Unveil the World Largest Canyon's Mystery
The first full range grid geographic investigation expedition over Yaluzangbu Grand Canyon has recently seen successful completion. The mystery of the world largest canyon will soon be unveiled before the public.
Being the world largest canyon, Yaluzangbu has a total length of 504.9 km and an average depth over 5000m with the maximum depth at 6,009 m. Within the Canyon stand numerous snow peaks middled with dense forests and embracing rushing flowing rivers at its bottom. The Canyon is also a rare kingdom for wild animals and plants and of rich resources for both hydrology and tourism. Geologically, the Canyon is a collided result between Euro-Asia plate and India oceanic plate and the eastern extension of Himalayas Mount is believed one of the key missing links unveiling the stories behind the elevation of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The Canyon has become a hot spot attracting the great attention of geologists all over the world as well as one of limited geological blanks to be filled in the country.
Chinese Geological Survey Bureau decided in 1999 to launch a geochemical investigation over the Canyon at 1: 200,000 scales. Its two-and-odd year efforts have resulted in rich harvests from the first full range grid investigation over the Canyon. It is briefed that the investigation expedition has measured water sediments over an area of 17,162 km2, collected 3,954 samples from individual sites and 400 rock measuring samples, investigated 13 abnormal sites, and measured water sediments at a scale of 1:50,000 over an area of 438 km2 with 973 samples. In addition, the investigation team have made soil measurement over an area of 16.5 km2 and sectional mapping 55.5 km2, analyzed 42 chemical elements and oxides and worked out a hundred and more drawings and charts. All these have contributed valuable basic geochemical data to the basic geological study on the canyon and evaluation of its potential resources and ecological environment protection.
On the basis of massive investigations and by marrying different disciplinary techniques such as geochemistry, geology and remote sensing based interpretation, researchers have made in-depth study from different angles of the distribution of regional chemical elements and their typical chemical properties and worked out further identification indicators, which provided evidence for studying and exploring the Canyon's geological structures and its characteristics. While harvesting new knowledge and findings about the Canyon, the investigators made some mining investigations over it and preliminarily selected 13 abnormal sites for further investigation of their mining potentials. The investigators have published their preliminary evaluation of the mining resources and potentials over the Canyon and provided evidence for the future mining efforts in the region.
High Tech Protects World Heritages
Up to date 28 Chinese cultural or natural relics have been included in the world heritage list, of which 21 are cultural relics, 3 nature heritages and 4 combined with both natural and cultural heritages.
Leshan Giant Buddha Statue, the largest of its kind in the world has a height of 71 m and is one of four world heritages possessing both nature and culture beauty in China. The Giant Buddha Statue experienced a number of repairing in the previous century without satisfactory result. In the late 1990s, Chinese scientists employed modern means such as supersonic, sonar, geographic mapping, electric resistance to detect the defects in the giant statue and consolidated its endangered parts. On the basis of the screening of 108 different pieces of rock samples, scientists selected out the most desirable rock materials to make plastic surgery on Buddha's face. Experts also developed weathering and biological damage resistant techniques to maintain the statue in addition to a well designed tourism development and management system. It is briefed that the systematic study will reveal the physical, chemical and biological weathering mechanism of the rock layers in Jurassic period, which will not only effectively protect the Buddha statue but also raise the research level of Chinese cultural and natural heritages to a new stage.
In 1998, the Beijing based Temple of Heaven was honored in the world heritage list. Recent years have witnessed enhanced high tech means in protecting and managing the temple with remarkable result. The Chinese Government has not only invested nearly RMB 1 million in installing video monitoring and warning systems over the major sites of the temple but also established electronic tour guide system. Meanwhile, scientists have made scientific researches on many issues important to protecting the temple such as prevention of fire, lightening, pest and weathering.
In addition, China used the latest computer graphic and imagery techniques to restore or repair the damaged caves in the world renowned Dunhuang Murals. With the help of computer technology, archaeologists may make the reproduction of any murals in the cave at random selected scale while in the past it would take a dozen of skilled workers one year to restore the cave.
Dunhuang Murals is listed as a world heritage for its cultural and historical relics for as long as a thousand years. Along with the establishment of database for Dunhuang historical and cultural data, pictures and experts' findings, experts who are studying Dunhuang culture now may discuss and study their interested issues without physically visiting the site, serving the goals for both research and protection.
It is reported that many more world heritages in China have found their high tech protection heaven. For example, Jiuzhai Valley and the Palace Museum have been equipped with atmosphere environment monitors and experts may exercise all-round protection of these world treasuries with the full knowledge of the air quality over the sites.
China's Super High Speed Computer
On August 29, 2002, LSSC-II Massive Computer System independently developed by the Legend Group demonstrated under the internationally acknowledged Linpack test its super floating point computation capability for 1.027 trilliontimes per second. The proprietary computer system is not only the first of its kind in the country with its actual working speed reaching trillion times/second but also ranks itself in the 24th place among the world top 500 computers proud of their super calculation speed announced twice a year.
It is reported that being a major facility developed for large-scale scientific computation studies and a basic research project under the National 973 Program, Legend's trillion-level computer system will physically sit at the Institute of Mathematics and System Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and enjoy applications of the scientists and researchers engaged in the project. The system will find extensive applications in the fields of fluid dynamics, seismological data processing, oil reserve simulation, climate model calculation, material science and DNA and protein calculations. In addition, it can be employed to make engineering calculation for many other areas such as meteorology, hydrology, space vehicle, automobile and ship designing, system simulation, new drug design and national information network.
