World Tsunami Awareness Day


Chinese, Kenyan scientists unveil high-yielding maize variety harvest

The first harvest of a high-yielding maize variety conceived through joint research between Chinese and Kenyan scientists was unveiled on Friday amid expectations that it will help tackle food insecurity affecting local small-holder farmers.Chinese and Kenyan scientists unveil the first harvest of a high-yielding maize variety at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Nairobi, Kenya, November 5, 2022. (Photo: China Media Group)David Mburu, a lecturer at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), said the Chinese and Kenyan researchers identified the local maize variety and conducted research on viable agronomic practices like weeding, spacing, pest and disease control that would boost its yield without altering its genetic make-up."This maize that we are celebrating today is a local variety, and we only conducted research on agronomic practices that can lead to better yields. It is a variety that can grow well in low rainfall areas," said Mburu.Planted in May at a Modern Agricultural Demonstration Area adjacent to Sino-Africa Joint Research Center (SAJOREC) domiciled within JKUAT, the maize matured at the right time, recording 2,700 kilograms yield per acre in the demonstration area, about 50 percent higher than the yield in the surrounding area, said Mburu.According to SAJOREC, the university allocated 10 acres of land as the core demonstration area, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences provided project funds, high-yield germplasm resources and technical support. Both sides participated in the management and shared agricultural scientific research results.Maize is one of the staple foods for Kenyans. However, the country is suffering from drought, which has led to a reduction in maize production."We have also done a number of experiments not only within the university, but we have done field trials in the farmers fields; some are the arid and semi-arid...

China launches new communications satellite

XICHANG, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- China Saturday sent a new communications satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest Chinas Sichuan Province.The "ChinaSat 19" satellite was launched at 7:50 p.m. (Beijing Time) by a Long March-3B carrier rocket.The satellite will mainly provide communications services for the important routes across the Pacific, the eastern Pacific Ocean and the west coast of North America.The launch marks the 447th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.

J-20s highly likely to be on ground display

The J-20 stealth fighter jet, China's best combat aircraft, is highly likely to be on public display on the ground for the first time as two J-20s have landed at the site of a coming arms show.According to video clips and photos taken by separate sources, two J-20s, in the silver gray paint of the P

The WRL2 in full swing

Photo: WRL2The second Wild Rift League (WRL2), a regional league for Chinas mobile game League of Legends, was in full swing, with EDG and FPX beating WBG and JDG by 3:2 last night. Besides, an innovative Battlefield was introduced at yesterdays competition, marking a comprehensive upgrade of the game.In addition to the fierce BO5 competitions, performance guest Chen Zhuoxuan was also invited to bring a wonderful halftime show, with WRLs chief partner OnePlus Mobile Phone officially unveiling the OnePlus Ace Pro, the offcial machine of the competition.

Foliage colors peak in southwest China


NASA's moon rocket returns to pad for next launch attempt

The NASA Moon rocket leaves the Vehicle Assembly Building headed to Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, November 4, 2022. (Photo: CFP)NASAs moon rocket is back on the pad for another launch attempt, following more repairs.The 98-meter rocket departed its hangar in the middle of the night and completed the 6.4-kilometer trip shortly after sunrise Friday.NASA is aiming for a launch attempt on November 14, sending an empty crew capsule around the moon and back in a dramatic flight test before astronauts climb aboard in a couple years.Forecasters are keeping their eyes on potential tropical weather that could interfere.It is NASAs biggest step yet to get astronauts back on the moon by 2025. The space agency is nearing the 50th anniversary of its last human moon landing: Apollo 17 in December 1972.Although shorter, this early version of the rocket is even more powerful than the Saturn V that sent Apollo astronauts to the moon.Fuel leaks have kept the rocket grounded since August. Then Hurricane Ian forced the rocket back to the hangar at Kennedy Space Center at the end of September. NASA used the time to make repairs and replace critical batteries.NASA still does not know why hydrogen keeps leaking every time the rocket is fueled, but engineers are confident they can manage any future leaks, said Cliff Lanham, a senior manager of NASAs ground operation.Liftoff would be in the wee hours for the next three launch opportunities. While NASA prefers a daytime launch for test flights to capture as many pictures as possible, its not a requirement. Radar and infrared cameras should provide ample coverage, said Jim Free, a NASA associate administrator.The $4.1 billion mission will last close to a month, culminating with a splashdown in the Pacific. Test dummies are on board to measure radiation and vibrations.

