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

N0.279 December 10,2001

* Scientific Quality of Chinese Population

* CAS Action Plan for S&T Innovations

* China’s Digital Land Resources

* China Completes Genome Sequencing for Three Pathogenic Microbes

* China’s New Seismological Prediction Method

* China’s Space Database Network

* Refrigeration free Infrared Imager


Scientific Quality of Chinese Population

On October 23, 2001, the Chinese Science and Technology Association published the results of the survey on Chinese population's public scientific quality in 2001. In the past five years, Chinese population's scientific quality has landed an average annual growth of 0.24%, or an increase from 0.2% in 1996 to 1.4% in 2001. The said nationwide survey is the fourth of its kind following the previous ones in 1992, 1994 and 1996 respectively (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan).

Focusing on the major topics such as the basic scientific quality of the Chinese population aged from 18-69, the major channels through which Chinese people obtain their S&T information and their attitudes towards science and technology, the survey was simultaneously made among 201 observational spots for people's scientific quality watch. The survey was completed on September, 2001.

The results have shown that in 2001 the percentage of the Chinese population who has been basically equipped with scientific quality required reached 1.4%, and large difference can be seen among those qualified in terms of distributions of genders, occupation, education background, age, urban and rural areas and economically developed areas. For example, the male gender has made a portion of 1.7% with female gender only sitting at 0.98%. Students enjoyed the highest percentage for their scientific qualification followed by professionals and technicians. The share of urban residents is 3.1% with rural residents at 0.4% and such proportion is seen gradually decreasing from the east to the west with 2.3% in the east section, 0.85% in the middle and 0.65% in the west. The results have also shown the Chinese population believes that science and technology has more favorable impacts on their life and work than unfavorable ones and 72.2% of the investigated place strong hope for addressing more issues by S&T means.

CAS Action Plan for S&T Innovations

On November 1, 2001, the Chinese Academy of Sciences officially kicked off its action plan for implementing S&T innovation strategies and initiated 5 major projects in the fields of basic studies, life sciences and biotechnology, resources environment and high tech R&D.

It is briefed that the said projects will be practised with the system of project head or chief scientists being responsible for the projects. Of these projects, the study on rice genetic sequencing and functional genomes of major agronomic properties will focus on the development and applications of major functional genes of China’s own independent intellectual properties. It is planned to identify and verify 1000 functional genes and proteins closely related to the improvement of agricultural species and obtain 50 to 100 patents for functional genes. The study on Qinghai-Tibet railway system and the interactions of ever frozen layer and associated environment effects will focus on global climate prediction and possible changes of ever frozen layer underlying the project and its implications for the stability of Qinghai-Tibet Railway system, so as to adopt relevant measures to protect the ever frozen layer and ensure the stability of the 1118 km long rail lines.

The study on the industrial development of coal based liquid compound fuel is supposed to develop the commercial facilities annually producing a million tons of coal based compound gas in a period

of 4 to 7 years, so as to ensure the nation’s petroleum security. The study on the budgeting of China’s land and offshore ecological system will strive to formulate the substitution based ecological reconstruction plan favorable for stabilizing the climate.

China’s Digital Land Resources

Recently the Chinese Ministry of Land and Natural Resources has published its plan on the information process of China’s national land resources for the 10th Five-Year period. In the next five years, China will launch a number of projects to build its geological and mineral resources databases such as major nationwide geological databases in small and medium scales,or large scale for some selected areas, the database for basic geological studies, national database for mineral resources and national database for geological environment watch. In addition, it will improve the existing national geological database and create the national database on drill bores. When constructing its land infrastructure database, China will create infrastructure databases for the current status of land use, land use planning, land deeds, land prices, arable land classification, and databases on land for construction purpose, land development and land reclamation, and complete the construction of major infrastructure land databases at national, provincial and cosmopolitan levels as well as at prefecture and county level in economically developed areas. China will continue its efforts in building up marine infrastructure database, such as databases on marine geological information, marine rights, marine resources, marine ecology and environment, and marine economy, and focus on completing the construction of national infrastructure database in 1:250,000 scale for Chinese territory water and in 1:50,000 scale for major marine areas. China will also improve its basic geological information database by completing grid maps in 1:50,000 scale for the whole country and in 10,000 scale for developed areas, digital elevation model and digital orthographic projector, and databases on core element vector, land names and land coverage.

On the basis of the said efforts, China will relentlessly develop and apply computer based supporting system to promoting the information process of its mainstream national land resources evaluation and survey system, start the full fledged construction of administrative management information system, realize government office automation, establish information service system in different forms, promote social services for national land resources information process, and formulate criteria for information process construction so as to accelerate the establishment of China’s national land resources information exchange system.  


