Science/Technology Part 3

China ready to cash in on rise of machine learning

6/2/2017

  • The rise of machine learning looks like one such innovation — and China has positioned itself to become the fast follower to beat in this defining technology of the AI revolution. DeepMind’s publication a year ago of a research paper about AlphaGo, the system that last month beat China’s world champion Go player, is said to have sparked a flurry of copycats in China, where Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are leading a commercial race to catch up. In applying machine learning, China is also rushing to mobilise a large new workforce.

https://www.ft.com/content/b21b100e-46e4-11e7-8519-9f94ee97d996

Domesticated rice dated back 9,400 years in China

May 30, 2017

  • A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has dated rice material excavated from a dig site in South China’s Zhejiang province back to approximately 9,400 years ago. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes where they found the evidence of early rice, their testing and dating techniques, and what they found. Various research groups from several countries in Asia claim to have found evidence of the earliest cultivation of rice as a food source. Now, those claims may have been dispelled, as the team in China has found the oldest evidence yet of cultivated rice.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-domesticated-rice-dated-years-china.html#jCp

https://phys.org/news/2017-05-domesticated-rice-dated-years-china.html

ARM in China joint venture to help foster ‘secure’ chip technology

May 30, 2017

  • ARM Holdings, a British chip innovator controlled by SoftBank Group, will form a joint venture with Chinese partners “within months” to help companies in China develop semiconductor technologies, including products that could have security uses, a company executive told the Nikkei Asian Review on Monday. “The intent is for that joint venture to develop products for the Chinese market for China partners, and specifically around the areas of technology that a Western company might not be able to do,” said Rene Haas, president of ARM’s intellectual property products group.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Features/Interview/ARM-in-China-joint-venture-to-help-foster-secure-chip-technology

A close look at China’s rise

24 May 2017

  • As China continues to increase its global share of research papers, it is worth remembering that publication numbers are just one indicator that a country’s science is thriving. This supplement looks beyond China’s impressive performance in key metrics and examines how the country holds up in other measures of a functioning research ecosystem, such as willingness to make data and research open, science communication and sound science policy.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v545/n7655_supp/full/545S39a.html

Nanya Technology chief warns China could disrupt global chip market

May 26, 2017

  • The head of major Taiwanese memory chipmaker Nanya Technology on Friday warned that China’s aggressive moves to foster its own chip capabilities could cause a serious supply glut and voiced concerns about Chinese companies’ ongoing efforts to poach talent from other companies.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/AC/Nanya-Technology-chief-warns-China-could-disrupt-global-chip-market

Microsoft unveils Windows tailored for government customers

May 25, 2017

  • Microsoft Corp has allowed government customers in China to use their own encryption algorithms in the especially-tailored Windows 10 Government Edition, with the aim of keeping all data in the nation, senior company executives said.

http://www.china.org.cn/business/2017-05/25/content_40886349.htm

New graphene sensor to improve hepatitis diagnosis

May 22, 2017

  • A new UK-China collaborative project is developing a sensor to provide an easy, low-cost method of diagnosing hepatitis on the spot using graphene – an advanced 2D material known for its high electrical conductivity. The sensor will be the first to simultaneously test for three types of hepatitis – A, B and C – out of the five types that exist. The multi-partner project, supported by the UK’s Newton Fund and led by Biovici, will bring together the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the University of Chongqing, Swansea University, and industry partner CTN, to develop this new diagnostic technology.

http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=46785.php

Managing stress helps transistor performance

May 16, 2017

  • Tensile mechanical stress can have a useful effect for some transistors, where the resulting atomic strain allows its current-carrying electron-hole pairs better mobility. However, when that stress is applied to the whole device, as is a popular approach via use of what’s called contact etching stop layers (CESLs), the drift region adjacent to the stretched channel is compressed and results in reduced performance. A research team in China have developed a new CESL method that introduces tensile stress into both the channel and the drift region, improving overall performance by offering low drift resistance, high cut-off frequency and desirable breakdown characteristics. Their work is described in an article appearing this week in the journal AIP Advances

http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=46722.php

Advancing cancer immunotherapy with computer simulations and data analysis

May 17, 2017

  • Researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine and Zhejiang University in China developed a novel mathematical model to explore the interactions between prostate tumors and common immunotherapy approaches, individually and in combination. In a study published in February 2016 in Nature Scientific Reports, they used their model to predict how prostate cancer would react to four common immunotherapies:

https://phys.org/news/2017-05-advancing-cancer-immunotherapy-simulations-analysis.html

