On June 4, 2001, CAS Vice-President Chunli BAI cut the ribbon at the ARGO Laboratory Inauguration of the YBJ International Cosmic Ray Observatory, which was co-established by CAS and the Research Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy. The inauguration was attended by persons-in-charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Government of the Tibetan Autonomous Region and CAS.

A System Designed by CAS to Evaluate Modernization

2001 is the starting year for implementing the last step of China’s “Three-Step” Development Strategy. According to this, China is expected to catch up with the average level of the developed countries in every aspect within half a century. Recently, a timetable on the realization of modernized China has been announced in the 2001 Report on China’s Sustainable Development Strategy, which was completed by the Sus- tainable Development Research Group (SDRG), CAS, involving nearly one hundred Chinese scientists and taking 18 months to accomplish.

Wenyuan NIU, chief scien- tist of SDRG, pointed out that China has, roughly, realized 72.3% the traditional sense of modernization. In other words, approximately 3/4 of the conven- tional industrialization has been completed. In this opinion, Shanghai has already realized modernization; Beijing has ful- filled 96.50% of its modernization goals and Tianjin 92.30%. However, if “modernization” is defined as reaching the average level of the developed countries in the same year, then China has realized no more than 40.4% modernization of the year 2000.

The modernization of China has assumed a dual characteristic: we have not only to reach the conventional goals of modernization for the industrial stage, but also to meet the higher targets of modernization in the information age.

Using the principles and methods of systems science, SDRG has originally designed an index system on modernization, which comprises eight indexes of three categories, i.e. the degree of industrialization, the degree of informatization, the level of competitiveness, the degree of urbanization, the level of intensive farming, the quality of the eco-environment, the level of socia lequity and the degree of globalization. The index system gives a comprehensive representation of all the important factors such as economic growth, social development, progress of civilization, degree of social ordering and quality of life. It can be used as a basic scale for modernization assessment during the transitional period from the industrial to the informative age.


     Academy Deepens Reform on Personnel System

Recently, a working conference on personnel was held to promote comprehensive implementation of the CAS pilot projects of the Knowledge Innovation Program (KIP) in its second phase, marking the launching of the Action Plan for S & T Innovation Team Building and Education Development. 

1.  Public institutions will adopt the personnel system in which all staff have to sign the employment contract

Reform on personnel system is regarded as the breaking point for the comprehensive implementation of the pilot projects of the KIP. By the end of March 2001, the system of all employees signing engagement contracts (AESEC) had been widely adopted by all public institutions. So far, 56,000 employees of 136 institutions under the Academy have signed their engagement contracts. 

2.  System of engagement according to posts implemented

Meanwhile, a system of “setting up posts according to needs and engagement according to posts” has been implemented. By the year 2005, the Academy will be cut down to no more than 20,000 posts/employees.

3.  1 billion RMB to attract 500 scientific elites from abroad

In the next five years, the Academy will make use of the special government appropriation for attracting talented people (to the amount of 1 billion RMB) to recruit 500 excellent disciplinary pioneers. In the initial phase of the pilot projects of the KIP, the Academy had successfully recruited 300 outstanding talents from abroad using the government appropriation (600 million RMB). 

On April 14, 2001, CAS Vice-President Zhu CHEN was meeting with Mr. Norman Neureiter, scientific advisor to US Secretary of State, exchanging views on how to promote Sino-US scientific exchange and cooperation.
Basic Research
A New Milestone of Astronomy in China
 the Establishment of China National Observatory

On April 25, the National Observatory of China (NOC) was founded in Beijing. It comprises 4 centers for astrophysics, which were jointly established by the 8 CAS-affiliated observatories /observation stations distributed across the country and institutions of higher education. 

After the reorganization, the Beijing Observatory of CAS will be incorporated into the National Observatory, and the Yunnan Observatory, the Urumqi Observatory Station and the Changchun Man-made Satellite Observing Station will be merged. They will not remain as independent legal entities. The Purple Mountain Observatory and Shanghai Observatory will remain their juridical status and receive the macro-coordination and guidance of the NOC.

