CHINA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The Ministry of Science and Technology
People's Republic of China
IN THIS ISSUE
* 400 Billion High Tech Export
* Full Success Manned Space Mission
* China’s Space Perspectives
* Automatic Pipe Plasma Coating
* New Vaccine for Highly Pathogenic Bird Flu
400 Billion High Tech Export
China’s high tech import & export in 2005 expects to reach USD 400 billion, or 30% of the nation’s total import & export volume in the year, revealed WEI Jianguo, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, at the 7th China International High Tech Trade Fair.
In 2004, China’s foreign trade registered a volume worth USD 1150 billion, landed a 3rd place in the world trade activities. Of the volume, high tech import & export took 28.5%, and it expects a rise to 30% in 2005. China currently has over 14,000 high tech enterprises, and 53 high tech industrial parks at the national level, with a staff population of 6 million, and an output value worth RMB 2.72 trillion. China has a 3rd largest high tech industry in the world only next to the United States and Japan, in terms of scale.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce is currently pursuing a strategy to revitalize trade with science and technology. China will work to produce new industrial policies, including an 11th Five-year plan (2006-2010), strategic guidelines for implementing the strategy of revitalizing trade with science and technology, comments on expanding the export of pharmaceuticals, guidelines for supporting and encouraging software and information service outsourcing, comments on further strengthening technology import activities, and a statistic catalog for China’s tech import & export. In the meantime, China will strive to develop a strong team and an export system to support the export of proprietary and brandname products in the fields of software, biopharmaceuticals, advanced materials and techniques, and aeronautics and space technologies. China will provide priority support for proprietary tech products in loans, foreign exchanges, tax holidays, R&D, and training.
Full Success Manned Space Mission
At 0433, October 17, 2005, the Shenzhou 6 capsule, after completing its 115-hour-and-32-minute space mission for a true manned space scientific experiment, made a smooth landing at the prescribed site. Two astronauts, FEI Junlong and NIE Haisheng, returned home safely.
At 0343, Beijing time, the Shenzhou 6 capsule, while flying over the southern Atlantic Ocean, received a return command from the Beijing control center via a tracking vessel waiting there. At 0344, the re-entry capsule separated from the orbital module, and then entered the re-entry orbit with the help of an engine. The large screen of the Beijing control center showed increasingly descended altitudes of the re-entry capsule. 0410, the capsule braved through the aerosphere, and entered the last landing phase only 10 km away from the ground. The re-entry capsule ejected out three parachutes taking care of navigation, speed-down, and landing one after another. At 0433, the capsule made its successful landing at the Amugulang prairies in the middle of Inner Mongolia. Astronauts FEI Junlong and NIE Haisheng walked out of the capsule, celebrating the complete success of the manned space mission.
China’s Space Perspectives
China has defined its space development targets for the next two decades as follows:
---- Commercial applications of space technologies. The development and exploitation of space resources will serve for the purpose of economic development, satisfying diverse needs of national security, S&T development, and social advancement, and further enhancing the nation’s comprehensive strength.
---- Establishing a multifunction and multi-orbit space infrastructure made up of diverse satellite systems, and making it part of the overall state planning; establishing a ground satellite application system supporting coordinated activities between earth and space, and developing an integrated earth-space network system for full-fledged, consecutive, and stable long-term space operations.
---- Establishing a national manned space system, and conducting manned space scientific and technical researches of some scale.
---- Working hard to harvest more space findings, occupying a relatively important position in international space research activities, and conducting deep space probes and researches tailored to China’s own needs.
The Chinese government has long advocated the exploitation and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, in an attempt to allow outer space to serve mankind. China believes that probing outer space and expanding man’s knowledge of cosmos and earth will help promote civilization and social development, and China will render its contributions to mankind, through peaceful uses of outer space.
High Accuracy Dye Dispensing
A project to develop an intelligent dye dispensing solution, jointly undertaken by Tai’an Pingnai Co. Ltd., and the Institute of Automation affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, under an initiative of the National 863 Program, has achieved substantial progresses. The project team has worked out a solution of 60 dye colors that can be mixed as required, with each dye powder weighing between 5g and 32kg, a minimum resolution between 0.01-0.1g, and a weighing accuracy ≤1%. While providing a full automatic solution for dye dispensing, the project has laid a theoretical foundation and made technical preparations for developing an automatic dye powder dispensing system, in an attempt to further enhance products’ quality.
