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

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январьфевральмартапрельмайиюньиюльавгустсентябрьоктябрьноябрьдекабрь

    Фонд Гражданских исследований и развития, учрежденный для оказания помощи ученым из бывшего Советского Союза, возможно, возобновит практику спонсирования фундаментальных исследований, если Конгресс поддержит предложение администрации Клинтона о значительном увеличении денежных средств. Фонд, предоставляющий гранты в среднем по 50 тыс. долларов на совместные исследования американских и российских ученых, был основан в 1995 году при содействии Национального Научного Фонда, имея первоначально 5 миллионов долларов от Службы безопасности и 10 миллионов от Джоржа Сороса. Бюджет Фонда составляет 10 миллионов долларов в год.

WASHINGTON,The US Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), set up to aid scientists in the former Soviet Union, may return to its original practice of sponsoring basic, investigator-initiated research if a hefty increase in funds proposed by the Clinton administration is approved by Congress. The CRDF, which awards grants averaging $50,000 for joint research between scientists in the United States and the former Soviet Union, was set up in 1995 under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, using $5 million in start-up funds from the US Defense Department and $10 million from philanthropist George Soros (see Nature 375, 170; 1995). The foundation's budget is around $10 million a year. Principal support has come from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of State. Another 35 or so US agencies have used the CRDF as a conduit for funding cooperative projects with former Soviet Union scientists, according to Gloria Duffy, chief executive of the Commonwealth Club of California, and chair of the foundation's board of directors. While that has kept the money flowing, it has confined the research agenda to areas of interest to sponsors. According to Duffy, the CRDF wants a separate endowment to enable it to return to its original practice of funding a range of investigator-proposed research, rather than merely "performing a federal agency's task". At a conference held in Washington last week to highlight results from CRDF collaborations, White House science adviser Neal Lane reiterated the administration's support for increased aid to Russian scientists. President Bill Clinton has proposed that spending should be tripled from $64 million this year to $176.5 million in 2000. Annual funding for the CRDF would increase from $10 million to $23.5 million, and it would receive $111 million over five years. Support for the CRDF is strong in Congress, claims Duffy. But factors such as US-Russian tensions over the war in Kosovo and concerns about security in US government laboratories make it difficult to predict whether law-makers will grant the administration's spending request. The proposed boost comes at a critical time for former Soviet Union scientists. With the Russian government unable to support its own research establishment, and with Soros pulling back on his commitments (see page 628), Russian scientists have become heavily dependent on US and European aid to continue their work.

© Nature Macmillan Publishers Ltd 1999.

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    Через несколько дней делегация корпорации прибудет в Москву для завершения обсуждения контракта на установку и эксплуатацию системы дальней связи.

UPLAND, Calif., June 10 -- LiteWave Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: LTWV - news) announced that it has received a Letter of Intent covering the installation and operation of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology for long distance telephone traffic to and from the Russian Federation. A company delegation, including Mr. Ken Martin, CEO, Mr. William R. Robertson, President, and Mr. Harald Hartz, Director of German Operations, will leave for Moscow in the next few days to complete contractual arrangements for the system. This agreement will set the stage for LiteWave's installation of specialized VoIP switches and gateways in the Russian PTT (Post-Telephone-Telegraph) system. Mr. Victor Voldemarov, Director of Russian Operations, for the company will be responsible for the coordination of these installations. A Letter of Intent has been received for the installation and operation of similar equipment in Poland from the joint venture firm, Andromeda. Mr. Hartmut Strobel, the company's Director of Operations for Poland, will coordinate the installation. During this trip, LiteWave Corporation will also complete negotiations to establish VoIP services in Germany, under the direction of Mr. Hartz. According to LiteWave President William R. Robertson, ``This sets the stage for our early deployment of the infrastructure required to deliver VoIP services. Significantly, we will be able to offer these high quality, low cost services to more than 10 million Russians living in the United States, and to more than three million Russians living in Germany. We will also introduce high-quality VoIP services into Western Europe where demand for high quality services in these newly deregulated markets is high". "Concluding these agreements will contribute significantly to our company's growth," concluded Mr. Robertson. Certain information included in this communication (as well as information included in oral statements or other written statements made or to be made by LiteWave Corporation) contains statements that are forward looking, such as statements relating to the future anticipated direction of the Internet industry, plans for future expansion, various business development activities, planned capital expenditures, future funding resources, anticipated sales growth and potential contracts. These forward looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual operations or results to differ materially from those anticipated.

© Copyright 1999 PRNewswire.

