|Российская наука и мир|
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)
innovations report - Bad Homburg, Germany / 25.09.2006
Earthquake presages - A comprehensive approach
В земной коре существуют чувствительные зоны, наблюдение за которыми позволяет предсказывать сильные землетрясения. Этим занимается созданная в 1999 году на Камчатке Российско-Японская геофизическая обсерватория - пункт комплексных геофизических наблюдений (ПКН).
Investigating earthquake presages not taken separately but comprehensively is enabled by the Russian-Japanese geophysical observatory, its establishment in Kamchatka being sponsored by the International Science and Technology Center.
By its capabilities, the observatory has no equal either in Russia or abroad. Being actually "stuffed" with state of the art equipment including custom designed facilities, the observatory gives the researchers a unique opportunity to simultaneously carry out seismic, electromagnetic, acoustic, hydrogeochemical and ionospheric observations.
The researchers have been looking for a location for the observatory for quite a long time. In Japan, for example, there is no place to establish it - the level of man-caused noises - both electromagnetic and acoustic - is too high. A quiet place was found in the forest, 60 kilometers from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, in the valley of the small Karimshina River, far from large settlements and transmission facilities. Here, natural and industrial interference turned out to be minimal.
Although the scientists are rather cautious in evaluation of the work outcome, it is clear already that the researchers have managed to reveal a number of pretty interesting regularities. For example, they have noticed that by measuring the variable magnetic field gradient it is possible to learn about the earthquake when it is only imminent!
The field oscillation measurements in the 0.003-3 Hz range allow to discover coseismal (1 minute around time of seismic wave arrival), near seismic (3 hours before the earthquake) and pre-seismic (several days prior to the earthquake) electromagnetism. And the most important thing: the researchers have ascertained that several (2-6) days prior to a powerful and isolated earthquake, the elecromagnetic field intensity decreases in this range.
This finding was obtained having analyzed the data of the 13-month regular observations in Karimshin, during which 20 rather intense and close earthquakes took place. So, the researchers have chosen a good place for the observatory - there are sufficient shakes to apply both statistical analysis and individual case analysis. In the long run, hopefully, the researchers will find out how to learn about impending earthquake in advance. The forewarned is forearmed. Indeed, knowledge is power.
"The observatory consists of five individual measuring systems for observation, - says Alexander Lutikov, one of the project participants, chief research officer of the Geophysical Service and Institute of Physics of the Earth (Russian Academy of Sciences). - First of all, there is equipment for seismic, variable geomagnetic field and acoustic emission recording. In fact, in order to "listen" to the sounds of the Earth, particularly when microfissures are being formed, and not to be deceived, for example, by man-caused noises or sound of the wind, a special well (30 meters deep) was drilled for acoustic sensors. In the same location, temperature and soil waters composition is constantly measured at different depths in other wells. However, analysis of obtained samples is still carried out not at the observatory but at a special laboratory in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Although, in the future this should probably be performed "on the spot", ideally - in the on-line mode.
Secondly, there is a measuring system for the so-called telluric currents, roughly speaking, electric currents in the earth's crust surface layer. And, finally, there are systems for measuring meteorological factors and characteristics of radio signals from navigation transmitters.
The point is that the major part of measurements has so far been carried out and continues to be carried out at thousands of stations all over the world. However, this is the scattered data. Now, (and this is exceptionally important) all this data is for the first time comprehesively and simultaneously at the researchers' disposal. That allows to investigate much fuller the processes preceding earthquakes and certainly the ones taking place during the earthquakes."
To extend opportunities for investigations, two more stations were built to supplement the observatory, the stations being located at the distance of 5 and 60 kilometers from the observatory. They were mainly required to measure magnetic field pulsation. Identical inductive magnetometers were placed at each of these stations and at the observatory. These uniquely precise and sensitive devices designed by the Russian specialists participating in the project have no analogues in terms of characteristics. Observations carried out at three stations at once allow not only to measure geomagnetic fields much more precisely, but also to separate the changes caused by seismic activity from the background ones.
Since it is impossible to process manually such enormous data array, the researchers have developed special software for combined analysis of seismic, electromagnetic and acoustic signals as well as hydrochemical and meteorological parameters. They have also developed software for statistical analysis of signals and for distribution functions computation. The researchers even used special filtration programs to detect very weak signals.
