|Российская наука и мир|
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)
Science Codex / September 4, 2014
Nano-pea pod model widens electronics applications
Ученые из Мордовского государственного университета нашли способ получить периодические цепочечные наноструктуры с локализованными электронами с дискретным энергетическим спектром.
Статья «Electron energy spectrum for a bent chain of nanospheres» опубликована в The European Physical Journal B.
New York | Heidelberg, 4 September 2014 - Periodic chain-like nanostructures are widely used in nanoelectronics. Typically, chain elements include the likes of quantum rings, quantum dots, or quantum graphs. Such a structure enables electrons to move along the chain, in theory, indefinitely.
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The trouble is that some applications require localised electrons - these are no longer in a continuous energy spectrum but in a discrete energy spectrum, instead. Now, a new study by Russian scientists identifies ways of disturbing the periodicity of a model nanostructure to obtain the desired discrete spectrum with localised electrons. These findings by Dr Dmitry A. Eremin from the Mordovian State University in Saransk, Russia, and colleagues have been published in EPJ B.
Theoretical calculations on nano-systems play an important role in the prediction of electrical transport properties. The authors created theoretical models of nanometric scale entities dubbed nano-pea pods. The latter are made of a nanotube filled by a chain of fullerene molecules. Such models are based on a bent chain of spheres connected by wires.
The scientists then described the energy spectrum of systems with disturbed periodicity and set out to find the condition for the appearance of localised electrons. Using a method based on the so called general operator extensions theory, they varied the length of the connecting wires, the intensity of the disturbance and the value of the bending angle.
Eremin and colleagues found that localised electrons' appearance has a stronger dependency on the variation of the length of the wires of the bent chain than the variation of the value of the bending angle. This finding is consistent with the fact that a local perturbation does not affect the continuous spectrum. As the bending angle tends towards zero, the electrons tend to become less localised.
RedOrbit.com / September 8, 2014
Proposed Device Looks To Use Cloud Moisture To Develop Energy, Drinking Water
Группа российских учёных и инженеров под руководством Андрея Казанцева представила проект дирижабля-гидроэлектростанции Air HES, который, собирая влагу, накопленную в атмосфере, будет вырабатывать с её помощью электроэнергию.
The search for new sources of renewable energy and clean water has led one Russian scientist to look to the skies, as he and his colleagues are developing a new device capable of collecting moisture from clouds and channeling it back down to Earth so that it can be used for drinkable H2O and electricity generation.
The device is known as the air hydroelectric station (Air HES), and it features both a weather balloon stationed thousands of meters into the atmosphere and a unit that collects cloud moisture. The moisture is then sent to the ground through conduit attachments, where a turbo generator creates energy from the water pressure.
Air HES was developed by a team of scientists led by Andrew Kazantsev, and he told redOrbit via email the company had already completed a prototype capable of producing approximately five liters of water from low level clouds in about one hour. Kazantsev and his colleagues have recently launched an Indiegogo campaign with the hopes they will be able to secure the $14,000 in funding required to complete a full-scale version of the Air HES device.
The primary component of Air HES is the cloud collector, which is a vertically-hanging curtain of vapor-condensing mesh that traps moisture in its fibers as the clouds pass through it, explained Colin Jeffrey of the website Gizmag. The water then travels down a special coating on the mesh, where it is collected in a reservoir at the base and funneled to the attachments.
The Air HES is lifted into the sky using an aerostat, which the research team compares to a blimp or a large weather balloon. The aerostat is typically used to monitor climate conditions in the stratosphere, and since the device requires a height of just 7,000 feet to reach the mid-level clouds found in the troposphere, it is ideal to serve as the lifting unit for the Air HES, since it is capable of traveling to heights of 60,000 feet to 120,000 feet.
Based on annual precipitation of approximately one meter of rainfall, and given that Air HES collects moisture from clouds, the developers claim their device is capable of producing roughly 800 terawatts (TW) of power - 60 times more than currently needed by the global population, and over 400 times more than all electrical power stations combined, according to their figures. Furthermore, it would be more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.
"The problem of climate imbalance is not just an issue of comfort. This is a problem facing the future of all life on Earth," they wrote. "Small shifts in climate temperature can cause huge imbalances in ecosystems and affect earth's ability to sustain life. Despite the fact that different climate models give different predictions… we need to focus on the predictions that give us just a few decades before the irreversible consequences."
Last month, scientists from Princeton and UC Irvine reported that fossil fuels were still the predominant source of energy, and that power plants worldwide will be responsible for 300 billion tons of future carbon dioxide emissions. Those experts also said that, unless things change, we can anticipate considerable increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and that projected CO2 emissions of currently established power plants was expected to increase by four percent over their lifespan.
