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

N0.265 July 20,2001

* China-Europe Joint Earth Magnetic Field Exploration

* China-France Joint Studies

* First China-Made CPU-Ark-I

* Schistosomiasis Vaccine

* Automatic Biomass Burner

* Genetic Valley in Shanghai

* Chinese Scientists for Ancient Camel Path 


China-Europe Joint Earth Magnetic Field Exploration

 On July 9, 2001 Chinese National Space Agency and European Space Agency inked an  agreement on Dual Satellites Program for collaborative exploration of earth mag netic field. According to the agreement, the European Space Agency will installits ten probes on China's equator and polar satellites, which constitutes the first case in which Chinese satellites have the payload of European scientific instruments.

The so-called dual satellite program was proposed by the Space Center of the Ch inese Academy of Sciences in 1997 for extensive space based synchronous exploration of earth magnetic fields through two satellites with crossed orbits. The planned equator satellite operates in the large oval orbit at 28.5 degrees, mainly d etecting the major magnetic fields such as magnetopause and megnetotail, while the polar satellite operates in the large oval orbit above the polar region at an  angle of 90 degrees, detecting the disturbance made by fallout particulates in the funnel areas of both poles on the ionosphere and its relationship with magnetic fields and associated regional variations. The data collected by the two satellites may tell the relationship between magnetic field space and solar activities after an integrated processing, and may testify the proposed triggering mechanism on magnetic storm and understand the major transmission channels of energy  particulates.

It is reported that the two satellites of the program will be developed by China  Institute of Space Technology. The European Space Agency will be responsible for the development of 10 scientific probes with a budget of 8 million Euro. In addition, the Institute will work out eight other probes and all the public supporting system for the payloads. The two satellites will be launched by Long-March IIC carrier rocket with the equator at the end of 2002 or early 2003 from Xi'cha ng Satellite Launching Center and the polar in the mid of 2003 at Taiyuan Satellite Launching Center. The ground data reception will be jointly taken care of by the Satellite Data Receiving Station of Space Center of CAS and the Data Receiv ing Station of European Space Agency located in Spain. The collected data will be processed together with the data collected by the Stars Program under the implementation in Europe.  

 China-France Joint Studies

 The Delegation of French National Research Department has recently made an agree ment with Ruijin Hospital subordinate to Shanghai No. 2 Medical University on the collaborative studies of the functional genome of human and model living creatures among many others. On the basis of thorough discussions, both sides have determined major research topics for future collaborative studies such as functional genome of human and model living creatures, the molecular pathogenesis of microbes and epidemic diseases and vulnerable human community, differentiation and induction based cancer treatment and associated mechanism, and traditional medic ine based natural drug studies. In addition both sides have agreed to establish a joint lab.

The joint lab in the plan will be practised with open and mobility mechanism so as to make it a world first class base for cross-disciplinary studies and new technology development, radiating towards other high level research bodies in the country and eventually becoming an international co-operation platform between C hina and France. The daily operation of the joint lab will be the responsibility of the joint academic committee made of the experts from both sides. Co-chaire d by one scientist from each side, the said committee will take care of the selec tion of research topics, screening of candidate scientists and making evaluation and guidance. Both sides will share the research budget and research results such as papers, patents, copyrights and intellectual properties derived from the Lab activities according to international norms.  


 First China-Made CPU-Ark-I

The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Information Tech nology and Telecom Industries, the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the Administrative Board of Zhong gu ancun S&T Park jointly announced on July 10, 2001 that China's first 32-digit C P U of its own independent intellectual property right, named Ark-I had passed the  technical approval organized by the competent Chinese authorities. The experts in the field point out that the birth of Ark-I marks China's major breakthroughs in the field of microelectronics and computers, applauding for an end to the history that China's information industry has no its own 'heart'.

The said applicable CPU was developed by the Zhongxin Microsystems Co.Ltd. found ed by Dr. Li Delei, a Chinese graduate returning from abroad. On the basis of their 3-year painstaking efforts the company successfully turned out its 0.25-micr on and 32-digit CPU chip products named Ark-I and an Ark-I based net computer NC-2000 at the end of last April.

Applied with a self-designed structure of fast speed, low cost and high integra t ion, Ark-I is a CPU dedicated to the network applications with its main frequenc y reaching 166 megahertz, capable of acting upon 200 million commands per second. Compared with its foreign made counterparts, Ark-I is of a competitive technic al properties and has reached the internationally advanced level on built-in CPU.

The test applications at more than a dozen of clients including the Bank of Chin a and Beijing Orient Electronics Inc. have demonstrated the matured technology and reliable operation of Ark-I based network computer NC2000 and its broad appl ication perspectives for net computer, broadband intelligent terminal, set top box, digital TV and auto industry.  