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    The discoveries add to evidence of an 'island' of ultraheavy elements that exhibited longer lives

    Открытие двух новых элементов является доказательством того,что среди элементов, живущих лишь мгновение, существует группа сверхтяжелых элементов, которые обладают большей продолжительностью жизни.

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory have created two never-before-seen elements using a theory that could lead to a quick discovery of even more, researchers say. More importantly, the discovery of elements 118 and 116 -- named for the number of protons crammed in their nuclei -- adds to an ever-expanding body of evidence for an "island" of long-lived ultraheavy elements floating among those that live for just an instant before vanishing. Earlier this year, scientists at Lawrence Livermore and a Russian laboratory said they created element 114, which was the first experiment to show these predicted superheavy elements. If further confirmed, this island would let theorists know they are on the right track in understanding the sometimes confusing forces that hold an atom's nucleus together. These predicted elements would live for days or even years, lengths of time that are unheard of for many man-made elements that survive just fractions of a second before falling apart. With two new elements, as well as new forms of previously discovered elements, "We think this is the most exciting discovery in the last 30 years", said Berkeley nuclear chemist Darleane Hoffman. In experiments conducted in April and May, the Berkeley lab scientists first saw element 118, which lived only ten-thousandths of a second before spitting out two protons and two neutrons. It then became element 116, which also had never been seen before. "We were very surprised but very happy to see something,"; said Lawrence Berkeley researcher Ken Gregorich, who led the discovery team. To find these elements, the lab scientists relied on the theoretical predictions of a visiting Polish scientist, said Al Ghiorso, a Berkeley lab nuclear chemist who has been involved with discovering about a dozen elements. The Polish scientist, Fulbright scholar Robert Smolanczuk, predicted element 118 should be fairly easy to make, which contradicted past theories of the element's behavior. To test the theory, the researchers used their 88-inch Cyclotron to bombard a lead target with a neutron-rich isotope of krypton -- in hopes the two elements would stick together. They then looked for the element's unique signature in the form of radiation that shows the element is breaking into pieces. "It's a remarkable experiment, and no one expected it would work," Ghiorso said. The scientists found three sure examples of the giveaway radiation they were looking for during the monthlong experiment. Element 118 lived around two ten-thousandths of a second before spitting out two protons and two neutrons. Element 116 lived a little longer, around 12 ten-thousandths of a second, before decaying into known elements. While that doesn't seem like a long time, it's much longer than other ultraheavy elements have lived in the laboratory. "It's much longer than we would expect otherwise," Gregorich said. "We take it as a confirmation that the superheavy island of stability is real." This island of stability has been predicted for more than 30 years, but only this year have researchers started seeing experimental evidence of its existence. The long-lived elements would give scientists a chance to measure whether their chemical properties match those of other elements and what forces hold an atom's nucleus together. Element 114, which Livermore lab and Russian scientists reported earlier this year, lived longer -- up to more human-scaled times of 16.5 minutes. But they only found one example, which always makes other scientists wary that it might be a fluke. They are looking for more examples at the Russian lab, said Livermore nuclear chemist John Wild. "They (the Berkeley scientists) are sort of on the western edge of the island, kind of skirting it," Wild said. "It is fairly obvious that it is not likely to be random." This discovery should quickly lead to uncovering more new elements, probably several more by the end of the year, Gregorich said. And three groups -- the Berkeley group, the Livermore lab-Russia collaboration and a third lab in Germany -- will all be competing to see who can discover them first. "I think this will go down on the books as a great discovery," Ghiorso said.


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    NASA funds permafrost study to support astrobiology research

    NASA финансирует изучение вечной мерзлоты,чтобы поддержать астробиологические исследования.


    Ученые NASA и России начинают исследования микроорганизмов, найденных в слое вечной мерзлоты и льдов в Сибири, на Аляске и Антарктике. Совместная американо-российская программа, одна из 18 выбранных из предложенных 123 проектов, будет финансироваться Национальным институтом космических исследований. Программа называется "Вечная мерзлота как место обитания микробов". Микроорганизмы в льдах Арктики и Антарктики, а также в вечной мерзлоте представляют собой аналог клеток, которые, возможно, обитают в ледовых шапках и мерзлых породах на Марсе и других планетах солнечной системы.

