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

N0.250 February  20,2001

 * 863 Program's Remarkable Achievements

* China's Ten Priority Sectors for Information Construction

* China's First Complete Microbe Genome Chart

* China's Success for Injectionable Cartilage

* High Polymer Curing Bone Damage

* Scientists awarded for contributions

* Human Genome Published


 863 Program's Remarkable Achievements

As shown by the statistics, Chinese national 863 Program has since its implementation 15 years ago produced 2000 and more patents at home and abroad in six areas of civil applications with 47,000 and more papers published, newly created out put value of RMB 56 billion on a cumulative basis and indirect economic benefits of RMB 200 billion.

As briefed by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, 863 Program has achieved a great number of internationally advanced research results and landed the breakthroughs in some key technologies, narrowed down its gaps between world advanced level, nurtured the growth points of high tech industries, greatly stimulated China's high tech and the associated industrial development and provided high tech support for the transformation of traditional industries. The research and development of high tech fields supported by the Program has witnessed remarkably narrowed-down gaps between the world advanced level. The random sample analysis has shown that China has earned its position in some international high tech areas with 60 % of which reaching or approaching internationally advanced level from ground level.

It is reported that in close collaboration with industrial sectors, the key technologies derived from the Program have been turned into high tech products of international competitiveness and Chinese own independent intellectual rights such as biomedicines, telecommunication facilities, high performance computers, Chinese information processing platform, artificial crystal, photoelectric materials and components. These products have become the strength to be competitive against developed countries and become the growth points and origins of China's high tech industry. In the meanwhile, young and middle aged talents have made their way out. In the experts committee of 863 Program, the ones who are under 45 years of age have exceeded 30% in number. In the last 15 years, the Program has nurtured nearly 10,000 talents of doctorate or master degrees and trained more than 100, 000 high tech application and diffusion experts for enterprises and localities.

The state has decided to extend the Program on a long term basis and double its input. During the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-2005), China will focus on the research and development of key technologies and expect major breakthroughs in microelectronics, information security and new techniques. 

China's Ten Priority Sectors for Information Construction

As disclosed by Zhang Guobao, Vice Director of State Development Planning Commission, China's information development will aim at ten major sectors in the near future as follows:

* Accelerate the construction of information infrastructures, establish the new-generation, high- speed information transmission trunk network and the wide band, high-speed, computer-based Internet and create the information infrastructure platform to meet the needs of economic and social development;

* Construct e-government system and establish government network platform so as to integrate the government operation information systems at both central and local levels and realize Internet-based information sharing, distribution and service;

* Work out China's e-commerce policy framework, improve online payment and settlement system, establish the nation-wide and inter-city goods distribution and delivery system and full-fledge e-commerce activities;

* Promote urban digital process and accelerate the socalled three-in-one urban digital network construction; 

* Accelerate R&D and the associated industrialization of the mobile telecommunication network, especially that of the third generation system and establish the integrated industrial system and network scale;

* Priorities will be given to software development, integrated circuits designing and super integrated circuits manufacturing so as to improve the equipment of information process;

* Strengthen R&D and the associated industrialization of the network products and information security products and establish computer network information security system;

* Develop new digital audio and video products represented by digital TVs and accelerate the transition to digital TV broadcasting;

* Vigorously develop new electronic components and materials such as displaying components, new electric and electronic components, sheet components, photoelectronic components and sensors;

* Strengthen R&D and the associated industrialization of the new generation optical telecommunication products.


 China's First Complete Microbe Genome Chart

Thanks to their one-year efforts, Chinese scientists have worked out the complete genetic sequence of a kind of thermophilic bacteria with a coverage of 100% and accuracy 99.99%, the fist of its kind in the country. It is briefed that this is the first time that Chinese scientists have decoded microbe's genes and thermophilic bacteria have become the first microbe whose genetic codes were deciphered in addition to that of viruses in the country.

In early 1998, Chinese scientists discovered a kind of spring-inhabited thermal sporoblast desiring a high temperature of 75 degree centigrade in the course of their expedition over Tengchong area, Yunnan Province. On the basis of classification and morphological study, scientists have discovered that it is a new fungus that has never been reported internationally.

