China Science & Technology Digest:
January 1-31, 2004
This digest summarizes S&T-related articles that appeared in the media ATIP monitored in January 2004. Some articles reference a relevant website to assist readers in obtaining further information. For questions or to request additional information, please send email to ChinaST@atip.or.jp. The exchange rate used for this issue is RMB8.287 against the U.S. dollar.
SIPO Grants Awards for Outstanding Patents
The State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) granted awards for outstanding Chinese patents to a cell rehabilitation technology and 12 other patented technologies. Meanwhile, SIPO granted second-level awards to a manufacturing technology patent for a new kind of firebrick and another 93 inventions, new technological applications, and new designs. China patent awards are granted every two years.
Source: China Daily 01/15/2004
China to Launch 10 Satellites in 2004
China plans to launch 10 satellites later this year from Jiuquan, Xichang, and Taiyuan space launch centers. The 10 satellites include a geospace-probing satellite and a meteorological satellite. The geospace-probing satellite, the second of its kind, is part of China's Double Star Space Program. The first geospace-probing satellite, Probe I, was launched on December 30, 2003
Source: People's Daily 01/14/2004
China Tests European Satellite Positioning System
China has tested the European global satellite navigation system EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) on the Yangtze River to determine the system's accuracy. EGNOS is the first phase of the GALILEO navigation system, which China joined last October. It is the largest cooperation project between China and Europe. EGNOS improves the accuracy and reliability of the American GPS and Russian GLONASS global satellite navigation systems. The system still depends on GPS, but EGNOS is seen as a good transition towards GALILEO, a fully comprehensive European global satellite radio navigation system.
Source: CCTV 01/14/2004
Superior Underwater GPS System Developed
Scientists from the National Remote Sensing Center of China have developed China's first high-precision underwater positioning system. The underwater global position system (GPS) system can pilot and position underwater objects in real time. The system operates by gathering sound and GPS data from four buoys and a GPS detector, which is transferred to the system, which computes the object's exact position. Tests have indicated that in depth, less than 45 meters, horizontal position accuracy is within 5 cm and has a depth precision of 30 cm.
Source: People's Daily 01/11/2004
China, U.S, & Russia Kick Off Global Research Network
China, the United States, and Russia began a global network for scientific research, the first of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere to connect major scientific centers such as Chicago, Moscow, and Beijing. The Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development (Gloriad) is expected to be an important platform for research for the Next Generation Internet (NGI). Gloriad is proposed as a 10-gigabit-per-second optical network around the Northern Hemisphere. The ring, which begins in Chicago at the Starlight facility, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, crosses the Atlantic Ocean to the Netherlight facility in Amsterdam, continues to Moscow and the Russian science city of Novosibirsk, goes on to Beijing and Hong Kong, and then crosses the Pacific Ocean to complete the circuit in Chicago. It is estimated that basic research in many areas would benefit from Gloriad, such as natural disasters forecast, human genome mapping, exploration on outer space, earthquake monitoring, and high-energy physics.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 01/12/2004
China to Retool Electron-Positron Accelerator
China has launched a 640 million Yuan (approx. 77.4 million US dollars) project to retool a Beijing-based electron-positron accelerator. The Beijing Electron-Positron Collider (BEPC) was built in 1988 at the Institute of High Energy Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). BEPC used to be the world's eighth largest high-energy accelerator experiment center. Chinese physicists at the Institute are now able to exploit synchronous radiation device, an accessory of the collider for post-genome research projects and even the macromolecule of an enzyme of the virus for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Source: China Daily 01/09/2004
China Develops New Artificial Liver Machine
Doctors have developed a new generation of bio-artificial liver machine, a more intelligent device that can automatically decide what treatment a patient needs and help them feel more comfortable during the treatment. The cabinet-shaped machine - 1.3 meters tall, 0.8 meter wide, and 0.5 meter thick - much smaller than the previous versions, can imitate the detoxifying and metabolizing functions of the real liver and provide interim treatment after liver transplants. The new device will be put into clinical use in April. Artificial liver machines have been widely used in China to treat severe hepatitis and cirrhosis patients since Germany developed the world's first artificial liver in 1996 using pig liver cells.
