President Zemin JIANG met with Professor Neal Lane, the former Assistant to the US President for S&T (Director of White House Office of S&T Policy) in Zhongnanhai on Nov. 26, 2001

Yongxiang LU: “A first-class institute must make historic achievements”

During his visit to the Wuhan Institute of Aquatic Biology (IAB) on 26 October, CAS President Yongxiang LU pointed out, “To become a world-famous institute of limnology, the IAB must try to address the ecological and productive issues of rivers and lakes in China, establish world-recognized representative schools of thought, and achieve research outcomes that can not be evaded in the history of science written by foreign (other than Chinese) scholars. That has to be based on an efficient mechanism. The key is to vitalize scientific thinking and form good academic atmosphere by encouraging communication and collision of ideas. It is important to hold regular international workshops, host first-rate visiting scientists from abroad, bring up outstanding disciplinary pioneers who publish high-quality papers on well-known magazines and serve as editors or editor-in-chiefs for such magazines, and establish a sound system of assessment. ”

LU added that the IAB should expand its contacts and cooperation with society, and that it should not confine its vision to a small region like Hubei Province, but should embrace the whole country and the whole world. Some results of the Institute’s research can be introduced to Southeast Asia through programs that provide aids to foreign countries.


     Basic Research
Work Draft & Database of Indica Rice Genome Complete

At 9:00am, 12 October 2001, a press conference on the completion of Indica rice (Oryza Sativa Subsp. Shien) genome work draft was held by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in collaboration with the State Development Planning Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology. Yiyu CHEN, Vice President of CAS, announced that the Center of Genome & Bio-informatics, CAS, as well as, Beijing Huada Center of Gene Research, had accomplished the work draft and database of Chinese Indica rice genome, that the achievement was at the international leading level, and that the data would be released and free accessible to all. That is, indeed, an important contribution of Chinese scientists to mankind, and a major scientific achievement in the field of life sciences that has reached the world’s leading level and in which the Chinese nation should take pride.

Major partners of the project included the Institute of Genetics, CAS and the National Center for Hybrid Rice Research. Besides, the CAS Institutes of Computing Technology, Theoretical Physics, and Biophysics, Peking University, Zhejiang University, and Digital China Corporation had also been involved in the work. Acknowledgement also goes to domestic and international peers, distinguished scientists and rice breeders who had shown their great concern and provided their kind support.

The work draft of Chinese rice genome is based on the "9311" Indica Rice, a super-hybrid rice species bred by Longping YUAN, Member of CAS.

According to the results of assembly and data analysis, the work draft and database of Chinese rice genomes are at the advanced world level in the following aspects:

1- Both the percentages of genome sequencing coverage and gene coverage are beyond 95%, including all the 12 chromosomes of rice genome. The accuracy of 90% of the areas arrives at 99%, fully meeting the requirements of the work draft.

2- A mathematical model for repeat sequence processing with a unique algorithm has been developed to overcome the difficulty of assembling by means of “case shot” whole genome sequencing. It has dispelled the obstacle of theoretical computation to taking the advantage of large-sized computers in processing mass data. In comparison with foreign work of the same kind, the new technical system reduces the amount of calculation by close to 80%.

3- A series of patented software applications for bio-information processing have been developed, which enable the assembling and analysis of the work draft on either a large, high-performance SUN computer or a homemade Dawning 3000 computer.
CAS President Yongxiang LU met the visiting delegation headed by Mr. Philip Yeo, President of Singapore Bureau of Science and Technology, on 7 November 2001. The two sides reached mutual understanding on cooperation in areas of common interest.
Whole-Genome Sequencing of Three Pathogenic Microorganisms Accomplished

On 29 October, the Shanghai Centre for Human Genome Research announced that Chinese scientists had finished the precise sequencing of the whole genomes of three important human and plant pathogens, i.e., Leptospira, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Xanthomonas campestris

Microbial Genome Programme (MGP) is another great project in the field of life sciences succeeding the Human Genome Programme (HGP). It is closely related to human life. For examples, the infection of Staphylococcus epidermidis ranks top among the four infectious diseases found in hospitals; Leptospirosis is one of the main epidemic infections when pestilence comes after calamity and Xanthomonas campestris can lead to worldwide black rot of all crucifers and cause drop in production.

