Major Progresses on China's Basic Studies
It is reported that since its sponsorship of selected major basic studies to meet the nation's priority strategic demands in June 1997, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has poured a huge investment as much as RMB 3 billion in supporting cutting-edge and innovative studies of major scientific issues and achieved representative findings and progresses in some major fields.
1) ARGO under Marine Real Time Observation Program. Jointly launched by atmospheric and marine scientists from the U.S., Canada and Japan in 1998, the Global Marine Observation Program has been aiming at collecting marine upper layer data such as sea temperature and salinity in a fast, accurate and extensive manner for the purpose of improving the accuracy of climate predictions. In June 2002, China launched its first ARGO buoy, which marked China's official participation in the Program and obtained the right and obligations in sharing the data and information derived from ARGO buoys.
2) China's No. 1 Continental Research Well. No. 1 China Cotinental Research Well, a major national scientific project trying to find an in-depth view of the internal world of the earth applauded for the completion of its drilling on May 20, 2002. Chinese scientists have collected precious fresh consecutive rock core samples as long as 2000 meters as well as liquid and gas samples from the drilling process and harvested original measuring data for further comprehensive scientific studies. These data have revealed the deep matter composition and structures of continental fold belt. With these data, Chinese scientists studied the formation of super high pressure metamorphism zone and returning mechanism and explored the fluids and biosphere deeply rooted in the earth.
3) Chinese scientists published rice genome sequencing charts in Science. 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 has completed the working charts and associated database for Chinese super hybrid rice which occupies an international leading position. On April 5, 2002, the U.S. based Science published the whole story of the said study and associated working charts. After its publication, the rice genome data have been downloaded at least 556 times by the scientists from 21 countries. The findings have provided rich information on rice genes and their functions, which also become a helpful tool for understanding the genome of other crops such as wheat and corn, and stimulating basic and applied studies of the entire food lines.
4) Major progress on the study of C60 nanometer material and associated composition. Chinese scientists have for the first time in the world obtained C60 single molecule image that can tell its C-C dual bonds and single bond through assembling C60 molecules on the surface of the single-layer molecule film and with the help of scanning channel microscope. Chinese scientists discovered a new 2 dimensional domain boundary structure in the two dimensional C 60 lattice. The said boundary is believed to be entirely caused by the differed orientations of C60 molecules. Along the domain boundary sit non-structural defects and C60 molecules have maintained their position translation and bond orientation sequence on the boundary. The findings were published in UK based Nature.
5) Oceanic crust debris discovered in China. In collaboration with their US counterparts, Chinese scientists have discovered in the middle section of North China and the western section of Liaoning Province the oldest (2.5 billion years) and well-preserved oceanic crust debris (ophiolite) in the world. The findings were published in the U.S. based Sciences journal on May 11, 2001.
6) Global demarcation layer dividing the Permian system and Triassic system defined. Not long ago, the section of Meishan Mount. located in Changxing County, Zhejiang Province, China, was officially determined by the International Union of Geological Sciences the global section and position (or golden nail for its nickname)of the demarcation layer telling the Permian and Triassic systems. The decision implies that the major division mark of the earth development history has found its home in China. Chinese scientists proposed to make tooth shaped rocks as the new criteria for marking the division line between the Permian and Triassic systems, and created the most complete tooth shaped rock sequence over the section of Meishan Mount., which confirmed the scenario that the biological extinction occurred at that time was caused by an extremely disastrous event. The finding has become an international criteria acknowledged by the world scientific community.
7) The history of macrocephalus mammals advanced 45 million years. While studying the fossil remains unearthed in Lufeng, Yunnan, China, the scientists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that macrocephalus mammals literally lived in a period of 195 million years ago. The finding advanced the history of macrocephalus by 45 million years and made it part of earlier Jurassic Age, which , to some extent, rewrite the forepart of the history of mammals.
