Science/Technology Part 3

Diabetes drug may be effective against deadly form of breast cancer, study suggests

March 7, 2017

  • Researchers in China have discovered that a metabolic enzyme called AKR1B1 drives an aggressive type of breast cancer. The study, “AKR1B1 promotes basal-like breast cancer progression by a positive feedback loop that activates the EMT program,” which has been published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that an inhibitor of this enzyme currently used to treat diabetes patients could be an effective therapy for this frequently deadly form of cancer.

A new approach to improving lithium-sulfur batteries

Mar 06, 2017

  • Now, Wei and colleagues have demonstrated a new polysulfide entrapping strategy that greatly improves the cycle stability of Li-S batteries. The work is reported in the scientific article “Ferroelectric-Enhanced Polysulfide Trapping for Lithium-Sulfur Battery Improvement” published recently in Advanced Materials (“Ferroelectric-Enhanced Polysulfide Trapping for Lithium–Sulfur Battery Improvement”). The authors include researchers from Northwestern Polytechnical University, Shenzhen University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China.

China’s deep-sea robot sets new underwater gliding depth record


  • China’s domestic underwater glider reached a depth of 6,329 meters during a mission in the Mariana Trench, breaking the previous record of 6,000 meters held by a U.S. vessel, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

China launches world’s largest oil exploration sea platform

05 March, 2017

  • The rig has a total deck area about the size of a soccer field with a sophisticated drilling system that can reach the seabed at a depth of 3,658 metres and bore a further 15,240 metres into the earth’s crust, according to China Central Television. The Bluewhale I is designed specifically for the South China Sea, where untapped oil reserves can lay buried 3,000 metres and more below sea level.

China speeds 5G roll-out with world’s largest test field


  • China has established the world’s largest 5G test field in the race to standardize the mobile communication technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said Friday. Industry giants including Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp are participating in the test programs at the outdoor test site in Huairou district, Beijing.

The China gene genius: from Hebei to the pinnacle of American science

1 Mar 2017

  • Feng Zhang occupies a corner office on the 10th floor of the gleaming, modern biotech­nology palace called the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. He is one of the most acclaimed young scientists in the US, regularly mentioned, even at 35, as a possible Nobel laureate. CRISPR is an all-purpose tool that promises great advances in the prevention of diseases caused by genetic mutations. In China, Zhang’s country of birth, it is already being used in human clinical trials.

Huawei is considering cell towers that wirelessly charge drones


  • The concept is part of Huawei’s X Labs project (in partnership with China Mobile). The team behind it identified what it thinks are the two main problems when it comes to using drones for cell site inspection: battery life, and GPS interference from buildings. A spokesperson suggested that GPS issue is also often a significant contributor to the battery life issue. The proposed solution is to have cell towers boost GPS data, passing it to the drone while also providing wireless charging.

Israel’s Top VCs Can’t Help But Be In Awe Of China’s Tech Progress

Feb 25, 2017

  • Even the most ardent advocates of Israel as the leading startup nation in the world are impressed with the speed, agility and increasing quality of China innovation today as this leading economic power moves from a manufacturing base to what could be the world’s tech tower within 10 years. If this pattern of entrepreneurship and investment continues, the next, new thing could very well come from China and be more original than any new VR or software play from Silicon Valley.

Speaking Mandarin may offer kids a musical edge

Feb 24, 2017

  • Kids who speak Mandarin, the primary language in China, may outperform kids who speak English in at least one aspect of musical ability — perceiving pitch. That’s the finding of a new study. Sarah Creel led the new study. She works at the University of California, San Diego, where she studies how the brain perceives language and music. People who speak Mandarin may be better at detecting differences in pitch generally. “If you have to focus on pitch patterns a lot to understand what the people around you are saying, that may really hone your attention to pitch,” explains Creel. “And that attention to pitch in language then transfers to another domain.” One such domain: music.

Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world’s most dangerous pathogens

23 February 2017

  • A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.

Baidu Obtains Government Approval To Launch National AI Lab

February 21, 2017

  • Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc. has obtained approval from the country’s National Development and Reform Commission to launch an engineering laboratory of deep learning technologies and their applications, according to a company announcement. The laboratory conduct research in seven areas including deep learning, computer vision, machine hearing, biometric identification, human-computer interaction, standardized services and intellectual property in deep learning.

