Home > NewsLetter > 2002
No.310

 
 
 


CHINA  SCIENCE  AND  TECHNOLOGY
NEWSLETTER
The Ministry of Science and Technology
People's Republic of China


N0.310 October 20,2002
 
IN THIS ISSUE

* Combat against AIDS Strengthened

* China's AIDS Monitoring Network

* New Physical Phenomena of Liquid Structure

* Plant Loving Dinosaur Discovered

* Chinese Originate from China

* China's Advanced Radiation Wastes Disposal

* Shenzhou III Completed its Missions


 
 SPECIAL ISSUES

Combat against AIDS Strengthened

The Chinese Ministry of Health is now working hard to create 100 AIDS Prevention Demonstration Zones in the major selected regions in the country.  One of China's enhanced efforts preventing and treating AIDS diseases has found its expression in establishing AIDS patients caring and treatment system through residential community AIDS prevention campaign.

It is briefed that as is requested by Chinese Action Plan for Curbing, Prevention and Treatment of AIDS Diseases(2001-2005), by the end of this year, at least 50% of the population affected with AIDS viruses or AIDS patients will be treated medically and taken care of at their residential community or families. The currently ongoing prevention efforts will provide diversified services including training, health education, behavior interference, medical treatment, consultation and caring tailored to the needs of residential community, which will make different groups of people, including AIDS patients, people infected with AIDS, venereal disease patients and high risk population obtain continuous and timely information and service on AIDS, creating an agreeable social environment for AIDS prevention and treatment.

In addition, on the basis of the existing AIDS preventing and monitoring network, China will create the scientific model predicting the epidemic trend of AIDS, further strengthening its monitoring efforts and accurately predicting the epidemic development of AIDS in the country. To improve the legislature aspect of AIDS prevention and treatment, the Regulations on AIDS Diseases Prevention and Management is being in the drafting process.

The basic and applied AIDS studies have also got their strong support from the Chinese Government with many of them listed as priority national R&D projects. In the future, China will strengthen its studies on safe blood transfusion, clinic treatment, relevant medicine and vaccine development and explore effective treatment combining both the west medicinal and the Chinese traditional approaches.

 China's AIDS Monitoring Network

China has established its AIDS prevention and monitoring network composed of 158 AIDS watch stations at national level, 1,800 preliminary screening labs and 44 confirmation labs.

In 1995, China only had 42 AIDS watch stations at national level in 23 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions and exercised a mandatory AIDS examination of venereal diseases patients, hidden prostitutes, drug users and long- distance truck drivers twice a year. Now in addition to the great increase of national watch stations, many localities have created their own watch stations for frequented examination of high risk populations. Meanwhile, the Chinese Ministry of Health has developed the model predicting the epidemic trend of AIDS spread and the nation-wide information network. These efforts and establishments, together with the watch stations and labs all over the country, have provided guarantee for tracking down the development of AIDS spread and preventing the disease.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
 

New Physical Phenomena of Liquid Structure

Prof. Zu Fangqiu of the Institute of Material Sciences and Engineering under Hefei Polytechnic University and his collaborators have through repeated experiments found that liquid structure is not always changing consecutively along with temperature as most people previously believed, but rather keeps an inconsecutive change at certain temperature over the liquidus curve. Their finding was published by Physics Review Letter an internationally authoritative journal on physics in the issue of September 16, 2002.

It is briefed that the traditional theory has long insisted that liquid structure and its property will slowly and consecutively change along with the rising of temperature and pressure. In all monographs and textbooks published both at home and abroad, the relationship between liquid and temperature has been depicted as a continuous function. However, theoretical studies and experiments made in recent years have shown that within a temperature range not far from liquidus curve exists an orderly local crystal structure. After that people want to know more about the structure between the area adjacent to the liquidus curve and air critical point and what happens there along with the change of temperature and pressure. Prof. Zu has bravely modified internal consumption theory for solid matter created by renowned Chinese scientist Ge Tingsui and applied it to his study of liquid alloy. He and his collaborators made repeated testing on the internal consumption temperature of lead-tin melt and discovered inconsecutive changes upon temperature function at the range 620℃-740℃. The findings immediately drew extensive attention of their counterparts both at home and abroad after Physics Review published them in October 2001.