In addition to providing cleaner power, the Air HES could also be able to provide clean drinking water. On its Indiegogo campaign page, Kazantsev's team not only said that they were "confident" this would be possible, but noted that the prototype had already collected around four liters of water per hour for each square meter of mesh at 4,000 feet. That H2O production could be crucial, as research published earlier this year reported that there could be a shortage of drinking water by the year 2040.
© 2002-2014 redOrbit.com. All rights reserved.
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Bellona / September 9, 2014
Russian authorities say sunken nuclear sub poses no contamination danger - for now
22 августа из Архангельска на научно-исследовательском судне «Иван Петров» отправилась совместная российско-норвежская радиоэкологическая экспедиция, направившаяся в Баренцево море, в район нахождения затонувшей атомной подводной лодки К-159.
Экспедиция завершилась 8 сентября. По предварительным результатам, К-159 пока находится в безопасном состоянии, превышения уровня радиации нет. Окончательные выводы будут сделаны через год, после проведения лабораторных исследований взятых проб.
Russian authorities conducting a joint mission with Norway to assess a nuclear submarine that sank more than a decade ago are saying the vessel - the infamous K-159 - posses no radiological threat to waters at the bottom of the Barents Sea, the official Russian agency ITAR TASS reported today.
According to Vyacheslav Shpinkov, the head of the joint mission, radiation background levels surrounding the nuclear submarine, which sunk in August 2003 while under tow to Polyarny shipyard near Murmansk, do not exceed norms.
The sinking of the K-159, which was being pulled by tugboat from the Gremikha Russian naval installation for dismantlement, killed nine sailors who were aboard the rusted hulk to patch leaks along the way.
When it foundered, it pulled 800 kilograms of spent uranium fuel with it to the ocean floor, causing a panic among the fishing community who depend on the fertile waters at the mouth of the Murmansk Fjord.
The mission of 15 scientists from Russian and Norway to inspect the vessel's radiological condition was largely to allay - or confirm - fears of radioactive contamination. The last time the vessel was inspected in detail was during a joint British-Russian expedition in 2007.
"We conducted visual and instrumental inspections of the submarine with the help of remote controlled submersible apparatus, measured gamma exposure with a spectrometer, took water samples, seabed samples, of live organisms in the immediate area of the submarine's hull," Shpinkov told the agency.
He said the Russian-Norwegian scientific crew would be presenting their final results in a year, but that the expedition had conducted a so-called express analysis of the collected samples from around the vessel to determine the presence of radioactive contamination, which he said revealed the vessel "so far, remains in a safe state."
"No emissions of radioactive substances outside the hull of the vessel were detected," Shpinkov said, according to ITAR TASS.
The mission is comprised of Russian and Norwegian scientists, given the K-159's proximity of 130 kilometers from Russian authorities. In total, 15 scientists are taking part in the trip.
Members of the expedition from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, which has crew aboard the Ivan Petrov research vessel to inspect the K-159's wreckage lying 246 meters underwater, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The NRPAs official website also carried no new statements regarding the Russian announcement or the expedition as a whole, which set out on August 22 and is expected back in port in Arkangelsk, Russia early this month.
Raising the nuke sub: Russian and Norwegian takes
Russia has typically been quick to assert that the K-159 poses no danger where it lies, while officials with the NRPA have long insisted environmental and feasibility studies must be done to assess the possibility of raising the nuclear sub from its deep watery grave.
The good news is that there is no increased radiation at the moment," said Nils Bøhmer, Bellona's managing director and nuclear physicist. "What we need to do is to find out more about the technical condition of K-159 in order to constitute a risk-assessment for a potential lifting operation," he said, continuing that, "The consequences of letting the submarine wreck stay at the sea-bottom should also be assessed."
Ingar Amundsen, head of section at NRPA, told Bellona precisely that in an interview preceding the departure of the Ivan Petrov, and said he hoped the current expedition's analyses would provide necessary data on how the vessel can safely be brought to the surface.
"What we believe is important is to make an environmental impact assessment of a potential raising operation," Amundsen told Bellona. "The submarine contains a great deal of radioactive material and sooner or later it will leak, but we need to get a good picture of where things are at current in order to make an in depth environmental impact study of such an idea."
He also said that it the financial burden of raising the submarine should be Russia's, but also encouraged international donors who have in the past helped with nuclear remediation projects in Northwest Russia to do it again.
