Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Апрель 1999 г.

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Апрель
1999 г.
Российская наука и мир
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)

январьфевральмартапрельмайиюньиюльавгустсентябрьоктябрьноябрьдекабрь


    Министр науки и технологий М.Кирпичников видит выход России из экономического кризиса в использовании научного и интеллектуального потенциала, создании высокотехнологичной продукции, продажи патентов и ноу-хау. Осуществлению плана мешают два обстоятельства: отсутствие гарантированных заказов промышленности и сельского хозяйства и неразвитая инфраструктура для нововведений. Первую проблему следует решать на правительственном уровне, а для второй министр предлагает создать ряд Инновационных Технологических Центров, способных объединить небольшие фирмы. Тогда результаты научных исследований можно будет использовать в производстве конкурентоспособной промышленной продукции.

MOSCOW -- Russia's minister of science and technology, Mikhail Kirpichnikov, has put forward a package of measures which, he argues, need to be introduced if Russia is to use its scientific achievements to boost its capacity for technological innovation. The package includes economic and legislative means for stimulating investment in science-based production; insurance cover for such investment; and financial support for enterprises that engage in such production. Resources would be directed towards projects that use high technology to achieve commercial goals, as well as contributing to social priorities and national security, and helping to reduce imports. The new measures' goal was endorsed in President Boris Yeltsin's annual message to the Federal Council (the Russian parliament) last week. Yeltsin described science and technology as "strategic prerequisites for the growth of the national economy - and hence the improvement of the quality of life". Kirpichnikov's ideas have already been endorsed by the cabinet, but his strategy differs significantly from previous approaches to the administration of Russian science. First, it deals only with a limited period of less than one year. "This is because it is difficult nowadays to make plans for a longer perspective," explains Kirpichnikov, who is a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Second, his ministry is, for the first time, basing its approach not on pointing out the extra money science needs - a strategy that has met little success in the past - but on asking what science can contribute to the economy. "To achieve the standards of life typical for developed countries we need to increase our gross national product," says Kirpichnikov. "There are three ways of doing this. Russia is too big to rely totally on selling its raw materials - it takes a few thousand kilometres to transport oil or gas to the Russian frontiers - and we cannot afford new technologies. The only option left is through innovation, based on the fact that Russia still has powerful fundamental science and has managed to keep its intellectual potential in spite of the fact that in the last 10 years it lost half of its scientists." Kirpichnikov argues that the way out of the economic crisis is by using Russia's scientific and intellectual potential to create high-tech production, selling patents and know-how. But he points out that two obstacles stand in the way: the lack of strong demand from industry and agriculture, caused by the difficult economic situation, and an underdeveloped infrastructure for innovation. It is to overcome the first barrier that Kirpichnikov has suggested the measures to be taken at government level. Another suggestion is that the stable functioning of scientific organizations could be ensured by their winning orders from the state for high-technology products through competitive bidding. Kirpichnikov adds that the science ministry is seeking to overcome the second obstacle by setting up a series of Innovation-Technological Centres (ITCs). These bring together small companies able to transform scientific results into competitive industrial production. They are situated in half-empty or incomplete buildings of factories or scientific institutions, and modestly supported by local and federal budgets. There are now 18 ITCs, with more than 250 small companies and 7,000 scientists, and 17 more centres are to be set up. ITCs have shown they can speed the innovation process by up to three times while halving costs. They return the initial budget funding within one or two years by paying taxes. The annual cost of products sold per scientist linked with an ITC equals US$15,000-25,000 - higher than average for Russia. But Kirpichnikov points out that each rouble invested in ITC activities can bring in five to 12 roubles a year. Kirpichnikov considers the ITCs to be only the first link in the innovation chain. This year, the science ministry will also create two or three Federal Centres for Science and High Technologies, which will bring together around a leading scientific organization universities, design offices, standardization and certification centres, as well as factories. Such centres will concentrate their efforts in fields in which small companies are unable to solve the problems, such as aircraft production, shipbuilding and energy production. Federal centres based on the country's biggest enterprises are expected to surpass the production of the ITCs by 10-100 times. "All these will allow us as soon as the end of this year to make a real move towards the high-technology economy," says Kirpichnikov. He promises that in 2000 the government will increase science funding to no less than 4 per cent of all state spending, as promised by Yeltsin in 1996.

