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

N0.235 September 20,2000

    * Survey on China's S&T Resources
    * Million Patent Applications in China
    * Major Progress in China's Gene based Cancer Studies
    * China's Biodiversity Success in Curbing Rice Blast 
    * Major Progress in China's Immunological Studies
    * Massive High Performance Computers
    * China's First Expeditions over Third Largest Glaciers
    * China's Organic Water Retainer


Survey on China's S&T Resources

Approved by the State Council, a Survey on Nation Wide R&D Resources jointly headed by the Ministry of Science and Technology and State Statistics Bureau with the involvement of Ministry of finance, State Development Planning Commission, State Economic and Trade Commission, Ministry of Education and National Defense S&T Commission will be soon launched in the country.

Being an important survey on the national strength, the investigation will be the largest S&T resources related statistic survey since the first of its kind in 1985. Accurate and comprehensive aggregate data on R&D budget and S&T personnel
resources at the end of the 9th Five-Year Plan period will be worked out so as to present a systematic picture on the distribution of China's S&T resources, especially the S&T research and development resources in industrial sectors. The said survey will provide evidences for formulating major S&T strategies and policies for the 10th Five-Year Plan and provide basic information services for the construction of national innovation system.

The survey will be phased in pre-investigation to be soon put into operation in the nation and the official survey from January to May 2001, and the publication of major survey findings in September 2001.

Million Patent Applications in China

Tan Guohui, Division Chief of China State Intellectual Property Rights Bureau said China's annual handling of patent right applications both from home and abroad have exceeded the gate of a million, ranked among the first few in the world.

It is briefed that China started its patent application handling on April 1, 1985, when it received 3455 applications. In the nine months of the first year, the Bureau handled 9411 applications and the number went up to 13,680 in the next year, ranked the 17th place in the world. In 1991, China's patent application handling had ascended to the 10th top in the world.
Along with the accelerated pace of China's entrance into WTO, more and more Chinese enterprises have realized the importance of safeguarding their own patented technologies and intellectual property rights in the international economic collaboration by legal means. As a result, the patent application in China witnessed
a soaring-up. In 1996, China's annual handling of patent applications had for the first time gone over the threshold of 100,000. Within 11 days after moving into the new millennium, the patent applications handled by the Bureau have eventually exceeded a million.

Major Progress in China's Gene based Cancer Studies

It has taken a decade for Harbin Medical University to achieve the success in sorting out the killer of primary tumor canceration. The University announced at the end of August 2000 that its scientists have found that the defects at certain
chromosomes' sections are attributed to the canceration of primary tumors and proposed for the first time in the world that these defects are the major contributors governing the changes of tumors' chromosomes. The findings have provided important evidences for the diagnosing and treatment of primary tumors and are of important theoretical values to the development of tumor cytogenetics.

With Profs. Li Pu and Fu Songbin of Harbin Medical University as major investigators, the studies financed by the National Natural Science Foundations have made G analysis on 109 sample cases of seven primary cancers attacking lungs, larynx, esophagus, stomach, colon, breast and penis and proved the findings that defects including the ones on chromosomes No.1,3,6,7,8,11,12,17 are major killers causing the genetic changes of primary tumors. In the meanwhile, they have established the defects evidences on these tumors. Totally different from the changes caused by the chromosome dislocations in blood and lymphatic systems, the defects occurring at some chromosomes' sections may result in the loss of heterozygosity meant to suppress cancer genes and hence allowing the formation of primary tumors.

With the socalled "direct improvement method" created by the study group, investigators obtained the chromosomes directly from the fresh tumor samples at a success rate of over 40%, a statistic far better than the existing international
record at only 10%.

China's Biodiversity Success in Curbing Rice Blast

The study group headed by Prof. Zhu Youyong with the Key Lab on Botanic Pathology, Yunnan Agriculture University have for the first time in the world proposed the theory and techniques controlling rice blast by genetic biodiversity on the basis of their many-year studies. Internationally renowned journals such as Nature and
Sciences published a paper entitled Controlling Rice Diseases through Genetic Biodiversity by Zhu Youyong and Chen Hairu on August 17 and 18 respectively,
which has caused a stir among the academic communities both at home and abroad.
The achievement has marked China's advanced position in genetic biodiversity based rice blast studies. As shown by the tracking results, the paper is the first of its kinds published in these two internationally renowned journals.

