June, 2007

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Breakthrough in Cloning GW2

CAS researchers have made breakthrough in their genetic and gene functional analysis of important agronomic traits. A research team led by Prof. Lin Hongxuan from the National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics (NKLPMG), Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology (SIPPE), Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, is successful in cloning a gene underlying quantitative trait locus (QTL), a region of DNA, which controls grain weight and yield in rice. After many years' hard work, Prof. Lin and colleagues have obtained GW2, a new QTL that controls rice grain width and weight. They also fully elucidated the biological functions and mechanisms of the new QTL and unveiled its application prospect in the molecular breeding for high yield. Their work has been reported online by Nature Genetics on April 8. It is the second time that the team published their feat in this journal within recent two years. In 2005, the journal reported another of their achievements_the cloning of SKC1, a salt-tolerant functional gene of rice.

LAMOST Achieves Its First Piece of Spectrum

The Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), one of the National Large Scientific Engineering Projects undertaken by CAS, obtained its first piece of spectrum on May 28 at 3:00 am. During the following two days, LAMOST, which is currently under debugging, has obtained more spectra, indicating that all of its sub-systems have been well connected and satisfied the technical requirements as designed. Upon completion, this technically challenging optical telescope independently developed by China for the large-scale and multi-object sky survey will help researchers advance their efficiency by an order of magnitude (to ten million level) during the spectra observation. Besides, LAMOST will greatly promote the studies on the origin of the universe, the evolution of celestial bodies, the search for extrasolar planets, etc.

New Alloy Reported by Physical Review Letters

The May 25th issue of Physical Review Letters reported a ductile beta-type titanium alloy with a Poisson's ratio of 0.14, remarkably lower than that of common metallic materials. This multi-functional alloy named Ti-24Nb-4Zr-7.9Sn (simplified as Ti2448) is developed by researchers from the National Laboratory for Material Science (SYNL), Institute of Metal Research, CAS. Featuring high strength, low modulus of elasticity, super elasticity and damping property, the new alloy enjoys a good application prospect in the medical implant and sealing operations. Researchers have applied their feat for patent protections in China and U.S. and by PCT since 2003. Currently, the invention is under patent protection in China.


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