Specialists of several entities were involved in the establishment of the observatory and now they conduct investigations actively. On the Russian part, these are the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Physics of the Earth (Russian Academy of Sciences). The Japanese participants to the project include specialists of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), University of Electrocommunications and the Tokay (not to be confused with the Tokyo) University.
© copyright 2006 by innovations-report.
* * *
Regnum / September 26, 2006
Fourth Baikal Economic Forum finished in Irkutsk
В Иркутске завершил свою работу IV Байкальский экономический форум, собравший более 700 участников из 17 стран. Обсуждались стратегии освоения природных ресурсов, реализация приоритетных национальных проектов, роль особых экономических зон в развитии регионов, проблемы энергетики и транспорта.
The Fourth Baikal Economic Forum finished in Irkutsk. Eleven round tables, where strategies of natural resources' development, implementation of priority national projects, role of special economic zones for regional development, problems of power engineering and transport were discussed, were carried out during three days of its functioning. Also, demographic policy, education and science, health protection and sports were mentioned during the forum.
Several international conferences and exhibitions were held during the forum. "Response to the Fourth Baikal Economic Forum exceeded all our expectations," Irkutsk Region Governor Alexander Tishanin stated at the final press conference.
Overall, more than 700 participants from 17 countries, including regional leaders, the Council of Federation chairman, the minister of economy and development, the minister of regional development, the minister of health protection and social development, the minister of education and science, as well as representatives of big Russian and international business attended the forum. Reports at BEF plenary sessions were simultaneously translated into four languages. About 300 representatives of Russian and foreign mass media covered the forum.
Krasnoyarsk Territory Governor Alexander Khloponin reported about development of Siberia and the country's east.
There have already been the forum's first practical results: an agreement with the Dutch on establishment of a venture foundation aimed at implementing investment project was concluded.
The Baikal Economic Forum has been held since 2000. Wide range of problems of Siberia and the Far East, as well as their cooperation with foreign countries are discussed at the forum.
© 1999-2006 REGNUM News Agency.
* * *
AgoraVox - France / mardi 26 septembre 2006
Guerre froide 2: le retour?
Взаимоотношения России с европейской аэрокосмической и оборонной корпорацией EADS, в частности, категорическое нежелание последней допускать Россию в совет директоров, напоминают о временах "холодной войны", считает автор статьи. Но не пора ли признать, что с тех пор кое-что изменилось?
Les manoeuvres russes autour d'EADS nous renvoient aux heures sombres de l'affrontement Est-Ouest. Ne serait-il pas temps d'admettre que les choses ont changé?
* * *
Notre patriotisme économique (ou notre chauvinisme indécrottable, je laisse le soin au lecteur de choisir entre les deux) est une fois de plus mis à rude épreuve ces temps-ci. Après avoir lamentablement perdu face aux Indiens, voici que les Russes font des avances à notre fleuron aéronautique. Alerte rouge !
J'ai travaillé pendant des années pour les militaires, et je comprends donc tout à fait la méfiance instinctive que génère une situation pareille. Toutefois, je pense qu'il est utile de rappeler, une fois de plus, quelques évidences.
La parenthèse communiste est maintenant refermée et l'URSS n'existe plus. La Russie est en revanche un pays d'Europe, même si les relations avec ses voisins ont été parfois tumultueuses. Toute l'histoire de la Russie montre sa volonté de s'ancrer à l'Ouest, et notre pays y a d'ailleurs largement contribué, et pas uniquement en y envoyant Voltaire ou en finançant les chemins de fer. Il est probablement temps d'admettre que la question de l'entrée de la Russie dans l'Europe va se poser bientôt. On me dira que la situation y est potentiellement instable et que le risque d'apparition d'une dictature est réel. C'est vrai, mais ce ne serait pas la première fois qu'on ferait des affaires avec une dictature, et rien ne permet de penser que les nouveaux maîtres du pays ne rêveraient que de nous chercher noise.
La Russie est un pays d'avenir aux richesses naturelles gigantesques et en grande partie inexploitées (en même temps d'ailleurs qu'un grand marché potentiel dans l'aéronautique, vu sa taille). Nous en avons besoin, et pourrons difficilement nous en passer. Il est donc idiot de froisser les élites du pays. Ceci ne fera le jeu que de la Chine, qui rêve déjà de faire main basse sur ces richesses.