NASA and Russian scientists have been selected to take the search for life in the solar system to the frozen reaches of Earth. Richard Hoover of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and Prof. Elena A. Vorobyova of Moscow State University will investigate the microbiota found in the permafrost and ice of Siberia, Alaska, and Antarctica. NASA's Office of Space Science has announced that their proposal, Permafrost as Microbial Habitat - in-situ Investigation, was one of 18 chosen from 123 proposals submitted for funding under the Joint U.S./Russian Research in Space Science (JURRISS) Program. (In the photo): Hoover displays growing moss that remained alive yet dormant while frozen for 40,000 years in the permafrost of the Kolyma Lowlands of northeastern Siberia. The sample was provided by David A. Gilichinsky and Elena A. Vorobyova of the Institute of Soil Science and Photosynthesis, Russian Academy of Sciences. "The microorganisms found in the permafrost, glaciers, and polar ice caps of Earth are of profound significance to astrobiology," Hoover said . "Dormant ancient microbes, and even higher plants such as moss, can remain viable by cryopreservation, resuming metabolic activity upon thawing after being frozen in glacial ice or permafrost for thousands to millions of years. "The microbial extremophiles in the Arctic and Antarctic glaciers and permafrost represent analogues for cells that might be encountered in the permafrost or ice caps of Mars or other icy bodies of the solar system." Hoover is a solar scientist by training who is applying his passion for diatoms - "nature's living jewels" - to NASA's astrobiology research. He is a co-investigator on two of the major research initiatives that NASA selected last year for its new Astrobiology Institute. Hoover's research on astromaterials is concerned with the microstructure and chemical composition of microfossils in ancient rocks and meteorites. He is collaborating on these projects with Alexei Rozanov, director of the Institute of Paleontology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He also is examining microorganisms from 3.6 km (2.3 mi) beneath the ice sheet above Lake Vostok, Antarctica. The Viking 1 lander showed water frost or snow on Martian rocks in the early morning hours. Scientists expect that Mars has regions of permafrost where water ice has been locked in the soil for millions of years. (NASA/JPL) Their object is to investigate the microorganisms in the permafrost - permanently frozen soil - and to establish morphological characteristics and chemical biomarkers by which these microbes can be recognized. For more than a century scientists have studied the the frozen remains of mammoths and other creatures that died and were preserved during the last ice age. Hoover and Vorobyova find greater import in far smaller organisms. Diatoms, bacteria, yeasts, cyanobacteria and other microorganisms may thrive in the ice and permafrost. Other microbes can be revived after being frozen for long periods. While some microbes, plants and even large mammals such as mammoth and bison are dead, they may contain magnificently preserved cellular components, DNA, RNA, proteins and enzymes. "Icy bodies are by far the most numerous of the solar system," Hoover pointed out. "The dirty snowballs we call comets, the ice-encrusted oceans of the Jovian moons of Europa and Callisto, the icy moons of Saturn, and the polar ice caps and permafrost of Mars are of paramount importance to astrobiology. They may harbor active microorganisms; ancient microbes that remain viable in a deep anabiosis (i.e., suspended animation) or even long-dead microbes with their microstructure, biochemistry, and perhaps even genetic material preserved." "We are studying the microorganisms found in the Arctic and Antarctic permafrost, glaciers and ice sheets," Hoover said. "This is a very stable ecosystem because the temperature remains the same for long periods of time. The paleolife of the permafrost may hold keys to the evolution of life on Earth and the distribution of life in the cosmos." Hoover said three types of life forms are found in permafrost: active ones that eke out a living, forms in suspended anabiosis until things get better, and the ones that simply gave up and died. (In the photo) Hoover examines an exotic microbe found in the deep-ice core from just above Lake Vostok in Antarctica. The image was produced using the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM), one of the tools that he and Vorobyova will use in their research. The sample was provided by the Institute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences. "We're very excited about the living microbes and plants that we have found in permafrost and on ice wedges and glaciers and the viable but long dormant, ancient microorganisms that can be cultured from the deep ice cores," Hoover said. "Even dead microbes from ancient permafrost and deep ice are tremendously interesting due to their state of preservation." These preserved life forms (from diatoms and bacteria to mammoths) can yield genetic material for clues about how life has changed on the molecular level and provide a treasure trove of ancient enzymes, proteins, and biochemicals. The ecosystems of the ice and permafrost should provide clues to the potential for life in the permafrost or ice caps of Mars, comets, and on the ice-covered moons of Jupiter (Europa, Ganymede, Callisto) and Saturn (Miranda, Titan), among others. "We also need to understand glaciers to know what to look for and how to seek life on the ice caps of Mars," Hoover explained. For example, cryoconite holes can be temporary glacial micro-Edens. Cryoconite is rock debris broken from mountains and rock surfaces by the moving ice and captured in the ice. When dark cryoconite is transported near the surface of the ice, it absorbs sunlight and becomes warm enough to melt the ice to produce a hole with liquid water, rich in minerals and nutrients from the rock dust, below the rock. For a few hours or weeks, it's springtime on the glacial ice for a world of minute diatoms, cyanobacteria, green algae, protozoa, rotifers, and even animals like tardigrades and nematodes. To understand where to look, Hoover and Vorobyova will study the microbial content of permafrost and the structure of the interface between the soil and ice, and develop techniques that could be used in exploring Mars, Europa, comets, and other icy worlds of our Solar System.

