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N0.652

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

 

 

N0.652

April 20, 2012

 

 

 

 

 
IN THIS ISSUE


 

* China’s Annual IP Strategies Released

* Wan Met with U.S. Guests

*China-Intel Internet of Things Institute

* World's First Manually Cloned GM Sheep

* First Super Nutritional Tomato

*Cobra Venom Becomes New Antibiotics

*Smart Humanoid Parts

*Antarctic Watch Telescope


 

 

 

SPECIAL ISSUE

 

China’s Annual IP Strategies Released

 

Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) officially released on April 10, 2012 China’s National Intellectual Property Strategy for 2012. The Strategy outlines eight major areas, and defines 90 specific measures and responsible departments. In 2012, China will work on a range of IP missions, including raising the quality of intellectual property, promoting the development of strategic emerging industries with intellectual property, promoting the use of intellectual property, enhancing the protection of intellectual property rights, developing intellectual property in the niche areas, improving intellectual property management, nurturing the intellectual property service industry, and fostering knowledge property culture.

HUANG Qing, Director of SIPO Protection and Coordination said raising the quality of intellectual property shall mainly find its expression in "securing the market value of patents", though also including perfecting the intellectual property assessment system, improving  the review and management of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and new plant varieties, and guiding intellectual property creators to change from focusing on the number of intellectual property to focusing on the quality of intellectual property.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

 

Wan Met with U.S. Guests

 

 

 

April 5, 2012-- WAN Gang, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology met with visiting U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman and his party. The two sides made an in-depth exchange of views on a range of issues, including China-US clean energy program and bilateral cooperation in the area of energy.

 

China-Intel Internet of Things Institute

 

The Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, the Administrative Committee of Zhongguancun, the Haidian District Government, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Automation jointly inked on April 11, 2012 a cooperation agreement with Intel to establish a China-Intel Internet of Things Institute. According to the accord, the collaborative parties will invest RMB 200 million to develop the key common technologies for developing the Internet of Things, including IntelliSense, transmission, data processing, distributed Internet of Things cloud computing architecture, massive data management and processing, data analysis, data service innovation, among others. The Institute will work with leading research institutions and enterprises, taking a lead in developing the core technology on a long term basis. It will also establish an open Internet of Things R&D center and a hardware/software integration platform incubator.

 

Visionary Research Center

 

A physical and chemical analysis and testing center, jointly established by Beijing Institute of Science and Technology and Japan Horiba Seisakusho, was inaugurated on April 10, 2012 in Beijing. The two collaborative parties will jointly work on a range of hot and difficult issues concerning the current social development, including urban public security, food safety, health, environmental protection, automobile exhausts treatment, new materials among others. The center will also investigate China’s market demand for analytical techniques and associated instruments, the R&D perspective of cutting-edge and visionary analysis and testing instruments, and the new technology, methods and instruments needed for analyzing major emergencies.

 

 

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

World's First Manually Cloned GM Sheep

 

A project to breed novel genetically modified sheep species, jointly undertaken by Beijing Genomics Institute (Shenzhen), China Ark (Shenzhen), CAS Institute of Genetic Development, and Shihezi University School of Life Sciences, has landed a breakthrough on March 26, 2012 when a cloned sheep was born at 12:16 Beijing Time. The baby sheep is the world's first GM sheep cloned using manual techniques.

 

According to a briefing, in September 2009, Chinese researchers collected donor cells and transplanted the omega-3 fatty acid desaturase into the cells, in an attempt to establish transgenic cell lines. They made manual cloning in May 2010, and collected the blastocysts and established the manual cloning system in October 2011. The efforts consequentially led to the birth of the first manually cloned sheep weighing 5.74kg at 12:16, March 26, 2012. The newborn has been confirmed with normal vital signs.

 

First Super Nutritional Tomato

 

 

The plants in the middle and right are the engineering tomato plants. The bottom panels show the flower and fruit comparisons between the control and engineering plants.