China Interrupts AIDS Spread

UN Children’s Fund, the Chinese Ministry of Health and Henan Provincial Department of Health under the Chinese Ministry of Health have recently decided to launch the project on prevention and control of AIDS spread between mothers and their babies in Shangcai County, Zhumadian, Shihe Prefecture, Henan Province, for the purpose of collecting scientific evidence for formulating China’s guideline for checking the spread of ADIS diseases from mothers to their babies through practices and studies of this project. 

It is briefed that the project has defined 5 types of populations as interference targets: the pregnant women who had commercial blood donation around 1995, the pregnant women whose husband had commercial blood donation around 1995, the pregnant women whose husband has been diagnosed for HIV positive, the pregnant women whose family member has been diagnosed as HIV positive, and the pregnant women who had extramarital affairs, operations or blood transfusion that may lead to AIDS infections. The project requires to establish reporting and consultation network at county and village levels and organize professional training to medical and family planning personnel at such levels. The implementing plan has made detailed arrangements for discovery and reporting, AIDS testing, control of pregnant women with HIV positive and their hospitalization for treatment and pregnancy termination and tracking mechanism for infected pregnant women.

It is reported that the project will organize AIDS testing and consultation among target populations, provide medicine based termination and care for the infected pregnant women and visit the babies born by the infected women with artificial feeding.  



China Completes Genome Sequencing for 

Three Pathogenic Microbes

Chinese scientists have recently completed the full genetic sequencing for three major human and botanic pathogenic microbes, namely  Leptospira, staphylococcus epidermidis and yellow monocell bacteria, and achieved internationally leading results. To share the results with all the other scientists in the world, Chinese scientists had on October 29, 2001 officially released the full genetic sequencing information on the said pathogenic microbes to the international public database.

It is reported that the genome sequencing for Leptospira has led to the first identification of 4700 and odd base pairs maintaining the life activities of Leptospira, of which 95% are newly discovered genes. In the meanwhile, they have identified 30 and odd genes causing diseases and a dozen of new targets that may possibly be developed into diseases treating vaccine. The said result is of important application value to promoting human genome studies and looking for new techniques and drugs for diagnosing and treating these diseases.

Chinese scientists have also made genetic sequencing on staphylococcus epidermidis and completed the full genetic sequencing and assembling of 2.49 million of base pairs and achieved a number of results that may improve cloning of functional genes. The said study has made a new stride towards developing new strategy for preventing the infection of staphylococcus epidermidis in clinic practice.

In the process of full genome sequencing on yellow monocell bacteria that cause black rotten disease to plants, scientists have discovered that the said bacteria is composed of 5,119,497 base pairs possibly containing 4600 and more genes. They have obtained 2,500 and more genetic mutants, screened out 170 mutants that will not cause diseases and 147 xanthic glue  mutants, and identified 50 genes that may cause diseases. It is briefed that the said sequencing is the fourth of its kind in the world for full genome sequencing of plant pathogenic bacteria. It has laid a solid foundation for in-depth study of disease causing mechanism of the plant pathogenic bacteria and creating safe and efficient approaches to plant diseases prevention and treatment.

China’s New Seismological Prediction Method

On the basis of more than a decade studies, Prof. Gao Houxiu with the Institute of Materials under Tianjin University has for the first time in the world discovered the phenomena of 3-D oscillation movement on some micro areas of Yuhua pebbles. Like a flowing liquid, the said movement keeps appearing and disappearing with occasional spinning. The said new discovery has led people to  a deeper understanding of material world and provided a new method for seismological prediction. The said study has reached internationally advanced level.

In 1989, Prof. Gao discovered in her study by accident that there appeared a mysterious oscillation in the solid alloy. The said movement showed apparent flowing features in some micro areas, appearing or disappearing alternatively, shrinking this time or swelling that time with occasional breaking. The said phenomena are also accompanied with spinning of surface crystal in the process of oscillation. A V-shaped crystal was miraculously seen for making a turn of 64 degrees. Prof. Gao has been working on the phenomena for more than a decade and discovered similar oscillation phenomena in other solid materials such as copper, aluminum, steels, alloy cast iron, compound materials, natural Yuhua pebbles, crystals and marbles and recorded massive documentaries and videos with the help of microphotographing technique so as to prove the existence of such phenomena with sufficient evidence.

