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The Topic of this Issue

Josif Pančić

The natural scientist Josif Pančić is certainly the most reputable botanist of his age. And for a long time the most influential in this field in Serbia. After finishing his studies, he lectured at the Great School of Belgrade and afterwards was the first President of the Serbian Royal Academy (presently the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts). His scientific activity is linked to the second half of the 19th century; at that time, during his numerous visits and travels through the Balkan countries, he studied the flora of the region, recorded the species which he encountered, and catalogued them, systematising what he collected, wrote numerous studies of regional plant species and left behind him a voluminous herbarium with examples of plants from the Balkans. He was the founder of biological and geological sciences in Serbia. His papers on forests, sand, and nature protection make him a pioneer environmentalist. He advocated the scientific approach to forestry and agriculture, and promoted the foundation of archaeology. He left a voluminous correspondence with the most distinguished natural scientists of Europe of the time.



Moisture on the Moon

The idea that the water on the Earth originates from comets and asteroids has recently faced a challenge: chemical tests of lunar rocks support the hypothesis that the Earth was „born moist“ and that it even „gave“ some water to the Moon. There are also theories that the Moon was created after a major collision of the just created Earth and another proto-planet, some 4.5 billion years ago. Until a number of years ago most experts believed that the Moon is very dry. However, this assumption has changed after the tests made on rocks brought to Earth by the „Apollo 17“ mission, in the 1970's. In 2008 it was established that crystallised magma in the rocks from the Moon contains water, and not in negligible quantities, therefore this raised the issue of origin of this water.



Are We a Hologram Projection?

The contemporary theories describing our cosmos have become so close to the concepts of the best science fiction writers that there is practically no difference between fiction and science. Has science fiction thus become reality? What is there beyond the limits of the universe that can be observed – that we will never know. Maybe another universe? Yet, our universe is finite and at its borders, or at the cosmos horizon, there is its two-dimensional destiny inscribed. People have an illusion of a third dimension because they are thinking beings so their brain interprets the two-dimensional nature of the cosmos as a three-dimensional cosmos plus the time dimension. Is this why we, too, are only a hologram?




Living-Room Pilot

The abundant market of PC programs currently also offers a number of flight simulators. The imaginary odour of jet fuel and kerosene has thus come into the living rooms of aviation enthusiasts. Flight Simulators software has integrated all aspects of piloting and airplane behaviour in diverse technological, aerodynamic and weather flying conditions, with special emphasis on extremely complex navigation and excellent visual aspects. „Virtual Pilots“ have thus created a parallel world, mirroring real aviation. When flying from their living room chair, pilots are faced with many challenges, fortunately with no associated risk or unpleasant consequences.



Research on Hereditary Features of the Fetus

There is a tendency in modern perinatology that prenatal screening and prenatal diagnostics should begin as early as possible in order to ensure timely diagnosing of risk-associated pregnancies and so that special attention be paid to such pregnancies. Whether there will be complications during pregnancy and whether all will be well with the fetus – these are the most frequent concerns even in completely normal pregnancies. The above mentioned screening and diagnostics can provide valuable data. Among other things, about the hereditary basis of the baby, or genetic abnormalities and chromosome diseases. These issues are discussed by Professor Ljiljana Mirković, MD, a gynaecologist-obstetrician, head of the Department for high-risk pregnancies of the Clinic for gynaecology and Obstetrics of the Clinical-Hospital Centre of Serbia and a consultant of the General Hospital Bel Medic in Belgrade.



Multiple Sclerosis - Disease with a Thousand Faces

Until two decades ago there were no medicines available which could slow down the progress of multiple sclerosis. At present, drugs therapy can significantly prolong the period of quality life for those suffering from this serious disease. The cause of the disease is not known, but several factors have been identified which contribute to the development of the disease. It is doubtless that there is a genetic aspect to it, although it is not the standard genetic hereditary mechanism because the disease manifests itself only as a result of a number of factors: vitamin D deficiency, smoking, virus infection in childhood, etc. Professor Dragana Obradović, specialist of neurology from the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade, speaks about how the disease is treated at present.




Inner Ear - Battery?

The energy from the inner ear and the optical image of the ear could be of great use in diagnosing and treating loss of hearing, says Professor Konstantin Stanković, neuro-otological surgeon and a scientific associate of the Harvard Medical School. The existence of the endocochlear battery (or potential) has been a recent discovery and scientists have started studying the issue of extruding and using the energy. Professor Stanković reiterates that there are fields of scientific study dealing with the issue of using the body energy. The human body is a wealthy reservoir of energy; it has been demonstrated that it can use the energy of kinetic movement, heat energy and the energy of glucose cells.


New Medical Technologies


The FlyThru modalities are a new potential of ultrasound technology, enabling a unique adaptation of 4D imaging. This modality renders an endoscopic image in a non-invasive procedure. This system, commercially known as Aplio500, was developed by „Toshiba“. It offers a series of new options of viewing a human body. One of these new options is the FlyThru whereby diagnosticians with 4D ultrasound image virtually fly through the bodily cavities and blood vessels.



Graphene for the Future

Graphene is the basic structural element of allotropes such as graphite, carbon nano-tubes. It is characteristic of all aromatic organic compounds. Graphene layers, closely packed next to each other, form carbon. Graphenes have excellent mechanical, heat and electrical characteristics, exceeding metals known so far. It is one thousand times lighter than paper, and hundreds of times tougher than steel. It is an exceptional heat and electricity conductor. The possibilities of practical applications are also endless and it is therefore considered to be the material of the future.




Microscopic Fungi

Moulds and yeasts belong to the world of fungi, and their presence in different organic materials often presents problems to manufacturers of organic products. In other cases, moulds and yeasts are irreplaceable factors in the food industry, pharmaceuticals and medicine, and many processes associated with bio-technology. Basically, it is fungi that can be observed only under the microscope except when they live in colonies and are visible to the bare eye.








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Godina XI
Mart - April 2014.



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