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

N0.248 January 30,2001
    * China's Top Ten News Reports on Basic Studies for 2000
    * 10 Billion Funds Stimulating Innovation System
    * CD Volume Expanded Million Times
    * New China Chip
    * Live Vaccine for Wheel Viruses
    * Extracting Refresher from Life
    * China's New Nuclear Reactor
    * China's Fengyun III Weather Satellite

China's Top Ten News Reports on Basic Studies for 2000

The results of selection of top ten news reports on basic studies for 2000 organized by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology was disclosed on January 17, 2001 in Beijing. The nanometer achievement with the internationally advanced level has come into the first place on the list. As briefed by Shao Liqin, Deputy Director, Dept. of Basic Studies of Ministry of Science and Technology, the top ten basic study news reports were screened out from the Basic Study Bulletin published by China S&T Information Institute. They are as follows:

1.Lu Ke and others of Chinese Academy of Sciences have for the first time in the world observed the super plastic extensions of nanometer copper under indoor temperature. The scientists of Hong Kong Science and Technology University, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Peking University have worked out or synthesized one after the other the finest carbon nanometer tubes in the world.

2.Chinese archaeologists have for the first time presented the new evidence supporting the theory of the abrupt extinction of living creatures and achieved new progress in ancient bird studies. Jin Yu, a research fellow of Chinese Academy of Sciences and others have for the first time in the world proposed on the basis of their studies of the paleontological evidences that the abrupt extinction of living creatures occurred 250 million years ago is an unexpected disastrous event. Xu Xing and others discovered the fossils of the smallest adult dinosaur of animal feet so far known to the world, which provides the evidence testing that dinosaur came from bird family, was able to fly and inhabited in trees.

3.Chinese experts have worked out the Chinese historical chronicles prior to BC 841 and established a chronicle framework for the three ancient dynasties (Xia, Shang and Zhou) that lasted for a time span of 1200 and more years, filling up ablank in the Chinese ancient chronicle history.

4.The framework charts of international genome project with China's participation was completed.

5.Chinese archeologists have produced a new evidence for human origin studies, challenging the so-called Morse Line Theory with the paleolith unearthed in Baise. Chinese archeologists discovered 80 and odd teeth fossils and more than thousands of animal fossils in Yuanmou County, Yunnan Province, which landed a breakthrough discovery for the archaeological studies of Yuanmou ancient apes and filled up the blanks in the relevant studies. Hou Yamei and other scholars of Chinese Academy of Sciences demonstrated on the basis of their studies of paleolith unearthed in Baise that the tool making capability of Asians makes no big differences against their African counterparts in earlier human history, which imposes a great challenge on the Morse Line Theory dominated the academic world for half a

6.Chinese scientists have bred out the cells capable of killing tumor cells. By taking advantage of genetic restructuring techniques, Prof. Yang Angang of No.4 Chinese Military Medical University has bred out new cells capable of killing tumor cells.

7.Han Zeguang and others have worked out the genetic expression charts on human hypophalamus-hypohyysis-adrenal based internal incretion system, which is of importance to identifying new human genes and the development of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

8.Prof. Shu Siyun of No. 1 Chinese Military Medical University has discovered that human brain has a "marginal zone" relating to learning and memory, which provides new clues for studying the causes of memory hindrance.

9.Chinese scientists have achieved major results on the studies of sample belts reflecting north-south climate and ecological environment in east China.

10.China's earth crust movement observational network was officially put into operation, which is of great importance to future seismological forecasting and other associated areas.

10 Billion Funds Stimulating Innovation System

Lu Yongxiang, President of Chinese Academy of Sciences disclosed recently that China is planning to allocate Rmb 10 billion to support the national innovation system to be created by the Chinese Academy of Sciences on an experimental basis in the next 5 years. This will help enhance China's independent innovation capacity in the field of high technologies and provide powerful S&T support to materializing phase III national strategic targets, namely double its GDP on the basis of 2000 in a decade and reach the level of moderately developed countries by the middle of this century.

In the next decade Chinese Academy of Sciences will turn current 123 research in stitutes into 80 powerful national research institutions of strong S&T innovation and sustainable development capacity, of whom 30 shall be made into the world recognized and renowned high tech research institutions and 3-5 shall reach the world first class.