After that, Prof Zu and his collaborators had an in-depth study on liquid alloy and confirmed the occurrence of inconsecutive liquid structure induced by temperature with thermal and liquid X derivative result analysis methods.

 China's Honglian Hybrid Rice

The project on study and applications of Chinese Honglian long rice gametocyte male sterility contracted to the team headed by Prof. Zhu Yingguo of Wuhan University has recently passed the evaluations organized by the National Natural Science Foundation. Meanwhile, the new rice variety, Honglianyou 6, derived from the study passed its verification check by Hubei Provincial Agricultural Crop Species Assessment Committee.

Honglian hybrid rice is the baby of Hainan Hongmang wild rice and regular hybrid rice bred by Life Science Institute of Wuhan University. The new cellular hybrid rice variety has been approved for its diffusion in the country and won the recognition both at home and abroad. The new variety is of numerous merits such as remarkable genetic diversity, wide hybrid selection and fine comprehensive properties.

It is briefed that since 1995, the study team has collected 10 cellular and 20 sterility varieties. On the basis of integrated comparison of their economic values, blooming habit and quality, Honglian variety was screened out as the sterile line for further hybridization and purifying. In 1997 Honglianyou 6 was successfully bred out. The experimental growing and the sample promotion of Honglianyou 6 in 8 provinces or municipalities has shown that the variety is of fine stalk and leave shapes with fine grain quality and ear structure, moderate growth period, high temperature resistance in its heading stage and resistance to bacterial leaf-blight. The new variety has recorded an average yield of 750 kilo/mu, demonstrating its broad application perspectives.

It is disclosed that on the basis of Honglian variety, Wuhan University has cloned genes related to its male sterility and completed the accurate positioning for gene restoration and associated physical charts. At present, the study has advanced into the phase of restoring gene cloning.

 Plant Loving Dinosaur Discovered

Xu Xing and Wang Xiaolin, research fellows of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently published in Nature their discovery of a very strange dinosaur fossil remains unearthed in the western section of Liaoning Province.  Containing a quite complete head bone and partial cervix, the fossil has been confirmed of a history as long as 128 million years. What made scientists confused is its carnivore head shape with the teeth very much similar to that of the dinosaur eating grass. It has two unique front teeth meant to eat plants. Scientists have discovered apparent abrasion trace that can be easily seen among typical grass eating dinosaurs. 

Scientists explained that the newly discovered dinosaur fossil belongs to the order of the carnivore dinosaur though it lived on plants as food, like panda who is a living herbivore originated from the carnivore order but eating bamboo. Xu Xing and his colleagues have named the dinosaur cutting teeth dinosaurs.

The new discovery has shown that the ecological differences of beast footed dinosaurs are much larger than what people thought in the past. Xu briefed that the cutting teeth dinosaur represents an important link in the dinosaur's evolution process. Specifically, the cutting teeth dinosaur belongs to the order of ceratopsian dinosaurs who possess very special profile of narrow but high head bone without teeth. The new fossil is believed the most primitive ceratopsian thus far discovered in the world.

Wang Xiaolin added that ceratopsian had many bird-like features and people used to believe such dinosaurs have a close relationship with birds or simply belonged to birds grouping. However, the discovery of cutting teeth dinosaur proved the said scenario wrong. Cutting teeth dinosaurs possessed no bird-like features as other ceratopsian dinosaurs did, which demonstrated that ceratopsian had a remote tie with birds and its bird-like features evolved on its own.

 Chinese Originate from China

Wang Wei, an associate research fellow of Guangxi Nature Museum disclosed recently that his team have made in-depth study on the sediments over Liujiang Man Cave and the systematic measuring the chronicle of the man's head bones unearthed in the cave with uranium approach has shown that Liujiang Man may lived in the time between 70,000 years or 130,000 years ago, instead of the previous scenario for less than 30,000 years.  The new discovery implies that the Liujiang Man is anatomically the forefather of today's Chinese man, who probably lived over south China area in a time earlier than what anthropologists thought. The new finding challenges the scenario that today's man originates from Africa, which believed that the Chinese were immigrated from Africa 35,000 or 89,000 years ago.