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    Российские ученые начали эксперименты по производству и использованию высокотемпературной плазмы в небольших сферических реакторах "ТОКАМАК"

ST. PETERSBURG -- Russian scientists have embarked on experiments to generate and maintain a high-temperature plasma in the small spherical 'Globus M' tokamak reactor in St Petersburg. The experiments have been paid for by Japan and the European Union. The reactor, which resembles a giant globe and weighs five tonnes, was built at a St Petersburg aircraft works as part of a programme to convert military facilities to civilian use. An additional US$150,000 has been allocated to continue the project beyond the initial ignition stage.

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 1999

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    К периодической таблице Менделеева добавлен новый сверхтяжелый элемент

UTK professor of physics Dr. Witeck Nazarewicz and two other researchers – one from Dubna, Russia, and the other from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California - recently submitted a report to the American Institute of Physics on the discovery of a new addition to the periodic table of elements. Nazarewicz, a theoretical physicist, created the mathematical models which were used to predict the properties of element 114. Element 112 was discovered in 1996; physicists have skipped element 113 as too difficult to create, due to the rapid rate of decay. The new element joins the group of "superheavies," which are the result of forcing as many protons and neutrons as possible into the nucleus of an atom. Element 114 - called for now ununquadrium - was created by bombarding calcium isotopes with plutonium isotopes in a reaction which many scientists believed would be "too hot" for the element to emerge. Nazarewicz's models held true, however, and element 114 proved to be more stable than element 112. The results of the collaboration should be published later this month in American Physical Review.

© 1995-1999 UniSci. All rights reserved

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    Американские и российские ученые-физики представили в American Physical Review отчет, в котором сообщается об открытии нового 114-го элемента таблицы Менделеева.

If his work jumps through all the proper hoops, Oak Ridge National Laboratory physicist Witek Nazarewicz will join an exclusive class of scientists who have helped to discover/create a new element. Nazarewicz, along with fellow scientists - one from Dubna, Russia, and one from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California - recently submitted a report to the American Physical Review indicating that they have created element 114. Nazarewicz, a theoretical physicist, created the mathematical models used to prove that what the United States/Russian team has created was, indeed, the real thing and to predict what its properties should be. The last element - 112 - was found in 1996. Trying to create an element 113, Nazarewicz says, would be too difficult because of the rapid rate of decay. The new element joins a class of elements called "superheavies." They're essentially, says Nazarewicz, the result of trying to cram as many protons and neutrons as possible into the nucleus of an atom. "We are trying to see how many protons and neutrons we can put in one nucleus to form a balanced system," he says. "How big, how heavy a nucleus can be produced?" Element 114 was created by bombarding calcium isotopes with plutonium isotopes. It was a reaction, says Nazarewicz, that many scientists believed would be "too hot," and start the fission process before an element could emerge. But, he says, contrary to that opinion - and in agreement with his models - the element proved to be much more stable than element 112, the most recent superheavy element discovery. So not only did the group's work result in a new element, says Nazarewicz, it has moved science ever closer to the "holy grail" of nuclear structure - finding what physicists refer to as the "magic" nuclei. Loading down nuclei with neutrons and protons is a tricky business, he says. Although neutrons want to be stable and form a spherical shape, charged protons repel each other, which leads to a distorted nucleus. The more unstable the nucleus, the more distorted it becomes, until the subatomic particles begin to escape in a process called fission. But, says Nazarewicz, a discovery in 1966 pointed to the idea that in the same way that noble gases are more stable than other elements due to the complete electron sets in their energy levels, at some point a superheavy element could become stable, thanks to what are known as nuclear shells. "This can stabilize the energy ... due to the fact that protons and neutrons are moving in quantal orbitals," he says. And so without taking much time to exult in his most recent discovery, Nazarewicz is looking to a time when the "magic" element will be found. And physicists wonder, he says, if more of these nuclei may be out there in the realm of superheavies - heavy beyond imagination at this point. Unfortunately, the methods do not now exist to produce this kind of nucleus. Element 114, he says, stretches the limits of what current beams can produce. What is needed now is a new facility that can take very unstable superheavy elements – with half-lives of microseconds - and accelerate them before they can decay. This will take nucleus loading to the next level, he says. And, if all goes as planned, that radioactive beam facility will be built in Oak Ridge in connection with the Spallation Neutron Source, the Department of Energy's newest big science project scheduled for construction in Oak Ridge over the next five years. This Next-Generation Isotope-Separator-On-Line Radioactive Ion Beam Facility, as it's called, would be built in 2005 and attached to the Spallation Neutron Source's proton beam. The project, however, says Nazarewicz, has not been officially promised to Oak Ridge National Lab. As for his most recent contribution to the world of science, Nazarewicz says he expects the results of his collaboration to be published soon, possibly within the month.And what will the new element be called? Well, he says, the last three elements discovered are still awaiting names. "To name elements is a big issue, of course," he says, with "many political, you know, heated debates." For now, the element will bear a generic name, says Nazarewicz, determined by a number chart with corresponding syllables. So, until it's officially christened, element 114 will be dubbed ununquadrium. Try saying that five times in a row.