CD Volume Expanded Million Times

A research group headed by Gao Hongjun, a research fellow of Physics in the Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences have achieved internationally advanced result on super dense memorizing technology and theoretical studies by working out high density information memory volume 1 million times larger than that of current compact discs. They have reduced the size of information memorizing point to about 1 nanometer, namely one millionth of a centimeter. And this technology is able to erase the information point. Gao briefed that it is astonishing to see the memory volume of a single compact disc may expand when the new technology is used. The result is equal to the memory volume of 1 million compact discs manufactured by traditional technologies and techniques. In that context, the new compact disc may house all the information currently stored in American Congressional Library. However, he added that it will take another 15 years to make the technology commercialized and industrialized.

Selecting and making the organic functional molecules capable of electric chargetransfer to be the information memory medium, the research group have realized the information memorizing by taking advantage of its dual electric stability and demonstrated the unique memorizing merits such as stability, repetition and erasion on molecular scales.

The papers on the results have drawn great attention of international S&T communities after their publication in US Physics Review. The scientific news supplement of Science has also covered the development.

The Oldest Oceanic Crusts Discovered

Associate Prof. Li Jianghai, Dept. of Geology, Peking University and his American counterparts have jointly discovered the well preserved oceanic crust debris formed 2.7 billion years ago, the oldest of its kind in the world. The discovery has caused a stir in the international earth science community. On December 26, 2000, an editorial was run in Sciences, praising the result discovered in North China "a discovery promoting plate tectonics". The international academic world believed that it is an important discovery jointly made by Chinese and US scientists at the end of 20th century.

It is reported that the world has so far seen very limited evidences of oceanic crust remains as old as 1 billion years or more. Up to date, the acknowledged oldest oceanic crust remains are the ones discovered in Canada (2 billion years), Finland (2 billion years) and US (1.7 billion years). Compared with their overse as counterparts, the one discovered in North China is featured with complete layer sequence, huge size (10 km in its length) and the oldest age. It has demonstrated the typical crust layers from top to bottom.

During the joint China-US field expedition made in last May, Doctor Li discovered in the first place the sheet dike apogrite protruded out among rocks, one of the most important evidence telling the oceanic crust remains. Upon the confirmation of his US counterparts, the excitement prevailed among the team members.

In the following week after the discovery, Doctor Li and others expanded the exploration area and eventually discovered different rocks evidencing typical oceanic crust remains such as pillow lava, sheet dike apogrite, bedded gabbro, accumulative gabbro and tectonic olive rocks. These rocks have been preliminarily identified as the ones of 2.7 billion years of age according to the existing isotope chronicle data, washed to the continental plate east of North China as the result of plate collision in the last 2.5 billion years. Now Chinese and US scientists are jointly working on the details of the said ancient oceanic crust remains.

New China Chip

Following the successful development of the first China-made built-in microprocessor of independent intellectual property right at the end of 1999, the researchteam headed by Prof. Yang Fuqing of Peking University have turned out two sets of microprocessors supporting 32 and 16 digits and associated prototype operating system and household electronic information appliances in a short period of a bit over one year. The said systems have not only presented relatively high performance but also been designed with lower power consumption, making them the fine products meet the demand of high-end consumers and equipped for the first time in the country the information based household electric appliances with China-made chips. It is reported that Chinese scientists are working hard to work out more products of strong market competitiveness in the fields such as intelligent
IC card, built-in system and system chips in a period of 2 to 3 years.

Live Vaccine for Wheel Viruses

The oral live vaccine for wheel shaped viruses developed by Lanzhou Institute of Biological Products has recently incorporated by the World Health Organization into its Global Vaccine based Diarrhea Control and Immune Program. In the meanwhile, the product has been suggested to be used by national children's immune program of its member countries. Io this context, China has become the second country following US in the world possessing wheel virus vaccine.

The development of wheel virus vaccine has long been a difficult process in the world. Thanks to their 20-odd-year painstaking efforts, Chinese scientists have solved the puzzle almost at the same time when American scientists applauded for their same achievement. The live wheel virus vaccine produced by the Lanzhou In stitute has recorded a 90% protection rate against wheel virus based diarrhea with its virus screening, production techniques, stabilizer recipe, quality control, infant vaccine inoculation and on-the-spot observation being at the same level with that of the United States.

Self-adaptive Optical System for Retina Imaging

The Institute of Photoelectric Technologies under Chinese Academy of Sciences has recently worked out its self-adaptive optical system for human retina imaging. This has made China the second country in the world after US who has acquired the high resolution retina imaging with the help of self-adaptive optical technology.

