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

N0.294 May 10,2002

* The Earliest Flowers in the World

* Major Progress in Optic Fiber Bar Manufacturing

* The World Third Largest Canyon

* Massive Gradient Refractor Production

* Sino-US Joint S&T Committee Meeting

* China's IC Design Software for Export

* International Conference on Traditional Medicine Modernization


The Earliest Flowers in the World

The Chinese Ancient Fruit named for a flower blossomed as early as 145 million years ago was recently found in Liaoning, China, and confirmed by experts the most ancient angiosperm (flower bearing) plants so far discovered in the world.

The discovery makes a new breakthrough in the studies of the origins and early evolutions of angiosperm plants in the world and its finding was published as a cover page story by the U.S. journal: 《Science》.

The investigation team headed by Prof. Sun Ge with Jilin University unearthed ancient fossils of the Chinese Ancient Fruit over Beipiao area in the western region of Liaoning in 1998. Later in 2000 Prof. Sun Ge together with Ji Qiang of the Chinese Academy of Geology discovered the same fruit fossils in the same geological period over Lingyuan area of the same region.  Scientists have classified the extinct ancient angiosperm as a new branch in the family - ancient fruit section.

Visual Chinese Man

Prof. Tian Jie, Director of Artificial Intelligence Lab, Institute of Automation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed on April 23, 2002 that Chinese scientists have proposed the so-called Visual Chinese Man Program aiming at raising China's overall medical level and promoting the information process and modernization of Chinese traditional medicine.

The visual human body technology is able to mix modern computer and information technology into traditional medical sciences by utilizing digital human body information collected from real man, creating visual man through computer based simulation technology and making diagnosis and treatment studies that cannot be done on real man possible. Visual man techniques may also help to turn property oriented examination into the quantity based one so as to make clinic diagnosis and treatment more objective, seeable and accurate. As they are derived from real man, the data are able to represent different characteristics of different nationalities and regions.

Prof. Tian expresses that once it is approved, the project will fill in a blank in the country. By that time, Chinese scientists will collect representative data on Chinese human species.

Jointly proposed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University and Peking University, Visual Chinese Man Program has seen the completion of its preparation and it will take half a year or one year to complete the data collection.

Major Progress in Optic Fiber Bar Manufacturing

Jiangsu based Fa'ersheng Photon Co. Ltd. has recently completed its technical development for industrial manufacturing of optic fiber preparation bars. On the basis of the study on the relationship between manufacturing techniques and optic and mechanic performances of raw materials, Fa'ersheng worked out a series of techniques raising the quality and finished products rate and lowering the cost in the process of optic fiber preparation bar manufacturing. Applied with mixed MCVD and OVD techniques for the first time in the country, Fa'ersheng is able to massively produce optic fiber preparation bars of non-dispersion and displacement and single mode optic fibers in line with international standards. The optic fibers thus stretched have met the clients' requirements and proved a 15% cost saving when compared with the ones manufactured with conventional techniques of MCVD plus bushing.

The World Third Largest Canyon

Chinese scientists disclosed on April 25, 202 that many-year scientific expeditions and studies have confirmed that the Palongzangbu Canyon in Tibet is a world class grand canyon with its average depth equal to 1.67 overlapped grand canyons in Colorado, ranked the third in the world.

A scientific paper co-authored by Zhang Wenjing, a research fellow of the Institute of Mountain Disasters and Environment and Yang Yichou, a research fellow of the Geography Institute both under the Chinese Academy of Sciences disclosed that as far as the depth is concerned, the Palongzangbu Canyon can be ranked the third following Grand Canyon in Nepal (4,403m). It is deeper than  Grand Canyon in Peru (3,200m) and the Grand Canyon in Colorado (2,133m).

The Palongzangbu Canyon is made of two secondary tributaries flowing over Linzhi County, the eastern part of Tibet and merged into the Yaluzangbu Grand Canyon, the world largest canyon between Mengzhongcun Village and Zhaquhe River. The said basin is one of China's three major areas grown with virgin forests and an important component part of forested areas in east Tibet as well as China's largest monsoon and marine glacier belts.

