|Российская наука и мир|
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)
msnbc.com / 5/10/2012
Why Russia and US should shoot for united Mars mission
No formal deal yet, but both nations agree collaboration needed to explore Red Planet
Россия заявила о своей готовности сотрудничать с США для отправки пилотируемой миссии на Марс, высказав уверенность, что этот проект осуществим лишь в рамках международного сотрудничества.
NEW YORK - Russia is ready and willing to partner with the United States for a manned mission to Mars, a senior Russian space official said recently.
And while NASA has not yet entered into any formal agreement to pursue the Red Planet, the agency's chief agrees that international cooperation is the way to do it.
"I have to say that currently there is no country that could organize a manned spaceflight to Mars and a safe return," Sergey Saveliev, the deputy head of Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), said April 12 at the United Nations headquarters here to mark the International Day of Human Space Flight.
"We strongly believe that this project can be accomplished only through international cooperation," Saveliev said through a translator. "In this field, Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States, with Europe and with other countries."
NASA chief Charles Bolden, who also was on hand at the event, agreed that collaboration is the way to go.
"We are absolutely trying to partner with everybody to go - anyone who wants to participate," Bolden told Space.com. "Our goal is to try to form international coalitions. Almost everything we do today has some international flavor to it, whether it's science flights, or human spaceflights. I think you'll find everything we do from here on out is probably going to be international in nature."
Not only will a manned trip to Mars come with a hefty price tag, but it will require some major advances in technology.
"In order to accomplish this mission, we have to develop new technologies, first of all, new propulsion technologies, as well as technologies to counter existing harms of spaceflight, like radiation," Saveliev said.
NASA has no firm time frame to send humans to Mars, but the agency is starting up work on a huge new heavy-lift rocket that could travel there. The vehicle, called the Space Launch System (SLS), is designed to go beyond low-Earth orbit to the moon, asteroids and eventually Mars - all destinations beyond the reach of NASA's space shuttles, which retired last year.
The agency is aiming for a first flight of the Space Launch System in 2017.
International collaboration is already a strong feature of many nations' space programs, as going it alone can be prohibitively costly. The United States and Russia are currently partnering with Japan, Canada and the European Space Agency on the International Space Station, a weightless laboratory that cost $100 billion to build.
Bolden emphasized NASA's commitment to future collaboration as well.
"Since NASA was founded 52 years ago, international cooperation has been one of our cornerstones," Bolden said during his remarks. "We have entered into about 4,000 agreements in that time, with more than 120 nations and touching almost every aspect of NASA's activities. Right now, NASA has 535 active international agreements. This cooperation is the definition of win-win, bringing multiple benefits to everyone involved."
© 2012 Space.com. All rights reserved.
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© 2012 msnbc.com.
Science Now / 23 May 2012
New Russian Science Minister Will Continue Push From Academy to Universities
- By Andrey Allakhverdov and Vladimir Pokrovsky
Министром образования и науки стал ректор Национального исследовательского технологического университета (НИТУ МИСиС) Дмитрий Ливанов, сменив на этом посту Андрея Фурсенко. Каковы итоги работы министра предыдущего, и с чем предстоит столкнуться его преемнику?
Newly reelected Russian President Vladimir Putin will be missing a familiar face at the cabinet table following the announcement yesterday that his longtime colleague and personal friend Andrei Fursenko will not return as Minister for Education and Science in the new cabinet. Instead, he has been appointed an adviser to the president. In his cabinet seat will be Dmitry Livanov, rector of the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS), and Fursenko's deputy from 2005 to 2007.
Formerly a physicist and businessman, Fursenko was made science minister in 2004. One of his successful initiatives was the introduction of a Western-style system of bachelor's and master's degrees in universities, which enabled Russia to join the Bologna process of integration in higher education. His introduction of a Uniform State Examination was not so well received. It was supposed to make it easier for graduates from provincial high schools to get into the university system. But Fursenko was blamed for the high rate of corruption in the university admissions process.
Fursenko also set up a system of multimillion dollar competitive grants to attract foreign researchers and emigres to come to Russian universities and set up labs there. Some say these too are contaminated with corruption: "He brought the system to a situation where bribes and kickbacks were thriving in the funding competitions. At the same time, the quality of research at least didn't improve," says Evgeny Onishchenko of the P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow.
Although unpopular with many researchers, Fursenko also tackled the thorny issue of reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). After a long struggle for supremacy, the ministry finally got the upper hand, and RAS is now dependent on the ministry and has lost its role in defining science policy. Worryingly for some academicians, the ministry in recent years has tended to favor applied research over basic science, giving preference in funding to the projects that promise short-term benefits for industry. "Many of his initiatives ended in failure - the RAS reform, an attempt to develop research universities, and so on. In the first years of his work as a minister, the number of publications by Russian researchers began to grow, but the rise stopped completely since 2009," says Onishchenko.