Closest known black hole to Earth spotted by astronomers

The illustration provided by NOIRLab in the US in November 2022 depicts the closest black hole to Earth and its sun-like companion star. (Photo: AP)Astronomers have discovered the closest known black hole to Earth, just 1,600 light-years away.Scientists reported Friday that this black hole is 10 times more massive than our sun. And its three times closer than the previous record-holder.It was identified by observing the motion of its companion star, which orbits the black hole at about the same distance as Earth orbits the sun.The black hole was initially identified using the European Space Agencys Gaia spacecraft, said Kareem El-Badry of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.El-Badry and his team followed up with the International Gemini Observatory in Hawaii to confirm their findings, which were published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.The researchers are uncertain how the system formed in the Milky Way. Named Gaia BH1, its located in the constellation Ophiuchus, the serpent-bearer.

Next-gen space-based positioning tech planned

A model of the Beidou Satellite Navigation System. (Photo: IC)China plans to establish a next-generation space-based navigation and positioning system by 2035, said a government official overseeing the sector.Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, said at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office on Friday in Beijing that the next-generation system, which has yet to be named, will be accessible to users anywhere, anytime on Earth."The new system will be omnipresent, smarter and more integrated. We plan to complete the system by 2035 and upon its completion, there will be Beidou service not only on land and sea, but also in the sky, outer space and deep within the oceans," Ran said.The official said that the current Beidou network consists of satellites in medium and high-altitude orbits while system designers are considering the inclusion of low-orbit satellites in the new system to take advantage of low-orbit communication networks.By doing so, the new-generation system will be able to provide navigation and positioning services with much better accuracy, Ran added.On the improvement of the current Beidou system, he said project managers have made plans to deploy backup satellites."Our work schedule includes development and production of backup satellites. We plan to launch three to five backup craft into space next year to strengthen the space-based networks stability and reliability," the official said.At the news conference, a white paper titled "Chinas Beidou Navigation Satellite System in the New Era" was distributed.The document says that Beidou has been built into a world-class navigation system. It lays out how China plans to refine the system and pledges to step up international cooperation for better compatibility and interoperability between Beidou and other navigation satellite systems.The white paper is the second of its kind. The first was published in Ju...

DAMPE satellite casts new light on cosmic rays

NANJING, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese research team has found that high-energy cosmic rays may travel more slowly than expected after analyzing data from the countrys Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite "Wukong."File photo: AgenciesGalactic cosmic rays are energetic particles travelling through the universe nearly at the speed of light. They are messengers of the violent evolution of stars or stellar systems in extreme environments. Some scientists have proposed that dark matter could form part of cosmic rays.There are generally two classes of cosmic rays. Carbon and oxygen nuclei are the primary ones and are believed to be accelerated at astrophysical sources like a supernova explosion. Boron nuclei belong to the secondary class and are thought to be mainly produced by the fragmentation of heavier nuclei, such as carbon and oxygen, via collisions with interstellar matter during their space travel.From 2016 to 2021, DAMPE collected more than 3.5 million carbon, oxygen and boron nuclei. This enabled Chinese scientists to measure the cosmic ray boron-to-carbon and boron-to-oxygen flux ratios with an unprecedented precision in an energy range from 0.01 TeV/n to 5.6 TeV/n and they found that their energy spectra significantly differed from that predicted by conventional turbulence theories of the interstellar medium.Chang Jin, DAMPE chief scientist and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua in an interview that it is the first time this satellite had managed to precisely measure the ratio of primary and secondary particles in cosmic rays.It detected an unexpected new energy spectral structure, which suggests that the classical cosmic rays propagation model may need to be modified, said Chang.The spectral hardening in cosmic ray boron-to-carbon and boron-to-oxygen flux ratios is probably because the high-energy particles travel more slowly in the universe than expected, explained Yue Chuan, an associate researcher of the DA...