In the next 5 years, the NOC will strengthen its observing capability, intensify the support for research in nine fields (including the formation and evolution of a galaxy, the macro-scale structure of the cosmos, etc.), take active part in the international competition, and try to complete the construction of a 2.3 m telescope and 1 m tower telescope by 2003 or so, as well as the construction of a space telescope by 2005 or so, in order to make China one of the leading countries in solar space research.
Research on Novel High Quality Superconductor 
Reaching International Leading Level

A novel high quality magnesium diboride super- conductor, which has a superconductivity transition temperature of 40K and a critical current density of 1 γ™105A, has recently been developed by the State Key Laboratory of Superconductor, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPCAS). The research result is at the international leading level. Suppose the superconductor is used for power supply cable, the current it carries will be 10,000 times more than that of the existing power supply cable made of copper product; besides, the power consumption will be greatly reduced and the purposes of saving energy and reducing pollution will be attained.

In January 2001, Japanese scientists announced their discovery of a novel superconductor with a critical transition temperature of 39K, arousing a world of attention among the superconductor community. According to the research outcomes of the IPCAS, such superconductors have excellent application prospects, can be used for transmitting strong electricity or applied to high quality microwave devices. Whose sensitivity of detection will be substantially improved when applied to weak magnetism detection in land, ocean and life sciences as well as various circumstances. Another more important feature is that its ductility is much higher than that of an oxide superconductor, making it easier to elongate and stretch it into any shape as you like.
Bailing YANG (Vice-President, CAS),Gengmao GUO (Executive Vice-Governor, Hebei Province) and YAMAMOTO(Vice-President, Toyota Inc.) attended the signing ceremony and news press of the Agreement on the Sino-Japanese Cooperative Project: Demonstration Sites of Environment Protection for the Capital Rim of China in 21st Century”, which was reached among the CAS Sino-Japan Association for S & T and Economic Exchange, Honda Inc.(Japan) and the Hubei Provincial Government in April 2001.

Major Headway in C60 Unimolecular Research

On 18 January, the British Nature magazine published the achievements by Profs. Jianguo HOU, Jinlong YANG, Qingshi ZHU, et al. of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), who had obtained the C60 unimolecular image at the chemical-bond resolution ratio using the low temperature scanning tunneling microscope (STM) technique and discovered a novel molecular orientation domain structure using the high-resolution imaging technique. It was another important advance in C60 unimolecular research by USTC scientists. Dr. Dongmin Chen with the Rowland Institute, USA, part-time professor of USTC, joined in the work..

C60 is known as a molecular cluster composed of carbon atoms. It has been a hot topic of scientific research for its enormous potentials in application. By assembling C60 on the surface of a single-layer molecular membrane, the USTC scientists managed to isolate the impacts of the metal supporting base upon the electronic structure of C60. They froze its thermal motion at –2680C and “shot” for the first time the molecular image of C60 that could distinguish the C-C single bond and double bond using the STM technique.

By using this direct imaging technique, they also discovered for the first time a novel orientation domain structure of 2-D C60 array, a structure that is purely caused by the variation of C60 molecular orientations.

Important Results Achieved in Gene Cloning 
of Human Hereditary Diseases

Recently, Gene II of hereditary opalescence dentine, i.e. the gene of dentine salivary phosphoric protein (DSPP), has been successfully cloned by the Research Center of Bioengineering, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBS), CAS and the State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Preclinical Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) respectively, marking an important headway in this field. Hereditary opalescence denti- ne (HOD) is the most common buccal heredopa- thia, whose inci- dence rate is 1/6000~ 1/8000. So far, no effective remedy has been found. The analysis of four HOD gena- logies led to the discovery that  any of the mutations of the DSPP gene located on the long  arm of Chromoso- me IV would cause the occurrence of the disease, and that the mutations in two of the genalogies have also caused the onset of processing high-frequency deafness. The discovery provides a useful clue for defining the role of DSPP gene and brings new hope for the diagnosis and cure of these diseases. Two papers on the research results were published simultaneously on the latest release of Nature Genetics, indicating persuasively that the positioning cloning of human heredopathia is no longer a monopoly of the western science community with the rapid development of human genome research.

