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Sunday, February 18, 2018

The day of Russian science: five inventions that will change humanity


Today, 8 February, the Day of Russian science, we evaluated the ability of five inventions and ideas to change our world beyond recognition. There is something yet hidden from our eyes and ears, while maturing only in scientific laboratories but in 10-20 years will brazenly break into our lives as it once did space satellite. Telepathy, magnetic levitation, “revolution” of unmanned vehicles and other breakthrough technologies for us, appreciated by specialists.

photo: a frame from the video

Superbrain and transfer of thoughts at a distance

Humanity is almost ready to accept telepathy in reality. At least artificial linking Homo sapiens to the computer. After all, scientists have mastered the technology of transmission of mental orders to the computer or mechanical prosthesis, using registration of the electrical activity of the brain.

In Russia, most such research is conducted with external electrodes (a must have seen caps for removing electroencephalogram). Abroad have more experience with the implantation of electrodes in the somatosensory and motor areas of the cerebral cortex of humans and animals. These electrodes (usually not less than 60 pieces) transmit appropriate control commands from the senses on a special external chip, connected wirelessly with a computer.

Despite the wireless technology that has significantly simplified the process of using implanted electrodes, the experts noted a number of issues that still stand in the way of mass testing. In particular, still is a rejection of the electrodes of the organism as a foreign body, and deterioration of the signal coming from the brain in a year or two due to overgrowth of the electrodes of glial (supporting) cells nerve tissue. In this regard, among scientists there is no single view about what is best to implant electrodes into the brain or use their external counterparts.

Says a leading researcher of the Center for neuroeconomics and cognitive studies Vasily klucharev: “Developed in recent technology “brain-computer interface”, enable a person to convey their thoughts to the computer. First of all, these experiments are conducted in order to help paralyzed patients. The electrode embedded in the brain of such a person reads his activity, “trying to understand” what action he wants to perform: raise your hand, pour a glass of water, and creates the movement or in the movement of the avatar on the screen, or a real motion of a mechanical prosthesis.

But there is another technology that helps to create a “common network” to perform such tasks. So, in the us at Duke University with the help of chip combined with a computer brain of three monkeys and the animals were given a simple task, to perform which they could only together. The experiment showed that after several attempts, thoughts rhesus monkeys were synchronized, and they quickly coped with the task. Perhaps in the future we will come to the fact that people can understand each other without words, solving some super-complicated tasks, but it is still more like a fiction.

Vacuum trains or magnetic levitation

The project Hyperloop vacuum train (with eng. — “hyperpathia”) five years ago suggested that the head of SpaceX Elon Musk. According to him, the train will fly in overhead pipeline two times faster than a plane and 3-4 times faster high-speed trains. So, on the way from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 561 km, which now takes several hours, the Musk takes just 30 minutes.

A new form of transport, according to the inventor, will work on solar energy, making it very economical. At the end of August 2017 experimental “capsule” developed in a vacuum speed of 355 km/h (at rated working 1000-1200 km/h). Now Americans have the idea to build the first “hyperpyra” in Russia.

The technology of the new mode of transport based on the principle of pneumopathy. On special vacuum tubes capsules with a length of 25-30 m with people or cargo will be accelerated and decelerated by electricity derived from solar panels.

However, the technology exists, seriously competing with hyperpathia. This “Maglev” – magnetic levitation. The Maglev train is held above the railway line, is driven and is controlled by the strength of the electromagnetic field. Unlike conventional trains, in motion it does not apply to the rail surface, Yes, in fact, the rails of such railroad, no that allows you to accelerate due to the lack of friction. Moreover, in Malevich not noisy, no pitching, they are quickly gaining speed and quickly slow down.

Perhaps the world’s fastest train Chinese companies CRRC, the 8th wonder of the world, now runs between the station of the Shanghai metro Lunyan Lu and Pudong airport. He accelerated to 430 km/h, but the test runs had already crossed the mark of 500 km/h.