More radioactive fish in the sea
The K-159 is by far not the only hazards packed with nuclear material and radioactive waste lying at the bottom of Arctic waters abutting Norway's coast.
An accumulation of reports from Russia to the NRPA reveal the Soviet and Russian Navies littered the Kara Sea with all manner of nuclear and radioactive waste over several dozen years, stopping in the early 1990s.
According to NRPA, a catalogue of Russian nuclear waste in the Kara Sea released in 2012 includes 19 ships containing radioactive waste; 14 nuclear reactors, including five that still contain spent nuclear fuel; 735 other pieces of radioactively contaminated heavy machinery; 17,000 containers of radioactive waste, and the K-27 nuclear submarine.
"The scope of spent nuclear fuel, reactors and radioactive waste on the seabed in the Kara Sea and the Russian part of the Barents Sea is large," Per Strand, NRPA's director, said in a release prior to the Ivan Petrov's setting sail.
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Nanotechweb.org / Sep 10, 2014
Tunnelling electrons make new type of transistor
Группа ученых из Великобритании (Манчестерский университет, Ланкастерский университет, Ноттингемский университет), России (Институт проблем технологии микроэлектроники и особочистых материалов РАН) и Кореи (Сеульский национальный университет) заявили о создании транзистора на эффекте квантового туннелирования электронов через ультратонкий барьер гексагонального нитрида бора, размещенного между двумя графеновыми электродами. Уникальность устройства в том, что электроды впервые удалось точно выровнять по отношению друг к другу.
Статья «Twist-controlled resonant tunnelling in graphene/boron nitride/graphene heterostructures» опубликована в журнале Nature Nanotechnology.
Researchers in the UK, Russia and Korea say that they have made a new type of "quantum tunnelling" transistor from an ultrathin barrier of hexagonal boron nitride sandwiched between two graphene electrodes. The device is unique in that the electrodes are carefully aligned with respect to each other - a first.
In conventional transistors, such as those that make up silicon integrated circuits, the current flows along the plane of the transistor, close to the surface of the device. The new device, made by a team led by Kostya Novoselov, Laurence Eaves and Andre Geim of the University of Manchester in the UK, is different. It is a sandwich structure in which a 1 nm-thick barrier of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is placed between two single atomic layers of crystalline graphene.
When a bias voltage is applied across the graphene electrodes, a current flows through the h-BN, explains Eaves, who also holds a research appointment at Nottingham University. The h-BN is an insulator and the electrons from the graphene can only get through this barrier by tunnelling - a purely quantum effect.
"The big story here is that the current-voltage characteristics of our device depend on the relative orientation of the hexagonal crystalline lattice of the two graphene electrodes," he tells nanotechweb.org. "In this new device, the lattices are aligned to a precision of about 1° with respect to each other. Such a precise alignment is a testament to the skill of our colleagues who made the device."
So why do the electrons tunnel rather than jump over the h-BN barrier? "In our device, the wall formed by the h-BN barrier is simply too high and the electrons just do not have the energy to jump over it. However, because the barrier is only a few atomic layers thick, they can tunnel through it."
Since the graphene electrodes and h-BN barrier in the new device are highly ordered and pure crystalline layers, the electrons must tunnel through the barrier without undergoing any change in either their energy or their momentum, he explains. Energy is a scalar quantity but momentum is a vector one - that is, it has a sense of direction as well as a certain numerical value.
"Therefore, if an electron is travelling with a particular vector momentum along the plane of one graphene electrode, then it must maintain that vector momentum when it quantum tunnels through the h-BN barrier into the other electrode. This means that the electron resonant tunnelling voltage is only produced over a very narrow range of applied voltages, where we can conserve both momentum and energy.
The voltage we apply between the two graphene electrodes provides us a way of tuning the electrons for resonant tunnelling, but we can also fine-tune them further by applying a gate voltage to the conducting silicon layer on which our graphene-h-BN sandwich is mounted."
Although researchers have made h-BN-graphene transistors before now, in which tunnelling between the two graphene electrodes was controlled by a gate voltage applied to a third electrode, the crystalline lattices of the component graphene layers in these devices were not intentionally aligned with respect to each other. This meant that tunnelling between the two graphene electrodes was not strictly resonant, says Eaves.
"Negative differential conductance"
The resonant tunnelling in the new device produces a sharp peak in the flow of tunnel current at a particular set of gate and bias voltages. Beyond this peak, there is a region in which the current decreases - and this, even if the researchers increase the applied bias voltage. "This is the region of 'negative differential conductance', though it is often simply called 'negative resistance'".