La Russie est historiquement un pays fortement scientifique, et qui dispose d'une industrie aéronautique de premier plan. Le fait que cette dernière soit la fille de la Guerre froide ne change rien. Il n'est pas du tout certain qu'une alliance entre EADS et l'industrie russe soit aussi déséquilibrée qu'on se plaît à le penser dans le microcosme français.
La Russie a su accueillir l'Europe dans son industrie aérospatiale. Plusieurs cosmonautes français sont partis grâce à des lanceurs russes (Jean-Loup Chrétien est parti à l'époque des communistes), et personne à l'époque ne se demandait si cela posait problème. On pourrait au moins avoir un peu de mémoire, à défaut de reconnaissance.
Une éventuelle participation minoritaire des Russes dans EADS m'inquiète infiniment moins que les transferts massifs de technologie qui se font tous les jours vers la Chine à travers les délocalisations. La Chine qui, je me permets de le rappeler, est toujours une dictature communiste ayant des contentieux sérieux avec au moins un de ses voisins (Taïwan), et qui a des liens d'amitié avec des gens qui ne sont pas de nos amis.
EADS n'est pas allé en Bourse par hasard. Si on ne voulait pas assumer les risques d'un changement de contrôle, il ne fallait pas le faire.
Certes, EADS n'est pas un fabricant d'acier, et le commerce des armes est plus sensible que celui des yaourts. Il n'en reste pas moins que les réactions actuelles me semblent plus viscérales que réfléchies. Comme d'habitude, les politiques risquent de prendre une veste si les marchés financiers trouvent que le projet fait sens.
Je ne vois guère que deux solutions : soit on accepte de discuter avec les Russes d'une éventuelle coopération en respectant les règles du jeu capitalistique, soit, si les gouvernements sont trop inquiets, il leur revient la responsabilité de trouver un chevalier blanc acceptable. En dernier recours, il est toujours possible de renationaliser EADS en lançant une OPA sur le flottant. Le problème disparaîtra aussitôt.
Montreal Gazette - Montreal, Quebec, Canada / Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Russian space technology used by weightless cosmonauts is being used to fight osteoporosis
CanWest News Service
Разработанные российскими учеными методы, помогающие космонавтам избежать мышечной и костной дистрофии, находясь в условиях невесомости, впервые используются в Канаде для лечения остеопороза.
WINDSOR, Ont. - Russian space technology used by cosmonauts and athletes is now being used for the first time in Canada to fight osteoporosis.
Vibration therapy, known as Fit Vibe, is offering what some see as new hope for people who suffer the effects of bone loss.
While most experience bone loss due to aging, leaving the pull of gravity and experiencing prolonged weightlessness can age the bones of cosmonauts and astronauts as much as 20 years.
Long flights on Mir in the 1990s caused irreversible, 20-per-cent bone loss in one cosmonaut. NASA devised many varieties of workout programs for its astronauts, but none solved the problem of muscle and bone loss.
Russian scientists, investigating the negative effects of vibrations on cosmonaut's bodies, realized some vibrations had a positive effect. They devised a simple vibrating plate for cosmonauts to stand on, and discovered that gentle, controlled vibrations can ward off or reverse bone loss.
Further experiments in the U.K. on sheep showed that by standing their hind legs on a vibrating platform for 20 minutes every day for a year, the density of spongy bone in the animals' thighs was 34 per cent higher than in sheep not receiving the treatment.
Dr. Jasper Sidhu, a chiropractor and owner of a Windsor rehab centre, said vibration therapy is now being investigated by NASA and is used by professional athletes, including Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Ed Belfour.
The biggest benefit, said Dr. Sidhu, may eventually be for the millions of baby boomers rapidly reaching 50.
"It has tremendous benefit without any increase in blood pressure or heart rate," said Dr. Sidhu. "It also helps chronic back pain, and can be used after arthroscopic surgery and for bad circulation.
"A patient can exercise the entire muscular system within 10 minutes without any strain on the joints, something that could take more than an hour with conventional strengthening," he said.
Phil Bradbury, 25, began experiencing pain in his knees in his late teens after suffering a number of sports injuries.
"I was taking medication but wasn't getting much relief and got to a point where I couldn't drive because my knees would lock on me," said Mr. Bradbury.
"I started going to Dr. Sidhu five weeks ago and recently drove to Ottawa with no problems at all. It's been an amazing treatment."
Mr. Bradbury said part of the treatment included the Graston technique, which uses special metal instruments including one that looks like a metal boomerang, to detect scar and fibrous tissue in the body.
