June, 2008

Headline News Innovation and Development

Applied Technology

Basic Science Cooperation between CAS and Local Authorities
Bioscience International Cooperation Brief News Geoscience Spotlights of Exchanges

FY-3 Meteorological Satellite Launched

At 11:02 am May 27, the first satellite of FY-3 Meteorological Satellite series was smoothly launched. At 11:21, it was successfully injected. At present, the solar panels thereon have stretched, and the infrared horizon, scanning radiometer, spectral imager with medium resolution ratio, infrared spectrophotometer and earth radiation detecting instrument developed by the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, CAS work normally. As one of the second generation of polar orbit meteorological satellites launched in China, FY-3 will realize global, all-climate, multispectral, and three-dimensional quantitative detection as well as cloud and rainfall parameters survey to support the global numerical weather prediction, and simultaneously monitor natural disasters and ecological environment in a larger range, thus providing backing for the studies on global climate and environmental changes. Of which, the spectral imager with medium resolution ratio has five detecting channels of 250m long, with the remote sensing function, which is absent from similar equipment in other countries; and 6 plus cirrus detecting channels are equipped in the infrared spectrophotometer in comparison with the US NOAA satellite.

Mystery on Visual Perception Controlled by Brain Discovered

The intracephalic neural circuits restrained by saccades are found in the latest research, which might help us to find a clue to the mystery on how the brain controls the visual perception. This achievement was published online in April 6 Issue of Nature ¨CNeuroscience. With the visual system of pigeons as research objects, research fellow Wang Shurong and doctorial students Yang Yan, Cao Peng and Yang Yang discovered the neural circuits that modulate visual responses of brain neurons around the saccades in the pigeon. As the visual pathways in pigeon are basically similar to those of mammals including human beings, it can be used to explain how our brain controls the visual system. It is briefed that the team led by Wang Shurong examined saccadic responses in more than 300 neurons in five brain areas of pigeons and discovered that when the raphe nuclei complex of reticular formation of brainstem sends out the saccadic signals to the extraocular muscles, it also transmits the corollary discharge signals to the optokinetic nuclei, to visual thalamus and finally to the visual center in the brain to restrain the visual signals during saccades, thus ignoring the obscure images during saccades, and enhancing the excitability of telencephalic neurons after saccades are over.


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