 

Not long ago, a research team led by HUANG Junchao at CAS Kunming Institute of Botany has, in collaboration with Peking University and University of Hong Kong, bred out through a decade long effort the world's first engineering tomato able to produce high yield of astaxanthin, a strong anti-oxidant element found in the nature world. The novel tomato will expect commercial applications and associated industrialization in the near future.

 

Researchers said they turned the plants into an ideal astaxanthin processor. Both the β-carotene and astaxanthin in tomato are carotenoids, sharing a similar chemical structure. Based on the thorough analysis of the pathway to synthesize astaxanthin in microalgae and catalytic rate-limiting enzyme, researchers worked out the solutions to address the limited synthesis of astaxanthin in higher plants, and bred out new engineering tomato with an astaxanthin content as high as 1.6%, close to the astaxanthin content in rain pluvialis. Importantly, tomato, an economic plant, can be produced at an industrial scale, with per mu (1mu=0.0667ha.) output up to 20,000 kilograms. Tomato is a plant that can be easily grown at a low cost. Consequentially, the profit margin generated by the astaxanthin tomato can be at least five times the rain pluvialis.

 

Researchers have filed patent applications for the high-yield astaxanthin tomato. The new varieties have been grown in a greenhouse for three generations, enjoying stable traits and astaxanthin content. In the next step, researchers will work to double the astaxanthin content in the tomato, and complete a comprehensive technical assessment in 2-3 years, before making them available to the marketplace.

 

Cobra Venom Becomes New Antibiotics

 

CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology published its findings on OH-CATH30 antimicrobial peptides and derivatives deduced from the king cobra’s venom in the recent online issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

 

Researchers established a clinical drug-resistant bacterial infection animal model based on the previous findings of antimicrobial peptides and associated invention patents, and reptiles cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides and associated derivatives and applications. Researchers found that the king cobra’s OH the-CATH30 and associated derivatives, when applied under a safe dosa under 1/10, would produce a fine therapeutic and protective effect against the systemic and lethal drug-resistant infections.

 

Reverse Osmosis Membrane Manufacturing

 

 A piece of equipment developed by CAS Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry to manufacture reverse osmosis composite membranes for seawater desalination has recently passed the experts’ acceptance check. Researchers started to develop the equipment in 2009. They rounded up in more than two years time the key technologies needed to address the technical hurdles, including temperature control, tension control, corrective control among others.

 

They use the PCL technique to achieve the coordination between and optimization of hardware and software systems, and rolled out the membrane preparation equipment integrated with polymerization, thermal cross-linking, filming and post-processing. The equipment has been tested by users with fine results. The successful development of the equipment not only helps engineers understand the impacts of preparation conditions and other key factors on membrane performance, but also raises China’s R&D level in preparing membrane materials, allowing it to break up the monopoly, and providing technical support to the scale production of reverse osmosis composite membrane.  The project has so far filed three invention patent applications, with two of them being granted.

 

Precise Targeted Therapy

 

Thanks to more than four-year efforts, ZHU Linyong and coworkers at East China University of Technology School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering landed breakthroughs in designing a brand new concept of "target-activatable phototriggers", where they attached a ‘lock” to the coumarin phototriggers. In the absence of mercaptans, photoinduced electron transfer between coumarin and maleimide effectively blocks both the fluorescence and photocleavage pathways.Thiol-bearing molecules, however, readily annihilate the electron acceptor, and thus restore the phototrigger for photorelease of the caged cargo. The finding was published in the recent issue of journal of American Chemical Society.

 

ZHU explained that their finding opens up a new path for targeted therapy. Tumors are differed from the healthy part in biological characteristics. In this context, one can make the characteristics a 'lock', and the matter having tumor characteristics a 'key'. The 'lock' material, when into the human body, only can be unlocked in cancerous tissues, releasing the drug inside under a given light condition, and killing cancerous cells in a selective manner.

