Chinese authors publishing on Nature on any given day


China Sends AI Reporter to Cover the Rio Olympics — Blows Every Journalist Out of the Water

August 25, 2016

  • A robot news reporter from China, which delivered speedy and efficient reports during the recently concluded Olympics in Rio, was able to produce 450 news items throughout the 15-day event. Covering mostly sports where Chinese athletes excel at such as badminton and table tennis, the AI newsbot was commended by users for its super fast delivery of news and ability to write and publish stories just minutes after an event ended.

China Races to Tap Artificial Intelligence — WSJ

August 25, 2016

  • The acquisition this month by ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing Technology of Uber Technologies’ China operation was a reminder of how strong Chinese tech companies have become domestically at outmaneuvering foreign rivals. But the biggest buzz in China’s internet industry isn’t about besting global tech giants by better adapting existing business models for the Chinese market. Rather, it’s about competing head-to-head with the U.S. and other tech powerhouses in the hottest area of technological innovation: artificial intelligence. Enthusiasts of the technology in China say those resources, along with some particular advantages in China, such as the sheer volume of data generated by its enormous population of internet users, makes this an area where China can excel.–wsj-20160825-00056

Relocating science

25 August 2016

  • There is no doubt of China’s dominance when it comes to publishing research in high-quality journals. Its weighted fractional count (WFC; a score used by the Nature Index, see description below) was 5% higher in May 2015 to April 2016 compared with 2014. With the exception of New Zealand, the WFC of the other Asia-Pacific countries profiled fell. China devoted more of its research efforts to physics and less to health and medical sciences in 2015 than any of the other countries profiled, according to the number of academic journal articles in the Scopus database. Articles on boundaries between subjects can be counted more than once, potentially distorting the relative subject proportions in these charts.

Chinese students create a revolutionary new way to heal bone fractures

25 August, 2016

  • A group of design students from Tunghai University, in China, have come up with a clever new way to heal bone fractures. Known as BoneAid, the cast differs from traditional fixation casts in that one versatile cast can heal breaks in the leg, arm, or ankle — all with minor reassembly. The design also packs flat in shipments so it takes up less space than casts designed for a specific body part when disaster relief needs as many casts as possible.

China funds 18 bln yuan on science projects

August 24, 2016

  • The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) has approved funding for 38,160 projects this year, with a total investment of more than 18 billion yuan (2.8 billion U.S.dollars). With a budget of 24.8 billion yuan for 2016, the NSFC received 177,551 applications as of August 16, it announced on Tuesday. For programs exploring scientific frontiers, each has received an average 600,000 yuan investment. Those designated priority areas, such as quantum information technology, cosmic ray detection, and global environmental change, were each financed with 2.8 million yuan on average.

China launching increasing number of journals in English

August 24, 2016

  • Chinese universities and publishers are rapidly launching English language journals in a bid to internationalise Chinese research, according to a new survey of the rapidly changing publishing market in China. “New English journals are springing up like mushrooms,” according to a market report about China, released on 24 August by the Publishers Association, which adds that the trend is driven “by the desire for international impact” among institutes, universities and publishers. Some of the new English journals – which are mostly in fields such as science, technology and medicine – are making a big impact in global science, with 185 included in this year’s Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report, which lists the world’s most cited journals, up from 162 two years previously.

Record low for unmanned submersible

August 24, 2016

  • CHINA’S unmanned submersible reached a depth of 10,767 meters, setting a new national record, the Chinese Academy of Sciences said yesterday. Haidou-1 set the record at the Mariana Trench in the West Pacific, the deepest area in the world, during a scientific expedition lasting from June 22 to August 12. During the trip the submersible was over 8,000 meters below the sea surface once, 9,000 meters twice and 10,000 meters twice.

Better Lithium Batteries to Get a Test Flight

August 23, 2016

  • Scientists have known for decades that lithium-metal batteries offer a powerful combination of energy density and compactness. Unfortunately these batteries also present challenges: they are difficult to recharge and they have an unfortunate tendency to burst into flame. Massachusetts-based startup SolidEnergy Systems, spun out of the MIT lab of Donald Sadoway in 2012, claims to have solved these problems with a novel anode structure and hybrid electrolyte. Qichao Hu, SolidEnergy’s founder, first showed a prototype last fall that is half the size of an iPhone 6 battery and offers more battery life per charge. The company says it will sell batteries for smartphones by early next year, and for electric vehicles in 2018. First, though, it’s going after a more specialized market: drones.

Chaos could provide the key to enhanced wireless communications

August 23, 2016

  • Chaos, somewhat ironically, has one clear attribute: random-like, apparently unpredictable, behavior. However recent work shows that that unpredictable behavior could provide the key to effective and efficient wireless communications. A team of researchers at the Xian University of Technology in China and the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom have demonstrated that chaos can, in fact, be used to transmit information over a wireless physical channel offering wide-ranging advantages from enhanced communications security. The researchers explain their findings this week in Chaos.

Squid, jellyfish and wrinkled skin inspire materials for anti-glare screens and encryption

August 21, 2016

  • The researchers will present their work today at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world’s largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features more than 9,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics. “Our experimental materials use cracks, folds or wrinkles to mimic the surface engineering of skin,” says Luyi Sun, Ph.D., who heads the research. “These new materials are unique because they change color or transparency when they’re stretched or exposed to moisture.”

Chinese scientists discover molecule to repair organs

August 20, 2016

  • Chinese scientists have discovered a small molecule that can regenerate tissue, which in the future could potentially eliminate transplants of some organs. The research was led by professor Zhou Dawang and Deng Xianming of the School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, and professor Yun Caihong of Peking University, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

China unlocks potential of financial technology


  • “China is the home of fintech innovation and adoption,” says James Lloyd, Asia-Pacific fintech leader with consultancy EY, during Finnovasia 2016, a fintech event held in Hong Kong in late May. “During an event in Shanghai, interestingly, a (chief financial officer) of a Chinese fintech unicorn I met said fintech is basically a Chinese phenomenon,” he adds. Unicorns are very successful startup companies valued at more than $1 billion. Fintech unicorns are rare but they are showing up in China.

Breakthrough in the synthetic replication of composite-material structures found in Mother of pearl

Aug 19, 2016

  • Biomaterials play a crucial role in the development of future high-performance materials. A naturally occurring example of such biomaterial, the mollusk shell, guides chemical replication processes in laboratories. Due to its complex chemical construction, however, these processes are not easy to replicate synthetically. Chemists at the University of Konstanz, in cooperation with the University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei, China), are now the first to synthetically reproduce the structural configuration of natural mother of pearl or “nacre”.

A practical synthesis for benzazetidine compounds

August 18, 2016

  • A group of researchers from Nankai University in China, the University of Pittsburgh, and The Pennsylvania State University have demonstrated, for the first time, a synthetic mechanism for N-unsubstituted benzazetidines that is high yielding and practical. Their synthetic strategy can be used to make a variety of benzazetidine-based compounds for possible drug design exploration. Their work appears in Nature Chemistry.

Chinese Firms Keen on Investing in Overseas VR

Aug 14, 2016

  • Chinese venture capital firms are interested to invest in foreign virtual reality (VR) companies with advanced VR technologies that can help Chinese business expand overseas, according to experts. Citing statistics from research firm Digi-Capital, China Daily reported that venture capital firms in the country are turning their attention to VR/AR as investment in the global VR/AR field has reached about $1.7 billion at the end of the first quarter of this year.

Vortex rings may aid cell delivery, cell-free protein production

Aug 11, 2016

  • Duo An, a doctoral student in the labs of both professor Dan Luo and assistant professor Minglin Ma, in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, was an undergraduate from China doing an internship at Cornell when he stumbled upon a phenomenon that has the potential to greatly improve cell-free protein production and cell delivery, particularly for Type 1 diabetes patients. A group headed by Luo and Ma has published a paper in Nature Communications (“Mass production of shaped particles through vortex ring freezing”). An is lead author.

Variations in size, shape and electronic properties of ring-shaped molecules lead to changes in ion-selectivity

August 10, 2016

  • The ability to pick out one type among many metal ions is vital in many fields. Ring-shaped molecules—known as macrocycles—have long been used as synthetic ion recognition systems. The ion binding properties of the macrocycles are defined by the size and shape of their internal cavity and how well this matches with the desired metal ion. Now, Huaqiang Zeng from the A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and colleagues from China, have designed a series of macrocycles assembled from five building blocks.

Chinese tech firm LeEco plans 12 billion yuan investment in electric car factory

10 August, 2016

  • Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco will invest 12 billion yuan into building an electric car factory in eastern China, with an estimated annual output of 400,000 electric cars by 2018. The factory will manufacture LeEco’s autonomous electric vehicle, the LeSee, which was first unveiled in April. The concept car can achieve a top speed of 209km/h and comes with autonomous driving, LeEco said at the time.

27 China chip operations form HECA

8th August 2016

  • China has formed HECA – the High-End Chip Alliance – to co-ordinate the country’s efforts to build a semiconductor industry. Among the 27 semiconductor-related organisations involved in HECA are: Tsinghua Unigroup, SMIC, Yangtze River Storage Technology (YRST), Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Beijing University, Tsinghua University, Institute of Microelectronics of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Academy of Telecommunication Research, Baidu and Alibaba.

Baidu Is Bringing Intelligent AR to the Masses

August 3, 2016

  • The Chinese Internet giant Baidu has announced a new AR platform that will allow people to make use of the technology from within many of the company’s own apps. Baidu has offered up two examples of the system in use. One shows the software recognizing the presence of a 2-D map of Shanghai, then render it as a 3-D illustration reminiscent of SimCity. Another identifies a shampoo advert, adding virtual petals that echo its floral branding while keeping them locked in place as the ad moves in space.

China has actually built an elevated bus that travels above car traffic

Aug 2, 2016

  • If you’ve ever been surfing through random videos on Facebook or another social media site you’ve probably seen the concept video of that Chinese train/bus hybrid thing that can travel over cars (and over traffic). But that was just a rendered concept. And, like me, you probably thought that even though it was an amazing idea, it would never actually move past the idea stage. But China’s proved us wrong.

China’s first home-made supercapacitor tram unveiled

August 2, 2016

  • China’s first independently designed supercapacitor tram rolled off the production line in central China’s Hunan Province Monday. The tram uses supercapacitor energy storage to operate without external wires and can be fully charged during a 30-second stop and run for 3 to 5 kilometers, according to Engineer-in-Chief Suo Jianguo with Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. under CRRC Corporation Ltd, the country’s largest rolling-stock maker.

China is testing a futuristic bus that straddles traffic and carries over a thousand passengers

Aug. 2, 2016

  • China has begun testing a futuristic-looking electric bus that straddles traffic as it drives down the street. By straddling the traffic, the bus is able to quickly move above most vehicles, helping cut down on congestion and pollution caused by auto emissions.

China, Not Silicon Valley, Is Cutting Edge in Mobile Tech

AUG. 2, 2016

  • Snapchat and Kik, the messaging services, use bar codes that look like drunken checkerboards to connect people and share information with a snap of their smartphone cameras. Facebook is working on adding the ability to hail rides and make payments within its Messenger app. Facebook and Twitter have begun live-streaming video. All of these developments have something in common: The technology was first popularized in China.

Peeling off the silicene layers for new electronics

Aug 01, 2016

  • ISEM Research Fellow Dr Yi Du and his team have used oxygen to separate a single-atom thick layer of silicon from its surface, overcoming the key hurdle preventing the production of a material with potential to supercharge electronics. “We know silicene crystals prefer to firmly attach on the metallic substrate and because they are too thin to be peeled off by any mechanical tools, it’s impossible to remove them from the substrate,” Dr Du said.

Catch them if you can

27 July 2016

  • The performance of research strongholds like the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Oxford have improved dramatically in the past few years. As the research world’s equivalent of Apple or Google, these well-established organizations have big budgets, some of the best brains and top-notch equipment. China has so many institutions in the latter category, we could have produced a whole magazine about them. Countries are sized by the number of institutions in the top 100 institutions with the highest increase in their absolute contribution to the index, a metric known as weighted fractional count (WFC), between 2012 and 2015.

High-efficiency color holograms created using a metasurface made of nanoblocks

July 29, 2016

  • By carefully arranging many nanoblocks to form pixels on a metasurface, researchers have demonstrated that they can manipulate incoming visible light in just the right way to create a color “meta-hologram.” The new method of creating holograms has an order of magnitude higher reconstruction efficiency than similar color meta-holograms, and has applications for various types of 3D color holographic displays and achromatic planar lenses. The researchers, Bo Wang et al., from Peking University and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, both in China, have published a paper on the new type of hologram in a recent issue of Nano Letters.

New Study with Chinese Scientists Identifies Rice Crops that can Save Farmers Money and Cut Pollution

Jul 29, 2016

  • The study authored by University of Toronto Scarborough Professor Herbert Kronzucker in collaboration with a team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences looked at 19 varieties of rice to see which ones were more efficient at using nitrogen.

Rapid growth in high-quality research outputs shows China is consolidating position as scientific powerhouse

27 July 2016

  • The Nature Index 2016 Rising Stars supplement identifies the countries and institutions showing the most significant growth in high-quality research publications, using the power of the Nature Index, which tracks the research of more than 8,000 global institutions. These are the players to watch. It shows that Chinese institutions are leading the world in rapidly increasing high-quality research outputs. 40 of the top 100 highest performers across the globe are from this scientific powerhouse, with 24 of those showing growth above 50% since 2012. The United States – which remains the largest contributor to high-quality scientific papers overall – is second, with 11 entrants into the top 100 despite many starting from a high base. Nine institutions feature from the United Kingdom, and eight from Germany.

Machine learning researchers team up with Chinese botanists on flower-recognition project

July 27, 2016

  • Has this ever happened to you? You’re out walking with your daughter. She finds a beautiful flower, quizzes you on it, but you’re stumped—you have no idea what it is. Instead of having to admit you don’t know, what if you could quickly identify the flower or any other plant wherever you happen to be? But how? At least 250,000 species of flowers exist and even experienced botanists have trouble identifying them all. Now there’s a way thanks to the rising power and sophistication of image recognition and the ease of taking pictures with your smartphone. It’s called the Smart Flower Recognition System but it might never have happened were it not for a chance encounter last year between Microsoft researchers and botanists at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS). Yong Rui, assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA), was explaining image-recognition technology at a seminar—much to the delight of IBCAS botanists whose own arduous efforts to collect data on regional flower distribution were experiencing poor results. The IBCAS botanists soon realized the potential of MSRA’s image-recognition technology. At the same time, Yong Rui knew he had found the perfect vehicle to improve image recognition while addressing a reality-based problem that benefits society. It also helped that IBCAS had accumulated a massive public store of 2.6 million images. Since anyone in the world could upload pictures to this flower photo dataset—and no human could possibly supervise the uploads—the MSRA team had to create algorithms to filter out the “bad” pictures. That was the first of many difficult problems facing researcher Jianlong Fu and his team in building a tool capable of discerning tiny anomalies among the many species of flowers.

China is developing a floating nuclear power station that could be deployed to the South China Sea

July 26, 2016

  • While tensions are flaring in the South China Sea, recent reports from leading Chinese nuclear engineers won’t be relieving that sentiment any time soon — according to ChinaDaily, the country is now developing a new vessel-installed nuclear power station. This ship — estimated to be complete by 2018 and fully operational by 2019 — would potentially be able to provide a source of electricity to isolated locations in the sea, including the highly contested South China Sea.

Backed by Google, a Chinese AI-powered smartwatch sets its sights on the US

26 July, 2016

  • Mobvoi, a four-year-old Chinese technology start-up with a large following in China, has global ambitions for its smartwatch, which is barely a year old. On Tuesday, Mobvoi — which has raised US$75 million in financing to date and is Google’s mobile tech partner in one of the world’s biggest markets for smartwatches — is launching a global edition of its Ticwatch 2, the second generation of a version currently available only in China.

New lithium-oxygen battery greatly improves energy efficiency, longevity

Jul 25, 2016

  • Lithium-air batteries are considered highly promising technologies for electric cars and portable electronic devices because of their potential for delivering a high energy output in proportion to their weight. But such batteries have some pretty serious drawbacks: They waste much of the injected energy as heat and degrade relatively quickly. They also require expensive extra components to pump oxygen gas in and out, in an open-cell configuration that is very different from conventional sealed batteries. The new battery concept, called a nanolithia cathode battery, is described in the journal Nature Energy (“Anion-redox nanolithia cathodes for Li-ion batteries”) in a paper by Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT; postdoc Zhi Zhu; and five others at MIT, Argonne National Laboratory, and Peking University in China.

New technique developed for effective dye removal and low-cost water purification

Jul 19, 2016

  • Organic compounds in wastewater, such as dyes and pigments in industry effluents, are toxic or have lethal effect on aquatic living and humans. Increasing evidence has shown that the organic contaminants discharged from electroplating, textile production, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals are the main reasons for the higher morbidity rates of kidney, liver, and bladder cancers, etc. Organic contaminants, especially methyl blue and methyl orange, are stable to light, heat or oxidizing agents and very difficult to remove by conventional chemical or biological wastewater treatment techniques. Now, using laser-induced fabrication technique, a team of Chinese researchers from Shandong University, China, have developed a novel dye adsorbent. Hybrid nano-particles of silver and silver sulfide (Ag2S@Ag hybrid nano-particles) have demonstrated the nanomaterial’s superior adsorption performance for removing methyl blue and methyl orange from wastewater.

China’s tech scene is thriving

July 21, 2016

  • Beijing: Silicon Valley may be powered by organic kale, but when Chinese tech gurus gather at 3W, a coffee shop-slash-incubator in the Chinese capital, they want sunflower seeds. And they want them fast. Ahead of a recent meeting, 3W’s co-founder, Xu Dandan, used WeChat, a Chinese platform with hundreds of millions of users, to place an order with Beequick, a local start-up that delivers supplies from mom-and-pop shops. Thirty minutes later: Crunch, crunch. And if Xu and his friends were craving a different crispy snack like, say, crayfish? A business accelerator at nearby Peking University has a start-up just for that. Grab your China-made phone, open WeChat, and, just like that, your crustaceous needs are met.

Chinese Scientists Push for Wider GMO Use Amid Protests

Jul 20, 2016

  • Chinese scientists are urging for wider acceptance of genetically modified foods, with many saying that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) may be the key to addressing China’s limited farmland and scarce water resources. While China has a sufficient crop supply to meet the country’s current needs, the changing Chinese diet, which is shifting further towards meat and animal products, adds to food security concerns, Wang Dayuan, former dean of the Department of Biological Engineering at China National Rice Research Institute, said in his remarks during a seminar in Beijing on Sunday.

Electric cars likely to become ‘smarter’ as Chinese start-ups adopt smartphone approach

20 July, 2016

  • With the smartphone industry beginning to mature, there’s been a lot of speculation about the next big technology trend. If Shen Haiyi is right, it’s going to have four wheels. Beijing-based Zhiche Auto, founded by Shen at the end of 2014 with a team of 100 people, plans to apply the innovation model of the smartphone to the country’s auto industry. “Before the iPhone, there was no smartphone, only a feature phone. iPhone created a new market and a new era of smart devices. Similarly, traditional automakers are making ‘feature vehicles’ – but we are making a ‘smart vehicle’, or smart devices with four wheels,” said the 42-year-old Shen, a former vice president of Qihoo 360 and Kingsoft.

Researchers discover key mechanism for producing solar cells

Jul 18, 2016

  • Researchers from the University of Houston have reported the first explanation for how a class of materials changes during production to more efficiently absorb light, a critical step toward the large-scale manufacture of better and less-expensive solar panels. The work, published this month as the cover story for Nanoscale, offers a mechanism study of how a perovskite thin film changes its microscopic structure upon gentle heating, said Yan Yao, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and lead author on the paper. This information is crucial for designing a manufacturing Other researchers involved with the project include first author Yaoguang Rong, previously a postdoctoral fellow at UH and now associate professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China; UH postdoctoral fellows Swaminathan Venkatesan and Yanan Wang; Jiming Bao, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at UH; Rui Guo and Wenzhi Li of Florida International University, and Zhiyong Fan of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Scientists move one step closer to creating an invisibility cloak

15 July 2016

  • Researchers from QMUL’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, worked with UK industry to demonstrate for the first time a practical cloaking device that allows curved surfaces to appear flat to electromagnetic waves. Co-author, Professor Yang Hao from QMUL’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, said: “The design is based upon transformation optics, a concept behind the idea of the invisibility cloak.

This Is What Happens When A Supermassive Black Hole Destroys A Star

July 15, 2016

  • Radio astronomers have used a radio telescope network the size of the Earth to zoom in on a unique phenomenon in a distant galaxy: a supermassive black hole shooting out a jet after devouring a star. The observations reveal a compact and surprisingly slowly moving source of radio waves, with details published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. These observations would not have been possible without the full power of the many radio telescopes of different sizes which together make up the European VLBI Network (EVN), said Professor An Tao from the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory in China. EVN is a wide-ranging radio telescope array that includes the 25-meter radio telescope in Sheshan in Shanghai.

China’s Scientific Revolution

JUL 15, 2016

  • The Chinese economy has undergone radical transformation in recent years and is now laying the groundwork for impressive advances in science and technology. In particular, China is setting itself up to be a major player in the fight against disease, and there are many reasons to believe that the country will play a central role in the life-sciences research of the future. For starters, according to a report in McKinsey Quarterly, China spends more than $200 billion on research annually, a level of investment that is second only to the United States. Chinese President Xi Jinping has positioned science-based innovation near the top of the national agenda, with the government’s 13th Five-Year Plan prioritizing complex projects in emerging fields like brain research, gene science, big data, and medical robotics.

How China is rewriting the book on human origins

12 July 2016

  • On the outskirts of Beijing, a small limestone mountain named Dragon Bone Hill rises above the surrounding sprawl. Along the northern side, a path leads up to some fenced-off caves that draw 150,000 visitors each year, from schoolchildren to grey-haired pensioners. It was here, in 1929, that researchers discovered a nearly complete ancient skull that they determined was roughly half a million years old. Dubbed Peking Man, it was among the earliest human remains ever uncovered, and it helped to convince many researchers that humanity first evolved in Asia.

Beijing Company Unveils ‘World’s First Graphene Battery’ That Charges Under 15 Minutes

Jul 12, 2016

  • A Beijing-based company launched the “world’s first graphene battery” that can recharge within only 15 minutes, reports said. Released by Dongxu Optoelectronics, the G-King battery packs 4,800mAh and is said to refill its lost charge between 13 and 15 minutes. That makes it at least 10 times faster than Li-ion batteries commonly adopted in mobile devices. Studies show that it can change the technology surrounding batteries today by paving the way for a flexible and super-lightweight power source, making future mobile devices slimmer and lighter.

Chinese automaker plans self-driving, electric car by 2020

Jul 12, 2016

  • An automotive venture backed by China tech giant Tencent aims to launch an electric self-driving car before 2020, entering a crowded field dominated by US-based Tesla, the chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday. Future Mobility, backed by Tencent and Hon Hai Precision Industries, is one of an expanding field of China-backed ventures that aim to take on Tesla Motors Inc as green energy car sales boom in China.

China’s ‘The Brain’ winner beats AI robot in facial recognition challenge

Jul 08, 2016

  • Wang Yuheng, who is famous in China for his exceptional memory and observation skills, won against artificial intelligence (AI) robot “Mark” in a three-round facial recognition challenge. The live challenge, according to International Business Times, was a publicity stunt held by the largest digital payment service in China, Alipay. Alipay has just launched “Mark,” a facial recognition AI feature for its service.

Researchers improve performance of cathode material by controlling oxygen activity

Jul 07, 2016

  • The discovery sheds light on how changing the oxygen composition of lithium-rich cathode materials could improve battery performance, particularly in high-energy applications such as electric vehicles. The findings were published July 1 in Nature Communications (“Gas-solid interfacial modification of oxygen activity in layered oxide cathodes for lithium-ion batteries”). In the new study, Meng’s group collaborated with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to develop a way to introduce oxygen vacancies in a class of cathode materials known as lithium-rich layered oxides. These materials have been gaining popularity among battery researchers because they can potentially house more energy than other cathode materials. But lithium-rich cathode materials also have their drawbacks, including slow discharge rates and an issue called voltage fade, which is characterized by a drop in cell voltage with each charge-discharge cycle.

Japanese and Chinese scientists teame up against infectious diseases

July 7, 2016

  • China is in the thick of a fight against infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and AIDS — a battle the entire world has a stake in. The University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science, or IMSUT, has thrown its weight behind the effort in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a state research institution. IMSUT’s Research Center for Asian Infectious Diseases is based at the academy in Beijing. Japanese scientists are permanently stationed at a pair of specialized institutions that belong to the academy — the Institute of Biophysics and the Institute of Microbiology — where they conduct joint research.

Installation complete on world’s largest radio telescope


  • Installation was completed on the world’s largest radio telescope on Sunday morning as the last of 4,450 panels was fitted into the center of the big dish. Hoisting of the last triangular panel to the reflector, which is the size of 30 football fields, began at 10:47 a.m. and lasted about 40 minutes. It was a landmark step for the telescope’s planned launch of operations in September. About 300 people, including builders, experts, science fiction enthusiasts and reporters, witnessed the installation at a karst valley in Pingtang County in the southwestern province of Guizhou.

Bird wings trapped in amber are a fossil first from the age of dinosaurs

28 June 2016

  • A team of researchers led by Lida Xing, a palaeontologist at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, recovered a first for the time period: a few cubic centimetres of amber from northeastern Myanmar that contained the partial remains of two bird wings. The specimens include bone, feathers and skin, according to a study published on 28 June in Nature Communications1.

Chinese Atmospheric Scientist Wins Meteorological Prize

June 28, 2016

  • Professor Zeng Qingcun from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has received the 61st International Meteorological Organization Prize. Zeng is the third Chinese citizen to win this award. The award, provided by the World Meteorological Organization, recognized Zeng for his contributions to satellite meteorological remote-sensing theory, numerical weather prediction theory, meteorological disaster prevention, and the earth system model.

Mimosa Origami

Jun 26, 2016

  • Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have made a new material which folds itself into a straw-like tube when it comes into contact with water, and then propels the liquid through the tube. The new material can be used to easily create cheap fluid distribution systems that could be used for medical sample analysis, biological sensors or micro-robotics.–RpE9U

Quantum calculations broaden the understanding of crystal catalysts: Quantum mechanics and a supercomputer help scientists to identify the position of atoms on the surface of rutile

June 22nd, 2016

  • Using numerical modelling, researchers from Russia, the US, and China have discovered previously unknown features of rutile TiO2, which is a promising photocatalyst. The calculations were performed at an MIPT laboratory on the supercomputer Rurik. The paper detailing the results has been published in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

Insects were already using camouflage 100 million years ago

June 24, 2016

  • Those who go to a masked ball consciously slip into a different role, in order to avoid being recognized so quickly. Insects were already doing something very similar in the Cretaceous: They cloaked themselves in pieces of plants, grains of sand, or the remains of their prey, in order, for example, to be invisible to predators. An international research team, with participation from the University of Bonn, has now investigated such “invisibility cloaks” encased in amber. The custom-tailored “costumes” also permit conclusions about the habitat at the time. The results have now been published in the journal Science Advances. The scene plays out in the Cretaceous and is recorded as a “snapshot” in amber. A research team under Dr. Bo Wang of the State Key Laboratory of Paleobiology and Stratigraphy in Nanjing (China) worked together with paleontologists from the University of Bonn and other scientists from China, USA, France, and England to examine a total of 35 insects preserved in amber. With the aid of grains of sand, plant residue, wood fibers, dust, or even the lifeless shells of their victims, the larvae achieved camouflage to perfection. The amber samples come from Myanmar, France, and Lebanon.

China by the numbers

22 June 2016

  • China’s blazing economic growth has cooled in recent years, but the nation’s scientific ambitions show no signs of fading. In 2000, China spent about as much on research and development (R&D) as France; now it invests more in this area than the European Union does, when adjusted for the purchasing power of its currency. That surge in funding has paid off. China now produces more research articles than any other nation, apart from the United States, and its authors feature on around one-fifth of the world’s most-cited papers. Top Chinese scientific institutions are breaking into lists of the world’s best, and the nation has created some unparalleled facilities.

Science stars of China

20 June 2016

  • A fleet of model spacecraft decorates Wu Ji’s office, including the Chang’e 3 lander and its Yutu rover that made up China’s first mission to explore the Moon’s surface. That expedition in December 2013 captivated the world and signalled China’s vast ambitions in space. But for Wu, who has been director-general of China’s National Space Science Center (NSSC) in Beijing since 2003, a much bigger turning point came almost three years earlier.

Tiny mirror improves microscope resolution for studying cells

June 17, 2016

  • By growing cells on the mirrors and imaging them using super-resolution microscopy, a group of scientists from universities in the United States, China and Australia have addressed a problem that has long challenged scientists: Seeing the structures of three dimensional cells with comparable resolution in each dimension. Cells are normally grown on transparent glass slides for microscopy examination.

Interview: Jia Zhangke plans virtual reality romance

June 19, 2016

  • Critically acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhangke says he will make a virtual reality film next year with a romantic story as he and viewers get used to the new medium, and declared: “I think VR is going to be the next big thing.” The director, better known for films that depict China’s social changes and acts of violence, told The Associated Press that the short film would be a gentle romance as “it takes time for people to feel comfortable” in virtual reality.

China to deploy new marine science ship in Indian Ocean

June 19, 2016

  • China has commissioned a fully automated, “most advanced” marine science ship which will be deployed in the Indian Ocean. The vessel, Xiang Yang Hong 01, was commissioned in the eastern port city of Qingdao. The 100-metre long ship with displacement of 4,980 tonnes and a range of 15,000 nautical miles has plentiful remote sensing equipment to explore as deep as 10,000 meters.

Solar-driven water purification with multifunctional papers

Jun 14, 2016

  • The potential impact areas for nanotechnology in water applications are divided into three categories: treatment and remediation; sensing and detection; and pollution prevention. Within the category of treatment and remediation, nanotechnology has the potential to contribute to long-term water quality, availability, and viability of water resources, such as through the use of advanced filtration materials that enable greater water reuse, recycling, and desalinization (read more: “Nanotechnology and water treatments”). Inspired by the multiple water purification mechanisms of water hyacinth, a group of Chinese researchers, led by Dr. Peng Tao and Dr. Wen Shang, has combined different decontamination techniques – adsorption, photocatalytic degradation, distillation – into a single paper-based composite system for water purification by using solar light as the clean energy input.