© Copyright The Oak Ridger

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    Российские ученые, участвующие в проекте Human Genome Project, приняли декларацию об этических принципах проведения исследований и связанных с ними медицинских процедурах. В декларации подчеркивается, что интересы пациентов, доноров и других участников экспериментов, должны ставиться выше интересов общества и науки.

MOSCOW -- Russian scientists participating in the Human Genome Project have adopted a declaration of ethical principles on human genome research and its linked medical procedures. This emphasizes that the interests of patients, donors and others taking part in an experiment should override those of society or science. The declaration says Russian participants in the project should consider it obligatory to observe relevant international conventions and declarations, such as those approved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization. It adds that any interference in the human genome is allowed only for medical purposes and provided it does not affect the genes of descendants, and does not lead to genetic discrimination.

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

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    В Прибайкальском Национальном Парке, уникальном лесном массиве вдоль озера Байкал, планируют разрешить богатым туристам охоту на редких животных - медведей, бизонов и водных обитателей. Это будет содействовать преодолению финансовых трудностей.

A NATIONAL park in Siberia wants wealthy tourists to hunt its wild animals such as bears, bison and unique freshwater seals in an attempt to solve a cash crisis.
Under the plan, hunters would be offered a "kill or your money back" guarantee by the Pribaikalsky National Park, a vast stretch of ancient forest along the shores of Lake Baikal, more than 2,000 miles east of Moscow. The idea has outraged environmentalists.
The price for bagging a bear and taking home its head and skin as a trophy would start at Ј1,400. For tourists on smaller budgets, glukhar, a kind of forest grouse, could be shot for Ј700, ducks and other game birds for Ј600 and wild cats such as the ris, a type of lynx, for Ј1,000. Trophies, including skull and skin or a professionally stuffed animal, would be included in the price of the holiday for those who bag their prey. The nerpa freshwater seal, found only in Baikal, thousands of miles from the nearest colony of distantly related salt-water seals, is also on the list of proposed targets for tourists armed with hunting rifles. Environmentalists already consider the nerpa a species under threat after two serious outbreaks of a pollution-related virus that has killed thousands of the animals in the past 10 years. The Baikalsk pulp and paper mill, built at the southern tip of the lake in the Sixties despite the then unprecedented protests by Russian environmentalists, is blamed for causing pollution that may have affected the seals' immune systems. But for only Ј900, a hunter may be guaranteed a kill by park rangers who know the habits and sheltering places of the shy animals. Other animals that tourists may be allowed to hunt include the Izyubir wild bison, the Siberian sable - famed as a symbol of the wilds of Siberia since Catherine the Great's time - and deer. Hunting holidays of a week to 10 days may be offered, with accommodation ranging from wooden park service dachas, complete with wood-built Russian banyas (saunas), to rudimentary forest hides used by park rangers for tracking game. Tourists to the park are advised to bring tough, warm clothing and must not be squeamish about using outdoor lavatories with no running water. Slava Tsydenov, the tourism manager at the million-acre national park, said that the plan had been drawn up in response to a funding crisis which had hit the park in recent years. Well-funded in the past, the park, like all public services in Russia, had suffered from chronic budget shortfalls since the Soviet collapse in 1991. Park rangers believe that organized hunting could help to reduce illicit trapping and poaching by offering a legitimate outlet to wealthy Russians and foreigners who want to hunt in one of the world's great undisturbed wildernesses.
Numbers would be carefully controlled to prevent depletion of stocks of animals, and the cash raised from hunting would pay for further improvements to wildlife care and environmental protection. "Our park rangers know the habits and lairs of all the wild animals here and can ensure tourists get the animal they have chosen," said Mr Tsydenov. "If the hunters don't get a kill we will offer a portion of their money back." But the plans have drawn the wrath of local environmentalists, who are campaigning for the closure of polluting industrial plants on the lake's shores and for better protection for the region's wildlife. Jennie Sutton, an Englishwoman who has lived in Irkutsk, the nearest city to Lake Baikal, for 25 years, said that the plan was outrageous, but doubted that it would come to fruition.
