Month: February 2013

No evidence for risk on eating genetically modified food: Director of Biotechnology Research Institute, CAAS

In a public statement, Professor LIN Min, Director of the institute at Chinese Academy of Agricultural Institute, endorsed safety evaluation of genetically modified food on grounds of management and communication needs (“Rumors spread faster than facts”) but rejected all claims on health risks. Science and Technology Daily, February 27, 2013

Wuhan Huali Environmental Technology Co. will start production of 60.000 t/y of biocompostable resin by mid-2014

The products are termed PSM (Plastarch Material) and derived from a mixture of corn starch and propylene, with other additives. It is primarily a bio-based thermoplastic resin that, like conventional plastic, is water-and oil-proof. It has a high endurance for cold and heat. China Industrial Biotechnology Network, February 27, 2013

Team around Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, presents draft genome of moso bamboo (Phyllostachys heterocycla)

Moso bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Its shoots can grow 100 cm in a period of just 24 hours if conditions are favorable. The 2.05-Gb assembly covers 95% of the genomic region. Gene prediction modeling identified 31,987 genes. Bamboo can be used to make paper, as well as to build rudimentary structures. Moso bamboo is the most commonly used type of bamboo in China’s bamboo textile industry. The decoded genome might also help alleviate food shortages for giant pandas. CAS press release, February 26, 2013; Zhenghua PENG et al., Nature Genetics (2013) doi:10.1038/ng.2569

Group at Shanghai Jiaotong University improves production of amphotericin, an antitumor antibiotic

The group of Prof LIN Shuangjun at the State Key Laboratory of Microbial Metabolism of Jiaotong University in Shanghai reports that the biosynthetic gene cluster for amphotericin was cloned and partially characterized using a Streptomyces vili strain. Using genetic engineering techniques, yields were improved to 200 mg/L but goals are for 1 g/L within 2 – 3 years. China Industrial Biotechnology Network, February 22, 2013

CAS Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology develops new genome-wide energy network model for E. coli

Professor SUN Xiao and colleagues constructed an E. coli weighted metabolic network by using the rates of free energy consumption within metabolic reactions as the network weights. Among their findings is that the distribution of the weight values is uneven.

CAS Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precicion Mechanics develops new structural light microscope

The system is based on a digital mirror device and uses LED lighting SIM technology. Compared to laser interference SIM techniques, spatial resolution is higher (90 nm lateral resolution), imaging is faster and costs are lower, allowing for mouse neuron and plant pollen 3D light imaging. The system was developed in collaboration with Konstanz University. CAS News, February 21, 2013

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