Commented head of the Department “Economics of transport”, St. Petersburg state transport University, Professor, doctor of economic Sciences Natalia Zhuravleva: “Yes, indeed, if you want to ride with the speed of the future, go to China. Today speeds are growing at a frantic pace, but we in Russia is faster than 230 km/hour to go, alas, can not. Although magnetic levitation technology first appeared in the USSR in the middle of the last century and has already been tested in practice.

Now, actively working on improving this system, we have created a levitating cars, able to accelerate up to 1000 km/h. The tests were carried out on the territory of locomotive depot, land which is not allowed to reach top speed, but the calculations showed that when the elongation of a polygon we will beat the record of Chinese train. According to the plans of the polygon for testing “Maglev Russian” from St. Petersburg to Moscow had to be built in 2018. But, unfortunately, we have not identified.

I must say that modern magnetic cushion significantly different from the past. This nanomagnet that in addition to the speed, guarantee safety for passengers while driving. But what will happen to man in “hyperloop” Mask is not yet clear. And we don’t understand why our top management is now more tuned to learning from foreign technologies instead of developing their own?

I understand why now breaks here Musk. If he will be able first to capture the market of passenger transportations of a new type, he can get more profit. And Americans, including government bodies, understand this and are investing now in the development of new technology a lot of money. We stand by the fact that more the advantages of magnetic levitation. 50 countries in the world is developing magnetic levitation technologies. This story is quite well advanced and commercially available. Besides, we are already well aware of the value of its future operation, she will be much less investment”.

Department of internal bodies by the power of light

Direction thermogenetic originated a year ago in Russia, able to make a real breakthrough in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other diseases of the century. For arrhythmia infrared radiation will create an artificially set rhythm to the heart was decreased from the desired frequency.

The same technology can be used to produce insulin from the beta cells of the pancreas. Because the outside light to her will not come, scientists propose to implant closer to her driven mini-led (such as pacemaker), which will measure the level of glucose in blood and with its growth in a timely manner to send a signal to the beta cells responsible for insulin production.

Review of head of the laboratory of molecular technologies, Institute of Bioorganic chemistry. Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Russian Academy of Sciences (IBCH) Vsevolod Belousov: “Before the new year IBCH just won a competition to create technology control heart rate and the activity of the pancreas. I have no doubt that our technology is widely included in the treatment. We will learn how to adjust the condition of the internal organs from the outside with the help of miniature devices that will allow the surface of the skin, without invading tissue, to control neural activity.

Imagine a man with diabetes of the first type, which completely destroyed the fabric of the pancreas, it is necessary to create a new engineering. So, now we really know how to work the control system for the artificial pancreas.

At this stage time at the Institute, we learned how to influence the warmth of the SOMATO-sensory neurons of small animals, for example, a small laboratory fish zebrafish. Previously, we have inserted in its genome the protein rattlesnake, responsible for heat sensitivity. After that, it was enough to Shine the light on the fish infrared light, and the SOMATO-sensory neurons with a built-in serpentine protein responded to the outrage: bill fish tail.

If we put proteins”antennas” in the neurons responsible for the sense of fear, not scaring the fish, we could call her a fright, just lighting the appropriate area”.

The space tourism

It will be possible to oppose the Disneyland in 2030? Of course, spaceflight. For a romantic date, as entertainment for the whole family, for the company graduates… Closest to the first run with passengers is an American company Blue Origin Jeff Bezos, which promises to raise the air ship with the first customers already in 2019.

What will constitute this flight? Booster will bring in the near 100-km orbit passenger capsule up to 6 people, and then that, pausing in weightlessness for 2.5-3 minutes will begin a smooth descent to the Ground. All pleasure — no more than 12 minutes at a cost of 250 thousand dollars. From those who say, today there is no release, there is a queue. Note that this is not the flight to the International space station, which today is noted for 8 tourists but only a short “jump” in weightlessness, but with a real microgravity, with a full view of the Earth from space in the window.