China Doctor To Swap Heads of Two Humans, Says It’s The ‘New Frontier’ In Science

Jun 14, 2016

  • A doctor in China said he is planning the world’s first full-body transplant on a living human being and will begin operation as soon as his team is ready. Dr. Ren Xiaoping of Harbin Medical University, who was nicknamed Dr. Frankenstein by Chinese media, told the New York Times that he is working on the details of his full-body transplant procedure, which involves removing the two heads of the bodies and connecting the recipient’s head to the donor’s body.

Chinese tech firms invest in augmented reality startup

June 14, 2016

  • Chinese tech giants Lenovo and Tencent have joined a funding round for US-based augmented reality startup Meta, developing systems to touch and move digital objects. Silicon Valley-based Meta said in a statement it raised $50 million from a group that also includes Comcast Ventures, and Chinese-based Horizons Ventures Limited, Banyan Capital and GQY.

China leads world in mobile payments

08 JUN 2016

  • The number of people in China using phones to pay for goods and services at the Point of Sale (POS) more than doubled last year, according to eMarketer, which expects mobile payment users this year to surpass 195 million – or a quarter of the country’s 805 million smartphone users. That makes China by far the largest and fastest-growing mobile payments market in the world. The US is predicted to have just 37.5 million proximity mobile payment users this year.

Seeing atoms

Jun 07, 2016

  • Advancing nanoscale understanding, a team of Chinese researchers has developed a visualization technique based on in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) that offers novel and powerful functionality. It directly correlates the atomic-scale structure with physical and chemical properties. The researchers explain how their finding is important to the design and fabrication of the next-generation of technological devices this week in the journal Applied Physics Letters (“In-situ TEM imaging of formation and evolution of LixWO3 during lithiation of WO3 nanowires”). This work has potential applications that range from smart windows based on electrochromic technology that change tint when an electrical field is applied to a window surface, to altering its opacity in response to voltage, to novel devices for managing energy, information and the environment.

Top Go player likely to compete with AlphaGo within this year


  • Ke Jie, currently world No 1 in Go ratings, is expected to compete with Google’s Artificial Intelligence computer program AlphaGo within this year, a senior official of China’s sports administration said, Shanghai Morning Post reported. Chinese Weiqi Association spoke with the AlphaGo team recently, and they are willing to hold a competition between the man and the machine, said Yang Jun’an, party chief of the Board and Card Games Administrative Center under the General Administration of Sport of China.

New Cretaceous fossils shed light on the early evolution of ants

June 1, 2016

  • Ants comprise one lineage of the triumvirate of eusocial insects and experienced their early diversification within the Cretaceous. The success of ants is generally attributed to their remarkable social behavior. Recent studies suggest that the early branching lineages of extant ants formed small colonies of either subterranean or epigeic, solitary specialist predators.Dr. WANG Bo of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and his colleagues describe a new bizarre ant, Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri, from 99 million-year-old Burmese amber that displays a prominent cephalic horn and oversized, scythelike mandibles that extend high above the head. These structures presumably functioned as a highly specialized trap for large-bodied prey. The horn results from an extreme modification of the clypeus hitherto unseen among living and extinct ants, which demonstrates the presence of an exaggerated trap-jaw morphogenesis early among stem-group ants.

Five made-in-China hi-tech breakthroughs

June 2, 2016

  • Chinese leaders are resolved that the best way forward for the country is “innovation” — modernizing industries and creating technological marvels that China can call its own. With this belief, China has achieved momentous progress in science and technology in recent years. Thanks to high-speed rail, long distances can not keep friends, family or business partners apart, as 1,000 miles can be covered in a day. The sky is no longer the limit, as China has sent manned flights into space.

China’s Science Revolution

23 May 2016

  • China is super-sizing science. From building the biggest experiments the world has ever seen to rolling out the latest medical advances on a massive scale and pushing the boundaries of exploration from the deepest ocean to outer space – China’s scientific ambitions are immense. Just a few decades ago the nation barely featured in the world science rankings. Now, in terms of research spending and the number of scientific papers published, it stands only behind the US.

Xiaomi partners with Google on VR

May 20, 2016

  • Google is partnering with China’s Xiaomi on the cutting-edge Virtual Reality as announced at this year’s Google I/O Developer’s Conference staged in San Francisco. Clay Bavor Google’s vice president announced that the two companies will work on its new VR product Daydream. Daydream, built on the Android N system, will connect users’ handsets, VR headsets and mobile applications. It is expected to be released this fall.

Beyond Hyperloop: Chinese scientists board ‘vacuum train’ for possible military projects

18 May, 2016

  • China’s scientists are looking to ­develop military applications for experimental technology behind an ultra high-speed “vacuum” transport system, according to a researcher involved in one of the projects. The technology under development would involve loading passengers into pods and projecting them through vacuum tubes at high speeds.

China leads Asian consumption of technology

16 May, 2016

  • Mainland Chinese consumers lead the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the early adoption of new technologies and online purchases of hi-tech products, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). “Given the country’s robust online marketplace and enthusiasm for technology, it’s no surprise China is far-and-away the APAC region leader when it comes to early tech adoption and online tech purchases,” said Gary Shapiro, the CTA’s president and chief executive.

Study pinpoints timing of oxygen’s first appearance in Earth’s atmosphere

May 16, 2016

  • MIT scientists now have an answer. In a paper appearing today in Science Advances, the team reports that the Earth’s atmosphere experienced the first significant, irreversible influx of oxygen as early as 2.33 billion years ago. This period marks the start of the Great Oxygenation Event, which was followed by further increases later in Earth’s history. Summons’ MIT co-authors include lead author and postdoc Genming Luo, as well as EAPS Associate Professor Shuhei Ono and graduate student David Wang. Professors Nicolas Beukes from the University of Johannesburg, in South Africa, and Shucheng Xie from the China University of Geosciences are the other co-authors.

An energy strategy that can take the heat

May 16, 2016

  • As one of its research priorities, CERC-WET aims to advance technologies to improve thermoelectric power generation while reducing the need for water in the process. Peterson leads this effort on the U.S. side. He has been working with his counterparts at the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics to explore and refine technology to use molten salts in both nuclear and solar energy production. Peterson and his Chinese colleagues focus on molten salts at about 600 to 800°C. Because the salts are nowhere near boiling at this temperature, pressure inside pipes remains low. Using molten salts to deliver heat at these temperatures can increase the efficiency of electricity production by 50 percent and reduce waste heat by half, Peterson says. Under these conditions, virtually no water would need to be consumed to make electricity.

China chases early lead in world’s next industrial age with smart manufacturing

May 16, 2016

  • AT a plant in suburban Shanghai, machines press metal sheets into the shape of car body panels, hoods and doors. Auto parts carried by conveyor belts arrive soundlessly under giant robotic arms which will weld them into place on the frame. Finished cars are then moved to a painting room, where each vehicle is sprayed with the color specified in the buyer’s order. “With the development of robotics, unlit and unmanned factories will be the next industrial trend,” Gu Laifeng told Shanghai Daily. As deputy dean of the Overseas Education College at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Gu says that “smart manufacturing” — a concept embodied by the still-hypothetical automated car factory described above — is gaining traction in China and beyond.

12-million-year-old fossil points to ‘bone-crushing’ North America dog

May 14, 2016

  • Researchers have unearthed a 12-million-year old fossilized tooth in Maryland that could indicate a new species of dog that roamed the ancient East coast of North America. The fossil definitively belongs to a member of the extinct dog subfamily Borophaginae, known informally as “bone crushers,” due to the typically strong jaws and large teeth the animals used to possess, similar to modern hyenas. Despite the official hesitation in declaring a new species outright, the extinct coyote-sized dog has an official name Cynarctus wangi, named for Xiaoming Wang, curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and a renowned expert on mammalian carnivores.

Wormholes could be the key to beating the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, say physicists

13 MAY 2016

  • And according to a paper by Chinese physicists, using wormholes for time travel might actually allow us to beat Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle – described as one of the most famous (and probably misunderstood) ideas in physics – and even to solve some of the most difficult problems in computer science. Wormholes are like portals between two places in the Universe. If you fell in one side, you’d pop out the other immediately, regardless of how far apart the two sides were. But wormholes are also like portals between two times in the Universe. As Carl Sagan liked to say, you wouldn’t just emerge somewhere else in space, but also somewhen else in time.

Direct writing with highly conductive graphene inks

May 12, 2016

  • Numerous research efforts already have demonstrated the feasibility of fabricating graphene-based electronics through high-throughput ink printing strategies (see for instance: “Inkjet printing of graphene for flexible electronics”). However, the electrical conductivity of the printed ink patterns is far from satisfactory. “Generally, achieving satisfactory results it is a trade-off between the sizes of the graphene sheets and the chosen printing strategies,” Yanlin Song, a professor at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Director of Key Laboratory of Green Printing, tells Nanowerk. “Direct ink writing offers an attractive way to break the routine and meet the printability with the demanding sheet sizes. The nozzles’ diameters range from sub micrometer to millimeter scale to accommodate the inks. More importantly, the extrusion-based procedure plays a crucial role in directing the orientation of graphene sheets to pass through the nozzle during printing.”

Chinese Researchers Find Link Between Zika Virus and Microcephaly

May 12, 2016

  • According to China Daily, Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Xu Zhiheng, a principal investigator at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, and Qin Chengfeng of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences’ Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology teamed up to successfully unravel the mysterious link between the disease and the virus.

LED treatments enhance lettuce phytochemicals, antioxidants

May 10, 2016

  • Increasingly, vegetables are being efficiently grown using soilless techniques such as hydroponics. Hydroponic systems are favored for their ability to improve water and nutrient use efficiency and crop yields, and have the added benefit of allowing growers to use fewer chemical fertilizers. Researchers in China and United Kingdom studied the effects of LED light combinations on lettuce grown in hydroponic systems to determine whether the treatments could reduce nitrate accumulation, and to find out what effect the treatments might have on phytochemical levels.

Space technology comes down to earth in new agricultural device

May 10, 2016

  • The Strathclyde researchers, working with partners in the UK and China, will demonstrate in trials the feasibility of the device’s agricultural operation by using an integrated, force feedback-controlled robotic system on the ground during the project. Professor Xiu Yan, of Strathclyde’s Space Mechatronic Systems Technology Laboratory (SMeSTech), in the Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management, is the Principal Investigator in the research. He said: “Advanced machinery has been used in agriculture worldwide for centuries but a range of factors are making innovation in this area more important than ever, including environmental considerations, demographic changes, urbanisation, sustainable farming, increasing competition and the need to provide food for a rapidly growing global population.

Building compact particle accelerators: Bunching electrons can get more done

May 10, 2016

  • In the world of particle accelerators, laser wakefield devices are the small, but mighty upstarts. The machines can accelerate electrons to near the speed of light using a fraction of the distance required by conventional particle accelerators. However, the electrons are not all uniformly accelerated and beams with a mix of faster (higher energy) and slower (lower energy) particles are less practical. Now a team of researchers from China, South Korea and the U.S. has proposed a new way to minimize the energy spread of electrons in laser wakefield accelerators. They publish their method in the journal Physics of Plasmas, from AIP Publishing.

China leads way in financial technology investments

May 10, 2016

  • China led the global trend in FinTech investment last year, contributing 45 per cent of the US$9.5 billion poured into the business segment, new figures reveal. The year saw a 75 per cent annual growth in worldwide FinTech investments, bringing the total to $22.3bn, a new study by Accenture revealed yesterday. Last week, Nielsen, a US multi-platform audience ratings firm, signed a deal with Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter that has 265 million subscribers. The move is designed to provide companies with a more accurate way of targeting markets within Chinese social media.

Ultra-fast x-ray lasers illuminate elusive atomic spins

May 09, 2016

  • Now, an international team of scientists has used synchronized infrared and x-ray laser pulses to simultaneously manipulate and reveal the ultra-fast magnetic properties of this promising quantum landscape. The rapid, light-driven switching between magnetic states, explored here with unprecedented precision, could one day revolutionize the reading and writing of data in computers and other digital devices. The study, published May 9, 2016, in the journal Nature Materials (“Ultrafast energy- and momentum-resolved dynamics of magnetic correlations in the photo-doped Mott insulator Sr2IrO4”), was led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and included researchers from the U.S., China, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the UK.

Machine learning accelerates the discovery of new materials

May 09, 2016

  • Researchers recently demonstrated how an informatics-based adaptive design strategy, tightly coupled to experiments, can accelerate the discovery of new materials with targeted properties, according to a recent paper published in Nature Communications (“Accelerated search for materials with targeted properties by adaptive design”). Dezhen Xue, Prasanna V. Balachandran, John Hogden, James Theiler, Deqing Xue & Turab Lookman

Stochastic resonance, chaos transfer shown in an optomechanical microresonator

May 09, 2016

  • Researchers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered a novel route to encode chaos on light in an optomechanical microresonator system. Yet the School of Engineering’s Lan Yang, the Edwin H. & Florence G. Skinner Professor of Electrical & Systems Engineering, and ?ahin K. Özdemir, research associate professor in Electrical & Systems Engineering, along with collaborators in China and Japan, have shown that they can actually encode chaos on a weak light signal and did so with the help of optical radiation and mechanical oscillation, or vibration. Faraz Monifi, then a doctoral student in Yang’s lab, and Jing Zhang, a visiting researcher from Tsinghua University in China, used two lasers: a control of 1.5 micrometer wavelength, called a pump; and a probe of 980 millimeters in the WSMR, itself just 60 microns.

Achieving zero resistance in energy flow

May 9, 2016

  • Topological insulators allow the free flow of electrons only on their surface while blocking the flow of electrons through their bulk. MIT postdoc Cui-Zu Chang, then a doctoral student at Tsinghua University in China, and colleagues at Chinese Academy of Sciences-Institute of Physics, Tsinghua, and Stanford University, reported the experimental demonstration of electrons flowing only along the edge of a topological insulator film circuit, driven by an internal magnetic field, which physicists call the quantum anomalous Hall effect. To provide internal magnetism for their circuit, they added chromium to their material, which was composed of bismuth, antimony, and tellurium. However, the Tsinghua system still showed remnants of electrical resistance to the edge current, frustratingly close to zero resistance.

Five contemporary Chinese science and engineering projects


  • China is constructing the world’s largest radio telescope, the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST. The massive construction project — which, when completed, will be the size of 30 football pitches — has the potential to be a game-changer for human understanding of the universe and our search for life on other planets.

Cambridge scientists lay claim to world’s tiniest engine, a million times smaller than an ant

May 3 2016

  • It’s at this microscopic scale that scientists at the University of Cambridge say they’ve constructed a working engine. The prototype motor, which the physicists described Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, relies on lasers, gold particles and the exploitation of a nifty physics principle called van der Waals forces. Once the gel cools, the polymer once again soaks up water. The gold particles violently snap apart. “It’s like an explosion,” said Tao Ding, an author of the paper and a researcher at Cambridge’s experimental physics laboratory, in a statement. “We have hundreds of gold balls flying apart in a millionth of a second when water molecules inflate the polymers around them.” The researchers believe that this cycle of constriction and expansion, like the oscillations of a spring or the pumps of a piston, could be used to power a nanomachine.

Virtual Reality Gets Bigger in China

May 01, 2016

  • After Oculus was acquired by Facebook in 2014, virtual reality (VR) easily became a household term, sending other makers to dip their toes into the burgeoning market for VR. In China, however, manufacturers are not only eager to create cheap copycats, but they are also focused on creating technologies that would make VR functional and inexpensive. “The Chinese are not content with just creating cheaper versions of today’s high-end VR headsets,” Tim Bajarin, an industry consultant, wrote for the Time. “They want to innovate in this space and create VR goggles that look more like a set of actual glasses.”

China’s Baidu eyes driverless car production by 2020

April 29, 2016

  • Chinese search engine giant Baidu is planning to produce driverless cars by 2020, its chief executive said, as the company reported revenue climbed sharply in the first quarter. Income for the three months ending in March reached $2.45 billion (15.82 billion yuan), up 31.2 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to a statement released Thursday, as ads flowed into its search engine. “We had a terrific start to 2016,” Baidu chief executive Robin Li said during a conference call. “This quarter we made notable progress in executing our mission in connecting users with information and services.”

The rise of China’s millionaire research scientists

27 April, 2016

  • They may be small in number and keep a low profile, but the ranks of millionaire scientists in China are growing and they are leading the nation’s rise as a global power in scientific research. This new breed of scientist works in state-of the-art laboratories and are increasingly carrying out groundbreaking research published by top international scientific journals such as Science or Nature. China is now the world’s second largest contributor to high-quality scientific research papers, right behind the United States, according to the Nature Index 2016 released last week.

China develops world’s first graphene electronic paper for next-gen e-readers

28 Apr 2016

  • In a major breakthrough, China has developed the world’s first graphene electronic paper which will catapult the material to a new level. The new material has been heralded as “the world’s first graphene electronic paper,” by Chen Yu, general manager of Guangzhou OED Technologies, which developed it in partnership with a company in Chongqing Province.

AI talent grab sparks excitement and concern

26 April 2016

  • When Andrew Ng joined Google from Stanford University in 2011, he was among a trickle of artificial-intelligence (AI) experts in academia taking up roles in industry. Five years later, demand for expertise in AI is booming — and a torrent of researchers is following Ng’s lead. The laboratories of tech titans Google, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM and Baidu (China’s web-services giant) are stuffed with ex-university scientists, drawn to private firms’ superior computing resources and salaries. “Some people in academia blame me for starting part of this,” says Ng, who in 2014 moved again to become chief scientist at Baidu, working at the company’s research lab in California’s Silicon Valley.

Taking on Tesla: China’s Jia Yueting aims to outmuscle Musk

Apr 25, 2016

  • Tomorrow’s cars will be all-electric, self-driving, connected to high-speed communications networks … and free. And probably Chinese. That, at least, is the vision of Jia Yueting, a billionaire entrepreneur and one of a new breed of Chinese who see their technology expertise re-engineering the automobile industry, and usurping Tesla Motors (TSLA.O), a U.S. pioneer in premium electric vehicle (EV) making.

Chinese firms accelerate in race toward driverless future

April 23, 2016

  • Chinese manufacturers and Internet giants are in hot pursuit of their US counterparts in the race to design driverless cars, but the route to market is still littered with potholes. While Google has been working on autonomous vehicles for at least six years, with the likes of BMW, Volvo and Toyota in its wake, more recently Chinese businesses have entered the race, from Internet search giant Baidu to manufacturer Changan.

China edging closer to first maritime nuclear station


  • China is edging closer to building its first maritime nuclear power platform, which could sail to remote waters and provide stable power to offshore projects. Analysts believe that the platform, once accomplished, could significantly boost the efficiency of the country’s construction work on islands in the South China Sea. In a phone interview with the Global Times on Thursday, Liu Zhengguo, director of the general office of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), China’s leading shipbuilding group in charge of designing and assembling the platforms, said the company is “pushing forward the work.”

Movers and shakers in the world of high-quality scientific research

20 April 2016

  • The US is the world’s largest contributor to high-quality scientific research papers, followed by China and Germany, according to the Nature Index 2016 Tables. Of the top ten countries in the Nature Index, only China has shown double digit compound annual growth between 2012 and 2015 with some of its universities growing their contribution to the index as fast as 25% annually. US contributions have declined 2.8% in the same period from a very high base. Of universities with 2015 Nature Index output of more than 200 articles, Soochow University , China, shows the largest annual compound growth in contribution between 2012 and 2015 of 25%; Sussex University in the UK grew by 23%; Curtin University, Australia, 22%; Nankai University, China, 21%; and Tianjin University, China, 19%. Of the remaining top ten university movers three are Chinese.

Self-driving car completes journey across China

April 18, 2016

  • A self-driving car built by Chongqing Changan Automobile Co, Ford’s Chinese partner, has successfully driven 1,200 miles (nearly 2,000 kilometres) across China, Bloomberg reports. In a statement to the Shenzen stock exchange, the company revealed that the car had travelled from Chongqing in the southwest to Beijing in the northeast, using camera sensors and radar to test a variety of functions. These included lane-changing, automatic cruising, assisted driving in high traffic, traffic sign recognition, speed reduction and voice control.

Udacity Brings Its Nanodegree Programs to China

April 18, 2016

  • Similar to the Indian expansion, Udacity has localized many of its most popular nanodegree certifications to China, including courses in iOS, Android, and machine learning development. Udacity has a local team in China that is providing in-person reviews and coaching in Mandarin.

China Pioneers 5G Development, Targeting 2020 Launch

Apr 15, 2016

  • China will soon enjoy faster Internet connection as some of the country’s leading network providers pioneer in the 5G telecom tech research. China will be able to develop 5G telecom technology and deliver it to consumers “in a few years,” the Global System for Mobile Communications Association’s (GSMCA) new director-general Mats Granryd told China Daily.

China’s Tech Startups Raise $6 Billion in Funds

Apr 14, 2016

  • China’s venture capital market is expected to experience another surge, as major companies have raised more than $6 billion worth of funding for startups. The outlook came after China’s three major Internet companies–Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc.–embark on significant fund-raising activities for their various startup ventures, Bloomberg reported.

Chinese driverless cars begin long-distance road test

April 12, 2016

  • Two driverless cars produced by Chang’an Automobile started a long-distance highway test from Chongqing on April 12, marking the first long-distance road test of self-driving cars in China. The two cars will pass through Xi’an, Zhengzhou, and arrive in Beijing on April 17, covering a distance of nearly 2,000 kilometers. Li Yusheng, engineer-in-chief of Chang’an Automobile Engineering & Research Institute, said the drive will help test their functions in diverse conditions.

Techrules thinks it will get micro-turbines spinning in production cars

April 8, 2016

  • Describing itself as an automotive research and development company, China’s Techrules is hell-bent on putting turbines into road-going vehicles. Its first concepts use an ultra-potent, turbine-charged series hybrid powertrain, promising supercar levels of performance and Prius-like fuel economy. While Techrules’ claims necessitate a “believe it when we see it” response until the company actually develops something concrete and market-ready, the company does preview the possibility of a bold turbine future.

Self-driving Cars to Dominate China’s Roads: Study Reveals China’s Potential as Biggest Autonomous Car Market

Apr 04, 2016

  • Chinese companies are taking steps toward developing driverless vehicles as study suggests that the country will soon house the biggest market for self-driving cars. According to the New York Times, the Chinese will soon see the advantages of having artificial intelligence drive them to and fro considering their current traffic state. Citing Boston Consulting Group’s managing director Xavier Mosquet, the NY Times revealed that in just a span of 15 years, China will be considered the world’s biggest market for autonomous or the so-called self-driving vehicles.

China Launches $24 Billion ‘Integrated Circuits’ Project

30 March 2016

  • China has set up a $24 billion (roughly Rs. 1,58,966 crores) Integrated Circuits project in Central Hubei province aimed at boosting the country’s production of memory products. The construction for the Integrated Circuits (IC) project started on Monday in the East Lake High-tech Zone in Wuhan City, capital of Hubei, state-run Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Scientists are sending fungi into space in the hope of developing new medicines

March 29 2016

  • Researchers say that putting these fungi in an extraterrestrial environment could cause them to produce new medicines for use on Earth and perhaps even on long-term space missions. The work is one of the first to look at the intersection of pharmaceutical science and space exploration said principal investigator Clay Wang, a professor of pharmacology at USC.

China to improve basic science research

Mar 29,2016

  • China will use its science fund to further develop basic science research and elevate the reputation of its academic papers, scientists, cutting-edge programs and research achievements. For the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), the science fund will support the exposure of academic papers, to make them the second most cited globally; 10 percent of the world’s highly-cited scientists, and the average number of thesis being cited approaching the global average, Yang Wei, head of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) that manages the fund, said Tuesday.

Chinese researchers develop new battery technology

March 28, 2016

  • A Chinese research team has developed a novel, environmentally friendly, low-cost battery that overcomes many of the problems of lithium ion batteries (LIB). The new aluminum-graphite, dual-ion battery (AGDIB) offers significantly reduced weight, volume, and fabrication cost, as well as higher energy density in comparison with conventional LIBs. AGDIB’s electrode materials are composed of environmentally friendly, low cost aluminum and graphite, while its electrolyte is composed of conventional lithium salt and carbonate solvent.

Chinese Scientist Wins UNESCO Award for Bird Flu Research

Mar 27, 2016

  • Chen Hualan, a professor at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (HVRI-CAAS) on Saturday received the L’Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Award for her ground-breaking research on the avian flu virus. The award ceremony, which took place in Paris, recognized five exemplary women for their contributions in the field of scientific research. The five winners were selected from more than 2,600 nominees by an independent jury of 13 prominent scientists from the international scientific community.

How Does The Brain Perceive Optical Illusions?

March 25, 2016

  • Researchers in China have discovered which part of the brain mediates viewing optical illusions and how neurons integrate local visual cues to form a global representation of movement in the illusion. The article was published in Human Brain Mapping. An apparently effortless task, the opening of our eyes, engages an extensive and anatomically complex network of brain areas. Visual illusions have fascinated mankind for thousands of years, and the study of the mismatch between perception and reality helps us to better understand the creative nature of the human visual system and ultimately may lead to deeper insights of how our brain works.

New research ensures car LCDs work in extreme cold, heat

March 25, 2016

  • One of UCF’s most prolific inventors has solved a stubborn problem: How to keep the electronic displays in your car working, whether you’re driving in the frigid depths of winter or under the broiling desert sun. “Liquid crystals exist only in a certain temperature range. In order to work in extreme environments, we need to widen that temperature range,” said researcher Shin-Tson Wu of the University of Central Florida. As reported recently in the scholarly journal Optical Materials Express, Wu and his collaborators formulated several new liquid crystal mixtures that don’t have the temperature limitations of those now in use. The liquid crystals should maintain their speed and viscosity in temperatures as high as 212 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

New simulation of the sun shows both large and small scale processes

March 25, 2016

  • A team of researchers from the U.S., China, and Japan has developed a computer simulation of the sun that is able to show both large and small scale processes. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how their simulation works and why they believe it will help solve one of the big questions in solar research.

Biologists discover sophisticated ‘alarm’ signals in honey bees

March 25, 2016

  • Bees can use sophisticated signals to warn their nestmates about the level of danger from predators attacking foragers or the nest, according to a new study. Biologists at UC San Diego and in China found that an Asian species of honey bee can produce different types of vibrational “stop signals” when attacked by giant Asian hornets. These signals have different effects depending upon type of danger and the context. A bee delivers a stop signal by giving another bee a brief, vibrational pulse, usually through a head-butt.

Microsoft made a version of Windows 10 for the Chinese government

Mar 24, 2016

  • If you’re looking to grab Windows 10, there are a lot of versions to choose from: Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Mobile, etc. Now it looks like we can add a new one to the list: Windows 10 Chinese Government Edition. That’s not the real name – it’s called Windows 10 Zhuangongban, or “Windows 10 Specially-provided Edition” – but Microsoft really has made a version of Windows 10 for the Chinese government, according to a report in Chinese magazine Caixin. Ralph Haupter, Microsoft China’s CEO, told the magazine that through a joint venture with China’s CETC, Microsoft has already completed the first version of the specialized Windows version.

Chinese search engine giant Baidu develops AI algorithm to predict crowds, pre-empt stampedes

24 March, 2016

  • Researchers in China have developed a machine-learning algorithm that predicts whether crowds are likely to form at certain locations, a tool that could aid authorities in executing better crowd control and possibly be used to prevent stampedes, according to Baidu’s big data lab. Baidu’s map app accounts for over 70 per cent of China’s mapping services market and boasts about 300 million active users each month, Baidu’s user statistics show. As such, many Chinese users often search for an ideal travel route using Baidu Maps.

Why China’s tech players are set to dominate

March 23, 2016

  • Chinese technology companies are just getting started in their quest to go global and the West should take it very seriously, a veteran Israeli entrepreneur and investor told CNBC. Speaking on the sidelines of the Boao Forum in China’s Hainan province, Yossi Vardi, chairman of International Technologies, said Chinese tech companies such as Alibaba and Huawei have developed strong presence in the West and more are following in their footsteps. “Chinese companies are working very hard to develop [their] international footprint and by now you begin to see them all over the place,” said Vardi , who is one of Israel’s tech pioneers with involvement in more than 70 startups.

China’s “Tianqin” program starts infrastructure construction


  • China started to build infrastructure for its gravitational wave research project “Tianqin” in the southern coastal city of Zhuhai on Sunday. Sun Yat-sen University, initiator of the program, held a foundation stone laying ceremony for a 30,000-square-meter research building, a 10,000-square-meter ultra-quiet cave laboratory and a 5,000-square-meter obseravation sation on its Zhuhai campus. With an estimated cost of 15 billion yuan (2.3 billion U.S. dollars), Tianqin would be carried out in four stages over the next 15 to 20 years, ultimately launching three high-orbit satellites to detect the waves, according to Li Miao, dean of the university’s institute of astronomy and space science.

Chinese scientist among Nature’s ten people for 2015


  • The world-renowned journal Nature Thursday released its annual list of ten people who mattered in science in 2015, which includes one Chinese scientist whose work in human embryo gene editing has caused repeated debate in the academic circle. “This year’s list, compiled after much discussion by Nature’s journalists and editors, spans the globe, highlighting individuals who have played important roles in issues ranging from climate change to gene editing to research reproducibility,” said Helen Pearson, Nature’s Chief Features Editor.

China plays increasing role in global innovation: WIPO


  • China has continued to perform strongly in international patent and trademark filing against the backdrop of a moderate worldwide intellectual property (IP) filing growth, according to the latest figures released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The WIPO issued a report analyzing the amount and sources of global IP applications in 2015, including patents, trademarks and industrial designs, in Geneva on Wednesday.

New particle could form the basis of energy-saving electronics

Mar 17, 2016

  • Evidence for Weyl fermions was discovered only in the past year, by several research teams including scientists from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. Now PSI researchers have shown — within the framework of an international collaboration with two research institutions in China and the two Swiss technical universities, ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne — that there are materials in which only one kind of Weyl fermion exists. That could prove decisive for applications in electronic components, because it makes it possible to guide the particles’ flow in the material. The researchers report their results in the journal Nature Communications (“Observation of Weyl nodes and Fermi arcs in tantalum phosphide”). In the past year, researchers of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI were among those who found experimental evidence for a particle whose existence had been predicted in the 1920s — the Weyl fermion. One of the particle’s peculiarities is that it can only exist in the interior of materials. Now the PSI researchers, together with colleagues at two Chinese research institutions as well as at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne, have made a subsequent discovery that opens the possibility of using the movement of Weyl fermions in future electronic devices. Such devices would be considerably smaller and more energy-efficient than their present-day counterparts.

