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The Ministry of Science and Technology
People's Republic of China


N0.220 April 20,2000
    1.Six Major Forestry Projects
    2.Fetus Hepatitis B Infection Mechanism Discovered
    3.Major Breakthrough for Stomach Cancer Chips
    4.Chinese Scientists Created “Time Window”
    5.Bell Lab Chinese Academy of Basic Studies Founded in Beijing
    6.21st Century China Internet Conference 
    7.China's Largest CD-R Disk Production Base


Six Major Forestry Projects

To strengthen quarantine inspection, prediction and prevention of forest diseases and pests, Chinese State Forestry Administration has decided to kick off 6 major related projects so as to confine the occurrence of forest diseases and pests under 4% and make the associated prevention rate reach 85% and above in 5 years.

The said six major projects are as following. The target of “no disasters though with pests” through applications of bionic pesticides and other biotech means will be realized over six provinces including Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Henan, Guangxi and Liaoning. In 5 provinces including Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Shandong and Guangdong, steady upgrading afforestation efforts will be made from outside to inside through seal-off epidemic areas and cleaning up dead and sick trees soas to ensure the security of major scenic spots and several hundred million mu(1mu=0.0667 ha.) of pine forests in South China. In the region of Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia, the security of the socalled “Three North” forest wind breaks will be safeguarded through planting tress with strong immune resistance and applications of efficient pesticides. In Shanxi Province, immediate efforts should be made to check up the development of woodworms attacking spruce and eradicate isolated epidemic spot so as to protect pine and spruce forests in North China. Hebei and Tianjin will practice engineering controland check of the attack of American white worms over their 500,000 mu of fields and ensure no further spread to Beijing. Nearly 10 million mu of forests over Jilin, Heilongjiang, Sichuan, Qinghai and Xinjiang have suffered serious rat attacks and efforts should be made to protect the natural enemy of rats and kill rats with poison so as to reduce the affected areas and safeguard 85% of young trees free from rats attack.

Major Reform on Emission Fees

As disclosed by China State Bureau of Environmental Protection, China will reform its charging, management and application system of pollution emission fees so as to change the mood that some enterprises would rather pay for emission fees than making efforts to control the pollution and crackdown on the illegal use of emission payment.

As stipulated by relevant laws and regulations on environmental protection, From the 1980s China started to charge the enterprises which produced pollution emissions exceeding the required standards and used the penalty money to support environmental protection at a proportion of no higher than 80% of the collected to help major pollution source control with the rest of the payments for the self improvement of environmental protection departments and need for integrated control activities such as monitoring instrument and equipment procurement, subsidies for environmental protection activities and small scale construction.

As briefed by the Head of Dept of Monitoring, State Bureau of Environmental Protection, according to the current pollution emission charging system it is difficult to collect penalty from the enterprises whose pollution emission concentration is up to the standards but with huge quantity of emission. Another fact is that the extremely low penalty standards ( about only 20% of the costs for pollution control) have objectively made some enterprises prefer to pay for the penalty than control the pollution. In addition, some localities have misused the penalty funds.

Focusing on the existing problems in pollution emission penalty management, pollution emission penalty will be used to make up the environmental damages caused by pollution and will be calculated according to the total emission. In addition, the emission fees will be gradurlly raised. This will eventually make the pollution emission penalty higher than the costs of pollution control so as to spur the polluters to control the pollution. The fees collected will be mainly used for integrated pollution control, demonstration projects, improvement of regional and basin environmental quality with limited amount on subsidizing major pollution source control efforts.

Fetus Hepatitis B Infection Mechanism Discovered

Chinese scientists of Chinese No. 4 Military Medical College announced recently that they have discovered the mechanism of fetus infection with hepatitis B viruses HBV for the first time in the world HBV.

The research on the molecular epidemics of factors and mechanism leading to fetus infection with hepatitis B viruses has found out that the placenta capillary damage caused by threatened abortion and others would cause mother's blood of high HBV concentration into fetus. HBV will then go through different “layers” of mothers uterus and eventually reach the fetus' blood system. The closer the fetus to these cells, the less chance of being infected by HBV.

Started from 1992, with the support of China National Natural Science Foundation, the research chaired by Prof. Xu Dezhong has achieved the said results from their studies of prenatal blood samples of 402 pregnant women of HBV positive and venous blood samples of infants 24 hours after birth. 

Prof. Xu said some overseas scientists assumed that the placenta capillary damage was the reason causing the infection in uterus without further in-depth studies. Chinese scientists' discovery has confirmed the assumption while correcting the hypothesis that HBV does not reproduce in uterus.

Studies have also found that mothers' age, occupation and infants' weight and gender were not meaningfully related to the HBV spreading in the uterus. Prof. Xusaid if the fetus is infected with HBV in the womb, the vaccine will not work later on.

Major Breakthrough for Stomach Cancer Chips

Dr. Yan Xiaojun, Head of Institute of Genetic Diagnostic Techniques, No.4 Military Medical College, disclosed on March 30, 2000 that his study group were working on biological chips for diagnosing cancers at their earlier stage, of which the one on stomach cancer has almost approached its maturity.

The socalled biological chip is a tiny solid piece carrying thousands of human genetic information and working on the principles similar to computer parallel analysis. The chip will allow faster biological analysis in a smaller space.

The stomach cancer is of the highest occurrence only next to the lung cancer. In China the death toll related to stomach cancers ranked the first among others. It will take 500 traditional testings to diagnose the cancer at the earlier stage. The application of biological chip diagnostic techniques will allow 1000 items tested on a single try, which greatly improve the time efficiency and accuracy of cancer detecting at the earlier stage.