In addition to the whole-genome sequencing of the above three pathogenic microbes, Chinese scientists also identified a whole set of genes for maintaining their vital activity, discovered a series of functional genes associated with pathogenicity and assessed a number of prospective target genes for developing a new generation of bacterins. Research on functional genes regarding the three pathogens has reportedly been carried out on a large scale.

According to sources, the whole-genome sequencing information of the three pathogenic microbes will be released to the international public database and accessible to all, initiating the principle of scientific ethics: “genomic results should bring benefit to mankind”.
Five Newly Discovered Planets Named after Five Chinese Scientists

The National Observatory has decided to name five planetoids discovered in recent years after the names of five Chinese scientists: Ganchang WANG, Fangyun CHEN, Jiachi YANG, Wenjun WU and Yisheng MAO. A naming ceremony will be held in a few days’ time.

According to the Observatory, the five planets were discovered successively in recent years within the solar system by the institution. In view of the eminent contributions of the five scientists in their respective domains, the Observatory submitted a proposal to the IAU Nomination Committee for Small Celestial Bodies that the planets be named after the scientists, which was recently approved. The naming of planetoids after our scientists is a special honor to China. Only a few Chinese scientists like Tsenning YANG, C. Samuel LEE and Jingrun CHEN have had the honor before.

In a recent issue of the Bulletin of planetoids, the IAU Nomination Committee for Small Celestial Bodies briefed the reasons for the naming: Academician Ganchang WANG is a leading scientist in the fields of nuclear physics, cosmic rays and fundamental particles in China, who has played a key role in the country’s development of A-bombs and H-bombs; Academician Fangyun CHEN has made unique contributions to radio electronics and satellite test control technology; Academician Jiachi YANG, as a preeminent expert in automatic control and space technology, has made outstanding contributions to the development of satellite technology in China; Yisheng MAO, founder of modern bridgework in China, designed China’s first bridge with modern structure, the Qiantangjiang Bridge; and Academician Wenjun WU is a distinguished mathematician in topology and the mechanization of mathematics, who invented the “Wu’s Method” that is applied extensively by international peers. They well deserve the honor.
CAS Vice-President Mianheng JIANG met Dr. Neal Lane, professor of Rice University, assistant to the former US President in science and technology on 27 November 2001. At the invitation of CAS, Dr. Lane delivered a lecture on the US science and technology policy issue at the CAS Forum of Innovation Strategy.

Importance Attached to Polar High  Altitude Atmospheric Physical Study

According to Dengyi GAO, a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CAS, the Polar Regions are perfect places for studying the altitude atmospheric physical process, and enhancing investigation on the regions is of significant importance to China’s aviation industry and stellar exploration.

The North Pole Scientific Expedition, organized by the China Association for Scientific Expeditions and headed by Prof. GAO, landed on Tromsoa city in the North of Norway on 17 October 2001. The expedition planned to fly to Svalbard(Norway) on 19 October to establish China’s first North Pole station for scientific exploration there, and then begin their three-year multi-disciplinary integrated survey on the North Polar Region. It will be China’s longest scientific march into the North Pole.

GAO is the first Chinese scholar who has conducted surveys on all the “three poles” of the earth (the South Pole, the North Pole and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau). He introduced that the subject of high altitude atmospheric physics is the geophysical phenomena and physical processes that take place in the area between 30km high above the earth surface and the interplanetary space. It is thus a frontier discipline between astrophysics and geophysics, to study the altitude atmospheric structure, ionosphere and Earth-Sun space physics. 

He said that the North Pole is a crucial and sensitive area having impacts on the global climate, in particular on China’s climate and environmental changes. Chinese scientists wish to strengthen collaborative research in multiple areas with the Norwegian Institute of Polar Environment (NIPE).