Andrew Ng, chief scientist, Chinese search giant Baidu

March 16, 2016

  • Artificial intelligence whiz Andrew Ng hangs his hat these days at a nondescript building in Sunnyvale that serves as the Silicon Valley outpost of the Chinese search giant Baidu. The modest digs belie Baidu’s big Asian footprint. With more than 600 million monthly active mobile users, it’s often referred to as “the Google of China.” Like Google, Baidu has been exploring artificial intelligence for use on its servers and other applications. AI is deemed so important by Baidu that two years ago it hired Ng, who founded Google’s Brain Team, to be its chief scientist.

Huawei leads international patent applications in 2015


  • China’s telecommunications giant Huawei made the highest number of patent applications in the world for the second consecutive year in 2015, filing more than three times the amount of all Indian firms combined. Huawei applied for 3,898 patents last year, 456 more than a year ago and well ahead of US chipmaker Qualcomm’s 2,442 and Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE’s 2,155, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation. With 57,385 international patent applications, the United States retained its spot as the largest patent applicant for the 38th straight year.

Want to live to see 200? Chinese team come up with ‘super diet pill’ formula they believe will double people’s lifespans

17 March, 2016

  • While doubling your natural lifespan by popping pills may sound like science-fiction to most people, a team of Chinese researchers believe this soon be possible. They claim to have found a formula for a “super diet pill”that can apparently break some of the fundamental laws of nature, according to their paper in the latest issue of the journal Cell Metabolism. The relationship between food and health is well-documented. Moreover, scientists have suspected for many decades that restricting the diet – specifically, the calorific intake – of certain species of animal enables them to live longer.

Scientists Qi-Long Ying and Austin Smith win the 2016 McEwen Award for Innovation


  • Researchers Qi-Long Ying from USC and Austin Smith from the University of Cambridge have won the 2016 McEwen Award for Innovation, the highest honor bestowed by the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). Supported by the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, the award recognizes groundbreaking stem cell discoveries that open new avenues of exploration toward the understanding or treatment of human disease. Ying originally joined Smith’s laboratory as someone who knew next to nothing about stem cells. The third child of a farmer and a factory worker, he grew up in Yongkang, a small city in China’s Zhejiang province, during the Cultural Revolution.

AlphaGo on a smartphone? Chinese brothers plan to put AI in your pocket with start-up based on Cambrian deep-learning processor

15 March, 2016

  • A team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences expect to set a new valuation record in China with their start-up based on Cambrian, a deep-learning processor they invented that may take artificial intelligence to the next level. The team, led by 32-year old Chen Yunji and his younger brother Chen Tianshi, who both teach at the academy’s Institute of Computing Technology in Beijing, said they are now wrapping up the first round of angel investment in their start-up, which is named after the “revolutionary” processor.

Graphene renders low local current density to inhibit growth of lithium dendrites

Mar 15, 2016

  • Recently, researchers in China have proposed an unstacked graphene nanostructured lithium metal anode for lithium metal batteries to inhibit lithium dendrite growth and bring superior electrochemistry performance. The work, led by Qiang Zhang, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Tsinghua University, has been reported in Advanced Materials (“Conductive Nanostructured Scaffolds Render Low Local Current Density to Inhibit Lithium Dendrite Growth”).

Tai chi exercise improves outcomes in older fallers

March 13, 2016

  • In their study, researchers assigned 368 people 60-years-old and older who had received medical attention for a fall into one of two groups. The first group received hour-long individual tai chi classes conducted by tai chi instructors every week for 24 weeks. Tai chi is an exercise practice developed in China hundreds of years ago. It combines certain postures and gentle movements with mental focus, breathing, and relaxation. Tai chi can be practiced while you’re walking, standing, or even seated. Deep breathing, weight shifting, and leg stepping movements are part of the practice. The second group received individual, hour-long LET sessions for 24 weeks conducted by physical therapists. Sessions included stretching, muscle strengthening, and balance training.

Tai Chi, Other Chinese Exercises are Good for the Heart, Study Reveals

Mar 13, 2016

  • A study has revealed that practicing China’s traditional mind-body exercises can improve one’s health, particularly in people suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Chen Pei-Jie from Shanghai University of Sport in China led the team of researchers, who carried ot the study. The researchers conducted up to 35 studies and investigated more than 2,000 individuals from 10 various countries.

Individual rewards can boost team performance at work

March 11, 2016

  • Conventional wisdom has held that boosting team performance in the workplace should focus on rewarding entire teams that perform well – and that rewarding individuals increases competition rather than helping team performance. But new research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology finds that rewarding individual workers can boost performance both for other workers and for the team. “Our findings are based on laboratory and field experiments in China, and those findings tell us that recognizing individual team members can supercharge team performance,” says Bradley Kirkman, co-author of a paper on the work, General Hugh Shelton Distinguished Professor of Leadership and head of the Department of Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management. The paper was co-authored by researchers at the University of Iowa, Texas Christian University and Tsinghua University.

Made-in-China servers attracting more buyers

Mar 10, 2016

  • Servers are facing the same fate as PCs and mobile devices, with a growing number of them made in Asian countries like China and Taiwan, a Gartner analyst says. Much like PCs and mobile devices, it’s cheaper for companies to buy servers made in Asia than in the U.S., and buyers can get servers customized to meet their specific requirements, said Jeffrey Hewitt, an analyst at Gartner. Companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon, which build mega data centers, design servers in-house and have them made in China or Taiwan.

Chinese gravitational-wave hunt hits crunch time

09 March 2016

  • In the wake of last month’s historic detection of gravitational waves by a US-led collaboration, a range of Chinese proposals to take studies of these ripples in space-time to the next level are attracting fresh attention. The suggestions, from two separate teams, are for space-based observatories that would pick up a wider range of gravitational radiation than ground-based observatories can. The most ambitious plan could give China an edge over the leading European proposal to detect gravitational waves from space, but whether a single country can achieve that on its own is unclear. Also under consideration are a possible collaboration between Chinese researchers and the European effort, and a cheaper Chinese plan.

Engineers develop flexible skin that traps radar waves, cloaks objects

March 7, 2016

  • Iowa State University engineers have developed a new flexible, stretchable and tunable “meta-skin” that uses rows of small, liquid-metal devices to cloak an object from the sharp eyes of radar. The meta-skin takes its name from metamaterials, which are composites that have properties not found in nature and that can manipulate electromagnetic waves. By stretching and flexing the polymer meta-skin, it can be tuned to reduce the reflection of a wide range of radar frequencies. The journal Scientific Reports recently reported the discovery online. Lead authors from Iowa State’s department of electrical and computer engineering are Liang Dong, associate professor; and Jiming Song, professor. Co-authors are Iowa State graduate students Siming Yang, Peng Liu and Qiugu Wang; and former Iowa State undergraduate Mingda Yang. The National Science Foundation and the China Scholarship Council have partially supported the project.

Science is a major plank in China’s new spending plan

Mar. 7, 2016

  • China will invest heavily in S&T over the next 5 years and cut red tape hampering science spending with the hope that innovation will help the country weather its economic slowdown. In a speech to open the National People’s Congress on 5 March, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang—the country’s top economic official—gave a broad-brush overview of the central government’s draft plan for economic development during the 13th 5-year plan, which runs from 2016 to 2020. Major elements include boosting science spending, which will rise 9.1% this year to 271 billion yuans ($41 billion), reducing bureaucratic barriers for scientists, and improving environmental protection while curbing carbon emissions and other pollutants.

China lays out its vision to become a tech power

Mar 5, 2016

  • China aims to become a world leader in advanced industries such as semiconductors and in the next generation of chip materials, robotics, aviation equipment and satellites, the government said in its blueprint for development between 2016 and 2020. In its new draft five-year development plan unveiled on Saturday, Beijing also said it aims to use the internet to bolster a slowing economy and make the country a cyber power.

The secret to 3-D graphene? Just freeze it

Mar 03, 2016

  • Another option is to use a 3-D printer. In this scenario, scientists typically mix graphene with a polymer or other thickening agent. This helps keep the structure from falling apart. But when the polymer is removed via thermal process, it damages the delicate structure. A research team – comprised of engineers from the University at Buffalo, Kansas State University and the Harbin Institute of Technology in China – may have solved that problem. A study published Feb. 10 in the journal Small (“3D Printing of Graphene Aerogels”) describes how the team used a modified 3-D printer and frozen water to create lattice-shaped cubes and a three-dimensional truss with overhangs using graphene oxide. The structures could be an important step toward making graphene commercially viable in electronics, medical diagnostic devices and other industries.

Baidu Inc Stepping up Efforts for Development of Autonomous Cars

March 03, 2016

  • Baidu Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) has stepped up its efforts for development of autonomous vehicles by increasing investment in patents and field tests, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Wednesday. Robin Li, Baidu CEO reckons that the company is upping its game in order to become a serious global challenger in autonomous cars market. The Chinese search engine giant has a distinct advantage in its quest of manufacturing autonomous cars as it has heavily invested in artificial intelligence (AI). Mr. Li believes that the future of autonomous vehicles would rely greatly on AI and since his company has been committed towards excelling in the same field, it can challenge the world’s best. Baidu believes in innovations and thus it has applied for numerous patents in the pursuit of autonomous vehicles technology.

China replacing foreign technology in military, SOEs and banks with its own

March 3 2016

  • In the last couple of years, technology companies have had to face the music with Chinese authorities. Foreign technology giants such as Microsoft and Qualcomm faced anti-monopoly investigations. In most cases, these companies were forced to admit their ‘wrongdoing’ or face even greater consequences for not complying. At the same time, major Chinese technology companies such as Baidu and Huawei have been rising on the world stage. But anti-competition investigations and rising competition are just the tip of the iceberg in the grand scheme of things.

Capital reaps rich harvest with tech startups


  • Beijing boasts the world’s second-largest number of most valuable tech startups, showcasing its advance in the sector. The number of so-called unicorn companies — tech startups valued at more than $1 billion each — has reached 40, second to Silicon Valley in the United States. This is according to the Zhongguancun Unicorn List released on Monday by the Great Wall Enterprise Institute, a research house in the capital.

‘Invented-in-China’ Mobile Internet Devices, Products Take the Spotlight at MWC in Barcelona

Feb 27, 2016

  • More invented-in-China mobile Internet devices took the centerstage at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona, Spain, China Daily reported. One of the introduced Chinese innovative products was QLove Phone, a smart landline telephone invented by Beijing Shu Zi Jia Yuan Technology Ltd., which made its debut during the event.

China-led gravitational wave venture seeks global talent


  • A China-led space gravitational wave detection project is recruiting researchers from around the world, reported. The Tianqin project was initiated by Sun Yat-sen University in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong province, in July. It centers on research of key technologies in space gravitational wave detection. To make the project more competitive, global talents in areas such as gravity theory, space gravity experiments and precision measurement are sought with an annual salary of up to 1 million yuan ($153,000), according to the report.

China becomes world’s second-largest R&D performer


  • China is playing an increasingly prominent role in world’s science and engineering as the country becomes the second-largest performer of research and development (R&D), according to the Science and Engineering Indicators 2016 (Indicators) report from the US National Science Foundation. Indicators 2016 makes it clear that Global R&D spending shows an overall upward trend mainly in North America, Europe and East Asia and Southeast Asia, while the US science and engineering (S&E) enterprise continues to lead the world. According to Indicators 2016, China is now the second-largest performer of R&D, accounting for 20 percent of global R&D spending as compared to the United States, which accounts for 27 percent.

Researchers discover a royal flush in powering fuel cells with wastewater

February 23, 2016

  • As renewable energy sources goes, solar rays have historically hogged the limelight. But two Virginia Tech researchers have stolen the spotlight from the sun by discovering a way to maximize the amount of electricity that can be generated from the wastewater we flush down the toilet. Xueyang Feng and Jason He traced bacteria, which led them to discover that the working relationship between two specific substrates produced more energy than either did separately. This work will help take the mystery out of how electrochemically-active bacteria create energy. It could help in the development of new treatment system called a microbial fuel cell

China Focus: Technological innovations help brighten China’s overseas image


  • China’s rising power of technological innovation is among the best things that helped brighten its images overseas in 2015, according to a report released by Xinhua News Agency on Thursday. Xinhua gathered 5.2 million overseas online articles and comments from media and social networking services that reflect foreigners’ impressions of the Chinese. Technology featured prominently. Of 365,000 items on China’s high-speed rail network, the world’s largest, nearly 200,000 were deemed to be positive and more than 111,000 neutral.

Qualcomm and Lenovo enter into 3G, 4G patent licence deal in China

February 18, 2016

  • Qualcomm said under the agreement, the deal gives Lenovo a royalty-bearing patent licence to develop, manufacture, and sell 3G and 4G, including 3-mode, complete devices marketed by both Motorola and Lenovo. Lenovo will pay royalties to Qualcomm, which will be consistent with the rectification plan Qualcomm submitted to China’s National Development and Reform Commission. “This agreement also provides a solid foundation for Qualcomm and Lenovo to expand and strengthen the long-term relationship between our companies, both in China and around the world,” he said.

China Initiates First Key National R&D Plan to Streamline Programs

Feb 17, 2016

  • China has started its national key research and development (R&D) plan on Tuesday, Feb. 16, with the aim to streamline numerous scientific and technological programs funded by government, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Hou Jianguo, vice minister of science and technology, said that the plan will focus on research in fields that would be vital to the country’s development and people’s well-being, such as agriculture, the environment, health and energy, as well as strategic fields key to innovation, industrial competitiveness and national security.

China’s first mind-controlled car

February 16, 2016

  • China has developed what they say is the country’s first car that uses nothing but brainpower to drive. The researcher of this mind-controlled car commented that there are two purposes for this innovation. The first purpose is to provide a driving method for the disabled who are unable to otherwise drive. The second purpose is to provide a new and more intellectualized mode of driving for healthy people.

Three gravitational wave projects unveiled in China

February 17, 2016

  • Chinese scientists have unveiled three separate projects to investigate gravitational waves, state media said Wednesday, days after earthshaking US discoveries that confirmed Einstein’s century-old predictions. The proposed Taiji programme, named after the “supreme ultimate” of Chinese philosophy symbolised by the yin-yang sign, would send satellites of its own into orbit or share equipment with the European Space Agency’s eLISA initiative. Separately, Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou also proposed to launch satellites into space, while the Institute of High Energy Physics at CAS suggested a land-based scheme in Tibet.

MIT adds China to its SCALE Network

February 16, 2016

  • The government of Ningbo, China — home of the world’s busiest port — is partnering with the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) to create a global center for supply chain education and research. The joint initiative will establish and develop the Ningbo Supply Chain Innovation Institute China (NSIIC). The new center in China will join the global MIT Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) Network, which includes centers in Colombia, Spain, Luxembourg, and Malaysia.

China plans more gravitational wave research


  • The discovery of gravitational waves in the United States on Thursday by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) has encouraged scientists around the world, with China set to accelerate research. China’s domestic gravitational wave research project “Tianqin,” at Sun Yat-sen University has been awaiting government approval since July, according to Li Miao, dean of the University’s institute of astronomy and space science in south China’s Guangdong Province.

Interview: Chinese contribute to detection of gravitational wave — Tsinghua professor


  • The triumph of directly detecting a gravitational wave has made it possible for human beings to look deeper into space when the U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) successfully sensed the ripples in the fabric of spacetime caused by the merger of two massive black holes 1.3 billion years ago. This discovery is due to the efforts of over 1,000 scientists from universities around the United States as well as in 14 other countries. Among them was a team of five Chinese scientists from Tsinghua University who worked on gravitational wave data analysis.

Research bureaucracy put in crosshairs by Chinese government

11 February 2016

  • Amid widespread complaints over the rigidity of research funding, the Chinese government has promised greater flexibility and independence for scientists. However, policy experts say that to free scientists from bureaucracy more concrete measures and coordination between government departments will be needed. The policy was welcomed by scientists, who have been critical of suffocating research bureaucracy. A December story published by the People’s Daily, China’s principal state newspaper, noted that it takes a scientist a month to finish a milestone annual report for a regular research project and much longer for a major one. ‘We have been forced to become accountants,’ said one unnamed environmental scientist in the story. China’s science and technology expenditure continues to grow faster than any other part of the world, and is expected to reach Yuan1.4 trillion (£148 billion) in 2015 – 2.1% of GDP. But the country’s rigid funding structure has long been a bone of contention among researchers. A biochemist at Shanghai Jiaotong University, who wished to remain anonymous, says that strictures on how he spends funding meant he ended up buying more reagents than he needed just to comply with regulations. He points out that his current project has concluded but to ensure future funding he needs to spend all the leftover money.

Your Next New Best Friend Might Be a Robot

February 4, 2016

  • One night in late July 2014, a journalist from the Chinese newspaper Southern Weekly interviewed a 17-year-old Chinese girl named Xiaoice (pronounced Shao-ice). The journalist, Liu Jun, conducted the interview online, through the popular social networking platform Weibo. It was wide-ranging and personal:

China passes Japan as biggest Asia-Pac tech spender

February 4, 2016

  • Currency fluctuations would play an influencing factor in the tech markets, especially against the US dollars against which all Asia-Pacific currencies fell in 2015. This pushed US-denominated tech market growth to decline, Forrester explained. The research firm noted that India and China would clock some of the fastest tech market growth, while Japan and Australia were expected to have some of the slowest. According to its estimates, China in 2015 become the region’s largest tech spender at US$209 billion, bypassing Japan–which spent US$203 billion–for the first time. In 2014, Japan spent US$229 billion, compared to China’s US$192 billion.

Concern Grows in U.S. Over China’s Drive to Make Chips

FEB. 4, 2016

  • China is spending billions of dollars on a major push to make its own microchips, an effort that could bolster its military capabilities as well as its homegrown technology industry. Advancing its chip industry has been a major political initiative for Beijing. In recent years, analysts said, Chinese corporate espionage and hacking efforts have been aimed at stealing chip technology, while Chinese firms have used government funds to buy foreign companies and technology and attract engineers.

More tech spending to propel innovation


  • Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, plans to double its fiscal expenditure on science and technology to incubate high-tech startups, seeking a new identity as an international hub of scientific and technological innovation, said government officials. The foreign trade and commerce center saw year-on-year economic growth of 8.4 percent last year, bringing the full-year GDP to 1.81 trillion yuan ($275 billion), ranking third in China for the 27th consecutive year, according to a government work report released on Monday.

New tech turns potato effluent into fertilizer


  • Scientists in China have developed a way of making fertilizer from waste water discharged by potato processing plants, solving a pollution problem which has held back China’s potato ambitions. China sees potatoes as a new staple food to ensure food security, but protein-rich water discharged by starch processors, a major buyer of the spuds, has been blamed for polluting rivers and lakes.

Closer to China: China’s Science and Technology II- Building China through Technology 01/31/2016

Jan 30, 2016

  • Innovation in China is still weak and the productivity of transforming science into commercial products is still spotty. What can we learn from China’s successes and failures to guide its strategies and policies? How did China’s major technology companies, like Huawei and Lenovo, get started? What about basic science research and international exchanges? Finally, how can China improve its poor performance in protecting Intellectual Property Rights?

Heavy fermions get nuclear boost on way to superconductivity

January 28, 2016

  • In a surprising find, physicists from the United States, Germany and China have discovered that nuclear effects help bring about superconductivity in ytterbium dirhodium disilicide (YRS), one of the most-studied materials in a class of quantum critical compounds known as “heavy fermions.” Rice University physicist and study co-author Qimiao Si said the research provides further evidence that unconventional superconductivity arises from “quantum criticality.”

China’s CRRC Said in Hyperloop Talks as Musk Vision Moves Closer

January 27, 2016

  • CRRC Corp., China’s biggest maker of railway equipment, is in talks for a potential investment in Hyperloop Technologies Inc., one of the startups trying to develop Elon Musk’s idea for a high-speed transportation system, according to people familiar with the matter. The companies are discussing opportunities including collaboration and investment, the people said, asking not to be named because the details are private. The talks are in an an initial stage and no decisions have been made, the people said.

How One Intelligent Machine Learned to Recognize Human Emotions

 January 23, 2016 
  • When it comes to communication, humans are hugely sensitive to each other’s emotional states. Indeed, most people expect their emotional state to be taken into account by their correspondents. And when this happens, communication tends to be more effective. Today, that changes thanks to the work of Wei-Long Zheng and pals at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. These guys have found a way to identify the emotional brain states and to repeat it reliably. They put the technique through its paces by identifying emotional states in the same subjects week after week by looking only at their brain waves. Wei-Long and company began by creating a database to study. For this they asked 15 students to watch 15 film clips that were each associated with positive, negative, or neutral emotions.

China Is on a Quest to Develop New Billion Dollar Drugs

January 21, 2016

  • It’s been more than a decade since Samantha Du returned to China to build one of its first biotechnology companies focused on developing drugs for a global market. Back then, she trained scientists, had perplexing discussions with regulators new to the field and worked hard to persuade people it was worthwhile to back Chinese science. Times have changed. Now, Du says she has a “cherry pick” of talented and experienced scientists. She’s advising China’s government on accelerating approvals of complex pharmaceutical products, and the world’s most prolific investors are actively hunting promising Chinese biotechnology companies to pump money into (including hers).

Research gets increasingly international

19 January 2016

  • China’s share of global science and engineering publications has pulled within a percentage point of those from the United States, according to the latest research statistics published by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The agency’s report, released on 19 January, also underscores the rising importance of international scientific collaboration. Between 2000 and 2013, the percentage of publications with authors from multiple countries rose from 13.2% to 19.2%.

Experts skeptical on claim of Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero of successful monkey head transplant

January 20 2016

  • Because of his plan to perform a head transplant on a Russian man suffering from Werdnig-Hoffman, a degenerative muscle condition, fellow scientists are skeptical on the claim of Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero that he has successfully performed head transplant on a monkey. Canavero plans to perform the first human head transplant on Valery Spiridonov in December 2017. The monkey head transplant, which he and an international team of neuroscientists performed in preparation for Spiridonov’s breakthrough and landmark procedure, was led by Chinese surgeon Xiaoping Ren. It was done at Harbin Medical University in China where Ren is affiliated.

Glass-based ultraviolet absorbers act as ‘biological shields’

Jan 20, 2016

  • The dangers of UV light have prompted scientists to search for versatile materials that block UV and can withstand long radiation exposure times without falling apart. Now a group of researchers in China has developed a new method to create transparent, glass-based materials with UV-absorbing power and long lifetimes. The team demonstrated that the new glass effectively protects living cells and organic dyes, and believe it could also be developed as a transparent shield to protect electronics in space. They describe their results in Optical Materials Express (“Glass composite as robust UV absorber for biological protection”).

Across China: Chinese scientists unravel origin, global migration of domestic dogs


  • Dogs were domesticated in southern East Asia 33,000 years ago and migrated to the rest of the world 15,000 years after, Chinese scientists said in a newly-published article. “Using whole genome sequences from a total of 58 canids (12 gray wolves, 27 primitive dogs from Asia and Africa, and a collection of 19 diverse breeds across the world), we find that dogs from southern East Asia have significantly higher genetic diversity compared to other populations,” said Wang Guodong, the first author.

US science and technology leadership increasingly challenged by advances in Asia

January 19, 2016

  • According to the latest federal data, the U.S. science and engineering (S&E) enterprise still leads the world. The United States invests the most in research and development (R&D), produces the most advanced degrees in science and engineering and high-impact scientific publications, and remains the largest provider of information, financial, and business services. However, Southeast, South, and East Asia continue to rapidly ascend in many aspects of S&E. The region now accounts for 40 percent of global R&D, with China as the stand-out as it continues to strengthen its global S&E capacity. The 2016 edition of Indicators highlights that China, South Korea and India are investing heavily in R&D and in developing a well-educated workforce skilled in science and engineering. Indicators 2016 makes it clear that while the United States continues to lead in a variety of metrics, it exists in an increasingly multi-polar world for S&E that revolves around the creation and use of knowledge and technology. According to Indicators 2016, China is now the second-largest performer of R&D, accounting for 20 percent of global R&D as compared to the United States, which accounts for 27 percent.

Qualcomm teams up with Chinese province to design ARM-based server chips

January 17, 2016

  • Qualcomm announced today that it has signed a deal with the Chinese province of Guizhou to jointly develop advanced server chipsets in China. Both parties have invested $280 million in the joint venture, which will be 55 percent owned by Guizhou and 45 percent owned by a subsidiary of Qualcomm.

Chinese scientists make Ebola breakthrough


  • Scientists have discovered how the Ebola virus enters cells and infects humans, marking a major breakthrough in the battle against the virus after the deadly outbreak in West Africa in March 2014. The research, published by the scientific journal “Cell”, provides a theoretical basis for the prevention and control of Ebola, offering a new direction for drug development.

China continues to top patent application list


  • China handled more patent applications for inventions than any other country for the fifth year running in 2015, official data showed Thursday. The country had over 1.1 million patent applications last year, up 18.7 percent year on year, according to figures from the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). About 359,000 invention patents were authorized, 263,000 of which were granted to domestic applicants, 100,000 more than in 2014, said Gong Yalin, an official with the SIPO, at a press conference.

China’s Baidu Releases Its AI Code

January 14, 2016

  • Google and Facebook aren’t the only ones vying to be the standard bearer for the hottest AI technique around. China’s leading Internet search company, Baidu, which is also investing heavily in a popular and powerful machine-learning technology called deep learning, today released some key code that it uses to make this AI software run very efficiently. Baidu’s code was recently used to build an impressive speech-recognition system called Deep Speech 2. For some short sentences, this system is better than most humans at recognizing speech correctly (see “Baidu’s Deep-Learning System Rivals People at Speech Recognition”). This is an especially useful technology for Baidu, because it offers a better way for the company’s many millions of users to access its services, especially on mobile. Typing Chinese characters on a smartphone is tricky and complex, and many people in China already prefer to use their voice to send short messages or to search the Web for information.

Visualizing atoms of perovskite crystals: OIST researchers conduct the first atomic resolution study of perovskites used in next generation solar cells

January 11th, 2016

  • Organic-inorganic perovskite materials are key components of the new generation of solar cells. Understanding properties of these materials is important for improving lifetime and quality of solar cells. Researchers from the Energy Materials and Surface Sciences (EMSS) Unit, led by Prof. Yabing Qi, at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) in collaboration with Prof. Youyong Li’s group from Soochow University (China) and Prof. Nam-Gyu Park’s group from Sungkyunkwan University (Korea) report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society the first atomic resolution study of organic-inorganic perovskite.

High-quality graphene quantum dots from agricultural waste

Jan 12, 2016

  • Rice husks – the outer, protective covering of rice kernels, which makes up more than 20 wt% of the entire kernel – are the by-product of rice milling. Given the sheer volume of this agricultural waste, roughly 120 million tons a year, researchers have been exploring ways to utilize this silica-rich biomass for the synthesis of valuable materials. In previous Nanowerk Spotlights we already have reported on two successful strategies by nanotechnology researchers to recycle rice husks to synthesize graphene and to produce nanoporous silicon for high-capacity lithium battery anodes. “Due to the high concentration of silica in rice husks, most of the present research focuses on the preparation of silicon-based materials, which exhibit broad applications in the fields of adsorption, catalysis, energy storage, etc.,” Dr. Luyi Sun, an Associate Professor in the Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut, explains to Nanowerk. “It is worth pointing out that there is also a large amount of organic components (ca. 72-85 wt%) in rice husks, which is typically wasted in the preparation of these silica materials.”

Two-in-one packaging may increase drug efficacy and reduce side effects

Jan 12, 2016

  • The search for such targeted drug delivery options for chemotherapy and other treatments inspired a team of researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China and The Ohio State University to develop a new way to package two or more ingredients into a single capsule. If the ingredients must be mixed for the drug to work, doctors could trigger the mixing in targeted area of the body, boosting drug efficiency while reducing side effects. The researchers report their method for multi-ingredient encapsulation and triggered mixing in a new paper in the journal Applied Physics Letters (“Steady cone-jet mode in compound-fluidic electro-flow focusing for fabricating multicompartment microcapsules”). While the work has shown promise because it allows the researcher to produce micro capsules, they have not yet used the technique to encapsulate cancer treatments. If such capsules can be made, they will have to prove safe and effective in clinical trials before becoming widely available to treat cancer.

Chinese products wow crowds at CES in Las Vegas

Jan 10, 2016

  • Chinese companies are present at the CES in Las Vegas, not only in greater numbers this year, but also in a wider product spectrum – everything from phones, drones to TVs and more.

Chinese Startups With Drones, Robots, VR Headsets Take The Spotlight At CES

Jan 10, 2016

  • Not that long ago, China tech was known primarily for low-cost, cheap knock-offs. Fast forward to today, and Chinese startups are moving to the forefront of technology innovation, as the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas just demonstrated. It wasn’t just that Chinese exhibitors took one-third of the floor displays — up from one-fourth last year – but that China’s companies, both small and large, commanded attention for inventions and even a few breakthrough concepts. That’s not dismissing the federal marshal’s raid on the stand of a Chinese hoverboard maker over allegations that it ripped off the original electric skateboard at a lower cost. All in all though, Chinese startups angled to take center stage in Vegas, debuting innovative drones, robots, virtual realty headsets, electric cars and smartphones — and wowing the crowds.

Chinese scientists develop shape-shifting material

Jan 9, 2016

  • This paper crane a work of origami? No, it’s morphed from a shape-shifting polymer! New achievement by Chinese scientists!

Visualising atoms of perovskite crystals

Jan 08, 2016

  • Organic-inorganic perovskite materials are key components of the new generation of solar cells. Understanding properties of these materials is important for improving lifetime and quality of solar cells. Researchers from the Energy Materials and Surface Sciences (EMSS) Unit, led by Prof. Yabing Qi, at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) in collaboration with Prof. Youyong Li’s group from Soochow University (China) and Prof. Nam-Gyu Park’s group from Sungkyunkwan University (Korea) report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society the first atomic resolution study of organic-inorganic perovskite (“Real-Space Imaging of the Atomic Structure of Organic–Inorganic Perovskite”).

China sees surging patent applications


  • The number of patent applications filed by Chinese for inventions more than doubled in the past five years, said the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPC) on Thursday. With government support for innovation and strengthened protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), the number of applications between the start of 2011 and the end of 2015 soared to 4.03 million, more than that in any other country.

Hu Chenming Awarded US National Medal Of Technology & Innovation

January 7, 2016

  • Professor Hu Chenming of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica has been selected to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor for achievement and leadership in advancing science and technology in the US. Hu is one of eight recipients who will receive their medals from President Obama at a White House ceremony early next year. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980. A distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors submits recommendations to the US President. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to national competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen national technological workforce.

China embraces precision medicine on a massive scale

06 January 2016

  • Formidable capacity in genome sequencing, access to millions of patients and the promise of solid governmental support: those are the assets that China hopes to bring to the nascent field of precision medicine, which uses genomic, physiological and other data to tailor treatments to individuals. Almost exactly one year after US President Barack Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative, China is finalizing plans for its own, much larger project. But as universities and sequencing companies line up to gather and analyse the data, some observers worry that problems with the nation’s health-care infrastructure — in particular a dearth of doctors — threaten the effort’s ultimate goal of improving patient care.

