Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Июнь 2007 г.
Дайджест за другие годы
2007 г.
Российская наука и мир
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)

январь февраль март апрель май июнь июль август сентябрь октябрь ноябрь декабрь
    В последние годы в связи с формированием ряда крупных международных научных проектов возникли новые требования к передаче больших объемов информации. Обмен данными через общую сеть Интернет был не совсем удобен из-за ограничений по скорости и качеству. Новые возможности появились благодаря некоторым проектам, одним из которых является ГЛОРИАД - глобальная сетевая инфраструктура, специально предназначенная для коммуникационного обеспечения передовых научных проектов.
    В результате сотрудничества участников ГЛОРИАД со стороны России, Нидерландов и США в мае этого года учёные Национального Центра обработки данных (США) и Института космических исследований РАН продемонстрировали новый метод передачи больших объёмов научных данных на межконтинентальном расстоянии. В рамках проекта Teraflow Network Initiative между Чикаго и Москвой были переданы 1,4 терабайта данных за 4,5 часа по оптическому каналу с пропускной способностью 1 Гб/с.

KNOXVILLE and OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - Scientists from the National Center for Data Mining (NCDM) at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Geophysical Center at the Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, demonstrated a new method for distributing extremely large volumes of scientific information across the world. They successfully moved 1.4TB of data in about 4.5 hours over a 1 Gbps lightpath between Chicago and Moscow as part of the Teraflow Network initiative. This event, which represents the highest performance information transfer ever recorded between these two countries, was made possible by a unique international organizational partnership.
Although the amount of science information is growing rapidly, the ability to move it on the regular Internet is still very limited. NCDM partnered with Russia's Geophysical Center to demonstrate a new capability for moving science data by transferring the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) dataset between their two sites, using a specialized international communications facility.
This new capability uses two integrated innovations. One requires placing information directly on lightwaves while avoiding the slower services that are used by the traditional Internet. The other uses specialized communications technologies (new network protocols) for high-performance streaming to avoid the limitations of standard Internet communications.    
Using NCDM's open-source, high-performance network transport protocol UDT (UDP-based Data Transfer) on the Teraflow Network, researchers were able to quickly transfer the SDSS astronomy catalog data, between Chicago and Moscow. The 2.5TB catalog is compressed to 1.4TB, split into 60 files and is distributed to astronomers around the world from the NCDM in Chicago. Using UDT, the 1.4TB was transferred over a 1 Gbps lightpath and then decompressed in Moscow to its original size.  It now resides on a local server in Moscow.
This data transfer had a sustained rate of 711 Mbps  and a peak rate of 844 Mbps, and took about 4.5 hours  to complete. This is about the speed that the data could be moved across the city of Chicago over a 1Gbps network, which graphically illustrates how barriers of distance are being eliminated by the new communications infrastructures and technologies. These techniques are   required for research and experimentation for many science disciplines, and in the future it may also be used for many types of data intensive commercial applications.
This accomplishment was made possible through a unique partnership among organizations in 11 countries that have created international advanced communication facilities at locations literally around the world. GLORIAD, the Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development, is a consortium of several countries, notably the United States, Russia, China, Korea, Canada, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland), that are contributing networking capabilities to build a global 10 Gbps optical network around the northern hemisphere of the globe in support of advanced science and engineering. In the United States, GLORIAD is supported by the National Science Foundation's International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program, which also funds a 10 Gbps path between Chicago and Amsterdam called TransLight/StarLight. GLORIAD has been provided with a 3 Gbps path on TransLight/StarLight to allow a direct high-performance connection between the USA and Europe.
GLORIAD's Russian partners recently installed a 10 Gbps path from Amsterdam to Moscow, provided by the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute". This allowed a 1 Gbps lightpath to be dedicated to the Teraflow Network, from Chicago (the StarLight facility), to Amsterdam (the NetherLight facility) and then on to Moscow (the MoscowLight facility). GLORIAD participants are part of a global initiative called the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF), which promotes the paradigm of lightpaths, or lambda networks, for data-intensive scientific research and applications.