According to Ohm's Law, current should increase with increasing voltage, but here, we have it decreasing. When a device of this kind is coupled to a circuit containing a capacitor and an inductor, the current flowing through the device in the circuit will oscillate. At the moment, the current in our device only oscillates at relatively low frequencies of a few MHz, which corresponds to ordinary radio frequencies. We should, however, be able to reach much higher frequencies by decreasing the electrical capacitance of the device."
Higher frequency operation?
The researchers say that they will try doing this by redesigning the electrical contacts that they apply to the graphene electrodes. "At present, the fastest semiconductor devices are resonant tunnelling diodes based on III-V semiconductors and which contain two tunnel barriers. A single-barrier resonant tunnelling device, like ours, should be inherently faster - an exciting possibility for us."
If the team can indeed make its devices work at higher frequencies, close to the THz range, for instance, then they could even find applications in communication and sensor technologies. And aligning the graphene electrodes more closely than in the present experiments would sharpen and increase the size of the resonant tunnelling peak further, something that could come in handy for making a new type of logic device, adds Eaves.
The research group, which includes scientists from the University of Lancaster, the Russian Academy of Sciences and Seoul National University, reports its work in Nature Nanotechnology.
Copyright Institute of Physics and IOP Publishing 2009.
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Famagusta Gazette / Sunday, 14 September, 2014
Remnants of extinct 150 million years-old reptile found in north Russia
В Ямало-Ненецком автономном округе обнаружены останки мезозавра возрастом около 150 млн лет, вымершего в ранний пермский период.
Tourists from the Urals who were on a rafting tour in north Russia have found the remnants of a mesosaur, an extinct aquatic reptile that had lived about 150 million years ago, the local fishing club chairman said on Sunday.
The tourists who are members of the Wild North fishing club discovered the mesosaur fossil during their rafting down the Ruta-Yu River on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic, Club Chairman Yevgeny Svitov said.
"The boat of our group member Oleg Yushkov bumped against something. It was not very deep there and he could discern a stone looking like the head of a prehistoric animal," Svitov said.
"He made a photo of the discovery and showed it to us. We were at first skeptical about his find, saying there could not be any mesosaurs on Yamal," the fishing club chairman said.
"However, Yushkov sent his photos to Moscow scientists who confirmed that this is the fossil of a mesosaur who had lived about 150 million years ago," the fishing club chairman said.
"However, a research has to be carried out to establish the exact age of the remnants. We can't take away the find without special permission. We hope that we'll get it before the river is covered with ice," he said.
The fishing club is currently in talks with the Urals branch of the Russian Academy of Science on retrieving the mesosaur remnants from the water, he said.
Copyright Famagusta Gazette.All rights reserved.
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Le Généraliste / 14.09.2014
C'est arrivé le 14 septembre 1849. Naissance d'Ivan Pavlov
14 сентября - 165 лет со дня рождения Ивана Петровича Павлова, физиолога и лауреата Нобелевской премии 1904 г. в области медицины и физиологии - «за труды по физиологии пищеварения, расширившие и изменившие понимание жизненно важных аспектов этого вопроса».
Le futur prix Nobel, né à Riazan dans une famille où l'on était pope de père en fils, entra comme interne à 11 ans au séminaire de Riazan, destiné à suivre la tradition familiale. Mais son goût pour les sciences naturelles et la lecture d'un livre du Pr Ivan Setchenov, " Réflexes de l'encéphale" bouleversèrent la donne. Pavlov, après être rentré la Faculté de physique et de mathématiques de Saint-Pétersbourg, s'intéressa à la physiologie animale et s'inscrivit à l'Académie de chirurgie et de médecine. Il y suivit les cours d'Élie de Cyon qui le prit sous son aile.
Une vie bien réglée
Après avoir obtenu sa thèse de doctorat en 1883, Pavlov est nommé titulaire de la chaire de pharmacologie de l'Académie de médecine militaire de Saint-Pétersbourg. Il mène alors une vie extraordinairement réglée : il déjeune à midi exactement, il se couche tous les soirs à la même à la même heure et, chaque année; il quitte Leningrad le 30 juillet pour aller passer ses vacances en Estonie. Une conduite qui se perpétuera jusqu'au jour où son fils Victor, qui s'était enrôlé dans l'Armée blanche, fut tué. Le chagrin de Pavlov fut tel qu'il s'accompagna dès lors d'insomnies profondes qui eurent raison de son train de vie bien réglé.
