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

N0.298 June 20,2002

* 160 Million for Field Research Network

* China's Internationalized Technical Standards

* Nuclear Power Leakage Testing

* Microbes Eat Garbage

* China's First Tidal Wave Generator

* Single Plant Treating Osteoporosis

* China's First Station in the Arctic


160 Million for Field Research Network

The Chinese Academy of Sciences will during the 10th Five-Year Plan(2001-2005) period make an investment of RMB 160 million for the establishment and improvement of four major field observation and experiment networks and one comprehensive data exchange center.  The money will be spent in:

—— Improving the ecological research network and upgrading the existing 29 ecological stations, 5 branch centers and 1 comprehensive center, and adding 6 more ecological stations to cover the major ecological types in the country and providing long-term and systematic data for ecological studies, global change studies, ecological and environmental protection, rational utilization of resources and national sustainable development.

—— Improving geomagnetism chains and the existing three geomagnetism stations over Mohe, Beijing and Sanya and making them internationally advanced geomagnetism chain running through the mainland China from the south to the north so that they can play a major role in geophysics and spacephysics studies, near earth environment service, mine prospecting, space activities and international cooperation and data exchanges.

—— Establishing the special environment and disasters watch network. On the basis of the existing field stations, the construction of 8 permanent observation stations will be strengthened in the areas enjoying special resources, or frequently attacked by special disasters or with special natural environment so that acquisition of regular data on resources, disasters and environment variations can be ensured.

—— Establishing the regional atmospheric background observation network. 6 or so field stations will be selected from the existing ecological research network and the special environment and disaster watch network to form a system able to monitor the background concentration of major greenhouse gases in the country with the addition of necessary instruments and facilities, which will provide scientific evidences for China in formulating its policies on greenhouse gases emission reduction.

The comprehensive data exchange center, or resources, environment and ecological data exchange center will with its large volume, processing capability and broadband resources provide data storage, processing and exchange services as well as computer resources sharing services for the above mentioned 4 major networks.

Field observation and experiment stations are infrastructure platforms for field observation, experiment and research activities as well as daily accommodation for field researchers. CAS has long paid great attention to field research activities and established 130 and odd field stations over the country. In addition to their distribution over the Chinese territorial land and waters, CAS has two geomagnetism observation stations in the Antarctic.

China's Internationalized Technical Standards

In the future 5 to 10 years, China will work out a number of major technical standards and associated testing techniques, methods and metric standards, and make them internationally acknowledged standards for related products and technologies.

As is disclosed at the assessment meeting sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology on Studies of Major Technical Standards, a priority project listed under the 10th Five-Year Plan, China will start its development and strategic work on major technical standards for the main fields to address urgent issues such as lack of strategic orientation guidance forlong-term standardization system, incomplete technical standard system, lack of effective strategies, standardized testing measures and methods for trade and technology and narrow down the gaps between Chinese and international standards for industrial and agricultural products and major technologies.

It is reported that at present the special steering group and working panel have been established at ministerial level and the State Quality Control Administration and the State Standardization Management Committee are appointed as dedicated agencies to ensure the effective organization and implementation of this strategic project.


Nuclear Power Leakage Testing

Recently the Chinese engineers have competed the so-called security shell leakage testing for No. I generation unit of Phase III project at Qinshan Nuclear Power Station, the first heavy water reactor built in China. The testing result has shown that the leakage recorded only reached 0.21% of the total reactor volume/day, or 42% of the acknowledged standard. The said indicator has become the most desirable leakage rate recorded in the world for the same testing, showing China's high quality for both project management and construction.

The purpose of the testing is to prove that the leakage of the reactor house meets the required limit in case of design reference pressure accident. The acknowledged standard for such testing is the leakage of the entire reactor house shall not be larger than 0.5% of the reactor volume/day under the designed reference pressure of 124kpa. Phase III project of Qinshan Nuclear Power Station is the largest cooperation activity between China and Canada in the field of peaceful utilization of nuclear energy. Applied with Canadian made proven nuclear power generation technology and with a total installed capacity of dual 728 MW , No. 1 generation unit is scheduled to be loaded with nuclear fuels by mid July 2002 and the reactor will reach the critical stage in September before its grid power generation in November. 

