Month: October 2018

Sino-Russian arctic expedition provides scientific support for “polar silk road”

Eleven Chinese researchers and 19 Russians participated in the second joint Sino-Russia Arctic expedition, which started in Russia’s eastern port of Vladivostok on Sept 6. After overcoming extreme weather and traveling 12,000 kilometers, they returned to the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on Oct 21. The 46-day expedition was jointly organized by the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, based in Qingdao, Shandong province, and the Russian Academy of Sciences Pacific Oceanological Institute. Scientists from both countries carried out multidisciplinary surveys during the expedition, including ocean geology, hydrometeorology, chemistry and biodiversity as well as obtained a host of specimens and data from the atmosphere, seawater and sediment. An optical profiler developed by the Qingdao lab played a big role in the observation of the Northeast Passage and obtained firsthand data about fog, snow and low clouds during rapid weather changes. The Polar Silk Road via the Arctic is widely seen as the third arc of the Belt and Road Initiative, adding another sea route beyond the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, Africa-Mediterranean and South Pacific-Oceania. CAS news release, October 31, 2018

CAS group solves structure and mechanism of Mycobacterium respiratory supercomplex by cryo electron microscopy and ESR

A team around Zihe RAO at CAS Hefei Institute of Material Science has solved the structure of a respiratory supercomplex isolated from Mycobacterium smegmatis at3.5-Å resolution by cryo electron microscopy. Using low-temperature electron spin resonance equipment, a new electron transfer mechanism coupled with oxime oxidation and oxygen reduction was revealed. From the perspective of structural biology, it was confirmed that there is a direct interaction between superoxide dismutase and respiratory chain complex, as well as its role in scavenging potential free radicals and synergistic redox reactions. Targeted blockage of the respiratory chain of pathogenic bacteria is an important strategy for the development of drug-resistant tuberculosis drugs. CAS news release, October 31, 2018

Beijing tests autonomous road sweepers

Beijing is testing 4 autonomous road cleaners for ther cleaning of road surfaces, sidewalks, and parks, and 3 for the cleaning of shopping centers, railway and airport facilities. The upper part of the electrically-driven cleaning trucks are made of new materials such as lightweight aluminum alloy, the vehicle is maximally weight-reduced. After 2-3 hours of charge, travelable distance is 90 km and the vehicle can work for 6 hours. Each car substitutes for about 10 – 20 workers. Japan JST China news, October 31, 2018

China launches China-France Oceanography Satellite (CFOSat)

The China-France Oceanography Satellite (CFOSat), atop a Long March-2C carrier rocket, was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in northwest China’s Gobi Desert, and entered a sun-synchronous orbit 520 km above the Earth. The joint mission between the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, the French space agency, will enable 24-hour observations of global wave spectrum, effective wave height and ocean surface wind field. CAS news release, October 30, 2018

CAS Institute of Microbiology publishs China Microbiome Data website

The gcMeta platform a platform for the management, analysis and dissemination of microbial genomes and microbiome data. gcMeta has established a one-stop system for microbial genome, metagenome and transcriptome management, online data analysis, visualization and data dissemination. At present, it has integrated more than 120,000 sample data from international related platforms (NCBI, EBI, MG-RAST, etc.) and important projects (HMP, Tara, etc.), more than 2,000 sample data from Chinese scientists, and the total data volume exceeds 120TB. CAS news release, October 30, 2018

China to provide earthquake warning services to high-speed rails from 2021

China will introduce a quick reporting of earthquake seismic intensity to high-speed rail networks nationwide by 2021, according to the China Earthquake Administration (CEA). The plan is intended to strengthen the safety of China’s vast high-speed rails as they will extend to over 30,000 km by 2020, covering more than 80 percent of large and medium-sized cities. CAS news release, October 29, 2018

MGI launches ultra-high-throughput sequencer, MGISEQ-T7

MGI, a subsidiary of BGI in Shenzhen, has introduced its newest model of DNA sequencer, the MGISEQ-T7. A quad-flow cell platform enables multiple flow cells with different read lengths and applications to be processed independently at any time in a single run. The platform supports whole genome sequencing, ultra-depth exome sequencing, epigenome sequencing, and large-panel tumor gene detection.MGISEQ-T7 can complete whole-genome sequencing for up to 60 human genomes in a single day, and of 10,000 genomes within a year. MGITech news release, October 28, 2018

China prohibits use of 1,1-dichloro-1-fluoroethane (HCFC-141b) as a blowing agent

China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment will prohibit the production of HCFC-141b from January 1, 2019, an ozone layer destroying substance. China is currently the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of household refrigerators (2017: 73.3 million units), household freezers (22 million units), electric water heaters (2017: about 35 million units) and storage type water heaters (about 32.55 million units). It can be said that the public notice has a big influence on the home electronics industry. According to KANG Feng, chairman of the China Home Appliances Association, all three industries have already established alternative technologies and have full technical ability to eliminate the use of HCFC-141b as a foaming agent. Japan JST China news release, October 25, 2018

Alibaba launches “Candy Pot” mini-satellite to celebrate November 11 (“double-eleven”)

The 20 kg satellite was launched by a Long March 4B carrier rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. The working time of this cubic small iron box on its scheduled track will run through 2018 double 11 (november 11) and send happy signals from space to consumers around the world. When the “Candy Can” is over the top, Alibaba customers will receive push informations from space and have  the opportunity to appear on a “Space Screen”. AliExpress users will receive a “rain of red envelopes ” (gifts). People’s network, October 25, 2018

China might operate the only manned space station after 2024

China will start putting together its first manned space station around 2020. First, a Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket will put the station’s core module into orbit that year. Next, about four manned spaceflights will send astronauts to assemble the station. The space station is expected to be fully operational around 2022. It is set to operate for about 15 years. In 2024, it will become the world’s only space station if the United States-led International Space Station is retired that year as planned. The station will be able to carry more than 10 tons of scientific and experimental equipment. It will have 26 internal payload cabinets, 67 external hatches designed to dock with medium-sized extravehicular apparatuses and four external points for towing large instruments. CAS news release, October 24, 2018

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