Le test de Pavlov
Depuis 1889, le médecin russe s'évertuait à prouver que si l'on accoutumait un chien à un stimuli sonore au moment de prendre sa pâtée, ce stimuli pouvait à la longue déclencher la salivation de l'animal sans qu'il soit accompagné de nourriture. Par cette expérience, qui prendra par la suite le nom de « réflexe de Pavlov », le praticien fit considérablement avancer les recherches sur les réflexes conditionnels.
Le 27 février 1904, Ivan Pavlov présenta pour la première fois le résultat de ses recherches sur les glandes digestives canines lors d'une conférence, au congrès médical international de Madrid. Pavlov y développa la théorie selon laquelle les réactions acquises par apprentissage et habitude deviennent des réflexes lorsque le cerveau fait les liens entre le stimulus et l'action qui suit. On crut longtemps que Pavlov faisait savoir à ses chiens que les aliments allaient arriver en appuyant sur une sonnette. Pourtant, ses écrits témoignent qu'il utilisait une large variété de stimuli, y compris des sifflets, des métronomes, des fourchettes qu'il faisait résonner, en plus des stimuli visuels habituels. Quand, au cours des années 1990, les scientifiques occidentaux purent visiter le laboratoire de Pavlov, ils n'y trouvèrent aucune trace de cloche. La découverte des réflexes conditionnels que Pavlov associera par la suite au fonctionnement humain, jouera un grand rôle dans la psychologie moderne.
Pavlov reçut le prix Nobel de médecine en 1904 « en reconnaissance de son travail sur la physiologie de la digestion, ce qui a permis de transformer et d'élargir le savoir sur les aspects essentiels du sujet ». Il fut le premier Russe à recevoir ce prix. En recevant sa récompense, Pavlov expliqua en russe le contenu de ses travaux. Mais un contresens se produisit dans la traduction dans ses propos et l'expression « réflexes conditionnés » fut employé à la place de « réflexes conditionnels », terminologie plus exacte.
Les difficiles années de la Révolution
La Révolution russe aura été douloureuse pour le savant russe, particulièrement les années 1919-1920 où il vécut dans la misère et sans argent pour faire fonctionner son laboratoire. Mais, fidèle à sa terre natale, il refusa l'offre de l'Académie des Sciences suédoise de s'installer à Stockholm où l'on bâtirait pour lui un institut où il pourrait poursuivre ses recherches à sa guise.
Pavlov était d'ailleurs apprécié du gouvernement soviétique, même s'il était notoire qu'il n'était pas favorable au marxisme. Comme lauréat du prix Nobel on le regardait comme un capital politique de grande importance. Après sa première visite aux États-Unis en 1923, le médecin dénonça publiquement le communisme, déclarant que le marxisme reposait sur des bases fausses : « Pour le genre d'expérience sociale que vous faites, je ne sacrifierais pas les pattes arrières d'une grenouille!»
En 1924, quand les fils de prêtres furent expulsés de l'Académie médicale militaire de Léningrad il démissionna de sa chaire de physiologie en déclarant, « Moi aussi, je suis fils de prêtre et si vous expulsez les autres je m'en irai aussi ! » Après l'assassinat de Kirov en 1934, il écrivit à Molotov plusieurs lettres où il condamnait les persécutions de masse qui avaient suivi et demandait qu'on reconsidérât le cas de plusieurs de ses proches.
Pavlov resta directeur de l'Institut de médecine expérimentale de Saint-Pétersbourg jusqu'à sa mort le 29 février 1936.
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Barentsnova / 15.09.14
Russian and Norwegian researchers sign up for cooperation
Русское географическое общество и норвежская научно-исследовательская компания «Акваплан-нива» (исследования в сферах морской и пресноводной экологии и аквакультуры) подписали соглашения о сотрудничестве.
An agreement on cooperation was signed between the Russian Geographical Society and the Norwegian research institution Akvaplan-niva.
The signing ceremony has taken place in the Russian Geographical Society's headquarters in Moscow. On behalf of the Russian Geographical Society the document was signed by First Vice President of the Society, Academician and Dean of the Faculty of Geography of the Moscow State University Nikolay Kasimov. The Norway side was represented by Salve Dahle, the Director of Akvaplan-niva and the Chairman of the organizing committee of the "Arctic Frontiers" international conference.
Akvaplan-niva is a research-based company, a 100% owned subsidiary of the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA). Besides, it is the secretariat for the "Arctic Frontiers" conference, with responsibility for conference organization, planning and daily operations. The Russian Geographical Society was founded in 1845 by the Tsar Nikolay I. The organization is one of the oldest of its kind. Such famous Norwegian explorers as Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Thor Heyerdahl are the Society's prominent members of honor.
