August, 2005

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A China-UK Symposium on Hydrogen Energy Held

On May 29, a 6-day China-UK symposium on hydrogen energy under the joint auspices of CAS, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and the Royal Society of UK, the BP GROUP, and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics was held recently in the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics.

This meeting is one of the important scientific and technological activities for the China-UK Science and Technology Year, intending to promote the mutual understanding of the current research situation and progress of the two sides, discuss research strategy, in order to promote in-depth understanding and cooperation between scientists in both countries in the field of energy resources. There were 20 delegates from the two countries who delivered keynote speeches about hydrogen energy. The main topics included the strategy to develop energy resources, national standards for hydrogen energy, and demonstration sites for energy resources, integration of the coal multi-connection process , technology for hydrogen preparation, separation and storage and fuel cell technology.

Pig Genomic Sequences Released

The Beijing Genomic Institute (BGI) of CAS and the Danish Committee of Pig Breeding and Production (DCPBP) jointly announced the public release of pig genomic sequences respectively in Beijing and Copenhagen.

It is reported that the released sequence data include 3.84 million pieces of the genomes of five different domestic pig breeds from Europe and China. The data are generated from the first large scale pig genome sequencing effort, a component of the Sino-Danish Pig Genome Project. This project started in 2001, another achievement on the basis of a long-standing collaboration of scientists and research institutions from China and Denmark.
An open access research article from the Sino-Danish Pig Genome Project can be found at: and the genome sequence data are immediately accessible, free of charge, from the NCBI Trace Repository (Center name: "SDJVP"; Project name: "Sino-Danish Pig Genome Project") and GenBank, a public DNA sequence database of the US National Institutes of Health.
China First Resolved Crystal Structure of Mitochondrial Respiratory Membrane Protein

Complex Closely Connected with Respiration

Recently, the Chinese scientists for the first time in the world, resolved the fine structure of Mitochondrial Respiratory Membrane Protein Complex II, which has filled up a blank in the field of mitochondrial biology and cell biology and has become a new milestone in the research of mitochondrial respiratory chain. This achievement is the most recent one, which was jointly made by Rao Zihe, Director of the Institute of Biophysics, CAS and Vice Dean of the Institute of life science and Medicine of the Tsinghua University, and his Group for Joint Research on Structural Biology between the Tsinghua University and the Institute of Biophysics CAS.

This achievement was published on the journal Cell on July 1, which is the first time that the mainland China has ever published its complete, systematic and original achievement on this journal. This achievement, completely established in the mainland China, discovered and proved that the Membrane Protein Complex closely connected with respiration and oxidation is actually an interpenetration membrane p rotein complex , not a peripheral membrane protein , as described in traditional textbooks, which, therefore, has rectified the traditional understanding of the membrane protein which has long existed in the textbooks of biochemistry and cell biology.

CAS Makes Major Breakthrough in Modernization of Chinese Medicine

After tremendous amount of clinic tests, a new medicine of natural herbal origin against heart diseases has been finally developed.  Through the past 13 years, researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM), CAS, have developed a high-tech medicine, the new cardiovascular drug with a definite effective component extracted from Dan Shen ( Saliva miltiorrhiza ), a medicinal herb widely used in China. It is confirmed to be safe and effective. On May 25, a New Drug Application (NDA) of depsides salts from Salvia miltiorrhiza and its preparation for the potential treatment of chronic angina obtained approval from the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), and was granted with the certificate for new drugs and the license for production.
Based on the clinic test on more than 460 patients in 6 hospitals, e.g. the Beijing Xiyuan Hospital and the Shanghai Huashan Hospital, etc. it has been proved that this drug has noticeable and precise effects on coronary heart disease and angina and it is safe in use. The new drug is obviously superior to the present Dan Shen injections. The technology related to depsides salts from Salvia miltiorrhiza has already been patented in China and the U. S., which makes it a modern new Chinese medicine with China's sole independent intellectual property rights.
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