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

N0.253 March 20,2001
* Key S&T Projects for Yield Increases

* 26 Non-Governmentally Funded S&T Awards Approved

* Chinese Scientists Discovered Nanometer Belt

* China's CDMA System

* China's Integrated Optical Wave Sensor

* World Deepest Continental Drill

* Great Wall Launches Korean Satellite



Key S&T Projects for Yield Increases

 Kicked off in 1995 and jointly organized by the Ministry of Science and Technolo gy and the Ministry of Agriculture for the respective implementations over Hu’nan, Henan, Jilin, Heilongjiang and Xinjiang, the so-called Integrated Technology  R&D and Demonstration for the Extensive High Yields of Rice, Wheat, Corn, Cotton and Soy Beans, a key project in the national S&T priorities list for the 9th Five-Year-Plan period has harvested 410 major results on the basis of five-year p ainstaking efforts.  Of the said results, 70 and more are positioned at the inte rnationally advanced or domestically leading level. On the basis of 40 and odd key technological breakthroughs and taking into account the differences of regions, species and soils, an integrated technological supporting system has been created to boost the yields of the five major crops and has found its fast applications over the demonstration fields and diffusion areas of 2,234 villages in 138 counties, benefiting 290.4 million mu(1mu=0.0667ha.) of farmland contracted to 9 .16 million far m households in 40,000 villages.  As a result, 98% of the said areas have enjoye d the upgrading of improved species for rice, wheat, corn, cotton and soy bean and the computer-based expert management system tailored to the five major crops has found extensive applications in their production activities.

 In the meanwhile of technological innovations, results spin-off and technology d emonstration and diffusion were also carried out.  In the past five years, the yield increase in the targeted areas has reached 54 billion kilos of grains and 34.45 million dans(1dan=50kg) of cotton and 144 new products and techniques and 140 production lines established and Rmb 7.2 billion comprehensive benefits created.  The project has created an integrated economic benefits of Rmb 76.4 billion . As is shown by the statistics, the agricultural S&T results spin-off rate in the targeted areas has increased by 15% and S&T advance contribution to agricultural yield by 59% or above.

 26 Non-Governmentally Funded S&T Awards Approved

 As is disclosed by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, 26 S&T Awards  such as China Auto Industry S&T Advance Award have been approved to be the registered awards funded by non-governmental sources.  Providing sound guidance for and regulatory management of these non-governmentally funded awards will become an important component of China's S&T awarding system. The said 26 non-governmen tally funded awards also include HeLiang-HeLi Foundation S&T Award, Dupond S&T Innovation Award, Sen Printing Technology Award, Li Siguang Geology Award, Liu Yongling S&T Award, Chinese Medical Sciences Award, Zhan Tianyou Railway S&T Award, Sun Yueqi Energy S&T Award, Chinese Pharmaceutical Development Award, Sand Ind ustry S&T Award, Hou Xianglin Petroleum Processing S&T Award, Hou Debang Chemical S&T Award, Zhan Tianyou Civil Engineering S&T Award, 21st Century S&T Award for Teenagers, Chinese Instrument Society S&T Award, Chinese Coal Society Young Scientists Award, Chinese Electric Technology Association New Electric Products Development Award, Gao Shiqi Popular Science Award, Shen'nei Foundation Agricultur al Technology Diffusion Award, China Electric Power S&T Award, Mao Yisheng S&T A ward, Chinese Machinery Engineering Association S&T Award, China Machinery Indus try S&T Award, China Non-Ferrous Metal Industry S&T Award and Deng Jiaxian & Yu Min S&T Award. 

 The so-called non-governmentally funded awards are the regular S&T awards spon so red by enterprises, institutions, social groups or organizations and individuals at home and abroad who raise the money through non governmental treasury channels. These awards are destined to reward the individuals or organizations who have achieved excellent results or rendered outstanding contributions in the fields of scientific research, technological innovations and development, high tech industrialization and diffusion and applications of scientific results.


 Chinese Scientists Discovered Nanometer Belt

 Recently the international scientific and technological communities have been sh ocked by a new discovery on nanometer science. As was reported by USA based Scie nce published on March 9, 2001, three Chinese scientists who are now working in the US have for the first time in the world discovered and synthesized "nanometer belt", opening up a promising gateway for the currently thriving nanometer science.  Made of a metal oxide, the new synthesized nanometer belt constitutes a new material with a thickness of 5-10 nanometers and a width of 30-300 nanometer s , which runs as long as several millimeters. Thanks to its nearly-to-zero elec tr ic resistance and a hardness better than that of steel, the new material can beused to work out super mini sensors and components at very economic costs. The discovery has caused a stir among US scientific and technological communities. So me major media agencies such as S&T News and USA Today have already covered the story. Science carried a commentator's remark saying that he had never read such  unique structures like this nanometer material in any scientific literature.  Th e said three Chinese scientists are Prof. Wang Zhonglin, Dr. Pan Zhengwei and Dr . Dai Zurong who are now working on nanometer studies at US Atlanta-based Gorgia Technology Institute.