Rewarding Achievements in Research on 
Optical Information Processing, and Semiconductor 
Photoelectrical Devices for Display

Rewarding results have been achieved in the CAS major project, “Research on Optical Information Processing, Semiconductor Photoelectrical Devices for Display and their Industrialization”, carried out by Lianghui CHEN of the Institute of Semiconductors, CAS under the aegis of Nation’s “863 Program” during the “Ninth Five-Year Plan” period. The performances of the units developed, 650nm red light quantum-well lasers for DVD and orange yellow high-luminance light emitting dioxides (LED), have both met the international advanced level of like products. Medium-scale production bases for the devices have also been established. 

The orange yellow high-luminan- ce LED project has made innovations in the MQW structure optimization of super high-luminance LED, the GaP current extension layer growing technology, multiple detection techniques for quality expitaxial wafers and chips and device reliability. A manu- facturing technology for a special barrier layer separating the upper electrode from the lower current was invented, and a novel coupled DBR structure was designed.

On April 23, 2001, CAS Vice-President Mianheng JIANG met with Dr. Cherry Murry from Bell Lab, Lucent Technologies (USA) at the Headquarters of CAS. During her visit, Dr. Murry gave a presentation on Promoting Future IT Development at CAS, which was warmly received by over 250 scientists and scholars from Peking University, Tsinghua University and CAS institutes.

 Research & Application

National Crop Yield Prediction Project Passed Appraisal

The National Major Crops Yield Prediction Project carried out by Xikang CHEN and others from the Institute of Systems Science, Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science, CAS has achieved remarkable results. A project review meeting was held on 29 December 2000 in Beijing.  

Mr. W. Isard, Member of the National Academy of Sciences (US), and Mr. Karen R. Polenske, Chairman of the International Input-Output Association, both spoke highly of the “input-occupancy-against output technics” initiated by the Project. Greater accomplishments have been made in practical application. Annual reports are provided on the prediction of national grain yields by the end of April each year, more than half a year beforehand, with sound judgments on the tendency of grain harvest (rich, average or poor), the average deviation rate being 1.8%. This result is much better than the work conducted by developed countries, whose average prediction deviation rate is 5-10%, and whose predicting period is generally two months. 

The Project has the following features: innovative in both theory and methodology, high in prediction accuracy and long in predicting period. The Project was awarded the Operation Research Development Prize by the International Federation of Operations Research (IFOR) in 1999, a first prize of Science and Technology Advancement Award by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a third prize of Science and Technology Advancement Award by the State.

High-performance Nanometer Plastics Developed

Scientists from the CAS have recently developed an array of miraculous nanometer plastics, which made it possible to industrialize the nanometer technology. “Nami”, which is added to the nanometer plastics, is actually polynite, a natural nanometer material abundant in China. The natural clayey mineral is injected evenly into polymers to form nanometer plastics. This work was done by Prof. Zongneng QI’s research group under the State Key Laboratory of Engineering Plastics, Institute of Chemistry, CAS. The nanometer plastics assume many unique physical and mechanical properties, such as great strength, good heat resistance and low specific gravity. Besides, the nanometer plastics have excellent diaphaneity and glossiness. The wearing capacity of some nanometer plastics is 27 times that of copper and 7 times that of steel. Other nanometer plastics have selfquenching, antiflaming performances owing to their low oxygen permeability. The successful development of jet molding nanometer polythene with ultrahigh molecular weight has solved the difficulty of ultrahigh molecular weight polymer processing puzzling the international community for years.

Gene Modified Fishes Highlighted 
the Achievement Exhibition of  “863” Program

From 26 February to 6 March 2001, a number of gene modified (GM) fishes developed by the Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS were displayed at the Achievement Exhibition on the 15th Anniversary of “863” Program (a national program for high-tech research and development initiated in March 1986). They were 3 control fishes (800g each), 3 GM fishes (1,300g each) and 3 infertile triploid “863 cyprinoids” weighing 1000g. 

The research group led by Prof. Zuoyan ZHU, developed the first GM fish in the world in 1984. His laboratory has made a series of breakthroughs, including the development of the first GM fish model, the carrier expression of whole fish genes for the first time, the pinpoint concordance of the first fish gene targeting, the first thorough investigation on GM energy, the first case GM fish cloning, detailed safety evaluation research for the first time, etc.

