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.
How is a water-soluble globular protein able to spontaneously cross a cellular membrane? It is commonly accepted that it undergoes significant structural rearrangements on the lipid-water interface, thus acquiring membrane binding and penetration ability. In this study molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been used to explore large-scale conformational changes of the globular viscumin A chain in a complex environment – comprising urea and chloroform/methanol (CHCl3/MeOH) mixture. Being well-packed in aqueous solution, viscumin A undergoes global structural rearrangements in both organic media. In urea, the protein is “swelling” and gradually loses its long-distance contacts, thus resembling the “molten globule” state. In CHCl3/MeOH, viscumin A is in effect turned “inside out”. This is accompanied with strengthening of the secondary structure and surface exposure of hydrophobic epitopes originally buried inside the globule. Resulting solvent-adapted models were further subjected to Monte Carlo simulations with an implicit hydrophobic slab membrane. In contrast to only a few point surface contacts in water and two short regions with weak protein-lipid interactions in urea, MD-derived structures in CHCl3/MeOH reveal multiple determinants of membrane interaction. Consequently it is now possible to propose a specific pathway for the structural adaptation of viscumin A with respect to the cell membrane – a probable first step of its translocation into cytoplasmic targets.
An age-structured bioeconomic model, which is completely continuous in age and time, is developed in order to compare with traditional discrete models. Both types have advantages and disadvantages. The continuous framework complements discrete models as it allows for deeper and more transparent analytical study and leads to analytical results that would be difficult to achieve within a discrete framework. To make the model realistic, a nonlinear recruitment function is introduced and steady state solutions and constant-effort optimal fishing are studied analytically. In addition, the framework has been used for numerical analysis. Simulations are used to investigate how optimal harvesting patterns vary with parameter values.
Single-point mutations in the transmembrane (TM) region of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) can lead to abnormal ligand-independent activation. We use a combination of computational modeling, NMR spectroscopy and cell experiments to analyze in detail the mechanism of how TM domains contribute to the activation of wild-type (WT) PDGFRA and its oncogenic V536E mutant. Using a computational framework, we scan all positions in PDGFRA TM helix for identification of potential functional mutations for the WT and the mutant and reveal the relationship between the receptor activity and TM dimerization via different interfaces. This strategy also allows us design a novel activating mutation in the WT (I537D) and a compensatory mutation in the V536E background eliminating its constitutive activity (S541G). We show both computationally and experimentally that single-point mutations in the TM region reshape the TM dimer ensemble and delineate the structural and dynamic determinants of spontaneous activation of PDGFRA via its TM domain. Our atomistic picture of the coupling between TM dimerization and PDGFRA activation corroborates the data obtained for other RTKs and provides a foundation for developing novel modulators of the pathological activity of PDGFRA.
In 1976 Richard Dawkins coined the term meme as a way to metaphorically project bio-evolutionary principles upon the processes of cultural and social development. The works of Dawkins and of some other enthusiasts had contributed to a rise in popularity of the concept of memetics ("study of memes"), but the interest to this new field started to decline quite soon. The conceptual apparatus of memetics was based on a number of quasi-biological terms, but the emerging discipline failed to go beyond those initial metaphors. This article is an attempt to rebuild the toolkit of memetics with the help of the more fundamental concepts taken from semiotics and to propose a synthetic conceptual framework connecting genetics and memetics, in which semiotics is used as the transdisciplinary methodology for both disciplines. The concept of sign is used as the meta-lingual equivalent for both the concepts of gene and meme. In the most general understanding, sign is a thing which stands for another thing. In genetics this translates into gene that is a section of DNA that stands for the algorithm of how a particular biomolecule is built. In memetics, the similar principle works in meme that is a thing that stands for the rules of how a particular cultural practice is performed.