Film Free X-ray Wound Detecting

In 1999 Gansu Polytechnic University proposed the scenario of developing new receiving and conversion device for scintillation ray with CMOS processing and manufacturing technologies and worked out a new X-ray imaging device in the following year. The comprehensive testing results show that the product has fully met the design requirements for the system with the size and the weight of the imaging device reduced to 1/50 and 1/20 of the original design respectively but with the much more improved performance and a greatly reduced cost. A number of renowned Chinese enterprises in Hubei, Shanghai, Sichuan and Xi'an have introduced the prototype device for testing the parts of autos, aircraft and space vehicles, electronic components and boilers welding seams. Some of the devices have recorded no-failure running record for 18 months.

Based on the improved properties of the new X-ray imaging device and to meet the actual needs of field projects such as transmitting natural gas from west to east, the University started in 2001 to work on the new product called digital X-ray scanning and imaging system for extended transmission pipeline welding seams. Recently the expert verification panel has approved the product with positive comments.

Microbes Eat Garbage

A research team under Har'bin Polytechnic University has successfully collected, cultured and developed a microbes mixture able to effectively turn urban garbage into organic fertilizer, finding an optimized biological approach to addressing the serious environment problems in the country.

The bacteria mixture is composed of more than a dozen of microbes such as bacteria, actinomyces and fungus able to decompose different organic garbage. By taking into account seasonal differences of garbage sources, and differed organic compositions, the researchers have worked out the most effective microbe bacteria mixture based on their analysis of organic compositions of garbage. As a result, each organic matter will be dealt with by the microbes of the strongest vitality.

To reduce the garbage disposal cost that might be increased by adding too many different microbes in the mixture, the researchers have employed genetic engineering approach to modify the genetic compositions of natural microbes to improve and enhance their functions.

In the meantime, the research team has developed corresponding facilities able to dispose 1,000 tons of garbage a day, which can turn out 500 tons of organic fertilizer with the cost for such garbage disposal at less than RMB 50 a ton.

China's First Tidal Wave Generator

Har'bin Engineering University has recently landed a major breakthrough in the development of tidal wave power station. China's first 70-kw experimental tidal wave power station developed by the University has reached internationally advanced level in the research and design of straight vaned cycloidal turbine and associated system technology.

It is briefed that designed with a floating structure, the experimental power house is mainly made up of power station carrier, dual-rotor turbine, anchor system, hydraulic constant frequency power generator and control system. With an installed capacity of 70 kw, its working flow speed is ranged between 1.6 and 4.2 meters per second, having a wind resistance to 10 scale strong winds and a wave tolerance for 3 meters. The carrier of the power station is made up of dual rotor turbines, control system and power generator. The station selects dual straight vaned cycloidal rotors structure as its turbine that consists of stand, rotors, vans and associated control mechanism. The vans' spatial movement track shows a swing line and its movement is controlled by sliding-block linkage. With the help of its eccentric mechanism, rotors' moving direction will not change even when tidal wave changes its direction.

The station's electronic control section is composed of constant pump, quantitative pump, variable displacement motor, speed reducing gear, generator and control cabin. Applied with hydraulic speed gear, the power generation system is able to keep a constant frequency and pressure. In addition, it is equipped with battery charging control system, grid control and associated protection functions.

Cancer Depressing Genes Cloned

Not long ago, Zhao Xintai, a research fellow with Shanghai Tumor Research Institute and others discovered mixed high frequency defect in liver cancer's chromosome 17p13.3 and successfully cloned a new gene in the course of cloning section 17p13.3 and studied its relevance to liver cancer. Chinese scientists have named the gene "liver cancer depressing gene" in accordance with the definition of cancer depressing genes and its properties in liver cancer tissues. With a full length of 2kb for its cDNA and 18 external dominants, the whole length of the genome reaches 250 kb, sharing high homology with proteins of yeast, wireworm, arabidopsis, drosophila and rat, which shows its extreme conservative nature in the process of evolution and possible important role in life process. The said genetic product is positioned as chondriosome.

When examining its expressions in 35 liver cancer samples, Mr. Zhao Xintai and other scientists discovered that its expressions in 33 samples were apparently lower than that in the tissues adjacent to the tumor and genetic expressions simply missing in 14 of the examined cancer tissues. 13 examined liver cancer samples showed genetic changes including mutation spots and defect in different forms.