In keeping with that applied research tendency, Livanov has been heading a university which is a leading educational institution in metallurgy and is strong in applied research. The MISIS Web site clearly states that "the University is working to develop research and development projects in prioritized areas of the economy, as identified by the Presidential Administration."
Livanov laid out his philosophy last year in an article in Expert, an authoritative Russian magazine. He detailed the measures necessary to successfully reform Russian science. Among his priorities were the need to raise research funding, improve the quality of research evaluation, and shift the emphasis in research from RAS institutes to universities. "Livanov is a physicist and knows the problems of Russian science very well," Onishchenko says, although he is concerned about the proposal to shift research to universities. "The bureaucratic system in the educational institutions is even worse than in the academy, and [Livanov] will face enormous resistance. Instead of improving the situation, he may worsen it. It all depends on what way will he choose as minister."
© 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.
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Расходы на науку планируется повысить до 2,5% ВВП, заявил на собрании Российской академии наук президент России Владимир Путин.
MOSCOW, May 22 (UPI) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he intends to spend 2.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product to boost his nation's scientific research.
Part of the initiative would have scientists contribute to the modernization of the country's military and "increase Russia's defense capabilities," Putin told a meeting at the Russian Academy of Sciences Tuesday.
He did not provide a time frame for when the funding would be increased, RIA Novosti reported.
"We intend to actively involve research organizations and universities ... in our plans to modernize the military," Putin said.
He criticized "those who sponge off science" and said tougher measures against the "discreditation" of the research community were called for.
Russia needed "a system of long-term scientific, technological and defense forecasting," Putin said.
"The world has entered a period of global turbulence, new geopolitical centers are being formed, social and demographic trends are changing," he said. "All of these processes need a very in-depth examination."
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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40 лет сотрудничеству США и России в области охраны окружающей среды - соглашение было подписано 23 мая 1972 г.
On May 23 Russia and the United States are celebrating the 40th anniversary of joint activities in the field of environmental protection, the U.S. embassy in Moscow declared.
Russian and U.S. scientists will get together at the embassy on Wednesday to celebrate four decades of joint work, the embassy said.
An agreement on cooperation in this field was signed by former U.S. president Richard Nixon and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the former Soviet Union Nikolai Podgorny on May 23, 1972. The document envisages eleven directions for cooperation, including prevention of air pollution and contamination of rivers and seas, prevention of air pollution as a result of agricultural activities; cooperation for improvement of urban environment, organization and protection of nature reserves, studies of biological and genetic effects of the environmental pollution, problems of climatic change, forecasting earthquakes, Arctic and sub-Arctic ecological systems, legislation and mechanisms of regulation in the field of environmental protection.
The agreement remains in effect today. It is an agreement on the environmental protection that Russia signed with a foreign country for the longest term, the embassy said. Russia and the United States have been successfully working on problems which are of importance for the future well-being not only of the two countries, but the whole world, the embassy stressed.
Thanks to Russo-U.S. cooperation thousands of experts took part in joint programs. Russian and American scientists have been working at an Arctic Observatory in Tixi. In Chukotka, the experts of the two countries jointly with their colleagues from Germany are developing a project on deep drilling in Lake Elgygytgyn. This enables to get information about climatic change and the condition of the environment during the past four million years.
The Sukachev Institute in Krasnoyarsk and the Forest Fire Laboratory in Riverside, California have been doing innovational research on the spread of forest fires and study how illicit tree cutting tells on the spread of fires.
The experience gained during many years of the exchange of data in this field helped both countries in many respects and improved joint possibilities for locating quakes, liquidating environmental pollution and protecting our forests from fires, the embassy said.
© PennWell Corporation. Copyright 2011.
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Косатки способны регулировать собственный слух в зависимости от громкости звуков в окружающей среде. С таким сообщением выступили доктор Пол Нахтигаль из Гавайского университета и профессор Александр Супин из Института проблем экологии и эволюции им. А.Н.Северцова РАН на встрече по проблемам акустики в Гонконге.
For many whales and dolphins, the world is shaped by sound; they hunt and navigate by listening for echoes.
Navigating in this way requires super-sensitive hearing. And scientists have now found that, for some whales, this sense is adjustable. Researchers in Hawaii measured the hearing of a female false killer whale, and found that she could fine-tune her most crucial sense. The whale would "turn down" her hearing when she anticipated a loud noise. The researchers presented their findings at the Acoustics 2012 meeting in Hong Kong.