Ternary-layered separator to retard the shuttle of polysulfides towards highly-stable lithium–sulfur batteries

January 4, 2016

  • High-energy-density batteries are essential to meet the demand for future applications in portable electronics and electrical vehicles. Owing to the theoretical energy density of 2600 Wh/kg, the lithium-sulfur battery is considered one promising candidate for next-generation, high-energy battery solutions. However, shortcomings in fast capacity degradation and low cycling efficiency haven’t been solved, which hinders the practical application of lithium sulfur battery system. A researcher at Tsinghua University has proposed a ternary-layered separator system for lithium-sulfur batteries with long lifespan, high coulombic efficiency, and high sulfur utilization. “A new generation of rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries rely on multi-electron transfer redox chemistry,” said Dr. Qiang Zhang at Tsinghua University to Phys.Org. “Except for the high energy density, lithium-sulfur batteries have advantages over routine lithium-ion batteries such as cheap cathode material and low-temperature operational performance.”

Chinese researchers find flavonoids in cotton petals to treat Alzheimer’s


  • A new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease that uses flavonoids found and extracted by Chinese researchers from cotton petals has entered clinical trial. Researchers at Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said this week that they had discovered flavonoids capable of improving animals’ learning ability in a study that began in 2003. These flavonoids were found to improve the memory of mice with dementia and that of naturally aged mice.

Madame Wu and the Holiday Experiment That Changed Physics Forever


  • While most of us will ring in the new year with family and friends, science doesn’t take a holiday. And neither do the scientists responsible for big ongoing experiments. One of the more famous historical examples of this is the case of physicist Chien-Shiung Wu—often referred to as “Madame Wu”—who gave up vacationing with her husband in the 1950s to prove that nature is slightly left-handed. But in 1956, two Chinese-born American theorists submitted a short paper to the Physical Review journal, questioning whether parity would be conserved in weak nuclear interactions. Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang even had some ideas for how one could test their hypothesis experimentally, and convinced Wu—who specialized in weak interaction experiments at Columbia University—to work on the project.

Scientists create variable vectoring technique for propeller-powered unmanned aerial vehicles

December 31, 2015

  • Most of the existing designs are for jet engines, and cannot be applied to the conventional propeller engine aircraft. In a paper published in Science China Information Sciences recently, researchers reported a novel VTD mechanism for the conventional propeller engine UAV, which redirects a portion of the thrust from the propeller engine in directions other than the normal axial direction. A combination flight controller for the VTD-enhanced UAV is then proposed to coordinate the VTD-controlled forces and aerodynamic surfaces forces.

How a Nation of Tech Copycats Transformed Into a Hub for Innovation


  • The young programmer had an idea, and everyone thought it was nuts. Just out of college, he’d gotten a job writing software for YY, a livestreaming company based in the mas­sive city of Guangzhou, in China’s Pearl River Delta. More than 100 million users every month stream them­selves, or tune in to broadcasts of others, singing, playing video­games, or hosting talk shows from their Beijing apartments. The audience chats back, prolifically, via voice or text.

Understanding the mechanism for generating electric current without energy consumption at room temperature

Dec 28, 2015

  • A group of researchers in Japan and China identified the requirements for the development of new types of extremely low power consumption electric devices by studying Cr-doped (Sb,Bi)2Te3 thin films. This study has been reported in Nature Communications (“Carrier-mediated ferromagnetism in the magnetic topological insulator Cr-doped (Sb,Bi)2Te3”).

Carbon doped with nitrogen dramatically improves storage capacity of supercapacitors

December 28, 2015

  • A team of researchers working in China has found a way to dramatically improve the energy storage capacity of supercapacitors—by doping carbon tubes with nitrogen. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their process and how well the newly developed supercapacitors worked, and their goal of one day helping supercapacitors compete with batteries.

China: Scaling The World’s Highest Innovation Peaks

Dec 26, 2015

  • It’s clear why China is concentrating so many words — and so much energy and effort — on innovation. Indeed, as a recent McKinsey report points out, to keep its economic expansion on track, this nation of 1.3 billion people must generate two to three percentage points of annual GDP growth through innovation. The return on this investment could be substantial. By 2025, these innovation opportunities could contribute as much as $1-$2.2 trillion a year to the overall Chinese economy.

Joining Hands with Microsoft Xiaoice, Dragon TV Launches First AI Program Ever

December 23, 2015

  • Some ofyoumight have already hadaffective interactions with Xiaoice, a software program with artificial intelligence, via such platforms as WeChat, Weibo, and so forth. From Dec.22,you will seeher even on TV screens, as it has been jointly announced by Microsoft Applications & Services Group East Asiaand Shanghai Media Group (SMG) TV News Center that Xiaoice has joined “Morning News”, a morning live TV programme on Dragon TV, hosting everyday weather forecast as a trainee anchor. This morning, Xiaoice has made her debut a great success. During the brief ceremony following the live broadcast, Mr. Jiongming Song, Director of SMG TV News Center, granted her a Letter of Appointment as a trainee moderator to Dr. Yongdong Wang, the creator of Xiaoice and Managing Director of Microsoft Applications & Services Group East Asia.

China successfully developed ‘Darwin,’ a neuromorphic chip based on Spiking Neural Networks


  • Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is a type of information processing system based on mimicking the principles of biological brains, and has been broadly applied in application domains such as pattern recognition, automatic control, signal processing, decision support system and artificial intelligence. Spiking Neural Network (SNN) is a type of biologically-inspired ANN that perform information processing based on discrete-time spikes. It is more biologically realistic than classic ANNs, and can potentially achieve much better performance-power ratio. Recently, researchers from Zhejiang University and Hangzhou Dianzi University in Hangzhou, China successfully developed the Darwin Neural Processing Unit (NPU), a neuromorphic hardware co-processor based on Spiking Neural Networks, fabricated by standard CMOS technology.

China leads in pharma sector patent filings among BRIC Nations

December 24, 2015

  • Among the BRIC countries, China leads in local and foreign patent filings, finds the new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Overview of Patenting Activity in Pharma Sector of BRIC Countries ( The increase in resident applications accounts for almost all the patenting growth in China during the last few years. Such a high percentage of resident filings, dominated by utility models, raise doubts about the quality of patents emerging from the nation.

Scientists look deeper into the body with new fluorescent dye

December 24, 2015

  • In recent years, physicians and researchers have increasingly turned to glowing dyes to look beneath the skin. An eye doctor, for example, might inject a dye into a patient’s blood before shining a bright light in her eye. The dye causes the blood vessels to glow, providing a roadmap of the patient’s retina on a computer screen. At Stanford and elsewhere, researchers have worked to create dyes that, when stimulated, emit light of long wavelengths close to infrared light. Such a light, which is not visible to the human eye, could then be viewed by a special camera and be projected to a monitor to produce deeper, sharper images from inside the body. Led by chemistry Professor Hongjie Dai, the team has created a dye that can be excreted through urine within 24 hours, a development that may at some point make this valuable imaging procedure available for human health care.

Putting China’s AI to the gaokao test


  • China-developed artificial intelligence will be smart enough to gain admission to leading universities through the gaokao, China’s national college entrance exam. “Our goal is to make our robots smart enough to enter first-class Chinese universities in three to five years,” Liu Qingfeng, president of tech firm iFLYTEK Co. Ltd., said Monday at the company’s annual launch in Beijing. Liu believes artificial intelligence has three layers: computational intelligence, perceptive intelligence and cognitive intelligence. Robots have rivaled or surpassed the human brain in the first two layers. However, artificial cognitive intelligence, the ability to think and understand, is far more challenging.

At the very heart of progress

17 December 2015

  • Between 2012 and 2014, China’s Nature Index WFC rose by 37%. But several cities grew at an even faster rate — Hangzhou, Xi’an and Chengdu being some of the standout examples (see ‘Stellar performers’). Situated in China’s northwestern Shanxi province, Xi’an shows the largest relative increase in WFC of the three cities, increasing by 142% from 2012 to 2014 (see ‘Stellar performers’). WFC is a metric that apportions credit for each article according to the affiliations of the contributing authors.

Chinese scientists develop material for super-powered battery


  • Chinese scientists have successfully developed a supercapacitor with better energy capacity using nitrogen and graphene-like carbon. “We are able to make carbon a much better supercapacitor,” said Huang Fuqiang, a material chemist at the the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics. The new material will enable electric vehicles travel 35 kilometers after charging for just seven seconds, said the research team from the institute.

China leading the world for growth in high-quality science output, Nature Index shows

17 December 2015

  • China’s high quality research output grew 37% from 2012 to 2014, according to new analysis of Nature Index data. The United States saw a 4% drop over this period in the same Nature Index metric (weighted fractional count; WFC).* The Nature Index 2015 China supplement, publishing with Nature on 17 December, shows China’s total contribution to high-quality science has risen to become the second largest in the world, surpassed only by the United States.

Chinese Scientist among Nature’s Ten People for 2015


  • Chinese biologist Huang Junjiu was selected as one of the ten most influential people in 2015 by the science journal Nature. Nature’s Chief features editor says this year’s list highlights individuals who have played important roles in areas ranging from climate change to gene editing to research reproducibility.

The rapid rise of a research nation

16 December 2015

  • China has ambitious plans to source as much as 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, at the same time its economy is projected to slow. It also aspires to be the next space superpower while facing major health and environment challenges, such as an ageing population and water shortages. The Nature Index shows China is already a high-quality scientific powerhouse. Since the first Nature Index database started in 2012, China’s total contribution has risen to become the second largest in the world, surpassed only by the United States. But, what sets China apart is the rapid growth of its WFC. While China’s contribution grew 37% from 2012 to 2014, the United States saw a 4% drop over the same period.

China may soon eclipse the US in at least 8 fields of science

Dec. 14, 2015

  • While China ramps up its commitment to science, the United States seems to be stalling. In fact, China may soon eclipse the US in at least eight major scientific fields, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) 2015 Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard report. The report shows which countries have the highest number of studies referenced by other researchers — a common measure of scientific excellence. Then it breaks the data down into 27 fields, revealing which countries have the largest share of the top 10% most-cited articles in each field.

Baidu’s Deep-Learning System Rivals People at Speech Recognition

December 16, 2015

  • China’s leading Internet-search company, Baidu, has developed a voice system that can recognize English and Mandarin speech better than people, in some cases. The new system, called Deep Speech 2, is especially significant in how it relies entirely on machine learning for translation. Whereas older voice-recognition systems include many handcrafted components to aid audio processing and transcription, the Baidu system learned to recognize words from scratch, simply by listening to thousands of hours of transcribed audio.

Nanocurve-based sensor reads facial expressions

Dec 15, 2015

  • A promising approach has just been reported (“Nanoparticle Based Curve Arrays for Multirecognition Flexible Electronics”) by scientists in China, who have developed a facile printing strategy to assemble silver nanoparticles into micro- and nano-curve structures via a pillar-patterned silicon template.

Global Patent Filings Rise in 2014 for Fifth Straight Year; China Driving Growth

December 14, 2015

  • Innovators filed some 2.7 million patent applications to mark another worldwide annual rise in 2014, as application activity in China outstripped the combined total in its next-closest followers, the United States and Japan.

China drives global patent applications to new high

December 14, 2015

  • China accounted for nearly a third of the world’s patent applications last year, once again driving strong global growth, despite a sharp decrease in industrial design filings, the UN said Monday. Some 2.7 million patent applications were filed worldwide last year—a rise of 4.5 percent over 2013 and marking the fifth consecutive annual hike, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said.

China tops US, Japan in patent applications in 2014

December 14, 2015

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization said Monday that China cranked out patent applications at a record pace last year. In a numbers- and graphs-rich survey that’s aimed at pinpointing the state of play worldwide in patents and trademarks, as well as more specific areas like industrial design and “plant variety” applications, the Geneva-based body said China’s patents increased by 12.5 percent in 2014 to 928,000. China’s total outstripped the combined total emanating from the U.S. and Japan.

Weyl fermion discovery named Top Ten Breakthrough of 2015 by Physics World

December 11, 2015

  • Princeton University Professor of Physics M. Zahid Hasan is one of three physicists whose efforts to observe Weyl fermions, an elusive massless particle theorized 85 years ago, have been named among the Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2015 by Physics World magazine. Hasan shares the honor with Marin Soljacic, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and with Zhong Fang and Hongming Weng of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, whose research teams independently found evidence of the fermion.

Six China-born laureates since 1957


  • Tu Youyou is the first winner of a Nobel prize in the sciences from a Chinese institution. In 2012, Mo Yan claimed the Nobel Prize in Literature. However, there have been other Chinese winners of the Nobel Prize, who were either of Chinese descent or were born in China since the 1950s.

Time Travel Could Solve Complex Math Problems

Dec 11, 2015

  • As loyal readers know, here at Discovery News World Headquarters we like to keep a little light reading in the break room, next to the quantum espresso machine. So we were excited to see this item in the open-access journal npj Quantum Information. In any case, the research team has an impressive list of credentials. The paper was co-authored by eight scientists from the following institutions: the National University of Singapore; Tsinghua University in China; the University of Oxford; the Australian National University in Canberra; the University of Queensland in St Lucia, Australia; and QKD Corp in Toronto, Canada.

China zooms closer to driverless future as Baidu hits the road with autonomous car

Dec 9, 2015

  • Baidu, China’s top search engine company, said last year that it had started working on driverless car technology – and today we got to see for the first time what it’s building as Baidu’s autonomous car hit the streets. The car is a modified BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo that Baidu is now testing on public roads, using a 30-kilometer test drive route that begins and loops back to Baidu’s Beijing HQ. It includes one of the Chinese capital’s notoriously busy ring roads. The route was mapped out by “highly automated driving (HAD) maps” in readiness for the tests.

Nature recognises distinguished Chinese scientists

8 December 2015

  • Five prominent Chinese scientists today receive the 2015 Nature Award for Mentoring in Science at the 2015 International Forum: From Research to Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Nature hosts these annual awards to champion the importance of mentoring and inspiring a generation of young scientists.

China chips away at U.S., Taiwan semiconductor dominance

Dec 8, 2015

  • China’s multi-billion dollar drive towards self-reliance in semiconductors has spawned a cluster of chip designers that industry experts say could eventually rival leaders Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) and MediaTek Inc (2454.TW). The world’s second-largest economy now boasts nine companies that design and sell chips in the global top 50 from just one in 2009. Clients such as Chinese smartphone manufacturers have also helped compatriot chip designers amass a market share of almost a fifth, according to data analyst TrendForce.

Chinese researchers unveil brain powered car

Dec 7, 2015

  • China’s first mind-controlled car has been developed by researchers in the north-east port city of Tianjin. Chinese researchers have developed what they say is the country’s first car that uses nothing but brain power to drive. The research team from Nankai University, in the north-eastern Chinese port city of Tianjin, has spent two years bringing the mind-controlled vehicle to reality.

Wearables market surge led by Apple, Chinese makers

December 3, 2015

  • The global market for wearable tech surged in the third quarter, fueled by the Apple watch and gains from Chinese manufacturers, a market tracker said Thursday. The research firm IDC said some 21.7 million wearables were sold in the past quarter, a jump of 197 percent. Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi vaulted into third place with a 17.4 percent market share, as unit sales surged more than 800 percent, IDC said.

Xiaomi And Qualcomm Sign Patent Licensing Agreement For Latter’s 3G/4G Tech


  • Despite of headwinds from Chinese regulators in the name of antitrust issues, business has finally started to brighten for Qualcomm in China. In a deal that would prove to be win-win for both parties involved, Qualcomm and Xiaomi have entered into a new 3G and 4G China patent license agreement that would see Chinese phone maker pay loyalties for Qualcomm’s 3G/4G tech.

For Self-Healing Solar Panels, Just Add Gas

September 8, 2015

  • Thanks to their unique optical, electric and magnetic properties as well as simple and inexpensive fabrication, organolead halide perovskites have become an attractive light-absorber used in solar panels. Now, scientists found a way to produce a smooth perovskite coating layer simply by supplying CH3NH2 gas to perovskites crystals, pioneering a new way to create smooth solar panels. This work was published in Angewandte Chemie. Recently, the Biomimetics for Energy Storage Group led by Professor Cui Guanglei at Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor Nitin P. Padture of Brown University have successfully established a new way to manipulate perovskite coating. They developed room-temperature, ultrafast methylamine-induced defect-healing (MIDH) technology.

Beijing aims to refill medicine chest with ‘Made in China’ drugs

Nov 30, 2015

  • China, already a global powerhouse in high-tech areas from solar panels to bullet trains, is turning its industrial might to the challenge of making more of its own drugs for a vast and aging population. Given the 10 years or more it typically takes to bring a new medicine to market, original “Made in China” treatments won’t arrive overnight, but multinationals are already encountering more competition from local generic drugs that look set for a quantum leap in quality.

ZTE, Lenovo and Xiaomi Are Making Their Own ARM-Based Mobile Chips

28 November 2015

  • Following in the footsteps of Samsung, Lenovo, Xiaomi and ZTE are allegedly gearing up to create their own mobile SoCs. According to a report from Taiwan-based publication DigiTimes, ZTE, Lenovo and Xiaomi intend to release their own ARM-based mobile chipsets in the near term. The publication cites industry sources and reveals that ZTE has gotten cash funding from the Chinese government, which will enable it to hasten the production of its SoCs.

How China Became A Smartphone Powerhouse: Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE Set To Challenge Apple Inc., Samsung


  • The global smartphone industry is undergoing a major shift as Chinese manufacturers begin wielding international power and making headway against market leaders like South Korea’s Samsung and California-based Apple. Figures released this week by CounterPoint Research show that of the top 12 smartphone manufacturers, nine are based in China and together account for more than a third of the world’s total smartphone market.

Google to launch Play Store in mainland China in early 2016

November 21, 2015

  • Google is planning a make a comeback in China by launching the Play Store in early 2016, which is some time after the Chinese New Year in February. This version of the Play Store would be specifically set for China. The app store is expected to include payment options Alipay, the online service from Alibaba group and Tencent’s WeChat Payments. The internet search giant would comply with Chinese laws including those governing data storage and filtering of sensitive content, sources familiar with the matter revealed to Reuters.

‘Material universe’ yields surprising new particle

November 28th, 2015

  • The researchers theorize that the particle exists in a material known as tungsten ditelluride (WTe2), which the researchers liken to a “material universe” because it contains several particles, some of which exist under normal conditions in our universe and others that may exist only in these specialized types of crystals. The research appeared in the journal Nature this week. The research was led by Princeton University Associate Professor of Physics B. Andrei Bernevig, as well as Matthias Troyer and Alexey Soluyanov of ETH Zurich, and Xi Dai of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Physics. The team included Postdoctoral Research Associates Zhijun Wang at Princeton and QuanSheng Wu at ETH Zurich, and graduate student Dominik Gresch at ETH Zurich.

Computer scientists achieve breakthrough in pheromone-based swarm communications in robots (w/video)

Nov 26, 2015

  • An innovative, effective and low-cost system which replicates in robots the pheromone-based communication of insect swarms is now being made available to robotics and artificial intelligence researchers after an important breakthrough at the University of Lincoln, UK (“COSΦ: Artificial Pheromone System for Robotic Swarms Research”; pdf). Led by Farshad Arvin, PhD researcher in the School of Computer Science, the Lincoln team developed the system using their own Colias platform. They created Colias – an open-platform system that can be used to investigate collective behaviours and be applied to swarm applications – in 2014 in collaboration with experts from Tsinghua University in China.

ASU’s white laser technology one of year’s top breakthroughs

November 18, 2015

  • Engineering professor’s invention promises a bright future according to Popular Science magazine The invention of the world’s first white laser, which could revolutionize communications, lighting and displays, is being recognized as one of the top 100 breakthroughs of the year by Popular Science magazine. Arizona State University electrical engineering professor Cun-Zheng Ning worked on the problem for 10 years until he and his team of graduate students cracked it. The white laser will eventually produce computer and TV displays with 70 percent more colors than current technology.

Forget Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes, Get Ready for Diamond Nanothread

November 18, 2015

  • The discovery of a stable form of one-dimensional diamond has scientists racing to understand its properties. The first signs are that diamond nanothread will be more versatile than anyone expected. Today, we get some new insight into diamond nanothreads thanks to the work of Haifei Zhan at Queensland University of Technology in Australia and a few pals. These guys have modeled the threads using large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. And they conclude that the material could be more versatile than anyone thought. There are tentative signs that diamond nanothread could be a new a wonder material in its own right.

Targeted exosome-mediated delivery of opioid receptor Mu siRNA for the treatment of morphine relapse

02 November 2015

  • Cell-derived exosomes have been demonstrated to be efficient carriers of small RNAs to neighbouring or distant cells, highlighting the preponderance of exosomes as carriers for gene therapy over other artificial delivery tools. In the present study, we employed modified exosomes expressing the neuron-specific rabies viral glycoprotein (RVG) peptide on the membrane surface to deliver opioid receptor mu (MOR) siRNA into the brain to treat morphine addiction. We found that MOR siRNA could be efficiently packaged into RVG exosomes and was associated with argonaute 2 (AGO2) in exosomes. These exosomes efficiently and specifically delivered MOR siRNA into Neuro2A cells and the mouse brain. Functionally, siRNA-loaded RVG exosomes significantly reduced MOR mRNA and protein levels. Surprisingly, MOR siRNA delivered by the RVG exosomes strongly inhibited morphine relapse via the down-regulation of MOR expression levels. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that targeted RVG exosomes can efficiently transfer siRNA to the central nervous system and mediate the treatment of morphine relapse by down-regulating MOR expression levels. Our study provides a brand new strategy to treat drug relapse and diseases of the central nervous system. yuchen Liu, Dameng Li, Zhengya Liu, Yu Zhou, Danping Chu, Xihan Li, Xiaohong Jiang, Dongxia Hou, Xi Chen, Yuda Chen, Zhanzhao Yang, Ling Jin, Waner Jiang, Chenfei Tian, Geyu Zhou, Ke Zen, Junfeng Zhang, Yujing Zhang, Jing Li & Chen-Yu Zhang

Protein complex may help explain magnetic sensing in insects and animals

November 17, 2015

  • A team of researchers with Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University has identified a protein that aligns with a magnetic field when polymerized and coupled with another well known protein. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, the researchers suggest the protein complex may be the means by which many insects and animals orient themselves using the Earth’s magnetic field.

Self-powered e-watch is powered completely by wrist movements

November 23, 2015

  • Researchers have created a self-powered electronic watch that harvests energy from the wearer’s wrist movements for continuous operation. By combining two different energy conversion mechanisms (electromagnetic and triboelectric) in a single hybrid nanogenerator, the device can harvest significantly more energy than previous harvesters that use only a single mechanism. The scientists, led by Ya Yang at the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems in China, and Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, have published a paper on the hybrid nanogenerator in a recent issue of ACS Nano.

Read more at:

Gene that makes bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics found in China

18 Nov 2015

  • The discovery was described as “alarming” by scientists, who called for urgent restrictions on the use of polymyxins — a class of antibiotics that includes the drug colistin and is widely used in livestock farming. Researchers led by Hua Liu from the South China Agricultural University, who published their work in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, found the gene, called mcr-1, on plasmids — mobile DNA that can be easily copied and transferred between different bacteria.

Graphene’s stabilizling influence on supercapacitors

Nov 18, 2015

  • Supercapacitors can be charged and discharged tens of thousands of times, but their relatively low energy density compared to conventional batteries limits their application for energy storage. Now, ASTAR researchers have developed an ‘asymmetric’ supercapacitor based on metal nitrides and graphene that could be a viable energy storage solution (“All Metal Nitrides Solid-State Asymmetric Supercapacitors”). Hui Huang from ASTAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and his colleagues from Nanyang Technological University and Jinan University, China, have fabricated asymmetric supercapacitors which incorporate metal nitride electrodes with stacked sheets of graphene.

China and US score highly as technology hubs


  • China and the United States were named the world’s most promising technology hubs for disruptive breakthroughs, a survey by an international consulting company revealed on Thursday. The 2015 Global Technology Innovation Survey by KPMG showed that Shanghai and Beijing continued to be two of the five cities expected to become the next leading tech hubs in addition to Silicon Valley. The survey draws insights from 832 technology executives globally – including 93 from China – and identifies disruptive technologies, barriers to tech innovation adoption and monetization opportunities driven by emerging technologies.

Nature releases white paper—Turning Point: Chinese Science in Transition

November 25, 2015

  • The White Paper starts by focusing on a positive trend in Chinese science. It shows that China’s long-lamented ‘brain drain’ has become a ‘brain boomerang’, with the vast majority of young Chinese scientists planning to return quickly to China after a period overseas: 85% plan to return within 5 years. This trend of faster-returning ‘haigui’ (homing turtles, as they are colloquially referred to in China), reflects the country’s increased standing in global research, and a greater confidence Chinese scientists have in the country’s future. China’s increased efforts to attract, develop and retain talented researchers are also securing greater numbers from abroad.

Read more at:

China’s world titles and achievements

07 Dec 2015

  • 1. Chinese high-speed train passes speed test at 385 km/h 2. Tianhe-2 retains position as the world’s most powerful supercomputer 3. Overpass bridge replaced in 43 hours 4. China’s e-commerce roars on Singles’ Day 5. 57-storey skyscraper completed in 19 days

Chinese scientists to transform castor oil into jet fuel


  • A team from China’s Nankai University has announced that they are able to make jet fuel out of castor oil, aiming at the production of tens of thousands of tons next year. The team led by professor Li Wei had their research results published in the international journal Bioresource Technology. Currently, most planes are burning fossil fuels that causes air pollution. Li said bio fuels could help cut emissions of sulfur and carbon by half, and largely ease the “carbon tax” burden on the Chinese aviation industry, the world’s largest civil plane market.

Who and What Was Hot in Scientific Research in 2012

  • Hui-ming ChengHui-Ming Cheng is Professor and Head of the Advanced Carbon Division, Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, and Deputy… Jun WangJun Wang is the Executive Director of BGI (previously known as the Beijing Genomics Institute). He was instrumental in the 1999… Yongfang LiDr. Yongfang Li is a professor at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS) since 1993. He obtained his Ph.D. degree… Zidon WangZidong Wang is a Professor of Dynamical Systems and Computing at Brunel University in the United Kingdom. Professor Wang’s… Li DingDr. Li Ding joined the Genome Institute at Washington University in 2002. Dr. Ding has extensive experience in cancer genetics/genomics.

China shows off scientific, technological achievements


  • On Friday, the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China published its latest report on the performance of Chinese sci-tech papers, with data updated in September. Since 1987, the annual report has been a source of decision-making support for government agencies. The report, the Statistical Data of Chinese S&T Papers, showed Chinese researchers published 1.14 million International sci-tech papers since 2003, ranking second place in the world. These papers had a total citation of nearly 7.1 million times, ranking it fifth, moving up one place from 2012.

Major Milestone in Brain Science: Scientists Digitize and Simulate Neural Tissue, Reveal Diverse Brain States


  • The Blue Brain Project, a key part of the European Union’s 10-year Human Brain Project, released today a detailed computer representation of microcircuitry of the rat brain. The paper presents a first draft digital reconstruction of the neural microcircuitry of a small area in the somatosensory cortex of the brain of young rats, the part of the brain responsible for the sense of touch. Published by the renowned journal Cell, the paper is the result of a massive effort by 82 scientists and engineers at EPFL and at institutions in Israel, Spain, Hungary, USA, China, Sweden, and the UK. It represents the culmination of 20 years of biological experimentation that generated the core dataset, and 10 years of computational science work that developed the algorithms and built the software ecosystem required to digitally reconstruct and simulate the tissue.

New ultra-sensitive instrument aims to detect hints of elusive dark matter particles

November 12, 2015

  • Nov. 11 an international collaboration of scientists inaugurated the new XENON1T instrument designed to search for dark matter with unprecedented sensitivity at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory in Italy. In addition to Columbia’s Aprile, leading the other six U.S. institutions are Ethan Brown, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Petr Chaguine, Rice University; Rafael Lang, Purdue University; Kaixuan Ni, University of California, San Diego; and Hanguo Wang, University of California, Los Angeles.

China poised to play pivotal role in NAND flash industry

Nov 11, 2015

  • China is a growing presence in the NAND flash industry and is expected to play a pivotal role in supply and demand over the next two to three years, according to a new report. According to research firm TrendForce, state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup has become a prominent example of the surge in Chinese deal-making in the semiconductor sector where the nation is filling production capability gaps with acquisitions and investments.

Blocked Internet firms on Chinese charm offensive

November 11, 2015

  • Google, Facebook and Twitter are all banned in China, but the Internet giants’ top executives are increasingly frequent visitors to Beijing as they seek opportunity and profit from the world’s second-largest economy, despite concerns over censorship.

Onion-like layers help this efficient new nanoparticle glow

November 10, 2015

  • A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in biomaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques. The research was published online in Nano Letters on Oct. 21 and led by the Institute for Lasers, Photonics, and Biophotonics at UB, and the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, with contributions from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden; Tomsk State University in Russia; and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As Ohulchanskyy and Chen explain, the core itself is inefficient in absorbing photons from the outside world. That’s where the dye comes in.

New 3D printing tech empowers surgeons at a nano scale

09 November 2015

  • A 3D printer that can produce detailed models narrower than a human hair is helping experts in medical robotics at Imperial’s Hamlyn Centre. The technology, utilising the Photonic Professional GT machine by Nanoscribe and funded by EPSRC, is allowing researchers at the Hamlyn Centre to develop previously impossible medical therapies, devices and procedures. The Hamlyn Centre’s Director Professor Guang-Zhong Yang showcased the work to President Xi Jinping and other senior Chinese and British officials during their visit to the College on 21 October.

A new way to look at metal organic frameworks

Nov 09, 2015

  • (Nanowerk News) An international collaboration of scientists led by Omar Yaghi, a renowned chemist with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has developed a technique they dubbed “gas adsorption crystallography” that provides a new way to study the process by which metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) – 3D crystals with extraordinarily large internal surface areas – are able to store immense volumes of gases such a carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. This new look at MOFs led to a discovery that holds promise for the improved design of MOFs tailored specifically for carbon capture, or for the use of hydrogen and natural gas (methane) fuels. Yaghi, who invented MOFs in the early 1990s while at the Arizona State University, is now a faculty scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and the University of California (UC) Berkeley Chemistry Department, where he also serves as co-director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute (Kavli-ENSI). For this latest study, Yaghi and Osamu Terasaki, a chemist with Stockholm University, along with collaborators from institutes in the United States, China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, interfaced a gas adsorption apparatus with a form of X-ray crystallography, called in-situ small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The result was a gas adsorption crystallography technique that uncovered evidence of cooperative interactions between gas molecules within a MOF.