A bioprosthetic ovary created using 3D printed microporous scaffolds restores ovarian function in sterilized mice

16 May 2017

  • Shuo Xiao Emerging additive manufacturing techniques enable investigation of the effects of pore geometry on cell behavior and function. Here, we 3D print microporous hydrogel scaffolds to test how varying pore geometry, accomplished by manipulating the advancing angle between printed layers, affects the survival of ovarian follicles. 30° and 60° scaffolds provide corners that surround follicles on multiple sides while 90° scaffolds have an open porosity that limits follicle–scaffold interaction. As the amount of scaffold interaction increases, follicle spreading is limited and survival increases. Follicle-seeded scaffolds become highly vascularized and ovarian function is fully restored when implanted in surgically sterilized mice. Moreover, pups are born through natural mating and thrive through maternal lactation. These findings present an in vivo functional ovarian implant designed with 3D printing, and indicate that scaffold pore architecture is a critical variable in additively manufactured scaffold design for functional tissue engineering.

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15261

Chinese doctor grows leaves from 1,000-year-old seeds

2017/05/12

  • A Chinese plant expert has successfully grown fresh leaves from ancient lotus seeds in a story that has gone viral on Chinese social media. Dr. Li Zhengrong from China Academy of Art obtained the seeds two years ago and brought them back to life thanks to a careful breeding process. The seeds were excavated from a Song dynasty (960-1279) relic soil-layer in Jiningfu, a historical site in eastern China’s Shandong Province, China News Service reported.

http://gbtimes.com/china/chinese-doctor-grows-leaves-1000-year-old-seeds

Commerce’s Ross: China’s plans threaten U.S. semiconductor dominance

May 11, 2017

  • U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sees the U.S. semiconductor industry as still dominant globally but said he is worried that it will be threatened by China’s planned investment binge to build up its own chipmaking industry. “Semiconductors are one of our shining industries, but they have gone from substantial surplus to the beginnings of a deficit,” Ross told Reuters. “China has a $150 billion program to take that much further between now and 2025. That is scary.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-ross-semiconductors-idUSKBN1872CO

Your Next Hot Gadget May Be Designed, Not Just Built, in China

May 9, 2017

  • As consumer electronics innovation goes through an awkward phase, some Chinese manufacturers are trying their hand at building the future. Bloomberg reports that in-house teams at some of China’s more advanced factories have started designing and prototyping their own devices in an attempt to engineer the next generation of lusted-after gadgets.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/607826/your-next-hot-gadget-may-be-designed-not-just-built-in-china/

Chinese scientist plans mass experiment of sea-rice

2017-05-09

  • Yuan Longping, China’s “father of hybrid rice,” is planning experiments on expanding the production of sea-rice to 300 kilograms per mu at the newly-founded Sea-Rice Research and Development Center in Qingdao, China News reported. The center was established and opened on May 7. Sea-rice, sometimes found in saline-alkaline soil, is resistant to pests, diseases, salt, and alkali; and does not need fertilizer. The Qingdao research center will use gene sequencing to cultivate new strains of sea-rice that will yield more rice and grow with saline water.

http://www.ecns.cn/2017/05-09/256639.shtml

Chinese tourists are bringing their wallets – and China’s tech giants – overseas

May 9, 2017

  • Chinese tourists are notorious for spending money. In Japan, locals even have a special word – bakugai or ‘explosive buying’ – to describe the bulk-buying sprees of Chinese travelers. From cosmetics to luxury handbags, shopping is a big part of tourism for outbound Chinese travelers. For Chinese tech companies, these globe-trotting consumers serve as an entry point into overseas markets. Mobile payment systems Alipay and WeChat Pay have been able to partner with international brands, retailers, and airports eager to capitalize on Chinese tourists – despite having low penetration outside of China. Even QR codes are finding a home in certain venues abroad, driven by the needs and habits of Chinese customers.

https://www.techinasia.com/chinese-tourists-wechat-alipay-global-expansion

First underwater carpet cloak realized, with metamaterial

May 05, 2017

  • Researchers at the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have designed and fabricated an underwater acoustic carpet cloak using transformation acoustics, a scientific first. The research was published online in Scientific Reports (“Design and demonstration of an underwater acoustic carpet cloak”). An acoustic cloak is a material shell that can control the propagation direction of sound waves to make a target undetectable in an acoustic system. The carpet cloak modifies the acoustic signature of the target and mimics the acoustic field obtained from a reflecting plane, so that the cloaked target is indistinguishable from the reflecting surface.