This science demonstration was also supported by NCDM's Teraflow Network, an international facility designed to develop innovative technologies to stream massive distributed datasets over high-performance networks, at 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps and multiple 10 Gbps. The TeraFlow Network is being used as a next-generation platform, capable of supporting data-intensive applications, including many requiring information transfers that cannot be supported by traditional networks. The TeraFlow Network is developing techniques that will be required by future global applications.
"This is the latest in a string of demonstrations that proves that it is now practical for the working scientist to efficiently access terabyte-size datasets from anywhere in the world. All it takes are today's high-performance networks and new network protocols, such as UDT," said Robert Grossman, NCDM director at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "With the technology now available, there is no reason for scientists not to have access to the latest data available in order to advance their research."
"We look forward to using these new technologies to share and mine very large databases in global change, space weather and remote sensing studies," said Mikhail Zhizhin, head of the Telematics Lab at the Geophysical Center in Moscow, "and to applying the technologies from the Teraflow Network to the larger GLORIAD infrastructure. In particular, the Research Group is working with the USA National Geophysical Data Center (NOAA) on the Space Physics Interactive Data Resource (SPIDR), and is working with Microsoft Research Cambridge on the Environmental Scenario Search Engine (ESSE). Additionally, there is strong demand to transmit real-time data streams and high-resolution images, which has not previously been possible."
"This is a significant achievement between USA and Russian scientists," stated Alexey Soldatov, co-director of GLORIAD/Russia and director of the Institute of  Information Systems, Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" (RRC "KI"). GLORIAD/Russia, based at RRC "KI", provides support and development of the networking infrastructure for scientist and educators. In addition, the Research Center is one of the leaders of the nationwide Russian Data Intensive Grid program, that will use GLORIAD's advanced networking infrastructure to support data-intensive projects and frontier experiments in high-energy physics, nanotechnology, gravitational wave research, digital astronomy and molecular genomics."
"The ability to move multi-terabyte datasets internationally in a matter of hours, and ultimately minutes, has been based on the cooperation and efforts among many international teams and it builds a solid foundation for future international science projects," said Natalia Bulashova, GLORIAD/USA co-principal investigator.
"Lessons learned on the Teraflow Network can be expanded to the entire GLORIAD community, and ultimately other GLIF international partners, said Greg Cole, GLORIAD/USA principal investigator. "No matter how fast we increase capacity and services on the GLORIAD network, the various science groups out there are moving faster. It's a real challenge for us, but it's a good challenge."
The GLORIAD/USA team worked with teams from Russia (GLORIAD member - the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute"; MoscowLight/RBNET/Russian Institute for Public Network (RIPN); Institute of Space Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences; the Geophysical Center at the Russian Academy of Sciences; and, the Visualization Laboratory at Moscow State University); the USA (National Center for Data Mining at the University of Illinois at Chicago; the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University; TransLight/StarLight; StarLight; Johns Hopkins University; and the GLORIAD UT-ORNL JICS); and, the Netherlands team (GLORIAD member - NetherLight/SURFnet; SARA; and the University of Amsterdam).
The GLORIAD (Global Ring Network for Advanced Application Development) advanced science Internet network was launched in January 2004 by the United States, Russia and China, expanded its reach in 2005 - to Korea, Canada and The Netherlands - and in 2006 to the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. GLORIAD provides an optical network ring encircling the northern hemisphere of the globe with individual network circuits providing up to 10 Gbps - promoting new opportunities for cooperation for scientists, educators and students. The GLORIAD project is supported by the Ministry of Science and Education of Russian Federation, the National Science Foundation of USA, the USA Research & Education (R&E) network National LambdaRail, the Chinese Academy of Science, the Ministry of Science and Technology of Korea, Canadian non-profit association CANARIE, the national R&E network of Netherlands SURFnet, the national R&E network of the Nordic Countries NORDUnet, as well as a number of other organizations representing countries which participate in the project. GLORIAD/USA is based at the University of Tennessee - Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Joint Institute for Computation Science. GLORIAD/Russia is based at the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute". GLORIAD/Netherlands is based in Amsterdam and managed by SURFnet.

