Day: 10. September 2023

CAS TIB proposes synthesis of vitamin B6 using engineered E. coli cells Vitamin B6 is one of the essential nutritional elements for living organisms, including six forms, taking pyridoxal phosphate PLP as a coenzyme form to participate in amino acid and sugar metabolism, heme and neurotransmitter synthesis and other processes. Pyridoxine PN is the main commercial form. Some microorganisms and plants can synthesize vitamin B6 de novo, and animals and humans rely on external sources to supplement vitamin B6. At present, vitamin B6 mainly relies on chemical synthesis. Biomanufacturing has the advantages of mild reaction conditions, less potential safety hazards, and environmental friendliness. Recently, the protein synthesis cell factory and microbial metabolism research team led by Zhang Dawei, a researcher at the CAS Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology has made new progress in the microbial synthesis of vitamin B6. The study used Escherichia coli as the chassis cell to reconstruct the de novo vitamin B6 synthesis pathway and redirect the metabolic flow to uncouple cell growth and PN production. Furthermore, the study used methods such as protein rational design and natural screening to carry out heterologous screening and rational design modification of the initial enzymes Epd and Dxs of the synthetic pathway and the rate-limiting enzymes PdxA and PdxJ, which effectively solved the problem of low catalytic efficiency of synthetases in the reaction process, increased metabolic flux and promoted the rapid turnover of PdxB through overexpression of SerC. In order to reduce effects of the toxic intermediate 4HTP, the synthesis pathway was divided into upstream and downstream push-pull modules. The upstream module and the downstream module were effectively assembled and optimized through modular iterative optimization technology. After 48-hours in a 5L fermentation tank, the yield of vitamin B6 exceeded the gram level.

China Atomic Energy Authority and IAEA hold joint workshop on small modular reactors in Hainan An interregional workshop on the technology development and application of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) was jointly hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), attended by over 200 government officials, experts, and scholars from over 50 countries and regions. SMRs could serve in multiple areas, like powering small and medium-sized electricity grids, urban heating, industrial steam supply, seawater desalination, and isotope production.

CAS Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health grows humanised kidneys in pig embryos A Chinese team has grown early kidneys from human stem cells inside pig embryos, according to a study published in Cell Stem Cell. The scientists from CAS Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health used a gene-editing tool to engineer certain genes in human induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) to strengthen their capability to gain a foothold and form kidneys in pig embryos that are genetically modified to lack the ability to grow a kidney. The researchers finally harvested five embryos with organized human-pig chimeric middle-stage kidney structures within 28 days and those human donor cells could differentiate into functional cells. The proportion of human cells in the chimeric kidneys reached up to 70 percent, and the proportion of human cell contribution in the formation of mesonephric tubules reached a maximum of 58 percent. The gestation was terminated within 3 to 4 weeks in accordance with current ethical rules.

Big Data Center publishes satellite data on BRI urban nighttime light emissions The International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS) has released the world’s first atlas of urban nighttime light remote-sensing data, providing support for the research on urban sustainable development. The atlas contains 10-meter resolution nighttime light data on 147 cities in 105 countries around the world. The data were captured by the satellite SDGSAT-1, which was launched into space on Nov. 5, 2021 and is the world’s first space science satellite dedicated to serving the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The satellite is designed to provide space observation data for the monitoring, evaluation and study of interactions between humans, nature and sustainable development, according to its developer, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The SDG Center signed a cooperation agreement with the Earth Observation Organization. The two parties will continue to carry out cross-field cooperation in data sharing, talent exchanges, capacity building and other aspects, and jointly explore ways to accelerate the progress of the second half of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. method.

Coastal ecosystems are important contributors to China’s CO2 storage Coastal blue carbon ecosystems, including mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrass beds, have efficient carbon dioxide sequestration capabilities, so protecting and restoring these ecosystems has become an important “nature-based solution.” China’s coastal blue carbon ecosystem has a total area of 1.44 million hectares and a carbon storage of up to 118 Tg. Among them, the total carbon storage of mangroves is about 6.9 Tg; the total carbon storage of seagrass bed ecosystem is about 1.4 Tg, which is much lower than the total carbon storage of salt marsh wetlands, which is about 25 Tg. In addition, my country has a vast area of ​​coastal beaches that are not covered by vegetation, and the total carbon storage is as high as 27~85 Tg. In addition to carbon storage, the carbon burial capacity of these coastal blue carbon ecosystems also deserves attention. The total carbon burial amount of China’s mangroves is about 0.05 Tg/yr, the total carbon burial amount of seagrass beds is 0.01~0.02 Tg/yr, and the total carbon burial amount of salt marsh wetlands is 0.50 Tg/yr; the total carbon burial amount of China’s coastal beaches without vegetation coverage is 0.28~1.5 Tg/yr. Coastal blue carbon systems usually have very low methane emissions, but under certain special circumstances, such as low salinity, they can also emit a certain amount of methane. The total methane emissions from China’s mangroves are 0.01 Tg/yr, Currently, human activities have led to the loss of large amounts of coastal blue carbon ecosystems. In the 20th century, global coastal wetlands decreased by 25% to 50% due to human activities. Since 1950, the total area of mangrove forests in China has been reduced by half. In 2021, China planned to restore mangroves to 48,650 hectares in the next 10 years, which is expected to further absorb 0.1 Tg of carbon per year.

Model suggests that urban areas account for <4% of global land but >70% of global CO2 emissions In a study published in Science of the Total Environment, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Hohai University proposed a new method to calculate urban socioeconomic development indexes using a variety of data sources.  Based on the lighting index, business point of interest (POI) data and output value, the researchers obtained an urban socioeconomic development index for the Yangtze River Delta YRD. Based on this index, they classified YRD urban units into core cities, transitional cities, and peripheral cities based on this index. Using extended Kaya index decomposition models, they evaluated the effects of regional industrial growth, consumer markets, and spatial expansion on urban CE. They then examined differences in the drivers of CE between and within these categories of cities. They found that the key to reducing emissions in core cities lied in residents’ market consumption, while peripheral cities had greater potential for CE reduction in terms of industrial upgrading and spatial layout. For the YRD city cluster as a whole, resident market consumption was the most important driver of CE in the YRD megacity cluster, followed by spatial expansion. Industrial transformation and upgrading reduced CEs. Various factors influenced intra-group differences in CE intensity, including industrial structure, population density, per capita living effect, spatial expansion effect, population size effect, urbanization effect, and consumption inhibition effect, etc. “Residents’ consumption was the most important factor of CE in most cities. The authors conclude that promotion of forward-looking green low-carbon consumption is required to minimize the impact of human activities on the environment.

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