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

N0.299 June 30,2002

* Scientific Quality Program

* Online Application for R&D Fund

* Foreign Direct Investment in China's Civil Aviation

* Genetic Scar Treatment

* Nanometer Silver Powder

* China Realized Bose-Einstein Condensation

* China's Talent Power Strategy


. Scientific Quality Program

The China Association for Science and Technology will together with other relevant governmental agencies launch the research program on Chinese Population's Scientific Quality. The purpose of the Program is reported to make the scientific quality of all the Chinese population at the age of 18 and above reach the expected targets at the centenary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (2049).

On June 29, 2002 the PRC Common Law on Science and Technology was enacted. It is briefed that the so-called “expected scientific quality” means the one that should be possessed by a graduate at senior middle school level, while scientific quality is defined as “the necessary scientific knowledge a citizen shall be aware of, scientific spirit and outlook, and attitude and methods a citizen shall possess in judging and handling different matters”. Detailed evaluation indicators are in the process of formulation.

It is reported that numerous previous investigations on scientific elements (part of scientific quality) have shown that China saw large gaps from developed countries. As is shown by the results of these investigations, in 2001, there were only 1.4 persons among the 100 investigated Chinese whose scientific quality reached desired level while the percentage for the same indicator in the United States already reached 6.9% in 1990 with 4.4% for EU countries in 1989. On the other hand, Chinese citizens dwelled in some developed areas have recorded remarkably improved level for the same indicator. As is shown by the investigation result turned out in May 2002, the same indicator for Beijing has reached 6.6%, slightly lower than that of the United States in 1990.

The Chinese Population Scientific Quality Program has worked out 8 sub-action plans targeting at different population groups and sectors such as the action plan for the Party and administrative people and public servants, the action plan for teenagers, the action plan for enterprises employees, the action plan for urban community people, the action plan for rural management people and farmers, mass media's action plan for scientific quality, the action plan for public S&T education facilities, and the action plan for S&T education publications.

 Online Application for R&D Fund

The Overseas Chinese Students Service Center subordinated to the Chinese Ministry of Education has recently decided to open its online application system for scientific research fund.  Chinese graduates returned from abroad may get acquainted with the fund application procedure through http://www.cscse.edu.cn. In addition to online application for the fund, the returned overseas Chinese graduates may also learn if their applications are granted via the same web site. Employed with theso-called online membership application and online experts evaluation system, the whole application procedure has become simplified for the convenience of returned Chinese graduates and employers as well as for the fast and efficient experts' evaluation.  The online system is so designed that several rounds of examinations can be organized for evaluating applications in a year. The system will select experts from both home and abroad so as to make the evaluation open, fair, just, promoting the scientific and standardized process of fund management. 

Founded in 1990, the said Fund is a dedicated financing project supporting returned overseas Chinese graduates to launch their scientific research activities. The target applicant shall be the one who has been granted with doctorate, worked abroad at lease one year under 45 years of age and is currently working for Chinese universities or research institutes. Up to date, the Fund has supported 9,456 returned overseas Chinese graduates with a total amount close to RMB 400 million.

Foreign Direct Investment in China's Civil Aviation

At the 58th Annual Meeting of International Air Transport Association held on June 4, 2002, Mr. Bao Peide, Deputy Administrator of China Civil Aviation expressed that China's civil aviation industry will seek for and utilize more foreign capital to accelerate its development. China will further loosen its restrictions on foreign investment in its civil airport and airline businesses and allow different flexible investment plans and financing channels to facilitate direct foreign investment and cooperation with foreign businesses. In addition, China will encourage those qualified airports and airlines to directly utilize foreign capital or raise funds overseas.

Under the ongoing restructuring process, China's civil aviation industry is witnessing an accelerated market process and expecting more flow-in foreign capital for its new round of development, especially through direct foreign investment and cooperation with foreign businesses. So far the nation-wide reform to place airports under the management of local authorities has applauded for its success.

The reform will take full advantage of local initiatives in establishing multiple-source based fund raising and investment system and accelerating the construction of airports. Foreign capital will be mainly used in the construction of civil aviation infrastructures, technical advancement and standardized management as well as in strengthening security system, establishing or expanding computer based information management, accounting settlement system, booking system and departure system and establishing the global distribution system and e-commerce platform. China's entire air traffic control system will be transferred from the program control to radar control. China will also loosen its restrictions on direct utilization of foreign capital by Chinese airports and airlines but encourage them to directly utilize foreign capital or raise needed funds overseas.


