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

N0.285 February 10,2002
* China's Top Ten S&T News for 2001

* RMB 270 Billion for Polluted Water Control

* Computer Aided Cultural Relics Restoring System

* First CAS-Bayer Research Awards

* Intelligent Wheat-Corn Rotation System

* China's Digital Wireless TV Live Broadcasting Van

* Non-Toxicant Ship Paint 


China's Top Ten S&T News for 2001

China's top ten S&T news selected under the co-sponsorship of S&T Daily and Chinese Central TV have recently been unveiled as follows:

1. the Largest gas field discovered in China

China has landed major breakthroughs in locating natural gas resources over E'erduosi Basin. The No. 6 well located in Sugeli section of the basin, in particular, has pumped out high yield gas from the Paleozoic erathem layer with the other seven wells drilled later also singing for medium or high level yield gas of industrial applications. As shown by the consolidated data, the said Sugeli gas field is featured with extensive area, large reserves, fine qualities and a maximum unit yield as high as 1.2 million m3 a day, or 600,000 m3 a day on average.

2. Dawning 3000 super server

The Institute of Computation Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences has turned out in the year Dawning 3000 super server, the best home-made super server in terms of its performance with its maximum calculation speed at 403.2 billion times per second and a large internal memory of 168 GB.

3. Jiang Zemin's collection On Science and Technology and National Top S&T Awards for Wu Wenjun and Yuan Longping Jiang Zemin's collection On Science and Technology was published in February 2001. The book has collected Mr. Jiang's speeches, articles, correspondences and instructions related to S&T issues made during the period from December 1989 to October 2000. With 49 papers in 150,000 words, the book has made debuts for a number of unpublished pieces.

On Feb. 19, 2001, the S&T Awards Conferring Ceremony was held by the Chinese State Council in honor of scientists who have made great contributions. Jiang Zemin, President of the People's Republic of China conferred Award Certificate and associated prize to Wu Wenjun, an academician and research fellow of the Institute of System Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Prof.  Yuan Longping, a research fellow of Hunan Hybrid Rice Research Center and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Dr. Wu's foundation-laying efforts in the field of algebraic topology have exerted extensive and positive impacts on the development of international mathematics community in the last half century. His original studies have completely changed the concept of mathematics based machinery theory.  Prof. Yuan's new theory on hybrid rice breeding has opened the forbidden zone of classical genetic theory and reaped huge economic and social benefits through extending his improved hybrid rice species over to 50% of the nation's rice growing areas with an average yield increase of 20%.

4. Chinese scientists found “Golden Nail”

In March 2001, the International Association for Geological Sciences officially named the section of Meishan Mount located in Changxing County of Zhejiang Province both the section and point for global Permian -Triassic demarcation layer, or Golden Nail thus nicknamed, which means that a significant symbol predicting the evolution of the Earth presents itself in China. The so-called golden nail has been a century old puzzle for international geological community. Being named as the golden nail, Meishan Mount has not only received a world-class honor of scientific studies but also demonstrated its important practical and scientific values.

5. CAS abolished qualifications evaluation system

To introduce a full-fledged recruiting system, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has abolished its on-campus system for evaluating professional qualifications as well as its traditional promotion system. The new system is planned to see a wash-out rate not less than 10% of the total recruited.  As regulated by the new system, an institute is allowed to recruit researchers on its own with a corresponding record registered at CAS headquarters.  Once approved by the institute, the post for senior positions can be filled in by the heads of study groups, divisions or major projects. People working for the posts at middle or lower level can be hired by research teams with recruiting record registered at the institute.

6. World first self human nerve stem cell transplanting

With the help of 3-D directional nuclear magnetic resonance scanning technology, neurosurgeons of Huashan Hospital subordinate to Shanghai Fudan University has successfully preformed the transplantation of nerve stem cells on a 40-year-old female patient with a tiny wound under local anesthesia. After the operation, the patient witnessed a smooth recovery. The said operation is the first in the world dealing with nerve stem cell transplanting from patients' own sources.

7. Chinese scientists decoded rice genome

The Chinese Academy of Sciences, the State Development Planning Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly announced on October 12, 2001 that China had completed the working framework charts and associated database for Chinese rice's genome. Sitting at the internationally leading position, the said data will soon be made available to international communities free of charge.