* * *

    8 июня на берегах озера Байкал были найдены мертвые тела байкальских тюленей. Специалисты взяли пробы воды из озера и тканей животных, но не пришли к выводу, что же послужило причиной гибели животных.

MOSCOW - Dozens of unique freshwater seals have been found dead on the shores of Lake Baikal, according to an Interfax report. The cause of those deaths was unclear. The bodies of 36 seals washed up near the village of Utulik in eastern Siberia, and an additional 42 on the shore in the town of Baikalsk, the Interfax news agency reported June 8. The report didn't specify when the animals were believed to have died or provide any other details. Local emergency officials speculate that poaching or a plague might have been responsible, the report said. Experts took water and tissue samples, but hadn't reached a conclusion. Lake Baikal holds the world's largest volume of fresh water - some 20 percent of the world's supply. It is home to nearly 1,000 animal species found nowhere else in the world, including the freshwater ringed seals. Previous cases of mass deaths of Baikal seals were blamed on infectious disease and poisonous chemical waste from a pulp mill.

© Copyright 1999 Nando Media.
©Copyright 1999 Associated Press

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    Тест на выживание для геофизического центра

BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN -In the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, a research station that monitors earthquakes and nuclear tests--and serves as a base for Western geophysicists to study the tectonic forces shaping the region--faces an uncertain future. The Kyrgyz Broadband Seismic Network is currently operating with stopgap funds from the U.S. State Department, which run out on 1 July. In addition, the U.S. government last year helped set up an International Geodynamics Research Center, based at a Russian field station here; initial funding for the center is also drying up. Now, geophysicists are waiting to hear whether the U.S. National Science Foundation or other agencies will ante up funds to help keep the center afloat.

©Copyright 1999 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science
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    Почему генетика была вне закона в России во времена Сталина

    Robert Matthews investigates how an outmoded scientific doctrine persisted fordecades in Russia because it resonated with Stalin's politics .


    Роберт Мэтхьюз рассматривает вопрос, как устаревшая научная доктрина продолжала существовать в течение десятилетий в России, потому что она была созвучна политике Сталина.

EVEN apparently sane people occasionally fall victim to barmy cults. But sometimes whole branches of science have taken leave of their senses, with alarming results. For much of the 18th century, for instance, chemistry was in thrall to the claims of a German doctor named Georg Stahl, who insisted that combustion was made possible by a substance called phlogiston which gradually disappeared as things were burnt. Yet it is the life sciences, for some reason, that seem to be especially prone to being blown off course by bizarre ideas: spontaneous generation, with mice emerging from neglected heaps of cereal; Lamarckism and its odd notion that characteristics acquired by one generation could be inherited by the next, and Freudian psychoanalysis in our own era. But what are scientists to do when confronted with a choice of either going along with some barking mad idea, or of facing dismissal, prison or even execution? Such was the appalling dilemma that faced scientists in the Soviet Union under Stalin. Their plight followed the rise to power of Trofim Lysenko, whose adherence to quasi-Lamarckist views succeeded in putting Soviet genetics into suspended animation for decades. Born in 1898, Lysenko was originally trained in horticulture, and became an enthusiastic supporter of Ivan Michurin, an uneducated plant breeder who claimed to have created hundreds of varieties of fruit tree using Lamarckist methods. By championing this success for "proletarian" science over the "bourgeois dogmas" of Western geneticists, Lysenko succeeded in getting the ear of Stalin. Through the Forties, Lysenko and his views spread through Soviet biology like a cancer. Those who opposed his version of biology found themselves in deep trouble. Nicolai Vavilov, the leading proponent of conventional genetics in the Soviet Union, was dismissed from his post in 1943 and died en route to the Gulag. By 1948, Lysenko was the supreme controller of Soviet biological science. Genes were said to belong only in the imagination of decadent Western scientists; environment alone was responsible for the traits of offspring. Lysenko's stock fell a little with the death of Stalin in 1953, and dissent once again started to emerge among Soviet biologists. Their case was strengthened by the fact that just a few weeks after the dictator's death, the journal Nature carried Crick and Watson's famous paper suggesting that DNA was the long-sought "genetic material". Until then, opponents of Lysenko had no knock-out rejoinder to his insistence that genes were imaginary. By the Sixties, "Lysenkoism" was on the run. Yet while Soviet biologists were keen to adopt decadent molecular biology, they found themselves held back by years of isolation from mainstream research. Until just a few years before Lysenko's death in 1976, lack of the necessary training and equipment made research in molecular biology all but impossible. According to the newly-published memoirs of a former leading Soviet military scientist, what finally broke the stranglehold of Lysenko on the life sciences was, of all things, a demand for more effective ways of killing. Until his defection in 1992, Dr Ken Alibek was deputy chief of Biopreparat, the Soviet biological weapons development agency. In Biohazard (Hutchinson, Ј17.99), he recounts in frightening detail the long history of the Soviet bio-warfare programme, from the typhus-based weapons developed in the early Thirties to killer virus research during the Eighties. According to Alibek, the fact that Soviet scientists felt themselves isolated from the mainstream of genetics cut no ice with their masters. What did make them listen, however, was a warning from Dr uri Ovchinnikov, the canny vice-president of the Soviet Academy of Science. In 1972, Ovchinnikov realised that there was a way of persuading politicians to pour billions of roubles into molecular biology. He told the Ministry of Defence that by ignoring DNA-based research, the Soviet Union was in danger of falling behind the West in the search for biological weapons. The effect was electric. Within a year, almost 40 years of Lysenkoism was swept aside, with President Brezhnev signing a secret decree in 1973 authorising the most ambitious Soviet arms programme since the development of the H-bomb. Sometimes, it seems, the best cure for terminal ignorance is fear.

