Home > NewsLetter > 1998
No.139

139


China's 97' Top Ten S&T News


Under the auspices of China Science and Technology
Daily, China's 97' top ten S&T news were selected
and published on December 26, 1997 on the basis of
the comments gathered from academicians of both
Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of
Engineering Sciences, and those of the authorities
in charge of science and technology, S&T communities
and enterprises. They are revealed as follows (in
chronicle sequence):

1. Infertile Wheat of Archaeozonic Nuclei Astonished the World. On
January 31, 1997, Chinese scientists announced that China had discovered
for the first time in the world the infertile wheat of archaeozoic
nuclei. The wheat provides a unique species source. Its cultivation may
help to break the limit confined by traditional mode and develop fine
species of strong resistance to adverse conditions and diseases and
produce high yield.

2. Simultaneous Appearances of Solar Eclipse and Hair-Bop Comet. From 9
o'clock 7 minutes and 40 seconds to 9 o'clock 9 minutes and 30 seconds
of March 9th, 1997, Mohe County of China's Heilongjiang Province
witnessed the rare appearances of both solar eclipse and Hair-Bop Comet
at the same time. The amusing phenomenon was referred to as "century
dating". More than 3000 Chinese and foreign experts and astronomy lovers
and 80,000 and more local residents watched the spectacles. It was not
only a scientific observation activity but also a large scale popular
science campaign in the country.

3. Mechanism of Catalyzing DNA Discovered by Chinese Scientists. Chinese
scientists proposed their concepts on DNA catalyzing in the Journal of
International Biochemistry published in US in June. The research results
have revealed the mystery of DNA catalyzing.

4. Successful Cutting-off of Three Gorge Section of Yangtze River. At
15:30 November 8, 1997, the world eye-catching event of the cutting-off
of Three Gorge section of Yangtze River was turned into a reality. Three
Gorge Project is a tough battle joining different disciplines in the
country. The successful cutting-off has exhibited China's strength and
capacity in the fields of modern engineering, hydrology, meteorology,
geology and hydraulic power generation.

5. All Chinese Rockets Hit the Targets. In 1997, Chinese made Long March
rockets took off from the launching pad for six times with a hundred
percent success, which made the year enjoy the most launching missions
and the highest success rate in the nation's launching history. China's
technologies of geostationary satellite launching, low-temperature and
high energy fuel, in-air double ignition and rocket binding and
separation have ranked advanced in the world.

6. Fengyun II Meteorological Satellite Came into Operation. Fengyun II
meteorological satellite, the first of its kind in the country, was
officially put into operation on December 1st, 1997 after its three-month
testing and trial running. The satellite is working smoothly with all
its parameters reaching the designed requirement. The satellite is of
similar advanced nature compared with other meteorological satellites
launched internationally in the 1990s.

7. Important Results on Genomes of Chinese Nation. Thanks to nearly
four-year efforts of the scientists from 16 research institutes, the
research on several locus genetic structures of Chinese genomes was
applauded for its important results. The research has led to the
establishment of 733 forever-living cell lines of Han population dwelling
both in south and the north and 12 ethnic groups residing in southwest
and northeast sections of the country. Researchers also cloned a number
of diseases-causing genes such as that of pneumonia and established a
cooperative research system for future research activities in the field.

8. Old Stoneware of Two Million Years of Age Discovered in Wuxia Gorge
Area. During the period of October and November, 1997, Chinese
scientists unearthed a huge amount of ancient stoneware from Long'gu
Slope of Wuxia Gorge, Sichuan Province. The stoneware indicated that
human beings found their settlement in the area 2 million years ago. The
new discoveries provide a valuable basis for unearthing more ancient and
older stoneware and cultural remains in the nation.

9. China Built the Largest Transonic Wind Tunnel in Asia. On December 20,
1997, Chinese Science and Technology Commission for National Defense
successfully tested its newly developed 2.4-meter transonic wind tunnel
at China's aerodynamic experimental base. This means China has possessed
an internationally advanced transonic wind tunnel.

10. Preliminary Success on Contamination Control of Huaihe River Basin.
Contamination control of Huaihe River Basin has been applauded for its
preliminary success in basically reaching the emission control targets
and 40% reduction of pollution charges in the whole basin.