China’s Vanke invests in driverless car


  • China’s largest property developer Vanke is developing driverless cars and other robots in response, they say, to labor shortages. The company says its autonomous patrol car has now finished testing. Vanke’s Zhang Jinming says unlike Google’s driverless cars which run on public roads, their models aim to transport people within an enclosed compound.

World’s First Silicon Quantum Logic Gate Brings Quantum Computing One Step Closer


  • Engineers from the University of New South Wales have developed a device that allows two quantum bits — known as qubits — to communicate with each other. That ability, achieved in silicon, could make a practical quantum computer a reality. M. Veldhorst, C. H. Yang,J. C. C. Hwang,W. Huang,J. P. Dehollain, J. T. Muhonen, S. Simmons,A. Laucht, F. E. Hudson, K. M. Itoh,A. Morello & A. S. Dzurak

Physicists Measure Force of Interaction between Antiprotons

Nov 5, 2015

  • According to a large international team of physicists, the attractive force between antiprotons is similar to that between protons. The team, called the STAR collaboration, measured two key important parameters: the scattering length and the effective range of interaction between two antiprotons. This gave physicists a new way to understand the force that holds together the nuclei in antimatter and how this compares to matter. “But in that case, the force between the antiprotons is a convolution of the interactions with all the other particles. We wanted to study the simple interaction of unbound antiprotons to get a cleaner view of this force,” said team member Dr Aihong Tang, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. “We see lots of protons, the basic building blocks of conventional atoms, coming out, and we see almost equal numbers of antiprotons,” said team member Zhengqiao Zhang of the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, China.

Facilitating processing of biomass

Nov 02, 2015

  • (Nanowerk News) Usually, harvesting energy and raw materials from plants requires many process steps and aggressive chemicals. To make these processes more efficient and resource saving, researchers are looking for suitable enzymes. Using neutrons, researchers have now investigated the reaction mechanism of an important class of enzymes: the glycosidases. The measurements were made at the neutron sources in Los Alamos and Oak Ridge (USA), as well as at the research neutron source FRM II of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The results (“Direct determination of protonation states and visualization of hydrogen bonding in a glycoside hydrolase with neutron crystallography”) provide the key to improving large-scale technical processing of biomass. The research was funded by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Office of Basic Energy Sciences and the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Chinese Ministry of Education and the Innovation Fund of the Yangzhou University. The measurements were carried out using the BioDiff instrument of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) at the research neutron source FRM II in Garching, as well as instruments at the neutron sources in Los Alamos und Oak Ridge and the Advanced Photon Source of the Argonne National Laboratory (USA). In addition, scientists from the Nanjing Agricultural University and the University of Toledo took part in the project.

Ultrasensitive sensors made from boron-doped graphene

Nov 02, 2015

  • Once fabricated, the researchers sent boron graphene samples to researchers at the Honda Research Institute USA Inc., Columbus, Ohio, who tested the samples against their own highly sensitive gas sensors. Konstantin Novoselov’s lab at the University of Manchester, UK, studied the transport mechanism of the sensors. Novoselov was the 2010 Nobel laureate in physics. Theory collaborators in the U.S. and Belgium matched the scanning tunneling microscopy images to experimental images, confirmed the presence of the boron atoms in the graphene lattice and their effect when interacting with ammonia or nitrogen oxide molecules. Collaborators in Japan and China also contributed to the research. “This multidisciplinary research paves a new avenue for further exploration of ultrasensitive gas sensors,” said Avetik Harutyunyan, chief scientist and project leader at Honda Research Institute USA Inc. “Our approach combines novel nanomaterials with continuous ultraviolet light radiation in the sensor design that have been developed in our laboratory by lead researcher Dr. Gugang Chen in the last five years. We believe that further development of this technology may break the parts per quadrillion level of detection limit, which is up to six orders of magnitude better sensitivity than current state-of-the-art sensors.”

China to take on Boeing, Airbus with homegrown C919 passenger jet

November 2, 2015

  • Beijing (CNN)Amid much fanfare on live national television, China on Monday rolled its first homegrown large passenger jet off the production line in Shanghai, vowing to challenge the dominance of Airbus and Boeing in the global commercial aviation market. At the ceremony, a shiny C919 — sporting a largely white fuselage with a blue wavy stripe and a green tail — was towed beneath a banner with the phrase “a dream takes off” and past a huge Chinese national flag.

‘Hypertension is racist and sexist’: Scientists find genetic mutations put Europeans more at risk – and Chinese women get off scot-free

02 November, 2015

  • Most genetic mutations linked to hypertension in Europeans cannot be found in populations of Chinese people, according to a new study by Chinese researchers. The finding comes after another recent study showed that 10 genetic changes seen in Caucasians from the continent are tied to hypertension, or abnormally high blood pressure. But these same mutations do not typically apply to Chinese, and when they do the subjects are almost always male, the Chinese team said.

Chinese science comes of age

November 2015

  • Of course, quantity is not the same as quality. For most of the 20th century, the number of papers published in high-impact journals like Nature and Science each year from authors in China could be counted on one hand. Of the top 0.1 per cent most-cited articles published across all journals in 1997, only four had any co-authors based in China. But here too, China has made remarkable progress. Last year, that number was 269 articles, or 21 per cent of the top 0.1 per cent most-cited papers published in 2014. According to the 2013 Nature Index, its contribution to research in the world’s leading journals is now second only to the US. What’s more, they’re putting their money where their mouth is. Nature Publishing Group’s 2015 Author Insights Survey found that the 1,445 Chinese authors surveyed were much more likely to receive support to publish their research via open access than their global colleagues, and an increasing proportion are choosing to do so exclusively. Some 20 per cent of authors based at Chinese institutions had published exclusively via an open access model over the last three years (up from 14 per cent in 2014) a much higher proportion than the equivalent of authors in Europe and North America (6 per cent). Only 11 per cent of authors in China said that they did not know how much budget they had for publication costs, compared to 18 per cent for the rest of the world. And it shows. Ever since the launch of our flagship open access journal, Nature Communications, in 2010, Chinese scientists have consistently chosen to publish open access more than researchers from elsewhere in the world.

Newly developed cell transplantation delivery method could treat traumatic brain injury

October 31st, 2015

  • The researchers reported that the intensity of the magnetic field does not affect the in vitro viability, proliferation or differentiation of cells loaded with iron oxide nanoparticles. These results, said the researchers, suggest that the method is a “promising technique” for cell delivery in TBI and other neurological injuries and neurodegenerative diseases. Citation: Shen, W.-B.; Plachez, C.; Tsymbalyuk, O.; Tsymbalyuk, N.; Xu, S.; Yarnell, D.; Mullins, R.; Gulapalli, R.; Puche, A.; Simard, J. M.; Fishman, P. S.; Yarowsky, P. Cell-based therapy in TBI: Magnetic retention of neural stem cells in vivo.. Cell Transplant. Appeared or available on-line: September 21, 2015

China ‘to start work on super, super-collider by 2020’

October 29, 2015

  • China will begin work on the world’s largest super-collider in 2020, state-run media reported Thursday, in an attempt to increase understanding of the Higgs boson, or “god particle”. The facility, designed to smash subatomic particles together at enormous speed, will reportedly be at least twice the size of the Swiss-based CERN, where the Higgs boson was discovered.

Squeezed Light and Quantum Clockspeeds

October 23, 2015

  • Today, we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Nana Liu at the University of Oxford in the U.K. and a few pals who have found a way to evaluate the performance of quantum computers using a single parameter that functions as a kind of quantum clockspeed. This makes it possible to compare different kinds of quantum calculation on a level playing field for the first time.

A Robot Finds Its Way Using Artificial “GPS” Brain Cells

October 19, 2015

  • Researchers in Singapore simulated two types of cells known to be used for navigation in the brain—so-called “place” and “grid” cells—and showed they could enable a small-wheeled robot to find its way around. Rather than simulate the cells physically, they created a simple two-dimensional model of the cells in software. The work was led by Haizhou Li, a professor at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

IBM allows China to review source code

16 Oct, 2015

  • International Business Machines Corp has agreed to let China’s technology ministry review some product source code in a secure room, according to two people briefed on the practice, making it the first major US tech company to comply with requests from Beijing that the industry has opposed. IBM has begun allowing officials from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology examine proprietary source code — the secret sauce behind its software — in a controlled space without being able to remove it from the room, the two people said. It wasn’t clear which products IBM was allowing reviews of or how much time MIIT officials can spend looking at the code.

China’s new-type airship successfully stays in near space

October 14, 2015

  • China’s first new type near-space airship “Yuanmeng” was successfully launched in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia on Tuesday. The airship is flying at the designed height and runs well.“Yuanmeng” is a colossal silvery airship and occupies 18,000 cubic meters. With the lift of helium, it rose to the air, and then it is mainly powered by solar energy. The airship will stay near space for 48 hours according to the plan. Near space is the region of Earth’s atmosphere that lies between 20 to 100 km (65,000 and 328,000 feet) above sea level. Impeded by the height and air density of the region, traditional aircrafts find it difficult to enter the region, said Yu Quan, an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering.The airship can carry out multiple tasks.“The biggest challenge for the near-space airship is the big temperature difference in the day and night,” Yu said.

China most advanced country for remote work

October 15, 2015

  • China is the most advanced country in allowing and enabling office workers to work from any location, on any device, according to a study conducted by Virgin Media Business. The study, commissioned by Polycom, also showed that these nations lead the world at 48% of companies in each country – well above the global average of 29%. More than 90% of employees in the US and 85% in China work remotely at least once a week, with Virgin Media Business predicting that globally, 60% of office-based employees will regularly work from home by 2022.

Reduced graphene oxide platform shows extreme sensitivity to circulating tumor cells

Oct 14, 2015

  • (Nanowerk Spotlight) The complexity of the microenvironment of a biological cell is influenced by many factors, including surface topography and chemistry; matrix stiffness; mechanical stress; molecular liquid composition and other physiochemical parameters. However, most artificial biointerfaces are developed based on just a single chemical or physical factor to direct cell behaviors. The functions performed by these artificial biointerfaces are far simpler than those performed in the natural cell microenvironment. In an effort to more closely mimic a cell’s natural environment, a research team in China has fabricated an antibody modified reduced graphene oxide (rGO) platform and used it to significantly improve the efficiency for capturing circulating tumor cells.

Production of China’s first unmanned subway trains complete


  • Production of Beijing’s first fully automatic subway trains has been finished, Changchun Railway Vehicles, a subsidiary of China CRRC Corporation, announced on Monday. They will be the first fully automatic trains in mainland China and are scheduled to be put into service this year. The trains, with a top speed of 80 kilometers an hour, can carry a maximum of 1,262 passengers. Unmanned subway trains were first introduced in Copenhagen and are used in cities including Paris, Barcelona and Nuremberg.

China’s tech empire comes of age abroad


  • BEIJING, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) — When Lei Jun told the World Internet Conference in China last year that his tech startup Xiaomi will be the world leader in smartphones in the next five or 10 years, an Apple executive prophetically replied, “It is easy to say, but more difficult to do.” Xiaomi’s prodigious success has revolutionized the market for “made in China” goods, much due to the founder’s appeal to patriotism.

How Nanocrystal Technology Is Changing the World

October 6th, 2015

  • Medicine may soon benefit from artificial reverse engineering of such natural nanocrystal optical effects. Science Times reports that a team of Chinese researchers at Xi’an Jiaotong University has designed a way to precisely control nanocrystal size and shape to determine which color of light gets produced when materials are stimulated with electricity or ultraviolet light. By then using the nanocrystals as a staining agent for microscope slides, the researchers were able to get cancer cells to display in a different color than normal cells. This technique could enable oncologists to more easily spot cancerous cells, even in small concentration.

Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to 3 Scientists for Parasite-Fighting Therapies

OCT. 5, 2015

  • Three scientists who used modern laboratory techniques to discover anti-parasitic drugs long hidden in herbs and soil won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday. Dr. Tu was inspired by Chinese traditional medicine in discovering Artemisinin, a drug that is now part of standard anti-malarial regimens and that has reduced death rates from the disease.

US Dominates In Cloud Data Centers, China Second


  • The US and China host 54% of the world’s cloud data centers, a fact that reflects American dominance in providing cloud services and China’s vast appetite for consuming them, according to Synergy Research Group, an IT market reearch firm. With with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft, Rackspace, and IBM all based in the US, the country has built 44% of the cloud data centers in the world on its own shores. These companies have also built overseas facilities in specific cities such as Dublin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore, and Sydney. However, Synergy was trying to draw a country-by-county picture.

Crystal clear: Thousand-fold fluorescence enhancement in an all-polymer thin film


  • A research team led by Dr Qin Li, from Griffith’s Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre, is reporting unparalleled magnitude of fluorescence enhancement due to a novel and multi-layer Colloidal Photonic Crystal (CPhC) structure.

5G by 2020? Europe and China team up for research, focus on Internet of Things

September 28, 2015

  • The European Union and China have signed an agreement on 5G to steer cooperation on joint research, standardisation, spectrum, and the Internet of Things. Europe and China have signed an agreement to allow EU telecoms and ICT companies more open access to the Chinese market as well as equal access to China’s government-funded 5G research. This will give European companies the same level of access that Chinese companies already enjoy when participating in the EU’s 5G initiatives.

Researchers Identify Newer And More Precise System For Genome Editing

September 27, 2015

  • An advanced molecular system that can be used as a better pair of genetic scissors for genome editing has been identified by a team of scientists from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Wageningen University, and National Institutes of Health. Feng Zhang, lead author of the study, explained that they searched for enzymes that could help engineer human cells. The team discovered two bacterial genomes called Lachnospiraceae and Acidominococcus within Cpf1, which can insert and edit DNA.

Exploring the structural basis for high-efficiency energy transfer in photosynthetic organisms

Sep 24, 2015

  • The crystal structure of plant PSI-LHCI supercomplex has been reported previously. However, the crystal structures reported so far lacked sufficient resolution to reveal the detailed organization of the PSI-LHCI supercomplex with atomic precision, especially with respect to the positions and number of cofactors associated with LHCI. Now, Michi Suga, Jian-Ren Shen at Okayama University in collaboration with Tingyun Kuang and Xiaochun Qin at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have solved the crystal structure of plant PSI-LHCI supercomplex to a resolution of 2.8 Å (“Structural basis for energy transfer pathways in the plant PSI-LHCI supercomplex”).

Chinese Scientists Create Prototype for Climate Prediction Simulator

Sep 24, 2015

  • A prototype for a numerical simulation system that could potentially predict natural disasters in the foreseeable future debuted in Beijing on Wednesday, reported Chinese state news agency Xinhua. The current technology can be used by scientists to support research regarding short-term climate prediction, as well as dust and haze control. Chinese scientists are already doing research in these fields.

Microsoft teams with Baidu to boost Windows 10 upgrades in China

September 24, 2015

  • With a population of over 1.3 billion, China is the world’s largest country — but it’s also one of the toughest for a foreign company to penetrate. Microsoft, keen to spread Windows 10 through the People’s Republic, is pairing with Baidu, China’s most popular search engine, to help speed up the transition, the US software giant announced on Thursday.

Team develops method for scaling up production of thin electronic material

September 21, 2015

  • Sheets of graphene and other materials that are virtually two-dimensional hold great promise for electronic, optical, and other high-tech applications. But the biggest limitation in unleashing this potential has been figuring out how to make these materials in the form of anything larger than tiny flakes. Now researchers at MIT and elsewhere may have found a way to do so. The findings have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society by a team including MIT postdoc Lin Zhou; professors Mildred Dresselhaus, Jing Kong, and Tomás Palacios; and eight others at MIT, the China University of Petroleum, Central South University in China, the National Tsing-hua University in Taiwan, and Saitama University and Tohoku University in Japan.

Making 3-D objects disappear: Researchers create ultrathin invisibility cloak

September 17, 2015

  • Working with brick-like blocks of gold nanoantennas, the Berkeley researchers fashioned a “skin cloak” barely 80 nanometers in thickness, that was wrapped around a three-dimensional object about the size of a few biological cells and arbitrarily shaped with multiple bumps and dents. The surface of the skin cloak was meta-engineered to reroute reflected light waves so that the object was rendered invisible to optical detection when the cloak is activated. “This is the first time a 3D object of arbitrary shape has been cloaked from visible light,” said Xiang Zhang, director of Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and a world authority on metamaterials – artificial nanostructures engineered with electromagnetic properties not found in nature. “Our ultra-thin cloak now looks like a coat. It is easy to design and implement, and is potentially scalable for hiding macroscopic objects.”

Scientists Claim They Found Natural Defense Against HIV


  • The discovery, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, pinpoints a protein, ERManI, that doesn’t allow reproduction of the HIV virus, which causes AIDS. “In earlier studies, we knew that we could interfere with the spread of HIV-1, but we couldn’t identify the mechanism that was stopping the process,” said associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics in Michigan State University Yong-Hui Zheng, who worked on the study in collaboration with scientists from the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the University of Georgia.

U.S., China, UK experts to tackle vexed issue of gene editing

Sep 14, 2015

  • LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists from the United States, China and Britain will come together to discuss the future of human gene editing, which holds great promise for treating diseases but also has the potential to create “designer babies”. The technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, allows scientists to edit genes by using genetic “scissors” that operate a bit like a biological word-processing program that can find and replace defects.

Tadpole-like endoscope swims through gastrointestinal tract in search of cancer

September 14, 2015

  • The new Tadpole Endoscope (TE), on the other hand, is a relatively non-invasive device that is simply swallowed like a large pill and then remotely guided around inside the patient’s stomach by a doctor. Created by engineers from the Institute of Precision Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the device has a soft-tail that it uses to maneuver about, a 3D printed shell that contains the control electronics, and a placeholder for a wireless video camera.

A Chinese OS at last? More than 40 per cent of Dell PCs in China now running homegrown Windows alternative

14 September, 2015

  • After many failed attempts at promoting homegrown operating systems, Beijing may finally be making headway against Google, Microsoft and Apple, with more than a third of Dell machines in the country running an OS co-developed by the Chinese military. Forty-two per cent of personal computers sold by the US computer maker in China run the NeoKylin OS, a senior Dell executive told the Wall Street Journal.

Italian-Chinese medical team to perform first head transplant

Sep 12, 2015

  • An Italian-Chinese medical team plan to perform the world’s first head transplant in China, one of the surgeons said Friday, amid concerns over medical ethics in the country. Ren Xiaoping, who along with Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero, hope to attempt the procedure within two years, but only if the preparatory research and tests go according to plan, Ren said “A lot of media have been saying we will definitely attempt the surgery by 2017, but that’s only if every step before that proceeds smoothly,” Ren told AFP.

Researchers create new metal-organic and spongy ‘hybrid glasses’


  • An international team of researchers reports in the journal Nature Communications how they have managed to use a relatively new family of sponge-like porous materials to develop new hybrid glasses. These engineered glasses could satisfy applications in advanced photonics, while also facilitating industrial-scale carbon capture and storage. Now, a team of researchers from Europe, China, and Japan has discovered that careful MOF selection and heating under argon appears to raise their decomposition temperature just enough to allow melting, rather than the powders breaking down. The liquids formed have the potential to be shaped, cast and recrystallized, to enable solid structures with uses in gas separation and storage.

Entanglement lifetime extended orders of magnitude using coupled cavities

September 10, 2015

  • In a new study, physicists have developed a way to extend the quantum entanglement lifetime to nearly 10 milliseconds, which is about three orders of magnitude longer than the spontaneous lifetime of a few microseconds. The millisecond lifetime is long enough to implement some quantum algorithms and protocols, and is expected to be extended further in the future. The researchers, Zhong-Xiao Man and Yun-Jie Xia at Qufu Normal University in China, along with Rosario Lo Franco at the University of Palermo in Italy, the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and The University of Nottingham in the UK, have published their paper in a recent issue of Nature’s Scientific Reports.

China pours funds into medical research


  • BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — The Chinese government has poured 30 billion yuan (4.7 billion U.S. dollars) into medical research since 2011, according to the country’s health authorities. “China has been giving greater support to research and development in the medical field,” said Qin Huaijin, an official in charge of science and education with the National Health and Family Planning Commission, at a press conference on Thursday. Qin noted that Chinese scientists had more than 230,000 medical papers published in the world-leading journals of the Science Citation Index between the start of 2010 and the end of 2014. This was more than all but one other country, and China has topped the world in terms of the number of health-related patent applications since 2011.

Implant ‘traps’ spreading cancer cells

9 September 2015

  • A small sponge-like implant that can mop up cancer cells as they move through the body has been developed by US researchers. So far tested in mice, it is hoped the device could act as an early warning system in patients, alerting doctors to cancer spread. The implant also seemed to stop rogue cancer cells reaching other areas where new tumours could grow. Samira M. Azarin, Ji Yi, Robert M. Gower, Brian A. Aguado, Megan E. Sullivan, Ashley G. Goodman, Eric J. Jiang, Shreyas S. Rao, Yinying Ren, Susan L. Tucker, Vadim Backman, Jacqueline S. Jeruss & Lonnie D Shea

New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in 3-D

September 4, 2015

  • An international team of scientists has developed what may be the first one-step process for making seamless carbon-based nanomaterials that possess superior thermal, electrical and mechanical properties in three dimensions. Dai has worked for nearly four years with Zhong Lin Wang, the Hightower Chair in Materials Science and Engineering, and Yong Ding, a senior research scientist, at Georgia Institute of Technology; and Zhenhai Xia, professor of materials science and engineering, at the University of North Texas; Ajit Roy, principal materials research engineer in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Dayton; and others on a U.S. Department of Defense-Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program (Joycelyn Harrison, Program Manager). Close collaboration was also made with Yuhua Xue, the Research Associate at CWRU and visiting scholar from the Institute of Advanced Materials for Nano-Bio Applications, School of Ophthalmology & Optometry, Wenzhou Medical University, along with Jia Qu and Hao Chen, professors in the Wenzhou Medical University.

Scientists predict phagraphene, a ‘relative’ of graphene

Sep 02, 2015

  • (Nanowerk News) A group of scientists from Russia, the USA and China, led by Artyom Oganov from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), using computer generated simulation have predicted the existence of a new two-dimensional carbon material, a “patchwork” analogue of graphene called phagraphene. The results of their investigation were recently published in the journal Nano Letters (“Phagraphene: A Low-Energy Graphene Allotrope Composed of 5–6–7 Carbon Rings with Distorted Dirac Cones”).

New study rewrites genetic history of sheep

September 1, 2015

  • At a time when the price of mutton is climbing and wool crashing, a groundbreaking new study has used advanced genetic sequencing technology to rewrite the history of sheep breeding and trading along the ancient Silk Road—insights that can help contemporary herders in developing countries preserve or recover valuable traits crucial to their food and economic security. The new findings regarding one of the first animals ever domesticated will be published in the October print edition of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. They are the product of an unprecedented collaboration involving scientists in China, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nepal, Finland, and the United Kingdom. The team analyzed the complete mitochondrial DNA of 42 domesticated native sheep breeds from Azerbaijan, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Finland, China, and the United Kingdom, along with two wild sheep species from Kazakhstan. These data were compared to DNA sequences of 150 breeds from several other countries to complete the most exhaustive maternal genetic analysis of sheep ever undertaken.

New material science research may advance tech tools

August 31, 2015

  • Researchers from LSU, Fudan University, the University of Florida and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures in Nanjing, China, conducted research on materials that separate into different regions through a process called electronic phase separation, which is poorly understood. Their research advances the understanding of how these materials can be manipulated without having to discover new materials, change the chemical concentration or apply external magnetic fields.

New high-performance electrode material for sodium full cells

August 28, 2015

  • The requirements for batteries used in stationary energy storage are nothing less than long lifecycle, low cost, high safety, high efficiency, and high operating voltage. Replacing lithium with sodium would be an option to reduce costs massively, and in the journal Angewandte Chemie, Chinese and Japanese scientists report the development of a high-performance sodium fuel cell based on a bipolar, sodium-containing electrode material, which exhibits very promising characteristics towards large-scale applications.

REPORT: Chinese scientists have found a way to make smartphone screens a million times clearer than an iPhone

Aug 26, 2015

  • Chinese scientists claim to have found a way to make smartphone screens a million times clearer than an iPhone. The South China Morning Post reports that by putting six different types of rare earths together and beaming lasers onto it, Chinese scientists have been able to recreate the full spectrum of visible light. The findings are published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. Currently Apple’s retina displays have about 300 pixels per square inch. The rare earth display could reach 850 million per square inch.

Scientists develop robotic suit cooler than Iron Man

August 24, 2015

  • Now Chinese scientists are developing a flexible and controllable exoskeleton that moves as nimbly as a mind controls its limbs. Scientists from the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, recently completed an exoskeleton that can help people climb mountains with 30 kilograms of gear or punch through a wall without breaking a sweat. The exoskeleton, which has neither the bright red color nor the cool appearance of the Iron Man suit, looks more like an iron skeleton with a bevy of sensors and electric wires. When worn, its sensors catch every move’s neuromuscular signals and respond with the right action.

China investing big in scientific research


  • BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — China’s National Natural Science Foundation has funded 37,606 programs with an investment of 18.35 billion yuan (about 2.87 billion U.S. dollars) since the start of 2015, accounting for 80.2 percent of this year’s funding plan. President of the foundation Yang Wei said scientific research funds have been better directed this year, and project leaders who received the investment are getting younger with 43.14 percent under 40 years old.

China tests deep-sea mining exploration vehicle


  • BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — The first phase of trials on China’s independently-developed autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) in the South China Sea has finished, the ocean resource authority announced Friday. The deep-sea mining exploration vehicle, which is designed to reach depths of up to 4,500 meters, recorded a maximum depth of 4,446 meters over 15 dives spanning 35 days, according to a statement released by the general office of the China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association.

Cloud computing in China may surpass developed countries


  • Since early this year, China has been pursuing an “Internet Plus” action plan focusing especially on cloud computing. Early this year, the State Council unveiled an opinion about promoting cloud computing, expecting China to have built up several internationally competitive cloud computing enterprises that have controlled key cloud computing technologies by 2020, China Economic Net reports. Premier Li Keqiang previously said “Internet Plus” entails integration of mobile internet, cloud computing, big data and Internet of Things with modern manufacturing in order to foster new industries and business development, including e-commerce, industrial internet and internet finance.

Unusual magnetic behavior observed at a material interface

Aug 18, 2015

  • (Nanowerk News) An exotic kind of magnetic behavior, driven by the mere proximity of two materials, has been analyzed by a team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere using a technique called spin-polarized neutron reflectometry. They say the new finding could be used to probe a variety of exotic physical phenomena, and could ultimately be used to produce key components of future quantum computers. The research is described in a paper appearing this week in the journal Physical Review Letters (“Proximity-Driven Enhanced Magnetic Order at Ferromagnetic-Insulator–Magnetic-Topological-Insulator Interface”), written by MIT doctoral student Mingda Li, postdoc Cui-Zu Chang, professor of nuclear science and engineering Ju Li, senior scientist Jagadeesh Moodera, and seven others.

Research team takes step forward in understanding cancer-fighting compounds

August 13, 2015

  • An international research team led by the University of Aberdeen, Wuhan University, China and University of Ghana, Legon, has discovered important new compounds found deep in Ghanaian soil which could unlock our understanding of a group of naturally-occurring chemicals known to have cancer-fighting properties.

Chinese scientists are claiming they can predict rain weeks away

Aug. 12, 2015

  • A new weather forecasting model developed by Chinese researchers purports to detect heavy rainstorms weeks before they take place, challenging the “butterfly effect” thought to make such prediction impossible. The scientists’ algorithm can predict heavy rain up to 30 days in advance “without false alarm or omission”, according to a paper published in the journalAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences. This should be impossible however, due to the “butterfly effect”.

This Chinese messaging app is taking the country by storm — and Facebook should pay attention

Aug. 10, 2015

  • WeChat, a Chinese app, is taking over the country. Earlier this year, Tencent, the company that owns WeChat, reported that four-year-old WeChat now has 549 million monthly active users (MAUs). At the end of last year, the company had 500 million, meaning its user base had jumped up 9.8 percent in a matter of months. Once you’re inside WeChat’s app, you can hail a cab, manage your credit card bills, check the news, and more, all from within the main app. It’s this app-within-an-app functionality that has led WeChat to find success. WeChat is almost like a browser, with each individual official account acting like a web page, Chan notes.

Shanghai university scientists deliver insulin microneedles patch


  • Scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University have made a breakthrough in the design of a microneedles patch, which will more effectively deliver insulin to patients with diabetes. The idea for an insulin microneedles patch was first raised in 1998, and it is an alternative to traditional insulin injections for diabetes treatment. Such painless patches were seen as liberation for patients who fear needles but need regular injections. Over the years, many kinds of insulin microneedles patches have been developed, but they still face various problems. For example, in using the dissolving polymer microneedles patch, the polymer on the needles often deposited on the skin, making it not suitable for long-term and frequent use.

China’s Youku Tudou Eyes Virtual Reality Market

Aug 7, 2015

  • That is the question for China’s major video streaming sites as the country’s virtual reality market heats up. On Thursday, the Nasdaq-listed Chinese Internet company Youku Tudou Inc. said that it plans to begin producing original 360-degree video content. The move, which follows a virtual-reality (VR) push announced by YouTube in March, comes as Hollywood and Silicon Valley are increasingly embracing the immersive experiences provided mostly by consumer headsets. “We aim to make a successful case and promote the development of the VR industry in China,” Victor Koo, Chief Executive of Youku Tudou, told China Real Time in an interview. He added that “many scenes in sci-fi films will be realized one-by-one thanks to the new technology.”

Using carbon nanotubes to enhance the efficiency of laser-driven particle acceleration

Aug 06, 2015

  • (Nanowerk News) An international team of physicists has used carbon nanotubes to enhance the efficiency of laser-driven particle acceleration (“Ion Acceleration Using Relativistic Pulse Shaping in Near-Critical-Density Plasmas”). This significant advance brings compact sources of ionizing radiation for medical purposes closer to reality. In addition, the nanotube coating focuses the light pulse onto a very small area of the target. These two effects together enhance the energy of the carbon ions ejected from the foil to around 200 MeV (mega electron volts) – significantly higher than was previously attainable. In a collaborative effort involving researchers from Germany, the UK, Spain and China, the experiments were carried out with the ASTRA-Gemini laser at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot (UK), as part of the Laserlab Europe Program.