Source: People's Daily 01/08/2004
Links Between SARS & Human Genes Discovered
Hong Kong researchers have found that individuals with HLA-B*7303 type gene have a much higher risk of getting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) while those with HLA-DRB1*0131 type gene have a much lower risk than the general population. The study was made on 90 serologically confirmed Chinese SARS patients who had been treated in Hong Kong hospitals in the first half of last year. The researchers made DNA based HLA gene typing on 90 patients and compared the frequencies of HLA genes between SARS patients and the general Hong Kong Chinese population.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 01/15/2004
HK Scientists Find New Treatment to Prevent Stomach Cancer
Hong Kong scientists have found that treatment of chronic H. pylori infection is related to a reduced chance of developing stomach cancer. The study has been published in the latest issue of the American Medical Association journal. The study was conducted among 1,630 carriers of H. pylori infection. The carriers were divided into two groups: 817 carriers who received treatment for H. pylori and 813 carriers who received a placebo. Over a period of seven and half years, seven subjects out of 817 receiving H. pylori treatment developed stomach cancer and 11 in those subjects who did not receive H. pylori treatment developed stomach cancer, which represents a 37 percent relative decrease in cancer incidence among people receiving the treatment of chronic H. pylori infection.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 01/15/2004
China to Open First Arctic Station
China's first arctic exploring station will be operational next March. The station, located at 78.55 degrees north latitude and 11.56 degrees east longitude in Norway's Ny Alesund, will be a two-story building with a total area of 500 square meters, including a laboratory, office, reading room, crush room, dormitory, and storeroom. As a signatory of the Spitzbergen Treaty, China joined Norway, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, and the Republic of Korea to establish stations at Ny Alesund in the Spitzbergen archipelago.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 01/14/2004
China to Launch New Solid-Fuel Rocket
China plans to launch a new generation of rockets later this year. The small satellite launch vehicle, Explorer I, will use solid fuel to carry a scientific experimental satellite into space. The new rocket is designed to complement the Long March group, the country's large-scale liquid-fuel space launchers. Explorer I will take small and micro satellites into space. It is able to carry loads weighing less than 100 kilograms.
Source: China Daily 01/29/2004
China Develops First DNA Computer
The rudiments of China's first DNA computer have been developed at Shanghai Jiaotong University. The computer is an improvement on the prototype developed by Israeli scientists. Instead of the CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) chips used in ordinary computers, the DNA computers rely on DNA liquid. Each DNA segment works as a microprocessor in the computer. The computer can be used for gene expression pattern technology or gene therapy in the future
Source: People's Daily 01/30/2004
Breakthrough in Research on SARS Virus
Researchers from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and the United States have formed the Chinese SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Symptom) Molecular Epidemiology Consortium to study the complete evolutionary history of the SARS-corona virus during last year's SARS epidemic. The research represents the most extensive molecular epidemiological study of the SARS-corona virus to date. The research has revealed patterns in various phases of the virus evolution. The initial phase of the epidemic was characterized by quick amino acid changes in the virus and relatively low infectivity. The middle phase of virus evolution was marked by a slower amino acid substitution rate and high infectivity. The last phase of the epidemic saw a relatively stable virus genome structure. The study also indicated the mutation rate of the coronavirus is a third of that of the AIDS virus. The January 29 issue of Science Magazine in the US published the latest outcome under the title The Evolution of SARS.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 01/30/2004
Chinese Doctors to Test SARS Vaccine on Humans
Chinese doctors are to soon begin human testing of a vaccine against SARS. The first phase of the clinical study will involve the production of a SARS bacterin by killing the bacterium through heating. The vaccine was found safe in experiments on animals, including the rhesus monkey. The first phase test aimed at investigating if the vaccine was safe and effective on the human body.
Source: People's Daily 01/19/2004
China's First Heterogenous Cloned Asian Antelope in Good Condition
China's first heterogenous cloned Asian antelope born on January 21 in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is in a stable condition. Differing from the homogenous reproduction of the world's first cloned sheep "Dolly", the newly born antelope was developed by combining an Asian antelope's body cell with a goat's egg cell. In April 2003, researchers took a cell from the ear of an Asian antelope and put it in a goat egg cell to form an embryo. The embryo was put in the uterus of a goat on September 8, 2003 and four months later, the cloned antelope was born, 0.42m long, 0.35m high, and weighing 2.32 kg.
Source: China Daily 01/31/2004
China Issues Research Guidelines on Human Cloning
The Ministry of Science of Technology and Ministry of Health recently issued the Guidelines for Research on Human Embryonic Stem Cells, the first time China has made written policy on human cloning public. Human cloning for procreation purposes is officially banned but remedial cloning is allowed.
Source: Shenzhen Daily 01/16/2004
Scientists Develop Contraceptives to Target Rats
The Sichuan Provincial Diseases Prevention and Control Center has found a new type of contraceptive for rats. The contraceptive chemosynthesis baits will stop the male rodents from producing sperm and do little harm to humans or livestock. These sterilized rats will still keep their territories within their population and disturb the entire population's reproduction order. Contraceptives were used for the first time in China earlier in October 2003 to contain the population of rats and mice in Shanghai. These contraceptives used in Shanghai were extracted from plants.
Source: China Daily 01/26/2004
Fund Created to Sponsor Treatment of Pneumoconiosis
China has created a special fund to finance the treatment of pneumoconiosis, a pulmonary disease caused by mine dust that claims 5,000 lives a year in China. The State Administration of Coal-Mine Safety has injected 3 million Yuan (approx. 360,000 US dollars) as a startup fund to finance the treatment which has proven effective in removing dust from the patient's lungs and restoring lung function. With this therapy, a sanitarium for mine workers in Beidaihe in the Northern Hebei Province has cured more than 2,200 people suffering from pneumoconiosis in China and nearly 100 patients from Russia and Vietnam.
Source: Xinhuanews Agency 01/26/2004
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