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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

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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