Ms Sutton, a founder of a campaign group, Baikal Environmental Wave, said: "We understand that the director of the national park has not signed any document indicating intentions to have hunting tourism in the park. A contact of ours has apparently convinced him that the park would lose more from having hunting tourism [because] that would lose them eco-tourists. If the park turns down the hunting idea in favour of eco-tourism, they should be encouraged." The park, one of the first national nature reserves in Russia, opened in 1986. Publicity brochures state that it was established for the purpose of protecting Lake Baikal - known as the "Glorious Sea" - and the unique natural, architectural and historical relics and monuments on its shores. One brochure says: "Staff seek to reduce the [human] impact on the unique 'well' of the planet Earth, and to help tourists to make their rest pleasant and safe, both for themselves and nature. Of course, their main task is to protect the forest reserves of the national park, its flora and fauna." Lake Baikal, declared a world heritage site by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 1996, is the world's oldest, deepest and purest source of fresh water. More than 400 miles long and a mile deep, it is 30 miles across at its broadest point. It is fringed by primeval forests on its south-western shores and snow-capped mountains to the east. A unique bio-system based on microscopic plankton filters and purifies the waters of the lake, which amount to one fifth of the world's freshwater reserves. Baikal, formed 25 million years ago in a rift in the Earth's crust, supports more than 2,500 species, including hundreds found nowhere else. More than 250 species are considered in need of protection and 40 are listed as endangered.

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    Rhombic Corporation / Friday April 9, 9:37 am Eastern Time (Company Press Release)
    Report On Nuclid Battery
    Отчет об экспериментах по применению порошковой плазмы на станции "Мир". Опыты ведутся Российской Академией наук совместно с немецким Институтом Макса Планка.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BUSINESS WIRE, April 9, 1999) -- Recent planning among the Russian and German co-inventors of the Rhombic Radio Nuclid Battery (Dust Plasma Battery) includes information about extensive experiments by the Russian Academy of Sciences with anticipated new runs on the MIR Space Station. Members of the forthcoming International Space Laboratory, after docking its third module, and scheduling astronauts for the year 2000, will provide a priority experiment in space to be performed by the Rhombic Dust plasma Battery. The last experiments in the MIR space station were continued throughout January 1999, and are still being evaluated at present. One of the first experiments in the manned flight in early 2000 will be on dust plasmas. A Russian team will cooperate in the experiment with a team from the Max Plank Institute in Germany.
Dr. Heinrich Hora, representing Rhombic Corporation (OTC BB:NUKE - news), recently initiated contact with the INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER AND COMMUNICATION CORPORATION (IC&C) in Reston, Va. for promoting the Battery for use among the low orbiting communication satellites to be launched in the near future for the fast expanding cellular and Internet business. Large-scale development and mass production of the Battery may necessitate the involvement of a large satellite company or a consortium of them. Doctor Hora's contacts with communication companies, in particular IC&C, may help Rhombic in these developments. Dr. Hora's latest report indicates that the much lighter weight and lesser cost of Rhombic's Super compact Battery may prove essential to reduce the projected cost of the first 400 satellites into space. Former vice president of the Russian Academy Of Sciences, Dr. Vladimir Fortov, lately reported to Dr. Hora that there has been "extensive progress" of work on the SRB with dust plasmas. Contacts will take place between the top producers of satellites at the IC&C summit in Geneva, 13/14th of June 1999. Among new members being sponsored is the Russian Academy of Sciences, Rhombic Corporation soon will have the honor of being considered as a member.
For further company details (OTC BB:NUKE - news), call the public relations office at 888/821-6607, or view the Rhombic Website: http://www.rhombic.com, E-Mail: rhombic@direct.ca