©Copyright Telegraph Group Limited 1998.
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    Ученый - геолог Росийской академии наук Юрий Дублянский, сказал на конференции Американского геофизического общества, где собрались астрофизики, геологи и ученые других специальностей, что грунтовые воды, затопляющие предложенное для захоронения радиактивных отходов место в штате Невада, ставят под сомнение безопасность этого проекта.

BOSTON (AP) - Groundwater flooded the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site in Nevada thousands of years ago, a Russian geologist reported Tuesday, raising questions about the project's safety. Designers of the long-delayed project hope to seal off the radioactive waste underground for 10,000 years or more, when it will have decayed to safer levels. But geologist Yuri Dublyansky of the Russian Academy of Sciences said the flooding problem he found may be a "potential show-stopper." James Paces, who has studied the site with the U.S. Geological Survey, challenged the finding. He said the evidence indicates there has been seepage of rainwater, not water welling up from below. The scientists were speaking during a panel discussion on Yucca Mountain at a conference of the American Geophysical Union, a group of astrophysicists, geologists and other Earth and space scientists. The U.S. Energy Department is studying whether to bury spent, highly radioactive fuel from the nation's nuclear plants and weapons programs at Yucca Mountain, about 90 miles from Las Vegas. Around the country, more than 42,000 tons of lethal commercial waste is being kept at nuclear plants, mostly in cooling pools not designed for permanent safekeeping. Yucca Mountain is the only site under consideration for permanent storage. The waste would sealed in metal containers within rock tunnels about 1,000 feet underground and 1,000 feet above the water table. The site would begin operations in 2010 at the earliest. Not-in-my-backyard politics and fears of earthquakes and water seepage have slowed progress. Government officials have acknowledged they cannot be certain the site will keep waste totally sealed for thousands of years. But they have said the site appears workable. In his work, Dublyansky studied the formation of calcite mineral crystals beneath the mountain. He said imperfections in the crystal indicate the surrounding temperature was about 170 degrees. Dublyansky said only groundwater heated by the interior of the Earth could reach such a temperature. He said he could not determine when the flooding occurred. The youngest deposits he studied were a few hundred thousand years old. Paces argued strongly that other research techniques indicate the crystals were formed by rainwater seepage. "There's pretty good evidence that the repository was never saturated," he said. Paces said government researchers will be looking more into the possibility of groundwater flooding.

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Cell Robotics' receives patent for using a multi-mode laser beam for drawing blood with its Lasette products.

    Изобретатель из компании Cell Robotics' Давид Костелло и российские ученые Валерий Полушкин, Сергей Кохановский и Алексадр Дергачев, а также Уоррен Пархурст, американский ученый, живущий сейчас в России, получили патент на изобретение лазерного кожного перфоратора для взятия крови. Перфоратор найдет широкое применение у больных диабетом, при лечении которых часто бывает необходимо брать кровь на анализ несколько раз в течение дня.