Dengyi GAO said, NIPE is advanced in the glaciological and biological study of the North Pole. In addition to academic exchange, Chinese scientists plan to carry out collaborative projects on polar climate and environment with NIPE. Cooperative agreements between the two sides will be signed within the next two years.

CAS Vice-President Zhu CHEN met the Croatian delegation headed by Dr. Hrvoje Kraljevic, minister of science and technology, Croatia, on 5 November 2001. The two parties exchanged views on enhancing mutual cooperation in the field of science and technology.

 Research & Development

Chinese High-performance Computer Chips Come into the World

On 13 October, the Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), CAS, on the occasion of celebrating its 45th anniversary, announced the birth of China’s first general-purpose CPU—GODSON Chip. Experts say that GODSON Chip is of great importance to the independent development of IT industry and national security in China because it is a patented intellectual property right, although its performances are no better than Intel Pentium 

At the review meeting held by CAS, experts agreed that GODSON Chip is at the leading level both at home and abroad in the structural designing of its CPU system, with important
 innovations in the implementation of dynamic pipeline and hardware support for system security.

According to Guojie LI, Director of the Institute of Computing Technology, CAS, GODSON Chip consists of more than 6 million transistors and adopts the majority of advanced technologies of contemporary CPU manufacturing. It can execute over 250 orders and run mainstream operating systems like Linux and many compatible applications. It can resist the attack of a broad heading of buffer overflow. ICT plans to reach the advanced world level in designing high-performance general CPUs by 2005.

National Engineering Research Center for Membrane Technology Recognized

On 12 October, Tianbang Membrane Technology Corporation was officially recognized as a national engineering research center for membrane technology.

As early as in 1993, the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), CAS established the Dalian Engineering Research Center for Membrane Technology by combining three laboratories of the Institute dedicated to the R & D of membrane technology in order to facilitate the transfer of the technology. To date, the center has developed a series of membrane products whose technological level is leading the domestic market. More than 10 scientific achievements of the Center in gas and liquid separation have been awarded national and/or CAS prizes, and 33 inventions granted patents in China. Its leading product, Hydro-nitrogen Membrane Separator Device, has been applied to over 120 enterprises at home and abroad. Among others, its membrane products and technologies are also extensively employed in the fields of oil, chemical engineering, electronics, building materials, metallurgy, medicine and environmental protection.

Based on the Dalian Engineering Research Center for Membrane Technology, the DICP, in cooperation with the Dalian Tielong Industrial Company Ltd., founded “Tianbang Membrane Technology National Engineering Research Center Corp. Ltd.”, which was registered with the National Business Administration in 2000. As a result of the increase in registered capital and the introduction of new management mechanism, the strength of the Center has been greatly enhanced. Evident increase in business performance has been made last year.

China’s Largest Science Library Completed

The New Building of the CAS Library, so far China’s largest science library, was completed on 28 September 2001 in Zhongguancun, Beijing.

The Project is an important part of the Supporting System & Infrastructure for the CAS Knowledge Innovation Programme, as well as a key item of the reconstruction plan of the Zhongguancun Science Park. The construction was approved in 1998 and started in September 1999, with a foundation area of 18,000m2 and a total construction area of over 40,000m2

The Library is reportedly to accommodate 3.2 million books, including 1 million non-print documents. It comprises well-equipped lecture halls, large-scale exhibit halls, academician halls, multifunctional halls and an education & training center.  The affiliated Archive is specially designed to collect 550,000 volumes of archives. 

In order to improve the management level and service efficiency of the Library and the Archive, the New Building adopts many advanced technologies and systems that are made intelligent, including automatic control, security monitoring, overall wire laying, electronic conference and so on. The systems create an efficient, safe, comfortable and convenient environment for readers.

World Leading Compiler  Developed by ICT

The Aurora Compiler is an R & D project conducted by the Group of Compilation, Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), CAS in collaboration with the MRL, Intel, aiming at customizing advanced optimized compilers for the new generation of Intel's bit processors. It seeks to provide an advanced platform and high-quality performance for the frontiers of international scientific research.