Chinese Carmaker Is Testing Car-to-Car Communications

July 30, 2015

  • One of China’s leading carmakers is testing technology that promises to prevent accidents and ease congestion by allowing vehicles as well as traffic signals to communicate wirelessly. Although no standard for the technology has emerged in China yet, representatives at the company say it could introduce some form of car-to-car communications in 2018, ahead of many U.S. automakers. Changan, a state owned car manufacturer based in Chongquing, in central China, is testing so-called vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology at its U.S. R&D center in Plymouth, Michigan. The company does not sell vehicles in the U.S. and says it has no plans to enter the U.S. market. But the fact that it is testing car-to-car technology at its U.S. facility suggests that it sees a future for it in its home country.

Researchers demonstrate the world’s first white lasers

Jul 29, 2015

  • Researchers at Arizona State University have solved the puzzle. They have proven that semiconductor lasers are capable of emitting over the full visible color spectrum, which is necessary to produce a white laser. The researchers, engineers in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, published their findings in the July 27 advance online publication of the journal Nature Nanotechnology (“A monolithic white laser”). Cun-Zheng Ning, professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, authored the paper with his doctoral students Fan Fan, Sunay Turkdogan, Zhicheng Liu and David Shelhammer. Turkdogan and Liu completed their Ph.Ds. after this research.

China’s Alibaba to invest $1.0 bn in cloud computing

July 29, 2015

  • Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will invest $1.0 billion in its cloud computing arm to expand its international presence, the company said Wednesday, as it looks outside its core business and beyond traditional markets. The Aliyun unit will use the funds in part to set up cloud computing centres in Singapore and Japan, as well as in the Middle East and Europe, Alibaba said in a statement. New York-listed Alibaba’s site is believed to command more than half the Chinese market for business-to-consumer transactions, while its Taobao platform holds more than 90 percent of the consumer-to-consumer market in China.

China develops vaccine against super bacterium

July 28, 2015

  • China’s health watchdog has approved an indigenously developed vaccine for the first time against staphylococcus aureus, a super bacterium resisting antibiotics. The vaccine, co-developed by the Third Military Medical University and a local pharmaceutical enterprise, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The recombinant staphylococcus aureus vaccine, the very first developed by China, can effectively prevent and cure the infection of staphylococcus aureus and enhance the infection control capacity of the army, state-run People’s Daily reported.

Chinese radio wave-powered chip may make ‘always-on smartphone’ a reality

26 July, 2015

  • Chinese scientists have developed a credit card-sized chip that could be powered by radio waves around us, according to a new study at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Improvement of the technology could eventually lead to battery-free electronic devices such as a smartphone that could stay on forever. The chip harnessed energy from ambient radio waves with frequency similar to the 2G mobile network, said Professor Feng Peng, a researcher involved in the project with the academy’s Institute of Semiconductors.

New GM rice ‘can cut greenhouse emission’


FUZHOU – Scientists from China, Sweden and the United States have developed a high-yielding rice that can reduce methane emissions, a major greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, from paddies. By inserting a barley gene into rice, Sun Chuanxin and his colleagues created SUSIBA2 Rice, which stores more starch in the section of the rice above ground, according to a paper published on the latest issue of Nature.

A step closer to understanding superconductivity with large international collaborati

July 21, 2015

  • In a paper published today in the prestigious journal Nature Materials, Hiroki Takahashi from Nihon University and co-authors from Japan, China and Australia, including ANSTO’s Instrument Scientist and adjunct A/Prof of University of Sydney Max Avdeev, revealed that barium iron sulphide (BaFe2S3) exhibits superconductivity under pressure (11 GPa) at a temperature below 14 degrees K. Other collaborators on the paper included researchers from the Tohoku University, University of Tokyo, National Institute for Materials Science, and Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute (Japan) and Jilin University (China).

Chinese scientists find ‘switch’ for cocaine addiction


  • Scientists in Shanghai may have discovered a way to turn cocaine addiction on and off through a switchlike protein. Cocaine affects the brain by increasing the level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays important roles in many brain functions, including the feeling of reward and pleasure. The drug works by inhibiting proteins that reabsorb dopamine, causing it to build up and leading to a “high”. Zhou Jiawei, the lead researcher of the team from the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that as addiction is being formed, a protein known as a dopamine transporter, or DAT, moves from inside the neuron to the cell’s surface.

How the legs of water striders repel water

July 20, 2015

  • In a technological society that evolved on a very wet planet, repelling water from sensitive surfaces is a constant engineering challenge. Recently, a group of Chinese researchers explored a natural, nanoscale solution to the problem of water condensation, discovering the source of the superhydrophobicity of the legs of water striders. They have published the results of their study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Chinese scientists use yeast to brew blood clot fighting snake venom like beer

20 July, 2015

  • By inserting the genes of a poisonous snake into yeast, mainland Chinese scientists were able to mass produce blood clot fighting venom for the first time. The artificial venom contains a precious protein that could prevent clotting in blood vessels and save many lives, the team said in a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. “We encountered lots of challenges. Transferring the gene from one species to another is easy, but to keep the new species alive and useful is extremely difficult,” said professor Xiao Weihua, lead scientist of the project at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, told the South China Morning Post.

Doctors graft hand to man’s leg for a month to keep it alive

18 Jul 2015

  • Surgeons in China have restored the use of a hand severed in an industrial accident by grafting it onto a man’s ankle for a month before re-attaching it to his arm. The groundbreaking surgery was carried at at Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province in central China. A worker, named only as Mr Zhou, lost his left hand when it was completely severed by a spinning blade machine at the factory where he worked.

After 85-year search, massless particle with promise for next-generation electronics found

July 16, 2015

  • An international team led by Princeton University scientists has discovered Weyl fermions, an elusive massless particle theorized 85 years ago. The particle could give rise to faster and more efficient electronics because of its unusual ability to behave as matter and antimatter inside a crystal, according to new research. First author Su-Yang Xu, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton’s Department of Physics, said that the work was unique for encompassing theory and experimentalism.

Mind-controlled car shown off by Chinese university


  • No need to hold the steering wheel or step on the gas; Chinese scientists have created a car that you control with nothing more than brainpower. Developed by a research team from Nankai University in Tianjin in collaboration with Chinese car maker Great Wall Motor, the new vehicle was presented to the world for the first time on Wednesday. The car is controlled via a headset with 16 sensors that sends impulses from the user’s brain to the car’s processing system. Spectators watched as the vehicle moved forward and backward; and was locked and unlocked — all through the power of the mind.

Fog-free film doesn’t dare to glare

15 July 2015

  • Scientists in China have built a thin film that retains its antifogging properties even under an antireflective coating.1 When water molecules in warm moist air condense on a cooler surface, tiny droplets form. On transparent surfaces – such as glasses, windows or screens – these droplets scatter light and fog the surface. Most antifogging materials are superhydrophilic compounds that spread the water molecules on the surface to stop droplets from forming and require the superhydrophilic layer to be on top. This imposes ‘significant difficulties and challenges when designing multifunctional thin films,’ explains Junhui He from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. The problem is ‘that different functions generally act on their own and do not collaborate with each other. How to harmonise these functions in a single film is a big hurdle that scientists must span.’

Study finds the law governing how heat transport scales up with temperature

Jul 14, 2015

  • (Nanowerk News) How heat travels, matters. Yet, there is still no consensus on the exact physical mechanism that causes anomalous heat conduction – despite the existence of previous numerical simulation, theoretical predictions and experimental observations. Now, a team based in Asia has demonstrated that electron transport depends on temperature. It follows a scaling governed by a power law – and not the exponential scaling previously envisaged. These findings were recently published in EPJ B by Yunyun Li Tongji University, Shanghai, China, and colleagues in Singapore (“Temperature dependence of thermal conductivities of coupled rotator lattice and the momentum diffusion in standard map”).

China is Global Leader in Deployment of the Internet of Things, Finds New GSMA Report

July 13, 2015

  • At Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the GSMA today issued a new report highlighting China’s leadership in the worldwide machine-to-machine (M2M) market. According to the report, “How China Is Scaling the IoT”, China is the world’s largest M2M market with 74 million M2M connections and has now become the global leader in the deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT).* The in-depth report includes insights from the country’s major mobile operators China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, as well as leading industry experts, and cites the combination of a strong economy, far-sighted government investment and international cross-sector partnerships as key factors in enabling the IoT to quickly reach scale. “Clearly, China’s size offers economies of scale unavailable to other countries, but it’s been the government’s focused strategy, emphasis on common specifications and cross-sector collaboration that has allowed the Internet of Things to scale, delivering positive benefits to businesses and consumer alike,” commented Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “Connectivity is boosting major industries such as logistics, manufacturing and energy in terms of increased efficiency, but it has also created a new consumer market in areas such as connected vehicles, home appliances and wearables, putting China at the forefront of IoT deployment.”

Chinese publications fourth most-cited globally

Jul 08,2015

  • BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) — Chinese science publications were the fourth most cited globally between 2004 to 2014, according to statistics released on Wednesday. Data released by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED) showed the country’s publications were among the most referenced by scholars and other academics. In the past decade, China had more than 12,000 highly-cited papers, coming after Germany, with 14,000 papers, in the third place. The United States and Britain rank the first and second on the list, with 62,000 and 16,000 papers respectively.

Mitochondrial metagenomics: How ‘-omics’ is saving wild bees

July 7, 2015

  • Mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) database demonstrated its great value on detecting wild bees in UK farms via mitochondrial metagenomics pipeline, a new approach developed by scientists from the China National Genebank (CNGB), BGI-Shenzhen. The study published today in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution shows that, with mitogenome references, collecting wild bees, extracting their mixed DNA, and directly reading the DNA of the resultant ‘bee soup’ could finally make large-scale bee monitoring programmes feasible. This new research demonstrates how the process could become quicker, cheaper and more accurate.

Geneticists reveal what makes great rice

06 July 2015

  • Breeders in China have discovered the secret for creating rice varieties that could improve breakfast, lunch and dinner for millions of people in Asia. Two teams of molecular geneticists, working independently, have identified a gene that controls both shape and texture and can be selected for without sacrificing the yield of the crop. “The implications are enormous,” says Susan McCouch, a rice geneticist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who was not involved in either study. “The rice-breeding community has had this problem — they have been able to improve yield or quality, but almost never simultaneously.”

Fight-Or-Flight Reflex Circuit Uncovered In Mice

July 3, 2015

  • AsianScientist (Jul. 3, 2015) – Neuroscientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have mapped the brain circuit underlying fight-or-flight fear response in mice using optogentics and neural tracing methods. Their work, published in Science, identified the neural substrate responsible for this innate fear response, and shed light on its processing between the eye and amgydala, the fear center of the brain. Fight-or-flight response is an important fear reflex when faced with mortal danger of a looming predator. This fear reflex helps animals to either run from danger (flight) or engage in combat with the enemy (fight).

Chemists design a quantum-dot spectrometer

  • Instruments that measure the properties of light, known as spectrometers, are widely used in physical, chemical, and biological research. These devices are usually too large to be portable, but MIT scientists have now shown they can create spectrometers small enough to fit inside a smartphone camera, using tiny semiconductor nanoparticles called quantum dots. Such devices could be used to diagnose diseases, especially skin conditions, or to detect environmental pollutants and food conditions, says Jie Bao, a former MIT postdoc and the lead author of a paper describing the quantum dot spectrometers in the July 2 issue of Nature.

Self-assembly of molecular Archimedean polyhedra

July 1, 2015

  • In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the scientists report that by changing the concentration or using different counterions, the cuboctahedron can be reversibly split into two octahedra—an interesting new type of fusion–fission switching process. Using 12 of these tailored X-shaped terpyridine ligands and 24 metal ions (zinc or cadmium), the researchers were able to make cuboctahedra that self-assembled from the individual building blocks. The team from the University of Akron, the University of Chicago (Argonne), the University of South Florida (Tampa), Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton), the University of Tokyo (Japan), and the Tianjin University of Technology (China) used a variety of spectroscopic techniques, model calculations, and single-crystal analyses with synchrotron X-ray diffraction to verify the structure. They were even able to see the shapes of the individual molecules with an electron microscope.

Chitosan-coated, Chemotherapy-packed Nanoparticles May Target Cancer Stem Cells

July 1, 2015

  • Nanoparticles packed with a clinically used chemotherapy drug and coated with an oligosaccharide derived from the carapace of crustaceans might effectively target and kill cancer stem-like cells, according to a recent study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Our findings indicate that this nanoparticle delivery system increases the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin with no evidence of systemic toxic side effects in our animal model,” says principal investigator Xiaoming (Shawn) He, PhD, associate professor of Biomedical Engineering and a member of the OSUCCC – James Translational Therapeutics Program.

Study of storage material magnesium hydride may give boost to hydrogen cars

June 30, 2015

  • This week in the journal Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, a team of researchers in the United States and China has taken a step toward that solution. They describe the physics of magnesium hydride, one type of material that potentially could be used to store hydrogen fuel in future automobiles and other applications. Using a technique known as in situ transmission electron microscopy, the team tested different sized nanoparticles of magnesium hydride to gauge their mechanical properties and discovered lessons on how one might engineer the nanoparticles to make them better. “Smaller particles have better mechanical properties, including better plastic stability,” said Qian Yu, the lead author on the paper. “Our work explained why.”

New method of quantum entanglement vastly increases how much information can be carried in a photon

June 30, 2015

  • The research, published today in Nature Photonics, was led by Zhenda Xie, a research scientist in the lab of Chee Wei Wong, a UCLA associate professor of electrical engineering who was the research project’s principal investigator. Researchers from MIT, Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology were also part of the team. “We are fortunate to verify a decades-old theoretical prediction by Professor Jeff Shapiro of MIT, that quantum entanglement can be observed in a comb-like state,” Wong said. “With the help of state-of-the-art high-speed single photon detectors at NIST and support from Dr. Franco Wong, Dr. Xie was able to verify the high-dimensional and multi-degrees-of-freedom entanglement of photons. These observations demonstrate a new fundamentally secure approach for dense information processing and communications.”

Design to improve material properties of sodium-ion batteries

June 26, 2015

  • In collaboration with the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, ANSTO researchers have manipulated the electrochemical properties of a material that could improve the capacity and life of sodium-ion batteries. In a recent Nature Communications paper, researchers at ANSTO and the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, proposed a way to improve the properties of a class of electrode materials to be used in sodium-ion (Na+) batteries by manipulating their electronic structure.

China Has Big Plans for Homegrown Chips

June 25, 2015

  • Not to be outdone, Intel, which gets one-fifth of its $56 billion annual revenue from China, has committed more than $3 billion since September to upgrade its Chinese plants and to invest in state-run mobile chipmakers. It’s managed to avoid roadblocks from Chinese regulators, as has NXP, which through a joint venture with Datang Telecom Technology has become China’s biggest supplier of chips used in cars and trucks. Qualcomm and Intel declined to comment for this story.

China produces first electric planes


  • The world’s first electric passenger aircraft to gain an airworthiness certificate has been produced by China.The RX1E has a 14.5 meter wingspan and a maximum payload of 230 kg. It can fly at an altitude of 3,000 meters. The charging is completed within two hours, allowing a flight time of 45 minutes to one hour, at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour. The plane was designed by Shenyang Aerospace University and Liaoning General Aviation Academy in the northeastern Liaoning Province.

Scientists look at communicating with hypersonic vehicles using plasma resonance

June 18, 2015

  • Returning spacecraft hit the atmosphere at over five times the speed of sound, generating a sheath of superheated ionized plasma that blocks radio communications during the critical minutes of reentry. It’s a problem that’s vexed space agencies for decades, but researchers at China’s Harbin Institute of Technology are developing a new method of piercing the plasma and maintaining communications. According to physicists Xiaotian Gao and Binhao Jiang of the Habin Institute, by redesigning the spacecraft antenna, it may be possible to maintain communications by setting up resonance in the plasma sheath. Essentially, this involves turning the layer between the spacecraft and the sheath into a capacitor in the antenna circuit. This causes the sheath to act as an inductor. Together, they create a resonant circuit. “Once the resonance is reached, the energy can be exchanged between them steadily and losslessly, like real capacitance and inductance do in a circuit,” says Gao. “As a result, the electromagnetic radiation can propagate through the matched layer and the plasma sheath like they do not exist.”

China promotes domestically-developed nuclear technology


  • China is promoting its own third generation reactor design, Hualong One technology, which will have to compete with third-generation designs from the Untied States, France and Russia for a lucrative global market.At a promotion event on Tuesday in Fuqing City of southeast China’s Fujian Province, the location of a planned pilot nuclear power project that uses the technology, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said it was optimistic of the technology’s prospects. “Hualong One is a fine example of China’s innovation and is based on decades of experience in the nuclear industry,” said Yu Peigen, CNNC deputy general manager. “It can fully meet international safety standards and third-generation nuclear power technology function demand,” said Yu.

Research team fuses art, engineering to create stretchable batteries (w/video)

Jun 16, 2015

  • (Nanowerk News) Origami, the centuries-old Japanese paper-folding art, has inspired recent designs for flexible energy-storage technology. But energy-storage device architecture based on origami patterns has so far been able to yield batteries that can change only from simple folded to unfolded positions. They can flex, but not actually stretch. Hanqing Jiang, an associate professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, leads the team. Other contributors include ASU engineering graduate students Change Lv, Yonghao An, Mengbing Liang, Teng Ma and David He, a Phoenix high school student, along with Ying-Jie Zheng and Shi-Qing Huang from the MOE Key Lab of Disaster Forecast and Control in Engineering at Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

Wave-Bending Cloaks Conquer Corners & Bumps

June 15, 2015

  • Researchers have shown how to build cloaks capable of controlling the paths of surface electromagnetic waves over a wide range of wavelengths, preserving their properties while bending them sharply around obstacles. The research, led by Dr. Zhang Baile from Nanyang Technological University in collaboration with Zhejiang University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Smart homes new battleground for Chinese tech companies


  • Chinese internet companies and home appliance makers have turned their focus to the smart home market, which is expected to see a surge in business in two to three years, reports our Chinese-language sister paper China Times. Smartphone maker Xiaomi, e-commerce firm Alibaba and home appliance makers Midea and Haier are just a few names among the Chinese companies developing smart home products, which are connected to the internet and can be controlled by handsets and computers.

Deep Learning Machine Beats Humans in IQ Test

June 12, 2015

  • Computers have never been good at answering the type of verbal reasoning questions found in IQ tests. Now a deep learning machine unveiled in China is changing that. It is this last category that has interested Huazheng Wang and pals at the University of Science and Technology of China and Bin Gao and buddies at Microsoft Research in Beijing. Computers have never been good at these. Pose a verbal reasoning question to a natural language processing machine and its performance will be poor, much worse than the average human ability. Today, that changes thanks to Huazheng and pals who have built a deep learning machine that outperforms the average human ability to answer verbal reasoning questions for the first time.

WHO approves China flu vaccine, lauds growing industry

June 12, 2015

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved a Chinese influenza vaccine as being safe and effective, only the second Chinese vaccine to receive such status reflecting the growing clout of the country’s drug makers. The WHO said in a statement on Friday that it had “prequalified” a vaccine made by Hualan Biological Bacterin Corp, a subsidiary of Hualan Biological Engineering Inc. The approval involved stringent lab tests and a site inspection. The other made-in-China vaccine to achieve WHO prequalification was a drug against Japanese encephalitis in 2013, the WHO said.

BMW and Chinese tech giant Baidu are launching a self-driving car this year

June 11, 2015

  • As Google edges closer to the dream of self-driving cars, Chinese search giant Baidu is trying to beat it to the finish line. The Chinese company — which has been working on self-driving vehicles for the past few years — first announced it had entered a partnership with BMW in 2014. It seems that collaboration has already paid off: this week, Baidu senior vice president Wang Jin said that his company would launch of a new self-driving car with the German car manufacturer before the end of the year. Speaking at the China Cloud Computing Services Summit, Jin said that the prototype vehicle would be used to test Baidu’s autonomous technology, but will still have a human driver present. For now at least, Baidu’s aims are a littler smaller in scope than Google’s — where the Californian company wants to remove the human driver completely, Kai Yu, Baidu’s head of deep learning, said last year that the Chinese firm was focusing on assisting drivers rather than replacing them. But still, The Guardian notes that Baidu has research efforts that rival Google, conducting extensive studies into artificial intelligence, the technology needed for computer “vision,” and the robotics required to make an autonomous vehicle. Last year it also invested $10 million into Finnish mapping company IndoorAtlas, adding its expertise to an existing data-mapping service.

European bloc struggles as Beijing goes high-tech

June 11, 2015

  • Robotic equipment fills every nook and cranny of a laboratory at Imperial College in central London. In one corner is a mock-up resembling an old-school arcade video game that uses 3D eye tracking technology to enable paralysed people to translate their thoughts into actions. Nearby, a soft robotic arm that could safely interact with humans is being developed. Investment in technologies of the future is seen as crucial for driving innovation and economic growth around the world.

Physicists demonstrate new violations of local realism

Jun 10, 2015

  • In a new paper to be published in Nature Scientific Reports, Jing-Ling Chen, et al., from institutions in China and Singapore, have demonstrated that all mixed states that obey a certain steering property must violate local realism. This new family of entangled mixed states that violate local realism may lead to a better fundamental understanding of quantum correlations, as well as simplify the implementation of some quantum information protocols.

China tech giant Baidu to develop driverless car

Jun 10, 2015

  • Chinese search engine giant Baidu plans to develop a driverless car, according to domestic media reports, following in the footsteps of fellow technology firm Google. Several Chinese technology firms, including e-commerce company Alibaba and WeChat messaging app provider Tencent, have announced plans for cars, shaking up the traditional industry in the world’s largest auto market.

China to Test Homegrown Chips in Challenge to Foreign Makers

June 9, 2015

  • China’s government will test domestic versions of the chips embedded in passports and identity cards with an eye toward replacing the ones currently bought from foreign companies. The Ministry of Public Security is looking for a province to test radio-frequency identification chips developed as part of a national push to reduce a reliance on foreign technology in sensitive areas, said Gao Yuan, a researcher with the ministry’s First Research Institute. China’s plan threatens to erode the market dominance of companies such as NXP Semiconductors NV and Infineon Technologies AG. “The localization of the chips is to protect the safety of our citizens and to break up a situation where only foreign companies control the technology,” Gao said in a June 4 interview at a cybersecurity conference in Beijing.

Brain’s reaction to certain words could replace passwords

Jun 02, 2015

  • In “Brainprint,” a newly published study in academic journal Neurocomputing, researchers from Binghamton University observed the brain signals of 45 volunteers as they read a list of 75 acronyms, such as FBI and DVD. They recorded the brain’s reaction to each group of letters, focusing on the part of the brain associated with reading and recognizing words, and found that participants’ brains reacted differently to each acronym, enough that a computer system was able to identify each volunteer with 94 percent accuracy. The results suggest that brainwaves could be used by security systems to verify a person’s identity. Zhanpeng Jin, assistant professor at Binghamton University’s departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering, doesn’t see brainprint as the kind of system that would be mass-produced for low security applications (at least in the near future) but it could have important security applications.

Chinese startup wants to give scooters a high-tech luxury makeover

Jun. 01, 2015

  • Li Yinan, a former chief technology officer at China’s largest Internet search-engine, has started a company developing electric scooters with plans to export them to Europe. Li says the scooter, often seen in China as a poor man’s ride, is ripe for a high-tech luxury makeover. Called Niu, after the Chinese word for buffalo, Li’s offering has a design that evokes comparisons to the Vespa and will be powered by the same lithium-ion batteries that go into the Tesla Model S. It will also come loaded with features such as remote monitoring of battery levels and anti-theft location services. “Our ancestors worked on the backs of buffaloes,” Li said in an interview at his office in Beijing, near the 798 art district. “Now we want to have young people get back on ‘Niu’ and see it as a cool icon.”

China unveils world’s first facial recognition ATM

May 31, 2015

  • China has unveiled the world’s first ATM with an inbuilt facial recognition feature on Friday. It is also China’s first independently developed ATM. Clients who use other people’s bank cards at such ATMs will not be able to withdraw money even if they know the password. Designed and produced by Tsinghua University and Hangzhou-based Tzekwan technology company, the new ATMs will be linked with banks and local police offices to crack down on financial crimes.

Intel builds smart energy lab with Chinese company


  • US-based semiconductor chip maker Intel announced on May 28 the completion of a smart energy union laboratory jointly built with China’s Smart Energy Industry Technology Innovation Strategy Union, reports yicai, the online portal of Shanghai’s China Business News. The Smart Energy Industry Technology Innovation Strategy Union signed the strategic cooperation agreement with Intel at the first Intel energy solution summit last year. The two parties agreed to promote the development of internet-connected energy in China based on Intel’s Quark processor and the IEEE1888 international standard, the first China-initiated ICT standard recognized by the international community.

Chinese scientists find gene that improves rice yields by 20 per cent

22 May, 2015

  • Chinese scientists have discovered a new “dwarf” gene in rice, which could increase the yield of the most productive hybrid rice in China by a further 20 per cent. By reducing the rice plant’s height, the gene reduced the incidence of stem collapse prior to harvest and increased the number of tillers per plant, enabling a significant increase in grain yield. The study, led by professor Wu Yuejin with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Hefei Institute Physicial Science and professor Fu Xiangdong of the CAS Institute of Genetics and Development Biology, was detailed in the journal Plos One earlier this month.

Vancouver students win 2 top prizes at Intel science fair

May 16, 2015

  • Raymond Wang, 17, won first prize at the world’s largest high school science fair in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Friday. He created a new air circulation system to isolate and eliminate germs in aircraft cabins, in order to reduce travellers’ exposure to disease.

Australia-Chinese research makes breakthrough on flu


  • SYDNEY, May 14 (Xinhua) — A one shot flu jab which might work for life may be on the way after a scientific breakthrough made by an Australian and Chinese led research team, it was revealed on Thursday. A team of medical experts have discovered how what they call flu-killing CD8+T-cells memorize strains of influenza and destroy them. The teams from Australia’s University of Melbourne and Shanghai ‘s Fudan University worked together during the first outbreak of avian flu in China in 2013.

China leading the world in metamaterial breakthroughs


  • China is leading the global race in the development of metamaterials, spearheading a new trend that is revolutionizing technology in fields ranging from telecommunications to aerospace, reports the overseas edition of the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily. There have been several Chinese metamaterial innovations hailed as breakthroughs. In 2009, physicists in China used metamaterials to create the first artificial electromagnetic black hole. Other achievements include advancements in stealth technology and creating the ability to observe negative refraction with sound waves. Last month, the Terminology of Electromagnetic Metamaterials was submitted to the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) for approval, which would provide national standards for the application of metamaterials in the country for the very first time. A prominent player in the market is Chinese prodigy Liu Ruopeng, who has a doctorate in electronic engineering from Duke University and was selected as a top-level 863 Program specialist in metamaterials at the age of 29. He currently serves as the president of the Shenzhen-based Kuang-Chi Institute of Advanced Technology and the chairman of KuangChi Science. Founded in 2010, Kuang-Chi has applied for more than 2,800 patents, 86% of which are linked to the metamaterials materials industry.

Evaluating NASA’s Futuristic EM Drive

April 29, 2015

  • However, in 2010, Prof. Juan Yang in China began publishing about her research into EM Drive technology, culminating in her 2012 paper reporting higher input power (2.5kW) and tested thrust (720mN) levels of an EM Drive. It was reported (in SPR Ltd.’s website) that if the Chinese EM Drive were to be installed in the International Space Station (ISS) and work as reported, it could provide the necessary delta-V (change in velocity needed to perform an on-orbit maneuver) to compensate for the Station’s orbital decay and thus eliminate the requirement of re-boosts from visiting vehicles. Despite these reports, Prof. Yang offered no scientifically-accepted explanation as to how the EM Drive can produce propulsion in space. After consistent reports of thrust measurements from EM Drive experiments in the US, UK, and China – at thrust levels several thousand times in excess of a photon rocket, and now under hard vacuum conditions – the question of where the thrust is coming from deserves serious inquiry.

IBM just brought us a step closer to quantum computers

Apr. 29, 2015

  • Now scientists at IBM have figured out a way to detect both types of errors quantum computers can make, and they’ve created a new prototype design that they say can be easily scaled up to make bigger computers, according to research published April 29 in Nature Communications. Google worked out a way to detect bit flips earlier this year with a line of nine linked qubits. But IBM’s square-shaped prototype can look for both types of errors at the same time, Jerry Chow, Manager of Experimental Quantum Computing at IBM, told Business Insider.

China’s Young Leave State Ranks to Chase Riches at Tech Startups

April 26, 2015

  • For decades, the most coveted jobs in China have been in government, with their steady income, job security and power. Now people like Nymar Li are changing that perception by leaving the state to seek their fortunes at startups. Li became the pride of his family when he landed a job in the customs bureau right out of college a decade ago. Then last year, he gave up the security of employment for life to join an e-commerce startup working in Hangzhou, following the path of Jack Ma who helped found Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the same city and then pulled off the largest initial public offering ever. It’s a sign of a broader shift in China as the economy slows and state-backed companies falter. People like Ma are inspiring a generation to become entrepreneurs and seek their fortune in the private sector, just as a crackdown on corruption makes it less prestigious and lucrative to be a civil servant.

Breakthrough by Chinese researchers could lead to smaller and faster memory chips

22 April, 2015

  • The study by researchers with the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Metal Research in Shenyang, Liaoning, may have filled that gap. The team, led by Ma Xiuliang, Zhu Yinlian and Yunlong Tang, detailed in the paper the first-ever observation of an important structure called flux-closure in ferroelectric materials. The scientists also found a new and effective way to achieve high-density storage.

China tech firms shake up world’s biggest car market

Apr 22, 2015

  • Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Tencent are promising to build the cars of the future, vehicles linked seamlessly to the Internet and offering shopping and navigation help while on the road. E-commerce company Alibaba and WeChat messaging app provider Tencent have both announced plans for cars in the past month, along with video streaming platform Letv. The move could shake up the traditional industry in the world’s largest auto market, but details of their automotive visions are still vague, analysts said.

Quantum dot TVs are unveiled at China tech expo

Apr 18, 2015

  • At this month’s China Information Technology Expo (CITE) event, a headline-maker was the launch of quantum dot televisions, by QD Vision and Konka, the consumer electronics company. QD Vision’s calling card in this instance is all about its Color IQ optics. Konka’s claim to fame in this instance is as a manufacturer of HDTVs, currently reported to be holding a large share of the Chinese high-end television market. Konka picked CITE as the launch venue for its quantum dot TVs, which are based on QD Vision’s Color IQ optics. The new TV models are high-end with features that include larger size, higher resolution, smart functionality, a wide color gamut, and very slim design. The new models will be available at Chinese retailers later this year. QD Vision, which is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, describes itself as a nanomaterials product company with advanced display and lighting solutions.

