No. 92

December 2013

Headline News Innovation and Development

Applied Technology

Basic Science

Cooperation between CAS and Local Authorities

Bioscience International Cooperation Brief News Geoscience Activities of CAS Leaders
Headline News

Bai Chunli Chairs the 24th TWAS Conference
Bai also Visits Argentina and Chile

The 24th TWAS Conference was held from Oct. 1st to 3rd in Buenos Aires, Argentina. CAS President Bai Chunli chaired the Opening Ceremony, as TWAS President for the first time, and delivered the opening remarks, in which he retrospected TWAS’s 30 years‘ history and the significant contribution made by TWAS to the S&T development of the developing countries. He further explained the plan and targets for the future development of TWAS. At the occasion, 52 academicians were newly elected, among whom 8 were from the mainland China and Hong Kong, and 4 from Taiwan. The Conference announced the list of winners for the Lenovo Science Award and other TWAS awards. Bai and Dr. Lino Bara?ao, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovative Production of Argentina granted the relevant awards to 18 winners from India, Chile, USA, China, etc. The solemn occasion attracted over 300 scientists, a dozen S&T ministers from different countries and representatives of UNESCO and other international organizations. So far, there are all together 182 TWAS academicians from the mainland China. During his visit to Santiago and Chile, Bai held talks with Dr. Mateo Budinich of the Chilean S&T Research Council (CONICYT)and members of the Universidad de Chile, during which he was granted the title of honorary doctor and delivered a speech at the university. The CAS president also attended the signing ceremony of the MOU between CAS and the CONICYT regarding the astronomical cooperation and the founding ceremony of the CAS Southern American Astronomical Center.

First Infectious HCV cDNA Clone from Chinese Hepatitis C Patient Established

Hepatitis C virus infection is one of the leading causes of chronic hepatitis and may lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The biggest challenge in the relevant study is to construct a cDNA clone that would allow for the production of infectious HCV virions in cell culture. Lu Jie, the first author of this article, from Dr. Zhong Jin’s group in the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, CAS, collaborating with her coworkers in the lab, developed a full-length infectious cDNA clone, named PR63cc, from a genotype 2a HCV isolate through a functional selection protocol and cell culture adaptation. PR63cc could efficiently produce infectious viruses in hepatoma derived cell lines. Remarkably, PR63cc virus displays a distinct sensitivity to the existing anti-HCV drugs from JFH-1 virus, highlighting the importance of developing cell culture model from various clinical isolates. PR63cc is the first infectious cDNA clone originated from Chinese hepatits C patient serum, and is also the first infectious clone which is constructed directly from clinical isolates without constructing a consensus sequence of viral genome. This novel strategy can be applied to constructing more infectious cDNA clones from other clinical HCV isolates, with potential implications for individualized treatments of HCV patients. Importantly, the patent to cover the methodology, cDNA clone and virus described in this study has been filed, paving a way for the anti-HCV drug and vaccine development. This work was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Xie Qing’s group in Ruijin Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiaotong University. Their research result was published online on Virology as a research article entitled “A novel strategy to develop robust infectious hepatitis C virus cell culture system directly from a clinical isolate” on Nov. 13,2013.
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