This book examines how Russia, the world’s most complicated country, is governed. As it resumes its place at the centre of global affairs, the book explores Russia’s overarching strategies, and how it organizes itself (or not) in policy areas ranging from foreign policy and national security to health care, education, immigration, science, sport, agriculture, the environment and criminal justice. The book also discusses the structures and institutions on which Russia relies in order to deliver its goals in these areas of national life, as well as what’s to be done, in policy terms, to improve the country’s performance in its first post-Soviet century. Edited by Irvin Studin, the book includes contributions from a tremendous list of Russia’s leading thinkers and specialists, including Alexei Kudrin, Vladimir Mau, Alexander Auzan, Simon Kordonsky, Fyodor Lukyanov, Natalia Zubarevich and Andrey Melville.
The development and use of Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been a contentios subject for the last three decades. while there has been a number of social science analysis of the issues, this is the first book to assess the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the debate at such wide geographic scale. The various posiotions, for and against GMOs, particularly with regards to trangenic crops, articulated by NGOs in the debate are dissected, classified and juxtaposed to corresponding campaigns. these are discussed in the context of paradigms, including nature fundamentalism and the organic movement, post-colonialism, food sovereignty, anti-globalism, sustainability and feminism. This book also analyses how NGOs interprete the debate and the persuasive communication tactics.
The Paris Climate Agreement established a new target of combating global warming "well below 2 degrees Celsius". This goal will lead to the transformation and deep decarbonization of world economy aiming at nearly zero carbon emissions soon after 2050. The Northeastern Asian countries (responsible for 40% of global CO2 emissions) have all rechnological, resource and ivnestment potential for decarbonization both domestically and internationally, and can show leadership in this efforts on global scale.
The book provides the first in-depth, multidisciplinary study of reurbanization in Russia's Arctic regions, with a specific focus on new mobility patterns, and the resulting birth of new urban Arctic identities in which newcomers and labor migrants form a rising part. It is an invaluable reference for all those interested in current trends in circumpolar regions, showing how the Arctic is becoming more diverse culturally, but also more integrated into globalized trends in terms of economic development, urban sustainability, and migration.
The piblication provides the key lessons learnt from DDPP project experience on designing long-term pathways of low carbon development for 16 world largest economies. The Paris Climate Agreement requires countries to build their concrete vision of the national low-emission transition, consistent with global climate goals that would widely shared by domestic stakeholders and explicitly articulated with domestic socio-economic priorities. We analyze the experience of USA, France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, UK, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Brazil in projecting the deep decarbonization scenarios for their economies by 2050.
The book presents a brief summary of the scientific research on deep decarbonization of 16 largest economies by 2050.
This report examines the changes happening in Russia ever since the issue of global warming was introduced on the global agenda. Only today, after the planet has experienced a variety of catastrophic natural disasters, have world leaders and decision makers grown more aware of the urgency of the problem. In Russia, where climate changes have been more significant than globally on average, the government has increased its objectives in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and put forward a number of initiatives and green policy measures to achieve more sustainability in the long term. Russia’s target for greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 is set at 70-75 percent of the base level of 1990, according to the new action plan adopted by the Kremlin. Other states also recognize the problem but their positions differ in the way the issue should be solved. India, China, the U.S. and Brazil, all of which are important players analyzed in the report, find it hard to reach common ground in reaching a globally binding agreement. Whether this will be done ultimately depends on the outcome of the Paris climate change conference. The report also considers the state of the Russian climate change movement from the experience of NGO activities in Russia, provides an overview of the development of the Russian green energy sector with specific success stories and analyzes the prospects of renewable energy development in different regions of the country.
This supplementary material contains case studies presenting specific aspects of the DDPP country pathways. They illustrate and complement the cross-cutting analysis included in the 2015 DDPP synthesis report
The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative global research initiative seeking to understand how individual countries can transition, on a technological, socio-economic and policy “pathway”, to a low-carbon economy consistent with the internationally agreed goal of limiting anthropogenic warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (2°C). Achieving this goal requires that the world cut global net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) so that they approach zero between 2050 and 2075, consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)1 2014 findings that to ensure a better-than-even chance of remaining below a 2°C temperature rise, global annual emissions will need to be reduced 42%–57% by 2050 (relative to 2010), and 73%–107% by 2100. This will entail, more than any other factor, the profound transformation of energy systems through steeply reducing carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy. We call this transition “deep decarbonization” and our products, Deep Decarbonization Pathways (DDPs).
