Month: November 2022

BSA-magnetite “nanotorpedo” – a useful tool for doxorubicin drug delivery A team around WANG Junfeng has developed a “nano torpedo” to deliver doxorubicin (Dox) molecules encapsulated by a self-assembled nanocage of six BSA subunits to cells for tumor therapy, reducing toxic side effect.Present drug delivery systems, inorganic nanocarriers and protein system still have limitations, typically the biological toxicity of inorganic nanoparticles and the low drug loading efficiency of protein carriers. Therefore, combining the superiority of inorganic nanoparticles and protein carriers was considered a feasible strategy to optimize the drug delivery system. In their study, the researchers designed a bovine serum albumin (BSA)-magnetite nanotorpedo. In vitro and in vivo experiments showed the superiority of this nanotorpedo in biosafety, stability, intracellular transport and tumor inhibition. The complex structure of the nanotorpedo was solved by transmission electron microscope (TEM), molecular dynamics simulation and computational modeling. Graph: Schematic illustration of the nanotorpedo constructed through in situ biomineralization in BSA nanocage for Dox delivery and tumor treatment. (Image by MA Kun)

Researchers at Kunming Institute of Botany achieve ab-initio biosynthesis of cocaine in tobacco A team led by Shengxiong Huang at the CAS Kunming Institute of Botany has used a combination of transcriptome analysis, molecular biology, and organic chemical synthesis to solve the long-standing century-old problem of cocaine tropane backbone construction and achieved the ab initio construction of cocaine synthesis pathway in tobacco.

Report: Opportunities for hydrogen production with CCUS in China In a 75 page report in English distributed through the International Energy Agency IAE the China’s Hydrogen Alliance offers scenarios to use hydrogen produced from coal and gas and combined with CCUS for CO2 storage. Cost of hydrogen production with CCUS are estimated around 1.6 US$ per kg H2. The report contains a list of recent hydrogen projects in China and a list of CCUS sites. A special feature is the potential use of CCUS hydrogen for the production of synthetic fuels from coal.

Nuclear heating advances in China In Haiyang City, Shandong Province, the State Power Project “Warm Nuclear No. 1” nuclear heating supply project has recently started low-temperature test operation. This is the largest nuclear heating supply project in the country, covering an area of less than 5 million square meters in the urban area and serving 200,000 residents. In Dalian, Liaoning Province, the Red River Nuclear Power Plant Nuclear Heating Supply Model Project has officially started operation. The project is the first nuclear heating supply project in the Northeast region, with a planned heating supply area of 242,400 square meters. The project will provide winter heating for approximately 20,000 local residents. In Haiyan County, Zhejiang Province, the Core Group Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant and Nuclear Heating Supply Model Project, the first nuclear heating supply model project in southern China, is under construction, which, when completed and fully operational by 2025, will meet the heating supply needs of approximately 4 million square meters andeduce standard coal consumption by approximately 24,600 tons annually.

Unmanned rice farm in Guangdong completes harvest The first unmanned rice farm in south China’s Guangdong Province reaped a harvest of late-season rice, with the whole harvesting process completed by two self-driving harvesters and a self-driving grain truck. After the harvesters gathers rice in the fields, they send signals to the grain truck to let it know their exact location. The grain truck accurately locates the harvesters, goes to the location, picks up the grain, and transports it to a granary. Located in Zengcheng district of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, the unmanned farm belongs to the South China Agricultural University (SCAU) in Guangzhou, and covers an area of 50 mu (about 3.33 hectares). It was built by a research team led by Luo Xiwen, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and professor at the SCAU.