Award-winning scientists give up US nationality to become Chinese citizens, state media reports

21 February, 2017

  • Two eminent scientists have given up their US nationality to become Chinese citizens, according to a state media report. The men are Yang Chen-ning, 94, a Nobel Prize for physics laureate in 1957, and Andrew Yao Chi-chih, 70, who won the prestigious Turing prize for computer science in 2000, state television said on Tuesday.

Chinese Companies Aim to Take Lead in Development of World-Changing Technology


  • With artificial intelligence (AI) widely perceived to be a technology that will shape the future of how people live and work, companies in China have been beefing up investment in the sector in recent years. Scientists believe that the odds favor Chinese companies to be able to match their US counterparts in the AI technology race.

China’s New “Weather-Controlling Tech” Could Make it Rain on Demand

February 15, 2017

  • China has spent $168 million on cloud seeding technology to hopefully manipulate the weather and combat drought and extreme weather due to climate change Cloud seeding technology has existed for a long time, however because of early false claims and deep-rooted skepticism, there isn’t sufficient research to back up the tech

MIT remembers first Chinese scholars in exhibit


  • Exhibit “China Comes to Tech: 1877-1931” opened to fanfare on Feb. 10 with a reception at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It commemorates the first student from China to enroll at MIT in 1877, marking the 140th anniversary of Chinese students at the school. “There is a history of exchange that celebrates and reflects diversity,” said curator Emma Teng. She thanked her team for their efforts, from collecting photographs to looking up records from Institute archives.

Beijing MST Radar detection of the lower, middle and upper atmosphere

February 13, 2017

  • Beijing MST (Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere) Radar is one of the largest facilities within the Chinese Meridian Project, a chain of diverse ground-based remote sensing facilities for monitoring and forecasting the space environment, and is one of only two domestic MST radars. It was built by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and is located at the IAP’s Xianghe field observatory in Hebei province (39°45’14.40″N, 116°59’24.00″E). Since July 2011, the Beijing MST radar has been in continuous operation, observing the vertical distribution of winds and turbulence in the troposphere-lower stratosphere and mesosphere-lower thermosphere regions. As one of two MST radars in mainland China, it has produced long-term quality-controlled data for understanding various significant processes and their interaction within and among layers.

Turning off the protein tap: New clue to neurodegenerative disease

February 8, 2017

  • Disabling a part of brain cells that acts as a tap to regulate the flow of proteins has been shown to cause neurodegeneration, a new study from The University of Manchester has found. Working with Chinese colleagues, the Manchester researchers examined the role of the Golgi apparatus in neurons, or brain cells, and found that mice in which the apparatus was disabled suffered from developmental delay, severe ataxia, and postnatal death.

Israel edges out South Korea for top spot in research investment

07 February 2017

Russian, Chinese Scientists Team Up to Unravel the Mysteries of Earthquakes


  • The scientists of Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and Far-Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) will cooperate with Chinese colleagues on forecasting earthquakes and mitigating their consequences, the FEFU said Monday.

Top 7 Countries With The Most STEM Graduates

Feb 03, 2017

  • STEM jobs are among the most highest-paying in the world; thus, it is no wonder why a lot of students pursue STEM-related degrees. When it comes to countries that produce the most number of STEM graduates, here are the top 7 where and China tops them all. Ever since China’s president Xi Jinping put into effect the country’s five-ye ar plan which prioritizes science and technology, engineering, and gene science, it has attracted a lot of Chinese scientists abroad to return home. Aside from that, STEM graduates are increasing each year. The World Economic Forum said China has now a total of 4.7 million students graduating from the fields of science, technology, math, and engineering. Furthermore, there are a total of 30,000 Ph.Ds every year.

Qualcomm, Chinese Firm to Develop New ARM-Based Server Chip as Beijing Boosts Homegrown Tech

January 31, 2017

  • A new ARM technology-based server chip is being developed through the partnership of Qualcomm and Huaxintong Semiconductor Technology by China’s Guizhou province. The joint venture is “now busy developing a customized server CPU product based on our technology and designs for the China market,” Derek Aberle, Qualcomm’s president, said as cited by a transcript obtained by Seeking Alpha.Moreover, China wants to wean its hardware market from foreign firms, with a majority of the devices in the country run on homegrown components. China has already developed the TaihuLight, the world’s fastest supercomputer.