The present volume is the fourth issue of the Yearbook series entitled ‘Evolution’. The title of the present volume is ‘From Big Bang to Nanorobots’. In this way we demonstrate that all phases of evolution and Big History are covered in the articles of the present Yearbook. Several articles also present the forecasts about future development.
The main objective of our Yearbook as well as of the previous issues is the creation of a unified interdisciplinary field of research in which the scientists specializing in different disciplines could work within the framework of unified or similar paradigms, using the common terminology and searching for common rules, tendencies and regularities. At the same time for the formation of such an integrated field one should use all available opportunities: theories, laws and methods. In the present volume, a number of such approaches are used.
The volume consists of four sections: Universal Evolutionary Principles; Biosocial Evolution, Ecological Aspects, and Consciousness; Projects for the Future; In Memoriam.
This Yearbook will be useful both for those who study interdisciplinary macroproblems and for specialists working in focused directions, as well as for those who are interested in evolutionary issues of Cosmology, Biology, History, Anthropology, Economics and other areas of study. More than that, this edition will challenge and excite your vision of your own life and the new discoveries going on around us!
The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative initiative to understand and show how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy and how the world can meet the internationally agreed target of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C). Achieving the 2°C limit will require that global net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) approach zero by the second half of the century. This will require a profound transformation of energy systems by mid-century through steep declines in carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy, a transition we call “deep decarbonization.” Successfully transitioning to a low-carbon economy will require unprecedented global cooperation, including a global cooperative effort to accelerate the development and diffusion of some key low carbon technologies.
This collection is a special issue of Russian Sociological Review dedicated to the concept of border. The concept itself seems to draw attention in many disciplines. As spatial phenomena, borders are always drawn in spaces, while social scientists, philosophers and other academics often have different meanings of space. Recent reconsiderations of space in terms of networks, flows and events, bring even more complexity to the concept. The current volume contributes to both theoretical and empirical studies of borders on various levels. Contributions look at the relevant phenomena from contemporary or historical perspectives, study narratives about borders, reconstructions of the empirical configurations of borders and other objects (such as bodies), exploring how borders emerge and reshape existing spaces, etc. Overall, the issue contributes to the emerging interdisciplinary field of border studies and encourages cross-disciplinary dialogue.
Work-book «The current state of the Russian oil and gas industry» is offered for publication as a training aid for students qualified at the direction 131000 “Oil and gas engineering”. We have described the geology of hydrocarbons, in particular - the geology of heavy oil, unconventional resources of energy, etc. In this workbook there are also methods for the development of deposits of heavy oil and produce shale oil. Special attention was given to unconventional sources of hydrocarbons, exactly, gas hydrates and clayey shale. Novelty of work-book is presentation of oil and gas terminology to students from China. This work-book is published for the first time and will be very useful for self-study students of oil and gas disciplines, as well as oil and gas terms in Russian, English and Chinese. The manuscript is classified as «Approved by UMO on Higher Education in the field of applied geology as a work book for students enrolled in the direction 131000 “Oil and Gas Engineering”».
Climate change is already having a negative impact on agricultural production in Russia, especially grain production, since this sector is perhaps the most dependent on weather and climate factors. This report presents an economic evaluation of the impact of climate change on crop production at the national level and a long-term economic evaluation of the losses, profits, and risks for agriculture throughout Russia. It analyses the situation in the two the major agricultural regions, where the negative effects of climate change are especially pronounced, and examines the prospects for adapting Russia’s agriculture to climate change
The study includes a variety of topics, from a review of the political, legal and institutional frameworks for the development of a “green economy” in Russia, to concrete practices of separate waste collection, the development of renewable energy sources and aspects of environmental education. We tried to look at the process of sustainable development in Russia from diff erent perspectives, including the political and economic background, the legal situation, existing practices of sustainable development and how environmental information circulated, including journalism and education on sustainable development. The result is a broad study, which includes a collection of articles written by both theorists and practitioners of sustainable development in Russia.