A model including individual-level predictors (gender, age, material situation, education, and preferred social distance) provided a relatively good fit to the data, but adding country-level predictors (Human Development Index, population density, and average temperature) did not improve model parameters. Although there were some cross-cultural differences in social odor awareness, the main differentiating role was played by the individual differences. This suggests that people living in different cultures and different climate conditions may still share some similar patterns of odor awareness if they share other individual-level characteristics.
Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) is considered as an efficient stoichiometric antidote against organophosphorus (OP) poisons. Recently we utilized combination of calculations and ultrahigh-throughput screening (uHTS) to select BChE variants capable of catalytic destruction of OP pesticide paraoxon. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying enzymatic hydrolysis of paraoxon by BChE variants using hybrid quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations. Detailed analysis of accomplished QM/MM runs revealed that histidine residues introduced into the acyl-binding loop are always located in close proximity with aspartate residue at position 70. Histidine residue acts as general base thus leading to attacking water molecule activation and subsequent SN2 inline hydrolysis resulting in BChE reactivation. This combination resembles canonical catalytic triad found in active centers of various proteases. Carboxyl group activates histidine residue by altering its pKa, which in turn promotes the activation of water molecule in terms of its nucleophilicity. Observed re-protonation of catalytic serine residue at position 198 from histidine residue at position 438 recovers initial configuration of the enzyme’s active center, facilitating next catalytic cycle. We therefore suggest that utilization of uHTS platform in combination with deciphering of molecular mechanisms by QM/MM calculations may significantly improve our knowledge of enzyme function, propose new strategies for enzyme design and open new horizons in generation of catalytic bioscavengers against OP poisons.
Background. Restriction-modification (R-M) systems protect bacteria and archaea from attacks by bacteriophages and archaeal viruses. An R-M system specifically recognizes short sites in foreign DNA and cleaves it, while such sites in the host DNA are protected by methylation. Prokaryotic viruses have developed a number of strategies to overcome this host defense. The simplest anti-restriction strategy is the elimination of recognition sites in the viral genome: no sites, no DNA cleavage. Even a decrease of the number of recognition sites can help a virus to overcome this type of host defense. Recognition site avoidance has been a known anti-restriction strategy of prokaryotic viruses for decades. However, recognition site avoidance has not been systematically studied with the currently available sequence data. We analyzed the complete genomes of almost 4000 prokaryotic viruses with known host species and more than 17,000 restriction endonucleases with known specificities in terms of recognition site avoidance.
Results. We observed considerable limitations of recognition site avoidance as an anti-restriction strategy. Namely, the avoidance of recognition sites is specific for dsDNA and ssDNA prokaryotic viruses. Avoidance is much more pronounced in the genomes of non-temperate bacteriophages than in the genomes of temperate ones. Avoidance is not observed for the sites of Type I and Type IIG systems and is very rarely observed for the sites of Type III systems. The vast majority of avoidance cases concern recognition sites of orthodox Type II restriction-modification systems. Even under these constraints, complete or almost complete elimination of sites is observed for approximately one-tenth of viral genomes and a significant under-representation for approximately one-fourth of them.
Conclusions. Avoidance of recognition sites of restriction-modification systems is a widespread but not universal anti-restriction strategy of prokaryotic viruses.
The number of individuals in a random sample with close relatives in the sample is a quantity of interest when designing Genome Wide Association Studies and other cohort based genetic, and non-genetic, studies. In this paper, we develop expressions for the distribution and expectation of the number of p-th cousins in a sample from a population of size N under two diploid Wright–Fisher models. We also develop simple asymptotic expressions for large values of N. For example, the expected proportion of individuals with at least one p-th cousin in a sample of K individuals, for a diploid dioecious Wright–Fisher model, is approximately 1−𝑒−(22𝑝−1)𝐾/𝑁. Our results show that a substantial fraction of individuals in the sample will have at least a second cousin if the sampling fraction (K / N) is on the order of 10−2. This confirms that, for large cohort samples, relatedness among individuals cannot easily be ignored.
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.