China's 9th Five-Year S&T Plan Laden with Fruits


As shown by the statistics, during the 9th five-year plan period, the
Central Government has invested nearly 10 billion Rmb yuan in series of
programs sponsored by the State Science and Technology Commission,
including Program of Attacking Key S&T Issues, 863 Program, Climbing-up
Program, Sparkle Program, Program of S&T Results Diffusion, S&T Program
for Social Development and Technical Innovation Program. The last two
years witnessed remarkable progress in the implementation of these
programs. In 1996, the above mentioned programs were granted with 600 and
more patent rights, published 10,000 papers and publications of 30
million Chinese characteristics. The research results from these programs
have brought about increased output values close to 100 billion Rmb yuan
and profits and taxes 20 billion Rmb yuan.

The implementation of scientific and technological programs has added new
impetus to the development of agriculture. The last two years saw the
birth of almost 100 new grain species of high yield and fine quality and
brought about an increase of grain output of 7 billion kilos. Industrial
technical innovations also enjoyed harvest. CAD systems have been applied
among the enterprises in 28 provinces or cities with a diffusion rate
approaching 80%. Computer based integrated manufacturing technology also
found its applications in more than ten sectors and provinces in the
country. In the field of high tech and associated industrialization,
Chinese patented digital program switching system has occupied 40% and
more of domestic share. The domestic market share of Chinese made
personal computers has reached 50% and optical fiber transmission
equipment 20%. The submarine robot who is able to dive as deep as 6000
meters has successfully passed the field experiment and demonstrated its
fine application prospective. Shuguang (Dawning) computer series have
expanded its family with ten new members and made a strong headway into
the market. In the field of social development, there have been three new
drugs granted with national new drug certificates and allowed into mass
production. Tanshin (the root of red-rooted salvia) pellets passed the
approval of US FDA for a clinical medicine, which realized the zero
breakthrough of Chinese traditional medicine in US market. In addition,
a number of biological engineering medicines and marine drugs have
entered the stage of clinical testing. In the field of basic studies,
research on foot-and-mouth disease, discovery of superstar SN1996W and
rare earth research have seen major breakthroughs, too.

In 1998, scientific and technological development will focus on the
following five aspects: 1) vigorously promote the development of
agricultural science and technology; 2)accelerate high tech
industrialization; 3) improve the quality and economic benefits of S&T
products; 4) in the spirit of China's Agenda 21, provide technical
support for the realization of sustainable development; and 5) further
strengthen major basic researches and high tech researches tailored to
national targets.


SCDMA in China


SCDMA, a priority listed in the nation's 9th five-year plan, aiming at
producing intelligent antenna for wireless telecommunication system
passed the approval of national authorities concerned on December 29,
1997.

Integrated with synchronous CDMA technology of multiplex radio
frequencies, the system is able to rearrange the signals received by
different antenna systems and good for products upgrading. To be
different from CDMA in patent right application, the system is termed as
SCDMA for all the said techniques started with S in their English names.
So far there has been no other systems applied with the said technologies
in the world.

Unlike the traditional telephone line transmission mode, SCDMA system is
a user oriented wireless transmission loop. It is able to transmit
telecommunication signals to several bases within a radius of 10
kilometers and the bases will then re-transmit the signals to adjacent
users and eventually complete the exchanges between users and local
telephone switching system. The technology will free local telephone
lines from limited mobility, which will lead to drastic cost reduction in
line distribution and maintenance. For an example, it may save 8 billion
Rmb yuan to realize the whole telephone line coverage in the countryside
of Sichuan Province if the technology is applied.

The new applications are good for the countryside, small and medium
cities and remote areas. Thanks to its extensive application
perspectives, it is predicted that by year 2005, users of such telephone
technology will reach 500 million households in the world with 60% in
developing countries.

The project is a fruit jointly produced by Chinese Academy of
Telecommunication Science and Technology and returned research fellows
from the US through their two and more years' efforts. From the start to
completion, it took them only half of the time, one tenth of human
resources and one hundredth of funds consumed by other similar research
institutions abroad to produce China's own SCDMA system with its volume
4 or 5 times more than that of CDMA.

Since August 1997, the system has found its applications in 7
experimental bases in cities like Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing
and etc. Trial running has shown the stable performance of the system
and its close-to-normal-telephone voice.

