1998 г.
Российская наука и мир
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)

      Nature / Vol.395, N 6698, 10 September 1998
      Russian scientists prepare to fight for pay

    Российские ученые, наконец, начали получать июльскую зарплату. Но августовская зарплата, как говорят, будет урезана на 15% - и ученые предпринимают ответные действия. К тому же из-за падения курса рубля зарплата составляет всего четвертую часть ее стоимости в сентябре 1995 года, когда ее повышали последний раз.

Russian scientists have at last started to get their July salaries, now that about half of the promised Rubl 535 million for salaries has been transferred to scientific organizations. But August salaries are rumoured to be reduced by 15 per cent ­ and scientists are taking action.
Because of the fall in the ruble, the salaries of Russian scientists are worth only a quarter of their value in September 1995, the last time salaries were raised.
The Russian committee of the scientific collectives (RCSC), which unites the trade unions of science workers, has sent a telegram to president Boris Yeltsin and the acting prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, drawing their attention to the "catastrophic situation" in science and demanding that salaries be paid in full.
If the RCSC gets no satisfactory reply, it plans a series of protests during September. These will culminate in a blockade of three highways leading to the capital and an all-Russia protest organized by the federation of independent trade unions on 7 October.

Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
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      Nature / Vol.395, N 6697, 3 September 1998
      Pay crisis deepens as Russian ruble plummets

    Финансовый кризис в России, девальвация рубля и увольнение кабинета сделали невозможным выполнение обещания правительства о выплате долгов ученым.

Moscow - Russia's financial crisis, the devaluing of its currency, and the sacking of the cabinet has left in tatters government promises to repay debts to scientists.
"The Ministry of Finance tells us that banks lack money and that it is impossible to pay salaries to scientists," says Vladimir Khlebodarov, chairman of the Russian Academy of Sciences' labour union. Khlebodarov says the union is planning to organize new, "more effective" actions later this month.
Meanwhile, the post of minister for scientific research remains vacant following the removal by President Boris Yeltsin of the cabinet headed by the prime minister, Sergei Kirienko.

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      Nature / Vol.395, N 6700, 24 September 1998
      Siberian centres face closure over deb

    Сибирские научные центры находятся на грани закрытия из-за долгов за коммунальные услуги. Другим фактором кризиса является то, что сибирские ученые получили только 44% годового бюджета, который был обещан федеральным правительством.

MOSCOW - The Siberian branches of the Russian Academy of Sciences are on the verge of being closed down because their joint debt for local utilities is now over 170 million rubles (about $12 million). Another factor leading to the crisis is that Siberian scientists have received only 44 per cent of the annual budget that was approved by the federal cabinet in Moscow.
In an attempt to save its institutes and laboratories from closure, the Krasnoyarsk scientific centre has decided to give its scientists only 80 per cent of their already decreased salaries. The remaining money will be used to pay for electricity, heating and other services.

Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
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      Science / Vol.281, N 5385, Issue of 25 Sep.1998, p.1933.
      Russian Initiative Wins Major Sponsor

    Несмотря на экономический хаос, планы реформирования высших учебных заведений и научных учреждений в России продолжают осуществляться. Фонд John D. и Catherine T. MacArthur за четыре года потратит 6 млн. долларов на создание элитных центров при главных университетах.

Despite Russia's economic turmoil, an ambitious plan to reform the nation's research and higher education establishments is moving forward. Science has learned that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will spend $6 million over 4 years to help create elite research centers at top universities.
Run by the Russian Education Ministry and the U.S.-based Civilian Research and Development Foundation, the initiative will establish centers that can help train the next generation of scientists (Science, 29 May, p.1336). The MacArthur money - and potential matching funds from other foundations and Russia - will allow the program to expand beyond a pilot project under way at the University of Nizhny Novgorod. In January 1999, organizers expect to invite proposals for a competition to award two to three new centers.

Copyright © 1998 by the American Association.
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      Science / Vol.281, N 5384, Issue of 18 Sep. 1998
      Russian Front Opens in Ozone Fight

    В ООН была отмечена 11-я годовщина подписания Монреальского протокола - договора, который запрещает производство и использование химикатов, разрушающих озоновый слой. Ученые предсказывают, что разрушенный озоновый слой может быть восстановлен к 2150 году, если все нации присоединятся к Монреальскому протоколу. Однако некоторые государства, подписавшие договор, включая Россию, нарушают сроки окончания производства химических веществ, разрушающих озоновый слой. С этой целью ООН и Всемирный банк планируют затратить 25 миллионов долларов, чтобы выкупить и закрыть к 2000 году заводы, производящие опасные вещества.