Dr Paul Nachtigall from the University of Hawaii led the research, working with Kina, a trained false killer whale. He and his colleague, Prof Alexander Supin from the Russian Academy of Sciences, first noticed five years ago that Kina might have the ability "to control the level of her hearing". The scientists were monitoring Kina's hearing as she hunted.
False killer whales belong to a group of species known as "toothed whales, which includes dolphins, sperm whales and killer whales. These mammals hunt using echolocation - producing high-frequency buzzing or clicking sounds and decoding the echoes they produce to locate prey. To study Kina's hearing, the researchers needed an insight into what was happening inside her head.
"Her whole head is an ear," explained Dr Nachtigall. "There are many paths for sound to travel up to her actual ears."
He and Prof Supin placed sensors contained within soft latex suction cups on Kina's body to measure the electrical activity in Kina's brain as it responded to sound.
"Louder sounds make big brain waves, quieter sounds make smaller waves," said Dr Nachtigall. "[And] if she does not hear the sound we do not see the pattern."
The researchers played Kina a "neutral tone" - an innocuous bleep - then followed that with a five-second pulse of 170 decibels. That is approximately equivalent in intensity to the sound of a rifle being fired one metre away.
Over time, Kina learned that this neutral tone was a warning signal and turned down her hearing sensitivity when she heard it, so in subsequent experiments, the sensors recorded a smaller signal from a noise of the same loudness.
Dr Nachtigall explained that echolocating marine mammals may have evolved this rapidly adjustable hearing to protect themselves from their own clicks and buzzes. "They sounds they produce are very loud - they can be over 230-decibel pulses, and then must listen immediately for very quiet echoes," Dr Nachtigall told BBC Nature. The team hopes that their findings will eventually be applied to the protection of wild marine mammals.
There is evidence that whales and dolphins are disturbed or damaged by man-made undersea noise, such as naval sonar and the loud seismic airguns used in oil and gas exploration.
"[This] makes us very optimistic that many echolocating porpoises dolphins and whales will be able to change their hearing to protect it if they are properly warned," said Dr Nachtigall.
"We want to define the proper way to warn them."
BBC © 2012.
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Специалисты из Института теоретической и прикладной механики им. С.А.Христиановича СО РАН разработали метод лазерной сварки металлов, которые до этого считались несвариваемыми.
Researchers at the Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Siberian Branch (ITPM) reportedly have developed a process to laser weld metals considered "unweldable," with application in aerospace and shipbuilding.
Source material is unavailable, but local media quotes ITPM Deputy Director Anatoly Orishich describing the method thusly: "A miniscule empty cave is formed with walls of melted metal. Any compound can be "cooked" inside this little "pan", such as ceramic nanoparticles mixed with molten metal". The process eliminates formation of long dendrite crystals which would weaken the seam manifold, they add.
The group says they have tested the new method on homogenous materials and have performd welds on titanium, steel, and copper, and are working to get the process certified. Initial targeted application in aircraft, replacing riveted connections with welds to reduce weight without sacrificing strength. Other companies also are showing interest in the laser welding method for shipbuilding, according to local media reports.
Further study of the composite seam properties will be done cooperatively among the ITPM, Tomsk Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science, and the Institute of Metal Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Urals department in Yekaterinburg.
© PennWell Corporation. Copyright 2011.
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Международная группа ученых из США, России, Германии и Австрии занимается изучением уникального кратерного озера Эльгыгытгын на Чукотке. Озеро образовалось около 3,6 млн лет назад, и большая часть его покрыта льдом. Донные отложения озера - хранилище информации об условиях природной среды этого региона за последние три с половиной миллиона лет. Образцы отложений были взяты в ходе совместной экспедиции в 2009 г., и сейчас ведется их обработка и изучение.
Deep under a frozen lake in Siberia, Russia, lies a researcher's gold: an astounding record of past climates preserved in untouched layers of lake bed sediment. In 2009 an international team of scientists headed to Lake El'gygytgyn (pronounced El'geegitgin). They perched specialized drilling equipment atop the icy lake surface and drilled down. At the bottom of the lake as much as a quarter mile (1,312 feet) of sediment awaited them atop the site of a monster meteorite impact. That sediment, withdrawn in cores and shipped to labs in Germany for close scrutiny, represents a continuous record of past Arctic conditions going back 3.6 million years. The more complete picture of paleoclimate it forms will help scientists understand how and why Earth's climate changed in the past, and give them better tools for predicting the future.