At the briefing meeting dedicated to the said development, Xu Guanhua, Minister of Science and Technology indicated that the birth of Ark-I would stimulate the development of China's information industry. The Chinese Ministry of Science and  Technology has decided to list super integrated circuit a major project under the National 863 Program during the 10th Five-Year Plan period, so as to land maj or breakthroughs In the core technologies of China's information industry through attacking the key technologies relating to chip design, manufacturing techniqu es and production, with the major focus on the target products of microsystem chips needed by network and electronic information products.

New Spiral Alga Species

Wuhan Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently announc ed that they successfully screened out the first blunt nail spiral alga in the country. The birth of the new alga species has put a period to the history of the long dependence of Chinese spiral alga industry on imported alga seeds.

It took 3 years from March 1998 for the researchers of this Institute to have co llected 4 spiral alga species in 100 and odd specifications from 9 provinces and autonomous regions including Hubei, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan, Gansu, Hebei, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia and Ningxia. On the basis of the laboratory screening and  separation, they eventually identified a spiral alga species able to grow under the temperature ranging from 15-35℃.The new species is able to grow in extended areas in the country with greatly enhanced production cycle and yields. On the contrary, the imported alga species can only survive the temperature ranging fr om 25-35℃, or tropical and sub-tropical regions. As is shown by the testings ma de by the Testing Center of Edible Oil and Associated Products Quality Control under the Ministry of Agriculture, the quality of the said blunt nail alga is apparently better than that of imported ones with its protein content per 1000 grams reaching 67.6% against 60% or so of the imported ones.

At present, Wuhan Institute of Botany has begun their co-operation with Yunnan C henghaihu Siruipu Corporation, the largest alga production base in the country for the pilot production of blunt nail spiral alga in one year before launching for further massive production.

Schistosomiasis Vaccine

Schistosome vaccine applicable to domestic animals such as ox and pig has recent ly seen the encouraging progress at Wuhan based Tongji Medical University. It is briefed that the project has completed its experimental phase on mouse and entered further observational phase on larger animals such as ox before its full fledged applications in all domestic animals.

Schistosomiasis is a kind of verminosis getting spread through snails. At presen t, the annual infection rate of Schistosomiasis in China recorded 5% to 10%. The applications of Schistosomiasis vaccine may eradicate the roots causing the diseases on domestic animals, which in turn cuts off the propagating sources of human Schistosomiasis. The experiments have shown that the application of the said vaccine in mice may reduce the schistosome in their bodies by 35%-44%, approaching the ceiling standard for 50% prescribed by the World Health Organization. The application of Schistosomiasis vaccine in animals may greatly reduce the infecti on rate of such diseases. It is expected that China's Schistosomiasis will be eradicated in a matter of several years.

Along with further studies, the said vaccine may be directly applied to humans. However, such development will also trigger a possible controversial question: since the vaccine is made of nucleic acid, will it cause genetic mutation or cancers when applying to human body? Before finding the real answer to this, it can only be now applied to animals.

Automatic Biomass Burner

An automatic biomass burner fueled with plant straws has recently called a succe ss in Beijing. Jointly developed by Beijing Wanfa Boiler Center and Shanxi Laowan Biomass Energy S&T Co. Ltd., the said biomass burner is a burning device with compressed high density grains of plant straws and wild grass as the fuel. The technical testing organized by the Ministry of Agriculture has shown that the said burner is of numerous merits such as unique design, innovative structure, handsome appearance, automatic feeding and discharging and full combustion with its thermal efficiency reaching 86.07% and associated environmental indicators up to the national s tandards and current similar standards applied in Europe. The application of the automatic lower chamber feeding technique has led to the breakthrough in the disposal of dregs and tar, filling up a domestic blank in efficient biomass utilization and burning.

Healthy Shanghai Cloned Goats

July 20 marks the two month of age of the first group of cloned milk goats in Sh anghai. The said three milk goats cloned with stem cells found no difference from their natural born sisters in external appearance. The initial testing has shown that the cells of these three cloned goats are identical to their parental genetic matters. So far they have grown well with their weight going up from 3.5 kilos at birth to the current 20 and more kilos.

The three cloned goats are female in gender with their parental bed being a male  goat embryo that has grown for 32 days. The researchers of Shanghai Genetic Modification Research Center extracted a nucleus from a stem cell of the said embryo and planted it into a milk goat's egg cell free from its genetic matters. The intervened egg cells grew to embryo sac and were placed in 14 milk goats for further growth. Seven of them got pregnant and three of the seven pregnant goats ceased their pregnancy in a while. After the development of seven months, four clo ned goat babies were born and one of them died afterwards. 

