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» Glavni naslovi




The Topic of this Issue

Sleep and dreams

Although the sleep process is as life itself, and although it takes up one third of human life and is a vital form of behaviour the purpose of which we do not understand sufficiently – during the previous century the first steps were made that give at least some insight into the secrets of sleep. In 1908 the first encephalograph was registered by Hans Berger, and he made this discovery public only in 1929. The first official sleep handbook „Sleep and Wakefulness“ was written by the US professor Nathaniel Kleitman in 1939. The fact that sleeping consists of sleep and dreaming was first announced by N. Kleitman and E.Aserinky in 1953. In Serbia, the first sleep handbook titled „Wakefulness, sleep, and dreaming“ was written in 1977 by academician Veselinka Šušić.
In this feature article we are publishing texts on research of sleep and dreaming, the outcomes of a recent experiment in this field, and experiences od experts who are most active in this field of study.



Prostate diseases

In most men, the sexual gland – the prostrate – around the middle of their life naturally becomes enlarged. In a certain number of cases this process is associated also with difficulties that can have a negative impact on quality of life. Almost one man out of two over 60 has symptoms caused by some prostate disease, yet many hesitate to see a doctor. Professor Miodrag Lazić, M.D., who was until recently manager of the Urology Clinic within the Clinical Centre „Dr Dragiša Mišović“, currently consultant of the Belgrade general hospital “Bel Medic”, speaks of such changes and treatment thereof.



Skin itching

If itching persists longer than six weeks it is chronic pruritus, and it is necessary to identify the underlying cause. If caused by a dermatological or systemic disease, itch is treated primarily by treating the underlying disease, says Isidora Sbutega, M.D., dermatovenerologist of the Belgrade general hospital “Bel Medic”. Itch, she says, is a non-specific syndrome and not a disease and its treatment requires the determination whether it is acute or chronic. Dr Sbutega explains the mechanism of onset of itch.



Treating caries

With the exception of the common cold, caries is the most frequent health malady of the contemporary man. Prevention is relatively simple and relies mostly on mouth hygiene. Dr Srđan Tomić, a dentist of the Belgrade general hospital “Bel Medic” stresses that efficient protection requires the habit of adequate and regular teeth washing since the earliest childhood. He also speaks of the newest treatments, the adequate nutrition, and health risks of neglecting teeth health of children.


Auto museum

Garage as a cultural asset

The youngest among the technical museums in Serbia - the Auto Museum – a collection by Bratislav Petković, marked its 20th anniversary and is the first museum of its kind in the Balkans. The exhibition is staged in premises provided by the City of Belgrade and the exhibits are a private collection. It is in the Modern Gallery, the first public garage (1929) in the city. It presently exhibits 40 automobiles of the total of 70 which make up the collection of old timers and rare automobiles. The oldest among them is the three-wheel two-seater maro-garden (1897) with a wooden chassis. The collection also includes a Ford T, the first automobile produced on a conveyor belt. The Museum is located at address Majke Jevrosime 30.



Bear protection

When talking about bears in continental Europe, it is the brown bear (Ursus arctos). The biggest beast in Serbia. Shrinking of habitats and illegal hunting resulted in Serbia having less than one hundred animals of this species, known for its lover life style. Biologist estimate that, with fully protection measures, the number of bears could quickly increase by a factor of four. This is why a special team has been established to provide protection for this species and it operates within the program „Increasing the bear population“. The program includes the marking and tracking of animals by means of GPS, their movement from one habitat to another, full use of legal protection and other measures.



Reliable prognostic service

Thanks to a series of projects that over the years the National Hydro-Meteorological Institute implemented with the Norwegian Water Directorate, it is possible to say today that Serbia has the best prognostic service in the region. The objective of this cooperation was ensure high quality training of staff and procurement of state of the art hydrometric equipment and software, as a result of which already now we have reliable forecasts of water levels so that for this year it has been determined that this year the small and medium size water sheds are not expected to experience significant variations of annual water volumes. Instead, there are possibilities of extremes, or floods and prolonged periods of low water levels.


Subterranian rivers

Arteries of our planet

What do we know of subterranian rivers? Underneath the Bosphorus, for instance, there runs a mysterious river, with steep river banks and currents, while at places it is a kilometre wide! It runs 70 meters under the sea and is then lost in the depths.
The ocean bottom is traversed with numerous undersea river courses, some of which are thousands of kilometres long and tens of kilometres wide, more than a hundred meters deep. They take sediments to the deep, taking with them oxygen and nutrients enabling living beings to survive at these great depths. We still do not understand how this works. Satellites cannot reach that deep and sonars and divers are not of much help either. The first drawings of the network of undersea rivers, made in the 1940's reveals deep crevices cut by erosion at the edges of continental plates, similar to the Colorado Great Canyon. Geologists believe that these features are a result of destructive river currents.



The Big Bang Mistery

In 1964 engineers of the Bell Labs (New Jersey) ttempted to build an advanced antenna to listen in on the universe and – they discovered something that they were not hoping for! They recorded unusual sounds of radio for which they claimed was the first confirmed Cosmic Microwave Back(ground), a result of the Big Bang which still permeates the universe.
Half a century later, this signal assists in discovering the age of the universe, its shape and components and details of its development. Many questions remain unanswered: why the early universe was uniform, was there something before the Big Bang, did life begin in the heat of the Bing Bang, what is the final destiny of the universe, etc ...



The only way of settling the universe

Ever since the first space travel by astronauts into the Earth orbit, and through the half a century which followed, a struggle has been going on against the negative effects of weightlessness on the human body. Time spent by men in orbital stations and cosmic ships causes numerous physiological changes, primarily: disorders of the vestibular system, muscle atrophy, loss of legs and back muscles, loss of bone mass, weakening of the heart, and others. According to the present knowledge and current technical achievements, the only way to ensure artificial gravity in orbital stations is the simulation of centrifugal force which would open up by rotating the whole structure or some part of the station to house the crew. First ideas originate from the beginning of the 20th century and they were put forward by the Russian scientist Konstantin Ciolkovski. Subsequently designs were made of such orbital stations of huge dimensions; some versions of such systems would require rings up to 1000 km long!



Spaceships of the future .

At the mention of the biggest aircraft of the present time the first association is the Russian „Antonov 225 Mrija“, the US Jumbo Jet, or the Airbus „A 380“. Seldom will one think of the airships of the golden era of aviation of the 1930's. Presently, with the development of technology, numerous companies are turning to developing airships of more than 90 meters long, making them the biggest flying means of the near future.
Airships could hardly be used for conventional passenger travel, since there are the big and cost-effective aircrafts. However, the low speed and altitude of cruising of airships do offer certain advantages. That is why at present time there are several development projects underway developing airships which, due to past experience, must be characterised by simplicity, low price and safety of use.


Artificial intelligence

Computers between the inorganic and organic


New electronic devices are operating at huge and hard to imagine speeds. The speed of work of such computers is millions to one compared to the human brain. Great breakthroughs in microchip technology made it possible to produce exceptionally miniature electronic devices which increasingly replace human work and thinking.
Microprocessors are no longer limited to thinking operations. There is much reason to speak today of artificial intelligence made by man. These machines are supplied by a great number of programs and are capable to quickly and easily shift from one to another, which is a feature of human intelligence. Their programs are inferior to the human brain, yet their efficiency is superior both in terms of speed and in terms of accuracy.






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Godina XI
Maj - Jun 2014.



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