An international team of scientists from the United States, Russia, Germany and Austria undertook this geological drilling project as part of the International Continental Drilling Program. The U.S. research team was led by Julie Brigham-Grette of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and included doctoral student Kenna Wilkie and PolarTREC teacher Tim Martin. The diverse team of scientists faced no easy task- six months of hard work in Northeast Siberia during winter. The team hired converted tanks to pull drilling platforms to the extremely remote lake (62 miles north of the Arctic Circle), chartered temperature-controlled cargo planes to safely move the sediment core samples back to specialized labs, and lived in temporary housing atop ice. It was all so they could collect excellent samples: the longest sediment core samples retrieved from the Arctic region. Their successful expedition showcased international scientific cooperation and provided one-of-a-kind data for the scientific community. The project was funded in part by the National Science Foundation: theNSF Division of Earth Sciences and also the NSF Office of Polar Programs.
It is said that location is everything, and that is certainly true for Lake El'gygytgyn (El'geegitgin). The lake, 7.5 miles wide and 558 feet deep, rests in the middle of a large impact crater formed 3.6 million years ago when a meteor slammed into the Earth. The region in present-day Russia it struck was part of Beringia, the great land bridge which spanned the ocean between Asia and North America. The area was never glaciated. Accordingly, it wasn't scoured or covered over by crawling ice. Ever since the meteorite struck, the basin where Lake El'gygytgyn rests has accumulated sediment: drifts of pollen, decomposing plant matter, ash from fires or volcanic activity, and other debris. With these samples, the scientists can measure radioactivity, magnetic and sonic properties, electrical resistance, and much more. Like vertical timelines, the striated sediment cores withdrawn from the lake-bed are capable of telling stories about the world. Lake El'gygytgyn is a gem, holding an undisturbed, continuous uninterrupted sediment sequence which has accumulated for the past 3.6 million years.
"Earth's warm and cold cycles over the past one million years varied every 100,000 years at times. Before that, however, climate change, especially in high latitudes, varied over 41,000- and 23,000-year cycles. The record from Lake E will show the ramp up to that type of change in the Earth's climate." - Julie Brigham-Grette.
Today Siberia and the Arctic are notoriously cold. The meteorite struck during the warmer Pliocene era, when mammoths, giant ground sloths, and early hominins still roamed the earth. During the Pliocene the area supported a heavily forested ecosystem. Hopefully through research we can fully understand the causes of Arctic climate shift toward a cold permafrost ecosystem some 2 two 3 million years ago. What influences forced such a dramatic change?
Understanding that, and comparing past Arctic climate change to paleoclimate records of change that occurred in the rest of the world, will help form more complete climate models. Sediment cores, marine sediment cores, and ice cores all contribute data to an increasingly complex climate map. Climate modeling can help us systematically analyze the past, and predict what will happen as the present-day global climate continues to shift.
Our ability to inform policy makers about global/regional climate and related environmental change and its uncertainties depends on our capacity to understand the role of the Arctic region in modulating past periods of change under different climate forcing conditions. - Julie Brigham-Grette.
While ice cores collected from the Greenland Ice Sheet are long enough to detail about 110,000 years, the sediment cores from Lake El'gygytgyn (El'geegitgin) map 30x more... nearly 3,600,000 years. The undivided core is nearly 1165 feet long (similar to the Empire State Building's top floor at 1250 feet). It is an unprecedented time-continuous terrestrial record of Arctic conditions. I31 feet of core is from the warm middle Pliocene era- when there was no permanent sea ice in the Arctic Ocean- which may represent an analog for the climate not-too-distant humans will face.
While most of the core samples were drilled from the lake bed, an additional borehole was cored at the western edge of Lake El'gygytgyn. The borehole was fitted with instruments to monitor ground temperatures and will continue to contribute to the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost.
© 2010 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.
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В Москве, в МГУ и Центральном доме художника прошли Первая международная научно-практическая конференция «Научное искусство» и выставка Science Art 2012, демонстрирующая научные и технические достижения через творчество.
A WIND of change is blowing through Russian science. After leading the world in the space race, the country's scientific effort atrophied as research budgets evaporated in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse in the early 1990s. Rebuilding has been slow.
The re-election of Vladimir Putin as president has been greeted with tentative approval by many scientists, who are hopeful that his campaign promises to establish world-class research universities by 2020 and boost public funding of research will come to fruition. But it isn't only scientists who are waiting for change. Improvements in national science could also bring more opportunities for artists to work with researchers.
