Chinese researchers address biosecurity related to the belt-and-road initiative (BRI)

In a review in Currrent Biology published on January 24, researchers around LI Yiming of CAS Institute of Zoology discuss evidence that economic corridors between core cities and key ports along traditional international transport routes may also lead to the introduction of invasive species into new areas which may threaten native species and biodiversity. According to their analyses, approximately 15 percent of areas in BRI countries have high overall introduction risks of new vertebrate species as people and cargo move about. The researchers identified 14 “invasion hotspots”. Based on these findings, they call for stricter screening for alien wildlife, including imported commodities, vehicles, and equipment through airports and seaports and along other transportation corridors. Noting limited resources in many BRI countries, they also suggest the establishment of a special fund to support the operation of biosecurity measures.

CAS news release, January 25, 2019

© Chinese Academy of Sciences

Harbin company publishes first 3D map of China

The "3D view of China" was published by Harbin Map Publishing Co. Using computer processing and raster 3D display technology, the 3D topography and landscape of China is displayed as seen from the sky. Compared to traditional maps, digital maps have a larger amount of...

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Beijing enters 5G era with first base station in operation

At the Beijing Unicom Hall 1st Floor Hall, a huge screen displays the street scenery of the Haidian District Musaka Lake and Xicheng District Finance Street. Beijing City has officially entered the 5G era. 5G is capable of directly transmitting 4K high quality image...

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Tsinghua University group develops tattoo-type electronic skin

The group of Tianling REN at the school of information science and technology of Tsinghua University has developed a graphen-based electronic tattoo which can be used for detecting multiple functions such as breathing, heart rate, sleep analysis and vocalization. The...

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The CASEarth Big Science Project

The project, inaugurated at March 1, 2018, aims to build a global and open international big earth data science center over the next 5 years. A team of 129 institutions from home and abroad with a total of more than 1200 researchers will focus on three areas of work....

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Giant panda: a vegetarian with a digestive tract of a carnivore

A new study by ZHANG Wenping, a Panda specialist at Sichuan University in Chengdu, has shown, by metagenome sequencing of the Panda’s gut microbiota, that it is not the Panda microbiota which would make a major contribution to his nutrition by degrading of cellulose...

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China has launched the „Pig Model Project“ (PMP)

Following an International Forum on Animal Biotechnology, the Chinese Academy of Engineering has announced that the country will launch the international pig model project (PMP, Organized by the Ministry of Science 
and Technology and...

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Overview of last view Blogs

Study finds abundant microplastics in Poyang Lake, China’s biggest lake

Poyang Lake, Xinjiang Province, is China’s biggest freshwater lake measuring 3500 km2. It provides a habitat for half a million migratory birds. A study investigating the microplastic pollution in water, sediment, and fish samples of Poyang Lake and supported by CAS found that microplastics are abundant and ubiquitous in the lake. The majority of the detected microplastics were found with a size of <0.5 mm, with fibrous and colored being the predominant characteristics. Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) were the major polymer types. Fishing activities and domestic sewage can be the major contributors of the microplastic abundance in Poyang Lake. In addition to human activities, the distribution pattern of microplastic contamination of Poyang Lake may be also affected by hydrodynamic and topographic conditions. 

CAS news release, March 1, 2019

Future profession “drone pilot” – the Chinese Ministry of Human Resources defines 15 new curricula

Recently, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has released 15 new job titles, which relate to future developments in artificial intelligence, big data and other technical advances. Examples are:

  • Engineer for artificial intelligence
  • Engineer for Internet of Things 
  • Engineer for big data 
  • Engineer for cloud computing
  • Engineer for building information modelling
  • E-sports operator
  • Drone driver

The Ministry expects that recognition of new professions will encouraging people to acquire and practize relevant skills.

Xinhua Net, February 27, 2019

(reference by Xin XIONG)

China plans for stratospheric photovoltaic power plants

Researchers from Chongqing University, the China Academy of Space Technology’s Xi’an Branch, and Xidian University also in Xi’an have started construction of the first space base for an experimental solar power station in Chongqing. They plan to launch four to six tethered balloons, connect them with each other to set up a network at an altitude of around 1,000 meters. The balloons will collect sunlight and convert solar energy to microwaves beamed back to earth. Receiving stations on the ground will convert the microwaves to electricity which is distributed to a grid. The test facility will occupy 13.3 ha and demonstrate space transmission technologies while studying the effect of microwaves beamed back to Earth on living organisms. The engineers will need to resolve two major technical difficulties: accurate, directed transmission of high-capacity microwaves (so far possible over a distance of about 100 m only), and construction of a large space-based power station whose size and weight has yet to be determined. If these challenges can be tackled, a small to medium-sized stratospheric photovoltaic power plant will be built between 2021 and 2025. After 2025, larger-scale space photovoltaic power plant systems will be investigated. The long-term goal is to establish a Gigawatt commercial photovoltaic power plant in space by 2050.