Major Advance in Artificial Photosynthesis Poses Win/Win for the Environment

April 16, 2015

  • Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have created a hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that mimics the natural photosynthetic process by which plants use the energy in sunlight to synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water. However, this new artificial photosynthetic system synthesizes the combination of carbon dioxide and water into acetate, the most common building block today for biosynthesis. “We believe our system is a revolutionary leap forward in the field of artificial photosynthesis,” says Peidong Yang, a chemist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and one of the leaders of this study. “Our system has the potential to fundamentally change the chemical and oil industry in that we can produce chemicals and fuels in a totally renewable way, rather than extracting them from deep below the ground.”

Are scientists nearing a cure for baldness?

April 9, 2015

  • A team led by USC Stem Cell Principal Investigator Cheng-Ming Chuong has demonstrated that by plucking 200 hairs in a specific pattern and density, they can induce up to 1,200 replacement hairs to grow in a mouse. The results are published in the April 9 edition of the journal Cell. “It is a good example of how basic research can lead to a work with potential translational value,” said Chuong, a professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “The work leads to potential new targets for treating alopecia, a form of hair loss.”

Aluminum battery from Stanford offers safe alternative to conventional batteries

April 6, 2015

  • Stanford University scientists have invented the first high-performance aluminum battery that’s fast-charging, long-lasting and inexpensive. Researchers say the new technology offers a safe alternative to many commercial batteries in wide use today. “We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford. “Our new battery won’t catch fire, even if you drill through it.” Other co-lead authors of the study affiliated with Stanford are visiting scientists Mengchang Lin from the Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute, Bingan Lu from Hunan University, and postdoctoral scholar Yingpeng Wu. Other authors are Di-Yan Wang, Mingyun Guan, Michael Angell, Changxin Chen and Jiang Yang from Stanford; and Bing-Joe Hwang from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.

A New Cancer Drug, Made in China

April 2, 2015

  • Chipscreen’s drug, called chidamide, or Epidaza, was developed from start to finish in China. The medicine is the first of its kind approved for sale in China, and just the fourth in a new class globally. Dr. Lu estimates the research cost of chidamide was about $70 million, or about one-tenth what it would have cost to develop in the U.S. “How can a small company compete with a multinational?” said Dr. Lu. “The only thing we can compete with is the scientific brain.” Chidamide now is on the market in China for 26,500 yuan ($4,275) a month, a price far lower than patients in the U.S. pay for some of the newest cancer medicines but much more than the typical Chinese patient pays for drugs. Dr. Lu said the price reflects a balance between affordability for patients and return for shareholders. Some investors wanted to price the drug higher.

Scientists Achieve Quantum Entanglement With 3,000 Atoms Using Single Light Particle, First Time Ever

March 30, 2015

  • Scientists say they have achieved quantum entanglement — a spooky state where the behavior of separate atoms is linked even if they are huge distances apart — for thousands of atoms. Using just a single photon to initiate the process, physicists from MIT and the University of Belgrade say they’ve successfully achieved mutual entanglement of a record number of atoms, around 3,000. Robert McConnell1, n1 Hao Zhang1, n1 Jiazhong Hu1, Senka Ćuk1, 2, Vladan Vuletić1,

Teen’s DNA project nets student Intel science award


  • In an eighth grade science assignment, Andrew Jin did a small experiment to investigate whether bacteria could easily develop resistance to antibacterial agent triclosan. His research found the bacteria taken from sinks were indeed resistant against the agent. His winning project developed a way of identifying human genome mutations and discovered more than 100 adaptive mutations in DNA sequences, related to immune response, metabolism, brain development and schizophrenia.

Scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet

Mar 24, 2015

  • University of Washington scientists have built a new nanometer-sized laser—using the thinnest semiconductor available today—that is energy efficient, easy to build and compatible with existing electronics. “We all want to make devices run faster with less energy consumption, so we need new technologies,” said co-author Xiaodong Xu, UW associate professor of materials science and engineering and of physics. “The real innovation in this new approach of ours, compared to the old nanolasers, is that we’re able to have scalability and more controls.” Sanfeng Wu1, Sonia Buckley2, John R. Schaibley1, Liefeng Feng1, 3, Jiaqiang Yan4, 5, David G. Mandrus4, 5, 6, Fariba Hatami7, Wang Yao8, Jelena Vučković2, Arka Majumdar9, Xiaodong Xu1, 10,

China’s natural science foundation finances 39,000 programs in 2014


  • BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) — China’s National Natural Science Foundation (NSF) funded more than 39,000 programs in 2014 with a total investment of 25.1 billion yuan (about 4.09 billion U.S. dollars), they announced Tuesday.

‘Disruptive’ Chinese helium balloon technology could beam Wi-fi from near space

23 March, 2015

  • Shenzhen-based Kuangchi Science is developing a helium balloon capable of floating in near-space which could “disrupt” the telecommunications industry, according to chairman Liu Ruopeng. Called the “Traveller”, Kuangchi’s giant, one tonne helium balloon will float in near space, 20 to 100 kilometres above the earth where commercial airliners fly but below orbiting satellites. The technology “has a number of potential applications, the most obvious being Wi-Fi access,” Kuangchi said in a statement.

IBM to share technology with China in strategy shift: CEO

March 23, 2015

  • BEIJING – IBM Corp will share technology with Chinese firms and will actively help build China’s industry, CEO Virginia Rometty said in Beijing as she set out a strategy for one of the foreign firms hardest hit by China’s shifting technology policies. IBM must help China build its IT industry rather than viewing the country solely as a sales destination or manufacturing base, Rometty said at the China Development Forum, an annual Chinese government-sponsored conference bringing together business executives and China’s ruling elite.

China leads Asia for tech innovation


  • China leads Asia for technological innovation and prospects as well as being a major spender of technology globally, the Consumer Electronics Association said yesterday in Shanghai. Demand for smartphone replacement, in-car entertainment and 3D printing and robotics in the country is propelling innovation and demand, said US-based CEA, organizer of the world’s biggest tech show Consumer Electronics Show. The emerging Asia region led by China generated tech spending of US$282 billion in 2014 — 26 percent of the global level. Spending will shift to lower-end devices in emerging markets this year, according to CEA, which will hold its first China-based show CES Asia 2015 in Shanghai in May.

China’s Li Ning to team up with Xiaomi on ‘smart’ running shoes

Mar 16, 2015

  • (Reuters) – China’s Li Ning Co Ltd is teaming up with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi [XTC.UL] to produce a new generation of “smart” running shoes this year, in the sports brand’s latest effort to revive its waning fortunes. Li Ning, backed by private equity powerhouse TPG Capital [TPG.UL] and Singapore wealth fund GIC [GIC.UL], warned in January that it expects to post its third consecutive full-year loss, as it grapples with a restructuring, bloated inventories and slowing demand following the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

First cloud-based hospital launched in China


  • Ningbo Cloud Hospital, the first virtual hospital based on Cloud technology in China, officially started operations on March 11. “Ultimately, we hope that the hospital will be without walls and borders, that it will not only deal with Ningbo but also the entire country and even the whole world,” Ningbo Municipal Health Bureau director Wang Renyuan said during an interview with China Business News. The hospital will launch an online laboratory, examination and prescription drug delivery services by May 30, and offer a long-distance service outside Ningbo by July 30, increasing the number of cloud-based clinics to at least 10, Wang said.

Researchers Create Chameleon-Like Material

Mar 13, 2015

  • Li Zhu et al. created a chameleon-like artificial ‘skin’ that shifts color on demand. The team, led by Dr Connie Chang-Hasnain of the University of California Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was able to overcome both these hurdles by forming their grating bars using a semiconductor layer of silicon 120 nm thick.

China invests over $56 billion to help science, technology firms

Mar 11, 2015

  • BEIJING: China today said its venture capital investors have pumped-in more than $56.8 billion to help science and technology companies in the country. More than 1,600 business incubators are providing service for science and technology companies, Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology told a media briefing on the sidelines of the ongoing national legislative session. China now has over 1,000 organisations investing in startups with capital exceeding 350 billion yuan ($56 billion), Wan said.

Liquid metal brings shape-shifting robot a step closer

10 March 2015

  • Hasta la vista, baby. A real-life T-1000, the shape-shifting liquid-metal robot from Terminator 2, is a step closer, thanks to a self-powered liquid metal motor. The device is surprisingly simple: just a drop of metal alloy made mostly of gallium – which is liquid at just under 30 °C – with some indium and tin mixed in. When placed in a solution of sodium hydroxide, or even brine, and kept in contact with a flake of aluminium for “fuel”, it moves around for about an hour. It can travel in a straight line, run around the outside of a circular dish, or squeeze through complex shapes. “The soft machine looks rather intelligent and [can] deform itself according to the space it voyages in, just like [the] Terminator does from the science-fiction film,” says Jing Liu from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. “These unusual behaviours perfectly resemble the living organisms in nature,” he says, adding that they raise questions about the definition of life.

Apple accedes to China’s rules on cyber security


  • Apple has agreed to some of the requirements under China’s anti-terrorism proposal which the US president, Barack Obama, had criticized earlier this week, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily. The laws call for foreign tech companies to build backdoors in their products and provide encryption keys that secure user data to be stored on servers in China which the authorities can access.

Huawei looks to lead development in 5G technology


  • Chinese telecommunications firms such as Huawei look certain to lead the development into 5G technology, if events at the 2015 Mobile World Congress currently being held here are anything to go by. With the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) hot topics in Barcelona, it is obvious that the 4G network simply isn’t going to be enough to carry the estimated 100 billion internet connections that are needed, something Huawei’s acting CEO, Ken Hu has described as “a huge challenge for the mobile industry.”

Researchers Create First Silicene Transistor

Feb 4, 2015

  • Dr Tao and his collaborators solved one of the challenges surrounding silicene by demonstrating that it can be made into transistors. These devices could pave the way for future generations of faster, energy-efficient computer chips. “Apart from introducing a new player in the playground of two-dimensional materials, silicene, with its close chemical affinity to silicon, suggests an opportunity in the road map of the semiconductor industry,” said Dr Deji Akinwande of the University of Texas at Austin, the senior author on the study published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. “The major breakthrough here is the efficient low-temperature manufacturing and fabrication of silicene devices for the first time.”

Baidu CEO suggests launching ‘China Brain’ plan


  • (ECNS) — Baidu CEO Robin Lee has suggested starting a “China Brain Scheme” in 2015 to promote the country’s development of artificial intelligence (AI), Beijing News reported on Tuesday. The plan advocated by Lee, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), will focus on four important technological areas: intelligent human-computer interaction, big data analysis and prediction, automatic driving and piloting technology, as well as robot technology for military and civilian use. [Special coverage]

Astronomers Discover Record-Breaking Quasar

Feb 25, 2015

  • A group of astronomers from the United States, China, Chile, and Australia, has discovered the brightest quasar in the early Universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. “This quasar is very unique. Just like the brightest lighthouse in the distant Universe, its glowing light will help us to probe more about the early Universe,” said Dr Xue-Bing Wu of Peking University and the Kavli Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, who is the first author of the paper published in the journal Nature.

Potential new breathalyzer for lung cancer screening

February 17, 2015

  • Researchers from Chongqing University in China have developed a high sensitive fluorescence-based sensor device that can rapidly identify cancer related volatile organic compounds — biomarkers found exclusively in the exhaled breath of some people with lung cancer. Their work, described in a paper published this week in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, from AIP Publishing, demonstrates the potential of the device to be used as a breathalyzer for early lung cancer detection — possibly a safe and effective method of detecting cancer early that may save lives.

Nanophotonics and plasmonics: a great look for the International Year of Light

Feb 13, 2015

  • Since then, efforts to develop user-friendly SERS techniques have attracted intense research interest. One difficulty in applying the technique is that when Raman probes are attached to metal nanoparticles, the nanoparticles are prone to aggregating and the probes desorb from them. Ming Li and colleagues at West Virginia University and Ocean Nano Tech in the US and INRS-Énergie in Canada combatted these issues by sandwiching a Raman probe – in this case malachite green isothiocyanate (MGITC) – between gold nanoparticles and a silica coating. Their objective, as they reported in Nanotechnology, was “to develop and optimize a highly sensitive Raman probe that features high sensitivity, good water solubility and stability, low-background fluorescence, and an absence of photobleaching for biological applications.” Experiments and supporting simulations demonstrated the success of their approach. Yet with the inherent variations in geometry and mixing time, reproducibility in SERS is still an issue. In their review, Chao Wang and Chenxu Yu from Iowa State University describe the possible solutions offered by integrating SERS with microfluidics, a tool that has already proved useful for precise manipulation of small volumes of liquids. Despite the potential applications of combining the techniques in environmental surveillance and assay detection for DNA/RNA and living cells, the approach is not without challenges. By combining plasmonic nanoparticles with photonic crystals, Ali Hatef and colleagues at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the US have found that the absorption of the system can drop dramatically within a given frequency range in a state described as “plasmonic electromagnetically induced-transparency”. Zhihua Zhu and colleagues from Tianjin University in China, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, Osaka University in Japan and Oklahoma State University in the US, have also achieved “plasmon-induced-transparency”, an analogue of electromagnetically induced transparency, by coupling dark-mode and light-mode resonators in a metamaterial. What’s more they achieved the effect over a broadband spectrum extending across the increasingly important terahertz frequency region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Cesium atoms shaken, not stirred, to create elusive excitation in superfluid

February 5, 2015

  • “Even nowadays, after seven decades, it remains an issue of interest and controversy,” said Cheng Chin, professor of physics. But in a new paper published Feb. 3, 2015, in Physical Review Letters, Chin and four associates describe how they can create roton structure in a new system: atomic superfluid of cesium-133 in the laboratory. Scientists who specialize in superfluids have found it difficult to study rotons. Chin’s team has pioneered a system that will make it much easier to reveal the long-cloaked mysteries of the roton. The UChicago researchers generated artificial rotons using what they call the shaken lattice technique. With this technique, the physicists created a superfluid in a one-foot cylindrical chamber cooled to a temperature of approximately 15 nano-Kelvin, just a tiny fraction of a degree above absolute zero (minus 459.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

China Mobile Develops 5G Technology

Feb 02, 2015

  • China Mobile is already developing 5G technology, after the success of 4G. A senior executive of the said tech giant said it is time for the next generation of mobile Internet. Xi Guohua, the chairman of the board for China Mobile, announced during the 13th China Enterprise Development Forum that 5G technology might be rolled out soon. The forum was held by the Development Research Center of the State Council and was designed to report the business landscape and environment that public, private, as well as micro businesses could expect for the year.

Cloud computing to be boosted in China


  • The State Council, China’s cabinet, issued guidance on Friday on the development of cloud computing. China intends to markedly boost cloud computing capacity by 2017, developing an internet power by 2020, with cloud computing as its backbone. Synthesized development of cloud computing, mobile internet, the Internet of things and internet financing will cultivate new businesses. Breakthroughs are needed on cloud computing and big data. The government will support upgrades of existing e-government systems with cloud computing, and will procure more services from the private sector.

DARPA develops Robots to perform tasks by Watching youtube videos

Jan 30th, 2015

  • Robots can learn to recognize objects and patterns fairly well, but to interpret and be able to act on visual input is much more difficult. Researchers at the University of Maryland, funded by DARPA’s Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation and Execution (MSEE) program, recently developed a system that enabled robots to process visual data from a series of “how to” cooking videos on YouTube. Based on what was shown on a video, robots were able to recognize, grab and manipulate the correct kitchen utensil or object and perform the demonstrated task with high accuracy—without additional human input or programming. Reference: Y Yang, Y Li, C Fermuller, Y Aloimonos. Robot Learning Manipulation Action Plans by “Watching” Unconstrained Videos from the World Wide Web. The Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-15)

Tencent, Alibaba lead China’s top brands as tech dominates

Jan 27, 2015

  • (Reuters) – China’s tech giants Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) beat state firms for the first time to become the country’s most valuable brands in 2015, a report published on Tuesday shows. China’s three biggest Internet companies, which also includes Baidu Inc (BIDU.O), all appeared in the country’s top 5 rankings, said advertising company WPP Plc (WPP.L) and its research affiliate Millward Brown. “For the first time the tech industry surpasses the banking industry in terms of brand value,” said Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Millward Brown, citing the rise of Internet finance and the decline of profits at big banks.

China’s online population reaches 648 mln


  • BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — China’s netizen population, the world’s largest, reached 648 million at the end of 2014, 16 million more than in June, according to an industry expert.

Laser-generated surface structures create extremely water-repellent metals

January 20, 2015

  • Super-hydrophobic materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust prevention, anti-icing, or even in sanitation uses. However, as Rochester’s Chunlei Guo explains, most current hydrophobic materials rely on chemical coatings. In a paper published today in the Journal of Applied Physics, Guo and his colleague at the University’s Institute of Optics, Anatoliy Vorobyev, describe a powerful and precise laser-patterning technique that creates an intricate pattern of micro- and nanoscale structures to give the metals their new properties. This work builds on earlier research by the team in which they used a similar laser-patterning technique that turned metals black. Guo states that using this technique they can create multifunctional surfaces that are not only super-hydrophobic but also highly-absorbent optically.

Mobile technology spurring innovation in China

Jan 19, 2015

  • Mobile technologies account for about 4 per cent of China’s gross domestic product, an industry report said on Friday. The nation is now home to more inventors in mobile technologies than any other countries except the United States and South Korea, according to the Boston Consulting Group, a research firm. The country is also seeing the rise of a vibrant application developer community, with approximately 1 million people working in the high-growth field – more than twice as many as in the United States. “China has become a highly competitive place to import and assemble components into finished products, allowing the country to tap into its strong manufacturing base,” the report said, adding the mobile sector now represents 3.7 per cent of the GDP, with a 17.7 per cent compound annual growth rate from 2009 through 2014.

Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing

January 15, 2015

  • Princeton University researchers have built a rice grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through artificial atoms known as quantum dots. The tiny microwave laser, or “maser,” is a demonstration of the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons. Yinyu Liu, first author of the study and a graduate student in Princeton’s Department of Physics, holds a prototype of the device. (Photo by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research) “The goal was to get the double quantum dots to communicate with each other,” said Yinyu Liu, a physics graduate student in Petta’s lab. The team also included graduate student Jiri Stehlik and associate research scholar Christopher Eichler in Princeton’s Department of Physics, as well as postdoctoral researcher Michael Gullans of the Joint Quantum Institute.

3rd platform-based tech speed up innovation in China


  • China’s economy is expected to sustain steady growth in spite of further slowdown with 7% growth in GDP in 2015, according to IDC. In step with development trend of Chinese economy, IDC forecasts that the China ICT market in 2015 will reach $465.6 billion, up 11.4% year-on-year. IDC analysts make the following 10 predictions, which are believed to be the top 10 trends from the strategic perspective.

The Big Surprise Of CES 2015: The Rise Of Chinese Brands


  • Chinese companies occupied close to one-fourth of the exhibition space, displaying, all sorts of gadgets, from tablets, to laptops, to smart projectors, to giant TVs and drones. And some attracted favorable reviews.

China set to become a leader in the world of technology

December 28, 2014

  • SHANGHAI — Alibaba was just the beginning. Get ready to hear a lot more about Chinese tech companies. China’s technology industry, much like China in general, is transforming. Entrepreneurs speak of an innovation “golden age” fueled by a mobile-device-obsessed culture, upward economic mobility and an influx of capital from investors locally and abroad. “China is going through an extraordinarily innovative period,” said Eric X. Li, a venture capitalist and political scientist in Shanghai. “My bet is that five years from now, the most valuable company in the world will be a Chinese technology company. My second bet is that five years from now, the second-most-valuable company in the world will be a Chinese technology company.”

Xiaomi raises US$1.1-billion to become the world’s most valuable technology startup

Dec 29 2014

  • Xiaomi Corp.’s valuation could more than double to US$100 billion, spurred by its latest financing round, according to investor Yuri Milner. China’s largest smartphone vendor has the same potential as Facebook Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to reach that valuation, said the billionaire Milner, an early investor in all three companies. Xiaomi Monday announced it was valued at US$45 billion following a US$1.1 billion funding round that included Milner’s DST, Singapore’s GIC Pte and All-Stars Investment Ltd.

China is Planning to Purge Foreign Technology and Replace With Homegrown Suppliers

December 18, 2014

  • China is aiming to purge most foreign technology from banks, the military, state-owned enterprises and key government agencies by 2020, stepping up efforts to shift to Chinese suppliers, according to people familiar with the effort. The push comes after a test of domestic alternatives in the northeastern city of Siping that was deemed a success, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. Workers there replaced Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT:US) Windows with a homegrown operating system called NeoKylin and swapped foreign servers for ones made by China’s Inspur Group Ltd., they said.

China high-tech manufacturing firms see fast growth


  • China saw high-technology manufacturing companies surge from 2008 to 2013, a signal of progress in economic structure adjustment, official data showed on Tuesday. There were 26,894 large high-tech manufacturing companies by the end of last year, accounting for 7.8 percent of all large manufacturing companies, up 1.3 percentage points from 2008.

Chinese Online Giants Eating Into U.S. Dominance of Digital Media


  • China now accounts for two of the six companies with the highest online media revenues and four of the 10 fastest-growing, according to a report from the global research and advisory company Strategy Analytics. The Digital Media Index, which analyzes revenue trends across 44 public digital media companies, shows Google at the top of the list with $31.4 billion in digital media revenues in the first half of 2014, a rise of 12 percent on the previous year.

Intel to invest US$1.6 billion in China plant to push mobile chip development

Dec 4, 2014

  • To push its mobile chips into the supply streams of more Chinese vendors, Intel is planning to invest up to US$1.6 billion over the next 15 years at a company semiconductor plant in Chengdu. The money will be used to upgrade the facilities at the plant, in order to help Intel expand into the mobile devices markets including smartphones, tablets and wearables, the U.S. chipmaker said on Wednesday. As part of the upgrades, Intel will for the first time bring its “Advanced Test Technology” to China, as a way to better assess the quality of its chips, and produce better processors across different product areas.

World’s fastest 2D camera can capture 100 billion frames per second

December 3, 2014

  • A new camera developed by researchers at Washington University in St Louis may be just the thing to enable new discoveries about light. They’re claiming it’s the world’s fastest 2D receive-only camera, able to capture images at a rate of up to 100 billion frames per second using a technique its creators call Compressed Ultrafast Photography. “For the first time, humans can see light pulses on the fly,” said study leader Lihong Wang, PhD, Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering. The technology consists of an array of devices, such as microscopes and telescopes paired with lenses to capture events. The whole thing is centred around an existing piece of technology, called a “streak camera”, an ultrafast device that measures the intensity variation of a pulse of light over time. Streak cameras, however, only record in one dimension; the algorithms and components added by Wang and his team expanded this into two dimensions.

Stanford engineers invent high-tech mirror to beam heat away from buildings into space

November 26, 2014

  • Stanford engineers have invented a revolutionary coating material that can help cool buildings, even on sunny days, by radiating heat away from the buildings and sending it directly into space. A team led by electrical engineering Professor Shanhui Fan and research associate Aaswath Raman reported this energy-saving breakthrough in the journal Nature. The researchers say they designed the material to be cost-effective for large-scale deployment on building rooftops. Though it’s still a young technology, they believe it could one day reduce demand for electricity. As much as 15 percent of the energy used in buildings in the United States is spent powering air conditioning systems.

Blu-Ray Disc Can be Used to Improve Solar Cell Performance

Nov 25, 2014

  • An interdisciplinary research team has discovered that the pattern of information written on a Blu-ray disc — and it doesn’t matter if it’s Jackie Chan’s “Supercop” or the cartoon “Family Guy” — works very well for improving light absorption across the solar spectrum. And better yet, the researchers know why. Blu-ray discs contain a higher density of data than DVDs or CDs, and it is this quasi-random pattern, perfected by engineers over decades for data storage, that, when transferred to the surface of solar cells, provides the right texture to improve the cells’ light absorption and performance. Working with Cheng Sun, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at McCormick, Huang and his team tested a wide range of movies and television shows stored on Blu-ray discs, including action movies, dramas, documentaries, cartoons and black-and-white content, and found the video content did not matter. All worked equally well for enhancing light absorption in solar cells.

Chinese S&T papers citation higher: report


  • BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — China ranked the world’s fourth in terms of citations of science and technology papers written by Chinese scientists, a government think tank revealed on Friday. Average numbers of citations for individual reports has increased by 9.4 percent from last year’s 6.92 times to 7.57, the report by the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information under the Ministry of Science and Technology said. From 2004 to this year, Chinese scientists have published about 1.37 million papers in international journals and magazines, ranking the world’s second highest, the report said. In total, research papers from Chinese scientists were cited 10.37 million times, the fourth in the world, it said.

Chinese researchers test metal alloy to fix broken bones in minutes

02 November, 2014

  • Scientists in Beijing are developing a technique they hope will be able to heal broken bones in minutes rather than weeks. The researchers at Tsinghua University said the technology might also have military uses such as creating “superhuman” soldiers with stronger bodies. It involves injecting a heated liquid metal alloy into or around fractures that quickly hardens to mend and strengthen broken bone.

Using Cash and Pressure, China Builds Its Chip Industry

OCT. 26, 2014

  • To narrow the gap, Beijing is starting programs to increase investment by the state and to gain expertise from foreign chip companies. Experts say the chip industry is one focus of Chinese espionage efforts. There’s also new bureaucratic determination. Vice Premier Ma Kai is leading a task force charged with making the country’s chip industry a world leader by 2030. The task force brings together four ministries and is estimated to have $170 billion in government support to spend over five to 10 years, according to a report in June by McKinsey & Company. In recent months, multinational companies have faced growing pressure in China, where investigators have begun antitrust and price-fixing investigations aimed at food manufacturers, automakers and technology companies. While Qualcomm’s troubles fit the trend, they also show how China’s inquiries align with broader economic and strategic initiatives.

Alphavirus M1 can target cancer cells: study


  • Guangzhou (ECNS) – A research team at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, has found that the naturally occurring alphavirus M1 can selectively target human cancer cells. Tests on animals showed that injected virus M1 can find its way to tumor tissues and inhibit their growth without hurting other normal cells.

China’s science academy launches new reform drive

28 October 2014

  • Amid widespread calls to reform China’s science system, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the nation’s largest research body, is to reshuffle its 100 plus research institutes and change the way it rewards scientists. The details of the ambitious plan, though, are far from clear. In August, the CAS announced the launch of a new round of reform, aimed at becoming a worldwide science and technology (S&T) leader by 2030. At this conference the CAS president Bai Chunli said that CAS institutes are presently very flat, covering a huge range of fields without specialising. ‘The situation must be changed,’ he said.

Why China will leapfrog the world in Internet of Things

October 4, 2014

  • China is firmly ensconced as the manufacturing center of the world and the services and capabilities offered by Chinese manufacturers continue to expand. Now, Chinese companies manage industrial design, design-for-manufacturing, and actual manufacturing. People often miss this, but U.S. companies don’t go to China just for cheap labor and engineering. Increasingly, they go for expertise. Chinese manufacturers are rapidly building their own retail brands. Yifang’s Nextbook is the fifth largest selling tablet in the U.S. and eighth worldwide. The company’s products can be seen on the shelves of Target, Walmart and other large retailers. hina, and the other fast-growing OECD economies, need IoT. Over 1.4 billion people still aren’t connected to the grid. And where the grid exists, it is often rickety and dirty. Technology that can help people fine-tune appliances like air conditioners to cut emissions and energy consumption will be absolutely essential. Sensor networks in streetlights and smartphone apps that provide up-to-date traffic information will be the first line of defense against gridlock. IoT will also be employed to increase crop yields and monitor irrigation.

BMW partners with Baidu to test self-driving cars in China

October 1 2014

  • BMW revealed that it is teaming up with Chinese internet company Baidu to begin automated driving tests in China. The research vehicles developed by BMW have already gone through trial rides reaching a total of thousands of kilometers along autobahns in Germany. The project that is testing the highly automated vehicles is now expanding to include the cities of Shanghai and Beijing in China, BMW said. “BMW is embarking on a further research project which will pave the way for highly automated driving in China as well,” BMW said in a statement. “China’s fast-expanding urban centres present the engineers with challenges such as multi-level highways,” the company added.

China plans world’s largest supercollider

20 Sep 2014

  • With a circumference of 80 kilometres, the Chinese accelerator complex would encircle the entire island of Manhattan. Called the Circular Electron Positron Collider (CEPC), China hopes it will shine as a symbol of the country’s rise as a global superpower in terms of pure scientific research. “This machine is by and for the world,” explains Professor Gao Jie, one of the leaders of the project at the Institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing. Beijing plans to speedily expand cooperation between China’s foremost physicists and their European and American counterparts with the new collider. The collider complex is initially designed to smash together electrons and their anti-matter counterparts, and later more massive protons, at velocities approaching the speed of light. This process hopes to recreate, inside the accelerator, the hyper-energy conditions that dominated following the Big Bang.

Microsoft’s Citynext set to create 200 smart cities in China


  • A year after Microsoft launched its smart city initiative Citynext, it has won over 200 partnerships with governments, businesses and individuals worldwide, with each proposing and implementing development plans based on the Microsoft platform, according to Joel Cherkis, general manager for government sales at Microsoft. On the sidelines of the 2014 Boao Forum for Asia’s annual conference, held in Seattle from Sept 4 to 6, Cherkis, who leads the Citynext project, told Shanghai’s China Business News that his company is satisfied with the results.

China Beats Rivals to 1st 110-Inch Curved UHD TV

Sep. 11, 2014

  • Chinese firm TCL wrongfooted the global TV industry by rolling out the world’s first 110-inch curved UHD TV at the IFA 2014 in Berlin on Friday. The biggest so far were Samsung’s and LG’s 105-inch models. TCL and fellow Chinese firm Hisense also unveiled TVs using quantum dot technology, which improves picture clarity. “Just two years ago, Chinese manufacturers were about one year behind industry leaders in terms of technology, but last year the gap narrowed to six months and at the IFA it looked as though the gap has almost disappeared,” an industry insider said.

China develops facial recognition payment system with near-perfect accuracy

September 8, 2014

  • The Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) will launch a face recognition payment app next year, which is slated to land with near-perfect accuracy. As reported by Science and Technology Daily on Sunday, the Chongqing-based research institute said it has set up the world’s biggest Asian face database with more than 50 million records. The database was created with help from with the University of Illinois, and the National University of Singapore. According to Zhou Xi, director of the CAS Chongqing Green Technology Research Institute, researchers have developed a unique data collecting technology, which could simultaneously gather facial information from 91 different angles. Researchers were also able enhance the system’s learning abilities to function stably and accurately in a dynamic environment.

