Thousand Young Talents Program Starts
A talent recruitment panel under the Chinese central government has recently endorsed a working document to attract high caliber young talents from overseas. The socalled "thousand young talents program" plans to import high caliber young talents from overseas. The program will provide desirable living and working conditions for imported talents, including RMB 500,000 living allowance and RMB 1-3 million 3-year research funding per person. The qualified candidates are also entitled to the working and living conditions defined under a "thousand talents program".
The program is seeking the candidates who are under 40 years of age with a specialty in the area of natural sciences or engineering. They shall be the graduates with a doctoral degree from the renowned universities, enjoying an R&D experience for at least three years. The candidates shall also be a faculty member of renowned universities, research institutes, or enterprises when applying, with a capacity or potential to be a leader in the field. The program allows the new doctoral graduates who have made outstanding accomplishments during their campus study to be an exceptional candidate.
The candidates, once endorsed, shall work at a full time position in China, mainly at Chinese universities and research institutes.
Candidates will jointly be reviewed by a dedicated recruitment office made up of experts from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, and National Natural Science Foundation. The recruitment will proceed in the following steps: step one, an intention of recruitment be reached between the employer institution and the candidate, and the candidate files an application to the recruitment office; step two, the candidate will be reviewed by experts by correspondence, before into an experts panel review. An interview will be staged to short list the candidates. The short listed candidates will be publicized for possible misbehaviors; step three, the recruitment office will scrutinize the candidates who have been questioned or complained by the public; and step four, the central government talent recruitment panel will endorse the talents short listed for importation.
Improved DNA Backbone S-modification
A study team, led by DENG Zixin of Shanghai Jiaotong University, heralded two breakthroughs in DNA backbone S-modification studies. The finding, published in the recent issues of both Nucleic Acids Research and PLoS Genetics, unveils a novel host-specific restriction system associated with DNA backbone S-modification. Unlike the well known methylation-specific restriction systems, the new system is taken care of by 7 genes having a direct bearing with DNA backbone S-modification. Researchers also found a completely new cellular defense system embedded in Streptomyces coelicolor. The enzyme is able to cut off the DNA that has been S-modified and the one that has undergone a methylation modification. Additionally, the restriction-modification systems were found sitting on the two genome islands that go against one another. As a result, their simultaneous expression will trigger up the instant death of cells.
Novel Sand Fixing Agent
A novel sand fixing agent preparation technology, developed by Chinese Academy of Sciences Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics to improve soils, has recently been granted with a national patent. The sand fixing agent is prepared mainly using the waste liquids discharged from paper making. Researchers extracted lignin or lignin derivatives from the waste liquids, before turning them into a sand fixing agent through chemical modification. Tests show that the new sand fixing agent is able to raise organic matters in the sandy soil, thanks to the lignin, a nice humus material, employed in the agent. The spray of the agent can improve the quality of the soil, and facilitate biodegradation. Meanwhile, the new sand fixing agent is good in both moisture absorption and water conservation. Wind tunnel and pressing tests show that the sand fixing agent is strong in resistance to both wind erosion and pressure.
According to a briefing, chemical fixation is a process to spray diluted bonding chemicals to the loose surface of quicksand, allowing the rapid infiltration of water into the underlying layer, while keeping the bounding chemicals between the sandy layers, forming up a protective shell made up of sands, and keeping air from direct contact to the loose sand surface, which in turn prevents wind erosions.
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
A project assigned to Harbin Engineering University researchers to develop intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells has recently passed an acceptance check. Researchers developed high-performance composite cathodes based on composite and gradient electrodes, prolonged the length of three-phase interface, and drastically reduced the performance loss caused by interface mutation. They also developed new anode materials for manufacturing anti-coking solid oxide fuel cells, and a shared sintering process featured with simple operation, low cost, low power consumption, and easy mass production. Researchers assembled single unit cells (100mm × 100mm) using the shared sintering technique, and reduced the ambient temperature of power generation from 1000 ℃ to 750 ℃, effectively addressed a range of common problems, including fast attenuation caused by electrode sintering, electrode/electrolyte interface reactions, thermal expansion of cell components, and metal connecting material corrosions. The effort has led to the publication of papers in a range of journals, including Electrochemistry Newsletter, Electrochemistry, and Power Source Technology, along with five national invention grants.
New Generation "Artificial Sun"
CAS Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences announced on December 23, 2010 that China's new generation "artificial sun" system, or the world's first superconducting Tokamak (EAST) has completed its annual experiments on December 24, 2010. So far researchers have obtained a plasma current worth 1 million amperes, 100-second 15million-degree divertor long pulse plasma, a 30-time energy confinement time plasma, and 3-MW ion cyclotron heating among many other accomplishments.
The stable 100-second discharge conducted in the 2010 experiment makes the longest high-temperature divertor fusion plasma discharge recorded up to date. Researchers also made a range of successful experiments to address the safe operation of future fusion reactors, including microwave and RF based high confinement modeling, advanced high-parameter divertor precision control, and long pulse steady-state plasma acquisition.
The annual round of experiments lasted for 8 months. Some hundred domestic and foreign scientists, including a dozen of world-renowned nuclear fusion scientists, participated in the 8-month long annual experiments, and achieved fine results in modeling future ITER physics.