The new system has a wide range of application perspectives for printing and dyeing, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food industries. The technology is desirable for high end products that need high-accuracy dye dispensing and high quality control. It also helps to address labor intensity, pollution and quality issues in dye dispensing, and improve the industry’s social image.
Automatic Pipe Plasma Coating
A research project to develop an automatic production line for inner pipe plasma coating, jointly undertaken by Tai’an Fangzheng Electric Machinery and Shandong University of Science and Technology, passed an approval check on October 10, 2005. Researchers successfully coated the pipe’s inner wall with a friction resistant metal-ceramic membrane, or an erosion resistant metal compound membrane, using high energy and density plasma beams as a heating source to trigger the primary reaction. Equipped with an open digital control system, the new production line is able to work on plasma primary reaction automatically. The trial applications of the new system have produced fine results.
The innovative system can widely be used in producing friction resistant pipes for petroleum, chemicals, and energy industries. The proprietary technology will eventually be turned into a new economic growth point, when it finds increasing applications in diverse sectors.
New Vaccine for Highly Pathogenic Bird Flu
Chinese Ministry of Agriculture announced on October 14, 2005 that the Harbin Veterinary Institute, part of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has developed a recombinant vaccine to fight subtype H5 highly pathogenic strains of bird flu, using Newcastle Diseases Virus (NDV) as the carrier, and internationally advanced anti-gene techniques. As the first of its kind in the word, the new vaccine has the following enhancements:
1) The vaccine can be used to fight both highly pathogenic strains of bird flu, and Newcastle diseases virus in one injection.
2) The vaccine has little side effects on newborns. In addition to injection, it can be applied using other forms, including drinking, spraying, nozzle and eye dripping, which makes it a simple, convenient, and fast vaccination with reliable quality for required efficiency and density.
3) It is desirable for poultry farm sized vaccination. The day-I newborns are allowed to be vaccinated, without compromising the quality of meat.
The low cost can reduce the expenses on vaccination. The new vaccine asks only one fifth of the cost, compared with the vaccine in current use.
Commercial Application of Space Drug
Since 1999, Xi’an Hengtong Pharmaceuticals has made its bacteria strains part of the payloads aboard China’s Shenzhou series spacecraft for four consecutive times. Not long ago, it produced a Shenzhou III oral recipe using the raw strains mutated under the combined effects of microgravity, strong magnetic fields, heavy particles, strong radiation, and extremely high and low temperatures. Xi’an Hengtong has screened out a T33 strain after repeated segregation, culturing, screening, experiments, and trial productions. According to an examination report issued by the Institute of Microbiology, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the strains have undergone some changes in morphological, culturing, physiological, and biochemical features. An analysis of their genetic properties and protein expressions show that the strains have been mutated genetically. Generation passing experiments confirmed the genetic stability of the strains, with fine adaptability for production. The new strains are featured with a noticeably accelerated growth, but a greatly shortened fermentation cycle. It produces a peptide content 30% higher than its mother strains.
Possessing 25 therapeutic effects and 22 patents, and offering an efficient, safe, toxicity free and hormone free treatment, the new oral recipe is the only space biomedicine produced by China, using space biotechnology, without chemical synthesis.
Dependence Free Painkiller
A study team headed by Dr. ZHANG Xu, Institute of Neuroscience, a part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has found that the Delata-opioid system is involved in modulation of pain transmission in the spinal cord. δ-opioid receptors (DORs) are induced by stimulus-triggered exocytosis of DOR-containing large dense-core vesicles (LDCVs). This interaction is mediated by the substance P domain of protachykinin and the third luminal domain of DOR. Furthermore, deletion of the preprotachykinin A gene reduced stimulus-induced surface insertion of DORs and abolished DOR-mediated spinal analgesia and morphine tolerance. Thus, protachykinin is essential for modulation of the sensitivity of nociceptive afferents to opioids, and the opioid and tachykinin systems are directly linked by protachykinin/DOR interaction. The finding was published in the August 25th issue of Cell.
