June, 2005

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CAS will launch a Project of Biological Carpet for Sand Control

Based on the fundamental progress in the Research of the Formation Mechanism of the Biological Patina and Its Application in Preventing Desertification, which was a key project funded by the National Foundation for Natural Sciences sponsored by Dr. Zhang Yuanming, who is a research fellow from the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, the Bureau of Life Science and Biotechnology, CAS, is now planning to coordinate relevant scientists in different institutions of CAS to launch a project on biological carpet for sand control. The overall assumption of the project is to encrust the desert with a microbiological ˇ°carpetˇ±, which is formed naturally like a membrane sheets encrusted on the surface of the desert. It is now considered to copy such sheets or ˇ°carpetˇ± by modern biotechnology and to improve the conditions on the desert areas.

On May 1-5, a delegation of CAS headed by Li Jiayang, Vice President of CAS, paid a visit to Israeli scientific research institutions and related higher educational institutions. The Delegation of Inspection made detailed studies in Israel on the Israeli modern technologies such as water-saving irrigation, saline water and sewage water irrigation, high efficient water-saving agriculture, control of desertification, comprehensive management of soil erosion and water loss, and landscape forestry in the arid regions.

Sino-American Scientists Jointly Trace the Record of Lichen Fossils by 200 Million Years Back

On May 13, the United States magazine Science published a paper entitled the Discovery of the Oldest Lichens 600 Million Year Ago, a collaborative research achievement by Yuan Xunlai, a young Chinese paleontologist and research fellow from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Dr. Xiao Shuhai from the Virginia Institute of Technology, U. S., and Prof. Thomas Taylor from the University of Kansas, U. S. This paper symbolizes Sino-American scientists' major progress in the research of early life on the earth.

The significance of the new discovery of the lichen fossils in black phosphate rock about 600 million years old in Weng'An Phosphorus Mine, Guizhou Province, is that it has updated the earliest known geological record of the lichen fossils by 200 million years.

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