The campaign to heal Earth's protective ozone layer is shifting to a new battleground. Last week, United Nations officials marked the 11th anniversary of the 1987 Montreal Protocol - the global pact that calls for phasing out key ozone- destroying chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants - by pledging to help cash-strapped Russia make good on Soviet-era promises.
Scientists predict that Earth's eroded ozone layer, which screens out the nastiest ultraviolet radiation, can be restored by 2150 if nations adhere to the Montreal pact. But some signatories, including Russia, have missed deadlines for ending the manufacture of CFCs and other ozone eroders. Now, in an effort to put tardy nations back on track, the United Nations and the World Bank will pay to put CFC producers out of business. In Russia, for instance, the bank plans to spend $25 million to buy out Russian CFC facilities and close them down by 2000.

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      U.S. Newswire / 1 Sep. 1998
      Science Benefits from USGS-Russia Collaboration

    Сотрудничество американских и российских ученых-сейсмологов и геологов приносит большую пользу науке

WASHINGTON - From the modern laboratories of Moscow to the smoking volcanoes of the Russian Far East, United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientists work in cooperation with scientists from the Russian Federation's lead science agencies. And our partnership is not restricted to Russian territory: Russian and USGS scientists are working on projects within the United States as well.
While cooperation in seismology dates back to the 1970s, wide-ranging USGS interaction with Russian scientists began in the late 1980s and has increased in the 1990s with greater Russian willingness to share data on energy and mineral resources, maps, and satellite imagery.
Benefits of the new openness are now being fully realized. Key projects in Russia and recent accomplishments include:
Geographic Information System (GIS) CD-ROM of the Lake Baikal Drainage Basin, Eastern Siberia
This is the first product for public release to contain formerly classified U.S./Russian data. It includes digital topographic and geologic maps, satellite imagery, and information on regional resources, hazards, and the environment for the Lake Baikal drainage basin. Containing 23,000 cubic kilometers of water, with a depth of 1,640 meters and an age of 20-25 million years, Baikal is the largest, deepest, and one of the oldest lakes in the world.
The area is home to more than 2,300 species of plants and animals, 70 percent of which occur nowhere else in the world. Because this area also hosts abundant timber, mineral, coal, and petroleum resources, this CD-ROM is designed as a tool to assist officials in land-use planning, environmental protection and sustainable development. This project, funded by the U.S. State Department, the Russian Federal Service for Geodesy and Cartography, and USGS, also involves the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. It is also a prototype for GIS development planned for Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East, the delta of the Volga River in the Caspian Sea, and the coast of the Pechora Sea.
Volcano Monitoring and Ash-Cloud Tracking in the North Pacific
Each day, about 20,000 people travel the air routes of the North Pacific rim, making them among the busiest air corridors in the world. Beneath these air routes lie volcanoes of the Alaska Peninsula, the Aleutian Islands, and Kamchatka in the Russian Far East. These volcanoes erupt ash clouds that are hazardous for aviation, and damaging encounters between aircraft and volcanic ash have occurred in this region. Volcanic ash is present in this air corridor an average of four days per year and threatens an additional ten days per year. The USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory works with the Russian Academy of Sciences Kamchatka Volcanic Event Response Team to monitor volcanic activity in the region, track ash clouds, and alert the aviation community.
Global Seismographic Network (GSN) Stations for Russia
Working with the Ministry of Science and Technology Policy of the Russian Federation and the Russian Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Science Foundation - through the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology - and the USGS have added twelve state-of-the-art GSN standard seismograph stations to the Russian National Seismographic Network and will upgrade other stations in Russia. The stations will be designed to obtain high quality digital earthquake data that can be readily transmitted by satellites and the Internet from the seismic stations to computers, making data available worldwide. The U.S. will provide the equipment, and the Russians will provide personnel to maintain the stations.
Petroleum and Mineral Resource Data and Information
This recently released CD-ROM provides a regional-scale overview of geology and energy and mineral resources of the Russian Federation. It includes maps showing topography, geology, mineral deposits, petroleum basins, and gas fields. Users can display and analyze data and also prepare customized maps. This is a cooperative project of USGS and the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources (RMNR), and was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the RMNR.
Mineral Resource Assessment of Eastern Siberia, Mongolia and Northern China
This critical database on mineral deposits and geology for a large part of eastern Siberia is one of few reliable sources of information in English on this area, which may have vast mineral potential. Released earlier this year as a CD-ROM, this USGS-funded project includes data and interpretations for resource assessment, land-use planning, and mineral-related environmental concerns. It is intended to provide data for a variety of customers, including governments, and mining, petroleum, construction, and investment companies, for making sound economic planning and investment decisions.
As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific information to resource managers, planners and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, to contribute to the conservation and the sound economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and to enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy and mineral resources.