CAS news release, February 26, 2019

© computer simulation China Daily

Putian builds “wind power island”

The city located in Fujian Province near the Taiwan strait has built 138 wind power generaters on islands sourrounding the city. Electricity generated enters the Putian power grid.

Japan JST China news, February 26, 2019

© Xinhua news

Deep space exploration: China studies solar sails made from graphene

According to CHEN Yonghsheng of Nankai University, graphene can be driven by light sources such as sunlight, and the thrust generated in vacuum conditions is 1,000 times higher than that of polyimide film, studied by Western researchers for “solar sails”. Graphene is among the strongest and thinnest known materials, and can withstand temperatures over 800 degrees centigrade.

CAS news release, February 25, 2019

Bronchioalveolar stem cells (BASCs) assist in lung repair and regeneration: CAS Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

In cooperation with CAS Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, the group of JI Hongbin  found by fate-mapping and clonbal analysis of BASCs that this cell type can become become activated by different lung injuries, and can differentiate into multiple cell lineages including club cells, ciliated cells, and alveolar type 1 and type 2 cells for lung regeneration. Thus BASCs show multipotency and self-renewal during lung repair and regeneration.

CAS news release, February 22, 2019

Metabolic engineering of Myceliophtora thermophila provides high titers of fumaric acid

A group around Shuying GU and Jingen LI at CAS Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology has engineered Myceliophthora thermophila using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. They introduced fumarase of Candidakrusei fumarase into M. thermophila and disrupted the intracellular fumarate digestion pathway by deletion of the two fumarate reductase and the mitochondrial fumarase genes of M. thermophila. Increasing the pool size of malate, the precursor of fumaric acid, significantly increased the final fumaric acid titer. Finally, disruption of the malate–aspartate shuttle increased the intracellular malate content. The final strain could produce up to 17 g/L fumaric acid from glucose in a fed-batch fermentation process.

CAS news release, February 22, 2019


Chongqing Oilfield provides China with 121 million m3 of gas per day

China’s largest oil field supplies gas to over 40 Chinese cities including Xi’an and Beijing by a total of 5600 km of pipelines. In 2018, production reached over 38 billion m3, accounting for a quarter of China’s overall production.

Japan JST China news, February 22, 2019

Beijing leads China in AI-related industry

According to a “White paper on the development of AI Industry in Beijing”, there were over 4000 AI-related companies in China by mid-2018, 1070 of which were located in Beijing. In automatic driving, 35 vehicles made by 8 companies did cover already over 63,000 km road tests.

Japan JST China news, February 20, 2019

China emphasizes clean coal thermal power supply systems

According to a report by the China’s National Energy Board, by October 2018 ultra-low emission coal-fired power generation equipment in China reached over 700 million kW. Due to ultra-low emissions and energy savings, annual emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and flue dust in China’s coal-fired power generation industry has drastically decreased since 2014, and standard coal usage for power supply also tends to decrease.

Japan JST China news release, February 14, 2019

Xiamen University team develops humanized mouse model for hepatitis B

Previous studies had shown that mesenchymal stem cells from human bone marrow have the potential to differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells in vitro and continue to maintain essential hepatocyte functions after being transplanted into host mouse livers. After HBV infection, the humanized mice developed specific immune and inflammatory responses and showed progression to chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis, providing opportunities for better understanding the immune pathophysiology of HBV and testing promising antiviral therapies in vivo. According to WHO, an estimated 257 million people are living with HBV infection, and over 100 million among them in China.

CAS news release, February 12, 2019

China attempts to green the Kubuqi desert in Inner Mongolia

Over the past 30 years, planting shrubs and trees led to greening of over 6000 square kilometers of this desert. Carbon sequestration is now 15.4 million tons, water source recharge is 24,376 million cubic meters, and oxygen release about 18.3 million tons. The region located in Inner Mongolia is now a United Nations “World Ecological Economic Demonstration Area”, and NASA, based on satellite images, recognized China’s “Outsized Contribution” to global greening trends. China at present accounts to 1/4th of the world’s greening expansion area.

China Daily, February 12, 2019


Metal-free photocatalyst destroys E. coli in water in 30 minutes

A team from Yangzhou University, CAS Institute of Process Engineering and the University of Technology in Sydney has developed a mthod which killed model Escherichia coli under visible-light irradiation within 30 min, by using an edge-functionalized graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) as the photocatalyst. The authors believe that edge functionalization generated an anisotropic electric field that promoted the separation of photo-generated electron-hole pairs, leading to disruption of membranes. The method may eventually be used to prepare pathogen-free water by photocatalysis.

CAS news release, February 8, 2019