Cataract Genes Found

Researchers of Shanghai Life Science Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced on June 24, 2002 that they have discovered the genes causing children's cataract. The said development has for the first time in the world associated heat shock protein with cataract diseases. The findings were published in the recent issue of internationally renowned journal Natural Genetics.

Chinese scientists screened out heat shock transcription factor-4 from 50 and odd patients belonging to three Chinese families having hereditary children's cataract.  In collaboration with Canadian scientists in examining a cataract family discovered a century ago in Denmark, they discovered the said phenomena, which further confirmed the fact that heat shock transcription factor-4 is a major gene contributing to children's cataract.

It is reported that the gene manipulates the expression of numerous heat shock protein genes. Its sudden change will affect the DNA sequence combination of heat shock transcription factor-4 and the expression of the protein controlling genes. As a result, patients will see a decreased output of heat shock protein or even ceased synthesizing, which will eventually lead to hereditary children's cataract. 

Nanometer Illuminating Materials

Two projects named “Preparing High Power Rare Earth Illuminating Materials with Microwave Approach” and “Preparation and Development of Nanometer Rare Earth High Power Fluorescent Powder” passed the experts' approval check on June 23, 2002.

On the basis of comparison studies of different processes for preparing nanometer rare earth illuminating materials, Prof. Yuan Ximing of Chinese Geology University mixed a number of approaches together including gluing, microwave radiation, supersonic divergence and fixed phase sintering to prepare high power rare earth illuminating materials with afterglow.  Car plates made of the said materials are able to send out clear green reflection in the darkness when shone by light. The innovative technique has numerous merits such as optimized manufacturing process, improved production efficiency, lower sintering temperature and energy efficiency.

AC-DC Integration Technique

A brand new power generator able to provide both high quality alternating and direct currents developed by Prof. Ma Weiming, an academician with Navy Engineering University and his team passed the approval check on June 10, 2002. Compared with conventional separate power supply systems for alternating and direct currents, the new power generator has reduced both of its size and weight by 40% but a lower engineering cost by the same percentage.

Prof. Ma proposed his concept of AC-DC integration for the first time in the world and found the solutions to a number of key technical puzzles such as system operation stability, electric magnetism compatibility, attacking currents of short circuit in direct current, attacking torsion, real time failure diagnosing for multiple phased rectifier components. Prof. Ma and his team also established a theoretical system for 3-phased and multi-phased rectifier. On that basis they developed a brand new integrated power generator made up of 3-phase AC winding, 12-phase rectifying winding, rectifier, brushless excitation and automatic field regulator, capable of high quality AC and DC sources.

It is reported that the extensive application of the said finding will make China see a substantive leap forward in the field of independent power supply system for ship, aircraft, mobile telecommunication and oil drilling platform.

Genetic Scar Treatment

Prof. Liu Wei, Deputy Director of Shanghai Institute of Plastic Surgery and his team have successfully employed genetic treatment means to repress scare growing on animal's wounds. The finding has attracted great attention at the joint meeting of the 12th US Wounds Healing Association and the 4th European Tissue Repairing Association and experts believed that the new technique has opened up a broad perspective for clinic scar treatment.

In an in-depth study of scar formation mechanism, Chinese scientists discovered that scar formation was mainly caused by excessive production of TGF-β by the cells over the wounds. In this context, interruption of TGF-β transmission signals will be able to repress the growth of scar. Applied with gland virus genetic technique, they injected the treating genes directly into the rat's wound. The experiment shows that the technique has effectively interrupted TGF-β signal transmission within fiber forming cells, depressed the synthesizing process of TGF-β and made scar formation go down by 70%.

Nanometer Silver Powder

Shenzhen based Qinghua Yuanxing Nanometer Corp. has recently worked out its clump free anti-bacteria nanometer silver powder.  As is examined by Stanford University, Tsinghua University and Peking University under their electronic scanning microscopes, the diameters of silver grains in brown color range between 1 and 100 nanometers with most sitting at 25 nanometers.