8) New brain section discovered for learning and memorization. Named by the U.S. scientists as Shu's Section, the discovery of a new brain section caused a stir in the international medical community. Scientists believed that the new discovery has provided new clues for understanding the mechanism causing learning and memory related diseases and would play an important role in treating memory decaying diseases such as senile dementia.
9) Becoming part of Life Science Project. In April 2000, Chinese scientists completed their assignment due for sequencing 30 million base pairs on the short arm of No. 3 chromosome ( about 1% of the total human genome sequencing).
10) Major progress on study of south-north belt in East China. China's east section has long witnessed large differences from its southern part to the northern one, especially in terms of its climate and ecological environment, which resulted in the formation of unique consecutive vegetation belts unmatched by any other continents in the world. The belt has constituted the most desirable natural experimental site for studying the climate-ecological system that may cause temperature increasing effect in global changes. The study of interactions between land based farming ecological system and the global changes has been listed as a core study project under GCTE of International Geosphere and Biosphere Program (IGBP) and the south-north sample belt of East China was made by the same organization the 15th international standard sample belt.
New findings and results were also achieved in other basic study areas such as genetically modified goat; one dimensional nanometer crystal made of gallium nitride, the first of its kind in the world; genetically restructured human insulin; oriented carbon nanometer tube matrix of super length ( 2-3 mm); crystal grain fining technique that doubled the strength of steel; new chemical displacement agent that may improve oil recovery rate by 5%- 15%; air hole oscillation based drought resistant agent that may double or triple the crop yield in semi-arid region in drought years and many others. Meanwhile, some innovative studies have made debut in their respective international areas. For example, China's studies on diseases causing genes have reached internationally advanced level and study of crystals having both photic and electric functions has not only continued its internationally leading position but also realized the effective power output in the range of 200nm-193nm.
Campus Life Science and Technology Bases
As is approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the State Development Planning Commission, 36 Chinese universities including Peking University, Tsinghua University and Beijing Normal University etc. will create their respective training base for life science and technology.
It is briefed that the training bases will integrate different functions such as teaching, learning, research and development and commercialization, give more weight to the utilization of campus resources in training, disciplinary development and research, and strive for working out new products, technologies and techniques. Meanwhile, the training bases will cooperate with industries of high technology and integrated strength, incubating new enterprises and industries and serving industrial sectors.
The training bases will produce high caliber expertise for the development of China's biotechnology industry, stimulating campus discipline and courses restructuring, creating innovative and pioneering platform for teaching, learning and research faculty, and promoting spin-off of research findings and results and associated commercialization. From the new semester this year, these bases will open basic life science courses for students and speed up training of life science lecturers both inside and outside the campus.
Being an important exploration into innovative education, the training bases will make innovations part of their systems, mechanism and modes, encouraging cross section marriage of different disciplines both at home and abroad. The central government will work out relevant policy and allocate input to support the construction of these training bases. Training bases shall develop their respective strength on the basis of their disciplinary background and make their experimental conditions, teachers' level, textbook selection and development, curriculum setting, teaching contents and methodology be in line with or approach to internationally advanced level.
New Overcurrent Protector
Recently Tianjin University has successfully wound up its project on applied study of energy efficient automatic controlled PTC heater and overcurrent protector and associated commercialization, a national key project listed in the 9th Five-Year Plan（1996-2000). The PTC overcurrent protector developed by them employs the system integrated with mixture of multiple donors and acceptors and multiple phases and optimized formula, technique and structure, which effectively improve PTC materials' properties and solve its low resistance problem. The new protector is able to prevent PTC material from breakdown and failure that could be caused by drastic reduction of electric resistance under high temperature so that it improves PTC materials' resistance to electric pressure and its performance stability.