http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=46601.php

Scientists in China conduct ‘successful’ head transplant on rat

29 April 2017

  • Scientists in China claim to have conducted a successful head transplant on a rat. Controversial surgeon Sergio Canavero and colleague Xiaoping Ren attached the head of a smaller rat onto a larger one while maintaining the brain activity of the donor. A third rat was used to keep up blood pressure on the rats being operated on, which otherwise would have been catastrophic and killed the animals.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/head-transplant-rat-china-sergio-canavero-xiaoping-ren-a7709161.html

Chinese drug companies go from copycats to potential cancer cures

April 12, 2017

  • Rival Merck aims to test a separate cancer drug in the US this year, created by another start-up near the border with Hong Kong. Those aren’t outliers. China, long the world’s supplier of cheap pharmaceutical ingredients and copycat pills, is emerging as a major producer of important new medicines: biotech drugs. China now boasts the second-largest number of clinical trials involving biologic treatments — produced using biological matter such as animal cells or bacteria — after the US, according to data from the National Institutes of Health.Enter China. As part of a push to transform the homegrown drug industry, Beijing has thrown money and incentives at Chinese drug manufacturers: one program lured back Chinese scientists working overseas, billions of dollars were poured into tech parks dedicated to biotech start-ups, and drug-testing approvals for new biotech discoveries were speeded up.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/chinese-drug-companies-go-from-copycats-to-potential-cancer-cures/news-story/6e5a2fe94b8f3603fbf9952e0c54e7b1

Leaf vein structure could hold key to extending battery life

Apr 06, 2017

  • The natural structure found within leaves could improve the performance of everything from rechargeable batteries to high-performance gas sensors, according to an international team of scientists. The researchers have designed a porous, such as the veins of a leaf, and could make energy transfers more efficient. The material could improve the performance of rechargeable batteries, optimizing the charge and discharge process and relieving stresses within the battery electrodes, which, at the moment, limit their life span. The same material could be used for high performance gas sensing or for catalysis to break down organic pollutants in water. The team, led by Prof Bao-Lian Su, a life member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and who is also based at Wuhan University of Technology in China and at the University of Namur in Belgium, adapted Murray’s Law for the fabrication of the first ever synthetic ‘Murray material’ and applied it to three processes: photocatalysis, gas sensing and lithium ion battery electrodes. In each, they found that the multi-scale porous networks of their synthetic material significantly enhanced the performance of these processes.

http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=46349.php

China’s Desert Hamsters on Medicine’s Front Line

April 10, 2017

  • The humble Chinese hamster has played a vital role in medical advances for more than a century, thanks to its biological makeup. Biological makeup makes the animal’s cells ideal for large-scale drug production Chinese hamsters have a different genetic makeup than their Western cousins, including having fewer chromosomes, making cells easy to culture and modify genetically. The cells also multiply much more rapidly, ideal for large-scale drug production. Hamsters themselves are no longer required. Their ovary cells are created in labs for use in the development of biologic drugs.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-desert-hamsters-on-medicines-front-line-1491816604

Seaweed: From superfood to superconductor

Apr 05, 2017

  • ) Seaweed, the edible algae with a long history in some Asian cuisines, and which has also become part of the Western foodie culture, could turn out to be an essential ingredient in another trend: the development of more sustainable ways to power our devices. Researchers have made a seaweed-derived material to help boost the performance of superconductors, lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells. The team will present the work today at the 253rd 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 14,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics. With these factors in mind, Yang, who is currently at Qingdao University (China), turned to the ocean. Seaweed is an abundant algae that grows easily in salt water. While Yang was at Griffith University in Australia, he worked with colleagues at Qingdao University and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S. to make porous carbon nanofibers from seaweed extract. Chelating, or binding, metal ions such as cobalt to the alginate molecules resulted in nanofibers with an “egg-box” structure, with alginate units enveloping the metal ions. This architecture is key to the material’s stability and controllable synthesis, Yang says.

http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=46330.php

Chinese scientists reveal how one drop of water can create electricity

2017-03-28

  • ‍Chinese scientists have found that a drop of water flowing down the surface of graphene can generate a continuous flow of electric current. A research group led by Lin Shisheng from the College of Information Science and Electronic Engineering at Zhejiang University, made the discovery. The research result was recently published in the journal Advanced Materials. Graphene has many unusual properties. It is the world’s thinnest material with the thickness of just one atom. It is about 200 times stronger than the hardest steel. Also, it efficiently conducts heat and electricity.