ALBUQUERQUE N.M.--(BW HealthWire)--June 8, 1999-- Cell Robotics International Inc. (OTC BB: CRII), developer of the Lasette, a laser finger perforator used for sampling capillary blood, Tuesday announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent for laser dermal perforation to a team of scientists led by Cell Robotics' David Costello. This is an important patent regarding the characteristics of laser beams used for sampling blood. The new patent covers various means for producing and using multi-mode laser beams for effective and painless blood sampling. The scientific team has assigned all patent rights to Cell Robotics International Inc. Ronald K. Lohrding, Ph.D., chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cell Robotics, commented, "We are pleased to have the laser dermal perforator patent. We believe this provides us a level of patent protection that will make it more difficult for potential competitors to enter the market. "This patent also represents the innovation, ingenuity and dedication of David Costello, the other inventors and Cell Robotics' scientific team. We look forward to the Lasette market opportunity that lies ahead." The Professional Lasette is currently available to medical professionals for drawing capillary blood for all screening purposes and may be purchased by individuals with a doctor's prescription. The greatest demand for capillary blood samples is in the treatment of the world's 100 million diabetic patients who are often required to sample blood several times each day. Later this summer, Cell Robotics plans to introduce a smaller Personal Lasette for use by diabetes patients at home. Chronimed Inc., (Nasdaq: CHMD - news) of Minneapolis is the exclusive distributor and marketer of both Lasette models. The Professional and Personal Lasettes utilize a multi-mode Erbium:YAG laser to produce tiny holes in patient's fingertips through which blood samples may be obtained. The Lasette has recently been honored by the publication, Phontonics Spectra of the laser industry as one of the 25 most important new products of the last year. In addition to Cell Robotics' Costello, other inventors include Russian scientists Dr. Valeri Polushkin, Sergei Kokhanovsky and Alex Dergatchev, as well as Warren Parkhurst, an American living in Russia. Polushkin, is the director of the New Technology Engineering Center in Troitsk, Russia and continues to work with Cell Robotics on the Lasette product line. In addition to the Lasette, Cell Robotics International Inc. manufactures, markets, and distributes an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Workstation that is increasing fertility rates in Europe, and the Cell Robotics Workstation, a research instrument that incorporates the LaserTweezers® and LaserScissors(TM) for manipulating and cutting cells and chromosomes. Additional information is available on the Cell Robotics Web Site at http://www.cellrobotics.com, by e-mail at crii@cellrobotics.com, or by telephone at 505/343-1131. As a cautionary note to investors, certain matters discussed in this press release may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such matters involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the following: changes in economic conditions; general competitive factors; the company's ability to execute its service and product sales plans; and the risks described from time to time in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

©Copyright 1999 Business Wire
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    Достигнута договоренность на проведение первого и второго этапов испытания в Российском центре лечения СПИДа вакцины, созданной доктором Гордоном Скиннером. Российскую сторону программы создания вакцины будет возглавлять доктор Покровский из Центра лечения СПИДа, где накоплен большой опыт тестирования вакцин. Новая вакцина будет приготовлена и произведена при сотрудничестве с Московским Ивановским институтом под наблюдением Гордона Скиннера и группы исследователей вакцины HIV-VAC's AIDS.

(WASHINGTON)-The US Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), set up to aid scientists in the former Soviet Union, may return to its original practice of sponsoring basic, investigator-initiated research if a hefty increase in funds proposed by the Clinton administration is approved by Congress. The CRDF, which awards grants averaging $50,000 for joint research between scientists in the United States and the former Soviet Union, was set up in 1995 under the auspices of the National Science Foundation, using $5 million in start-up funds from the US Defense Department and $10 million from philanthropist George Soros (see Nature 375, 170; 1995). The foundation's budget is around $10 million a year. Principal support has come from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of State. Another 35 or so US agencies have used the CRDF as a conduit for funding cooperative projects with former Soviet Union scientists, according to Gloria Duffy, chief executive of the Commonwealth Club of California, and chair of the foundation's board of directors. While that has kept the money flowing, it has confined the research agenda to areas of interest to sponsors. According to Duffy, the CRDF wants a separate endowment to enable it to return to its original practice of funding a range of investigator-proposed research, rather than merely "performing a federal agency's task". At a conference held in Washington last week to highlight results from CRDF collaborations, White House science adviser Neal Lane reiterated the administration's support for increased aid to Russian scientists. President Bill Clinton has proposed that spending should be tripled from $64 million this year to $176.5 million in 2000. Annual funding for the CRDF would increase from $10 million to $23.5 million, and it would receive $111 million over five years. Support for the CRDF is strong in Congress, claims Duffy. But factors such as US-Russian tensions over the war in Kosovo and concerns about security in US government laboratories make it difficult to predict whether law-makers will grant the administration's spending request. The proposed boost comes at a critical time for former Soviet Union scientists. With the Russian government unable to support its own research establishment, and with Soros pulling back on his commitments (see page 628), Russian scientists have become heavily dependent on US and European aid to continue their work.

