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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

Wednesday, Nov. 26


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee will meet this afternoon in their office in the New St. Isaac’s Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha at 4 p.m.


Zoosphere, an international exhibition focusing on the pet industry, opens today at the Lenexpo convention center on Vasilievsky Island. Not only will items such as toys, terrariums and accessories be available for purchase, but animal enthusiasts can also learn about the latest in veterinary medicine and behavioral training thanks to the conferences and presentations that are part of the event.



Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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