The instrument is passed externally over the skin to soften scar tissue.
"Dr. Sidhu would use the instruments to break down scar tissue, then I would do stretching exercises and then on the Fit Vibe," he said.
"If your body feels sore at the beginning, it feels great afterwards. I've recommended it to my friends because if you have something wrong it's a great benefit."
The Fit Vibe, a $20,000 piece of equipment, has a rectangular plate to step on, with an attached handle just above waist level. For applications not covered by health insurance, a session on the machine costs about $20.
Researchers writing in the journal Nature suggest vibration therapy can prevent osteoporosis, and bone loss seen in menopause, without drugs.
Dr. Clinton Rubin, a researcher at Stoney Brook University in New York state, believes there is great potential in vibration therapy. "This is a real departure from the accepted theory of how mechanical signals control bone, and it is certainly controversial," he said.
"Nevertheless, it might work. Good vibrations - unexpected and controversial - could be the key to healthy bones on Earth and beyond."
Dr. Rubin suggests that perhaps many smaller, high-frequency vibrations applied to bones by flexing muscle during common activities such as walking or standing, is effective in bone formation.
The Windsor centre is also having success with pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, a treatment for arthritis, tendonitis, healing fractures, sports injuries and pain reduction.
© CanWest News Service
* * *
channel-e - Germany / 29-09-06
German Russian basic research
Объединение имени Гельмгольца Научно-исследовательских центров Германии и Российский фонд фундаментальных исследований заключили соглашение. Цель - создание и развитие совместных исследовательских групп.
The Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft and the Russian Fund for Basic research have agreed on a cooperation. The aim is the promotion of joint research groups. Four of these are to be formed each year and are to be developed under the designation Helmholtz-Russia Joint Research Groups. The Russian Fund for Basic research was founded in 1992 according to the pattern of the German Research Association. Its budget is approximately 120 M Euro in the year 2006.
Within the framework of the agreement, especially younger Russian researchers are to be given a chance in order to make a career in research in their homeland possible for them.
The research centres of the Hemholtz Gemeinschaft are able to attract excellent researchers for scientific cooperation. Additionally the Association will receive 130 000 Euro for the joint research in each of three years from the Impulse and Network Fund of the President of the Helmholtz Gemeinschaft. Up to 30 000 Euro can be invested in Russia in order to finance equipment or doctorates there. The Russian Fund for Basic research finances Russian scientists with 20 000 Euro per year. The Helmholtz Gemeinschaft with a staff of 25 000 in 15 centres and an annual budget of approximately 2.2 b Euro is one of the largest scientific organizations in Germany.
Copyright © channel-e.
* * *
AlphaGalileo / 02 October 2006
Without training in orbit capillaries can be lost
Без определенной физической нагрузки космонавтам на орбите грозит отмирание капилляров в мышцах. Это обнаружили ученые из лаборатории патоморфологии ГУ НИИ общей патологии и патофизиологии РАМН. Объектом исследования послужили лабораторные крысы, находившиеся на борту спутника "SLS-2". В условиях невесомости скелетные мышцы расслаблены, без нагрузки мышечные волокна постепенно отмирают, а вслед за ними разрушаются и отмирают питающие их капилляры. У оставшихся мышц нарушается дренаж и снабжение кислородом, что ведет к отеку и гипоксии, а это, в свою очередь, провоцирует дальнейшее разрушение мельчайших кровеносных сосудов.
The cosmonauts in orbit should not neglect physical training. Otherwise, they are threatened with atrophy of capillaries in muscles. Specialists of the pathologic laboratory of the Research Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology (Russian Academy of Medical Sciences), who have discovered this fact with rats, point out that this is a temporary disorder. On the Earth, blood vessels grow up again but their regeneration takes much more time than their ruining.
Subject of inquiry was laboratory rats that stayed on board the SLS-2 satellite (Spacelab Life Sciences, USA). The researchers used for analysis the muscles lifting up the rat's pollex. The muscular tissue samples were taken in orbit on the 14th day of the flight, and on the 1st and the 14th day after return to the Earth. Ultrastructural investigation has shown that all rats had disrupted cellular wall integrity, vascular permeability and microcirculation in the muscles. Considerable part of capillaries was irreversibly injured. The cells forming the vascular wall perished, arterial and venous capillary lumens are occupied by cytoplasm from destroyed cells and by collagen fibrils. Small lymphatic vessels look no better.