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    Иностранные ученые сыграли решающую роль в национальной лаборатории Лос Эламос при создании атомной бомбы Сейчас их рассматривают как потенциальную угрозу после необоснованных обвинений китайстких ученых в шпионаже. Национальная лаборатория имеет с Россией совместную программу, цель которой - помочь России сохранить ядерное оружие и материалы, чтобы они не попали в руки террористов. По словам американских ученых, для успешного выполнения программы,обмен с зарубежными коллегами должен быть двусторонним

LOS ALAMOS,N.M. (Reuters) - Foreign scientists have played a key role at Los Alamos National Laboratory since its inception as the creator of the atomic bomb, but now find themselves under a microscope as potential threats after allegations of Chinese espionage. Many of them are watching anxiously developments in Washington that could have impact on their lives at the lab. Congress has been in an uproar over allegations that China stole U.S. secrets on seven nuclear warheads and the neutron bomb through espionage over the past 20 years. China has repeatedly denied it stole U.S. secrets. Some members of Congress have focused on clamping down on foreign nationals visiting or working at the labs as a way of blocking potential spies. An action that lab officials say could destroy the very fabric of the laboratory as a place for the meeting of some of the best minds in the world. "A lot of our very best people are from sensitive countries," said Hans Ruppel, associate lab director for strategic research. Of the 7,000 lab employees about half are scientists and engineers. The latest figures for 1999 show 182 foreign employees at the lab are from countries designated as sensitive by the Energy Department -- China, India, Iran, Israel, Russia, and Taiwan. An additional 274 foreign employees are from nonsensitive countries. Lab officials point out that the case ruffling all the political feathers involves a U.S. citizen with clearance for classified work. Only U.S. citizens, born or naturalized, can obtain a security clearance that allows them to work on classified nuclear weapons projects. Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee was fired in March under suspicion of passing classified information to China. He has not been charged with any crime and some U.S. officials have expressed doubts he ever will be due to lack of evidence. A congressional report last month said China used a "mosaic" approach to gathering U.S. nuclear weapons secrets in which small pieces of information were collected by many individuals and pieced together in China. At Los Alamos, as of April 1, there were 97 employees who were Chinese nationals. Foreign scientists have been a staple of research at the lab since it began experiments in 1943 which yielded the world's first atomic bomb two years later. That first group included Italian Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi, but also Klaus Fuchs, a physicist with the British delegation who later confessed to passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. Lab officials point out that now about half of all Ph.D. graduates in the United States are foreign nationals and it would be a mistake to reject talent based on nationality."I think that's tragic, what's happened," said Bette Korber who works on the HIV database which is unclassified. "My colleague is from India, suddenly his access to the supercomputer is taken away because the lab is trying to respond to Congress," she said. "To be right at the edge of discovery and suddenly have your research denied to you for six weeks." Lab scientists said attempts to limit contact with foreign counterparts could hurt exchanges that are crucial to the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Los Alamos has a program with Russia aimed at helping that country secure its nuclear weapons and materials to ensure they do not land in the hands of terrorists. The United States spends $100 million to that end. A fledgling version of that program was started with China, but has halted since the spying scandal erupted. The main reason for the program with Russia is to "make sure that (nuclear) material stays where it's supposed to be," said Richard Wallace, materials protection control and accountability project manager. "We actually could not do this program without foreign visits," he said. "These systems are not something you go down to Kmart and buy off the shelf," and they need to be explained in person to Russian scientists, Wallace said. The foreign exchanges are a two-way street, scientists said. If foreign scientists are not allowed to visit Los Alamos, those countries will ban U.S. scientists from setting foot on their territory, scientists said. Ruppel, who was born in Germany and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, joined the lab in 1964. He said he has been trying to ease the anxieties of the foreign scientists at Los Alamos by going around and assuring them the lab valued them and their work. But he acknowledged that in the end, the lab must abide by Washington dictates. "It's an enormously xenophobic overreaction," Ruppel said. "It poisons the atmosphere."

©Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.
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    Виталий Севастьянов и Герман Титов - ветераны российской космической программы обратились ко всем россиянам помочь в финансировании, чтобы спасти станцию Мир. "Предать забвению станцию было бы преступлением перед последующими поколениями" - сказал В. Севастьянов на совещании.

