Report by Andrey Kolesnikov on the discussion of genomes and elves at a meeting of young scientists with Vladimir Putin

Report by Andrey Kolesnikov on the discussion of genomes and elves at a meeting of young scientists with Vladimir Putin

On November 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi met with participants in the III Congress of Young Scientists at Sirius University and talked with them for two and a half hours and came to a conclusion, says a special correspondent for Kommersant. Andrey Kolesnikov, that our future is the ocean, and not something else. Space, for example. And also, just before the end, it turned out that a genomic database would be formed based on the best Russians.

At the very beginning of the conversation, the president said what must be said, and only then we can move on:

- Our so-called... at least that's what we called them... partners believed that they had hooked us on such a technological needle and we would never get off it. And thanks to the efforts of people like you, your colleagues, it turned out that this is possible, and not just possible, but happens quite quickly... You said that our researchers used to buy some equipment abroad, but now they are forced to. ..

He meant: look in Russia.

“This is important,” Mr. Putin added. “Why?” Because a market for the products of our manufacturers of these devices has appeared. And if the market appeared, then there was an economic incentive to produce. Back then, when you could buy everything abroad, there was no domestic market. But one thing is important here. It is very simple, primitive, but in general it works so far - competition. It is necessary that there is competition for relevant products on the domestic market.

It turned out that there is news:

— Your colleagues, with whom I met last year, raised the question of the need to increase stipends for graduate students. We do it. Now the presidential scholarship will be 75 thousand. This is probably not the biggest number, but you can still live. This is never superfluous.

No, this is a big scholarship. This is a very big scholarship. Especially when compared with the minimum wage, for example. Or with a regular student scholarship (3-4 thousand rubles). A student scholarship in such a situation becomes the height of injustice.

And shouldn’t this injustice be eliminated before March next year? Everyone will benefit from this. Students and graduate students will not forget.

“It’s true,” the Russian president made a reservation, “there some types of all payments are stopped altogether... Somewhere a meaningless 4.5 thousand and some other such insignificant ones... I hope no one will notice.”

No, and they will notice it. 4.5 thousand is never meaningless. Their absence is meaningless.

The conversation lasted two and a half hours, and we can assume that everyone spoke out. One young scientist proposed redistributing scientific instruments and equipment to those who need them. That is, taking them away from those who do not use them.

The approach seemed truly revolutionary. The scientist's name is Georgy Yakovlev, and he is from St. Petersburg, the city of revolutionary glory, and a senior design engineer at the Svetlana-Rost enterprise.

— There are unused units in the academic environment! - he explained. - But there is no mechanism for how to convey it! For those who are ready to use it effectively!

“Tell me specifically,” Mr. Putin responded, “from whom and what do you want to take.”

“We know,” the nascent expropriator nodded promisingly.

- I have no doubt. But I don't know. And formulate how you see the idea itself. Transfers (property.— A.K.) from those who don't use it to those who need it!

If we take the idea as a basis, then all that remains is to prove that someone simply does not need what they own or does not use it.

And, by the way, it is possible and, most likely, necessary to extend the mechanism to all other spheres of human activity. If you don’t live in the house for a couple of months, don’t use it, give it all away to someone who needs it more.

I must say, Vladimir Putin liked the idea:

- The idea is absolutely correct! — he exclaimed. “I support it one hundred percent!” We just need to develop a mechanism! But not in a scratchy way, but in a civilized way!

Yes, Georgy Yakovlev will arrange everything beautifully.

Another scientist talked for a long time about sweet proteins without sugar, and this was also inspiring.

Scientist Alexander Sermyagin, representing the Federal Center for Livestock Husbandry named after Lev Konstantinovich Ernst (who, as you know, raised, first of all, it is known who), reported that their organization is “Noah’s Ark, which gathers various types of gene pool farm animals that were created over the last 100– 150 years in our country."

“Local populations,” the scientist explained. “Our country is large.” In Yakutia there are Japanese cattle that are ready for extreme conditions (there was catastrophically no time to explain why Japanese cattle, if they are in Yakutia.— A.K.). In the Urals, this is the Suksun and Tagil breed, which is capable of feeding on the paws of Christmas trees... If we take the North, then this is the Yaroslavl breed... We are engaged in preserving the breeds alive.

These noble people do not give their cattle to slaughter.

— We compare these animals according to phenotypic and genomic indicators with historical components that were known 50–60 years ago, then, using technologies such as embryo transplantation, we create cryobanks of embryos...

For Vladimir Putin, who is believed to be partial to the work of genome editing itself, the words must have sounded like music.

— We are solving a double problem: preserving the female component and the male component! - the scientist continued.

Russian samples, he said, are, of course, inferior to the best in the world, but they have no equal in terms of stress resistance. Indeed, one can only imagine what they have to endure before they are frozen completely and forever.

— There are a number of breeds from the south of our country... These are Red Steppe, Gray Ukrainian cattle (a dangerous term.— A.K.), which would be in demand in new territories, the scientist was relevant. We are actively mastering them now! At our base there could be a bioresource center for the conservation of gene pool breeds of farm animals,” the specialist simply summed up.

“Okay,” the president nodded, “you just have to remember to do it...

How simple everything happens in life.

“There is an opinion,” said presidential aide Andrei Fursenko, who prepared this meeting, carefully, “that it is wrong to talk only about farm animals.” We must talk about all living organisms!

Later, one of the meeting participants spoke about the need to create gene pool material from the best Russians. There really is no place to put it off.

“If our demographics are still so-so,” the president tried to comprehend in his own way, “our reproductive rate is in some ways inferior to someone else’s, but the intellectual component in this regard is very good.”

Well, or vice versa.

“Here are our lawyers... I’m also a lawyer...” Vladimir Putin developed his thought. “They are specialists in all fields!” Without exception!.. Well, simple!.. And they are the deepest... And since I am a lawyer myself, I will try to work with them... I will try to speak in professional language. But it is difficult. After all, where there are two lawyers, there are three opinions. You know what they say about some lawyers? If you ask a lawyer what time it is, he will look at your watch and tell you what time it is, but for that he will take your watch.

In general, everything somehow quickly became confusing.

“In agriculture,” the president admitted, “there are problems.” And there are problems with the egg. And there are problems with the necessary breeds of livestock, because there are not enough of these... meat breeds, but where is the material?

“Material is a problem... We still have to buy it...” the president sighed.

That is, apparently, not everything in life is solved through Chinese analogues.

Alexander Semenov introduced himself as a marine biologist and diver from Moscow State University.

- In the White Sea? — Mr. Putin clarified. “It’s cold!”

- We have suits. And we have learned to enjoy it,” said Alexander Semenov.

— As they tell me in Siberia: Siberians are not those who are not afraid of frost, but those who dress warmly... It’s the same case, right? — Mr. Putin clarified.

It turned out that scientists want to be allowed to go underwater without being considered divers, since it is a problem for a scientist to qualify as a diver. There is no scientific diving in the country, that’s the problem.

— Do you start blowing air from five meters? - Vladimir Putin asked, seemingly about something of his own.

- Yes... From five to seven it’s already necessary, of course...

“Just write what you would like...” the president asked the specialist.

“Everything is bathed when you go under water...” Alexander Semenov dreamily shared with Vladimir Putin.

“The ocean is our future...” the president responded just as dreamily. “So many possibilities...”

And sometimes it feels like space.

But it’s just that in the room with him now there was not an astronaut, but a diver.

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