    This press release and in-depth information about USGS programs may be found on the USGS home page: http://www.usgs.gov. To receive the latest USGS news releases automatically by e-mail, send a request to listproc(At)listserver.usgs.gov. Specify the listserver(s) of interest from the following names: water-pr; geologic-hazards-pr; biological-pr; mapping-pr; products-pr; lecture-pr.
    In the body of the message write: subscribe (name of listserver) (your name). Example: subscribe water-pr joe smith.
Copyright 1998, U.S.Newswire.
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      The USGS Research News Release / 1 September 1998
      Strengthening The USGS - Russian Federation Partnership

    12 сейсмических станций, ведущих наблюдение за землетрясениями, модернизированы с помощью современного оборудования и будут включены в Российскую национальную сейсмографическую сеть.
    Кроме того, ряд других сейсмических станций на огромной территории Российской Федерации будут модернизированы в соответствии с тем же соглашением, подписанным главой Американского общества геологических исследований, а также российскими и американскими коллегами.

Twelve seismic stations that record earthquakes have been modernized to state-of-the-art status and will be officially added to the Russian National Seismographic Network, and a number of other seismic stations will be updated throughout the vast territory of the Russian Federation under the same agreement signed by U.S. Geological Survey Acting Director Tom Casadevall with cooperators in Russia and the U.S.
"U.S. cooperation with Russia in earthquake hazards studies dates back to the 1970s. The present agreement builds on that relationship by emphasizing collaborative science and establishing standards for data sharing between Russian and American scientists," said Casadevall.
The upgraded seismic stations will bring the Russian National Seismographic Network in accord with technical standards of the Global Seismographic Network (GSN). The GSN is installed and maintained by the USGS and the Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology (IRIS), a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) supported university consortium. Operated in partnership with government and research organizations around the world, the GSN is designed to obtain high quality digital earthquake data that can be readily transmitted from seismic stations via satellites and the Internet to computers accessed by data users worldwide.
Russian participation in gathering seismic data is crucial to improved understanding of seismicity, earthquake hazards, and Earth structure, Casadevall noted. Russia, geographically the largest country in the world, stretches across ten time zones and encompasses more than ten percent of the Earth's land.
Signatories to the agreement include the Ministry of Science and Technology Policy of the Russian Federation, the Russian Academy of Sciences, NSF, and USGS. USGS and IRIS will provide equipment and supplies for the upgraded stations. Russia will provide personnel to maintain the stations.
As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial, scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, to contribute to the conservation and the sound economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and to enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.

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      U.S. Newswire / 1 Sep. 1998
      Russia, USGS Cooperate for Safe Airline Travel

    Вулканическая обсерватория Американского общества геологических иссследований на Аляске, совместно с российскими вулканологами из Института геологии и геохимии вулканов в Петропавловске-Камчатском и Службой погоды США, ведет наблюдение за деятельностью вулканов и предупреждает коммерческую и государственную авиацию о риске столкновения с облаками пепла по пути следования самолетов.