8. S&T community's introspection on flippancy

While applauding for its great progresses achieved in the fields of science and technology, Chinese S&T community has to face some stern facts: its retreated ranking in the world, the vacancies for China's top level awards: National Natural Science Award and the first prize for National Technology Invention Award, limited major S&T results of originality and creativeness, and overlapping research efforts at low level.  All these are believed subtly connected with flippant attitudes of Chinese S&T community.  An article “Flippancy: an epidemic attacking S&T Community ” published by S&T Daily has scanned and analyzed the causes leading to flippant attitudes existing in the community with sharp comments and criticism quoted from influential figures in the community. The article caused a stir after its publication and many S&T people aired their views and suggestions on the issue, expressed their appreciation over the factual attitude and courage and put forward many meaningful ideas.

9. Chinese scientists discovered the earliest stylolite between continental collisions

In May 2000, Associate Prof. Li Jianghai of Peking University discovered the oldest oceanic rock debris in Zunhua, Hebei Province.  After that, a research group led by him intensified their efforts in filed investigations. In October, 2001, they discovered new relics of ancient oceans in the western section of Liaoning Province, which confirmed the fact that the seaming line mapped by ancient oceanic relics in north China has amounted to at least 200 km. It is reported that the said discovery constituted the direct evidence telling the earliest collisions between continental plates and also the only continental stylolite carrying the traces of oceanic rocks in the world.

10. Major breakthroughs in industrial production of superconductor materials On December 1st, 2001, China's first high temperature bismuth superconductor material production line of world advanced level was put into operation and turned out three 1000-meter long superconductor line materials. The development has marked a major breakthrough for the industrial production of superconductor materials in the country and laid a solid material foundation for China's development of its proprietary superconductor products, making China one of the few countries in the world equipped with high temperature superconductor material manufacturing technologies and associated industrial process.

RMB 270 Billion for Polluted Water Control

The monitoring results published by the National Environmental Agency of China have shown that at the end of 2001, China remained facing very tough pollution problems over its major water systems and lakes, though it was reported that the situation had been somewhat alleviated. Among the 752 major sections of seven major river systems under the monitoring, there are only 27% reaching grade 1-3 standards with 14% of the others falling into grade 4 and nearly 59% rated as grade 5 or even bad grade 5.

To combat against deteriorated water pollution, the environmental protection component for the 10th Five-Year Plan(2001-2005) has proposed that by 2005 China shall see no grade 5 for major water quality indicators at the sections under monitoring and shall witness the improvement of its water environment quality, basically realizing planned targets for pollution control over its major river basins and coastal areas. These targets will include confining oxygen-needed chemical emission to 13 million tons, ammonia and nitrogen emission to 1.65 million tons with 60% of the surface water quality in the cities at prefectural level or above reaching prescribed standards for functional areas and centralizing urban sewage water treatment by 45%.  Together with the input aiming at integrated water environment control, the total investment in water pollution will amount to RMB 270 billion in the 10th Five-Year period.

It is briefed by the National Environmental Agency that China will make three rivers (Huaihe, Haihe and Liaohe),three lakes (Taihu, Chaohu and Dianchi), Beijing Municipality and Bohai Sea the priority targets for water pollution control during the 10th period. In the meanwhile, China will intensify its efforts on water pollution control over Three Gorges dam areas and the water systems along the project of delivering water from the south to the north and kick off comprehensive pollution control projects for upper reaches of Yangtze River, middle reaches of the Yellow River and Songhuajiang River valley.


Computer Aided Cultural Relics Restoring System

Under the chair of Prof. Zhou Mingquan of the Institute of Visualization, Dept. of Computer Sciences, Northwest University, the study of computer aided cultural relics restoring techniques has recently achieved major results, and associated computer aided cultural relics restoring system has passed approval checks by robot expert panel of National 863 Program.

Traditional restoration of cultural relics counts mainly on experts' weathered experience. They have to make repeated observation and selection of debris of pottery, terracotta figurines, bronze and jade ware in piles and find out the patching rules and interrelations. The said process is not only complicated and boring but also easy to mismatch or even damage the ancient objects. The new associated computer aided system has realized automatic matching and 3-D restoration of debris, accelerating the speed of restoration and avoiding the damage to cultural relics in the process of restoration and greatly reducing the sophistication of relics restoration. The development has not only constituted a major progress for computer aided cultural relics protection but also filled up a gap in computer aided 3-D object restoration techniques.