http://www.ecns.cn/2017/03-28/251096.shtml

High-Temperature Superconductivity Claimed for Sunscreen Molecule

March 24, 2017

  • If confirmed, the discovery raises the prospect of a new focus for materials scientists hoping to achieve ever higher superconducting temperatures. It should also set theorists scrambling for an explanation—for the moment nobody is quite sure why this molecule should superconduct at all at such temperatures. That looks set to change now that Ren-Shu Wang and pals at Hubei University in China say they have made it superconduct at 143 K by doping it with potassium. The results make for interesting reading. Ren-Shu and co say the magnetic properties of the material change dramatically at a temperature of 123 K. “This shape of the magnetization susceptibility curve is consistent with the well-defined Meissner effect,” they say. “The superconducting transition at temperatures higher than 120 K in this molecule was unambiguously confirmed from these measurements.”

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603982/high-temperature-superconductivity-claimed-for-sunscreen-molecule/

Japan loses share of research articles to China

24 March 2017

  • Our latest Nature Index issue looks closely at Japan’s recent research performance. Despite being among the top science nations, the country’s publication output has stalled over the past decade. Japan’s loosening grip on global science has been more pronounced compared to other research powerhouses. China’s science output, in particular, has grown dramatically. Chinese papers in the Web of Science (WoS) grew by nearly 300% between 2005 and 2015, and by almost 180% in the larger Scopus database. In 2015, almost one in five papers in WoS came from China, compared to about one in 10 papers a decade earlier. China’s rapid growth has meant that Japan is losing its share of the world’s science output, along with other countries whose output is growing less spectacularly, such as the United States and the United Kingdom. In Scopus, Japan’s global share declined by more than a third over the decade, while China experienced extraordinary growth.

https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/japan-loses-share-of-research-articles-to-china

China spends more than 22 bln yuan on science projects in 2016

2017-03-28

  • The Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) financed 41,184 programs in 2016, allocating 22.71 billion yuan (about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars). Funded programs included research on gravitational waves, said Yang Wei, head of the NSFC, who added that the foundation had also launched research projects into areas including coexisting-cooperative-cognitive robotics, and piloted basic science programs on craton damage and the evolution of land. The NSFC will focus on areas such as brain science, new materials, advanced manufacturing, quantum communication, robots, and information security, said the NSFC.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/28/c_136164855.htm

Beijing to open first driverless subway line

2017-03-24

  • Beijing will open its first subway line with self-driving trains this year, local authorities said Friday. The facility is the first fully domestically developed automated subway line on the Chinese mainland, said a spokesperson with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-03/24/content_28666367.htm

China’s underwater glider sets new world record

2017-03-23

  • A domestically developed underwater glider set a new world record by reaching a depth of 6,329 meters, breaking the previous record of 6,003 meters held by a US vessel, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The underwater glider named Haiyi, which means sea wings in Chinese, went underwater aboard the deep-sea submersible mother ship Tansuo-1 during a mission in the Mariana Trench early this month. Although oceans cover about 71 percent of the Earth, many parts, especially deep-sea areas, are still unexplored. By reaching 6,000 meters, Haiyi allows Chinese scientists to explore 97 percent of the maritime space.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-03/23/content_28653511.htm

China pushes domestic chip development

March 23, 2017

  • China’s global acquisitions to fill technology gaps may have ground to a halt, but the country’s quest to boost its semiconductor sector continues. Chinese officials and tech executives agree that foreign regulators are increasingly wary of capital from the world’s second largest economy, making it difficult to buy foreign chip providers. “We have to be prepared for more failures when it comes to overseas acquisitions,” Sun Yuwang, a long-time industry veteran and president of China Fortune-Tech Capital, told the Semicon China conference in Shanghai on March 15. “The best time for us to buy good chip companies has already passed,” he said.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/AC/China-pushes-domestic-chip-development

Chinese scientists repurpose silkworms as virus shredders

18 March, 2017

  • Chinese scientists have found a way to turn silkworms into virus killers, a technology they say will not only increase worldwide silk production but can also fight human viruses such as HIV. A bacteria named CRISPR/CAS is an immune system that attacks attack foreign genes in a host body. CAS9, a simplified version of the system, has been widely used by life scientists as a “molecular scalpel” to modify animal and human genes. The research team in Shanghai tweaked the CAS9 system so it could recognise and attack Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus, a virus responsible for more than 80 per cent of unnatural deaths of domestic silkworms. They injected the system into worm eggs and produced a new transgenic species capable of generating CAS9 in its cells.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2075530/chinese-scientists-repurpose-silkworms-virus-shredders