Bird's Feather Originates from Dinosaurs

 Chinese palaeobiologists have recently announced their new results on bird feath er origin studies, and they proved that bird feathers bear the same origin as dinosaurs do and feathers grow out in the first place on dinosaurs living on the earth.

The said result worked out jointly by Xu Xing, an associate research fellow and Zhou Zhonghe, a research fellow both in the Institute of Palaeovertebrate and Pala eoanthropology under Chinese Academy of Sciences and Prof. Rick Braun of Kansas University has been published in a recent issue of UK based Nature.  This is the  first joint study through the collaboration of dinosaur experts, palaeo-ornitho logists and contemporary ornithologists on the controversial "feathers" of the bird dinosaur uniquely discovered in China. The studied objects are the fossils n amed the Millenium Chinese Bird Dinosaur that lived 125 million years ago (the earlier Cretaceous Period) in the earth.

The studies by Xu Xing and others of the hairy skin ramifications of unearthed r unning dinosaur fossils have shown that these ramifications are of lengths ranging from 30 to 45 millimeters and widths of 1 to 3 millimeters, distributing over head, neck, forelimbs and tails. They could not be, in terms of its distribution, the remains of endermic fibers or mussels or bones.

 The scientific community believes that bird's feather is a kind of dermatologica l keratose of complicated bifurcated texture and the bifurcation explains the characteristics of feathers. The studies of the three scientists have shown that the skin ramifications of the Chinese bird dinosaur have shared the similar bifurcation texture. It is interesting to notice that these ramification s are not retained in an individual fiber but a compound made of numerous hairy matters.

The three scientists believed that the compound texture plus two types of bifurc ation have made the sufficient evidence proving the similar origins of China's hairy dinosaur's skin ramifications and the bird's feathers.

 In the meanwhile, the conclusions of the Chinese bird dinosaur studies have just ified the results on feather development studies. Both palaeobiology and developmental biology have worked out the bird's feather evolution process similar to each other. The two types of original feathers observed in China's bird dinosaur fossils are in phases II or III of feather development process.

The said studies have also proved that the feather’s appearance came earlier th an that of bird's and its flying capacity and feathers shall not be deemed as the unique feature of birds. The formation of feathers was not, in the first place, meeting the call for flying but rather a function for re-adjusting body temper ature or attracting the opposite sex.  Xu Xing said that the confirmed original feather textures discovered on China’s bird dinosaur have further supported the  scenario that birds originated from dinosaurs.

China's CDMA System

CDMA2000 1X mobile telecommunication system developed by Zhongxing Telecommunica tion on its own has recently demonstrated its integrated voice, data and graphic transmission function, marking another major breakthrough in the technology in the new century.

It is briefed that CDMA2000 1X that has materialized integrated voice, data and graphic transmission is simply built upon its predecessor advanced IS95 CDMA sys tem with a software upgraded to 144k transmission speed.  The said system is the  first of its kind in the country providing CDMA based data and graphic transmis sion, which land a breakthrough for the broadband process of China-made CDMA sy s tem and fully prove the feasibility of the smooth transition from narrow band IS 95 CDMA to its broadband updated model for voice, data and graphic transmiss ion.

China's Integrated Optical Wave Sensor

 Changchun Institute of Photomachinery under the Chinese Academy of Sciences has recently made the debut of its integrated optical wave based electric magnetic sensor with its performance reaching the internationally advanced level as is shown by the authorized verification check. Starting to work on the project in 1997, the researchers of the Institute have found solutions to numerous key technologies such as optical wave sensing chip manufacturing, the coupling of fiber-opti c and wave-optic interfacing, power compensation oriented measuring amplifier a n d others. These developments have led to the successful birth of the new sensor.

 It is briefed that the new sensor have numerous merits such as lightweight, in terference resistance, lower power consumption, wide range of working frequencies, stable performance, simple operation and remote control. In addition, it has created a new approach to addressing the problems encountered in rocket launching system and the local leakage of high pressure insulation in the power grid system. 


 Earthworms Handle Garbage

Recently Beijing has witnessed the extensive diffusion of earthworm-based urban garbage disposal jointly developed by the researchers of the Dept. of Environment, Tsinghua University and Beijing Chaoyang Gardening Farm. Earthworms who love the feed of animal dropping and organic wastes are able to produce fresh earthworms of high protein and high quality organic fertilizer. Investigation results h ave shown that both urban garbage and wastes from paper mills, food factories and stock and poultry farms may turn into treasure through earthworms' diligent wo rk.