 Schistosome Cells Separated and Reproduced

Associate Prof. Dong Huifen with Parasites Section of Medical School under Wuhan University has successfully worked out the separation and reproduction of Japanese schistosome through her efforts in inducing the separation and reproduction of Japanese schistosome cultivating cells, which has cleared up the obstacle in establishing Japanese schistosome cultivating cells system.

In October 1994, Prof. Dong registered a world record for external cultivation of adult schistosome for 184 days (the previous world record kept by U.S. scientists was 28 days) and 213 days for baby schistosome in her external adult and baby schistosome cultivation efforts. Her progresses have resulted in a material platform for cultivating cells on an unlimited basis for medical and vaccine applications.

First CAS-Bayer Research Awards

On Feb. 1st, 2002, Zhao Jincai and Liu Jikai, two Chinese scientists were conferred with Young Scientists Awards and associated starting funds from CAS-Byer Fund for 2001-2002 in honor of the achievements in their respective research domains.

The said Award Fund was jointly created by Bayer Company and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in April, 2000.  As stipulated by the agreement, during the 5 years from 2001 to 2005, Bayer is supposed to provide a dedicated fund of USD 500,000 to Chinese Academy of Sciences for assisting scientific research projects jointly launched by Bayer and CAS and financing Chinese scientists who have rendered outstanding contributions.  The Fund is aimed at encouraging Chinese post doctorates who have returned from abroad to establish their own research team at subordinated institutions of CAS. In the meanwhile, the Fund has created an award plan to finance outstanding post doctorates, CAS’s scientists and academic leaders.

Zhao Jincai, a research fellow of Molecule Research Center of Chemistry Institute under CAS was granted with USD 10,000 for his research findings on photic catalyzing based degradation of dye pollutants under visible light and associated applications of the said mechanism in dye waste water treatment. Liu Jikai, research fellow of Kunming Botany Institute under CAS was honored with an award of USD 25,000 for his extracting medicine or precursor pesticide compound from higher fungus in Yunnan. He discovered a series of new natural products and compounds of biological activity through collection of real samples and bacteria species, fermentation and culture, screening out biological activity and associated chemical studies.

 Intelligent Wheat-Corn Rotation System

The study of Intelligent Wheat-Corn Rotation Decision Making System undertaken by Chinese Academy of Agriculture passed the experts' approval check on January 30, 2002. The said system is the result derived from the study of intelligent wheat-corn rotation environment simulation, a major project under the National 863 Program and the study of automatic crop production system under Beijing Municipal Natural Science Foundation. The system has created the first wheat-corn rotation environment model in the country equipped with database and also for the first time realized Internet-based crop model running and visualized output. Being designed to analyze a number of major indicators as rational utilization of resources, species matching, seeding time selection, economic benefits and water and nitrogen management, the system is able to make intelligent decision in line with users' selection.

 China's Digital Wireless TV Live Broadcasting Van

Recently Anhui based Wireless Digital Technology Co. Ltd. has turned out AMI series digital live broadcasting vans. Equipped with four channels, the said special vans are desirable tools for TV station, news centers or program making centers to make live news broadcasting, culture and arts programs, limited sports game live broadcasting and post program editing. Taking into account many practical difficulties such as arduous mountain roads or poor traffic conditions, the manufacturer has paid full attention to a number of aspects such as field performance, shock absorption and safety when optimizing the structures of the whole system and improved its stability and reliability.

 Non-Toxicant Ship Paint

Thanks to their 3-year painstaking efforts, the scientists of No. II Marine Institute under the State Oceanic Bureau have recently applauded for their successful development of non-toxicant ship paint that will soon go into industrial development phase.

It is briefed that the pollution proof paint has found its trial applications over seven ships that cruised over different marine areas such as the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. The results of the trial applications have proved that the said paint is of special suppression effect on marine biological barnacles that cause the most serious damages at the ship bottom with the highest attacking occurrences, though it is of effects on other biological pollutants.

China’s Marine Medical Resources

China’s marine medical resources bank jointly constructed by the State Oceanic Bureau and Tsingdao University has witnessed smooth progress for its phase one efforts with its marine biological resources of medical applications and associated gene banks showing preliminary shape.

Up to date, the said specimen bank of medical application values has collected 292 biological samples, 10 animal genes, 11 offshore microbes’ genes, 16 genes of microbes living under extreme environment and 4 alga genes. In addition, the offshore microbe biological resources bank has collected 319 strains under 45 species, the bank for microbes living under extreme environment 130 strains, alga bank 122 strains and the original animal and fish cell bank 15 strains.

       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