The scientists of the Genetics Institute, Microbe Institute and Biophysics Institute subordinated to Chinese Academy of Sciences have started from May 1999 to sequence the fungus' DNA on a cooperative basis. The fungus' genome has 2.6 million and more base pairs. The scientists extracted the DNA from the cultivated bacterium, created the sequencing modules and developed the software on sequencing progress, problem probing, assembling, interpretation and genes sorting. They have in the course achieved fine results on daily productivity, sequencing length and accuracy that are compatible with their overseas counterparts.

Studies have shown that people could found only about 30 genes in thermophilic Eubacterium or paleobacterium, which is of great importance to the scientific research and industrialization. The said thermophilic bacteria and another type of bacteria-oxygen prone bacillus share a best affinity of 59.8%, marking the special features of such bacteria.

New Immune Particle Discovered

Chinese scientists of No. 2 Military Medical School have by taking advantage of DNA sequencing techniques discovered a new immune particle in the gene bank of dendron cells. Named γmacrophage chemotaxis protein 2, it is made up of 77 aminoacids and able to chemotaxis and induce neutrophilic grandule cells on a remarkable basis, imposing certain chemotaxis and inducing effects on dendron cells.

Scientists have found that neutrophilic granule cells and dendron cells play an important role in human body's immune system, especially in fighting against cancers and infections. The discovery of the new immune particle has created new approaches to treating cancers and infections, correcting immune deficiency and curing other immune diseases.

The result has been published in USA's Immunology. Having applied for national invention patent, the new immune particle is the first of its kind discovered by Chinese scientists in the world of independent intellectual property rights.

China's Success for Injectionable Cartilage

Following the appearance of "human ear" grown on mouse, the researchers of China's No. 4 Military Medical School have successfully separated cartilage cells from rabbit's ear and mixed them with temperature-and-light-based fixer into injection solution. After being injected with the said solution for 8-14 weeks, the naked mice and New Zealand rabbits were grown with endemic cartilage that has been proven the normal soft bones on the basis of histochemistry, cytobiology and molecular biology analysis. The result unveiled at 2000' Engineering Conference of World Health Organization has drawn immediate great attention of the world communities.

Injectionable cartilage has also found success in naked mice without immunity and rabbits with immunity. The development has marked an important step of China's bone tissue engineering studies towards clinical applications The result, once applied in clinical treatment, will reduce the operation difficulty and decrease the wounds created. Thanks to its special clinical application values, which leads the prevailing development trend of modern micro trauma surgery, the result will be of a very bright perspectives for the future.

High Polymer Curing Bone Damage

People now may use organic high polymer to be the frame with a shape after the damaged bones and grow osteoblast on it. The said base material provides food for cell growth. The material will automatically disappear when bones grow to its desired size. The said magic material is the prize of the Institute of Material Sciences and Engineering under Tianjin University. The Institute has recently performed the above mentioned experiment on rabbits. The result has shown that the material is of fine biological compatibility and bone conductivity. The new bone tissues grown on the material in creeping form may make to some extent the damaged bones reduce to the size for self recovery. It takes long for the material of fine dynamic performance to be deformed. Having applied for its patent right, the material is expected to be the substitute in bone damage treatment.

Major Breakthroughs in Fungus Studies

The so-called systematic basic and clinical studies of fungus related diseasesc haired by Prof. Liao Wanqing of Shanghai Changzheng Hospital in collaboration with the Dermatosis Institute of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences have been completed. The studies have revealed that China's new born cryptococcus is dominated by A and D types with little evidence of C and the integrated phased treatment of cryptococca may improve the curing rate. In the last five years, Prof. Liao has applied his research results in the clinical cryptococca treatment through combined medicines, reducing brain pressure, electrolyte equilibrium, venous injection, vaginal injection and integrated two-phased treatment. He has reached 100 percent curing rate in treating 30 and more cryptococca cases. The current cryptococca mortality is about 40%-65% internationally with about 20% disability and 30% relapse. Experts' verification has shown that the molecular epiderminological studies of cryptococcus and candidiasis created by Prof. Liao have achieved remarkable results in the treatment of cryptococca and studies of genes contributing to such diseases. These efforts have improved China's basic research capability in the area and made its clinical diagnosing and treatment internationally advanced.