Improved Buffalo Cloning
A buffalo cloned using body cells was born on October 1st, 2005 at a pedigree cattle reproduction center of the Guangxi University. As the third of its kind in the world, the calf registers a weight of 35 kg, height 70cm, and length 50cm. The calf is currently in a healthy state.
According to a briefing, before the success, the reproduction center had given birth to a calf cloned with fibroblasts, and another calf with ovarian granulose cells, though both of them died soon after birth. The newborn calf is cloned with the fibroblasts obtained from a local buffalo species, and conceived in a local cow.
Solar Energy Training for Developing Countries
China has rich experience in solar energy utilization, and numerous proven technologies suitable for the developing countries. As early as in the 1980s, China shared its solar energy application technologies with the developing countries, through the South-South cooperation. For example, starting from 1991, the Institute of Natural Energy, a part of the Gansu Provincial Academy of Sciences, has offered 17 rounds of solar energy application courses, 2 solar photoelectricity training events and a number of international workshops for over 500 trainees from more than 70 developing countries.
In addition, China is an active part of technical exchanges and cooperation in the area with the developed as well as developing countries. While dispatching people to study in the advanced countries, China sent out its experts to aid developing countries in mastering solar energy technologies. In recent years, the Institute has provided assistance to Tanzania in preparing its 5-year planning for solar energy development, and helped Côte d'Ivoire launch a nationwide campaign for diffusing photoelectric technology.
China’s Next Nuclear Power Technology
During the 10th Five-year period, Chinese scientists have embarked on the study of the new generation of nuclear power technology, in an attempt to raise the efficiency of utilizing the uranium resources and ensure the sustainable development of China’s nuclear power industry. The experimental nuclear reactor project, a typical next generation nuclear system with a net capacity of 20,000 kilowatts, has entered a full-fledged phase for key components installing and testing.
Under the support of National 863 Program, China has speeded up the construction of the experimental reactor. The experimental reactor expects to put into operation in the early of the 11th five-year period. With an investment of RMB 1.388 billion, the reactor makes a project asking for the largest investment under the National 863 Program. Using natrium as the coolant, the experimental reactor is equipped for the first time with a non-power accident residual heat exhausting system. With a designed space of 44,000 m2, the experimental project was approved to construct at the end of 1995. The first round of concrete filling was made on May 30, 2000. The main reactor site was completed of the construction in August 2002. On August 11, 2005, scientists began to install large components in the reactor hall.
Improved Treatment for Deformed Spine
Thanks to his many-year explorations and practice, Prof. LI Ming, from the Changhai Hospital affiliated to the No. 2 Military Medical School, has achieved progresses in treating and studying spinal column deformation. LI and his team harvested a number of innovative findings, including treating advanced cases of spinal column side-protruding, and root nailing technique. The operation he performed on patients of advanced side-protruding spinal column produced noticeable therapeutic effects, avoided a second operation that would be required under the previous operation procedure, and saved the patients their medical bills. LI and his team have treated over 100 advanced patients with a protruding side arch of 80 degrees or above, using the same technique, and achieved satisfactory results.
GM Plants Treat Waste Water
According to a briefing issued at the 5th International Conference on Metallothionein held recently in Beijing, Chinese scientists have developed genetically modified plants able to treat the soil and water contaminated by heavy metals.
A key protein lab under Peking University’s Institute of Life Sciences has rolled out genetically modified tobacco and blue algae. The two GM plants can absorb or get rid of heavy metals in soil or water, including cadmium, mercury, lead, and nickel. They are especially good for fending off contaminations on paddy rice, ginseng, medical herbs, and tealeaves that are asked to comply with the international standards for export. They can also be used to treat wastewaters from urban industrial source, mines and electroplating. In addition, the plants can grow to beatify urban streets, and curb up environmental pollutions. Having completed the lab phase, the project will soon head for a diffusion phase. It is explained that a kilo of genetically modified blue algae can absorb more than 10 grams of mercury.
Comments or inquiries on editorial matters or Newsletter content should be directed to:
Mr. Mao Zhongying, Department of International Cooperation, MOST 15B, Fuxing Road Beijing 100862, PR China Tel: (8610)58881360 Fax: (8610) 58881364