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    Геологи намереваются провести бурение до докембрийского слоя на Кольском полуострове и в Карелии. Это должно прояснить картину геологических и иных процессов, сформировавших современную Землю. Виктор Мележик и Айво Лепланд из Норвежской геологической службы (Geological Survey of Norway) намерены взять пробы слоев возрастом 2-2,5 млрд лет. Главная загадка, которую ученые надеются раскрыть - причины произошедшего в это время так называемого "Великого окисления" - резкого повышения уровня кислорода в океане и воздухе, приведшего к возникновению богатой кислородом атмосферы и защитного озонового слоя.

They are literally going to dig deeper into the Precambrian. Two geologists from the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), Victor A. Melezhik and Aivo Lepland, will drill into 2.5 to 2 billion year-old rocks in Russia to seek the interaction between geological processes that created the "modern Earth".
"This is a geological dream coming true," says Victor Melezhik. For many years, this Norwegian-Russian geologist has been seeking a chance to study the depths of the Russian basement. Now he's getting started, along with his colleague at NGU, Aivo Lepland.
Geological riddles
Six million NOK from the International Continental Drilling Programme (ICDP) are ready to be used to solve old geological riddles on the Kola Peninsula and the banks of Lake Onega in Karelia. Sediments and lavas dating from 2.5 to 2 billion years ago conceal valuable information, first and foremost about the oxygen content in the atmosphere which increased at that time.
"What really happened when the world got a more oxygen-rich atmosphere about 2.3 billion years ago? Was it because oxygen-producing life forms expanded? Or did geological evolution cause the Earth's surface to become gradually more oxic? That could have led to the production of oxygen exceeding its uptake, resulting in the excess oxygen accumulating in the atmosphere," Aivo Lepland suggests.
"We want to learn more about the fundamental processes behind the increase in oxygen. How long did it take and how did the various events interact and influence one another?" Victor Melezhik adds.
Oxygen and oil
The increase of oxygen in the atmosphere marked the very beginning of the "modern Earth" as it functions today. The rocks from the birth of the "modern Earth" have isotopic and chemical signatures that contain proof of dramatic events like the break-up of continents, volcanism and repeated global ice ages or the "Snowball Earth".
"Increased biological production in the oceans led to deposition of sediments rich in plant remains. The first big oil reservoirs were also formed then. The asphalt-like oil that became fossilised long ago clearly shows that oil formed early in Earth history. Knowledge of the processes that formed this ancient oil may in turn point the way towards new plays and exploration techniques," the geologists tell me.
International cooperation
The drilling in the Fennoscandian Arctic Russia - Drilling Early Earth Project (FAR-DEEP) will take place from June to November this year. Fifteen holes from 100 to 500 metres deep will be drilled at Pechenga and Imandra on the Kola Peninsula and in Karelia, further south.
The actual research begins when Victor Melezhik and Aivo Lepland are back in Norway with 4000 metres of drill cores towards the end of the year. Scientists from as many as 15 nations will come to Trondheim then to sample the cores. Universities around the world have already promised more than 30 million NOK for this research, which will last five years.
"At the moment, only the recently started Centre for Geobiology at the University of Bergen has joined the project, but we want cooperation and contact with both the petroleum industry and other research institutions in Norway," says Aivo Lepland.
"We'll also be building up a good, readily available archive of the material and the results so that everyone will be able to study the core samples, which we expect will be the best rock archive from the time when our oxygen-rich Earth evolved," Victor A. Melezhik and Aivo Lepland say.

© AlphaGalileo Foundation 2003.
* * *
    Коллекция метеоритов Российской академии наук - одна из крупнейших в мире. Хранится она в Музее внеземного вещества в Институте геохимии и аналитической химии им. В.И.Вернадского, а начало коллекции было положено в 1749 году, когда под Красноярском был найден 700-килограммовый железный метеорит.