Earthworms are able to improve the soil and purify the environment in addition t o being the fine fertilizer, feeds, medical ingredients, food, cosmetics, deodorant and the one for biological agents making. Earthworms can be made into food chains for birds, stock and fish.  It is planned to establish a number of earthworm based garbage disposal demonstration parks in the city, in which earthworms will be used to dispose the garbage while feeding vegetables, crops, flowers, gra ss and trees. Up to date, there are 10 and odd earthworm breeding farms in the city with an area totaled 500 mu and an annual handling capacity for 14,000 tons organic wastes.

China's Largest Garbage Power Generation 

An environment-friendly project aiming at power generation with garbage, the lar gest of its kind in the country, was recently kicked off in Hangzhou. The said development constitutes an important experiment on the win-win model for both env ironmental protection and earning making through modernized garbage handling.  It is reported that Hangzhou municipal area produces daily garbage around 2500 tons while the said garbage power generation plant is able to process 800 tons a day, which will greatly ease the burden of daily garbage disposal in the city. Be ing a national environment protection demonstration project, the garbage power generation project will produce an annual output of 78 million kilowatt-hours upon its completion.


 World Deepest Continental Drill

As is revealed by the sources of the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources , China will kick off its continental scientific drilling in July 2001 and make it the deepest one in the world as well as the first of its kind in the country. 

On the basis of the said major scientific project, China will establish a base f or long term in-depth geographic observations and experiments, the first of its kind in Asia. Deemed as a telescope extended into the earth crust, the continental scientific drilling is so far the only geographic studying approach obtaining the first hand deep underground information as well as an important means study ing major earth related scientific issues such as resources, disasters and envir onment. Aiming at assisting a series of earth scientific studies, China's continental scientific drilling will hole an abyss as deep as 5000 meters in the east section of Dabieshan-Jiangsu-Shandong super high pressure metamorphism zone.

Great Wall Launches Korean Satellite

China Great Wall Corporation and Korean Institute of Aviation and Space Research  inked a service contract on satellite launching on March 21 2001. Great Wall will launch Korean multi-purpose earth observation satellite A-II with its improve d model of Long-March II. This is the first service of its kind provided by Great Wall for Korean clients.

The Korean satellite is a geostationary satellite with an orbital height of 685 km and orbital incidence 98.13 degree, able to provide full color images of 1m resolution and multi-spectrum images of 4m resolution. The said satellite will be launched at China's Xichang Satellite Launching Center in April 2004. 

China's Earth-Space Dual Satellites Observations

Chinese National Aviation Agency disclosed on March 21, 2001 that it had formall y kicked off its earth-space dual satellites observation program. Made of a mini -satellite ranging the equator and the other the polar region, the dual satellit es network will cover the major areas in the earth so far uncovered by other earth-space observation satellites of foreign making. It will mainly serve to obse r ve the spatial and temporal variations of magnetic fields and energy particles i n the earth-near magnetosphere over equatorial and polar regions and make the s y stematic studies of the triggering mechanism of magnetospheric storms, substorms can and megnetospheric particle storms and its global response process to solar activities and planetary oscillation so as to create a dynamic model agreeable with actual space environment and work out corresponding forecasting methods. The implementation of the project will greatly stimulate the development of China' s space physics and upgrade its earth-space observation capacity. Being the firs t involvement in international cooperation with its own innovative space observation program, the said project is a major thrust for the cooperation between China National Space Agency and European Space Agency.

China's Medicine for Senile Dementia

On the basis of their many-year practice and clinic studies, the researchers of Hangzhou Hangkang Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., and Shanghai Huadong Hospital have successfully produced Xi’enkai, a Chinese patent drug treating amnesia, which is made of marine creatures such as sea snake and sea cucumber.  The Xi'enkai capsule is the first of its kind in the country treating amnesia through marine biological therapy with remarkable results on alleviating amnesia and improving memory, demonstrating a special effect on senile dementia.

China Jumbo Digital Library

China’s National Library’s book storing space has been basically occupied by i ts well kept 22 million books. To meet the operational needs for the future 50 years, its phase two project is in the process of approval. Obviously, to build up a readable but untouchable digital library with highly sophisticated digital p rocessing, storing, management and transmission functions is more important than the simple expansion of the physical space of the book warehouse.

It is reported that the National Digital Library Co. Ltd. subordinate to the Nat ional Library has made its Chinese and numerical library resources reach 53 million pages in a short period of one year. In the meanwhile, the unfenced library has continued its digital process at a pace of 200,000 pages a day. Up to date, the library has forged alliances with 80 and more domestic institutions for digital resources sharing. China Digital Library is becoming the largest Chinese inf ormation and numerical resources content provider in the world.

       Comments or inquiries on editorial matters or Newsletter content should be directed to:Mr. Cheng Jiayi, 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