The Palongzangbu Canyon is made of numerous rocky hills as steep as 90 degrees and of a well- developed canyon status in terms of both its branches and major gorges. Measured from its source at Yigong Lake, the Palongzangbu Canyon runs 50 km long, or 76 km if the calculation is made from its origin at Guxiang Glacier.

Video Frequency Transformer

Now people may enjoy high resolution TV programs by simply installing a “chip” in their digital TV sets, whether they're receiving analogue or standard division signals. The said chip is the so-called video frequency transformer recently developed by Shanghai Gaoqing Digital Technology Innovation Center.

It is briefed that the proprietary chip dedicated to high resolution TV application is fully able to be the substitutes for its imported counterparts. Such capacity has changed China's dependence on imported high division TV chips. The Chip and System Research Center that was recently created under the banner of Shanghai Jiaotong University will be responsible for the follow-up design and development and will work together with Shanghai Gaoqing Digital Technology Innovation Center to accelerate its industrialization process. 

New Techniques for Network ID Recognition

The scientists of Hangzhou Zhongzheng Biological Identification Technology Co. Ltd. have recently applauded for the approval of their bio-identification techniques. They have found effective solution to ID security recognition in the network environment by developing an advanced ID security system.

The core technique of the system is a stamp-sized fingerprint signer able to tell a person's identification, protect private keys and realize digital signature based on his or her unique fingerprint. The system has upgraded the private key management security by integrating asymmetrical coding technique with the unique fingerprint recognition technique developed by the company on its own and materialized numerous security functions such as Internet based ID recognition, digital signature and digital coding, which greatly enhanced the security of e-commerce activities. Experts believe that the system and associated products have broad market perspectives and applications values in varieties of fields such as remote server, visit control, banking management, software data protection, file coding and electronic contract. 

Massive Gradient Refractor Production

Thanks to their two-and-odd-year efforts, the Chinese Northwest International Telecommunication Co. Ltd. has successfully turned out mini gradient refractor of a diameter less than 2 mm and made the result into mass production, which makes China the second country in the world capable of massively producing such refractors.

Based on the technical requirements for optic telecommunication applications, the scientists have landed a series of breakthroughs in the key techniques such as optimized mix proportion, homogenous treatment of glass fiber diameters, consistent control of refractor gradient distribution and consistent mini refractor processing, and worked out highly coupled gradient refractor of a diameter of 1.8 mm.

It is briefed that the Company has made an investment of RMB 190 million in manufacturing gradient refractor in GL series. Its newly built production line is capable of an annual output of 10 million refractors, fully satisfying the demand of domestic market.


Sino-US Joint S&T Committee Meeting

The 10th Session of Sino-US Joint S&T Committee raised its curtain on April 25, 2002 in Beijing. The meeting was co-chaired by Xu Guanhua, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology and John Marberg, Assistant to US President and Director of White House S&T Policy Office. During the session, both sides discussed issues of common concerns such as energy and mass science, ecological system and environment science, life and health science, agriculture and food science, science education and popular sciences and future direction, mechanism and approaches of S&T cooperation between the two countries. The participants also raised their suggestions for future cooperation in the field. At the end of the session, both parties signed a summary report for guiding the future cooperative activities between them in the field of science and technology. It is briefed that the said joint committee meeting that has run to its 10th session on a biannual basis created helpful platforms for the scientists from the two countries to meet challenges in the fields of agriculture, health, energy and basic sciences.

Gene Banks for 2000 Endangered Species

To speed up the process of fast, better and permanent protection of the endangered genes and species resources, the Chinese State Forestry Bureau and the Ministry of Education have recently created together with Zhejiang University the first National Center for Protecting Species and Genes of Endangered Wild Animals and Plants and launched a massive project for off-body wild animal and plant protection.