Yan said biological chips diagnosing other cancers at the earlier stage will be made available in his Lab in five years. He also added that his colleagues and him were still working on the development of hereditary disease chips. A dropof blood from the finger of a pregnant woman may tell if the 2 to 3 months fetus is of deformation or genetic defects through the chip testing.

In addition, Yan disclosed that his Lab have successfully developed the biological chips diagnosing common diseases such as those related to stomach and liver and sexually transmitted diseases. These results will find their clinic applications in 6 months.

It will take about two days for a patient to get his testing results on hepatitis with traditional testing techniques in a hospital. However, it will only take less than five minutes to get the same result with the help of biological chip technique at a lower cost.

Chinese Scientists Created “Time Window”

Lin Jingxing and others of Chinese Academy of Geology have formally applied their
“time window” technology, the first of its kind in the world geological communities, in a project investigating environmental pollution variations of an industrial city in Liaoning Province in the last century. This is a breakthrough of traditional approach measuring time span of one million years in geology and realized the study of finest time span down to one year. The development demon strated China's successful application of the latest research result achieved by Chinese scientists in earth scientific studies.

The socalled “time window” technique is an approach integrated with different means to study the sediment records of a certain time period. The project was started from 1998 to work on last 100-year environmental pollution variations of an industrial city in Liaoning Province and its impacts on biodiversity, life and health. Applied with this latest advanced technology in the world, it took them two years to work out the pollution variations of an industrial city from 1930 to 1997 through analyzing the selected sediments and attached microbes. The results have shown that the period from 1930 to 1974 is a relatively clean phase followed by the one from 1974 to 1989 containing relatively heavy pollution and then the one from 1989-1997 with serious pollution. The new approach has also found out seven elements recording the fastest growth. They are Cd, Pb, As, Hg, S, Zn and Cu. In addition, for the first time in the country they have applied the latest biotic ecotype technique to study the impacts of pollution variations on life and health and found out that biodiversity saw sharp decline with smaller size and increased deformed when pollution went up. They also discovered a strange phenomenon that the pollution element concentration in the sediment would not decrease as pollution emission decreases.

Researchers expressed that they were planning to apply for funds to further study the accurate relationship between environmental pollution variations and morbidity of high risk diseases, quantitative relationship between pollution causing elements and high risk diseases and so on.


Bell Lab Chinese Academy of 
Basic Studies Founded in Beijing

Bell Lab Chinese Academy of Basic Studies was recently heralded its foundation in Beijing. The new institution will carry out in-depth studies on networking, telecommunication software, optical telecommunication, computation sciences and applied mathematics. It is reported that this is the first basic study entity created by Bell Lab outside US.

American Bell Lab is an internationally renowned research and development institution. Recent years have witnessed Bell's increasing interest in China's development. So far it has forged collaborations with Chinese Academy of Sciences and research institutes subordinated to Ministry of Information Industry and created exchange programs with higher learning institutions such as Shanghai Jiaotong University, Peking University and Zhejiang University. In addition, it opened graduate courses at Peking University and Fudan University respectively. Xu Jun, President of Bell Lab (Asia-Pacific & China), expressed that the new Academy would develop the products and technologies tailored to the needs of Chinese market and provide quality service for its clients.Experts concerned be lieve that the establishment of factories and R&D institutes in China by more and more transnationals for the purpose of speeding up the localization process of their products will dynamically promote the development of China's telecommunication science and technology and related industries.

21st Century China Internet Conference

Sponsored by non-governmental organizations and supported by Chinese Government with the involvement of new media, 21st Century China Internet Conference will be held in Beijing on April 20, 2000. It is estimated that 800 participants from the information industry will be in presence.

By the end of last year, China has occupied the 8th place following US, Japan, UK, Germany and others in terms of the growing number of Internet subscribers with its total number of websites jumping from 1500 to current 15,000. It is expected that China will become one of the largest Internet market in the new century.

At the news briefing sponsored by the Preparatory Committee of the Conference on March 28, 2000, Mr. Fang Nan, a governmental representative, pointed out that the state hoped to see the compatible position of Internet development in China in terms of its physical size in the world. Supporting and regulating is the long standing policy advocated by the Government for the Internet development in the country. Regulating is not to restrict but rather promote the healthy and steady development of this new industry.

The Conference is co-sponsored by News Center of China International Internet, Xinhua Network, Sina and Chinese Association on Information Economics. During the Conference, heads of many domestic renowned websites will discuss numerous is sues such as learning from advanced international experiences, creating more space for Internet development and construction of brand name websites. Meanwhile, the governmental representatives will address their basic policies on domestic Internet development and scholars will discuss the development trend of Internet economy and the characteristics of operation. In addition, renowned transnation
als such as Microsoft, Reuters and International Data Group will have their repr esentatives in presence.

China's Largest CD-R Disk Production Base

China's largest CD-R Disk production base was recently put into operation in Hangzhou. Equipped with the internationally advanced CD-R disk assembly line, the said production base created by Hangzhou based Nature Industrial Co. Ltd. is of an annual capacity for 30 million disks with the leading quality in the nation, which is the same as the international products. The development demonstrated China's capacity for manufacturing world first class CD-R disks.

Recent years have witnessed strong market call for CD-R disks. As shown by statistics, the world wide demand for CD-R disks was 800 million in 1998, up to nearly 2 billion in 1999 and is expected to reach 3 billion this year. Along with the improvement of laser disk recording technology and market promotion, China will become a huge market with great perspectives for CD-R disk industry.

Nature Industrial Co. Ltd. is a large state owned enterprise which started its information recording material business from the late 1970s. By the end of last year, it has possessed an annual production capacity for 30 million CD-R disks.With the capacity to be further extended this year, it will secure an annual output for 100 million. So far the project has been listed a major technical upgrading item in the national development plan.

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