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SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGHS-2011: THE RUSSIAN VERSION

In 2011 the Russian science was marking 300 years since the birth of polymath M.V. Lomonosov which makes it even more pleasant to sum up the scientific achievements of the year.  RBC has asked the Russian scientists to name the most important of the goals achieved.

Physics: the “invisibility cloak” and the mini-collider

According to Mr.Dmitriy Zykov, Deputy Editor-in-Chief,  “Science and life” magazine, the most important achievement was the creation of the so-called metamaterials (research carried out in the Saratov University) capable of redirecting light beams. The invention can revolutionize electronics and optics and even make the”invisibility cloak” a reality.
Professor Andrey Saveliev of the Moscow State University notes the creation (jointly with the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences) of a mini-collider, an exact analogue of its famous Large “predecessor”  -only much smaller. It can be very helpful in many spheres, including astrophysics.

Chemistry: economy nano-oil and super- high-strength alloys

In opinion of Mr. Sergey Aldoshin, the Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the main achievement of 2011 in chemistry was the invention of аsuper-efficient (up to 95 per cent) oil refining technology that uses most up to date nanocatalyzators (invented in the  Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis and the Institute of Catalysis of the Russian Academy of Sciences). These technologies are very effective in terms of economy and more environmentally friendly.

Worth noting are the successes of Russian scientists in creating alloys for aviation and space engineering. For example, the mechanisms made of alloys created in the Institute of Metallurgy and the Institute of Aviation Materials can work at temperatures exceeding 1500 degrees Celsius.  These technologies enable Russia to produce “generation five” and even “generation five plus” airplanes.

Biology: the “Denisov man” and the “immunity gene”

Professor Konstantin Severinov (the Russian Academy of Sciences andthe Rutgers University, USA) regards finding an unknown hominid species as a scientific breakthrough of the year. The”Denisov man”, called by the name of the cave in the Altai region, was found by Russian scientists  Anatoly Derevyanko and Mikhail Shunkov in 2008. The results of the DNA test conducted in 2011 at the Max Plank Institute led to a conclusion that there existed a separate species of humans, different from modern humans and Neanderthals.

Mr. Dmitriy Zykov says that the research carried out by Mr. Yuri Kotelevtsev in the University of Edinburgh and Pushchino State University is also of great value. He created a model of genetic resistance to diseases. He is not working alone, of course, but in our country he is sure to be one of the most prominent scientists in this field. “Most probably we are witnessing the birth of new medicine”, experts say.

Medicine: a “magic molecule” and fast memory retrieving

Mr.Sergey Aldoshin states that the main achievement of the Russian medical science in 2011 is new innovative medication. To produce it, the scientists first had to detect the so-called “NO-molecule” which regulates the immunity mechanisms in human organisms. The reaction of the organisms to external factors depends on when the molecule appears. The results of the research open possibilities to find treatment for various serious types of diseases.

Another example – new anti-Alzheimer medication that helps to retrieve memory. In general, the Russian Academy of Sciences is ready to offer up to forty new types of modern medicinal productsfor clinical testing.

Source: http://top.rbc.ru/society/29/12/2011/632291.shtml