Toxicant Free Ship Paint
Recently No. 2 Marine Research Institute of the State Oceanic Bureau has successfully developed a toxicant free ship paint that is able to prevent marine living creatures from adhering to ship body without contaminating the seawater. Named as peppery agent, the toxicant free ship paint is the compound made of natural pepper extracts and organic clay which will not kill the adhesive marine living creatures but drive them away from the ship. The experiments on 7 ships running over the South China Sea, the East Sea, the Yellow Sea and the north Pacific Ocean have shown that the paint is of apparent pollution prevention effect in driving away marine living creatures, and is able to reduce the resistance in running as well as energy consumption.
Vaccine Killing Hepatitis B
Not long ago, Guangzhou Airforce Hospital successfully developed HBVDAN vaccine able to kill hepatitis B which has found its success in the trial application on transgenic mice. The dual grain HBVDAN developed by the hospital and tested on transgenic mice is able to improve the immunity of specific cells and clear up the in-body hepatitis viruses. So far the result has been submitted to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology for approval of its application in human body. The new development is believed to bring about good news to hepatitis B patients if its test on human body turns out the same positive result as the transgenic mice.
Pollution Free Electric Auto
Not long ago, Huazhong Science and Technology University made the debut of its newly designed pollution free electric sedan car. It is briefed that the driving system of the car is made of switch magnetism resistance motor and associated controller, which are developed by the university on its own. Applied with the full digital high performance control technology in line with the world advanced level, the new system is of apparent competitiveness in terms of both its performance and costs. The electric sedan car is powered on high performance lithium battery and working on special gear box rather than traditional brake, which saves the manual speed gear shifting and facilitates operation. The car is designed with both motor energy recovery braking and mechanic braking systems. With a fully charge battery, the vehicle is able to run for 250 km on diversified roads. The car is proud of its many merits such as zero emission, low noise, smooth running, large output , automatic speed shifting and fast response etc..
No. 2 Asia-Pacific Optic Network
No. 2 Asia-Pacific Optic-Cable Network running as long as 17,000 km connecting China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and other countries and regions has applauded for its completion after the two-year construction.
The optic-cable network started its construction in 1999 under the joint financing of China Telecom, China Unicom and China Netcom together with a couple of major international telecommunication giants in Asian and Pacific regions. Installed with 4 pairs of optic-cables with a transmission speed of 640Gbits/s, or 7.44 million lines equivalent, the optic-cable network constitutes the international network with the largest volume, the most landing spots and the most advanced technology in Asia and Pacific regions. The operation of the network will not only meet the increasing telecommunication needs in these regions but will also make seamless connection with Europe and Latin America through China-US submarine cable system so as to accommodating the needs to access to the whole world possible.
The World Most Advanced Chip Making Base
Beijing Zhongxin Huanqiu Corp. recently broke the ground for the construction of a standard production line for manufacturing 8-inch and 0.18-micron integrated circuits in Beijing Economy and Technology Development Park. With a total investment of USD 1.25 billion, the new production line will produce 8-inch, 0.18-micron and higher specification IC chips. The construction of the said standard manufacturing site will create fine chip making conditions for the fast growth of IC design industry in the city and make the localization of core components of mobile telecommunication and computer terminals manufacturing possible. The standard manufacturing site is scheduled to be completed of its construction in 13 months and will be put into operation at the end of next year. It is believed that the new manufacturing site will become a major market supply source for IC chips.
Residue Removing Technology
Tianjin University in collaboration with Tianjin Zhongxin Pharmaceutical Group has recently found the solution to some key technical problems in the production of the Chinese traditional medicines: removing the residue in manufacturing containers and improving the heat transmission process. The new development has made a critical stride in traditional medicines modernization project.
The basic principle of effective residue removing and concentration technology is to add solid grains that will not be easily react with other matters in the traditional medicine extraction and concentration container and make these grains in fluid status so as to prevent the formation of residue in the container and improve the heat transmission process.
It is briefed that calculated on the annual production volume of a single product, the application of the said technology may save 500 working hours, or RMB 300,000 equivalent, and reduce waste water discharge of 1,000 tons per year, greatly reducing the pollution to the environment.
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