WASHINGTON - The Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the Kamchatka Peninsula of the Russian Far East are often thought of as desolate windswept outposts along the northern Pacific rim, yet this is a heavily traveled region. Each day more than 200 flights transporting about 20,000 people pass overhead, en route between the Americas and Far Eastern regions of Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia. Ninety-three percent of all cargo flights between Asia and the United States fly this route. This is the "great circle route" or the shortest distance between these destinations, making the sky over these northern lands among the busiest air corridors in the world. This region is also densely populated by volcanoes, part of the Ring of Fire, capable of erupting ash clouds hazardous to aviation.
"Modern airplanes are designed to operate in environments free from dust and corrosive gases," said Thomas Casadevall, acting director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and a well-known expert in the field of volcanic ash and aviation safety. "Explosive volcanic eruptions can inject large amounts of very small rock fragments, volcanic ash, and corrosive gases into the atmosphere at cruising altitudes for jet aircraft. On average, volcanic ash is present in the North Pacific air corridor four days each year and threatens to be present an additional ten days in any given year," said Casadevall.
"Volcanic ash clouds are not detectable by aircraft radar and can drift for hundreds to thousands of miles from their sources. They drift without regard to political boundaries, making international partnerships such as the one we have with Russia crucial for effective monitoring and mitigation of this hazard," said Casadevall.
Volcanic ash threatens aviation safety because its intake by aircraft engines can stall the engine in mid-flight. Long-term damage results as volcanic ash erodes moving engine parts, and volcanic gases accelerate the rate of corrosion to an airplane's engines, electrical system and body. They also cause pitting and brittleness to the windows.
In 1989, a single encounter by a commercial jet with ash from Alaska's Redoubt volcano nearly ended the lives of hundreds on board when all four engines lost thrust power and were restarted only minutes before ground impact. The incident also caused $80 million in damage to the aircraft. During the past 15 years, more than 80 aircraft worldwide have encountered drifting volcanic ash clouds, and mid-flight engine stalling has affected seven large commercial airliners. Since neither ash plumes nor the explosive volcanoes that produce them are confined to the Alaska-Kamchatka region, this hazard can disrupt flights anywhere in the world.
In cooperation with Russian volcanologists at the Institute of Volcanic Geology and Geochemistry in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the U.S. National Weather Service, the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory monitors volcanic activity, tracks ash clouds, and warns commercial and government aviation groups via the Federal Aviation Administration of potential ash cloud hazards over this busy air route. Seismographs have been installed to measure precursory earthquakes on some of the most hazardous volcanoes in the region, to help scientists to predict impending volcanic activity. Procedures to rapidly obtain and disseminate ground-based data from seismographs, as well as atmospheric data from satellites and pilot reports are in use and continually being refined. Techniques to identify ash clouds and define their extent and trajectory are especially important over these northern reaches, where daylight is brief and cloudy conditions exist during significant parts of the year.

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      Science / Vol.281, N 5384, Issue of 18 Sep. 1998, p.1763
      Hepatitis Project Sows Seeds for Watching Bioweapons

    Исследователь из Департамента энергетики США создал систему мониторинга испытаний потенциального биологического оружия - во время создания веб-сайта общественного здоровья. Американские и российские врачи используют сайт для слежения за случаями гепатита, но Алан Зеликофф надеется, что подобный проект в один прекрасный день сможет помочь определить вспышки заболевания при тайном использовании биологического оружия.

A Department of Energy researcher has quietly launched a system for monitoring potential biological weapons testing - while building a unique public health Web site. U.S. and Russian doctors are using the site to track hepatitis, but Alan Zelicoff hopes a similar project could someday help detect outbreaks from clandestine use of bioweapons.
A physician and weapons control expert at Sandia National Labs in New Mexico, Zelicoff says he wanted to get rival nations to cooperate on monitoring compliance with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention that took effect in 1975. One way to do this, Zelicoff figured, would be to get U.S. and Russian experts working together on a noncontroversial epidemiologic project via the Internet. The survey methodology could later be used to watch for hints of biological weapons, such as a spate of plague cases that might have resulted from a leak at a bioweapons factory. Zelicoff chose to begin by monitoring hepatitis C, an often symptomless disease that causes liver failure. Three hospitals in New Mexico signed up, along with a Russian hospital in Snezhinsk, near the military center of Chelyabinsk.
Since June, medical staffers at all four locations have been conducting random surveys of patients - 700 so far - as they enter the hospital, looking for risk factors associated with hepatitis C. Survey responses and diagnostic test results with personal info removed are posted on the Web as they're entered into a database.
The team hopes to publish a paper next year. In the meantime, Zelicoff says, he hopes to sign up another research site - a former biological weapons institute, called VEKTOR, in Siberia.

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      Fox News Online / September 23, 1998
      Russian secret cities to open for high-tech investment

    Российские закрытые города будут открыты для иностранных инвестиций.