"A gigantic dragon fell down from the sky, terrifying all the people. In that moment the Earth shook and many people heard the noise."
With these words, an extraterrestrial object made its dramatic entry into Russian history. The account appeared in the "Lavrenty Chronicle" of 1091, describing a hunting trip by Prince Vsevolod near Kiev where he witnessed the apparent fall of a meteorite.
Close to 1,000 years later, samples of what may be that meteorite can be found in the Russian Academy of Sciences' meteorite collection, one of the world's oldest collections of meteorites.
Once stored in the institute's nuclear bomb shelter, the meteorites are now in a new room in the meteorite laboratory. Mikhail Nazarov, a jolly grandfather of 58 and head of the laboratory, walked between two rows of rocks on a recent afternoon, explaining where and when they crash-landed in Russia.
Every year, the meteorite laboratory, housed in the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry on Ulitsa Kosygina, receives hundreds of possible meteorite samples found by ordinary people around the country. If they are lucky, one real meteorite will be among them.
Pulling a box from the windowsill in his office, Nazarov revealed the latest sample sent in by a meteorite-searching hopeful.
"In most cases, it is enough to look at it," said Nazarov, dismissing instantly a sample from the box. One man recently sent in a brick. "He thought it had fallen from the sky," Nazarov said, despairingly. Earlier that day, a lab employee had received a delivery of 5 kilograms of granite, he added, without much hope that the granite was not of this planet.
The search has never been easy, said Nazarov, but the prize is worth the sifting, because meteorites allow scientists to examine life beyond Earth without ever having to leave the lab. Studying meteorites means looking back in time before Earth and the solar system existed.
"Ten percent of our understanding of the cosmos comes from the space program," Nazarov said. "The rest is from meteorites."
The pride of the laboratory - a blackened lump that looks like it was broken off the top of a missile cone - is kept in a small room on the second floor in the Museum of Extraterrestrial Objects. The lump is beloved because it matches the public perception of what a meteorite should look like.
The meteorite laboratory traces its history back to 1749, when a 700-kilogram piece of iron rock was found near Krasnoyarsk and donated to the Russian Academy of Sciences. It took more than half a century before scientists realized it was from outer space. Today, the world's only monument to a meteorite stands near the spot where it was found.
Even before then, there were plenty of tales of rocks hurtling through the air toward Russia. Meteorites were discovered in the tombs of the Scythians, nomadic warriors who roamed Russia more than 2,000 years ago.
Anna Skripnik, who has worked at the institute since she graduated almost 40 years ago, explained that the discovery of a rock with large quantities of iron "was a kick-start for civilization," giving people access to iron before mining was possible. Swords have been discovered in Egypt made from nonterrestrial metal.
One of the most famous meteorite showers in Russia occurred in Veliky Ustyug in 1290. It is depicted in a famous 17th-century icon showing St. Prokopy saving the town from destruction with his prayers.
Meteorites were seen as a warning for the people to mend their ways. Chapels were often opened at the sites of meteorite falls, and the meteorites were incorporated into the walls of monasteries.
In 1860, the Orthodox church's synod gave permission to make a pilgrimage to "where in 1290, as told by ancient tales, a cloud of stones fell." A still-worn path to an abandoned chapel at the site shows that people today make the pilgrimage.
On show at the museum is part of a meteorite that fell on the eve of the Battle of Borodino on Sept. 5, 1812, which the Russian side interpreted as a sign from the heavens that Napoleon's army would be defeated, which it was.
The biggest and most mysterious cosmic attack on Russia took place in 1908 when an object - scientists still dispute whether it was a meteorite or a comet - exploded above the ground near the Tunguska River in the Krasnoyarsk region. The explosion was 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and the sound of the explosion was supposedly heard in London. No meteorite finds have been made at Tunguska, and Nazarov said he was inclined to support the comet theory.
The last big fall was the Sikhote-Alin meteorite, which landed in the Primorye region on Feb. 12, 1947. More than 20 tons have been uncovered, only a small percentage of what is supposed to have landed in the area. A painting of the meteorite's fireball hangs in the Moscow museum.