Passed with the approval of authorities concerned, the system will soon
be put into mass production.


1998: Air Quality Weekly for Major Cities


Starting from January 1998, China will issue weekly reports of air
quality for major cities through national news media. Before this, air
quality weekly for major cities were only published by local news media.

China Environment Daily will issue the weekly report of major cities' air
quality from the beginning of 1998. The Central Broadcasting Station will
follow suit later. It is reported that some large media agencies are also
considering to have the bulletin in their papers.

Air quality weekly is a report showing air pollution degree and air
quality through a number of indicators. Tailored to China's own
environmental problems and pollution, the indicators included in air
quality weekly are for the time being SO2, nitrogen oxide and the total
amount aerosols.

Since Nanjing Municipality was the first to issue air quality weekly to
the public in May 1997, 13 cities such as Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenyang,
Guangzhou, Chongqing and Hefei have followed its example providing their
regular air quality reports to the public. Hangzhou joined in the efforts
on December 26, 1997.

Mr. Wang Yangzu, Deputy Administrator, National Environment Protection
Agency, said urban air quality weekly is an important means to help
government at different levels to strengthen the integrated environment
control and enhance public supervision. Governments at different levels
may take tailored measures to improve air quality and protect public
health in their localities.

It is reported that ten major cities including Shanghai, Guanzhou,
Nanjing, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Chongqing are expected to publish air
quality daily from June 1998.


China's Red Paper on Animals in Danger


With a red cover as a warning China Red Paper on Animals in Danger was
published on December 24, 1997 in Beijing.

China is one of the countries enjoying the richest flora and fauna
species in the world. It possesses 10% of the world species and is rich
in bio-diversity with in different ecological systems ranging from
forests, pastures, marshlands to deserts. For various reasons, the
survival environments of many species have been damaged or in serious
threat with some others on the brink of extinction. The precondition to
forceful protection of species diversity is to acquire the knowledge of
species in danger and make a comprehensive scientific assessment of the
status of quo. Sponsored by China National Environment Protection Agency
and compiled by China Scientific Commission on Species in Danger, China
Red Paper of Animals in Danger is the fruit of many-year concerted
efforts of many experts and the younger sister of Chine Red Paper of
Plants in Danger published years ago. The book is divided into four
volumes covering animals, birds, amphibians and reptiles and fishes
respectively. It is expected that the book will promote the protection
of China's animals in danger.

Experts believed that the book will provide reliable evidence for
formulating relevant policies and regulations for protecting
bio-diversity and for the government at different levels in formulating
their action plans and priorities. In the meanwhile, it will provide
necessary information for the public on animals in danger and promote
public awareness of protecting animals in danger.


Diabetes Remedy


Chinese scientists have developed a herbal medicine which they say can
be used to treat diabetes II, which affects at least 25 million Chinese.

Researchers from the China Academy of Traditional Medicines developed the
medicine, named Tangmaikang.

"Tangmaikang has a noticeable effect in treating complications of
diabetes by reducing cholesterol and glycerin the blood," Professor Fu
Shiyuan, president of the academy, told a symposium on diabetes.

Diabetes complications include heart disease, cerebral vascular disease,
kidney disease, loss of eyesight and other serious problems. "But, almost
all the sugar-reducing drugs are of little help in treating the
complications," Fu explained.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder related to insulin, a hormone
controlling the passage of sugar from the blood and in the urine, and are
associated with loss of weight and excessive thirst.

With improved standards of living and the gradual increase in the amount
of Western-style food in the diet over the past decade, an increasing
number of people in China, India and other developing countries are other
developing countries are suffering from diabetes. There are at least
750,000 new cases of diabetes in China each year, according to a Ministry
of Health official.

"Chinese researchers should do further studies on insulin levels in
patients who use Tangmaikang to get it recognized by the Western medical
community and sold on the international market," Professor Chen Keji, an
adviser to the WHO and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, says.

The Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine's Zhonghui
Pharmaceutical Co recently built a plant to produce Tangmaikang worth 5
billion yuan (US$602 million) annually, along with other Chinese
medicines, in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

International sales of herbal medicines amount to US$ 15 billion
annually, but Chinese traditional medicine only accounts for US$ 600
million of the that total." The marketing of Tangmaikang internationally
will help boost exports of Chinese medicine," professor Fu comments.