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The brilliant scientist was able to do almost impossible, explaining the universe as simple and accessible as possible, making it even accessible to children.


Though Hawkin’s biography was not rich in scientific formulas, however, the hypothesis of the origin and structure of the universe, particularly the black holes, still remains in the spotlight of the scientific world.


Emilia Karapetyan, Associate Professor of the Chair of General Physics and Astrophysics at YSU Faculty of Physics, associates with Stephen Hawking the 1980s and 1990s. At that time, his assumptions about the existence of black holes in the scientific world have created a real turmoil. It was like a science fiction literature script. People’s questions about the innovative theory were endless; the wave of interest was high.


One of the greatest investments that he made in the field of astrophysics was the expansion of curiosity towards the latter not only scientists, but also ordinary people, including children.


The black hole is absorbable. According to Hawking, each cosmic body has its nucleus, from which the radiation is unexplained. This radiation creates a gravitational field that attracts the bodies present in the universe.
Hawking was trying to explain many of the cosmic phenomena with their black holes in their nucleus, such as the volatility of the bodies in the universe.


Victor Hambardzumyan proposed the opposite theory. The great scientist thought that in reality the opposite phenomenon took place. The bodies are not absorbed but thrown out of the cavity. Besides, Victor Hambardzumyan has suggested the hypothesis of superhighter material. The universe has emerged from superficial material, the basis of which is the large explosion. Hambardzumyan did not agree with the hypothesis that there is a black hole at the heart of everything.


Victor Hambardzumyan’s theory of active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the scientific world was as stirring as the theory of hollow black holes. According to this theory, the activity and behavior of the galaxies are conditioned by the nucleus of the latter; the nucleus dictates the behavior of the galaxy.


It is a completely different matter where the theory of black hole is not taken, but the observation and the resolution of the phenomenon. Physics and astronomy are experimental sciences, and the laws that operate on the planet cannot be realized in the universe.

Today, GMOs are considered to be the most widely used and most productive biotechnology products whose roots come from the 1970s. After appearing on the GMO-containing food market, various layers of society began to actively discuss their security issues. Scientists and public opinion on the issue are different and uncertain.

Journalist Varduhi Zakaryan held an interview with Armen Trchounian, Head of the Chair of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology of YSU Faculty of Biology.

- Mr. Trchounian, what factors have led to the need to use GMO?

-The problem of genetic modification is quite actual and has years of experience in the field of science. These are organisms whose genome has changed in artificial conditions, through genetic engineering. Genetically modified can be single-cell and multi-cellular organisms, microorganisms, plants, animals. Numerous studies have been carried out for research purposes in order to obtain new end-products, proteins, drugs through other sustainable organisms. Today GMO presents a number of plants that are available in our diet and receive other nutritional products. All processes are conducted under the care of experts and under strictly controlled conditions, subject to numerous expertise and analysis. As a result, many achievements have been registered. Everything has changed in the world: human diet, lifestyle, ecology, which can be very calm because of various deviations and negative changes. As a result of these changes, many illnesses have grown old. They are more important and are in need of attention. Finally, the goal of scientists is to prevent the occurrence of these diseases that lead to death or premature aging. The gene modification process is a link in that huge chain.

- What is the negative impact on the human body?


- According to prominent scientists, gene modification of various organisms is quite effective, justified and prospective, if, of course, they are carried out under strict supervision of scientists. As a scientist, I agree. Finally, scientists are facing greater and more primary goals to address the issue of increasing food volumes globally. The problem is not only in the availability of GMOs in food, but on its proper use. The genetic changes as well as the deviations in the human body can also occur under the influence of various factors, such as chemicals (fertilizers), radiation, processing and storage conditions. The US or a number of European countries spend huge amounts of money for the implementation of these processes, realizing the problem, the ways and results of the solution. Therefore, it is not right to give unequivocal evaluations. There are much more serious problems in food security today. No one, including Armenia, can claim unequivocally that the food that does not contain GMO is safer for our organism than genetically modified foodstuffs. Even products on which it is written in large letters “Do not Contain GMOs” cannot be considered safe as it is not clear what raw materials they have, how they have been processed, what conditions have been maintained, and so on. Therefore, first of all, we must solve the problem of public awareness. In fact, the reason for public anxiety is inadequate information and a lack of popular scientific knowledge. Discussion about the positive or negative impacts of GMOs can only be possible if there is a deep scientific knowledge.

The opening ceremony was attended by the RA Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan, YSU Rector Aram Simonyan, Vice-rectors, heads of various departments, deans, representatives of professorial staff, students and guests.


The creation of the center started in December 2015, when the Innovative Biotechnology and Bioenergy Innovation Center grant project was launched within the Innovation Competitiveness Foundation (ICF), which was provided by the World Bank and the Government of Armenia, co-funded by the Education Improvement Program.

Head of the Grant Program was YSU Vice-rector on Scientific Policy and International Cooperation Gegham Gevorgyan, Coordinator, Deputy Director of YSU Biology Scientific Research Institute, Doctor of Biology Karen Trchunyan.


At the beginning of the opening ceremony, Dean of YSU Faculty of Biology Emil Gevorgyan expressed happiness that this is already the second innovation center at the faculty: “The importance of such centers is vital, especially in our days, when there are no good times for natural sciences. Fortunately, this center has been opened thanks to our young scientist, and I am sure that young professionals will have more significant results in their hard work, which will contribute to the development of our faculty.”