Currently, ZHU’s laboratory has developed a regrouped growth hormone gene, or “whole-fish” gene, which comprises the gene components of cyprinoid and grass carp. They have also bred fast-growing whole-fish gene modified cyprinoids and infertile triploid “863 cyprinoids”.

At the Presidium Meeting of Slovakia Academy of Sciences (SAS) held in Bratislava on June 20, 2001. CAS Vice-President Bailing YANG signed with Prof. Ján Slezák, first vice-president of SAS, on the 2001-2005 CAS-SAS Cooperation Execution Plan.

Living Body Fingerprint Collector Developed 
by Changchun Institute of Optics, 
Fine Mechanics and Physics

A living body fingerprint collector (LBFC) integrating the knowledge of optics, electronics and mechanics developed by the Fangyuan Company, a spin-off of the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, CAS, passed the official expert acceptance inspection on January 16, 2001. The device is the first of its kind in China adopting the image aberrance correction technology using a unique optical system. It is internationally advanced and innovative.

The three key technologies of the system have been patented by the State Intellectual Property Office. LBFC has extensive application prospects in public security, military affairs, safety control, finance, computer security management, etc., as it can provide real-time high-resolution, high-contrast, aberrance-free fingerprint images for computers to process, store, classify and recognize. 

CAS Vice-President Bailing YANG signed on a cooperation agreement with Dr. Bamelis, Director of Bayer A.G. (Germany) on April 19, 2001.

 Academy-Locality Cooperation

Cooperation Agreement Signed among SIAE, Ih Ju Meng 
Orient Group and Ih Ju Meng Administrative Office

Recently, a S & T cooperation agreement has been signed among the CAS Shenyang Institute of Applied Ecology (SIAE), Ih Ju Meng (League) Orient Group and Ih Ju Meng Administrative Office. The main objectives of the agreement are: to jointly establish experimental demonstration sites for eco-environment management; to decontaminate and recycle polluted water through engineering process; to exploit the herbal resources in Inner Mongolia and set up bases therefor; to exploit the resource of analcime; to exploit the resources of Salix cheilophila and Caragana; and to construct the bases for green food production. It is another action of IAE to get involved in the nation’s go-west campaign. The feature lies in the combination of enterprise, government and research institutions.

 International Cooperation 

Agreement Signed between CIMHE 
and  the University of Manitoba

An agreement between the Chengdu Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment (CIMHE), CAS  and the University of Manitoba, Canada on strengthening the bilateral cooperation and exchange in science & technology and education was officially signed on 13 February 2001. Canadian Prime Minister H.E. Jean chretien, president of the University of Manitoba Dr. Emöke Szathmáry, executive deputy director of CIMHE Dr. Peng CUI, and other government officials attended the signing ceremony.

This agreement has defined the following forms of cooperation: collaborative research projects, multiform exchange of scientists and engineers in various fields and disciplines, postgraduate education, exchange of scientific documentation and research materials, and so on.

In the past more than one year, the Canadian side has sent experts to the Institute and conducted in-depth discussion and field survey on cooperation in various fields, such as the study of key technologies for rehabilitation of the eco-environment at the xerothermic river valleys along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River (i.e. the xerothermic Valleys of Golden Sand River, Anninghe River and Minjiang River ), agricultural sustainable development, community education, joint postgraduate programs and exchange of visiting scholars.

According to the agreement, a multi-disciplinary team will be mobilized by CIMHE involving experts from over 30 associated institutions, so as to work together on the key technologies needed in the West China Development Campaign.


Hartmann Wavefront Sensor Series  Passed Appraisal

The Hartmann wavefront sensor series developed jointly by the Chengdu Institute of Photo-electronics, CAS and the Sichuan Michael High-tech Development Center have recently passed the appraisal sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The series comprising 14 Hartmann wavefront sensors of different calibers, measurement wavelengths and sampling frequencies is a new breakthrough in light beam diagnosis and optical checkup technology in China.

The series of Hartmann wavefront sensors whose measurement wavelengths range from ultraviolet (0.308μm) to infrared (3.8μm) and whose calibers range from 4.16mm to 200mm, with a maximum sampling frequency of 2,900Hz and a measurement light intensity covering both glimmer light and strong light. The series can be applied extensively in areas such as optical communication and medical treatment.

