Russia never fails to announce technology breakthroughs simultaneous with the rest of the world. Â Sometimes, even, those announcements describe a breakthrough that predates others. Â Look more closely and you may conclude that this is a propaganda technique developed during Soviet times. Itâ€™s called â€œsocialist realism.â€
In October 2014, at the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova announced the development of Triazoverin , which she described as 70-90% effective against Ebola. Â She described two other compounds also under study.Â After that announcement, we heard no more about Triazoverin.
In February 2016, Skvortsova announced GamEvac-Combi. She siad, Â â€œIn laboratory conditions, this serum allows to completely neutralize Ebola, with almost 100 percent efficacy. Â The vaccine is absolutely safe, and has almost no side [effects], as well as offering an unmatched immunity-boosting effect.”Â In the three months since that announcement … silence.
Hyperloop, Elon Muskâ€™s dream of a 750 mph capsule-in-a-tube is energizing peopleâ€™s imaginations from Singapore to Seattle. Â A Russian scientist in Siberia thought it up and published the paper, Motion without Friction, in 1914. Â Boris Weinberg described cars running on electromagnetic propulsion inside a copper tube.
In May 2016, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov described a planned hyperloop project between Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Â Anatolyi Zaitsev, an official from the St. Petersburg State Transport University, said this run could be built for no more than $12-$13 billion. Â He went on to say that a demonstration of levitation funded by Gordon Atlantic had been completed.
In what appears to be an unrelated venture, the Russian national railway is reportedly in talks to form a cooperative venture with Hyperloop One. Â This alliance was apparently brokered by Caspian VC, a Russian firm which has invested in Hyperloop One.
Great press, all of it, but no results.