Month: December 2022

Unfinished Chinese landscape painting completed by AI auctioned for 1.1 million CN¥ (150,000 €) The female painter LU Xiaoman who passed away in 1965 had left an unfinished classic landscape painting “Summer mountain dwelling”. The descendants of LU Xiaoman had asked a famous contemporary landscape painter, LE Zhenwen, from the same school as LU Xiaoman, to finish the painting. While Le Zhenwen was still studying the brushwork of LU Xiaoman, an electronic version was sent to the software house Baidu, and an AI-based painting program began to start work as well. To better assist AI in learning the characteristics of traditional Chinese landscape painting, all of LU Xiaoman’s paintings, calligraphic works, letter strokes, a large amount of traditional Chinese landscape painting and AI poem generation software were supplied to the program.Hierarchical processing and super-resolution technologies were used to achieve an extremely high resolution of 8K. In the end, the Baidu software and Le Zhenwen each completed a version of “Summer Mountain Dwelling”, jointly titled “Unfinished – To Be Continued”, which were auctioned together on the evening of December 8, 2022 by the auction house Duoyunxuan. The Baidu developers belief that AI painting may form a new school of art and will not completely take away the work of human painters, but will instead form new opportunities. “The last time in the history of art that triggered “anxiety” among painters was the invention of photography, and as we have seen, photography has not completely replaced painting, but has become a specialized branch of art. ” Middle: the original uncompleted work, right: the AI-based painting, left: the painter’s Le Zhenwen’s artwork

Camel thorns help in desert greening Camel thorn is a deep-rooted desert plant that grows in arid and semi-arid areas, and is highly effective in preventing wind and fixing sand. In order to master its adaptability to survive in harsh environments and expand artificial cultivation, researchers at Cele station cultivated it in giant “pots” of nearly 2 meters high through seed planting. Cele Desert Ecological Experiment Station was established nearly 40 years ago and created a comprehensive protection system of dry zone quicksand management, so that the quicksand front back 6-8 kilometers, basically lifting the threat of quicksand to the county, so that the wind and sand front 38 natural villages of agricultural production is effectively protected. On this basis, the researchers further enriched and improved the sand control system of the desert front into a comprehensive protection system of the desert-oasis transition zone, and established a three-dimensional agricultural system of “grain, cotton, fruit, mulberry and grass” in the transition zone. In nearly 10,000 mu of experimental demonstration area, wheat yields increased by 65% and cotton yields increased by 48.4%. Photos: Excavation of camel thorn root system (left) and root system reaching deep into the groundwater (right) (Photo credit: Xinjiang Institute of Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

China’s Gansu province powers water conservancy with digital twin technology The digital twin system of the Shule River is a national pilot project launched by China’s Ministry of Water Resources in February this year. The project has created a virtual version of the Shule River in the digital world, which simulates all factors of the physical river and the whole process of water management based on the physical river basin, spatial-temporal data, mathematical models and water conservancy knowledge. The Shule River is a typical inland river in the arid region of northwest China. The Shule River irrigation district is the largest surface irrigation area in Gansu province, which covers 89,333 hectares of farmland. It includes 698 monitoring sites of end-canal metering, 106 sets of controlling and surveying gates and 28 radar monitors for water level measurement. The platform is able to track real-time water information from the source of the reservoir to end-canals.

Thermal desorption optimization for the remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils Heat treatment is one of the effective ways to remediate organic contaminated soil. The CAS Marine and Environmental Geotechnical Engineering Research Center of Wuhan Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, has combining structural, morphology and chemical characterization to optimise thermo-oxidative remediation. The research results provide optimization for the remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils by a self-built sustainability evaluation tool.

China opens first fossil-energy independent telecommunication base China’s first telecommunications base station to use “solar power, hydrogen energy, and energy storage” as an integrated zero-emission, non-polluting power source was opened to traffic on Hudiechang Island in the port city of Fengcheng. The base station is the first in China to adopt the threefold guarantee of integrating solar power, hydrogen energy, and energy storage, and is capable of supplying power even under complex weather conditions.

Nitrogen fixation occurred first in eubacteria, not arches Dr. Wen-Hsiung Li and colleagues at the Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, have published a study that overturns the conventional hypothesis on the origin and evolution of nitrogen fixation in organisms. Previous studies had postulated that nitrogen fixation first evolved in archaea and then transferred to eubacteria. However, nitrogen-fixing eubacteria are much more abundant and more diverse in their ecological status than nitrogen-fixing archaea. Dr. Lee’s team proposed the “bacteria-first” theory, which postulates that nitrogen fixation evolved first in eubacteria and then transferred to archaea. After analysing more than 30,000 prokaryotic genomes and identified six genes involved in nitrogen fixation in all the prokaryotic genomes they analyzed. They reconstructed multiple phylogenetic trees using these genes and found strong support for the eubacterial prior theory.

China builds up fleets of hydrogen fuel cell cars Both Beijing and Shanghai announced plans to have each over 10,000 hydrogen-driven FCVs in their urban fleets by 2025. Tianjin, Guangdong and Hebei are expected to follow quickly. Beijing plans for 37 hydrogen gas stations by 2023 and 74 by 2025. For an initial phase, grey or blue hydrogen will be provided, to be substituted by green hydrogen as production facilities grow and economics improve. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, production of hydrogen FCVs reached 2700 and sales 2400 from January to October, 2022. According to a Chinese research company, “”Hydrogen fuel cells have advantages such as high energy density, fast hydrogen filling speed, and environmental friendliness, but compared to the lithium battery industry, the industry chain is still in the early development stage and constrained by factors such as the cost of producing FC stacks and the number of hydrogen stations. However, as the industry grows in size and technology advances, hydrogen fuel cells are expected to have a greater future than lithium batteries, and will enter the commercial sector on a large scale in the not-too-distant future” Photo by Geng Shunyu

China installs stationary monitoring stations on the seafloor China has newly installed a stationary system that operate fully automatically on the seafloor, monitoring its own condition and performing smart management. Scientific researchers can also remotely control the station. The newly installed station is equipped with a MWh lithium battery energy system, which represents a new breakthrough in energy density. The energy system is capable of storing 1000 kWh of electricity and can continuously support the station’s subsea operations for more than six months.

Contactless electrocardiogram monitoring with millimeter wave radar Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China recently have realized real-time non-contact human ECG monitoring using millimeter-wave radar. They took advantage of the fact that the electrical and mechanical activities of the heart are the same source of cardiac activity but have different characteristics, and used millimeter wave radar to measure cardiac mechanical activity on the body surface in a non-contact manner and extract 4D cardiac mechanical activity signals. The data-driven method was then used to clarify the problem of conversion in the area in question, and finally the ECG waveform was recovered. Compared to conventional ECGs, the non-contact ECG achieved an average time accuracy of within 14 milliseconds and an average morphology accuracy of over 90%. According to the researchers, the method’s monitoring results also support stable monitoring of the PR interval, a key indicator in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, with an error margin of less than 9 milliseconds. The index has important diagnostic value for diseases such as arrhythmia and myocardial infarction.

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