Human reasoning uses to distinguish things that do change and things do not. The latter are commonly expressed in the reasoning as objects, which may represent classes or instances, and classes being further divided into concept types and relation types. These became the main issue of knowledge engineering and have been well tractable by computer. The former kind of things, meanwhile, inevitably evokes consideration not only of a ``thing-that-changes'' but also of ``change-of-a-thing'' and thus claims that the change itself be another entity that needs to be comprehended and handled. This special entity, being treated from different perspectives as event, (changeable) state, transformation, process, scenario and the like, remains a controversial philosophical, linguistic and scientific entity and has gained notably less systematic attention by knowledge engineers than non-changing things. In particular, there is no clarity in how to express the change in knowledge engineering -– as some specific concept or relation type, as a statement, or proposition, in which subject is related to predicate(s), or in another way. There seems to be an agreement among the scientists that time has to be related, explicitly or implicitly, to everything we regard as change -– but the way it should be related, and whether this should be exactly the time or some generic property or condition, is also an issue of debate. To bring together the researchers who study representation of change in knowledge engineering both in fundamental and applied aspects, a workshop on Modeling States, Events, Processes and Scenarios (MSEPS 2013) was run on 12 January, 2013, in the framework of the 20th International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2013) in Mumbai, India. Seven submissions were selected for presentation that cover major approaches to representation of the change and address such diverse domains of knowledge as biology, geology, oceanography, physics, chemistry and also some multidisciplinary contexts. Concept maps of biological and other transformations were presented by Meena Kharatmal and Nagarjuna Gadiradju. Their approach stems from conceptual graphs of Sowa and represents the vision of change as a particular type of concept or, likely, relation, defined by meaning rather than by formal properties. The work of Prima Gustiene and Remigijus Gustas follows a congenial approach but develops a different notation for representation of the change based on specified actor dependencies in application to business issues concerning privacy-related data. Nataly Zhukova, Oksana Smirnova and Dmitry Ignatov explore the structure of oceanographic data in concern of opportunity of their representation by event ontologies and conceptual graphs. Vladimir Anokhin and Biju Longhinos examine another Earth science, geotectonics, and demonstrate that its long-lasting methodological problems urge application of knowledge engineering methods, primarily engineering of knowledge about events and processes. They suggest a draft of application strategy of knowledge engineering in geotectonics and claim for a joint interdisciplinary effort in this direction. Doji Lokku and Anuradha Alladi introduce a concept of ``purposefulness'' for any human action and suggest a modeling approach based on it in the systems theory context. In this approach, intellectual means for reaching a purpose are regarded either as structure of a system, in which the purpose is achieved, or as a process that takes place in this system. These means are exposed to different concerns of knowledge, which may be either favorable or not to achieving the purpose. The resulting framework perhaps can be described in a conceptual-graph-related way but is also obviously interpretable as a statement-based pattern, more or less resembling the event bush (Pshenichny et al., 2009). This binds all the aforementioned works with the last two contributions, which represent an approach based on understanding of the change as a succession of events (including at least one event), the latter being expressed as a statement with one subject and finite number of predicates. The method of event bush that materializes this approach, previously applied mostly in the geosciences, is demonstrated here in application to physical modeling by Cyril Pshenichny, Roberto Carniel and Paolo Diviacco and to chemical and experimental issues, by Cyril Pshenichny. The reported results and their discussion form an agenda for future meetings, discussions and publications. This agenda includes, though is not limited to, - logical tools for processes modeling, - visual notations for dynamic knowledge representation, - graph languages and graph semantics, - semantic science applications, - event-driven reasoning, - ontological modeling of events and time, - process mining, - modeling of events, states, processes and scenarios in particular domains and interdisciplinary contexts. The workshop has marked the formation of a new sub-discipline in the knowledge engineering, and future effort will be directed to consolidate its conceptual base and transform the existing diversity of approaches to representation of the change into an arsenal of complementary tools sharpened for various spectral regions of tasks in different domains.
The given study is devoted to the issues of searching the ways for adaptation to climate change, mitigation of its impact on the economy and population, as well as to the role of increasing energy efficiency in the economies of some countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA). It also relates to the issues of responding to negative trends and emerging challenges caused by climate change. The Report represents several case studies on the above topics implemented in Moldova, Tadjikistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation by the network of regional enviuronmental centres. It also contains consideration of possible methodological approaches and recommendations on addressing the above issues in the EECCA region.