China releases white paper on BDS, outlines development in new era

A model of BDS positioning services on display. (Photos: CFP)BEIJING, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- China issued a white paper on the countrys BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) on Friday.Titled "Chinas BeiDou Navigation Satellite System in the New Era," the white paper said that BDS has been built into a world-class navigation system. It laid out how China plans to refine the system by improving its operation management, promoting sustainable development of BDS-based applications, and upgrading its governance in the coming years.The white paper noted that BDS is dedicated to the world, and China will step up international cooperation for better compatibility and interoperability between BDS and other navigation satellite systems.China is committed to "building a comprehensive spatiotemporal system that is more extensive, more integrated and more intelligent on the next generation of BDS," said the document released by the State Council Information Office.It pointed out that China is ready to share its achievements in developing BDS, and it will work with all other countries to promote the development of navigation satellite systems and make an even greater contribution to building a global community of shared future and a better world.

Pfizer-BioNTech to test combined Covid and flu vaccine

File photo Pfizer-BioNTech said Thursday they will test a combined coronavirus and influenza vaccine, which could potentially pave the way for better inoculation uptake for both illnesses.The companies said in a statement the mRNA-based combination vaccine candidate was set to progress to a phase one trial in the United States with 180 volunteers.The inoculation "could simplify immunisation practices against these two respiratory pathogens, potentially leading to better vaccine uptake for both diseases," said Annaliesa Anderson, head of vaccine research and development at US drugmaker Pfizer."Even with existing seasonal influenza vaccines, the burden of this virus is severe across the world, causing thousands of deaths and hospitalisations every year."Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech developed one of the most widely used vaccines to combat Covid-19. Rival vaccine makers Moderna and Novavax have also been testing combined inoculations against Covid and flu.

China Space Station: Transposition of Mengtian lab module completed

The transposition of the Mengtian lab module was completed at 9:32 a.m. (BJT) on Thursday, marking the completion of the basic T-shaped structure of Chinas space station, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMS).The T-shaped structure is formed by the Tianhe core module and Wentian and Mengtian lab modules. Tianhe provides life support for astronauts on board and functions as the control center of the space station, while Mengtian and Wentian are mainly for microgravity scientific research and space life science research, respectively. The Shenzhou-14 crew currently on board the space station will enter Mengtian on Thursday afternoon.During the transposition maneuver, Mengtian first completed its state configuration and separated from Tianhe. It then conducted the transposition and docked with the side port of the space stations node cabin. The transposition process took about one hour, according to the CMS.Mengtian will also serve future extravehicular research projects of the space station, with its cargo airlock cabin and a deployed extravehicular platform, the CMS said earlier.The science equipment that needs to be installed outside will first be sent to the space station by cargo craft, then transferred outside through the cargo airlock cabin, and then installed on the extravehicular platform by mechanical arms or astronauts. The CMS plans to carry out functional tests and evaluation of the space station assembly in the future.

China issues notice on entry, road tests of intelligent connected vehicles

Passengers experience driverless sightseeing cars in Binhu Forest Park in Hefei, east Chinas Anhui Province, September 19, 2022. (Photo: CFP)China on Wednesday issued a notice on entry and road tests of mid- to high-level autonomous driving intelligent connected vehicles (ICVs), aiming to promote the high-quality development of the countrys ICV industry.The notice, jointly announced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security, is open for public opinion until December 1, 2022. According to the notice, the ministries will select qualified car manufacturers and ICVs equipped with L3 and L4 level autonomy to carry out entry tests.

