150 What was that started the civilization, who were the individuals who
decisively contributed to the wider community and for the whole world to move
forward, both in thought and deed? From ancient times to the present day,
there are countless great individual minds of people who, with some inventions
and ideas, turned reality around and moved it forward abruptly.
There were thinkers and constructors, inventors and experimenters in that line.
Thanks to them, the world is today at a high level of mind and technology.
Among them is a significant number of people from Serbia and its immediate surroundings.
Starting from Ruđer Bošković and Jovan Cvijić, with Mihail Pupin and Nikola Tesla,
to Mileva Marić Einstein and Milutin Milanković - the intelectual achievements of the local
people have become an unavoidable part of the development of civilization.
Half a century of „Soyuz”
Since the beginning of the space age, different types of spaceships have been constructed according to the programs
they were supposed to perform; but to the question: what type of spaceship could be a typical representative of
spacecraft that paved the way to space and fully corresponded to their basic purpose, the answer is most certainly:
the Soviet-Russian „Soyuz”. The „Vostok” and Vashod” ball capsules were intended for pioneering flights, and distinctly
conical shapes of the American „Mercury” and „Gemini” capsules were the first practical testing of US technology in space.
Neither of these two forms allowed controlled entry into the atmosphere, but only a ballistic trajectory, with the cosmonauts
suffering a pilot load of up to 10 ge. That was the point where future plans for space missions of space forces have diverged:
USA determines the flight to the Moon as the main goal, also developing the spaceship „Apollo”with modules for the landing
and return of astronauts to Earth; USSR approach is more cautious: development of a spacecraft for orbital flights around the
Earth with a system of connection with other spacecraft with the possibility of being sent to the Moon.
Fusion: the search for the holy grail
The search for pure and inexhaustible energy
that would power our world in the 21st century is reminiscent of the medieval search
for the Holy Grail. The nuclear power plants used in the world today work on the principle
of fission: the radioactive decay of the large atomic nuclei of atoms results in the release
of energy. Controlling and curbing this process is a serious task - when failed, we are
faced with disasters like Chernobyl or Fukushima. Another type of nuclear process that
results in the release of even more energy is nuclear fusion. It takes place in the heart
of the stars, where at an extremely high temperature (Sun temperature is 15,000,000 C)
and under enormous gravitational pressure, the atomic nuclei of light atoms merge - from
two hydrogen nuclei a helium nucleus is formed, and such a great energy is released that
its flash can be seen with the naked eye in the night sky from a distance of thousands of
light years. If we could achieve and control fusion in a nuclear reactor, we could get plenty
of energy, hydrogen would be a virtually inexhaustible fuel, and the danger to the environment
would be, unlike a fission reactor, minimal: maintaining the fusion process requires constant
large inputs of energy.
SECRETS OF TESLA’S DISEASES
A look into the invisible world of genius
During 1919, in at the time very popular magazine
„Electric Experimenter”, for the first time and in six sequels was published Nikola Tesla’s
autobiography „My Inventions”. Later published as a book and translated into many world languages,
this autobiography became a source of valuable knowledge about Tesla’s family, his childhood,
growing up, schooling, his first discoveries and unusual details about the discovery of the
rotating magnetic field in Budapest as well as fantastic visions of the future of remote control
and the global telecommunications system. Without Tesla’s vivid memories and descriptions of the
most important details from his ingenious inventive opus, we would never have learned about
numerous and valuable details from his life, scientific and research achievements that made
him one of the greatest minds in the entire history of mankind. However, what has remained
enigmatic to this day, and to which Tesla devoted a lot of space and very precise descriptions
in his autoboography „My Inventions”, are the various symptoms and health problems that have
plagued him practically his entire life. Until recently, phobias and obsessive- compulsive
disorder were mostly known, but many other, very serious symptoms that Tesla describes in his
autobiographical memories have never been clarified.