This report analyzes the development trends and conditions of the Russian economy, specifically its energy sector. It also reviews the projections of carbon emissions by 2020 and beyond in the context of the Russian government's scenarios of economic development. The second section of the report focuses on Russia's position in the negotiation process on a post-2012 climate regime, including the emission limitation pledge, carry-over of the surplus of assigned amount units (AAU) beyond 2012 and the forest carbon sinks. The report is written by Dr George Safonov, State University - Higher School of Economics/ Russian Environmental Defense Fund and Dr Oleg Lugovoy, Russian Environmental Defense Fund and Dr Anna Korppoo, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. The Nordic Ministers of Environments established the Nordic COP 15 Group early in 2008. In January 2010 the group was renamed to the Nordic ad hoc Group on Global Climate Negotiations. The main tasks of the group are to prepare reports and studies, conduct relevant meetings and organize conferences supporting the Nordic negotiators in the UN climate negotiations. The overall aim of the group is to contribute to a global and comprehensive agreement on climate change with ambitious emission reduction commitments.
People socialized in different cultures differ in their thinking styles. Eastern-culture people view objects more holistically by taking context into account, whereas Western-culture people view objects more analytically by focusing on them at the expense of context. Here we studied whether participants, who have different thinking styles but live within the same culture, exhibit differential brain activity when viewing a drama movie. A total of 26 Finnish participants, who were divided into holistic and analytical thinkers based on self-report questionnaire scores, watched a shortened drama movie during functional magnetic resonance imaging. We compared intersubject correlation (ISC) of brain hemodynamic activity of holistic vs analytical participants across the movie viewings. Holistic thinkers showed significant ISC in more extensive cortical areas than analytical thinkers, suggesting that they perceived the movie in a more similar fashion. Significantly higher ISC was observed in holistic thinkers in occipital, prefrontal and temporal cortices. In analytical thinkers, significant ISC was observed in right-hemisphere fusiform gyrus, temporoparietal junction and frontal cortex. Since these results were obtained in participants with similar cultural background, they are less prone to confounds by other possible cultural differences. Overall, our results show how brain activity in holistic vs analytical participants differs when viewing the same drama movie.
We utilized the event-related potential (ERP) technique to study neural activity associated with different levels of working memory (WM) load during simultaneous interpretation (SI) of continuous prose. The amplitude of N1 and P1 components elicited by task-irrelevant tone probes was significantly modulated as a function of WM load but not the direction of interpretation. Furthermore, the latency of the P1 increased significantly with WM load. The WM load effect on N1 latency, however, did not reach significance. Larger negativity under lower WM loads suggests that more attention is available to process the source message, providing the first electrophysiological evidence in support of the Efforts Model of SI. Relationships between the direction of interpretation and median WM load are also discussed.
In the past decade, several studies have examined the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on long-term episodic memory formation and retrieval. These studies yielded conflicting results, likely due to differences in stimulation parameters, experimental design and outcome measures.
In this work we aimed to assess the robustness of tDCS effects on long-term episodic memory using a meta-analytical approach.
We conducted four meta-analyses to analyse the effects of anodal and cathodal tDCS on memory accuracy and response times. We also used a moderator analysis to examine whether the size of tDCS effects varied as a function of specific stimulation parameters and experimental conditions.
Although all selected studies reported a significant effect of tDCS in at least one condition in the published paper, the results of the four meta-analyses showed only statistically non-significant close-to-zero effects. A moderator analysis suggested that for anodal tDCS, the duration of the stimulation and the task used to probe memory moderated the effectiveness of tDCS. For cathodal tDCS, site of stimulation was a significant moderator, although this result was based on only a few observations.
To warrant theoretical advancement and practical implications, more rigorous research is needed to fully understand whether tDCS reliably modulates episodic memory, and the specific circumstances under which this modulation does, and does not, occur.
Cardiovascular disease associated with metabolic syndrome has a high prevalence, but the mechanistic basis of metabolic cardiomyopathy remains poorly understood. We characterised the cardiac transcriptome in a murine metabolic syndrome (MetS) model (LDLR−/−; ob/ob, DKO) relative to the healthy, control heart (C57BL/6, WT) and the transcriptional changes induced by ACE-inhibition in those hearts. RNA-Seq, differential gene expression and transcription factor analysis identified 288 genes differentially expressed between DKO and WT hearts implicating 72 pathways. Hallmarks of metabolic cardiomyopathy were increased activity in integrin-linked kinase signalling, Rho signalling, dendritic cell maturation, production of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in macrophages, atherosclerosis, LXR-RXR signalling, cardiac hypertrophy, and acute phase response pathways. ACE-inhibition had a limited effect on gene expression in WT (55 genes, 23 pathways), and a prominent effect in DKO hearts (1143 genes, 104 pathways). In DKO hearts, ACE-I appears to counteract some of the MetS-specific pathways, while also activating cardioprotective mechanisms. We conclude that MetS and control murine hearts have unique transcriptional profiles and exhibit a partially specific transcriptional response to ACE-inhibition.