Progress on Nanometer Pharmaceuticals
Nanometer Pharmacy Co. Ltd. which is subordinated to Huazhong Science and Technology University announced recently that it has so far developed ten and odd invention patents for nanometer medicines. It is briefed that the company has worked out numerous preliminary findings such as nanometer drug carrying system, modern drug digestion system and associated techniques. Of these promising results, the ones such as R&D and associated industrialization of new nanometer medicines and applications of nanometer technologies in modern Chinese traditional medicine preparation have won respective support from the national program for addressing key scientific and technological issues during the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005) period and from the 863 Program sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.
It is briefed that nanometer pharmaceutical industry is of great development potentials and broad market perspectives as it may bring about numerous new advances in medical treatment. For example, people now may orally take the medicines that needed to be injected in the past without reducing the treatment effects. In addition, it may help to extend drug's semi-decay period within human body and thus reduce the frequency of taking medicines. Besides, it improves the medical treatment of many diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease that desire for long-term or even permanent drug treatment. Thanks to the solution to the positioning of drug carrying nanometer elements, nanometer drugs may not only be able to reduce the adverse effects of traditional drugs but also able to bus some special drugs to the natural biological barriers so as to treat the diseases that have to be dealt with through surgeries.
So far the company has completed the research and development of nanometer applications in Chinese traditional medicine preparation and associated systematic methods for pharmacological, effect and toxicological evaluations. The company is now working on the market development of the selected typical drugs.
New Hepatitis Gene Found
Thanks to their painstaking efforts for two years, the researchers of No. 302 Military Hospital have recently discovered the new gene that responds to hepatitis viruses, the first of its kind in the world. Chinese scientists have found that the new gene on the 22nd human chromosome is able to work together with the core protein of hepatitis C viruses. The new finding has revealed the orientation for future hepatitis studies and is a new breakthrough point for developing new drugs treating hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
It is reported that the discovery of the new gene constituted an arduous but important advance in understanding the interactive mechanism between hepatitis viruses and liver cells, the key links telling the survival and reproduction of hepatitis viruses and hepatitis attack mechanism after being affected by the viruses. Scientists may on the basis of understanding the living habits of hepatitis viruses work out treatment techniques and medicines capable of interrupting the reproduction of viruses and new drugs or medical therapies preventing hepatitis attack from getting into chronic stage.
New Optic Imaging System
Thanks to their 4-and-odd-year efforts, the researchers of Zhejiang University have eventually worked out the binary optical imaging technology for hemispheric field. Applied with a new image-making system that does not work on conventional optic imaging principle, the new technology is working together with the binary optics and hemispheric imaging system for a large field view, which brings about not only lighter structures but also clear pictures without focusing. When finding the applications in the fields such as space and marine optics, the system is able to obtain an image of 170-degree horizontal field view without turning around its components. The result has created a new perspective for optics studies and is of broad application potentials in a variety of areas such as aviation, national defense, medical treatment etc.
World Advanced Cornea Preservation
Xie Lixin, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Director of Shandong Ophthalmology Institute has recently made the debut of his cornea preservation agent that is able to keep the cornea's activity for as long as one month, a leading level in the world.
In 1981, Prof. Xie started his development of cornea preservation agent and produced a result able to keep the cornea's activity for 4 days. In 1997 he updated his cornea preservation record to 11 days with repeatedly modified formula, reaching the then world advanced level. Last year Prof. Xie applied organ transplantation technique in preserving cornea and found an improved preservation solution for a longer period of time. He employed human umbilical cord serum and made the new preservation agent not only avoid the possible accidental infections caused by using animal serum but also reduce the immune rejection. The new technique has greatly improved the success rate of cornea transplantation and extended the cornea preservation time to 30 days.
China's Weather Computer
On August 22, 2002, China's first proprietary computer system dedicated to meteorological applications made its debut in Beijing.
It is reported that the said computer system is solely developed for daily meteorological applications. It can be simply operated by moving mouse over its graphic interfaces. In the past, meteorological departments had to print out 1000 and more cloud charts to work out a 48-hour weather forecast and it would take several hours to make the corresponding computation. Now with the help of this wonderful electronic brain, it only takes 42.7 minutes for weather men to work out the weather forecast for the same time period. The system is able to transmit processed results to weather departments in the form of data after identifying two different colors green and red on weather charts and allow clients to have timely and accurate weather service.
Progress on High Yield Soybeans
The new high yield and protein soybean breed called Zhonghuang 13 or Zhongzuo 975 developed by Wang Lianzheng, a renowned soybean expert in the country, recently passed experts' verification check at national level and will soon expect its extensive diffusion over the Yellow River and Huaihe River areas.
Zhonghuang 13 is a new soybean variety featured with high yield, high protein, fine adaptability and strong diseases resistance. Thanks to its improved merits such as strong adaptability, falling and diseases resistance and great yield increase potentials, the new breed may make per mu yield reach 250 - 300 kilos.
Extensive Fossils Discovered in Yidu
Not long ago Chinese scientists discovered ancient marine biological fossils over an area as large as 50 mu(1mu=0.0667ha.) in Yidu Township, Hubei Province. The preliminary investigation has shown that there are 40 and odd different marine biological fossils appearing on the surface of the ground. There are countless fossils of marine cave animals, chordates, shells and ocean floor plants. So far scientists have only identified a few of them such as nautilus and Metacrinus with most of others to be identified.
It is briefed that the fossils are not only great in number but also well preserved, which are of important scientific values for studying ancient biological belts, changes of ancient continents, changes from ocean into continent, and the evolution, development and disappearance of the ancient living creatures.
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