Over One Hundred Patents for China's Cloned Genes

Chinese scientist have for the first time in the world obtained the genetic expression spectrum of hypothalamus-hypophysis-adrenal axis, an important system controlling human nerval incretion through extensive expression sequencing and cloned 300 and more new human genes granted with 110 patents.

Dr. Han Zeguang in the Southern Research Center of National Human Genome Group involved in the studies briefed that human hypothalamus-hypophysis-adrenal axis system is playing an important role in men's growth, development, reproduction, immunity and internal environment stabilizing. They have discovered that the new genes are possibly related to the major physiological functions. Experts believed that cloning new human genes is not only of important theoretical value to identifying new human genes, reconstructing human genome charts and judging and interpreting the results of human genome sequencing but also of practical values to the development of China's biotechniques and pharmaceutical industries. The Southern Center of National Human Genome Group has sent 100,000 expression sequencing marks and new gene sequences they obtained to the International Public Data Bank through China Bioinformation Resources Network.


 Scientists awarded for contributions

Two Chinese scientists received the State's top award for their contributions to science and technology - worth 5 million yuan (US$602,400) each - from China's top leader Jiang Zemin in the Great Hall of the People Monday.

Yuan Longping, a well-known scientist who has done work on hybrid rice at the Hunan Academy of Agricultural Science, and Wu Wenjun, a prestigious mathematician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, were each awarded the big prize for their achievements over the past two years.

They were honoured the State Supreme Scientific and Technological Award. President Jiang Zemin, Premier Zhu Rongji, Vice-President Hu Jintao and other senior leaders met with scientists before the award ceremony.

Premier Zhu Rongji, on behalf of the central government, congratulated the prizewinners and conveyed greetings to all Chinese scientists.

China set up the State Supreme Scientific and Technological Award in May 1999.The award honours no more than two scientists each year, and the winner gets 5 million yuan (US$602,400) and a certificate presented by the president.

Human Genome Published

Following the publication of human genome working charts on 26th last June, the scientists from six countries including China, US, Japan, Germany, France and UK have published jointly with a US-based private company the human genome and the results of preliminary analysis.

As disclosed by the sources of Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences, the human genome published this time is the one consolidated, classified and re-sequenced on the basis of the previously published working charts, providing clearer, more accurate and complete information. The preliminary analysis has shown that the human genome is composed of 3.1647 billion base pairs and has 30,000-35,000 genes, 10,000 more than that of earthworm and 20,000 more than that of drosophila, but far less than the previous estimation about 100,000 genes. In addition, scientists have found out that protein related genes only take 2% of the total gene population.

After the publication of the said human genome, scientists will as planned work on few base pairs left unsequenced and eventually complete the whole human genome. In the meanwhile, they will make further analysis of the composition and functions of each gene so as to apply the results in diseases diagnosis and treatment.

Chinese Volume of Human Genome Completed

The 1% human genome sequencing assigned to Chinese scientists has approached its final completion. The preliminary reading of the segment has shown that there are about 150-200 genes in this 1% assignment and these genes are related to some common illness such as cardiovascular diseases and tumors.

Beijing based Huada Genetic Center announced that their base pair sequencing data have covered 99% genome in the segment and they have completed the assemble of whole sequencing of 169 cloned sections with an accuracy of 99.99%, leaving 2 cloned sections in the process of sequencing. The sequencing of the entire working segment is expected to complete in days.

In addition, Chinese scientists have overdone their 1% portion. At the invitation of their American counterparts, Chinese scientists extended the sequencing to No. 3 chromosome and completed the sequencing of 29 cloned sections and 4 million base pairs and discovered 32 genes in this extended segment.

Fast Progress in China's Super Rice

China's Super Hybrid Rice Genome Project kicked off last May has witnessed fastprogress. By the end of 2000, Chinese scientists had sequenced 500 million base pairs and found 352 points related to the resistance genes and 2269 points to the protein kinase recipients and 2663 points to hormone metabolism. It is worth mentioning that they have also found the genetic points controlling the photosyn thesis that is of a critical say to the high yield. Chinese scientists are now working on data consolidation, in-depth identification and analysis of located genes and establishing the associated DNA bank. Aiming at working out rice genetic framework chart with a coverage of 90%, Chinese scientists will establish Chinese hybrid rice genetic expression spectrum and identify their major and unique genes so as to create Chinese rice genetic spectrum and hybrid rice seed gene banks.

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