 

Smart Humanoid Parts

  

It is learned from CAS Hefei Institute of Physical Science that the humanoid foot sensor system developed by the Institute’s researchers recently passed the experts’ acceptance check organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

 

According to a briefing, researchers developed key technologies to address the information acquisition and integration in the humanoid foot, and established an integrated foot perception and dynamic complex ground reaction simulation system, allowing the real-time synchronized access to the variation of ground touch, terrain, foot tilt, and walking speed. The system has been tested on a BHR-2 robot platform at the Beijing University of Technology Institute of Intelligent Robot. Experimental results show that the system is of a fine perspective for practical applications.

 

The study has resulted in 11 invention patent applications and 13 software copyrights. The research results have been made available for a limited design and production capability.

 

Antarctic Watch Telescope

 

Scientists in China’s28thAntarctic expedition team installed an Antarctic Watch Telescope at the Kunlun Station that is 4,000 meters above sea level. The telescope is designed to automatically watch the hundreds of millions of stars within the Milky Way via satellite communication and remote control. It is also enabled to search for extrasolar planets

 

According to a briefing, China plans to install three Antarctic Watch Telescopes at the Kunlun Station. The first Antarctic Watch Telescope installed is developed by the CAS Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology, with its operation control and data system being developed by CAS National Astronomical Observatories. With a primary mirror 68 cm across, and an effective aperture at 50 cm, the telescope works on a large view field catadioptric optical system, able to perform pointing, tracking, focusing and other functions. It is the largest optical telescope in the Antarctic.

 

The first Antarctic Watch Telescope is also equipped with the largest single-chip CCD camera in the world, enjoying 100 million pixels. It can in a single exposure cover 4.3 square degrees of sky, equivalent to 18 moons in size, for effective astronomical surveys. The telescope also possesses a powerful computer system for real-time processing and analysis of the huge amounts of data generated by the CCD camera. It can effectively spot transient objects, including supernovae and optical counterpart objects stemmed from gamma ray bursts.

 

Up to date, China Antarctic Astronomy Center and other institutions have installed at the Kunlun Station a range of observing equipment and facilities, including astronomical site selection oriented automatic observatory, small optical telescope arrays, the Fourier transform spectrum analyzer among others. The Antarctic Watch Telescope will make an uninterrupted watch even in the long polar nights that will soon come in the Antarctic, becoming a unique ground telescope for astronomical study.

 

 

NEWS BRIEFS

 

Cell Biology Laboratory Inaugurated

 

The State Key Laboratory for Cell Biology was inaugurated on March 23, 2012 in Shanghai, along with the opening of the first State Key Laboratories Academic Committee meeting. The new laboratory is endorsed by the Ministry of Science and Technology to be a state key laboratory physically located at CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, mainly working on cell activity signaling network and associated mechanisms, and into a range of related studies, including cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and movement, molecular regulatory networks, interactions, and their ties with diseases.

 

Heavy Metal Pollution Prevention

 

China recently established a heavy metal pollution prevention engineering and technology center in Changsha. On the same day, a heavy metal pollution prevention and control industrial alliance was established. With the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the center, physically located at the Central South University, is designed to be the first national platform for heavy metal pollution prevention and control in the country. The new center will be supported by an innovation team specialized in heavy metal pollution prevention and control, taking advantage of the talent and technological strength of the Central South University. It will develop key technologies for heavy metal pollution prevention and control, prepare the needed technical specifications and standards, and facilitate engineering applications and industrialization.

 

The Heavy Metal Pollution Prevention and Control Industrial Alliance, jointly established by 34 institutions, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Hunan Provincial Dept. of Science and Technology, the Central South University and others, will be assigned to an array of national projects to address the key common technologies that can be used to prevent and control heavy metal pollutions. The Alliance will also initiate demonstration projects and build industrialization bases, and prepare the needed technical standards and specifications.

 


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