In August, the Russian government, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will open the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. The institute's home will eventually be in a new "science city" outside Moscow. Leaders of the project hope that it will spur the academic community to look outwards. "Skolkovo is an attempt to develop a complete innovation ecosystem in a community," says Ed Crawley, president of the new institute and an aerospace engineer at MIT. "It will also be a programme of culture."
Many in the art world are optimistic about Skolkovo's potential to foster a combined culture. In the meantime, other efforts are well under way. Last month, for example, Moscow's Central House of Artists - one of the largest and most prestigious art venues in Russia and newly home to the DNA gallery, a space for art science discussion - hosted the Science Art 2012 exhibition, part of a conference run by Moscow State University.
Science Art 2012 was the brainchild of Simon Erohin, a philosopher in the university's chemistry department. The time felt right, he says. "I wanted to know: what is happening with science art now?"
It is a good question. Science-inspired art is reasonably well established in the west but still struggles for recognition. In Russia it is even more isolated.
Thanks to the efforts of a few pioneers, times are changing. Until a few years ago, the Russian science art scene was largely a one-man show: Dmitry Bulatov, curator of the Kaliningrad branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, who experiments with DNA in his art.
Then four years ago, the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry in Moscow opened Laboratoria, Russia's first dedicated science and art space, under the auspices of curator Daria Parkhomenko.
I paid Laboratoria a visit. Immediately after passing through its purple gates, you are confronted by one of their long-running experiments: The Ministry of the Truth of the Peace Dove. It is a pigeon coop surrounded by an outline of a huge LED-illuminated dove, designed by artist Sergey Shutov. The doves themselves are the subject of behavioural studies run byKonstantin Anokhin, of the St Petersburg Centre for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience. The piece is an arresting example of Laboratoria's mission to combine experimental science with art.
Back at Science Art 2012, I saw more signs of vitality. Liquid~Do, a performance piece by artist Julia Borovaya, is both stunning and original. Borovaya poured coloured inks into a shallow tray full of milk, then let fall one drop of amber soap. The tranquil surface erupted with ripples of colour; by disrupting fat globules in milk the soap creates turbulence. Sound artist Evgeniy Vaschenko filmed the surface, linking ripples of colour with different tones to create music.
Despite these promising initiatives, Parkhomenko acknowledges that there are still very few artists in Russia who explore science in their works. "Science art can emerge only with institutional support," she says.
That, too, is changing. Last year Erohin negotiated Borovaya a residency in his university's chemistry department, where she has since been collaborating with chemist Edward Rakhmanov.
So as Borovaya dons her white coat and enters the lab to study chemical processes, she is not just another artist getting under the feet of a serious scientist. She might be the forerunner of a new type of Russian revolution.
© Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.
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Российские исследователи обнаружили в одном из ущелий Северного Кавказа двадцатиметровую каменную стену неизвестного происхождения. Пока непонятно, рукотворное ли это сооружение или природное, но стена, состоящая из огромных каменных блоков одинакового размера, уже прозвана «российским Стоунхенджем».
Une découverte extraordianire des chercheurs russes au Caucase du Nord : dans la gorge de Tcherek ils ont trouvé un mur en pierres cyclopique dont la hauteur est de 20 m. Il va compléter les curiosités du Sud de la Russie en attirant les touristes.
Les autochtones sont au courant de ce phénomène, mais en ont informé les chercheurs il n'y a pas longtemps. Le mur barre la gorge, sa hauteur est de 20 m et sa longueur dépasse 50 m. Le poids et la forme régulière soutiennent cette construction, comme si Cyclope avait posé les dalles. Il n'est pas possible de dire si ce mur est naturel ou bien érigé par l'homme, dit le chercheur Viktor Kotlyarov.
« Les géologues disent que le mur est d'origine naturelle. Je partage cette opinion. Mais les dalles sont tout à fait identiques, leurs dimensions sont égales : 25 cm sur 2 m. Est-ce vraiment la nature qui a fait cela ? »
Selon M. Kotlyarov beaucoup de voyageurs décrivaient ces constructions, faites par les montagnards en guise de forteresse. Ce mur d'après les légendes aurait été construit par des extra-terrestres ou bien par des géants, note Kotlyarov.
« Non loin de là des tibias ont été trouvés d'une longueur de 78 cm. Le tibia humain est de 50 cm. Donc, l'homme à qui appartient ce tibia mesurait environ plus de 2,5 m »
A présent, estiment les chercheurs il faut étudier attentivement la trouvaille. Cet été une expédition se rendra dans cet endroit. M. Kotlyarov est sûr que le miracle caucasien ne cède en rien au Stonehenge britannique.
© 2005-2012 Voix de la Russie.
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