"Akvaplan-niva" is the organizer of the conference "Arctic Frontiers", which is a very important annual event in the North," said Nikolay Kasimov. "And the Russian Geographical Society holds a not less remarkable international project, "The Arctic - Territory of Dialogue" forum. It is an arena to address such issues as the creation of a sustainable transport highway at high latitudes, the environmental safety and research works in the Arctic. I think we do much the same thing, so we need to cooperate."
The parties spoke about their plans. "One of the important tasks of the Russian Geographical Society is to obtain and disseminate information about the Arctic region," said First Vice President of the Society. "We are going to create a national atlas of the Arctic." In his turn, Salve Dahle proposed to consider the possibility of joint publication in foreign languages of the books about famous Russian polar explorers. "Russia knows about their exploits, but unfortunately they are not widely known abroad," said Mr. Dahle.
The agreement will allow the participants to expand the geography of both events. In addition, representatives of the Russian Geographical Society will join the expert council of the Norwegian conference and will take part in forming the agendas of upcoming events.
© 2006-2014 Barentsnova.
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Daily Mail / 18 September 2014
The 2,300-year-old brain surgeons: Drill holes on ancient skulls reveal how gruesome procedure was performed on men from Siberian tribe
- By Ellie Zolfagharifard and Will Stewart
2300 лет назад древние племена Алтая, возможно, проводили хирургические операции на мозге. Такое предположение выдвинули археологи после исследования останков людей из пазырыкских кочевых племен. Некоторые черепа явно подвергались трепанации, причем имелись также признаки восстановления больных после операции.
Scientists have discovered evidence of 2,300-year-old surgical procedure on two ancient skulls.
The skulls, unearthed in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, belonged to the Pazyryk nomadic tribe and showed clear signs of recovery after brain surgery. Using similar tools and techniques, scientists now plan to recreate the same, high-risk procedure - albeit on skulls of the dead. The skulls showed clear evidence of recovery after undergoing the process called 'trepanation', according to a report in the Siberian Times.
Trepanation was a risky ancient medical procedure which involved drilling a hole, or surgically scraping into a human skull. It was used, among other things, to relieve brain swelling, and historians believe it may also have been mistakenly used to treat problems with the nervous system. One of the skulls, which belonged to a man aged 40 to 45, showed signs of suffering a trauma to the head. Scientists believe he developed a subdural haematoma, a condition where blood forms between the skull and the surface of the brain. The haematoma would have led to him suffering headaches, vomiting and movement problems in his right leg and hand. Trepanation would have removed the haematoma and evidence of later bone growth suggests the man lived for years after the surgery.
The second male had a hereditary deformation, which was successfully improved with by drilling a hole into the skull.
"In the middle 19th century, the survival of patients after trepanation in the best hospitals in Europe rarely exceed 10 per cent," Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences told Siberian Times.
"[Trepanation] was associated with an extremely high risk of infectious complications, and this operation was committed only when patients had very severe traumatic brain injury."
"Even today, with advanced neurosurgical techniques, successful implementation of trepanation requires the serious knowledge and training, and the procedure itself is not considered as absolutely harmless."
Archaeologists believe the Pazyryk tribe may have had knowledge of the Hippocratic Corpus, a set of ancient Greek medical texts associated with the physician Hippocrates. They claim results of the ancient operations on these two skulls to be 'astonishing' given the risks associated with such surgery. Scientists have now created computer models of the two skulls, along with a third skull found of a woman in which the procedure was unsuccessful. The 30-year-old woman's skull indicated injury consistent with a fall, and further analysis suggests she died during the surgery or soon afterwards.
By recreating the procedure, scientists at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography hope to understand more which tools were used, and why the procedure was carried out.
"It may have been related to the rituals through which man reached altered states of consciousness required for religious and magical activities," they say.
Who were the pazyryk people?
The Pazyryk people were part of an Iron Age archaeological culture in the 6th to 3rd centuries BC. The Pazyryk archaeological culture belongs to the steppe archeological category, which is sometimes named "Scythian".
Their remains have been found in the Siberian permafrost in the Altay Mountains and nearby Mongolia. As well as their belongings, their bodies have preserved some of the best ancient tattoos ever seen in the world.
They were believed to be skilled surgeons and had knowledge of the Hippocratic Corpus, a set of ancient Greek medical texts.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.
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Russia & India Report / September 19, 2014
Moscow Science Week: New insights offered on environmental protection
Russian scientists presented their latest ideas and projects at Moscow Science Week 2014, which was held this month.