VIENNA - Russia said Tuesday it would open 10 secret cities at the core of its nuclear weapons complex to foreign investment in a U.S.-backed effort aimed at redeploying highly skilled science workers in the civil economy.
Russia's minister of atomic energy, Yevgeny Adamov, and U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson signed an accord which includes $30 million of U.S. state funding in 1999 to bring jobs and businesses to the cities' 600,000 inhabitants.
"With the end of the Cold War we are helping to open these cities, open them to cooperation on issues of safety and security, open to the transition to a peacetime economy and open to new training," Richardson told Reuters in an interview.
Richardson said the deal, which covers some of the most secret facilities in what used to be the Soviet Union, was important for national security and private sector investment in Russia.
"I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to us all that economic hardship not drive Russian nuclear weapons scientists into employment in places like Iran and North Korea," he said.
"Helping commercialize the Russian nuclear weapons complex in the interests of global security and non-proliferation will help ensure strategic stability in the U.S.-Russian nuclear relationship as both reduce their nuclear arsenals."
Adamov said a smaller nuclear strike force meant it was inevitable jobs would be lost at the weapons installations, mostly situated in the Ural mountains and Siberia.
But for social and non-proliferation reasons, it was vitally important to offer the redundant scientists and engineers a new occupation, he said.
"We are ready to open up these cities but the people living in them are opposed to this because they compare the standard of living inside and out and prefer to stay where they are," he told reporters.
Not only has Russia's economic turmoil made lucrative offers from other states keen to employ their nuclear weapons engineers even more attractive, it has also driven away foreign investment.
Nevertheless, U.S. officials are confident the project will succeed. They are assuming Russian and western corporate investors will treble the amount of money the U.S. government is putting up front.
"We've had investors lining up for these projects. There is still a lot of interest in the high technology sector in Russia," an energy department official said.
Twenty-two pilot projects, including the development of a linear electronic accelerator for food sterilization and techniques for dismantling and decontaminating mothballed nuclear reactors, were already under way.
Richardson and Adamov also agreed a number of measures to remove obstacles hindering the implementation of a $13 billion 20-year deal covering U.S. purchases of Russian weapons grade uranium for use in commercial nuclear reactors.
"The framework in today's joint report will ensure that smooth implementation of the agreement will continue for the next months while all parties seek agreement on commercial terms for fair payment to Russia," Richardson said.

© Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved.
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      FLORIDA TODAY / For September 2, 1998
      Russian problems may delay station's launch again
      • By Larry Wheeler

    Запуск международной космической станции опять может не состояться из-за российских проблем.

WASHINGTON - Russia's economic and political turmoil probably will force NASA to delay the launch of the International Space Station in November because to do otherwise would be foolhardy, experts said Tuesday.
"To proceed with launching the first elements in a few months as we watch downstream support missions wither would be the height of folly," said James Oberg, a consultant and former shuttle and space station engineer. "Without enough support flights, the station we build will fall out of orbit."
This week's summit between President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin is unlikely to produce tangible change for the beleaguered project.
A top White House official told a congressional panel recently the administration prefers to manage by crisis rather than adopt a coherent strategy to stabilize the increasingly chaotic project.
On Nov. 20, Russia is to launch the first piece of the station to provide initial propulsion and power for the outpost.
On Dec. 3, NASA is scheduled to launch shuttle Endeavour from Kennedy Space Center, carrying a component that would serve as a connecting passageway to other parts of the vessel.
But the cornerstone pieces could come tumbling down if Russia fails to fly its much-delayed Service Module, scheduled for launch in April.
"You're taking a big chance if you launch this fall and don't know there will be something to take the load off (Zarya) in three to six months," said Rich Kolker, an aerospace software engineer with the Clear Lake Group, a Houston-based space policy research organization.
NASA's own assessment gives the Russians only a 50 percent chance of success, Kolker said.
For now, NASA is sticking with its flight schedule, revised only three months ago to give the Russian Space Agency more time to finish its service module.
The 42,000-pound spacecraft is similar to the Mir space station and would provide living quarters, life support, electrical power distribution, data, control and propulsion systems.
There currently are no technical problems standing in the way of a Nov. 20 launch, said Dwayne Brown, a spokesman for NASA's space station office. However, Brown said, a contingent of NASA managers will meet with their Russian counterparts in Moscow starting on Sept. 21 for a complete assessment.
"Hopefully, out of that, a decision will be made based on a full understanding of the Russian situation, and we will act accordingly," Brown said. "If there are issues that do come up in Moscow, then we may have to re-address the Nov.20 launch."
Beyond the service module, there is consensus Russia's chronic economic and political tremors will continue to disrupt the multinational station project.
NASA's tough-talking administrator Daniel Goldin already has embarked on a back-channel mission to downgrade Russian involvement.
In a briefing paper delivered to the White House July 30, Goldin and his top managers urged the United States to "develop capabilities which eliminate dependence on Russia for critical functions."
The recommendations included sending more money to the Russian Space Agency so it can maintain its mission control infrastructure, complete work on the service module and other spacecraft, including Soyuz crew return vehicles and Progress launchers.
On the U.S. side, NASA would begin modifying the shuttle fleet so that the workhorse orbiters could boost the growing space station's orbit if Russia can't deliver reboost flights as expected. The space agency also would begin work on a brand new propulsion vehicle.
NASA officials have yet to put a price tag on the proposed changes.

