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

N0.306 July 30,2000
    * China's Chemical Engineering Research Harvests
    * National S&T Awards for 2000
    * CAS' Information and Biology Join Hands
    * R&D of Applied DNA Chips in Shanghai
    * China's First Multiple Radar Signal Double Backup System
    * Tsinghua University's China Enterprises Research Center
    * Cell Engineering Center in Xi'an

China's Chemical Engineering Research Harvests

China's chemical engineering studies have witnessed in recent years fast development with applaudable results. As briefed by Prof. Wang Wenchuan, professor of Beijing University of Chemical Industry, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of
the Specialized Committee on Chemical Engineering ,the Chinese Chemistry Association, China has achieved many world advanced results in chemical engineering researches such as thermal dynamics, transmission and separation, reaction engineering, heterogeneous separation, crystallization, drying, absorption, super critical fluid technology and transmission process. In the area of crystallization, China has seen major breakthroughs from basic studies to applied technology in the development of penicillin sodium salt; China's drying equipment manufacturing
capacity has reached a high level in terms of the exterior designing, quality and costs with the unique products of its own intellectual property right enjoying strong international competitiveness. China's chemistry industry is proud of its composition of young and middle-aged professionals reaching 70%.

Another outstanding mark reflecting the fast development is China's sponsorship of many high level international conferences on different related topics such as thermal dynamics, transmission and separation, reaction engineering, absorption and crystallization. In September this year, China-Japan and China-US Lectures on chemical engineering science and technology will be convened in China separately. Thanks to its successful conversion of drying technology research results,China has been granted with the sponsorship of 2002 International Conference on Drying. The meeting will be held for the first time in Asia and experts from dozens of countries and regions will participate.

National S&T Awards for 2000

On July 3, 2000, National S&T Awarding Office announced the preliminary results on National S&T Awards selection for 2000. Thanks to the careful screening by nearly athousand experts, 330 S&T projects were selected from 884 candidates.

Among 257 civil projects, 23 have won the second prize of National S&T Awards, 27 the second prize of National Technology Invention Awards and 207 National S&T Advance Awards. National Natural Science Award and the first prize of National Technology Invention Award have screened out no winner as it had last year.

2000 is the first year since China's reform of its S&T awarding system. The state has not only added the award weight and created the Top National Science and Technology Award but also decreased the levels of awarding. As a result, National Natural Science Award, National Technology Invention Award and National S&T Advance award are only tiered with the first and second prizes respectively.
As stipulated by By-laws on the Implementation of National Science and Technology Awarding Regulations, to ensure the scientific, fair and authoritative nature of national S&T awarding process, the Awarding Office shall disclose the preliminary selection results to the public for comment. Within 30 days after the publication of the preliminary results, any institutions and individuals may report their disputes in writing to the National S&T Awarding Office. Started from July 4, 2000, the 257 civil projects on the awarded list will be introduced on S&T Daily and the database retrieval system respectively.

CAS' Information and Biology Join Hands

The National High Performance Computer Center of the Institute of Computer Science and the Human Genome Center of the Institute of Genetics both subordinated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences established a joint lab in Beijing on July 3, 2000, for the purpose of conquering the highest point of life sciences: human genome project. In addition, this will accelerate the information process of biological resources and tap up biological information resources on a scale basis.

Experts believed that being a bellwether of China's high performance computers, the National High Performance Computer Center′s joining hallmarks apowerful alliance between the two strongs in the domestic fields of information and biology and indicates that the information process of China′ biological resources will step on a new stage.

“Along with the joining of high performance computers brand named Shuguang (which means the first light of morning), our computation capacity will see a substantive leap”, said Prof. Yang Huanming, China's focal point of International Human Genome Project working for the Human Genome Center of the Institute of Genetics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Being the mainstream S&T developments in the 21st century, biology and information are the important basic sciences addressing major issues such as population and environment while the information process of biological resources is the natural road leading to the efficient utilization of such resources and important technical base for the sustainable development.

It is briefed that CAS' Human Genome Center is the largest of its kind in the country studying genome and biological information with its sequencing capacity ranking in the 7th place in the world. Chinese scientists have completed the mission sequencing 1% of the human genome. However the heavy data processing and analysis work has become the bottle neck blockading scientists' further in-depthstudies.

By the end of this year, two Shuguang high performance computers will be installed at the Center, one of which is able to do the calculation at more than 10 billion floating points per second.