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    Грузовой корабль доставил на Международную космическую станцию воду, продукты питания, горючее и оборудование для научных исследований.

A CARGO craft carrying 2.4 tons of food, water, fuel and equipment for scientific experiments docked smoothly with Russia's Mir space station yesterday.
The Progress rocket blasted off from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday. Mir's present crew of two Russians and a Frenchman is probably its last. If outside investors cannot be found supply the station's annual running costs of Ј180,000 it may be scrapped in August. Russia's space chief has said private investors have come forward, but the United States wants the government to dedicate its attention to the International Space Station, the 16-nation project that has been delayed by Russia's inability to build key components on time.

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    Третий, основной модуль Международной космической станции будет доставлен на космодром Байконур в следующем месяце. Запуск предполагается в сентябре этого года.

MOSCOW (AP) -- The crucial third piece of the international space station will be transported to the Baikonur cosmodrome next month and is likely to be launched in September, Russian space officials said Friday. Russia has repeatedly delayed the launch, frustrating its foreign partners and pushing up expenses for the overall space station. "We are planning our work based on the estimate that launch preparations at the cosmodrome will take four to 41/2 months," the head of the Russian Space Agency, Yuri Koptev, told the ITAR-Tass news agency. Koptev said a more precise launch date will be announced in June. NASA, a key player in the international space station, has said that engineers typically need 41/2 to eight months at the launch site to prepare a space station component for flight. Eight months of work would bump the launch of the service module to December. Experts at Russia's RKK Energiya company, which is outfitting the module, have blamed the delay on errors in calculations - not Russia's financial problems, as others have claimed, ITAR-Tass reported. The first component of the station, the Russian Zarya module, was launched last November. NASA followed in December with its Unity module. Meanwhile, in an attempt to salvage something from its scrapped shuttle program, Russia auctioned off parts of a high-powered booster rocket Friday that was designed to carry a Soviet-era space shuttle into orbit. Bidding started at $52,000 for a package that included fuel tanks and other unspecified rocket parts, ITAR-Tass reported, without specifying whether any of the three anonymous bidders had been successful. The tanks were part of an Energiya booster rocket built to take the Soviet-era Buran space shuttle into orbit. The Buran, modeled after the U.S. space shuttle, made one unmanned test flight in 1988 before its development was abandoned for lack of funds.

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  • April 27: Lockheed Martin Athena 2 with the Ikonos-1 Commercial Remote Sensing System (CRSS) spacecraft from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., during a launch window of 2:21 to 2:51 p.m. EDT (1821-1851 GMT).
  • April 28: Russian Kosmos 3M with Germany's A Broad-band Imaging X-ray All-sky Survey (ABRIXAS) and Italian MegSat-0 satellites from Kapustyn Yar, Russia. Launch Time TBD.
  • Late-April: Russian Proton K (first Breeze M) with Raduga comsat from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakstan. Launch Time TBD.
  • April 30: Air Force Titan 4B on mission B-32 with first Military Strategic and Tactical Relay-2 (Milstar) communications satellite and Centaur upper stage from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla., during a launch period of 10:56 a.m. to 2:56 p.m. EDT (1456-1856 GMT).


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