Soil Conservation Resin

The proprietary polypropylene sulphonic acid sodium based soil moisture conservation resin developed by Shanxi Chuangyi S&T Co. Ltd. has announced its final success after its 16-year tireless efforts and experiments. The said result is of great importance to addressing the issues on water conservancy, storage and efficiency over arable land and forested areas in arid and semi-arid regions and changing waste mountains and deserts. Applied with a unique formula and self designed device, the moisture conservation resin is of originality in terms of both its structure and process, which greatly simplified the production process, reduced the costs and realized clean production. The said efforts have made extensive diffusion and application of efficient water absorption resin possible. Last year the said product found its experiments in a number of provinces such as Shanxi, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Shaan'xi and Gansu and over 55,000 mu(1mu=0.0667ha.) of afforestation recorded with a survival rate as high as 96%. It is estimated that it only needs 3.5 kilos of the said product (worth RMB80) for growing trees per mu, or 3 kilos for arable land with the same size at a cost less than RMB 45, much lower than the imported counterpart.

China’s Space Database Network

China’s new clients’space data network independently developed by Xi’an Satellite Control Center has recently passed its technical verification checks. The said development marks a major progress on China’s technology for data exchanges between the space control center and its clients.

Once the new space data network is put into operation, distant subscribers will be able to view the satellite data received by the satellite control center, enjoying retrieving, searching and downloading historical data on satellite measurement and control. Clients may also submit their applications for on-board payload measuring and control through e-mails. The said network is able to support the simultaneous visits of 30 and more clients, and handle real time data reception, storage and forwarding for 50 satellites. People may have access to space measuring data in the primary time through the network so as to allow joint diagnosing among a number of clients when meeting failures of spacecraft and improve the time efficiency and failure fixing capacity of spacecraft.

Refrigeration free Infrared Imager

China's first refrigeration free infrared thermal imager developed by Huazhong Optics and Electrics Institute recently called a success and was put into mass production on October 28, 2001, The said thermal imager is a high tech product integrated with a number of sophisticated technologies such as infrared optical design, coating and processing, sophisticated machinery, signal and image processing, LCD and infrared applications. The new thermal imager is able to work under normal indoor temperature without refrigeration and with numerous merits such as long life, high reliability, easy operation, portable power source, smaller size, lighter weight and lower power consumption.

China’s High Illumination Blue Diode

Recently Shandong Yingkelai Group and Tsinghua University have jointly worked out the blue light diode of high illumination, which literally announced an end to China’s full dependence on imported high illumination blue light diode.

In October 1999, Shandong Yingkelai Group and Tsinghua University inked an agreement on research and development of the said technology with an investment amounting to RMB 30 million. On the same day, Shandong S&T Venture Capital Co. also signed an agreement with them  for investing more money into the industrialization process of the said project and establishing a shareholding company for the purpose. The Venture Capital will take 20% of the equity and Tsinghua University 25% of the new business. It is reported that with a total investment of RMB 120 million, the said project will develop an annual capacity for producing 80 million diodes with an expected annual sale revenue for RMB320 million.  


China's World Largest Seeds Bank

The project on the evaluation of major agricultural plants and tree seeds resources and associated utilization sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has recently seen its successful completion. Being a project under the National Key Projects R&D Program, the said study has led to the addition of 34 crops with 22,000 seeds at the bank, which have made the total number of seeds stored at the bank for long term preservation reaching 333,000. Up to date, the resources possessed by the bank has expanded to a level claiming the world first. In the meanwhile, the species seeds kept in the national resources garden climbed up to 38,000 in number, which made China’s total seeds resources thus kept amount to 370,000 in number. The said National Seeds Resources Bank has also collected and rescued a number of rare, endangered and fine species and near wild plants over Three- Gorge area, the southern section of Jiangxi and the northern section of Guangdong. A number of rare ancient species such as octahedral towel gourd, purple cracking corn and white hemp of important exploitation values have found their safe home at the bank. On the basis of their screening and verification, Chinese scientists have produced a number of improved species of great importance to seeds breeding.

Mail Experts

The software package invented for receiving and sending e-mails by Zhang Duo, a senior student pursuing his degree study at the Department of Chemistry, Fudan University has landed a speed 6 to 8 times faster than that developed by Microsoft's Outlook version for the same operation.

The said mail expert software won the first place at Shanghai S&T Contests for Higher Learning Institutions held not long ago. Even when used in the rush hour for receiving and sending e-mails, the said software shows an improved speed 5 to 6 times that of Outlook by using the same modem, or 6 to 8 times faster when it entertains its users on broad band network. In addition, it is of the functions of fending away others' peep-in and attacking viruses, so that the online privacy can be better protected.  

       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