Near-field hospitals: Mobile medical craze emerging in China


  • With receiving 310 million yuan (US$50.5 million) of fresh funds half a month ago,, another mobile medicine website in China, has announced an injection of 450 million yuan (US$73.3 million) from internet giant Tencent, testifying to emerging mobile-medicine craze on the heels of the online education craze. Feng Dahui, chief technology officer of, said the Tencent investment is significant facilitates its linkage with Tencent’s WeChat and QQ messaging services, though WeChat will own only a minor stake in the medical website. Founded in 2000, Dxy.con has become a leading professional social media platform for medical practitioners in China, boasting over 4 million members, on top of 2 million doctors to provide medical consulting online.

Funding to increase for young Chinese scientists

Aug 23, 2014

  • China will increase funding to young scientists to transform the world’s manufacturing workshop into an innovation-driven economy. The government will also streamline the approval procedure of such sponsorship, Premier Li Keqiang said after dozens of top-ranking scientists complained about the difficulties of securing research funds when they were young. “Talent, instead of intensive labour, will become the continuous driver of future economic growth,” Li said, “It is time to rely on talent dividends to maintain economic growth.”

Cloud computing to form key part of China’s 2016-2020 plans


  • China will invest in cloud computing between 2016 to 2020 to develop a complete industry chain, writes our Chinese-language sister paper China Times. The plan, organized by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), will be put into practice in early 2016 once it passes the examination of Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in late 2015. Chen Wei, head of the software department at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said plans related to cloud computing under what will be the country’s 13th five-year plan have begun.

China to build ‘brain database’

Jun 30, 2014

  • (Nanowerk News) Chinese scientists are planning to build a “brain database” in a bid to identify clues to tackling cerebral diseases and related disorders. “The creation of a unified general and patient database will help us to identify the biomarkers of brain diseases, which we can then use as the basis for early diagnosis and treatment,” said Poo Mu-ming, director of the Institute of Neuroscience under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “It will also be a useful resource for scientists around the world who are involved in brain research,” he said.

Chinese scientist plans parachutes for every plane passenger made of world’s lightest material

30 July, 2014

  • The Hangzhou-based professor of polymer science and engineering led the government-funded study in creating the world’s lightest material last year. Carbon aerogel, which weighs just 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimetre, is so light that it can sit on a blade of grass without causing it to bend. The material had the potential to be used in a wide range of sectors, Gao said. “Some manufacturers have contacted us to develop a new type of clothing with the technology,” Gao said. But he added that some technological improvement was still necessary, such as to make the aerogel stronger and hardier, before the material could be used for parachutes. “I am optimistic that these technological constraints can be overcome,” the professor said. “[As of now,] the chance of [the material’s application] is greater with the military.”

China Internet users hit 632M, most tapping mobile devices for online access

July 21, 2014

  • China’s Internet use has been increasing over the years but that growth might now be slowing, analysts say, though there are now 632 million China residents online. While the current figure of new users reflects an eight-year low, it illustrates a trend even more surprising: most of China’s users are accessing the Internet via a mobile device. According to reports, there were only 14.4 million new Chinese Internet users coming online in the first half of 2014. The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) describe it as the slowest period of growth in eight years.

China set to become collider capital of the world

22 July 2014

  • European and US teams have both shown interest in building their own super collider (see Nature 503, 177; 2013), but the huge amount of research needed before such a machine could be built means that the earliest date either can aim for is 2035. China would like to build its electron–positron collider in the meantime, unaided by international funding if needs be, and follow it up as fast as technologically possible with the super proton collider. Because only one super collider is likely to be built, China’s momentum puts it firmly in the driving seat. Speaking this month at the International Conference on High Energy Physics in Valencia, Spain, IHEP director Yifang Wang said that, to secure government support, China wanted to work towards a more immediate goal than a super collider by 2035. “You can’t just talk about a project which is 20 years from now,” he said.

IBM launches Chinese smart city R&D base


  • CHENGDU, July 14 (Xinhua) — IBM and its Chinese partner will launch a base in southwest China’s Sichuan Province to research and develop “smart cities,” futuristic urban centers where computing technology will improve infrastructure and public services, they announced on Sunday. The joint project with Chinese firm Sichuan Huaxun Zhongxing Technologies Co. Ltd follows their announcement on May 18 that they will build a service center dedicated to the big data and cloud computing that is necessary for smart cities. Their Global Smart Cities R&D Center, a supporting industrial park and other accompanying projects will involve a total investment of 30 billion yuan (4.88 billion U.S. dollars).

Open road ahead for unmanned vehicles


  • China is speeding up the development of unmanned ground vehicles, which will play an important role in future battlefields and civilian sectors, according to a senior expert. “The UGVs can be used in a wide range of military and civilian fields,” said Meng Hong, deputy director of the China North Vehicle Research Institute of China North Industries Group. “In fact, they have been extensively deployed by foreign militaries to handle tasks in hazardous environments.”

Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2 From Asia Make Top 15 (1 from China)

June 20, 2014

  • AsianScientist (Jun 20, 2014) – The Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters has released a report titled The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014, listing the top researchers in science around the globe. The top 15 list includes two researchers in Asia: Dr. Gao Huijin from the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) and Dr. Zhang Hua from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Dr. Gao Huijun Gao, director of the Research Institute of Intelligent Control and Systems at HIT, China, had 15 hot papers concerning computation and filtering for the control of networks and other systems.

China to strengthen support for 5G research


  • SHANGHAI – China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) will step up support for research into next-generation mobile telecom networks, or 5G, an official said on Wednesday. Liu Lihua, vice minister of the MIIT, made the announcement at a global forum on mobile telecommunications in Shanghai. The ministry will work to create a good environment for firms to invest in, develop and innovate with mobile telecom technologies and support their efforts to boost technological research and increase capital injection, especially in 5G, he added, without giving more details.

China Is Officially a World Science Superpower

June 16, 2014

  • For years, China has been the spooky monster in America’s rear-view mirror, a land where, we’re told, the government is producing students interested in science and engineering in unprecedented numbers, a place that’s going to eventually supplant the United States as The World’s Superpower. Well, a study published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that those Chinese students are finally starting to do real science, and that the gains the country has made in the last decade or so haven’t merely been in printing out engineering degrees. To be clear—China has gotten really very good at that, too—take a look at this graph comparing the number of science and engineering bachelor’s degrees (A) and doctoral degrees (B) given to students in the US (blue) and China (red). The United States still leads China in both total scientific output and overall scientific importance—as measured by the number of journal articles published and the number of times those articles are cited. But China is quickly gaining and has surpassed the United States in a few key subject matters, a development that “greatly expands the scale of science,” according to Yu Xie, a researcher at the University of Michigan. “The data we have analyzed all indicate that China has become a major contributor to science and technology.”

Nature Publishing Index 2013: China To Overtake Japan In 1-2 Years

March 28, 2014

  • AsianScientist (Mar. 28, 2014) – Japan remains the Asian juggernaut in scientific output, but it may be overtaken by China within one or two years, according to the Nature Publishing Index (NPI) 2013 Asia Pacific published this week. China, which is ranked second on the Index, is outpacing Japan in scientific output, and may overtake Japan in Nature publications within one or two years. China’s investment in science is bearing fruit. In 2013, it published more articles in NPI journals than any other Asia-Pacific nation. Significantly, in January that year, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) knocked The University of Tokyo off the top of the NPI institutional rankings. China has ambitious projects underway that challenge not only Japanese but European and US institutions. For China, 2013 was a year of scientific discoveries, technological feats and the construction of cutting-edge facilities. In February a team from China and the US, led by Xiangdong Ji of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) initiated the world’s deep-est particle-physics experiment, PandaX, aimed at detecting particles of dark matter in pools of liquid xenon deeper than 2.5 km underground. In June, China sent its fifth crewed spacecraft, Shenzhou 10, to dock with China’s space station, Tiangong 1. It is the first stage of a plan to construct a bigger modular station around 2020, four years before the planned end of the International Space Station programme. Also in June, the Tianhe-2 (or Milky Way-2) supercomputer became the world’s fast-est, with an operating speed of 33.9 petaflops per second – nearly twice as fast as the previous leader. China’s high-definition Earth observation satellite, Gaofen 1, started operating in December to survey and monitor environmental processes, particularly to collect data on natural disasters such as earthquakes. Earlier in December, another arm of its space programme made news when China became the third country, after the US and Russia, to explore the moon. The Chang’e-3 lunar probe landed safely and delivered China’s first robot rover, Yutu (or Jade Rabbit), which is equipped with ground-penetrating radar, spectrometers and cameras. Chinese scientists are also exploring the oceans for knowledge. Under the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) a National Deep Sea Center will be set up and its deep-diving submersible, Jiaolong, upgraded. China can now also lay claim to the oldest-known primate skeleton, the earliest collection of fossilised dinosaur embryos — found in their crushed shells — and the earliest-known member of the bird family. These discoveries were published in Nature in 2013 by scientists from CAS and from other domestic and international institutions. China is allocating an increasing proportion of its GDP to science and technology: 1.98% in 2012; expected to rise to 2.2% by 2015. President Xi Jinping, who took office in March 2013, is continuing his predecessor’ fiscal promotion of science and has emphasized that such investment should be a driving force for the country’s economic development.

China driving development of ‘Internet of Things’

June 9, 2014

  • China is in the forefront of the development of an “Internet of Things”, leading the way with the number of machine-to-machine connections and opening a new market for operators, a study showed Monday. China has lead the way and accounts for 40 percent of the total mobile machine-to-machine connections, ahead of the United States and Japan combined. “A rapidly developing and urbanising country, China is looking to use information and communications technologies to make its fast expanding cities smarter and enable a better quality of life for their citizens,” said the report.

China eyes hi-tech military gear to predict commercial pilots’ behavior

April 22, 2014

  • After the case with flight MH370, China is considering using military technology to get into pilots’ heads while flying to closely monitor physical and mental states in order to prevent catastrophes caused by human error and improve air safety. The hi-tech gear in question had been developed by the People’s Liberation Army for its Air Force, and is now being refitted for use in civilian applications, the South China Morning Post revealed. The technology involves an ultra-lightweight, 200-gram vest that gauges the pilot’s pulse and respiration, senses any abrupt muscle movements, takes body temperature and assesses posture, as well as using biometrics to track eye movement and sensors to detect fluctuations in voice. That data is instantly fed back to the control room on the ground, where a human monitor is always present to make a real-time assessment.

China’s high-speed trains will use ‘Chinese chips’

April 22, 2014

  • China’s first 8-inch IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) chip production line, built by CSR (China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited) Zhuzhou base, will be put in operation in June 2014. This means that China has broken foreign monopoly on the core technology of high-speed trains, and China’s high-speed trains will use the “Chinese chips.” The high-speed trains manufactured by CSR, with the domestic 8-inch IGBT chips installed, achieved a speed of over 600 kilometers per hour in the test run. CSR will become the only company in China which has comprehensively mastered IGBT chip technology R&D, module packaging & testing and system application.

China’s Unmanned Submersible Ready for Deep Waters


  • An unmanned submersible has passed its final field test, marking another step in China’s drive to explore deep sea resources. Named “Haima,” or sea horse, the vehicle can dive a depth of 4,500 meters via remote control and has the highest proportion of China-made parts compared with the country’s other submersibles, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Chinese scientists spent six years developing core technologies and making the machine, which went through multiple improvements following problems and malfunctions during tests in laboratory tanks and the ocean. During tests, the vehicle achieved a maximum depth of 4,502 meters, and reached the central basin in the South China Sea for tasks such as deploying cables, collecting sedimentary rock samples and photographing.

Chinese city aims to have 80% of production done by Robots by 2020

  • South China’s economic powerhouse of Guangzhou has set a goal of having 80 percent of the city’s manufacturing production done by robots instead of human labor by 2020. According to an industrial development guideline issued by the municipal government on Tuesday, the use of industrial robots will be encouraged in mechanical and automobile manufacturing, food processing and the manufacturing of pharmaceutical, electronic and dangerous products.

Chinese plan to develop new reactors may benefit the world

April 03 2014

  • CHINA’s electricity usage and net oil imports (liquid fuel imports minus domestic production) are already at world-record levels, as questions regarding its energy security become more relevant considering its positive long-term growth outlook. It seems that China is answering the questions in several ways and two of them are with the development of thorium-fuelled and tidal-flow reactors. While these sources of energy might not be the most significant in terms of current capacity and level of development, they present interesting findings as to the approach China is taking to diversifying its energy mix. Collaboration and investment in research and development by state and, increasingly, by private organisations are the key visible trends. Thorium-fuelled reactors are, according to experts in the field, safer, more efficient and cleaner than other reactors in use. However, the faster development of uranium-fuelled reactors in the US and their ability to produce plutonium as a byproduct (used for nuclear warheads) meant they were preferred by the Nixon administration. As a result, the US shut down its thorium-fuelled reactors during the 1950s-1960s before their true potential could be reached on a large scale.

30 million more Chinese homes to have fiber optic connection

March 23, 2014

  • BEIJING, March 22 — China plans to put fiber optic connections into 30 million more homes nationwide in this year, according to Miao Wei, minister of industry of information technology. The move will bring the total number of users benefited from the country’s Fiber-To-The-Home program to nearly 200 million by the end of this year. The new broadband map includes 13,800 villages.

Use of robots increases in China, may overtake Japan: report


  • China is in the process of becoming the world’s leding operator of industrial robots as an increasing number of its factories turn to mechanical devices to cope with rising labor costs and shortages. The number of industrial robots in use in the country could overtake Japan to be the highest in the world by 2015, reports Japan’s English-language Nikkei Asian Review. Labor shortages are the main reason that the Chinese manufacturing sector has embraced the use of automation. Many workers from the country’s younger generation cannot stand harsh working conditions on the production line and quit after a few months, said Mingzhi Technology’s equipment manager. Rising labor costs have also contributed to the demand for robots, as wages in Suzhou have doubled since 2008. Meanwhile the government has set a goal for income levels to double between 2010 and 2020.

Supergenius high school student wins Intel Science Talent Search

March 12, 2014

  • 17-year-old Californian Eric Chen walked away with a cool $100,000 after winning the Intel Science Talent Search for his research on influenza treatment drugs. This isn’t the first major international science competition the California native has won. Chen took the grand prize at the 2013 Google Science Fair for his work on medication to fight against all influenza viruses including pandemic strains. Other winners from the Intel competition include 17-year-old Kevin Lee who came in second place for his mathematical model that will help lead to treatments for arrhythmia and other heart conditions.

China rapidly narrows technology, manufacturing gap with Korea

August 18, 2012

  • The technology gap between Korea and China has narrowed over the past decade in the manufacturing industry. According to data from the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, the technology gap in the manufacturing industry between the two countries narrowed to 3.7 years in 2011 on average, from 4.7 years in 2002. In terms of the countries’ technological levels as of 2011, China needs 4.2 years to reach the level that was reached by Korea’s auto industry, about 3.1 years in shipbuilding and 2.4 years in semiconductors, the report said.

Why China is a genetic powerhouse with a problem

Dec. 15 2012

  • In the South China city of Shenzhen, a thriving manufacturing hub known for cheap goods and high-tech electronics, the genetic secrets of life roll off machines by the minute. Here at the global headquarters of BGI-Shenzhen, housed in a former shoe factory, the genomic revolution runs on an industrial scale. Powered by an army of young lab technicians and banks of high-end, U.S.-made sequencers that hum 24/7, the DNA of human kind is decoded with conveyor-belt speed and brute force. But not just human DNA. Once known as the Beijing Genomics Institute, BGI is on a mission to sequence the genomes of a vast array of living things. It has already done rice, the cucumber, the Giant Panda, the Arabian camel, the chicken, the coronavirus behind severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), 40 strains of silkworm and the Tibetan antelope, to name just a few.

China makes nuclear power development


  • BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) — China has built its first experimental fast neutron reactor which will help make better use of the nuclear energy. The reactor passed official checks on Wednesday after 20 years of developments by Chinese scientists, according to the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). Experts organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) conducted examinations on the reactor, the CIAE said.

China in race to build first code-breaking quantum supercomputer

10 January, 2014

  • Researchers in China are pulling out all the stops to create the holy grail of technology – the world’s first code-breaking supercomputer. China is working on an ambitious project of its own and has built a new facility in Hefei , Anhui , in which to do it. Thanks to such bizarre features of quantum physics as “superposition” and “entanglement”, a quantum machine could, the theory goes, think in terms of “zero” and “one” at the same time. It would be therefore able to carry out millions of calculations simultaneously, while even the most powerful of today’s computers chug along solving each task one after the other.

The five Chinese entrepreneurs leading the country’s technology revolution

04 Jan 2014

  • Jack Ma Alibaba e-commerce Jack Ma is currently leader of the Chinese tech pack. As executive chairman of Alibaba, a web service used by businesses around the world to trade an incredible variety of goods, he has a high profile in the US. Ma Huateng Tencent Chat apps More of a shrinking violet than some of his contemporaries in China’s new tech plutocracy, when he has given interviews, 42-year-old Ma Huateng has been frank about the secret of Tencent’s success. Robin Li Baidu Web search The founder of China’s Google is now believed to be the country’s richest man, with a net worth of more than $12.2bn (£7.4bn), up $4.8bn in 2013. Lei Jun Xiaomi Smartphones For a man who claims to resent being labelled “the Chinese Steve Jobs”, Lei Jun, chief executive of Xiaomi, does a lot to invite the comparison. Charles Chao Sina Microblogging Sina’s main product, Sina Weibo, is China’s equivalent of Western micro-blogging site Twitter and Charles Chao sees his company as an agent of social change in the country.

The Chinese technology space dwarfs the western market

JANUARY 21, 2014

  • APPLE, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, eBay. These are the names that come to your mind when you first think about technology. But what about Huawei, Xiaomi, WeChat, Weibo or AliBaba? These companies are all Chinese and they’re all playing in a market that makes the western tech market look like chump change. “Xiaomi and Apple are two completely different companies,” says Lei Jun, CEO of Chinese internet company, Xiaomi. He says this, because Jun himself and his company are constantly labelled as China’s Steve Jobs and China’s Apple, a label that probably isn’t unwarranted. Before starting Xiaomi, Lei Jun would spend his time reading books about Steve Jobs, taking in how he built the company, his marketing techniques and even cultivating Jobs’ image by only wearing jeans and dark shirts. Although most media have labelled Jun and Xiaomi as “Apple counterfeits”, Jun is just following Jobs’ philosophy that “good artists copy, great artists steal”, taking what has made Apple successful and infusing his own ideas to now make Xiaomi the 6th largest smartphone maker in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, after only releasing its first device in 2011.

China Tech Makes A Splash At CES In Vegas


  • One thing for sure about this year’s Consumer Electronic Show – China tech was there, and big-time, among the latest and greatest wireless gadgets, self-driving cars, 3-D printing machines and wearable tech devices. The China presence at the show was one more demonstration that Chinese tech is going global — and in little more than a decade after entrepreneurs first got going in Beijing and Shanghai. Of course, all the leading China brands — Alibaba, ZTE , Hisense and Huawei — had large and attractive booths displaying their latest wares front and center on the convention floor. From what I observed, China had the biggest representation of all overseas markets although the LG exhibit certainly was huge! The China booths were getting a lot of attention from curious journalists and convention goers stopping by to have a look and explore what these players had to offer. I even overhead some oohs and aahs about the high-definition TVs on display at Hisense.

China’s radical new space drive

06 February 13

  • Scientists in China have built and tested a radical new space drive. Although the thrust it produces may not be enough to lift your mobile phone, it looks like it could radically change the satellite industry. Satellites are just the start: with superconducting components, this technology could generate the thrust to drive everything from deep space probes to flying cars. And it all started with a British engineer whose invention was ignored and ridiculed in his home country. The latest research comes from a team headed by Yang Juan, Professor of Propulsion Theory and Engineering of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xi’an. Titled “Net thrust measurement of propellantless microwave thruster,” it was published last year in the academic journal Acta Physica Sinica, now translated into English.

NUDT achieves China’s sub-nanometer accuracy

January 17, 2013

  • The magneto-rheology ultra-precision polishing equipment and the ion beam ultra-precision polishing equipment independently developed by the Precision Engineering Innovation Team under the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) achieved the sub-nanometer accuracy in the field of optical element processing and passed the check and the acceptance by national authoritative department in mid-January 2013. According to experts, the achievement has made China the third country worldwide to master the high-precision optical element manufacturing and processing technology following the United States and Germany, and also the one and the only country in the world to have the capability to develop magneto-rheology polishing equipment and ion beam polishing equipment at the same time.

Tech base established for Beidou system


  • BEIJING – A base for promoting technological innovations for China’s Beidou satellite navigation system has been established in Shanghai, according to a Wednesday statement from the system’s management office. The base is intended to help make major breakthroughs concerning positioning technology research, as well as increase the number of related Chinese patents and establish three to five Beidou-related enterprises, the statement said. The navigation and positioning service industry has maintained an annual growth rate of 50 percent in recent years, becoming one of the fastest growing information industries, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

China to use nano-material to improve power grid safety

May 03, 2012

  • BEIJING, May 2 (Xinhua) — China will further industrialize the use of a new material developed with the help of nanotechnology to ensure the safety of its power grids, according to a Wednesday statement from the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNT). The NCNT said the material has undergone strict testing and technical evaluations and will be used to solve the problem of flashover, a phenomenon in which energized conductors inadvertently come into contact with other conductors or a grounded surface. Flashover has been a persistent safety problem in China’s power grids.

Radio telescope under construction in Shanghai

March 13, 2012

  • Photo taken on March 12, 2012 shows the radio telescope under construction in Shanghai, east China. The 65-meter-diameter telescope, a form of directional radio antenna used in radio astronomy, will be used in tracking and collecting data from satellites and space probes including Chinese astronomical projects like Chang’e lunar probe, YH-1 Mars exploration and other deep space explorations. The antenna structure of the telescope is scheduled to be finished by September 2012 and the facility is set to be used for tracking and locating missions during China’s lunar probe program from 2013 to 2014.(Xinhua/Pei Xin)

China Shows U.S. How to Push for Carbon Capture

March 27, 2012

  • Meanwhile, in China, carbon capture marches steadfastly ahead, as in the May issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine reports. A pilot project by China Huaneng Group Corp. has been able to remove carbon from coal-plant exhaust for about $39 per ton of captured CO2, which is a little more than a third of what it costs in the U.S. The work has been so impressive, as John Lippert and Chua Baizhen report, that Duke Energy Corp., the largest U.S. energy company, has signed a research agreement with Huaneng to study its technology. Duke wants to learn how much it would cost to retrofit its largest power plant, in Gibson County, Indiana, to capture carbon.

China’s Innovation Ability is Massively Underrated

Jan 10, 2014

  • Can China produce game-changing innovations again? We posed that question to tech buff Tom Standage, Digital Editor of The Economist. According to Standage, “China’s ability to innovate is massively underrated, particularly in America.”
  • Essentially necessity is the mother of all invention. So we see amazing innovation coming out of China, India and Africa in mobile, for example, simply because in order to reach much poorer people you have to innovate and find new models. In fact what’s happening now is that European operators are borrowing aspects of the business models from India or from Africa, which I think is fascinating.
  • There is an amazing amount of innovation going on here. Just in the areas I have been looking at, clearly in 3D printing there is quite a lot of interesting stuff happening in China. The biggest 3D printer in the world is in China, and what are they using it for? To build aircraft parts for the Chinese homegrown airliner that’s going to take on Boeing and Airbus. And Boeing and Airbus laugh at this going, ‘Don’t you know it takes decades to develop and we don’t have to worry about that’. This is what people said about Japanese watches and Japanese radios and look what happened–Sony took over that industry. This is all very much worth keeping.

The impressive rise of Chinese science


  • Accounting for 11% of global scientific production, 12% of overall investment in research and development (R&D) and almost 25% of the world’s total R&D force, Chinese science is experiencing a period of great growth and visibility. Also responding for the world’s largest population – 1.3 billion people -, China sees science and technology (S&T) as a key factor for its social development.
  • In an interview to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences – the organizer of the WSF in Brazil – Bai Chunli, who combines solid research career in cutting-edge science with important role in science policy, talks about the achievements and challenges of Chinese science, the importance of international cooperation in the sector, especially among the countries that make up the BRICS – group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and the efforts directed to nanotechnology in the country, his current area of interest.
  • I think there are several reasons for this. One is the great importance attached to science and technology by the Chinese government, which has led to a rapid increase in investment in research and development (R&D) in the country. Over the past decade, China has experienced an annual increase of R&D investment by nearly 20%. As of 2012, the country’s total investment in R&D had surpassed 1.0 trillion RMB [approximately 164 billion dollars], accounting for around 12% of the world’s total R&D investment.

New way to sustain high-performance fusion plasmas

December 4, 2013

  • A multinational team led by Chinese researchers in collaboration with U.S. and European partners has successfully demonstrated a novel technique for suppressing instabilities that can cut short the life of controlled fusion reactions. The team, headed by researchers at the Institute of Plasma Physics in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP), combined the new technique with a method that the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has developed for protecting the walls that surround the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions. The record-setting results of the tests, conducted on the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in Hefei, China, could mark a key step in the worldwide effort to develop fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity. “This is a very good example of multinational collaboration on EAST,” said ASIPP Director Jiangang Li. “I very much appreciate the effort of our collaborators.”

Chinese scientists achieve Internet access through lightbulbs


  • SHANGHAI, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) — Successful experiments by Chinese scientists have indicated the possibility of the country’s netizens getting online through signals sent by lightbulbs (LiFi), instead of WiFi. Four computers under a one-watt LED lightbulb may connect to the Internet under the principle that light can be used as a carrier instead of traditional radio frequencies, as in WiFi, said Chi Nan, an information technology professor with Shanghai’s Fudan University, on Thursday. A lightbulb with embedded microchips can produce data rates as fast as 150 megabits per second, which is speedier than the average broadband connection in China, said Chi, who leads a LiFi research team including scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Chinese scientists lead breakthrough in HIV research

November 07, 2013

  • Chinese scientists together with US experts have determined the high-resolution structure of one of two gateways HIV uses to get into the human immune system, which could help develop better HIV drugs in the future. The research was led by scientists from Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the study result was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Science.
  • Wu and her colleagues allowed Maraviroc to bind an engineered CCR5 receptor. Then they purified and crystallized the resulting receptor/drug complex at 2.7 angstroms – a very high resolution.

Chinese Researchers Make An Invisibility Cloak In 15 Minutes

September 10, 2013

  • Their approach is entirely different to the theoretical light-bending mathematics physicists have used until now. This current approach works by attempting to steer electromagnetic fields around an object in a way that hides it. The necessary material must be able to repeat this kind of light distortion in real life. The new approach is to create a computer model of the cloak in the form of a conventional material with fixed light bending properties. Today, Lu Lan at Zhejiang University in China and a few pals have actually created the first invisibility cloak designed using topology optimisation. They carved it out of Teflon and it took them all of 15 minutes using a computer-controlled engraving machine. “The fabrication process of a sample is substantially simplified,” they say.

Animal invisibility cloak makes cat and fish vanish

10 June 2013

  • scientists demonstrate new light-bending technology that could have applications in telecommunications. Scientists led by Baile Zhang at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore created the cloaks from thin panels of glass that make objects invisible by bending light around them. Though rudimentary – the devices only hide objects from certain angles, and in both cases the cloaks themselves were partially visible – they are better than earlier versions that worked only with polarised light, or with microwaves instead of the visible wavelengths that humans see in.

China prepares to spend billions on science and technology

May 2013

  • Sixteen science and technology projects will receive big infrastructure investments in China, the country’s State Council announced on 23 February. The competitively selected upgrades and new facilities focus on such topics as energy, nuclear waste, materials science, ocean surveys, and astroparticle physics (see the table on page 22). The projects are part of China’s “mid- to long-term perspectives for the development of major national infrastructures in science and technology” stretching out to 2030. Through the end of the current five-year planning period in 2015, the total investment is expected to be about CNY19 billion (about $3 billion), more than three times the amount in the previous five-year plan. Individual facilities will get up to CNY2 billion. The construction money comes from the National Development and Reform Commission. Ongoing research is covered by other sources, says Lu Yu, a senior scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physics, so the new large projects do not threaten funding for laboratory-scale science.

China shows off scientific, technological achievements

  • On Friday, the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China published its latest report on the performance of Chinese sci-tech papers, with data updated in September. The report, the Statistical Data of Chinese S&T Papers, showed Chinese researchers published 1.14 million International sci-tech papers since 2003, ranking second place in the world. These papers had a total citation of nearly 7.1 million times, ranking it fifth, moving up one place from 2012.
  • Meanwhile, China produced 9,524 highly cited international papers (the top 1 percent most-cited) between 2003 and 2013, ranking it fourth in the world. “In terms of papers’ total citation times we are the world’s fifth, while in terms of highly cited papers we are fourth. It reflects the fact the best papers in China are as good as those at the international level. Meanwhile, medium-level papers in China are less influential than the world average level,” said Wu Yishan, deputy director of the institute.

China boosts top quality science publications by 35% in 2012

29 May 2013

  • Authors based in China contributed 8.5% of all research papers published in Nature branded journals in 2012, up 35% on 2011 figures. This is according to the Nature Publishing Index 2012 (NPI) China, published today as a supplement to Nature. Authors from institutions in China contributed 303 papers published in Nature branded journals in 2012, up from 7.0% (225) in 2011 and 5.3% (152) in 2010. In 2000, just six articles published in Nature branded journals had co-authors from institutions in China.

Chinese university creates world’s lightest material


  • Chinese scientists say they have developed the world’s lightest material, which they expect to play an important role in tackling pollution. With a density of just 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimeter, a sixth that of air, graphene aerogel- which is also known as carbon aerogel—has been developed by Professor Gao Chao from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. “Carbon aerogel is expected to play an important role in pollution control such as oil spill control, water purification and even air purification,” said Gao, whose research paper on the material was first published online in the academic publication Advanced Materials on Feb 18, and in the research highlights column of Nature magazine.

China makes nuclear power development


  • BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) — China has built its first experimental fast neutron reactor which will help make better use of the nuclear energy. The reactor passed official checks on Wednesday after 20 years of developments by Chinese scientists, according to the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). Experts organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) conducted examinations on the reactor, the CIAE said.

Foreign scientists praise China’s investment in science


  • “The facilities are excellent and the openness is wonderful,” said Professor Theo Beckers from Tilburg University of the Netherlands, who attended a conference in Beijing on Thursday. The Chinese government is investing so generously in scientific research that it “makes us in Europe jealous,” he said jokingly. Over the past five years, more than 2,500 projects have been launched on major scientific topics, such as China-developed aircraft and trans-genetic crops.