As is tested by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Medical School of Southern California, the nanometer silver powder is of strong repressing and killing effect on a dozen of diseases caused by microbes such as colibacillus and staphylococcus aureus. Compared with currently dominant anti-infection drugs, this brand new anti-infection product is of more merits such as wide spectrum, drug resistance free and bias against pH value.

It is briefed that Chinese scientists in June 2002 successfully developed the new generation anti bacteria products made of such material for a number of common diseases related to men and women's reproduction system, ulceration and burns. Now they have established a nanometer silver powder production line capable of an annual output of 10 tons silver powder and 7 million square meters of anti-bacteria cloth.

China Realized Bose-Einstein Condensation

Thanks to their 3-year efforts, Chinese scientists of Shanghai Sophisticated Optic Instruments under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have eventually observed the phenomena of the so-called Bose-Einstein Condensation in rubidium atoms.

In March 1999, the Institute was contracted to the study of Bose-Einstein Condensation under the support of Chinese National Natural Science Foundation. On March 19, 2002, Chinese scientists observed the phenomena of the so-called Bose-Einstein Condensation in rubidium atoms. It is briefed that it is the first time for China to realize the experiment on Bose-Einstein Condensation. The experiment has made itself of important scientific meanings and potential application values as it discovered the existence of a new matter status and provided a unique new medium for experimental physicists in many new research fields such as generation and magnifying atomic laser, non-linear atomic optics and condensed vortex status. When employing the findings in the field of applied technologies, people may work out atomic clock of high accuracy and stability and sophisticated atomic interference instruments in the future.

Progress on Liver Cancer Treatment

At the 3rd World Conference on Cancer Melting recently held in Milano, Italy, the paper presented by Prof. Chen Minhua of Clinic Oncology Institute under Peking University on radio frequency treatment of large liver cancer was thought highly of by the participants.

In her paper named “Radio Frequency Treatment of Large Liver Cancer with Mathematics Model”, Prof. Chen for the first time in the world proposed the method of calculating the minimum number of melting spots and associated model and program for optimized melting process. Prof. Chen also briefed the Conference about the clinic application results under the theory.

Prof. Chen expressed that treating large liver cancer with radio frequency has found a solution to the medical puzzle in the field, which is able to make deactivation of large liver cancer go up from 47.8% in the past to the current 86.1% and patients' survival rate from 68% to 83% with remarkably reduced recurrence rate but improved life quality.


China's Talent Power Strategy

Mr. Zhang Xuezhong, Chinese Minister of Personnel recently expressed that in the course of implementing the so-called talent power strategy, China would relentlessly absorb and recruit high caliber human resources from overseas, encourag and welcome talented people from different countries to pursue their development in China. He added that developing China's high caliber human resources contingent should be in line with the international norms and China would brave the challenges and grasp the opportunities in the international competition for talented people, developing and utilizing human resources market both at home and abroad, paying more attention to overseas brain resources, absorbing talented people from abroad and gradually realizing the international process of evaluating talented people's qualification and assessing their quality. To meet these targets, Chinese authoriuies in charge of personnel affairs will together with other relevant governmental agencies work out recruitment plans for absorbing talents in dire need and specific process for employing overseas high caliber talents in public service and create information network on overseas high caliber talents, developing and regulating brokerage firms introducing high caliber talents from abroad.

China's Largest S&T Library

On June 29, 2002, Literature and Information Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the largest of its kind in the country opened its door to the public. In the spacious lecture hall, readers from different parts of the country may search, read or subscribe S&T books or journals from the web page http://www.las.ac.cn. Equipped with the latest automatic system in the world and giga level ether net interfaced with 1,700 network outlets, the library has embodied the latest world advanced concepts with both of its automation and networking level rated the first place in the country.

With an investment of RMB 240 million, the Literature and Information Center Building is 42.4 meters tall with 9 floors above ground and the basement. From Floor 1 to Floor 7 sits the library while both Floor 8 and Floor 9 house the archival section. Over a floor area of 40,000 m2 dotted with 800 readers'seats, the library has kept 5.2 million books and over 1 million non-printed literatures. One of the most attracting features of the Library is its integrated open management mode for searching, reading and lending over a spacious and connected area which makes easy and fast services for readers possible. 

       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