The measuring approach used by Mr. Wang has broken up the limit of 30,000 years imposed by the previous isotope carbon-14 measuring approach and furthered the most distant time limit to 100,000 years and more. The said approach that was only used in the studies of Quaternary Age has been acknowledged as the most mature and reliable new method.

In 1958 Chinese scientists unearthed Liujiang Man fossil remains made up of head, partial trunk and limbs in a cave located in Liujiang County near Liuzhou Township, Guangxi Autonomous Region. The fossil is one of the rare complete modern man fossils discovered in east Asian region. There are three layers of soil as thick as 8 meters above the site where the fossil was unearthed. Researchers collected calcium samples from the three different layers and tested them at Nanjing Normal University and Queensland University respectively. The straitigraphic analysis has shown that the age of middle layer soil of Liujiang cave should have been ranged between 70,000 years and 130,000 years, or even earlier.

Plant in Dinosaur Age Discovered

Chinese scientists have surprisingly discovered a hundred and more spinulose tree ferns, a kind of plant believed to have grown in Dinosaur Age over an area of 500 square meters in Jiulianshan Nature Conservation Park in Longnan County, Jiangxi Province. It is the first time for the scientists to have discovered so densely grown  spinulose tree ferns in the southern section of Jiangxi Province.

The spinulose tree fern that is loosely distributed over Yunan and Sichuan in a limited number is an ancient wild plant on China's priority protection list. Research data have shown that the plant was growing in large quantity in a geological time dated 160 million years ago and is a major food for grass eating large animals including dinosaurs. Botanists believe that spinulose tree ferns have made Dinosaur Age splendid in the earth life history. Being a living fossil, some members of spinulose tree ferns order have survived all those changes and remained growing in tropical and subtropical areas though dinosaurs already disappeared 70 million years ago.

Scientists believe that the discovery of spinulose tree ferns in Jiulianshan Mount. has provided extremely valuable scientific evidences for studying ancient botanic, climatological and geologic activities in Nanling mountain areas.

 China's Advanced Radiation Wastes Disposal

During the period from 1999 to 2001, Beijing Institute of Geology in collaboration with International Atomic Energy Agency worked on the site evaluation methodology at the Beishan Mountain physically located in Gansu Province. The study has for the first time developed a series of approaches to evaluating disposal site with video, radar and water quality measuring means and obtained bore radar and video images and consolidated pillar charts combining radar echoes and video images at a depth of 500m.

In the period from 2000 to the end of 2001, the Institute designed and constructed the first bore holes for disposing highly radiated wastes. The Chinese scientists conducted the study of deep geological environment by taking advantage of these two bore holes, created a whole set of study methodology, and assembled an in-situ water quality measuring device that is able to hit a measuring length as deep as 1000 meters. Through the study, they collected the first hand data and samples on deep geological environment, including the new understanding of granite, temperature, pressure, salinity, oxidized potential reduction and video and radar images of the two bore holes.  The completely new knowledge obtained through the study has caused a stir in the international community and experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency, USA and Japan visited the site and expressed their intention for cooperation. It is reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency will renew its cooperation with the Institute during the period from 2002 to 2004.

 Shenzhou III Completed its Missions

It is reported that the in-orbit compartment of Shenzhou III, an experimental spacecraft launched by China, has harvested numerous scientific findings.

On April 1, 2002, the in-orbit compartment of Shenzhou III was separated from its return compartment. Under the management of Beijing Space Command and Control Center, the in-orbit compartment has been running smoothly around the earth for 2821 rounds in 180 and more days, during which it completed the prescribed scientific experiments including space environment monitoring, atmospheric composition observation, infrared sounding among many others and obtained abundant valuable scientific data. During its flight, the compartment received several dozens of orbit maintenance and flight mode control instructions from the Control Center and carried out its designed payload experiments under different flight modes.

It is briefed that the Control Center has mastered the key technologies in the long process of tracking and managing Shenzhou II and III spacecraft, and landed the major progress on understanding the orbit decaying mechanism of lower-orbit flying machine, measuring and controlling condition analysis, geostationary and solar model studies, maintenance and control studies, falling analysis, fuel optimization, failure diagnosis and emergency rescue. These efforts have laid a solid foundation for the improvement of control and management of future manned spacecraft.


       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

http://www.most.gov.cn