National Geographic Russia in February

“The Cream of Canine Society,” the top story in the February issue of National Geographic Russia magazine, examines the secret behind the existence of so many different breeds of dogs and how can it provide clues to understanding several genetic diseases in humans.

Also in this issue:

Royal fabric. Silk is one of the Celestial Empire’s four greatest inventions. Its elegance, striking look and softness have earned it the moniker “the king of fabrics.” Is it possible now to reconstruct, to the very last detail, the imperial silk that existed in the days of the powerful Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties?

Lady with a secret. A small ink and colored chalk drawing that sold for $21,850 might turn out to be Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest masterpiece. If so, its value would be at least 50 times greater. But can we be certain that it was created by Da Vinci?

A shared fate. Identical twins helped scientists answer the question of what determines our intelligence, character and talents — our nature or our nurturing?

Merchants in miracles. Thanks to the residents of the ancient Central Asian state of Sogdiana, the Great Silk Road — the most famous commercial route in history — linked the East and West, from China to Rome and then Byzantium, for hundreds of years.

Hell’s Hole. That is the name given to the Valley of Afar in Ethiopia. This depression in the surface of the Earth exposes phenomena to view that usually occur only in the ocean’s depths.

The new issue was released for sale on Jan. 31.

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