Even though Russia's vast size increases its chances of being hit by any interplanetary object, finding the object once it lands has always been problematic.
"Most of the territory is taiga and bog, where it is difficult to collect," Nazarov said.
In the 250 years since Russia's first meteorite was identified, only 124 others have been discovered, roughly one every two years. In all, the collection contains 1,230 meteorite samples from all over the world, as well as a few hundred grams of moon dust that was dug up and brought back to the Soviet Union by three unmanned space vehicles in the 1970s.
The difficulty of finding the rocks inspired an appeal to people to find and send in meteorite samples. In 1898, the tsarist government declared that any meteorite found on Russian territory was government property and offered a reward to anyone who found and turned over such an object. The Soviet government continued with the practice.
"People of all kinds have contributed meteorites, from rich, educated bourgeois and nobles to ordinary peasants and Siberian nomads," Nazarov and Marina Ivanova wrote in a paper published last year on the history of the meteorite collection.
After one of the biggest meteorite showers fell near Volgograd in 1922, the government offered a 100 ruble reward - then a magnificent sum - to find the meteorite. "Pioneers ran around, and pensioners ran around, but they didn't find anything," Skripnik said. Fragments were found decades later.
Many meteorites ended up in the laboratory when people had sudden moments of clarity years after being around the rocks. One meteorite was recovered after years of being used as a weight on top of a barrel of pickled vegetables. Another was discovered after the son of a farmer who had struck it with his plow 30 years earlier read a scientific journal and realized what it was. The meteorite was still in the same spot in the field where it had been when it damaged the plow.
The Soviet heyday was in the 1940s and '50s, when an annual meteorite conference was held and people read the magazine Meteoritika. But the collection suffered as other countries made huge discoveries, mainly in Antarctica and Africa.
Russia has the second-biggest collection in the world, after the United States, of meteorites discovered on its own territory.
Nazarov and previous Soviet meteorite scientists see a direct link between the country's social, cultural and economic well-being and the growth of meteorites in its collection. Nazarov's paper contains a graph that shows how the number of objects sent in as possible meteorites level off during times of crisis.
"You see when something happens, like civil war, it has an effect on the number of meteorites in the collection," Nazarov said. "Now there is something of a revival, you can feel it," he said. But pointing to the 1990s, he added, "It looks like civil war."
The 1990s were a terrible period for Russian science, and the meteorite collection and staff struggled. Even now, Nazarov is paid only 12,000 rubles ($460) per month, and he talks sadly of how difficult it is to attract younger scientists to a junior salary of 3,000 rubles.
Today, the laboratory's helpers are more interested in profit than a desire to push the boundaries of science. With a burgeoning market in meteorites, where samples are usually split into small lots and sold, the institute authenticates the genuineness of an object and in return takes a small sample - 20 grams or 20 percent of the total find.
"It is a compromise, of course. Science wants more than 20 grams," Nazarov said.
"But it is a compromise that is productive, and a lot of meteorites have been found by meteorite hunters."
The laboratory often carries out numerous tests to check whether an object is really a meteorite. One sample found at the bottom of a river near a meteorite fall seemed to fit the parameters of a meteorite until further examination over the course of a year revealed that it was the result of industrial pollution.
Last month, Vadim Chernobrov, a meteorite hunter, said an expedition had found four fragments in the Altai region that "visually and under a microscope passed tests for meteorite suitability," Interfax reported.
"I don't think he even knows what a meteorite looks like," Nazarov said, noting that the subsequent tests showed the fragments were not meteorites. He said Chernobrov once claimed to have found a bolt from a time machine.
Sometimes when meteorite seekers hear the lab's negative verdict, they "get offended and complain," he said.
Still, Nazarov knows the laboratory, with little funds for its own expeditions, would not have a collection without them and that it needs them to keep searching for the meteorites still unfound throughout Russia.