It is reported that Chinese scientists will jointly develop the biological information system which has the capacity of storing the large database and high speed processing, the technical platform which supports biological information system, and nurture academic talents tailored to the new century.


Major Breakthroughs for World Largest Radio Telescope

As disclosed by the scientists working for the Beijing Observatory, two technologies critical for the development of China's major astronomical project “500m Astronomical Spherical Telescope” (FAST) have applauded for the breakthrough progress recently achieved. Nan Rendong, Chief Scientist of the Project and a research fellow of the Beijing Observatory, said that Chinese scientists are now working on the pre-studies of this largest radio telescope in the world. Having achieved the progress on two key technologies relating to the active spherical reflection surface and the feed source support, Chinese scientists are now moving on to a downsized model of the telescope.

Nan Rendong said the active spherical reflection surface consists of 2000 small metal cubes with the actuator support under each, which makes the spatial position an instantaneous paraboloid giving the telescope a wide band and full polarization. When making the similar radio telescopes, overseas developers have used fixed platforms to support feed source which make the platform's weight heavy and construction costs high. Applied with an integrated photoelectric, mechanic and electronic designing, Chinese scientists are able to reduce the weight of supporting platform by several hundred times in comparing to using traditional manufacturing techniques.

It is reported that to be situated in a karst lowland in Guizhou Province, the said telescope will make Guizhou an international astronomical exchange and collaboration center and greatly enhance China's visibility in the world astronomical communities. The telescope's reception area will be ten times greater than that of the current world largest movable single-antenna telescope. The new telescope will provide a highly sensitive ground tracking and controlling facility with high resolution for China's space program. The development will also fill up ablank left by three deep space tracking powers belonging to US, Spain and Australia and realize a 24-hour global non-stop monitoring and telecommunication operation.

It is briefed that started from 1999, the FAST pre-studies have been supported by Rmb 10 million budget financed by both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Science and Technology. It is estimated that the pre-studies covering
all the key technologies for FAST will be completed by next summer. Being a leading construction component of the future super radio telescope, China's FAST will become a strong persuasive stimulus to make the international astronomical community determined to locate the future super radio telescope in China.

R&D of Applied DNA Chips in Shanghai

On June 30, 2000, Shanghai announced the result of bidding for “Research and Development of Applied DNA Chips”. Nearly 20 institutions including the Southern Research Center of National Human Genome, Shanghai Institute of Hematology, Shanghai Institute of Metallurgy of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Fudan Zhangjiang Biomedicine Co. Ltd. have won the bidding. Under the assistance of Shanghai Municipal S&T Committee, the winners will be contracted to seven sub-projects under the general framework.

The seven sub-projects are: “DNA chip research and development for testing drug resistance variations of tubercle bacillus and other disease causing viruses”, “DNA chip research and development for diagnostic testing of malignant tumors in blood making system”, “chip research and development for diagnostic testing of multiple blood viruses and hepatitis”, “chip research and development for diagnostic testing of drug resistance of diseases causing viruses”, “chip research and development for testing antigenic genetic parting of tissue compatibility”, “development of 3-D DNA chips” and “studies of earlier cancer diagnosing and quality control technique for tumor parting genes”.

As shown by the planned budget, each sub-project will need an investment ranging from Rmb 6 million to 11 million. Shanghai Municipal S&T Committee will allocate Rmb 5.7 million supporting fund. The bidding winners have also joined their
investment. The projects are expected to produce phase result in one or two years possibly with some technically proven products two years later. Shanghai Municipal S&T Committee will organize the progress check in two years′ time.



China's First Multiple Radar Signal
Double Backup System

China's first multiple radar signal double backup system has recently made its debut in Guangzhou and Zhuhai respectively. The said system will make the air traffic control system more reliable against the possible accidents of key facilities.

It is briefed by the South Air Traffic Control Office, CAAC, that Hong Kong, Macao and Pearl River Delta are not only the most developed region but also the ones enjoying the busiest air traffic in the country. To meet the demands of radar based air traffic control system in the region, the South Air Control Bureau, CAAC, and the Institute of Graphics and Images, Sichuan University have jointly developed the system.

The system is composed of flight route distribution server, reception server and emergency commanding seat and other supporting facilities. According to the agreement, the local network's emergency commanding seat will be positioned in Guangzhou and Zhuhai respectively so as to link the multiple radar based flight routes in the two areas together and backup for each other. In addition, the system is able to send single radar signals to other airfields in the south of China through format conversion. At present, the system has been put into experimental running.