YSU Rector Aram Simonyan mentioned in his speech that the opening of this center is a result of the ongoing development policy of YSU: “One of our goals is to set up excellence centers and accumulate the best human resources, best equipment, best technologies and best practices in these centers. The most important fact is that young people gather around such centers. These centers are the solution to their scientific interests, which is crucial for today’s difficult conditions.”


Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia Levon Mkrtchyan said that it is very important to implement such programs, which provide the necessary arsenal for the innovation in Armenia: “I would like to thank our university, which has played a crucial role in this program. This is a very important project for us because it enables to open horizons for the younger generation.”


YSU Vice-rector Gegham Gevorgyan stated that this program was implemented thanks to partners: “We would like to thank “Yerevan Beer” Factory, “Chanakh” Company, as well as the Scientific and Technological Center for Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. As a result of our cooperation, a center has been created to ensure the links between education, science and industry.”



Gegham Gevorgyan added that since the start of the project, much work have been done so far: “The center has already hosted a large number of researchers, the center has introduced two subject programs, and a master’s program has been elaborated, which will be available from the coming academic year.”


Karen Trchunyan told us that the Center created within the framework of the project has acquired and installed modern equipment (an unstable booth, a super cold temperature refrigerator, a stereoscopic microscope, gas and liquid chromatographs, etc.) and a lifecycle management system.


After the solemn opening ceremony the guests visited the new center.

Representatives of YSU Faculty of History, Geography and Geology, employees of the Institute for Armenian Studies, as well as the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute have participated in the preparation of the Atlas of the Armenian Genocide. Atlas Chief Editor is YSU Rector, Doctor of History, Professor Aram Simonyan.


“The publication of Atlas was not an end in itself. We wanted to provide the English-language speaking researchers, as well as people who are interested in this issue, officials with the opportunity to have such an option at their disposal. In the near future, we expect the Atlas to be published in other foreign languages as it is a fairly accessible and targeted work,” - said Deputy Director of the IAS, Candidate of History Mher Hovhannisyan.


The Atlas was published in a limited edition. It presents various issues and historical events related to the Armenian Genocide: the Armenian Highland as the cradle of the Armenian people, the Armenian-Turkish war, Hamidian massacres, the massacres of eastern Armenians and May victories, massacre of Armenians in Baku, cultural genocide, Diaspora formation etc. Atlas also includes agreements, documents and pictures. Simultaneously, the role of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire is also presented. In the last part of the Atlas there is also a reference to the international recognition and condemnation of the Genocide.


The other work that was presented to the public was the University textbook of Ottoman Language. In the period of genocide and pre-genocide period the circulation of documents was carried out in the Ottoman language.



Scholars and linguists of Ottoman language who had Armenian origin were quite many in the Ottoman Empire or in the Republic of Turkey. Nevertheless, for the first time in the Armenian reality, such textbook has been published and presented to the readers and students.


The presentation was also attended by members of the textbook authoring group, employees of the Department of Armenian-Ottoman Relations of the IAS, professor Alexander Safaryan, Candidate of Philology Lusine Sahakyan and Candidate of Philology Ani Sargsyan.


“In the newly-independent Armenia, YSU, and especially in the IAR, good work has been done in the field of Ottoman language study and textbook-making. The importance of the Ottoman language textbook was evident in Armenian universities and Diaspora,” - said Alexander Safaryan.


The work is being done on the publication of the next Ottoman language textbook, which will be more extensive.

“The Atlas of the Armenian Genocide” and “The Ottoman Language Textbook” were published by YSU Publishing House.

The researches were carried out within the framework of a grant to the Chair of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology. Associate Professor at this chair Hovik Panosyan said that the grant was provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway: “It includes a number of European and Caucasian, Central Asian and Asian countries. The Grant Program also includes external partners representing the United States.”


Hovik Panosyan also said that the grant was provided about a year ago: “It is aimed at creating an educational and knowledge based network between partner countries. The head of the Norwegian side is a professor who has repeatedly been at our university and delivered lectures. I am the coordinator of the non-European side.”


“The importance of the network for Armenia, particularly YSU, is that we are becoming a country that is not only a science-consuming or science-importing country, but also a country that exports science. We adopt European progressive ideas, then try to reach that level and convey to those countries that need it. In this network, YSU has played a key role in transmitting new scientific results from Europe to China and vice versa,” - said the Associate Professor.


Grant provides with the opportunity for experience exchange for Master and PhD students. Within the framework of this program, YSU hosted Khursheda Bobojanova, the Director of Biotechnology Center of the Tajik National University and two PhD students of the Center. YSU post-graduate students Ani Saghatelyan, Pargev Hovhannisyan and Master student Ani Azaryan have already returned from the University of Bergen, Norway, where they have been conducting scientific researches for three months.



During the event, foreign guests and YSU students presented the results of their scientific work.


Khursheda Bobojanova, Director of the Biotechnology Center of the Tajik National University, stated that the program greatly contributes to the development of theoretical and practical knowledge of their young staff: “I am very happy for this cooperation. It is quite effective. We have learned a lot here, especially in terms of the practical work. True, we still do not have the appropriate equipment, but I hope we will fill that gap in the near future.”


Hovik Panosyan added that within the framework of this program other events will also be organized, which will also contribute to the exchange of experience and increase of efficiency.