8-12 сентября в Москве прошел междисциплинарный научный форум Moscow Science Week, в котором приняли участие ученые и специалисты в различных областях науки, чтобы представить и обсудить свои проекты.
Moscow hosted Science Week, a forum dedicated to new discoveries, from September 8-12. The event brought together specialists and scientists from various realms of scientific knowledge and many countries to present and discuss their projects. Here we highlight a few projects with the greatest potential to help humanity.
An anticyclone approaches the Northern Hemisphere
"The average temperature in Russia will rise by 7 degrees C and reach +5 C by the end of the 21st century," says Alexandr Chernokulsky, a research fellow at the Laboratory of Climate Theory at the Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics. According to Chernokulsky, spring 2014 was the second hottest in the history of meteorological observations throughout the world, losing out only to 2010. In May 2014, the temperature averaged 0.74 C higher than the 20th century average, at +15.54 С. Central Asia, northeastern Siberia and Australia experienced the hottest temperatures.
The area of thick ice in the Arctic is shrinking. "The release of methane is intensifying the process of global warming," Chernokulsky says. "The point of no return has already been passed for permafrost." According to him, unique data obtained by Russian submarines was recently made available to scientists and it points to a catastrophic reduction in ice area. Several computer models show that there will be no ice left in the Arctic by 2040-2050, and deleterious changes in climate are unavoidable at this point, he continued.
According to recent research conducted at the Laboratory of Climate Theory, because of climate change, extreme weather phenomena such as blocking anticyclones may occur with greater frequency in Europe and throughout the entire Northern Hemisphere. This will cause catastrophic droughts and extreme heat. For example, Chernokulsky pointed out that during the 2010 anticyclone, the temperature in Moscow rose above +33 C on several days.
A proton accelerator for radiation cancer treatment
Several years ago, the Lebedev Physical Institute developed a new compact proton accelerator for use in cancer treatment. According to its creator, scientist Vladimir Balakin, this technology will make it possible to create a small unit at already existing hospitals, instead of building a new hospital around the proton unit, as current practice dictates. "We have managed to eliminate all of the defects in the existing systems," Balakin says. "We have increased the accuracy of the radiation dose and reduced the cost."
General Hospital at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology bought Balakin's proton accelerator last year. All major global producers of this type of technology participated in the tender, but the Russian scientist's relatively inexpensive, yet highly productive invention won out.
Scientists believe that proton therapy offers numerous benefits. The gamma radiation used in beam therapy not only impacts tumors, but also destroys the healthy cells in its path. Proton radiation is gentler. A proton beam can focus on a particular area with high accuracy - up to fractions of a millimeter.
It takes 10 minutes to treat a cancer patient in Balakin's unit - a third of the time it takes for many other technologies on the market to do the same thing. In Russia, the new proton accelerator was recently installed at hospitals in Pushchino and Protvino in Moscow's suburbs. "Beam therapy will shift primarily to the use of proton units in the next 10 to 20 years," Balakin says.
Arctic geese forced to land in industrial zones
Petr Glazov, a research fellow at the Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences, studies the migration of Arctic geese, which include the white-fronted goose and other species that fly from Europe to the Arctic to reproduce. The research's objective is to ascertain how to manage a population of birds in order to prevent their extinction.
Similar projects have long been under way in Europe, but until recently the scientific community did not have the slightest idea about the geese situation in Russia. For the first time, scientists at the Institute of Geography have started trapping and banding birds on their way to the Arctic.
"Geese are an indicator of favorable conditions in a particular territory," Glazov says. He asserts that geese are limited by climatic conditions and move beyond the snow boundary in search of growing green grass, as their task is to arrive in the Arctic in a good state. "After all," Glazov continues, "the viability of their offspring depends on it. During the breeding period, geese use fat reserves accumulated during their flight."
According to Glazov, the main problem that geese face in Russia is overgrowth on agricultural land. Abandoned fields and fallen trees are not beneficial for birds because the grass is unsuitable for food. Another issue is that Russians actively hunt geese. Therefore, the birds are often forced to land in unexpected and unsuitable places, including industrial zones. Scientists think Russia needs to create a series of specially equipped rest areas for geese.
© 2007-2014 Russia Beyond The Headlines.
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The Globe and Mail / Tuesday, Sep. 23 2014
Russian scientist Oleg Ivanovsky helped design Sputnik 1
В возрасте 92 лет скончался Олег Генрихович Ивановский, конструктор ракетно-космической техники, заместитель ведущего конструктора первого и второго спутников Земли, ведущий конструктор первых пилотируемых кораблей «Восток», создатель автоматических межпланетных станций, почётный член Российской академии космонавтики им. К.Э. Циолковского.