China's Own “Gene Bank”

China's public DNA sequencing database developed on its own efforts ( commonly known as gene bank) was put into operation in Shanghai on July 3, 2000.

The Gene Bank established in collaboration with China's Human Genome Research Program, which serves as a national public service platform in the field of biological information, will contain relevant data on Chinese gene database and open to the whole world on a unified management basis. Its objective is to realize resources sharing and exchanging and promote the secondary development.

Another important function of the database is to receive the DNA sequencing information produced by domestic researchers and register the data with a unique number so as to protect the accrued intellectual property rights. According to the int
ernational norms, the researcher who first presents his or her sequencing result to the public database, is deemed as the patent owner of the said gene sequencing. Unfortunately, the new genes discovered in China in the past had to be registered
at overseas gene banks.

It is reported that the National Southern Center of Human Genome headed by Chen Zhu, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and renowned biologist, have provided 100,000 and more data on gene sequencing to the new gene bank.

Being one of the projects financed by National 863 Program, the gene bank was developed and established jointly by the Information Center of Shanghai Institute of Life Sciences and the National Southern Center of Human Genome, CAS. In collaboration with the Shanghai Supercomputer Center, the bank will be put into official operation by the end of the year.

Tsinghua University's China
Enterprises Research Center

China Enterprises Research Center of Tsinghua University declared its official foundation on July 2, 2000 together with the formal opening of Standard Network of China Enterprises.

Thanks to the reform efforts of over 20 years, Chinese enterprises have seen great progress made both theoretically and practically. Along with the economic globalization process and China's soon accession to WTO, the reform of Chinese enterprises have also advanced to a difficult stage. Exploring for the development mode suitable for Chinese enterprises calls for professional guidance and consultation of theoretical and academic communities. To unite the forces available both at home and abroad and deepen the studies of different issues facing Chinese enterprises, Tsinghua University has stamped the decision to establish China Enterprises Research Center.

Tsinghua University based “Standard Website for Chinese Enterprises” has selected Yinghaiwei which has fine network hardware platform and technical service to provide the technical and funding support so as to establish a comprehensive ICP website displaying full theoretical studies. This website will provide consultation and credit evaluation for the enterprises both at home and abroad.

Cell Engineering Center in Xi'an

Xi'an Cell Engineering Development Center jointly established by No. 4 Military Medical School and Shaanxi High Tech Industry Investment Co. Ltd. announced its foundation on June 29, 2000. The founding will impose positive implications on the research and development of China's biotechnology.

The Cell Engineering Research Center of No.4 Military Medical School is China's professional experimental base for cell engineering as well as a national biotechnology R&D base, mainly working on large scale engineering technologies for cultivating animal cells and R&D activities on peptide medicine and protein restructuring with remarkable progresses achieved in the said areas.

Possessed a registration capital of Rmb 200 million, Shaanxi High Tech Industry Investment Co. Ltd. is a S&T venture capital business supporting the industrialization of major S&T results.

It is reported that the new cell center will make the marriage between biotechnology and venture investment possible, accelerate biotechnology research and development, strengthen the links between research institutions and economic development and realize powers matching.

First English Web for Chinese Traditional Medicine

On June 29, 2000, the English version of drugsky.com successfully made its debut on the Internet. Being China's first English website dedicated for Chinese traditional medicines, drugsky.com opened numerous related channels such as Chinese medicine store, mysteries of Chinese traditional medicines, diagnosis and treatment, on-line drug store and demand and supply information for Chinese traditional medicines. The website is a global information network working on a 24-hour basis. Readers are able to have the access to the global medical information, Chinese traditional medicine development trend, products and medical treatment information and interactive distance diagnosing. Experts believe that drugsky.com offers practical, extensive and rich information on medical world in China.

Drugsky.com is a Chinese traditional medicine website in both English and Chinese created by Qianlima Group in Wuhan, followed the similar efforts in Japan and Singapore. Authorities concerned said that drugsky.com is of great importance to promoting E-commerce process of China's medical industry and makes the diffusion of Chinese traditional medical culture over the whole world through the Internet possible.

It is reported that the six other language versions including French, Japanese, German, Korean, Spanish and Arabic are under the development. When completed, drugsky will become the largest Chinese traditional medicine website in the world.

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