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Get Back in Business With Nanotechnology

Published: December 1, 2006 (Issue # 1226)


St. Petersburg this week played host to Nanobio '06, the first international conference on nanotechnology to be held in Russia. The event ran from Monday through Wednesday at the city's State Polytechnic University."There is a lot of talk about nanoscience — it's a global technology that affects all other technologies and processes that people use," Sergei Kozyrev, director of the Center for Perspective Research at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, said at a round table at Rosbalt news agency on Thursday.

Kozyrev compared the possible impact of nanoscience on society to the effects caused by new information technologies.

A nanometer is a measure equal to one millionth of a millimeter, and nanoscience deals with objects of that size.

"Nano means not merely very small objects, but objects that due to their small size have new qualities," said Viktor Ustinov, member of the Russian Academy of Science and scientist at the A.F. Ioffe Physics and Technical Institute.

Ustinov mentioned Russian scientist Zhores Alferov, who was awarded the Nobel prize in 2000 for his related work together with colleagues from the Institute of Physics and Technology in the 1960s and 70s.

Technologies based on semiconductors and Alferov's findings are used in solar batteries, light-emitting diodes and heterotransistors. Semiconductors made possible the internet, satellite communications, cellular phones and other things that have become present-day commodities.

"The potential market for nanoproducts is equal to the whole market of new innovative materials," Kozyrev said.

Potential uses range from powders with special qualities to information systems to medicine, he said.

John Reinitz, professor of Stony Brook University, reminded those present that the production of insulin allowed the treatment of diseases that were previously untreatable. He suggested that nanoscience will allow to control biological processes and could allow treatment of cancer and considerable improvements in agriculture.

"Unfortunately, Russia is currently well below global standards of technology in this industry — we are considerably behind China, a country that is making huge steps in developing nanotechnologies," Kozyrev said.

"In Russia, current methods of production do not correspond to the technologies that science could offer to the industry. And this gap keeps growing," Kozyrev said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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