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CHINA SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY NEWSLETTER(2012 NO.3)
 

10 Energy Saving Actions

The National Development and Reform Commission, in collaboration with the CPC Publicity Department, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Environmental Protection, and Ministry of Education, recently released a plan to launch a range of energy efficiency and emission reduction actions during the 12th Five-year period (2011-2015). The Plan points out that China will stage 10 actions that will deal with energy efficiency and emission reduction at the level of families, teenagers, businesses, schools, military barracks, rural areas, government agencies, popular science activities, and news media. The ten special actions will be launched in different forms, including role model display, themes events, exhibitions, job creation, and proposals making, in an attempt to secure the involvement of the entire society in energy efficiency and emission reduction activities, advocating a healthy way of production, consumption, and life featured with conservation, green, and low-carbon.

According to the Plan, China will initiate a range of activities that release the “energy saving tool kits” to the public, promote the use of energy saving technology and findings, stage energy efficiency and emission reduction demonstrations, and establish service systems for the purpose.

The series activities will focus on the common technologies applied to enhance the universal capacity building of energy efficiency and emission reduction, developing series tools for raising such capability, and diffusing/displaying universal applications. Efforts will also be made to work on the spin-off and application of S&T findings in the area, enhancing the public awareness of energy saving and emission reduction, and building an agreeable aura for energy efficiency and emission reduction.

CDC 100% Direct Reporting of Infectious Diseases

DENG Haihua, Chinese Ministry of Health spokesperson, said recently that 100% of Chinese disease prevention and control institutions, 98% of medical institutions at the county level or above, and 87% of township hospitals have achieved direct online reporting of infectious diseases.

China has basically formed up a disease prevention and control system built on four levels (national, provincial, prefectural, and county), supported by a range of grassroots hospitals and village clinics.

China has also established a three-tiered (national, provincial, prefectural) public health emergency information and decision-making system, along with a range of emergency response plans for pandemic influenza, plague, natural disasters, nuclear accidents among others.

China has established a food safety system in line with China’s own situation, supported by some 1,900 national standards, 1,200 local standards, and 3,100 industrial standards for food, food additives, and food products, allowing an enhanced supervision network extended from the central, provincial, municipal, and county level to the rural areas.

As of 2010, there were 3,025 maternal and child care institutions in China. During the period of 2005-2010, the population working for maternal and child care raised from 188,000 to 245,000 in number, and obstetrics and gynecology doctors from 224,000 to 360,000. In 2011, China invested RMB 4.3 billion in constructing maternal and child care infrastructures in the central and western regions. Community health services, township hospitals, and village clinics are all equipped with full or part-time maternal and child care staff.

New Leprosy Susceptibility Gene Found

The sustained investigation conducted by a team led by ZHANG Furen, head of Shandong Institute of Dermatology and STD, has led to the discovery of 10 leprosy susceptibility genes. The findings allow a drop of blood to preliminarily determine if the person is a susceptible high-risk individual, making screening leprosy susceptible individuals using genetic means possible.

According to a briefing, ZAHNG and coworkers recently spotted the 10th leprosy susceptibility gene, which enhances the screening technique built on the nine susceptibility genes previously found by the team, creating a ground for the primary prevention of leprosy in the future. The susceptibility genes were screened from more than 20,000 leprosy cases through a sustained control study.

The findings derived from the study updated people’s previous knowledge of leprosy: both genetic factors and leprosy bacteria are the causes of leprosy diseases. ZHANG said the 10 leprosy susceptibility genes discovered in the course of study are associated with human innate immunology, which means people carrying the genes are more likely to have a leprosy diseases due to the inherent immune defects, though that does not rule out the possibility that people having no such genes would not have the disease.

Track Robot for Substation Inspection

A track robot developed by Chinese Academy of Sciences Shenyang Institute of Automation for substation inspection, the first of its kind in the country, applauded for a successful trial operation at a 220 kV substation in Anshan. The robot, made up of seven sub-systems for mobility, carrier communication, audio sampling, video observation, motion control, infrared obstacle avoidance, and frost and snow removal, is designed to work under an operating temperature range between -25℃ and 50℃, with a dust and rain proof capability reaching class IP55. The robot system can be instructed to perform an uninterrupted round-o’clock inspection of substation equipment. The robot would report the failure of substation equipment to the control center in a real-time manner, in addition to the function of storing the inspection data for a long period of time for future review.

The robot, enjoying numerous merits, including fast mobility, accurate positioning, low cost, and round-o’clock operation, is desirable for applications in cold areas.

Subsurface Buoys Deployed at Prydz Bay

The 28th Chinese Antarctic Expedition Team recently deployed another three subsurface buoys at the Prydz Bay. One such buoy had been deployed at the same bay on December 18 last year. The development marks the completion of subsurface buoys deployment. The buoys are deployed to observe the water exchange patterns at the bay through monitoring seawater temperature, salinity, and currents, in a bid to understand the variation of marine environment at the bay.  

The buoy system is made up of floats, ropes, heavy anchor, and aboard observing instruments and equipment. The buoy is also called anchor buoy for it is planted on the seabed by heavy anchor. The area where the four buoys sit is not only a blank area for buoy observation, but is also a site desirable for observing water route exchanges at the bay.

Studying Earth's Climate in Late Mesozoic

Earth's greenhouse climate in the Late Mesozoic and associated environmental evolution, a major project initiated under the National Key Basic Research Development Programs, was kicked off on February 9, 2012 at China University of Geosciences. The study will work on a range of scientific issues, including the reconstruction of Earth's greenhouse paleoclimate, paleoenvironment, and associated evolution in the Late Mesozoic, and unveiling the Earth's greenhouse climate – the processes and mechanisms that contributed to rapid environmental changes. Researchers will focus mainly on the evolution of large continental basins in northeastern China in the late Mesozoic, the reconstruction of the East Asian paleoclimate in the Late Mesozoic, and scientific drilling at the Songliao Basin.

Chinese HLA Lab Won International Accreditation

An HLA laboratory under Suzhou University No.1 Hospital recently won the accreditation of the American Society for Histocompatibility and immunogenetics (ASHI), becoming the first mainland lab recognized by ASHI. As a result, China Bone Marrow Bank is in a position to share its information and data with the bone marrow registries across the world without "barrier", allowing expanded searches with reduced time and cost.

The lab has also put into operation three other new labs for Donor high-resolution HLA confirmation, diagnostic gene chips market access, and tumor genetic testing and diagnosis. The high-resolution technology applied in one of the labs is able to minimize the rejection rate in the pre-transplant recipient, with a raised successful matching rate to 80%.

The advanced gene sequencing machine in the laboratory can make a comparison between the patient and the donor at 10 sites (previously only six sites), which makes the matching result advanced from the original 2 places after the decimal point to 4-6 places. 

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