After one year, ICT has completed the positive test of the Aurora project and passed the special test of CPUINT2000. The research has brought about three patents in the US. Presently, researchers of the Institute are working hard night and day to improve the performance of the compiler. The project adopts the state-of-the-art compiling technologies, such as edge and value profiling, region formation, speculation, predicate analysis, integrated instruction scheduling and bundle etc.. Many universities in the US have their intention of using the compiler as a research platform, and a few of them such as the Georgia University of Technology, Princeton University, Delaware University and Minnesota University have signed the agreement on using the compiler.

 Research & Application

Asia’s Largest Carbon-Nanotube Production Base Founded in Shenzhen

The Shenzhen NanoPort Company, in collaboration with the Chengdu Organic Chemistry Company, CAS, has formed a 5-to-7-ton annual mass production of carbon-nanotubes of various sizes, becoming the largest productive base of carbon nanotube in Asia. Both the volume and technology of production are leading the world.

The company is a joint venture of the Chengdu Organic Chemistry Company, CAS and the Shenzhen Huiheng Investment Development Corporation founded in April 2001 in the National High-tech Industrial Park, Shenzhen. After half-a-year preparation, the company has installed all the equipment and entered the stage of test run.

Carbon nanotube is unique in performance: it is 100 times stronger than steel but only one-sixth of its weight density. It has the properties of hydrogen storage, adsorption and catalysis, and it is super in field-electronic emission and high-frequency wideband electromagnetic wave absorption. It finds a wide range of applications in IT, life sciences, environmental sciences, aviation and space technology, chemical engineering and energy technology.

Academician Qun LIN, professor of the Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science, CAS, received the Honorary Medal and Prize for Achievements in Mathematics awarded by Dr. Helena Illnerova, President of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague on 12 September 2001.

First Iris Identification System Developed by IOA

The first domestic iris identification system has been developed by the Institute of Automation (IOA) , CAS, and final preparations are being made for its entry to market. 

Biological identification is a technology for identity of recognition by computers based on the physiological or behavioral characters of a human body. Presently, iris, fingerprint, features, voice, gait and handwriting are all important bio-characters for identification.

According to Dr. Li MA, person-in-charge of the Iris Identification Project, IOA/CAS, when identified, all you have to do is to look at a tailor-made pick-up head, and your iris information will be stored in the computer of the Iris Identification System. Next time when you are required to show your identification, you have just to take a look at the pick-up head once again.

Jiesheng WANG, Director of the Remote Sensing Ground Station, CAS, signed the Contract on SPOT5 Satellite Reception with Mr. Nasy, President of SPOT IMAGE in November.

Major Headway Achieved in China’s Carbamide Industry

A fully automatic and fully enclosed production line for wrapt urea in humic acid (UHA), a long-acting slow-released nitrogenous fertilizer, with an annual output of 25,000 tons, has recently been established and put into operation by the Shanxi Institute of Coal Chemistry, CAS and Tongzhou (Jiangsu Province) Professional Fertilizer Company, marking a major headway in the research, development and demonstration production of urea long-acting technology in China.

UHA is a multi-purpose environmental nitrogenous fertilizer. Experimental results show that the new technology can not only be used to produce a base fertilizer instead of urea, but also be used to make long-acting organic/inorganic compost in combination with other manures. It is better than conventional humic acids. Compared with general urea, it is purified and reasonably priced, with a prolonged fertilizing effect of 30-50 days, an increase of 10.4% in nitrogen utilization ratio (net increase being 38.1%), and an increase of 7.5%, 13.3% and 8.0% in the yields of cereal, cotton and rape respectively. UHA has been popularized as a demonstration for over 2 million mu/time across 10 provinces/municipalities in China, achieving an accumulative economic benefit of RMB 94 million yuan. Tests indicate that soil fertilized with UHA has increases in reserved nitrogen by 40-50% in comparison with applying general urea, and also an obvious increase in organic matter, effective phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) contents and a decrease in volume weight.