ABB, numbered 92 of the 500 top companies in the world, signed a MOU with Guangzhou Institute of Energy conversion regarding cooperation in biomass & biomass electricity generation under the umbrella agreement between CAS and ABB. Photo shows a visit to the institute after signing.

Up-to-date Mobile Terminal-Oriented Chinese-Japanese Bidirectional Phonetic Translation Techniques Developed

It was announced on February 8 in Beijing that the Institute of Automation, CAS and Panasonic had jointly developed the up-to-date Chinese-Japanese bidirectional phonetic translation techniques (CJBPTT) for tour dialogues. The successful development of CJBPTT has enabled direct phonetic communication between Chinese and Japanese for the first time. It can be used as an assistant to phonetic translation for tour purpose as well as an easy assistant to language study, applicable to mobile terminals and the latest generation of mobile telephones.The technology, supporting 1,000 sentence patterns and containing a vocabulary of 10,000 words, has realized particularly the miniaturization of phonetic translation (with an 8M memory only), and is powerful in speech recognition and translation.

   Four Projects of SIBS Granted New Drug Certificate

Four projects completed by the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBS), CAS in 2000 have been granted National New Drug Certificate (NNDC). The external lyophilized recombined human epidermis nutrilite (ELRHEN), developed by the group of Prof. Renbao GAN, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Research, has been granted the National New Drug (Category I ) Certificate. Tuoteluoding, a new drug on the basis of tartaric acid as well as its tablets and capsules were developed by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the responsibility of Prof. Yushe YANG, and granted the National New Drug (Category II ) Certificate.

Research on West China’s Eco-environment Evolution and Sustained Use of Water & Soil Resources Officially Launched

On 2 December 2000, the project of Research on West China’s Eco-environment Evolution and Sustained Use of Water & Soil Resources passed justification. The project comprised three parts, including: research on environment evolution and water & soil resources (in the past 2,000 years and the past 2,000,000 years), study on the phase recurrence of eco-environment in the past 50 years and prediction of its development trend (mainly by field survey and remote sensing), and status analysis and evaluation of the current eco-environment.

“Integrated Scientific Survey on South China Sea Islands and Adjacent Areas” Passed Project Review

  In January 2001, a project review meeting was held by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in Beijing on the State Key S & T project for the “Ninth Five-Year Plan” period, i.e. Integrated Scientific Survey on South China Sea Islands and Adjacent Areas.               

The Project, launched in 1997, was hosted by the CAS, Under the Project there were 25 topics covering oceanic sedimentary environment, marine geology and geophysics, marine biology and geochemistry, marine oil gas resources, ocean rights and other areas.

China’s First Fuel Cell-Powered Electric Automobile Developed

Important progress has been made in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology, a key S & T project led by the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, CAS during the “Ninth Five-Year Plan” period. Joint trials of a PEMFC-powered electric automobile were successful conducted, marking the successful deve- lopment of China’s first fuel cell-powered automobile with independent intellectual property rights. In January 2001, an electric autobus with zero load, powered by a 30kW PEMFC battery system, ran successfully in Shiyan.

Laboratory of Dioxin Detection Granted National 
Measurement Verification Certificate

The Laboratory of Dioxin Detection (LDD), Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, has recently been granted a Measurement Verification Certificate by the State Quality and Technology Supervision Bureau. LDD was established with the funding of Volkswagen Foundation for Science (to the amount of 783,000 Yuan) in 1996 by the International Standards. It has also obtained the verification certificate granted by Germany.

Protection of Lipotes vexillifer Written into the Law of Fishery

The newly revised and validated Law of Fishery of China has included the protection of Lipotes vexillifer in its clauses for the first time.

Lipotes vexillifer is a rare aquatic mammal characteristic of China, distributed only in the mainstream of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. In a number less than 100, Lipotes vexillifer is one of the most endangered species of the cetacean animals. The Chinese Government has categorized it as an A-class protected animal. IUCN has also placed it on the list of the “extremely endangered” species in the Red Book of International Endangered Species.
Prof. Shirakawa Hideki from Tsukuba University (Japan), winner of 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, visited the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, CAS, June 1-6, 2001