China-IEA Energy Cooperation
A China-IEA (International Energy Agency) workshop on scientific and technological cooperation was held on February 18, 2011 in Beijing. Some 30 representatives from domestic research institutes that are part of IEA implementing agreements attended the meeting, discussing the progresses achieved and work plans in the next phase. CHEN Linhao, Deputy Director of MOST Dept. of International Cooperation, attended the meeting. At the meeting, CHEN pointed out that China's future scientific and technological cooperation with IEA will continue to work to combine domestic research resources and share international cooperation resources, in the principle of "China being a key player and a major user, steadily enhancing cooperation, and working for mutual benefits". China will make international cooperation, especially collaborations with IEA, part of the efforts to meet its major domestic needs. China will show to the world the accomplishments it has achieved in developing and promoting clean energy technologies, by being an active part of the IEA reporting system, in an attempt to seek more cooperation opportunities,. China will release the information of future collaborations with IEA through the Liaison Office and a dedicated website, promoting more substantive collaborations.
CHEN held talks with Ulrich Benterbusch, IEA Director of international cooperation on February 17, 2011. Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of science and technology, including encouraging Chinese research institutions to be part of new implementing agreements, and jointly sponsoring a range of international meetings, including international forum for electric vehicle demonstration cities, leaders forum for advanced vehicle, CCS and oil-gas technologies under WPFF, round tables for accelerating energy technology innovations, and online energy experts meetings.
500 Million Years Old Lobopodian Found
A new study, made by Dr. LIU Jianni and coworkers at Northwestern University Institute of Early Life, has led to the discovery of a lobopodian that could walk on the seafloor dated back to 500 million years ago, or Diania cactiformis for its name. The finding, published in the Feb. 24 issue of Nature magazine, is an effort to unveil the origin of arthropods.
Diania cactiformis, an 'armored' lobopodian unearthed from the Chengjiang fossil Lagers in Yunnan, is remarkable for possessing robust and probably sclerotized appendages, with what appear to be articulated elements, though without a distinct head in the fossil. The worm-like seafloor walking animal, undoubtedly, represents a key missing link telling the transition from the ancient lobopodians to arthropods, a solid evidence for understanding the earliest evolution of arthropods.
World's First Microscope GM Rabbits
The world's first transgenic rabbits bred out by the scientists of Guangxi University using fertilization ovulation microscope technology have recently made their debut to the public. Led by Dr. SHI Deshun, Dean of Guangxi University School of Animal Science and Technology, a team of scientists worked out the solutions to addressing a range of technical difficulties in the 2-odd-year study, including low integration of foreign genes and low pregnancy rate. In November 2010, scientists made an in-vitro combination of fat-1 gene and unfrozen rabbit sperms, and injected the combination into rabbit oocytes cells, before transplanting the transgenic embryos into surrogate rabbits. A month long pregnancy in two surrogate rabbits has led to the successful birth to seven baby rabbits with an averaged weight of 65 grams, or 15 grams heavier compared with ordinary rabbits. The GM rabbits conceived using fertilization ovulation microscope technology also witnessed a noticeably raised height.
Scientists have recently made a range of molecular biological evaluation of the five rabbits conceived using fertilization ovulation microscope technology and associated genetic expression tests. Results show that 4 rabbits have carried fat-1 genes. The enzymes encoded with fat-1 are able to turn ω-6 fatty acids into ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, with a boosted efficiency by 3 times, compared with ordinary rabbits. ω-3 fatty acids have been proven effective in preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and cancers.
New HIV-1 Manipulating Mechanism Found
Not long ago, a study, led by TANG Hong at CAS Institute of Biophysics, published online its findings in the journal of Immunology, discussing a new mechanism possessed by TBK1, a major signaling molecule in innate immune response, in manipulating the replication of immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), a new technical line for both basic research and clinical treatment.
TANG and coworkers' finding has proved for the first time that TBK1, in collaboration with multiple vesicular bodies (MVB) that are responsible for intracellular protein transport, strictly controls the maturation of HIV-1 and eventual release into the extracellular budding process. In this context, TBK1 is not only able to activate the activities of interferon, but can also fight infections through manipulating the replication of viruses.
TANG and coworkers found that in the budding process of HIV-1, PTAP has to open a "lock" called ESCRT-I complex. TBK1, and other previously found proteins, including Tsg101, MVB12 and VPS37C, makes the core of the complex.
TBK1, in the ESCRT-I complex, does not affect MVBs' ultrastructures and normal physiological functions. However, the level of TBK1 and associated kinase activity is inversely proportional to the speed of HIV-1 budding. More interestingly, TBK1 regulates the virus budding process, though only targeting at the HIV-1 with PTAP, without touching MLV and EIAV.
More importantly, TBK1's control of HIV-1 budding is not dependent on the activation of antiviral signaling pathway, such as interferon, but rather through the specific phosphorylation of VPS37C. The finding reveals a brand new function possessed by TBK1 in the antiviral process, namely it can manipulate the viral replication cycle, in addition to the previously known function as an interferon producer.
Dynamic Fatigue Testing Calibration
China National Institute of Metrology has recently rolled out a proprietary dynamic calibration device for fatigue testing machines. The device is made up of a resistance strain sensor and a dynamic strain signal data acquisition system, with a static precision reaching the level of 0.1. In the frequency range of 500Hz, the device has registered a normalized dynamic sensitivity larger than 1%. Desirable for high accuracy dynamic measurement, the internationally advanced device can be employed to test and calibrate fatigue testing machines in a dynamic manner. The successful development of the device provides a metrologically standardized and scientifically rational device and process that can be applied to calibrate and validate a fatigue testing machine, a powerful technical support for securing the reliability and life of the materials used in aviation, space, automobile, shipbuilding, metallurgy, construction among others.