MOSCOW(AP) - In a desperate effort to save the pride of Russia's once-mighty space program, Russian cosmonauts launched a fund-raiser Wednesday to try to keep the Mir space station aloft. Vitaly Sevastyanov and German Titov, veterans of the Soviet space program, called on all Russians to contribute to a new fund to save the Mir. "To sink the station would be a crime against posterity," Sevastyanov said at a news conference. Sevastyanov and Titov, currently members of the lower house of Russian parliament, said that some Russian factories, as well as Libyan and Iraqi businessmen, have promised to contribute to the fund. The Russian government has said it would only pay for the Mir's operation through August, and efforts to lure private investors have failed. Mir's operation is estimated to cost $250 million a year. Russian space officials decided earlier this month to leave Mir unmanned after the current crew leaves in August. If no money is found by February or March, ground controllers will lower the 130-ton station to burn up in the atmosphere.

©Copyright 1999 The Associated Press.
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    C августа 1999 г., когда последняя экспедиция покинет ее, до 2000 года станция "Мир" станет необитаемой

(MOSCOW)- Russia's Mir space station will be kept in orbit until 2000 but it will be unmanned and sealed in a bid to preserve the 13-year-old craft, a space official said on Tuesday. A spokesman for Russia's space agency said three astronauts already occupying Mir - Russians Viktor Afansayev and Sergei Avdeyev, and Frenchman Jean-Pierre Haignere - would prepare the ship and carry out preservation measures. Mir would be kept in a state which would allow a new expedition to the space station if the necessary funds were found. It could be fueled in early 2000. "If funds are found, then a new mission could be sent up. If not, Mir would be brought down in the first quarter of 2000," the spokesman told Reuters. Russia had initially planned to retire Mir, which has had a series of problems in recent years, in June 1998. But the government decided it could stay in orbit until August and could stay longer if private funds were found. Mir lost one potential sponsor last week when a British businessman who had pledged to help raise $100 million to finance the space station pulled out of his training for a mission in August. Welsh-born Peter Llewellyn, 51, had promised to raise the money to keep Mir flying for a year after the Russian government said it would be unable to fund the station after this summer. Russia is sticking with Mir even though the United States has pressed Moscow to retire the orbiting laboratory to focus its resources on a new international space station. The new station brings together Russia, the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada in a $60 billion project but is running behind schedule because of Russia's financial difficulties.

© 1999, News America Digital Publishing, Inc. d/b/a Fox News Online.
© Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved
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    Специалисты обсуждают вопрос о безопасности существования станции "Мир" без экипажа на борту.

(MOSCOW) - Russia's decision to keep the Mir space station flying without a crew after August as frantic fund-raising continues increases the risks of a mishap, experts said on Wednesday. Russia said on Tuesday that the three cosmonauts aboard the13-year-old station, two Russian and one French, would leave it empty due to lack of funds when they return to Earth in August. But the orbiting laboratory will stay up until at least next year in the hope that money will be found to extend its life. "In my own opinion it seems like it's more risky to leave it unmanned," said Mike Baker, the deputy director of NASA's Johnson Space Center who is based in Moscow. "It could cause problems down the road, possibly." "We need to make sure that they have adequately analysed it and are confident that they can control it and bring it down safely," said Baker, an astronaut who visited Mir in 1997. Earlier in its life Mir was left unmanned on two occasions, once for half a year after the first crew left in 1986. But since then it has aged, and expanded as modules have been added. "We have to remember that it was a new station then. Now it's at such an advanced age that's it's another matter," said Anatoly Solovyov, the world's most experienced cosmonaut, who has spent nearly two years on Mir in five missions. "Perhaps some repairs will have to be made." U.S. astronauts who have visited Mir in recent years say it is like an old car that still runs but needs constant repairs. "Also you need insurance if you send up a cargo ship and have to go to a manual docking — we've had such instances," Solovyov told Reuters. "When there is no crew, of course the reliability of such procedures is lower." Sergei Gromov, spokesman for the Energiya space corporation which owns Mir, said the station would not pose a risk. "We are taking special measures to ensure full safety," he said. "We are now working on a special navigational device so that even if the station's main computer failed without the crew there it would be possible to control it from Earth by radio." The U.S. space station Skylab orbited unmanned for five years after the last crew left, but part of the station killed a cow in Australia when it finally fell to Earth in 1979. The head of the Russian Space Agency, Yuri Koptev, said recently that it costs about $100 million a year to keep crews flying on Mir, although Gromov put the cost at $200-250 million. Energiya, which has stubbornly fought to keep Mir aloft, was embarrassed last month when a British businessman did not come up with a promised $100 million donation it had counted on. The government has said it will not fund Mir past August and other efforts to raise money privately have also failed. Gromov said if Energiya failed to raise any more funds for Mir it would send up a final crew for a few weeks in February or March 2000 to make final preparations to push Mir into a lower orbit and eventual burn-out in the Earth's atmosphere.

©1999, News America Digital Publishing, Inc. d/b/a Fox News Online.
©Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved
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