The result of introducing the said gene into liver cancer cells and planting them into naked rats has shown that the gene is able to depress the formation of cancer cells in naked rats against the comparison group which shows its cancer cell depressing capability.

Methods and Techniques for Wheat Improvement

Liu Binghua, a research fellow of Crop Breeding Institute under the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and his team have successfully turned out short stalk wheat, and on the basis of their decade long exploration they worked out a whole set of practical and relatively quantitative cyclic wheat breeding methods and techniques which may greatly improve wheat properties such as resistance to creeping and diseases, high yield and fine quality. They have developed improved varieties for different breeding types and fine species featured with integrated improvements, which have landed a revolutionary breakthrough in China's wheat breeding techniques.

To expand the application scope of Taigu male sterile wheat and improve its applications, with Aibian I wheat (containing the strongest explicit short stalk gene) as the provider of gene marking, Mr. Liu employed mass screening and modern cell genetic technologies to develop Taiguhe sterile wheat of short stalk genetic markings. Aibai wheat has kept its thorough male sterility and the features of strong stalk reducing effect and easy recognition, becoming a desirable cyclic screening tool for wheat breeding.

With the help of the above mentioned techniques and methods, Mr. Liu and his team have remarkably improved Aibai wheat and obtained improved varieties of fine quality and high yield. These varieties have shown greatly improved properties such as strong resistance to creeping and diseases, high yield, fine quality and capacity for different breeding forms. The new varieties also demonstrated an improved process better than that in the previous year and a yield higher than that of the previous generation, which greatly enhance the probability of screening out better varieties. So far they have bred out a group of fine varieties with strong disease and creeping resistance, fine quality, large yield increase potentials and extensive application scopes.

Single Plant Treating Osteoporosis

Recently the study of preventing original Osteoporosis with the Chinese traditional medicine capsule, a national priority R&D project undertaken by the Beijing Qihuang Drug Clinic Research Center has applauded for the major findings. The Center's application of natural plants in treating Osteoporosis has sat in the leading position both at home and abroad.

Chinese scientists have for the first time extracted effective matters from a single plant and made them into the so-called bone making capsule for treating Osteoporosis. To make the capsules, they developed the patented new techniques for large hole resin absorbing and extracting. The state drug supervision and management administration approved on the basis of the new regulations the first production project adopting the said technology, which has remarkably improved China's modernization level of the traditional medicine preparation.

Applied with human genome methods and on the basis of genetic screening of large samples, the innovative development of bone making capsules has led to the discovery of genetic frequency related to original Osteoporosis, which has revealed the material basis and genetic arrangement of original Osteoporosis of the Chinese population.


China's First Station in the Arctic

Mr. Gao Dengyi, a Chinese scientist engaged in atmospheric physics studies and head of the Chinese Arctic Expedition Team disclosed on June 5, 2002 that China will soon set up its own Arctic Scientific Research Station at the capital of Svalbard Islands. The said station will become a temporary facility for the convenience of Chinese scientists' Arctic expedition activities in 2002 and 2003.

Being part of the scientific expedition scheduled for three years, the team will launch its second trip to the Svalbard Islands from mid July to the end of August, 2002. With 15 members covering different disciplines such as atmosphere, geology, glaciers and botany, the scientists will during this trip mainly carry out comparison studies between the ecological environments of the Arctic and Tibet-Qinghai Plateau that are sharing many commonplaces in terms of climate, plants, glaciers and etc.

The spokesman of Expedition Office of the State Oceanic Bureau expressed that China would eventually establish its permanent station in the Arctic in a time period of 5 years.

Establish Incubators Overseas

By taking advantage of China's accession to WTO, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) will through the channel of inter-governmental cooperation, create new development environment for small and medium Chinese S&T enterprises featured with high domestic risks and fine perspectives for growth. MOST's Torch Hi-Technology Industry Development Center has recently inked an agreement with the Singapore Economic Development Bureau for establishing high-tech enterprises' industrial centers in Singapore.

It is reported that the running mode of incubators is still in the process of negotiation. However, the Center will introduce currently prevailing management modes in the world such as professional incubator or visual incubator to run overseas incubators so as to provide fine quality service for enterprises at the planned low management costs. The center will also establish its incubators in Russia and the United States in the near future.

       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