The group goats cloning in Shanghai has paved the way for the establishment of t he so-called animal pharmaceutical plant in the city and provided new technical means for rescuing endangered animal species and breeding new ones.

China's Major Biomedical Breakthrough

Chinese Pharmaceutical Society announced on July 22, 2001 that the socalled Boen ke Paste jointly developed by Guangdong based Dongguan Hongyuanyishi Biomedicine Co. and Canada based Yes Biotech Research Co. recently applauded for its success. The said product is the first drug in the world applied with monocloned antib ody for the external use as well as the first domestic biomedicine treating psoriasis granted with national class I new drug certificate and associated approval for manufacturing. The new development has marked a major breakthrough in China's biomedical manufacturing technologies. The new drug targets on medium-8 of w h ite cells in human skin that trigger the attack of psoriasis, and is able to eliminate its chemical activity through the dedicated responding, which in turn stops the invasion of neutrophill leucocytephage and T lymphocyte to the skin tissues and blockades the excessive expression of blood vessel growth elements in the local skin area.  


Genetic Valley in Shanghai

 Not long ago a Shanghai based private high tech business - United Genes S&T (Gr oup) Co. Ltd inked a joint development agreement with the local government on the phase I construction of the so-called Gene Valley.

Being the first biotech business founded in the country for massive genetic clon ing and sequencing, studies of bioinformation and genetic functions and development of genetic chips and drugs, the Company has so far successfully cloned 8,000 and more full-length human genes, ranking the second in the world in terms of t he quantity with 4,000 and more patent applications for different genes. It is briefed that the so-called Gene Valley is planned to embrace 30 projects with an  investment of RMB 3 billion.

 Chinese Scientists for Ancient Camel Path

It is disclosed that Mr. Yuan Guoying, a Chinese scientist working for Xinjiang Institute of Environmental Protection will together with his son Yuan Lei of Xinjiang Environment Monitoring Center make the scientific expedition for the ancient camel path in Africa. The said expedition will start from the northern Nigeria and travel through Niger and 2,400-km Sahara Desert before arriving at Tripoli of Libya. The purpose of the expedition is to make people aware of the existenc e of rare wild dual-peak camels, raising the funds for protecting wild dual pea k  camels and make the comparison between Sahara desert and Xinjiang Gobi desert, trying to understand the cause of desertification with first hand data.

National Marine Research Center

Recently the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has officially informed Qingdao Municipality that the National Marine Research Center will be headquartered at its territory.  MOST will together with other governmental agencie s such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Chinese Academy of Science, the State Marine Bureau, Shandong Provincial Government and Qingdao Municipal Government work out policy and funding support for the said Center.

It is briefed that the said Center will be established on the basis of the exist ing major labs in the city, restructured with optimized resources allocation on the existing expertise in the city so as to focus on the advantageous disciplines and promote the inter-disciplinary penetrations. The new Center will, surround ing the national demands and the cutting edges of marine scientific development and mainstreamed with basic and applied studies, practise the mechanism of chief  scientist, undertake the national research assignments through attracting the h igh quality research fellows both at home and abroad, carry out high end studies and make it the knowledge innovation origin of the national marine studies.

China's New Generation Mobile System

On July 20, 2001, Huagong S&T Chinese Network Co. signed a formal co-operation a greement with Beijing Lianyu Telecom Co.. The collaborative parties expressed that they would take advantage of technology advancement to establish a new generation mobile telecommunication technology alliance cored with the regional CDMA o f Lianyu Telecom and PDMA access technology of Chinese Network, so as to promote the establishment of China's own wireless telecommunication standards and the development of the associated system of independent intellectual properties.

It is briefed that Chinese Network has worked out the broadband IP telecommunica tion system applied with PDMA technology of its own intellectual properties, which has drawn the attention of international telecommunication community, while the regional synchronous CDMA access technology developed by Lianyu Telecom was recommended as one of the selection criteria for the international applications of CDMA in March, 2001.

Surface Nanometer into University

Not long ago, the Surface Nanometer Technology Engineering Research Center annou nced its inauguration at Beijing Science and Technology University, which marks China's surface technology development in a new phase. Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the Chinese Association for Materials Sciences and venture capital, the Center was jointly established by Beijing Municipal Government and Beijing Science and Technology University.  The new Center will devote itself to the industrialization diffusion a nd research of the said technologies and join the competent institutes and unive rsities on surface nanometer technology in the Beijing area under an open operational mechanism, striving for the development of the new surface nanometer technologies and industrialization of these technologies in the shortest possible time according to the national nanometer S&T plan. 

       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                   http://www.most.gov.cn