In the state of weightlessness, skeletal muscles are relaxed (at any case, muscles of rats, which, in contrast to human beings, are not trained to make special exercises). Without load, muscle fibers gradually mortify, and after than the capillaries feeding them get destroyed and mortify. Half-ruined arterioles are unable to supply muscles with oxygen, but venules and lymphatic vessels are permorming drainage functions. The remaining capillaries do not provide for normal microcirculation, therefore, the remaining muscles suffer from edema and hypoxia, and this in its turn provokes further destruction of the smallest blood vessels.
Capillaries also suffer from physical factors, acceleration and weightlessness, which probably impact the cellular membrane permeability and results in necrosis of the cells lining the vessel walls. The cells get lost very quickly and are not replaced by new ones as it happens in case of microvessel necrosis under some diseases, for example, diabetes or after a trauma.
In the researchers' opinion, one of the reasons for quick capillary injury in outer space is that the animals are not trained. Training helps the cells to promptly adapt themselves to overload and weightlessness conditions and enables their "adaptation reserve" required to overcome overload, but untrained cells have no time to do that.
After return to the Earth, new capillaries are gradually formed in the rat's muscle. However, their regeneration requires much more time than destruction. Even after two weeks in gravitation conditions, the researchers still observed destroyed microvessels in the muscles.
© AlphaGalileo Foundation 2003.
* * *
Hindu - Chennai, India / Saturday, October 14, 2006
Russian scientists rule out giant comet hitting earth
Петербургские ученые опровергли информацию о возможном столкновении кометы с Землей в конце октября, предсказанном ранее астрономом Н.Федоровским.
Moscow, Oct 14. (PTI): Russian scientists have ruled out that a giant comet will hit the Earth this month end as predicted by a local astronomer.
Scientists from Russia's main Pulkovo observatory near St. Petersburg have denied media reports quoting Russian astronomer Nikolai Fedorovsky's prediction that a huge comet will hit the Earth on October 28 in the area of the Indian Ocean or Germany causing devastating tsunamis, earthquakes and avalanches.
Fedorovsky had published his prediction in Trud daily and some tabloids earlier this week.
He claimed to have seen a giant comet in a telescope moving towards the Earth with high speed. He had said if it did not change its trajectory, it would hit the planet this month end.
"Our research does not support media reports that a comet will collide with the Earth in late October," Sergei Smirnov, an observatory spokesman was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
Smirnov said the astronomer Fedorovsky, who even failed to name the scientific institute he belongs to, is simply seeking publicity.
Another Russian scientist Viktor Shor of the Institute of Applied Astronomy of the national Science Academy told Interfax "There is no such comet and currently there is no threat to the planet."
Copyright © 2006, The Hindu.
* * *
Russia-InfoCenter / 5.10.2006
Astrophysical Laboratory To Find Traces Of Life In The Universe
На середину 2007 года запланирован запуск астрофизической лаборатории "Радиоастрон", основная задача которой - поиск жизни во Вселенной. Лаборатория позволит детально изучить плазму солнечного ветра, активные ядра галактик и окрестности "черных дыр". Эти объекты находятся от Земли так далеко, что до сих пор различить их структуру с помощью имеющихся инструментов было невозможно.
Main mission of the unique astrophysical laboratory "Radioastron" is search for life in our Universe, said leading expert of the centre of astronomy of the Lebedev Physics Institute during the press conference in the Institute for Space Research.
The scientist said that the launch of the Russian astrophysical laboratory "Radioastron", equipped with up-to-date science and information complex and a space parabolic antenna (12 m in diameter), is scheduled for the middle of 2007. The laboratory will be launched via the Ukrainian rocket carrier "Zenith" from the Baikonur launching site.
The design of the observatory was worth 3 million rubles. This space system is a radio interferometer, which is equivalent to a radio telescope. The "Radioastron"'s working orbit is 350 thousand km, and its resolution will be one hundred thousandths of a second of angle.
The laboratory's highly elliptical orbit is perfect for almost continuous monitoring of interplanetary matter's parameters far away from our planet. This allows detailed studies of solar wind plasma, active nuclei of galaxies, "black holes" environment as well as quasars. Said objects are located so far from the Earth, that studying their structure with existing instruments was an impossible mission before the "Radioastron" appeared.
© Garant-InfoCentre, 2004-2006.
* * *