A NEW CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Search for the Vaccine
Four known coronaviruses having mainly the symptoms of the common cold have been circulating in the human population for decades,
but there is no vaccine for any of them. Seventeen years after the SARS pandemic (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and seven years
since the MERS epidemic (Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome), there is no vaccine against these serious diseases that are also
caused by coronaviruses. Today, researchers and pharmaceutical companies are again racing to make a vaccine for the latest strain
of coronavirus, which has infected more than four million people worldwide and claimed more than 285,000 lives so far. Will it work
this time? Some researchers believe that the vaccine against COVID-19, a new disease with pandemic has not yet been curbed, will be
developed in just a few more months - and before the end of this year. Most experts, however, consider it more realistic that a
vaccine against its causative agent, the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, will probably be available in mid-2021, about a year and a
half after the virus appeared.
HISTORY OF MEDICINE
Pandemics throughout history
Epidemics of infectious diseases spread around the
world even in the time long before the rapid migrations and international traffic as
we know them today. Historically, a coronavirus pandemic that is not yet under control
only reminds us that infectious diseases accompany humans and mark the life of global
society thousands of years ago. Epidemics of infectious diseases spread around the world
even in the time long before the rapid migrations and international
traffic as we know them today. Infectious diseases have also been shown
to be the deadliest threat in human history — claiming the lives of more
than 350 million people — with the potential to endanger not only health but
the entire lives of human societies, change the course of history, and even
destroy entire human civilization. The earliest recorded epidemic dates back
to the Peloponnesian War, 430 BC. It had previously captured Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt,
and then reached Athens, which was then under siege by the Spartans. The disease whose
symptoms are described by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides is thought to have been
typhoid fever. Known as the Great Athenian Plague,
it killed about 100,000 people, or twothirds of the population.
From Apgar almost to emergencies
While waiting for the birth of a baby,
every parent worries - even without a single valid reason - about delivery and whether
the newborn will be healthy and well. Modern medicine does a lot, even while the baby is
in the mother’s womb, to reduce any uncertainty of that kind to a minimum, but the birth
is still a very dramatic event of the transition from the intrauterine to the life separated
from the mother. In these first minutes of the baby’s life in a completely new environment,
the neonatologist has a key role - to quickly tell the parents if the baby is healthy and if
„everything is in place”, and if necessary, to help the baby in many ways to successfully
adapt to a new life. Able to deal with even the most complex, high-risk and urgent conditions
of a tiny and very sensitive patients, a neonatologist can play a vital, sometimes crucial
role in the life and continued health of a newborn. Dr. Vladan Milojević, a pediatric
neonatologist at Belgrade’s Bel Medic General Hospital, talks about the daily tasks of
this exciting and very responsible job.
In the footsteps of the first Europeans
A team of archaeologists from Serbia recently
excavated a hearth older than 200,000 years in the Balanica cave near Sićevo! Also,
with the help of physical and chemical dating, it was determined that the jaw found in
Mala Balanica is about half a million years old and that it is one of the oldest remains
of human ancestors (hominins) in Europe. How this discovery occured, explains the team leader,
Professor Dušan Mihailović, director of the Department of Archeology at the Faculty of Philosophy
in Belgrade. The professor reminds that the caves around Nis began to attract the attention of
researchers at the end of the 19th century, just a few decades after the first evidence of ice
ages, human evolution and cultural development in the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic) was collected.
MARCO POLO ON THE SILK ROAD
A record of the wonder of the world
Along with the closing ceremonies marking the 500th
anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage around the world, it will soon be seven and a half
centuries since his great predecessor, the legendary Marco Polo, in 1271 embarked on his Asian
adventure that lasted almost a quarter of a century. For centuries, the name of this medieval
Venetian merchant and explorer has been synonymous with adventurous travels to distant lands,
and synonymous with one of the world’s most detailed and inspiring travelogues. Marco Polo’s
Travels, handwritten and published in 1300, was translated into several European languages
during his lifetime, and the book was a guide for cartographers at the time and a great
inspiration for medieval explorers such as Christopher Columbus. Moreover, that record is still
an inspiring travelogue.
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