The research team headed by Prof. Zhu Youyong with the Key lab of Botanic Pathology, Yunnan Agriculture University have proposed the scenario that rice blast canbe controlled by the genetic biodiversity of rice species. Started from 1997 in collaboration with the world Research Institute of Paddy Rice, the research team have kept working on the control of rice blast through genetic biodiversity. In 1999 the demonstration experiment on controlling rice blast through biodiversity chaired by Prof. Zhu Youyong was listed in the National 863 Program. Thanks to the support of authorities concerned and their 3-year studies, the team have worked out the genetic structures of viruses colonies causing rice blast and fingerprint analysis of resistance genes of rice species through the application of molecular finger print technique and resistance gene analytic techniques. On the basis of applying the principle that species biodiversity is good for stable viruses selection and diseases biology, they proposed theories and techniques (mixed growing of biodiversified rice species) leading to the consecutive control of rice blast by taking advantage of rice's genetic biodiversities. The techniques allow to add one row of fine conventional rice species without reducing the number of hybrid rice species. Experiments on 400 and more regular paddy fields and intercomparison experiment on 60,000 mu(1mu=0.0667ha.) of paddy fields have shown that the mixed growing of fine biodiversified rice species may increase the quality rice yield by 42.74 kilos per mu with a rice blast control effect landed at between 81.1% and 98.6%, pesticide applications reduced by over 60%, and the land use rate increased through lodging resistance by about 20%. This year has seen the techniques spreading over Yunnan Province to another 645,000 mu and odd of paddy fields. The new technique has also found its way in Sichuan, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hunan and Hubei for further experiments.

The result has drawn great attentions of experts both at home and abroad and is deemed a great innovation in controlling the rice blast through biodiversity.

 Major Progress in China's Immunological Studies

The scientists of the Institute of Immunology under No. 2 Military Medical School and Shanghai Huachen Institute of Biotechnology have recently discovered, with the help of extensive DNA sequencing techniques, for the first time in the world a kind of full-length new genes in the gene bank of dentricells-the important immune cells of the human body. The paper on the characteristics of the gene and the immune functions of the coded new protein molecules was published in the internationally renowned journal Immunology on Sept.1, 2000.
Experts in the field believe that this is the first time for the Chinese scientists to report a new immune molecule of major biological functions with their ownindependent intellectual property rights. The new finding applauds for a major
progress achieved in China's immunological studies.

It is briefed that the new immune molecule named MIP-2( discovered by Prof. Cao
Xuetao and other scientists is a kind of CXC element consisting of 77 amino acids. Scientific experiments have shown that MIP-2γ is able to find its expressions in kidney and small intestines, which reveals its relevance to the functions and diseases of the two organs. It is also discovered through protein expressions and antibody preparation that MIP-2γ has the capacity to remarkably chemotaxis and
attract neutral granulocytephage and is of certain chemotaxising and attracting effects on dentricells. The neutral granulocytephage and dentricells in people's knowledge are of important roles in resistance to cancers and infections.

It can be predicted that the new immune molecule is a major actor in many physiological and pathetical processes of human bodies, especially in the immune system. Its associated studies will create new approaches cancer and infection resistance and to immune defects correction and to immune diseases treatment as well.

Massive High Performance Computers

Thanks to their more than one-year of efforts, a project team headed by Prof. Li Sanli, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and Dean of Computer Science Faculty, Shanghai University have successfully worked out high performance computer system named 2000-SUHPCS. The result passed the approval check of the assessment panel membered with academicians and experts on September 1, 2000. The said system is able to render a peak speed of 300 billion times/second, the highest of its kind in the country. With internationally advanced and innovative level in distance registration, retrieval and management, its cost/effect ratio also takesa leading position in the country.

The massive computer is an internationally acknowledged development mode witnessing
fast growth in recent years. Its major merits are fast computation speed, fine cost-effect ratio and easy application and it is able to meet the basic computation needs of civil S&T undertakings. It can be applied in wide computation areas such as molecular structures of new materials, fluid and fixed dynamics of flying bodies, accurate oil drilling, molecular dynamics and large scientific and engineering projects.

China's Solution to Blood Type Changing Studies

Thanks to their many-year efforts, the scientists of Chinese Academy of Military
Medical Sciences have eventually mastered techniques of changing blood types from A or B to O, which has made China the second country after USA in the world capable of changing blood types.

It is reported that blood type transformation means changing the surface antigens that represent different types of blood so as to make them identical to the universally accepted blood type O. When that happens, bloodtype matching before the blood transfusion is no more needed and thus possible reactions to such transfusion are saved. It is explained by experts that blood type O is just like the tree trunk with other types such as A, B and AB being the branches representing different surface antigens in the same tree.

Scientists have extracted from Hainan produced coffee beans a type of enzyme that fits quite neatly in cutting off the extra antigens in B typed blood and trans
forming it into type O. Since the change is made outside of one's body, scientists
assured that it won't change your blood type simply to drink lots of coffee. One's blood type is determined genetically by his or her parents and will not alter all his or her life.
On the contrary, the transformation of type AB is realized through donning the surface of red cells a chemical coating, acting like a hat to cover up all the unwanted antigens so as to show all the characteristics of type O.