A cancer cell line originating from human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma (Caco-2 cells) serves as a high capacity model for a preclinical screening of drugs. Recent need for incorporating barrier tissue into multi-organ chips calls for inclusion of Caco-2 cells into microperfused environment. This article describes a series of systems biology insights obtained from comparing Caco-2 models cells grown as conventional 2D layer and in a microfluidic chip. When basic electrical parameters of Caco-2 monolayers were evaluated using impedance spectrometry and MTT assays, no differences were noted. On the other hand, the microarray profiling of mRNAs and miRNAs revealed that grows on a microfluidic chip leads to the change in the production of specific miRNA, which regulate a set of genes for cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), and provide for more complete differentiation of Caco-2 monolayer. Moreover, the sets of miRNAs secreted at the apical surface of Caco-2 monolayers grown in conventional 2D culture and in microfluidic device differ. When integrated into a multi-tissue platform, Caco-2 cells may aid in generating insights into complex pathophysiological processes, not possible to dissect in conventional cultures.
The endogenous opioid system (EOS) controls the processing of nociceptive stimuli and is a pharmacological target for opioids. Alterations in expression of the EOS genes under neuropathic pain condition may account for low efficacy of opioid drugs. We here examined whether EOS expression patterns are altered in the lumbar spinal cord of the rats with spinal nerve ligation (SNL) as a neuropathic pain model. Effects of the left- and right-side SNL on expression of EOS genes in the ipsi- and contralateral spinal domains were analysed. The SNL-induced changes were complex and different between the genes; between the dorsal and ventral spinal domains; and between the left and right sides of the spinal cord. Prodynorphin (Pdyn) expression was upregulated in the ipsilateral dorsal domains by each the left and right-side SNL, while changes in expression of μ-opioid receptor (Oprm1) and proenkephalin (Penk) genes were dependent on the SNL side. Changes in expression of the Pdyn and κ-opioid receptor (Oprk1) genes were coordinated between the ipsi- and contralateral sides. Withdrawal response thresholds, indicators of mechanical allodynia correlated negatively with Pdyn expression in the right ventral domain after right side SNL. These findings suggest multiple roles of the EOS gene products in spinal sensitization and changes in motor reflexes, which may differ between the left and right sides.
Most common drug development failures originate from either bioavailability problems, or unexpected toxic effects. The culprit is often the liver, which is responsible for biotransformation of a majority of xenobiotics. Liver may be modeled using "liver on a chip" devices, which may include established cell lines, primary human cells, and stem cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells. The choice of biological material along with its processing and maintenance greatly influence both the device performance and the resultant toxicity predictions. Impediments to the development of "liver on a chip" technology include the problems with standardization of cells, limitations imposed by culturing and the necessity to develop more complicated fluidic contours. Fortunately, recent breakthroughs in the development of cell-based reporters, including ones with fluorescent label, permits monitoring of the behavior of the cells embed into the "liver on a chip" devices. Finally, a set of computational approaches has been developed to model both particular toxic response and the homeostasis of human liver as a whole; these approaches pave a way to enhance the in silico stage of assessment for a potential toxicity.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver pathology. Here we propose tissue-cooperative, homeostatic model of NAFLD. During early stages of NAFLD the intrahepatic production of miR-122 falls, while the secretion of miRNA-containing exosomes by adipose increases. Bloodstream carries exosome to the liver, where their miRNA cargo is released to regulate their intrahepatic targets. When the deterioration of adipose catches up with the failing hepatic parenchyma, the external supply of liver-supporting miRNAs gradually tapers off, leading to the fibrotic decompensation of the liver and an increase in hepatic carcinogenesis. This model may explain paradoxical observations of the disease-associated decrease in intrahepatic production of certain miRNAs with an increase in their levels in serum. Infusions of miR-122 and, possibly, some other miRNAs may be efficient for preventing NAFLD-associated hepatocellular carcinoma. The best candidates for exosome-wrapped miRNA producer are adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), known for their capacity to shed large amounts of exosomes into the media. Notably, MSC-derived exosomes with no specific loading are already tested in patients with liver fibrosis. Carrier exosomes may be co-manufactured along with their cargo. Exosome-delivered miRNA cocktails may augment functioning of human organs suffering from a variety of chronic diseases.