Applied with the self-adaptive optical technology, the said system is able to obtain retina images of clearer and higher resolution than the ones by conventional eye examinations, which in turn helps detect more diseases information on human bodies such as cardiovascular diseases, endocrine disorder, luteal macula, serosynovitis, diabetes-caused retina deterioration etc.. While developing the system, scientists have developed the mini flexible mirror which has not only reduced the size of the system but also landed the breakthroughs in a series of key technologies. The system is the first of its kind in the country possessing China's own independent intellectual property right. In the meanwhile, it is also
the first one in the world applied with the integrated mini flexible mirror, which has made itself a lighter and smaller optical system for the purpose. 

Extracting Refresher from Life

As early as seven years ago, the stem cell secretin of human embryo, the first result of the studies on human embryo in the world was discovered accidentally by the researchers of Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences. On the basis of clinical applications in 20,000 cases over inland China and Taiwan, the result was formally announced to the public at the China-US Workshop on Frontier Sciences co-sponsored not long ago by Chinese and US Academies of Sciences.

Nicknamed as the refresher for human life, the said result will find extensive applications in the treatment of cancers, AIDS and immune diseases. Its applications in cosmetology have proven promising and its products will soon be sold in the market.

China's New Nuclear Reactor

On December 21st, 2000, the experimental high temperature air-cooling reactor developed, designed and manufactured by the Institute of Nuclear Energy Designing, Tsinghua University reached its critical value, which made China one of a few countries in the world master the most advanced nuclear safety techniques.

The construction of the experimental high temperature air-cooled reactor is a major project under the national 863 program. The said reactor is applied with full ceramic fuel component, helium-based cooling agent, graphite-based moderator and structure materials. The nuclear power station applied with the advanced technology will under no circumstances trigger the nuclear accidents similar to that occurred at Chelnobel. Xu Guanhua, Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology said that the new reactor would become the mainstream facilities in China's nuclear power industry and be supported by the government for further diffusion.

China's Superconductive Suspension Vehicle

On January 2, 2001, the world first manned experimental high temperature superconductive suspension vehicle made its debut at the Southwest Jiaotong Univer sity of China. The development has marked China's world advanced leading position in the development of high temperature superconductive suspension technologies.

Equipped with a permanent magnetic rail of 15.5 meters and maximum suspension payload of 700 kilos, the said vehicle is able to carry 5 people with fine suspension stability and high stiffness. Its lower temperature system is designed to work over 6 hours. It is claimed that the said vehicle is the one carrying the most suspension payload in the world.

China's Fengyun III Weather Satellite

Shanghai Space Agency has recently kicked off its development of new generation geostationary weather satellite "Fengyun III". It is briefed that approaching the internationally advanced level in the early 21st century, the new satellite will be the substitute of the current Fengyun I remaining operating in the orbit.

The new satellite will be equipped with nine effective payloads so as to make the global, all-weather, multiple-spectrum, 3-D and quantitative observations possible. Fengyun III is scheduled to be launched at the end of 2004 or early 2005 with a designed weight of about 2200 kilos and a lifespan for two years and more. Its technical specifications will be proven better than that of NOAA-15 satellites.And it will reach a resolution of 250 m, which means that it will be able to identify ground expressways at an altitude of 890 km in the space.

China's Full Knowledge of Nuclear Power

As disclosed by China Nuclear Industrial Construction (Group) Corp, the construction of phases I and II of Qinshan Nuclear Power Station has enabled the Group of the capacity for independent construction of nuclear power station and shaped up a team capable of such independent construction activities. The construction of Dayawan Nuclear Power Station, Ling'ao Nuclear Power Station, Phase III of Qinshan Nuclear Power Station, Tianwan Nuclear Power Station and the nuclear power project of Pakistan has equipped the Group with advanced management approaches over its construction projects, which is gradually in line with international standards, reaching or approaching internationally advanced level.

Stem Cell Center Founded

The Stem Cell Research Center of Peking University announced its formal foundation on January 17, 2001. Jointly financed by the Beijing Beiyi Genetic S&T Investment Co. Ltd. and Medical School of Peking University and staffed with top notchbiological experts returning from abroad recently or renowned domestically, the new center has become one of the key labs of Peking University and forged the strategic partnership with overseas Chinese scientists working on the same topics.

The Center is striving to establish an external cultivating system for cornea stem cells. In the meanwhile, it has kicked off the efforts to establish human embryo stem cell system and stem cells bank that will contain different human organs. The center has achieved some preliminary breakthrough results in treating liver disease and diabetes with stem cell technologies and established a stem cell technology sharing network connecting to the experts in the said field both at home and abroad, which has created necessary conditions for promoting the studies and professional training in the field.

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