Oleg Ivanovsky, a Russian engineer in the early years of the space race who helped design Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit Earth, and Vostok 1, the craft that carried the astronaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, died Thursday. He was 92.
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, announced the death without specifying a location or a cause.
In the 1950s, Mr. Ivanovsky was a technician in the Russian government agency devoted to designing advanced military equipment when he was recruited by the leader of the agency, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, to join the design team for a satellite that would circumnavigate the globe.
"Initially, I had my doubts; it was all very much unknown to me," Mr. Ivanovsky recalled in a 2007 interview with a Dutch journalist, Bruno van Wayenburg, adding that Mr. Korolev, who would become known as the father of the Soviet space program, changed his mind by pointing out that space exploration was unknown to everybody. "Sergei Pavlovich said: 'What do you think? We are going into space, to the moon and the planets. Do you think we have any experience? Don't you think this is new for me?' So then I said yes."
Sputnik 1, as the satellite was called, was a metal sphere, 23 inches in diameter and weighing 184 pounds. Hauled into space on Oct. 4, 1957, by a Soviet R-7 rocket, it made 1,440 orbits of Earth over three months, its two radio transmitters emitting a distinctive "beep-beep-beep" sound that was picked up by ham radio operators around the world and, Mr. Ivanovsky said, sending encoded information about the flight to technicians on the ground.
The launch of Sputnik has been widely viewed as the start of the space race, embarrassing U.S. scientists and alarming Americans of all stripes with the idea that their Cold War rival had leapt to technological and perhaps military superiority in a newly dangerous nuclear age.
Over the following dozen years, the United States would gradually assert its primacy in space, landing men on the moon in 1969. But before the first U.S. satellite was successfully sent into orbit - Explorer 1 in January, 1958 - the Russians launched Sputnik 2, a craft large enough to accommodate a living inhabitant (the dog Laika), a clear harbinger of manned spaceflight. Laika died within a few hours of the launch.
"She died of overheating, but she gave much to biology," Mr. Ivanovsky said. "We didn't know if an animal could survive longer than a few minutes in weightlessness. But from the data from Sputnik 2, we could see that she moved, and even ate, after the launch."
The first manned flight, on April 12, 1961, was rife with uncertainty. Rocket launches were still viewed as new and dangerous; several test missions had failed. A year earlier, at the same launch site in what is now Kazakhstan where Mr. Gagarin would take off, a missile had exploded, killing 100 people.
The capsule, whose design team was led by Mr. Ivanovsky, was meant to be fully automatic, meaning the intrepid Mr. Gagarin was expected to be less a pilot than a passenger.
However, the effects on a man of the elements of travel beyond the atmosphere - isolation and especially weightlessness - were undetermined, and fears persisted that Mr. Gagarin might panic or go mad and seize manual control of the craft himself. So engineers added a security code that had to be entered on a keypad to allow Mr. Gagarin to seize manual control - and initially thought they would tell him the code via radio only if he demonstrated that he was in control of his faculties.
But an additional concern was that in an emergency, radio contact might well be lost. So, as Mr. Ivanovsky told the authors Jamie Doran and Piers Bizony for their book Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin (2011), they decided "that if he reached for an envelope placed inside the cabin, ripped it open, took out the paper and read the number printed on it, then pressed the keypad, this sequence of actions would prove he hadn't lost his mind and was still answerable for his actions."
"It was a dangerous comedy," he said, "part of the silly secrecy we had in those days."
Mr. Gagarin orbited the earth once, a trip lasting 108 minutes, and returned safely to earth near the Volga River. Shortly thereafter, President John F. Kennedy, under pressure to counteract the Soviet success - though documents made public years later indicate that the ship nearly spun out of control toward the end of the journey and that Mr. Gagarin was in danger - announced a plan to land an American on the moon by the end of the decade. Mr. Gagarin died in 1968 in an air accident on a routine training flight in a jet fighter.
Oleg Genrikhovich Ivanovsky was born in Moscow on Jan. 18, 1922. He fought in the Second World War and in 1945 took part in the victory parade in Red Square.
After the war he went to work, initially as an errand boy, at OKB-1, the design agency run by Mr. Korolev. He later went to school at Moscow Power Engineering Institute, graduating in 1953.
After Mr. Korolev died in 1966 and the Soviet space program began to lose ground, Mr. Ivanovsky worked for Lavochkin, a Moscow-based military contractor and aerospace company that manufactures spacecraft.
Information about those he leaves behind was unavailable.
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