© Copyright 2006. The Moscow Times. All rights reserved.
* * *
    Доктор биологических наук Марина Мягкова, заведующая лабораторией иммунохимии Института физиологически активных веществ РАН, получила золотую медаль на Международной выставке в Женеве за создание методики раннего выявления наркотической зависимости. Если все остальные методы могут обнаружить следы наркотика в организме в течение максимум 48 часов после его приема, то "Дианарк" выявляет наркотик, принятый шесть месяцев назад. Метод уже опробован в ряде клиник страны и за рубежом, причем везде достоверность превышала 95 процентов.

Specialists of the Institute of Physiologically Active Substances, Russian Academy of Sciences, and of the Moscow Narcological Clinical Hospital #17 have developed a technique called "Dianarc" that allows to discover drug addicts at the very early stage, when they take narcotics occasionally. The technique is based on identification of the antibody level in saliva and blood. For invention of this technique, Professor Marina Myagkova was recognized the best inventor woman by the World Intellectual Property Organization at the International exhibition of inventions in Geneva in April this year and was awarded the golden medal of the World Intellectual Property Organization and a prize.
Drug addiction begins with occasional drug taking - once in 2 to 3 weeks or once in 1 to 2 months. But previously existing analysis techniques allowed to discover drug metabolites only within one or two days after the intake, therefore, they are practically unable to prove that an individual took drug a week ago. Clinical changes in the organism are usually not seen either at this stage, but when they become apparent, the disease has already been developed. That is why Russian specialists suggested to use immune-enzyme analysis methods (based on detection of narcotics specific antibodies) for early detection of drug addiction.
First, the researchers developed similar techniques for chronical drug addicts. They determined that with the individuals who are taking opiates, amphetamines or the ephedrine or hemp preparations (cannabinoids) on a regular basis, these narcotics antibodies level increases. Antibodies belong to the immunoglobulin proteins class. The researchers educed specific narcotics antibodies from the patients' blood serum, determined their specificity and ability to binding and successfully applied immunological methods to medical practice for diagnostics of drug addiction latent forms.
To develop a more sensitive method, the specialists used the blood serum and saliva of practically healthy people and those of drug addicts who had voluntarily came to the clinic. The majority of drug addicts used to take opiates, amphetamines and (or) cannabinoids. The time of their last drug taking made from two hours to three months.
It has turned out that in case of narcotics dependence development, the M and A immunoglobulin synthesis intensifies in the patient's immune system. The A immunoglobulins are of special interest to physicians as antibodies based on them circulate in the blood for a long time; they enable to determine if an individual took drugs half a year ago and to identify what particular ones were taken. The blood serum analysis is more sensitive and informative than the saliva analysis. The "Dianarc" technique enables to detect 2 to 4 months later if an individual did take drugs, the technique's reliability exceeding 95 percent. At the Geneva exhibition, the Russian researcher's invention received the international recognition. The authors assume that the "Dianarc" will be useful for clinical and forensic medical practice, as well as for staff selection to enforcement and guard entities, for issue of driver's licenses and weapon permissions.

© AlphaGalileo Foundation 2003.
* * *
    В России создан правительственный совет по нанотехнологиям.

MOSCOW, June 15 (PTI): The government of Russia has set up a state council for nano-technology to boost the development of knowledge-based industry.
The nano-technology state council would to be chaired by Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, the government press office said. Under the orders signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov the newly-created state council will ensure interaction between government, business and scientists in the implementation of the state policy in the spheres of nano-technology and nano-industry.
According to the newly-appointed chairman of the nano-technology council, Ivanov, at the initial stage the government would spend over USD one billion for the upgradation of facilities involved in nano-technology research and its commercialisation. Earlier, president Vladimir Putin had asked the government to provide priority funding for nanotechnology research in advanced medicine, space exploration, telecommunications and weapons production.
In a parallel move, the state Duma (lower house), yesterday approved a bill on the formation of the Russian nano-technology corporation, which will pool the efforts of public and private sector in the industry.

Copyright © 2007, The Hindu.
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Продолжение дайджеста за ИЮНЬ 2007 года (часть 2)

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