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The Magnificent 7: Russia's Scientific Balance of Beauty and Brains (Part II)

They do not walk the runway in swimsuits but spend their days and nights doing scientific research to enable us to live longer and better.

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

In the first part of our project we questioned Ekaterina Proshkina, winner of the Presidential Award for young scientists, Polina Mamoshina, a leading expert in a major international medical project  and Helena Petersen, the Head of the MIPT laboratory of cellular and molecular technology. Today - two more heroines.

Maria Konovalenko: Teach the Body to Heal Itself

<figcaption>Leading researchers told "KP" about their work, and shared beauty "know-how" </figcaption>
Leading researchers told "KP" about their work, and shared beauty "know-how"

This impressive blonde graduate of  the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) , has  participated international conferences on the genetics of aging and longevity, has worked in one of the leading scientific research support funds, "Science for Life Extension" and is now raising her qualifications at the Buck Institute for Age Research in San Francisco.  Maria 's schedule literally fills every minute, and to the question of how she protects her skin from aging in sunny California, Mary replied that she works from early morning till late at night, so not often outside.

1.  Your education and workplace?

“I graduated MIPT with a degree in  molecular and biological physics. Now, I’m finishing my second year in the PhD program with a major in  the biology of aging at the University of South California and the Buck Institute for Age Research.”

2.  Your research area?

“I work on the process of stem cell aging, in particular, the genetic conditions of stem cell behavior, using moose (?) trachea cells.

Our goal is to learn to maintain cell regeneration at the same level as a young organism. If it works, it wont matter whether  cells age or not. This means that if the stem cells' reserves are constantly  recovered, as in young organisms, they will continue to regenerate. An organism will be able to cure itself, and protect itself from aging and disease.”

3. What do you want to achieve and what benefits will it bring to people?

 “My work will lead to a set of functions that will help to rejuvenate our stem cells and keep them in the same condition for a long time. What will the anti–aging products look like? Like many scientists, I believe it is simpler and more comfortable to use geri-protectors ( anti – aging medicines). When we will find out the gene targets we’ll launch the program of gene-protectors, starting from the anti – aging effects of existing drugs.”

4. What is your “scientific” beauty recipe?

 “I do sports at least four times a week, mainly cardio and swimming. Scientific research shows that regular physical exercise slows down brain aging and age pathologies. I try to keep to a diet without red meat. Dreaming is very important for our organism and slows the aging process. I wake up early and try to go to bed early.”

Elena Kuznetsova: teaching computers to “see”

This fragile, gentle looking girl could have stepped out of  “A Hunting Accident ”  - whose main character was played by Oleg Yankovsky.  Elena Kuznetsova has danced since childhood and manages to combine ballet with Applied Mathematics and her serious work in a laboratory.

1. What is your background and workplace?

“I graduated from "MISiS" (The National University of Science and Technology) with a degree in  Applied Mathematics. Now I’m a PhD student at the Laboratory of Computational Linguistics ( Kharkevich Institute) with a major in mathematical modelling. I’m a research assistant in the visual systems laboratory, and also, a lead programmer in a small innovative company that makes industrial systems.”

  1. Your area of research.

“We create methods that help computers  “see” , getting the same information from a pictures that humans do. Machines find and recognize objects, figure out their different features, and are able to create 3D – forms of real things, monitor movements on a video, etc.

In addition to scientific research in robotic eyesight, we pay a lot of attention to its practical use. Now, I’m developing a system of automobile license recognition.Also there are projects on machine navigation and unmanned aerial vehicles, automobile classification, a diamond ?? automatic search program and control and recognition of ID cards.”

3.What do you want to achieve and what will it bring to people?

“The aim of my work is to expand human opportunities using high-level technological devices in search, communication, with a variety of convenient solutions for everyday tasks. In short, we want to automate  and improve both routine and difficult work , increase security and at the same time support the environment.

  1. What is your “scientific” beauty recipe?

I’ve been dancing since childhood and prefer ballet. It keeps me very fit. I also like long walks, running, camping, and often I ride to work on a bicycle.

To be continued...


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