Perennial Drought: the Main Cause of Qinghai Lake’s Drawdown

Haizhou MA, professor at the Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes, CAS, discovered that human activities produce no significant effects on the drawdown of the Qinghai Lake; it is perennial drought and warm that have caused the drop in the water level.

Research shows that the drawdown of the Qinghai Lake is mainly resulted from the perennially dry and warm climate, which causes the depletion of water due to excessive evaporation from the surface of the Lake in comparison with the supply of water to it. The water supply to the Lake is composed of surface runoff, underground runoff and precipitation, while the consumption of water from the Lake comprises surface evaporation, human consumption and phreatic water evaporation. Calculations show that the annual average supply of water to the Lake is 3.793 billion cubic meters, while the annual average consumption of water from the Lake is 4.138 billion cubic meters, the balance being 435 million cubic meters. According to a survey, human activities account for only 1-2% of the total consumption of lake water, indicating that human consumption of water does not make significant contributions to the change of the lake water as a whole.

International Cooperation

China-ESA Cooperative Agreement on Twin-Satellite Programme Signed

On 9 July 2001, a Chinese delegation comprising the National Space Administration (NSA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences signed a cooperative agreement on the Twin-Satellite Exploration Programme of China’s Geo-Space Environment with the European Space Agency (ESA). According to the agreement, the two satellites of the Programme, after they are launched in 2003, will join the four geomagnetosphere detecting satellites of the Cluster Plan launched by ESA in 2000 to form a 6-point solid detector system of the geomagnetospheric space for the first time in human history.

In 1983, ESA initiated a Cluster Plan consisting of four identical satellites. In 1997, a group of scientists headed by Academician Zhenxing LIU from the Center for Space Sciences and Applied Research (CSSAR), CAS, put forward the proposal of implementing large-scale synchronous detection of the magnetospheric space by using two satellites whose orbits intersect each other, namely, the Twin-Satellite Programme. The proposal immediately attracted the attention of participant scientists of the Cluster Plan, who clearly expressed their wishes to take part in China's Twin-Satellite Programme. After several negotiations, it was finally agreed that ESA would provide 10 scientific detectors, including 6 detectors to be carried on the equatorial satellite and 4 on the polar satellite. The participation of ESA has enabled the shared processing of the observation data obtained by the Twin-Satellite Programme and that by the Cluster Plan.

The platform for the two satellites of the Twin-Satellite Programme will be developed by the Institute of Space Technology of China.

Founding Ceremony of CAS-MPG   Partner Group on Geometric Analysis  Held in Beijing

The founding ceremony of the Partner Group on Geometric Analysis, CAS & MPG was held at the Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science (AMSS), CAS on 9 October. Prof. Le YANG, President of AMSS, and Prof. Juergen Jost, Director of the Leipzig Institute of Mathematics, MPG, among many others, attended the ceremony, which was hosted by Prof. Yuefei WANG, Director of the Institute of Mathematics, CAS.

The Group of Geometric Analysis, AMSS has maintained fruitful cooperation with scientists from the Leipzig Institute of Mathematics, MPG in areas of common interest since 1996. In order to strengthen the cooperative relationship, AMSS formally proposed the establishment of a partner group on mathematics between the two parties in August 2000, which was approved by the German side. Before that, some exchange & cooperation projects had been conducted.

The Partner Group comprises an international academic committee responsible for assessing the research achievements of the Group and steering its academic research activities.

   Metaphase Somatic Cell-Cloned Calf Successfully Developed

Qi ZHOU, a biologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with scientists from the French National Institute of Agronomy, successfully developed the world’s first metaphase somatic cell-cloned calf by using the improved cell cycle synchronizing method and the “trauma resection” technique. The 3-month-old cloned calf is healthy and lively. All of its physical and chemical indexes are normal.