Regular Tea Consumption Reduces Risk of Neurocognitive Disorders in Older Adults, Study Says

Mar 17, 2017

  • Regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive impairment in older adults by 50%, according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. “A cup of tea a day can keep dementia away, and this is especially so for those who are genetically predisposed to the debilitating disease,” said lead author Dr. Lei Feng, from the Department of Psychological Medicine at the National University of Singapore. The long-term study involved 957 community-living Chinese elderly (aged 55 years or older) who were cognitively intact at baseline.

http://www.sci-news.com/medicine/tea-consumption-risk-neurocognitive-disorders-04708.html

China’s Undersea Lab Station to Boost Country’s Deep-Sea Research Efforts

Mar 13, 2017

  • China is set to outdo itself in deep-sea exploration through its plans to build a deep-sea laboratory, in what emerges as an impressive follow-up to its current undersea submersible “Jiaolong.” The undersea lab station is planned to hold up to 12 people and last for months underwater. National Key Lab for Deep-Sea Manned Equipment director Yan Kai said that the planned undersea lab station will serve as an impressive upgrade to China’s deep-sea exploration efforts since Jiaolong can only hold fewer people underwater for just 12 hours, China.org.cn reported.

http://en.yibada.com/articles/197808/20170313/china-s-undersea-lab-station-boost-country-deep-sea-research.htm

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.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170307112854.htm

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.

http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=46010.php

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

2017-03-06

  • 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).

http://www.ecns.cn/2017/03-06/248109.shtml

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.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2076179/china-launches-worlds-largest-oil-exploration-sea-platform

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

2017-03-03

  • 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.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-03/03/content_28428934.htm

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.

http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/2074793/feng-zhang-china-pinnacle-american-science

Huawei is considering cell towers that wirelessly charge drones

02.27.17

  • 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.

https://www.engadget.com/2017/02/27/huawei-drone-charging-cell-towers/

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.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccafannin/2017/02/25/israels-top-vcs-cant-help-but-be-in-awe-of-chinas-tech-progress/

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.

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/speaking-mandarin-may-offer-kids-musical-edge

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.

http://www.nature.com/news/inside-the-chinese-lab-poised-to-study-world-s-most-dangerous-pathogens-1.21487

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.

https://www.chinamoneynetwork.com/2017/02/21/baidu-obtains-approval-to-launch-ai-engineering-laboratory

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.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2072654/scientists-give-us-nationality-become-chinese-citizens

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

18.02.2017

  • 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.

https://sputniknews.com/science/201702181050814684-chinese-companies-world-changing-technologies/

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

https://futurism.com/3-chinas-weather-controlling-tech-can-make-it-rain-on-demand/

MIT remembers first Chinese scholars in exhibit

2017/02/14

  • 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.

http://sampan.org/2017/02/mit-remembers-first-chinese-scholars-in-exhibit/

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.

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-beijing-mst-radar-middle-upper.html

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.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170208093956.htm

Israel edges out South Korea for top spot in research investment

07 February 2017

  • China continues to divert more of its economic growth into research: by 2015 it had invested 2.07% of its GDP, and has a plan to reach 2.5% by 2020.

http://www.nature.com/news/israel-edges-out-south-korea-for-top-spot-in-research-investment-1.21443

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

06.02.2017

  • 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.

https://sputniknews.com/world/201702061050382940-russia-china-earthquakes-scientists/

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.

http://www.universityherald.com/articles/63693/20170203/top-7-countries-with-the-most-stem-graduates.htm

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.

http://www.telegiz.com/articles/14585/20170131/huaxintong-semiconductor-technology-qualcomm-centriq-2400-arm-server-chip-falkor-cpu.htm

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.”

http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=45713.php

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.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170131150158.htm

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.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/2054126/why-do-asians-have-bigger-brains-europeans-or-africans

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.

http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=54279

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.

https://phys.org/news/2017-01-chinese-scientists-species-catfish-myanmar.html

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.

http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/110693/20170123/china-manned-submersible-capable-reaching-ocean-deepest-point.htm

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.

http://www.satprnews.com/2017/01/23/scientists-develop-a-path-toward-improved-high-energy-accelerators-2/

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