New AIDS Treatment Approaches

Shanghai Institute of Cytobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences has for the first
time in the world revealed with the help of advanced molecule biotechniques the
possible inhibiting mechanism of trichosanthis protein on HIV infected cells and worked out associated new approaches to reduce the by-effects of trichosanthis protein.

It is briefed that while infecting human body cells, HIV viruses have to have the support of CD-4 immune molecules and chemotaxis elements before taking their roots and working on the cells. The investigation team of Shanghai Institute of Cytobiology have discovered through extensive experiments that trichosanthis protein is able to interact with the chemotaxis elements on the surface of human body
cells and result in a series of cell related reactions. Dr. Zhao Jian , a major
member of the investigation team said: “If we change the trichosanthis protein through genetic engineering to remove its strong antigens so as to make it only work on chemotaxis receptors without triggering any other reactions, it is possible for us to work out a new drug treating AIDS diseases.”
The said findings have been published in [WTBX]J.EXP.MED, [WTBZ]a renowned international medical journal. Experts believe that the findings have provided reliable theoretical evidence to treating AIDS, cancers and immunology related diseases with trichosanthis protein and are of great application values.

China's First Expeditions over Third Largest Glaciers

It is reported that Tibet Puruogangri Glacier Expedition Team of Chinese Academy
of Sciences started on September 3, 2000 its scientific leg towards Puruogangri
Glacier, the largest and also the first comprehensive scientific expedition of
its kind in China. The first group of the team composed of 33 people will travel through the no-man's land to the edges of Puruogangri and set up the expedition headquarter at a site with an altitude ranging from 5500 to 6000 meters above sea level. The second group of 20 and more members from China, US, Russia and Sweden are scheduled to get to the headquarters in late September.

The expedition team will carry out comprehensive investigations on glaciers, geology, meteorology, deserts, lakes, animals and plants. It is planned to break
the domestic ice drilling record of 101 meters and strive for a deep ice drilling for at least one well of over 300 meters.

At an altitude ranging from 6000 to 6800 meters above sea level in Naqu District of Tibet with an area of 400 and more square kilometers, Puruogangri Glaciers is the largest glaciers at the low and middle latitude of the world. Discovered by Chinese and American scientists a year ago, the Glaciers has been confirmed to be the third largest one after Arctic and Antarctic in the world.

China's World Advanced 2-D Code Reading Techniques

The fully localized 2-D code reading machine developed by Fujian New Continent Computer Shareholding Co. Ltd., has perfected all its technical indicators to
the internationally advanced level, filling up a domestic blank in 2-D coding and
decoding and realizing the controllable encryption for 2-D coded products. Being an
information carrier different from any other electric magnetic signal carriers,the 2-D codes present symbols in graph. It enjoys merits of simple preparation, low cost, portability and strong resistance to interference. The products can be extensively applied in fake and piracy detecting and anti piracy information management system for public security, armed police, railway, medicine, customs, taxation and etc.. The 2-D coding technologies developed by New Continent will break up the foreign technical blockage, and extensive application of 2-D coding techniques in the country making possible.

China's Organic Water Retainer

The colorless, toxicants free and tasteless organic water retainer jointly developed by Jilin Polytechnic College and Changchun Jifu Company is a corn starch based water retainign and growth stimulating agent for soil and plants. The new product is able to absorb non-ion water 1000 times heavier than the plant itself, storing the water like a small reservoir and sending the stored water to the plant interior through osmotic pressure. The new technique is the first of its kind in the country.

The said water retainer can find extensive applications in desert control, forestation, environmental protection, agriculture and forestry, gardening, medical
industry, health, freshness keeping, building construction and petrochemical industry. On June 24, 2000, 200 Beijing poplars and 200 pinus sylvestric were planted in Engebe desert demonstration site at Dalate Banner, Eng Leaque, Inner Mongolia by using root wetting and irrigating methods respectively with the water retainer The survival rate reached 35% and 95% respectively. Applied together with dry powder for air-borne grass seeding, 10 mu of grassland have seen well-bred young grasses. In addition, Jifu has made its agricultural, forestry and animal husbandry
demonstrations over 10,000 mu in eight northern provinces including Shandong, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia so as to extend the applications to moreareas.

       Comments or inquiries on editorial matters or Newsletter content should be directed to:Mr. Dong Jianlong, Department of International Cooperation, MOST 15B, Fuxing Road Beijing 100862, PR China  Tel: (8610)68512650 Fax: (8610) 68512594, or Mr. Wang Jianping, Editor,NEWSLETTER, 15 Fuxing Road Beijing 100038, PR China, Tel:(8610) 68515544 Ext. 2580