The formation of stable solid electrolyte interphases on lithium metal anode

Jan 30, 2017

  • “During the repeated charge and discharge cycles, the deposited Li cannot recover the initially uniform morphology but form branched or tree-like structure of Li deposits on the anode surface, which pierces the separator easily and generates much dead Li, causing the short circuit and even explosion of batteries,” says Dr. Qiang Zhang, a faculty at Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, China. “Therefore, safety and uniform deposits of Li ion are critical issues for promoting the practical application of metallic Li as anode for post Li-ion batteries, including rechargeable Li–S, Li–air batteries, and even Li metal batteries which utilize intercalation compounds as cathodes.”

Brain-computer interface allows completely locked-in people to communicate

January 31, 2017

  • A computer interface that can decipher the thoughts of people who are unable to communicate could revolutionize the lives of those living with completely locked-in syndrome, according to a new article. Counter to expectations, the participants in the study reported being “happy,” despite their extreme condition. Journal Reference Ujwal Chaudhary, Bin Xia, Stefano Silvoni, Leonardo G. Cohen, Niels Birbaumer.

Why do Asians have bigger brains than Europeans or Africans?

28 January, 2017

  • Natural selection in East Asian populations has favoured genetic mutations leading to bigger brains, according to a new study by Chinese researchers that did not find a similar preference in Europe or Africa. The world’s largest survey of brain sizes, conducted by American scientists three decades ago using more than 20,000 modern human skulls from around the globe, found that the average cranial volume among East Asians was 1,415 cubic centimetres, compared with 1,362 for Europeans and 1,268 for Africans. Subsequent studies have confirmed those results. Among them was a magnetic resonance imaging survey last year which found that East Asians had a higher cranial vault, which allowed their skulls to house a bigger brain. The Chinese researchers said a gene called CASC5 – one of eight regulating human brain size – might provide more clues. Unlike most of the other genes, which also regulated the brain sizes of monkeys or early human species such as Denisovans and Neanderthals, genetic mutations of CASC5 in Homo sapiens are relatively young, only occurring after our species left Africa between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago.

For this metal, electricity flows, but not the heat: Berkeley-led study finds law-breaking property in vanadium dioxide that could lead to applications in thermoelectrics, window coatings

January 26th, 2017

  • There’s a known rule-breaker among materials, and a new discovery by an international team of scientists adds more evidence to back up the metal’s nonconformist reputation. According to a new study led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and at the University of California, Berkeley, electrons in vanadium dioxide can conduct electricity without conducting heat. “This was a totally unexpected finding,” said study principal investigator Junqiao Wu Other co-lead authors of the study include Sangwook Lee at Kyungpook National University in South Korea, Kedar Hippalgaonkar at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore, and Jiawang Hong at the Beijing Institute of Technology in China.

Chinese scientists discover a new species of catfish in Myanmar

January 24, 2017

  • During a survey of the freshwater fishes of the Mali Hka River drainage in the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar, scientists Xiao-Yong Chen, Tao Qin and Zhi-Ying Chen, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), identified a new catfish species among the collected specimens. It is distinct with a set of morphological features including its mouthparts and coloration. The discovery is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

China is Constructing Manned Submersible Capable of Reaching Ocean’s Deepest Point

Jan 23, 2017

  • China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) is set to construct a manned submersible vehicle capable of taking humans to deepest depth of any ocean on planet earth. This manned submersible vehicle will reportedly have the ability to go as deep as 10,900 meters to explore the ocean. If the experiment is successful, it will be another feather in the cap of China as the country deepens its deep ocean exploration to catch up with U.S technology.

Scientists develop a path toward improved high-energy accelerators

January 23, 2017

  • Scientists use the high-energy beams, which must be stable and intense to work effectively, to unlock the ultimate structure of matter. Physicians use medical accelerators to produce beams that can zap cancer cells. “When physicists design the next-generation of accelerators, they could use this theory to create the most optimized focused beams,” said PPPL physicist Hong Qin. Dr. Qin, Executive Dean of the School of Nuclear Science and Technology at the University of Science and Technology of China, is a co-author of the research described in the November issue of Physical Review Letters.