When the calf was born, it happened that China had just won the bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. The French scientists decided to name the calf Olympics-2008. According to scientists, before Olympics-2008 was born, all somatic cell-cloned calves were produced by using resting or trophophase cells. (Its cell cycle was asynchronous with that of the ovum.) It has been known that, the synchronization of cell cycles can raise the efficiency of cloning, and it is an important means for researching into the relationship between nucleus and cytoplasm. To solve the problem, Chinese and French scientists conducted in-depth study on cell cycles, and, by combining the “trauma resection” technique invented by Dr. Qi ZHOU, developed the first metaphase somatic cell-cloned calf. Researchers say that the technology will greatly improve the efficiency of animal cloning, which is very important to promoting the research on cloning technology.

Sino-Japanese Joint Integrated Field Pre-survey of the Heihe River Basin Finished

The Sino-Japanese Joint Integrated Field Pre-survey of the Changes in Man-and-Nature Relations of the Heihe River Basin has recently been finished. 

Heihe is the second largest inland river basin in the northwest of China, covering an area of 140,000 km2. In May 2001, Academician Guodong CHENG, Director of the Cold  and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Institute of CAS, signed with Prof. Hidaka Toshitaka, Director of the Institute of Man and Nature, Ministry of Educational, Cultural, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan), on a memorendum of academic exchange and collaborative research in the field of man-and-nature relations between the two sides. According to the memorendum, the two parties established a joint expedition of 16 experts to conduct half-a-month survey in China beginning from the early September 2001. 

The expedition made a multi-disciplinary integrated survey on the "July 1" Glacier, the Jiuquan Farm Oasis in Zhangye, the natural ecosystem in Ejina Banner, the relics of Heichengzi and many other historic sites. After the preliminary integrated survey, the two sides reached common understanding on the study of ice cores, the relations between climate and glaciers, regional water cycle and hydrochemical movement, the interactions between the ecosystem and hydrological process, water for social-economic development, natural isotopes of water, and so on, and initialed an agreement on academic exchange and collaborative research.


Young Talented People Heavily Burdened

The following major actions of reform taken by the Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences have pushed the young talented people of the Institute to the forefront of innovation with heavy burdens:

1. Establishing project groups that are put under the direct management of the Institute as a substitute for former research laboratories, thus putting an end to the history of research projects under the dual administration of both the Institute and corresponding laboratories in the past decades. The advantage of cutting out the intermediate link of laboratories is to bring closer the relationship between the institute and groups and thus improve the efficiency of management.

A Group Leader Responsibility System is implemented among the newly established organs. Appointed by the Institute, group leaders are entrusted with the rights to select group members and manage project funding, and they are responsible for turning out research products and talented people.

2. Readjusting the laboratories of the Accelerator System to the needs of the ongoing mega-science projects and the operation of mega-science devices.

“Improving Publishing Skills in Agricultural Science” held in Nanjing

In order to improve S&T researchers’ writing capacities in English and publishing skills in international journals, the University of Adelaide and Nanjing Branch of CAS held a joint workshop “Improving Publishing Skills in Agricultural Science” in Nanjing 15 -19 Oct. 2001.

The workshop had been paid attention and got support from leaderships both the Adelaide University ( Prof. Edwina Cornish, Vice Chancellor & Mr. Malcolm Oades, the Dean) and Nanjing Branch CAS (Mr. Shouning YAN, President of the Branch). The workshop was hosted by Senior lecturer Ms Margaret Cargill with her 2 colleagues. 16 Chinese researchers attended the workshop with their papers’ sketches. The Australian teachers spent 5 full working days to lecture publishing skills systematically(structure, underlying logic of scientific papers in English, creating a dot-point summary, drafting the aim statement and title, etc.). The Chinese participants appreciate that the workshop, with a teaching method active and living, is very useful and effective, and it will benefit to promote scientific papers’ publishing in international academic journals.
Academicians Ruiyu LIU and Dunxin HU et al visited Vietnam in November. The picture shows their visit to the Laboratory of Fish Specimen, Vietnamese Institute of Oceanography, Nha Trang