China puts a new focus on wetland ecosystem protection including video China, in 1992, became a party to the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental agreement dedicated to the conservation and rational use of wetland ecosystems. Since then, China has established a legal framework for wetlands conservation and issued a series of policies to increase protection. Over the past decade, China has added or restored more than 800,000 hectares of wetlands, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration. The past decade was characterized by a comprehensive approach toward wetlands conservation in China. The central government allocated 16.9 billion yuan (about 2.5 billion U.S. dollars) for wetland conservation and undertook over 3,400 protection projects in that period. The country’s first specialized law on wetland protection took effect in June 2022. China will continue to attach great importance to wetland protection as China’s urbanization rate surpasses 60 percent. Thus, Wuhan, a megacity of more than 13 million permanent residents, is a prime example. Wuhan is home to 166 lakes, but the city’s lake areas had shrunk considerably last century, encroached first by drought and land reclamation for farming and then by real estate development. The trend reversed after the city government passed a slew of legislation and policies to protect wetlands in the 2000s, eventually stabilizing the city’s lake area even amid rapid economic growth. Pollution bans and ecological restoration projects restored the water quality. In the 3,367-hectare East Lake, authorities sealed all sewage inlets and planted pollutant-purifying aquatic plants to create 220 hectares of “underwater forest.” Boasting clear water and flocks of waterfowl, the lake is now a popular jogging and sightseeing site among residents. Some other Chinese cities developed strategies to coexist with smaller wetlands. In Liangping District of Chongqing in southwest China, farmers grew rice, vegetables, lotus, fish, and shrimps in small and micro wetlands, including the district’s many ponds and rice paddies. Organic agriculture in such mini wetlands helped reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides while boosting agricultural output. The scenic views also boosted ecological tourism to raise farmers’ incomes.

Traffic jams with frequent brake use generates aerosols with health risks A research team from Yang-Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) and National Taiwan University (NTU) has found that not only the concentration of particulate matter (PM) but also its composition significantly affects health risks. The team monitored air quality near a busy road in Taipei City for one month and found that organic aerosols, iron, manganese, and copper, which are components of PM, increase cellular oxidative potential. In particular, they found that the above-mentioned metallic components were more likely to have been produced by brake pad wear than by vehicle exhaust. Frequent brake use during traffic jams intensifies such wear.

Terrestrial protected areas offer a thermal buffer against climate change

http://DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abo0119 A study led by scientists from the CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics, iNanjing University of Information Science and Technology, the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre Europe (UNEP-WCMC Europe) and the Forest & Nature Lab at Ghent University in Belgium it turned out that, as compared to nonprotected areas that are often disturbed or converted to other land uses, protected areas of natural and seminatural vegetation effectively cool the land surface temperature. In particular, they cool the local daily maximum temperature in the tropics, and reduce diurnal and seasonal temperature ranges in boreal and temperate regions. Vegetation in protected areas has a higher amount of foliage in the canopy than in nonprotected areas even of the same vegetation type, which modulates local temperatures through physiological and biophysical processes.

SPACE – a new fast system for directed evolution A team from several institutions throughout China has developed a novel system for rapid and extensively parallelizable evolution of biomolecules by introducing spatial dimensions. M13 phages and chemotactic Escherichia coli cells were closely inoculated onto a semisolid agar. The phages came into contact with the expanding front of the bacterial range, and then comigrated with the bacteria. This system leverages competition over space, wherein evolutionary progress is closely associated with the production of spatial patterns, allowing the emergence of improved or new protein functions. In a prototypical problem, SPACE remarkably simplified the process and evolved the promoter recognition of T7 RNA polymerase (RNAP) to a library of 96 random sequences in parallel.

China’s CO2 emissions per GDP become less According to initial calculations, China’s CO2 emissions per unit of GDP in 2021 was 3.8% lower than the previous year, and 50.8% lower than the cumulative total since 2005. Non-fossil energy accounted for 16.6% of primary energy consumption. The installed capacity of wind and solar power generation was 635 million kW. coal consumption per unit of GDP decreased significantly, and forest coverage and forest accumulation achieved “double growth” for the 30th consecutive year. On the first anniversary of the operation of the national carbon emissions trading market, the cumulative trading volume of emission allowances totaled 194 million tons, and the cumulative trading value amounted to 8.492 billion CN¥ (1 CN¥ is approximately 0.14 €).

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