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      Fox News Online / September 1, 1998
      Russian space test offers subjects chance to get away

    Российские исследователи набирают добровольцев для участия в эксперименте с 8-месячной изоляцией. В ходе эксперимента будет имитирован управляемый космический полет на борту международной космической станции, первый модуль которой предполагается вывести на орбиту в этом году.

MOSCOW - Russians dismayed by current woes in their economy will have a unique chance to really get away from it all: Space researchers are seeking volunteers for an eight-month isolation experiment, an official said Tuesday.
The research subjects won't have to risk a run on the mishap-prone Russian Mir space station. Instead, the test, the longest of its kind ever conducted, will simulate a manned space flight aboard an international space station, the first modules of which go into orbit this year.
"We need about 70 men and women as candidates to attend a simulation of a "space flight" during the first selection stage," said Yevgeny Dyomin, the experiment's technical director at the Institute for Biomedical Problems.
Of this initial class only four would spend the full 240 days starting from June 1999 inside a 3500 cubic foot isolation tank that simulates a Russian module to be used on the International Space Station.
Two other groups of four people each will make experiments inside a 7000 cubic foot metal can equipped with dozens of computers and a few tons of scientific devices, Dyomin said.
The isolation tank is located in central Moscow a few miles west of the Kremlin. Dyomin said the volunteers would be linked with researchers only by telecommunication systems. He also said the volunteer teams would not be under serious risk, but they would feel many of the discomforts of cosmonauts orbiting the Earth.
The experiments help researchers test the life-support systems and other equipment of the space station, and are considered valuable in planning an eventual mission to Mars. Russian volunteers spent six months in a Siberian underground chamber in 1974, paving the way for a series of pioneering Russian space stations leading to the current Mir orbiting station. More recently, the Institute for Biomedical Problems carried out isolation tank experiments of 90 days and 120 days in 1996 and 1997 with European and Russian volunteers, and the United States did a 91-day test last year.
Dyomin said volunteers for the 240-day isolation test must be between 30 and 50 years old, in excellent health and fluent in English. He expects people from several countries to participate, with financial help from their governments also following.
"It is a very expensive affair... Countries whose volunteers will be involved in it will finance it along with Russia," he said. The world isolution record was set in 1992 and 1993, when an Italian sociologist spent 366 days alone in a subterranean chamber. The focus of that test was largely psychological and not related to space exploration.

© Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved.
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      The Associated Press / Sept. 10 1998
      12 U.S. Satellites Destroyed Russian Rocket Fails

    12 американских спутников сгорели в атмосфере в результате неудачной попытки запуска российской ракеты.

MOSCOW, Sept. 10 - A rocket launched by Russia to put 12 U.S. commercial satellites into orbit failed minutes after blastoff today and burned up in the atmosphere along with its cargo, officials said. The Ukrainian-made Zenit-2 booster was launched shortly after midnight by Russia's space agency from the Baikonur cosmodrome, which Moscow rents from the former Soviet republic of Kazakstan. The rocket's control system failed within five minutes, shutting down the engines.
Fragments Fall in Siberia. Fragments of the rocket and the Globalstar satellites fell in a deserted area in southern Siberia, the Russian Space Agency said in a statement carried by the ITAR-Tass news agency.
The satellites were built and operated by Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space and Communications Ltd. of New York.
An investigation has been launched into the failure. The contract's value wasn't announced, but a usual price for such launches is about $30 million, the report said.
Five more launches are planned by mid-1999 to put 36 more Globalstar satellites into orbit. Two Zenit-2 rockets will carry 12 satellites each, and another 12 satellites will be put into orbit by three Russian Soyuz rockets.
Today's launch was the eighth time a two-stage Zenit-2 has failed, out of a total of 31 launches. Still, Russian and Ukrainian officials declare it the best in its class.

Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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    Noonan/Russo Communications / 16.09.1998
    Drug-resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Russia

    Экономический кризис в России может привести к глобальному распространению туберкулеза, невосприимчивого к лекарствам.

The Public Health Research Institute, Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans Frontiers) and the Medical Emergency Relief Network International (MERLIN) have issued a joint statement about the need for international attention and support to combat the epidemic of drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Russia, which is threatening to become a global problem.
Referring to the disease as "Ebola with Wings," the organizations released their plea after members of the PHRI/Soros TB Advisory Committee toured prisons in Tomsk and Kemerovo the week Sept. 7. PHRI has begun pilot programs in prisons in Tomsk, Ivanovo and Marii El as part of a $12.3 million project funded by philanthropist George Soros to combat TB in Russia. Before their tour, PHRI and the Russian Ministry of Health hosted the International Workshop on TB in Russia on Monday, Sept. 7, 1998 to address the serious public health problem.
Following is the statement from three organizations. For additional information about PHRI, the PHRI/Soros project, TB in Russia and globally or the disease in general, please visit: http://www.noonanrusso.com/www/phri.
For more information or to arrange an interview with the director of the PHRI/Soros project, please call Noonan/Russo Communications at 212-696-4455 and ask for Ernie Knewitz, x 204, Marion E. Glick, x 221 or Tony Russo at x202.
Statement by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans Frontiers), the Medical Emergency Relief Network International (MERLIN) and The Public Health Research Institute Multi Drug Resistant-TB: Russian Economic Collapse will Lead to Global Spread of "Ebola with Wings"
Foreign Funds are Needed to Prevent Epidemic
Our three nongovernmental organizations are calling for an urgent worldwide campaign to raise the $100 million needed to prevent the imminent epidemic of multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Russia. In our view, this local humanitarian disaster is already a direct global public health threat.
Drug-senstive TB is curable through proper drug therapy. MDR-TB is potentially much more dangerous, especially because TB spreads through the air and can move from patient to patient in its deadly drug-resistant form. MDR-TB has been dubbed "Ebola with wings."
Current levels of MDR-TB in Russia are alarming. The looming economic crisis will exacerbate the problem. It is only a matter of time before MDR-TB of Russian origin becomes a daily reality in other countries worldwide.
The current Russian economic crisis will further deplete already strained resources of public medicine. The resulting shortage of anti-TB drugs will inevitably lead to the massive practice of substandard antibiotic treatment of patients with TB, which is the principal cause of MDR-TB. Standard treatment of regular TB consists of a daily regimen of four different antibiotics for six months. When this treatment is incomplete or interrupted, a patient can easily develop MDR-TB and then spread this potentially lethal form of TB to other people.
We are particularly concerned about the dire situation in Russian prisons, where systematic underfunding combined with epidemic-prone conditions already has resulted in the generation of nearly 20,000 MDR-TB cases. The number of cases is expected to rise because, under the current conditions, about 100,000 inmates with regular TB are subjected to inappropriate, MDR-causing treatment protocols.
Among the civilian population, TB patients undergoing treatment often are required to pay for their own drugs, even in state run hospitals. In the worsening economic situation, this burden on patients will translate into inadequate treatment and, consequently, thousands of new MDR-TB cases because most people will discontinue prescribed treatment as soon as symptoms subside.
Our activities in several pilot projects in Russia convinced us that an effective anti-TB program can be implemented nationwide, but only through cooperation among foreign health agencies and Russian health authorities. Alone, Russia will not have the needed resources to cope with this problem.
We are calling on the world community to provide funds needed to bring the Russian epidemics of TB and MDR-TB under control. The minimum estimate for a nationwide emergency program is $100 million. This cost is small in comparison to the loss of life and potential global economic damage that can be anticipated in the near future if the problem of MDR-TB in Russia is not addressed today.

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