other things, the problem was that they failed to develop a universal device, not an individual one. So that it would not be necessary to make it specially for each customer, like dentures or brackets - otherwise it would immediately make the concept difficult to accomplish and expensive, as this option of the device cannot be available for the masses. Nobody succeeded in making the device in such a way that anybody who needs it could buy it, unpack and use at once. But we have succeeded. However, not at all straight away - the entire way from the concept through the finished device took us about five years to complete."
So, if we put aside strictly technical and patent components of the know-how area, the device is a combination of a keyboard of 19 keys and a joystick, which are placed on the upper palate and connected to the PC. That is why the PC does not need additional drivers - the PC recognizes the new device itself and immediately enables its use.
To make the device reliably fastened, there are universal mechanical holders on the upper teeth and a plate made of special material with "shape memory". It is sufficient to apply it to the palate surface and to press it strongly, and it would turn from faceless plastic for everybody into a sole, irreproachably individual one. So, there is no need to make a cast and to mould an individual variant - simply buy and use it. By the way, it is absolutely safe - the device voltage is only 0.2 Vt, so, even if the wiring is accidentally bitten through, there will be no harm caused.
The joystick should be moved and the keys should be hit by the tongue. Of course, the user will have to learn for about ten minutes first, but everybody ultimately manages to do that. The person does not see the keyboard, so the user will have to keep in mind the keys' layout and their functions.
The user assigns the functions to the keys himself, in a convenient way. The Russian alphabet does not "fit into" the keyboard yet, but the English one does. Besides, it is possible to use two keys to introduce the third function - like in ordinary Windows. There are two "hard" keys - they are controlled by pressing on them by the teeth. These are the "right" and the "left" keys of the "mouse". Therefore, there are practically no limitations - both the mouse and the keyboard are available. The user can even play any PC games, including the most complicated ones like flight simulators.
The system has an additional capability. If it is combined with the "smart house" - type system, then the same keys would turn on the air-conditioner, light and heating, open/close the door and so on - there are a lot of options here. To this end, appropriate drivers will be certainly needed - but this is no problem.
The problem is of a different kind. For the time being, these devices exist in the amount of several pieces - mass production has not started yet. At the contest, the authors were awarded the first place for the business - case of such production, so the matter is quite feasible and even, seemingly, advantageous to all. Hopefully, this way will be passed through and would not take too long. Let us wish good luck to the authors and users.

© copyright 2006 by innovations-report.

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      AlphaGalileo / 26 July 2006
      Flights into the mountains will become safer
    Летать в горной местности, как на самолете, так и на вертолете, довольно трудно и опасно - даже при наличии хорошей погоды, радаров и наземных служб избежать столкновения с внезапно возникшим по курсу препятствием удается не всегда. Ученые из Самарского государственного технического университета и сотрудники НИИ "Экран" разработали и запатентовали систему предотвращения случайных столкновений самолетов и вертолетов с горной местностью.

Pilots know well that flying in mountainous regions, be it in an aircraft or a helicopter, is both difficult and fairly dangerous. Even in good weather, when visibility is excellent, let alone when the weather is poor, in complex meteorological or conditions of poor visibility. When suddenly, unexpectedly, an aircraft finds itself in dangerous proximity to a mountain slope, there are only seconds to make a decision and then implement this decision; the speed that the obstacle comes nearer is very high. When the obstacle is another aircraft, the situation is only exacerbated. There is not always sufficient time to safely alter one's course and steer away from the obstacle.
It would appear that there are radars, land-based services and so on - why is it that aircraft and helicopters continue to crash, especially during take off and landing at aerodromes in mountainous regions?
There are several reasons. One is the insufficiencies of existing air traffic control systems: they do not always allow flight control at low altitudes or in regions that are hard to access for observation, that is airstrips that do not appear on a radar field. Furthermore, faults are also possible on boundaries of interacting systems. It is namely this, in conditions of an ever growing intensity of air travel, that leads to the number of dangerous near misses of aircraft and helicopters with mountain slopes constantly increasing, even in conditions of good visibility. In this situation it is quite clear that people, that is, pilots and dispatchers, need the help of machines. There must be devices that, in any weather, and this is most important, would detect that the flight is in a direct course for a mountain and which would either send a signal to the pilot or send the appropriate command to the autopilot. Alas, no individual or major corporation has to date been able to make such devices. However, a breakthrough has been noted: scientists from the Samara State Technical University and their neighbours from Ekran have recently proposed a solution to the problem. And a very realistic solution it is, too. They have already patented and are now researching a system to prevent accidental collisions of aircraft and helicopters with mountainous terrain. Experts from the International Science and Technology Centre have placed information on this development on their website, in the Promising Research section.
The essence of this solution is that the scientists were able to overcome the so-called "paradox of mountainous terrain", where a Doppler shift of the frequency of the total signal (dependence of the frequency of the radio signal on the speed of its source) at the output of the radar is identical both in flight over a mountain slope and in flight over a flat terrain. Leaving to one side the technical and theoretical explanations of this phenomenon, we shall note only that the authors from Samara have devised a way to overcome this paradox and they have been able in one device to use two methods to determine the spatial-temporal parameters of the aircraft - the impulse radar parameter and the Doppler parameter. A special computer with specially developed software enables the analysis of these data, the detection of the mountain slope accordant to the course of the aircraft, evaluation of the steepness of the slope and the distance remaining to it. In other words - this is the recognition, to a high degree of probability, of a natural obstacle and the instantaneous warning of the pilot of the fact or the issuing of a command to alter the aircraft's course.
"It should be said that our team, specialists from the Samara State Technical University and Ekran previously fulfilled a similar project, and successfully, too," explains a project participant and Head of the Research and Experimental Department of Research Institute Ekran, Yuri Golubev. "We developed a system to prevent the collision of automobiles, travelling in a string, in conditions of very poor visibility, including at night in blackout conditions. We also developed radar for automobiles that informs the driver of the critical distance to the car travelling in front, with account of the absolute speed of travel, speed of convergence and the condition of the road. Of course, with aircraft the speeds are different, but we know how to make this declared system. And we already have the required experience, and the technical and theoretical run of work. The matter is now down to financing."

© AlphaGalileo Foundation 2003.

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