With an investment of RMB 70 million for its phase one construction, the Center will be composed of 5 divisions such as the Department of Genetic Resources of Endangered Wild Animals, the Departments of Genetic Resources of Endangered Wild Plants and Examination, and the Verification Center of Endangered Wild Animals and Plants. The Protection Center will, on the basis of rescue-oriented collection and protection of genetic resources of endangered species, complete the construction of platforms for body cells and reproduction cells of endangered wild animals and plants, their genome DNA bank and cDNA bank, examination and verification of endangered wild animals and plants and associated genetic resources information network with modern biotechnology, and eventually establish a complete and systematic genetic resources bank.

Up to date, the Center has established genetic resources bank for 39 endangered wild animals and plants. It plans to make its genetic resources banks reach 2000 in number in a period of one decade, of which 1,600 on animals and 400 plants.

By that time, the said extensive protection program will be able to cover most of the endangered vertebrate animals and one tenth endangered plants in the country.

China's IC Design Software for Export

Chinese Huada Integrated Circuit Design Center has recently inked a software sale contract with the U.S. based Bali Integration Corporation. According to the contract, Huada software will hit a sale volume of over USD 15 million in a period of four years, which will make our home-made IC design software well seen in international market.

Brandnamed as Panda System, the EDA software developed by Huada is a proprietary CAD system dedicated to large integrated circuit designing. Applied with centralized data management functions, the system is of a unified, beautiful and convenient users' interface. IC designers may enter logic and circuit design, simulation, layout design, verification and post simulation through advanced hardware description and simulation. On the basis of standard industrial operational system, network system, graphic window system and common hardware platform, the system can design and verify circuits at million-gate level.

International Conference on Traditional Medicine Modernization

With a theme for Chinese Traditional Medicine and Human Health and aiming at establishing China's national superiority for its traditional medicine, 2002' International S&T Conference on Modernization of Chinese Traditional Medicine and associated New Techniques and Products Show will be held on November 3, 2002 in Chengdu, China. The said event will be the largest international gathering for Chinese traditional medicine in the country.

Scheduled for three-day's events, the said Conference will hear scientific lectures presented by Nobel Prize winners of Medicine and Physiology and top notch Chinese traditional medical experts both at home and abroad. The conference will also open seven theme forums for governmental policies, sustainable utilization of Chinese traditional medicine, treatment effects and mechanism of Chinese traditional medicine, modernization and innovation of Chinese traditional medicine, optimization, standardization and modernization of Chinese traditional medicine, traditional folk medicine and Chinese traditional medicine industry.

Localized Production of Chicken Pox Vaccine

On April 26, 2002, China Changchun Bioproducts Institute announced that China's localized production of chicken pox vaccine has witnessed an accelerated pace, reaching an annual capacity for 5 million people. In this context, the situation that China was unable to practise extensive chicken pox vaccination has become a history.

Starting from 1992, Changchun Bioproducts Institute introduced chicken pox vaccines from Korea. With the help of the culturing and freezing techniques developed by themselves, the Institute has produced the vaccine with a stability better than that of their imported counterparts. The Institute began its chicken pox vaccine export to Korea from 1996 with an annual volume for 200,000 heads, or 33% of the Korean chicken pox vaccination market. From the year 2000, the Institute turned its attention to the domestic market and boosted its annual output for 1.5 million heads. By the end of August 2002, its output will reach a further raised output for 5 million heads as the result of the completion of its new production line.

Embryo Stem Cell Based New Drug Model

Prof. Lou Yijia, Vice President of the Institute of Pharmaceuticals of Zhejiang University announced major progress for the interference effect study of external directional separation of medium embryo stem cells for drug applications under his leadership. Researchers have successfully divided embryo stem cells externally into heart mussel cells and for the first time on the said basis constructed new drug screening model by using the same cells. The model is not only able to reconstruct uhe whole biological information on the development of embryo heart mussel, reflecting the generation mechanism and development process of human diseases and making targets available for drugs, but also able to preliminarily evaluate the medical effect and security of new drugs on a fast and effective basis.

       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