Astronomers discover new potentially hazardous asteroid

An international team of astronomers on Monday announced the discovery of a large asteroid whose orbit crosses that of Earth, creating a small chance far in the future of a catastrophic collision.Twilight observations from Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory spot three large near-Earth objects lurking in the inner Solar System, including a 1.5-kilometer-wide asteroid named 2022 AP7. (Photo: CGTN/NOIRLab)The 1.5-kilometer-wide asteroid, named 2022 AP7, was discovered in area notoriously difficult to spot objects due to the glare from the sun.It was found along with two other near-Earth asteroids using a high-tech instrument on the Victor M. Blanco telescope in Chile that was originally developed to study dark matter."2022 AP7 crosses Earths orbit, which makes it a potentially hazardous asteroid, but it currently does not now or anytime in the future have a trajectory that will have it collide with the Earth," said lead author of the findings, astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science.The potential threat comes from the fact that like any orbiting object, its trajectory will be slowly modified due to myriad gravitational forces, notably by planets. Forecasts are therefore difficult on the very long term.The newly discovered asteroid is "the largest object that is potentially hazardous to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years," said NOIRLab, a U.S.-funded research group that operates multiple observatories.2022 AP7 takes five years to circle the sun under its current orbit, which at its closest point to Earth remain several million kilometers away.The risk is therefore very small, but in case of a collision, an asteroid of that size "would have a devastating impact on life as we know it," said Sheppard. He explained that dust launched into the air would have a major cooling effect, provoking an "extinction event like hasnt been seen on Earth in millions of years."His teams resul...

COVID-19 can trigger similar inflammation in brain as Parkinson's disease: study

SYDNEY, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 virus can activate the same inflammatory response in the brain as Parkinsons disease, inducing a potential future risk for neurodegenerative conditions, according to a new research led by the University of Queensland (UQ).(File photo: Xinhua)"We studied the effect of the virus on the brains immune cells, microglia which are the key cells involved in the progression of brain diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers," Trent Woodruff, co-author and UQs professor of pharmacology, said in a press release on Tuesday.Using human donor blood, researchers grew microglia in the laboratory and infected the cells with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, after which they found the cells "effectively became angry, activating the same pathway that Parkinsons and Alzheimers proteins can activate in disease, the inflammasomes," Woodruff added.According to the study published in Natures Molecular Psychiatry journal, the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus was enough to prime and trigger the inflammasome pathway, which could begin a chronic and sustained process of killing off neurons."So if someone is already pre-disposed to Parkinsons, having COVID-19 could be like pouring more fuel on that fire in the brain," Woodruff warned.In a written interview on Wednesday, Woodruff told Xinhua that the team is interested in pursuing further investigations on different variant forms of spike protein on microglia, as they believe "some of the newer variants may have an even stronger response."Examining the long-term impact of a prior COVID-19 infection on the brain is also the next target for the researchers."We are interested in infecting mice with the virus, letting them recover, and then monitoring the mice for motor and cognitive symptoms as they age. We can also induce experimental Parkinsons disease in the mice to see if they have an exacerba...

China unveils plan on VR development

BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday unveiled a plan to boost the development of the virtual reality (VR) industry.A boy experiences a VR device at the 2019 China International Consumer Electronics Show in Qingdao, East Chinas Shandong province, July 19, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)By 2026, the total scale of Chinas virtual reality industry, including related hardware, software, and applications, will exceed 350 billion yuan (about 48.56 billion U.S. dollars), according to the plan jointly issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and four relevant departments.Meanwhile, the plan aimed to cultivate 100 enterprises with strong innovation ability and industry influence, while the sales of VR terminals is aimed to top 25 million units.China also planned to build 10 leading VR industrial clusters with regional influence and 10 industrial public service platforms to foster the sectors development, it said.Breakthroughs will also be made in key technologies and applications as of 2026, according to the plan.

Summit to stress connected world's digital future

Ren Xianliang (2nd from left), secretary-general of the World Internet Conference, briefs the media at a news conference on 2022 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit in Beijing, on Oct 31, 2022. (Photo by Yang Yang/ year's edition of the World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summ

Cloud-altering technology can protect our environment

[Photo/IC] Artificial cloud technology could soon be used in the fight against environmental damage. Researchers in Australia have used turbines to spray salt water into the air, and noted that the reflective qualities of these artificial clouds helped protect the Great Barrier Reef from sun blea

African scientists call for nature-based solution to climate crisis


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