On Russian soil maturing competitor Bezos – the company Kosmocar under the leadership of Pavel Pushkin, who promises to launch tourists into suborbit by 2025, but expects at the same time, to repel the opponent a good number of customers due to a number of advantages. According to Pushkin, several of them.

First, it plans to send their customers two times higher than Blue Origin — to a height of 200 km, secondly, the residence time in weightlessness also doubled — up to 5.5 minutes, plus capsule in our will be roomier, and will accommodate 6 passengers and one attendant steward. And all this is for as much as 250 thousand dollars.

Review of Paul Pushkin: “Suborbital tourism is quite available today to the masses. Our calculations show that only in Moscow such people, enough for our flight for the next 10 years. There are about 10 thousand people for whom buying a ticket to space is certainly a luxury, but it is available, it won’t cost them half of the state. There are more Chinese, American, Japanese markets. And we also have to orientirueshsya.

For cosmotourist in the area of the cosmodrome will be built a complex for accommodation and examination. The main contraindications are recognized as diseases of the heart and blood vessels. In normal flight, when the excretion in the space on the tourist would act overload 4g and 5g during the descent. It is soft enough overload, given their short duration. With the overload of 4g almost all the subjects on the centrifuge quietly talking, laughing and actively gesticulating hands. According to statistics, almost anyone without serious health problems can easily withstand such an overload. For comparison, the rides, the overload can reach 6g and that even without the survey.

Unmanned vehicles

Experts predict that by 2020 the streets of modern cities will be about 10 million unmanned vehicles controlled by artificial intelligence. First of all such transport is economically advantageous: the developers promise a reduction in accidents, and this means that will decrease the cost of insurance and medicine rapid response. The drivers eliminate the need to pay salaries and, therefore, reduces the cost of transportation of goods and people.

Drones would be very useful for transportation in hazardous areas, during natural and manmade disasters or military action. The ideology of “smart” transport does not exclude the options of human presence in the robot car in case of very complex traffic situations.

Now the development of drones for the mass market engaged almost all the famous brands of car manufacturers, there is even a project of Autonomous car-Google’s robots. Some are already commercially used. So from April 2011 at London’s Heathrow airport launched an unmanned taxi can accommodate up to 4 people.

Russia’s first unmanned car, developed on the basis of “KAMAZ” today “knows” how to perform simple maneuvers like “snake”, to move in a convoy to stop in front of obstacles. Earlier drone “learned” to see the road, understand road markings, to make simple maneuvers: rotate and turn. The speed of autorobot during the last test was adjusted to 60 km/h were carried out individual tests in conditions of poor visibility. The drone also tested on an uneven road with obstacles up to 30 cm in addition, experts have developed mechanisms for the recognition of road signs, pedestrians and other obstacles.

Some argue that unmanned vehicles will significantly reduce the number of deaths on the roads, others predict the chaos that can occur because of misunderstanding between artificial intelligence and natural human intelligence. The main disadvantages are called the unreliability of the software, loss of drivers driving experience, the loss of jobs. As a negative consequences it is even considered mining of unmanned vehicles.

Says the head of Department of development of unmanned vehicles “Cognitive technologies” Yuri Minkin: “Everyone understands that a separate dedicated track only for unmanned vehicles — a utopia. They will be used on normal, and without any markings such as: “Car without driver”. Why cause unnecessary panic? Before releasing their cars on ordinary roads, the manufacturers run-in their test. And even if at first a certain percentage of accidents involving smart cars will happen, then they will become less. In any case, the unmanned vehicles are much safer than person driven.

There are countries where the drones will fall soon – a number of Asian countries such as India or Egypt, where traffic is crazy and chaotic happening under the laws. On the Russian roads unmanned vehicles will be available by 2023-25 year, if at that time will be prepared by the legislative framework.

In the first place “smart” transportation is likely to appear in the taxis, many of which today are investing in drone technology. Leaders understand that taxi drivers, no matter how cheap labor force they were not that expensive.

As for private cars, the new technology for some time will remain under question. The fact is that machines with artificial intelligence sharply, and many will be willing to pay more, is unclear.

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