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Submission + - Chinese Scientists Discover Structural Basis of pre-mRNA Splicing (tsinghua.edu.cn)

hackingbear writes: On August 21st, the research team led by Prof. Yigong Shi from School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University in China published two side-by-side research articles in Science, reporting the long-sought-after structure of a yeast spliceosome at 3.6 angstrom resolution determined by single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), and the molecular mechanism of pre-messenger RNA splicing. Until now, decades of genetic and biochemical experiments have identified almost all proteins in spliceosome and uncovered some functions. Yet, the structure remained a mystery for a long time. The works, primarily performed by Dr. Chuangye Yan, and Ph.D students Jing Hang and Ruixue Wan under Prof. Yigong Shi’s supervision, settled this Holy Grail question and established the structural basis for the related area. This work was supported by funds from the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Submission + - Chinese Celebrate Their Country's Loss in Math Olympiad (cnn.com)

hackingbear writes: While American politicians, for their own political marketing images, pitch more math and science to children and parents and the U.S. eventually won the 2015 International Math Olympiad (with half of the team descendants of Chines or Indian,) many in China celebrates their country's loss in the competition after country had won 19 times in the past. To them, losing the Olympiad offers hope that painful, nightmarish years spent studying for the contest could finally be over. Chinese students often start paying for expensive math Olympiad training in elementary school on the motivation that winners of math Olympiads receiving bonus points in school entrance exams, a policy some provinces have taken steps to eliminate since last year. "The question we should ask is why we don't have great mathematicians in China," Yang Dongping, the director of a education think-tank asked and answer, "Not many of our math champions continued to study math — many left academia for Wall Street."

Submission + - China to Impose Export Control on High Tech Drones and Supercomputers (xinhuanet.com)

hackingbear writes: Following similar hi-tect export restriction policies in the U.S. (or perhaps in response to the U.S. ban on China,) China will impose export control on some drones and high performance computers starting on August 15th, according to an announcement published on Friday by China's Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs. The ban includes (official documents in Chinese) drone that can take off in wind speed exceeding 46.4km/hour or can continuously fly for over 1 hour as well as electronic components specifically designed or modified for supercomputers with speed over 8 petaflops. Companies must acquire specific permits before exporting such items. Drones and supercomputers are the two areas where China is the leader or among the top players. China is using its rapidly expanding defense budget to make impressive advances in (military) drone technology, prompting some to worry that the United States' global dominance in the market could soon be challenged. The tightening of regulations comes two weeks after an incident in disputed Kashmir in which the Pakistani army claimed to have shot down an Indian "spy drone", reportedly Chinese-made. China's 33-petaflops Tianhe-2, currently the fastest supercomputer in the world, while still using Intel Xeon processors, takes use of the home-grown interconnect, arguably the most important component of modern supercomputers.

Submission + - The Mystery of Acupuncture Explained in Rat Model (theguardian.com) 1

hackingbear writes: A biological mechanism explaining part of the mystery of the acupuncture has been pinpointed by scientists studying rats. The research showed that applying electroacupuncture to an especially powerful acupuncture point known as stomach meridian point 36 (St36) affected a complex interaction between hormones known as the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. In stressed rats exposed to unpleasant cold stimulation, HPA activity was reduced. The findings provide the strongest evidence yet that the ancient Chinese therapy has more than a placebo effect when used to treat chronic stress, it is claimed. “Some antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs exert their therapeutic effects on these same mechanisms,” said lead investigator Dr Ladan Eshkevari, from Georgetown University medical centre in Washington DC.

Submission + - China Allows Foreigners To Own E-Commerce, Companies Leaving New York (barrons.com)

hackingbear writes: China has decided to give foreign investors greater freedom in the booming e-commerce industry by allowing them to fully own e-commerce companies in the country, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced Friday. No longer needing the cumbersome VIE structure, an offshore special purpose vehicle that simultaneously allows foreign ownership and domestic operation, and considering Chinese Internet companies trade at an average of 150 times in the mainland, Chinese companies listed in the U.S., most of those are actually owned by foreigners like Yahoo, are receiving management-led buyout offers at record pace, the latest being Qihoo 360 (QIHU), which needs a whopping $7 billion financing package to complete the deal. Valuation differential with China aside, Chinese companies are also subject to short seller attacks. For instance, J Capital last week wrote a short report on JD, which Jefferies brushed aside as non-sense.

Submission + - China Leads in Patent Applications Again (chinadaily.com.cn)

hackingbear writes: If you think your intellectual properties get no legal protection in China, hundreds of thousands of patent applicants (or trolls) would disagree with you. China had more invention patent applications than any other country in 2014 for the fourth year running, with 928,000 invention patent applications filed to the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), up 12.5 percent from 2013. One of the Chinese government's priorities has been to boost innovation by improving intellectual property rights protection. While that's probably true, the logical consequence is that it will become another paradise for patent trolls and lawyers.

Submission + - Alibaba Face Off With Chinese Regulator Over Fake Products (yahoo.com)

hackingbear writes: China's State Administration of Industry and Commerce on Wednesday issued a scathing report against one of the country's biggest stars, accusing e-commerce giant Alibaba of failing to do enough to prevent fake goods from being sold on its websites. SAIC said Alibaba allowed "illegal advertising" that misled consumers with false claims about low prices and other details. It claims some Alibaba employees took bribes and the company failed to deal effectively with fraud. Alibaba fired back with charges of bias and misconduct by accusing the SAIC official in charge of Internet monitoring, Liu Hongliang, of unspecified "procedural misconduct" and warned it will file a formal complaint. Such public defiance is almost unheard of in China. Apparently, Alibaba has long attained the too big to fail status.

Submission + - China opens door for full foreign ownership of e-commerce companies (cnet.com)

hackingbear writes: Shanghai's Free Trade Zone entered a new dimension of economic reform on 14 January, allowing foreign investors to fully own e-commerce companies, according to Chinese state-owned media Xinhua News Agency. Previously, foreign investors originally needed a Chinese partner to break into the online shopping market, and were only allowed to have a maximum of 55 percent stake. Currently, the zone, set to be replicated in three other cities, is home to more than 12,000 companies, including 1,677 foreign-funded firms. The Chinese e-retail market is lucrative, with 330 million online shoppers and a trade volume of 5.66 trillion yuan ($910 billion) in the first half of 2014.

Comment Re:China has to buy US bonds ... (Score 1) 265

They mangage/manipulate their currency so that there is effectively a huge discount to all products and services in China.

That's a myth as pointed out in my summary. Back in early 1990's the official rate was something like 1 USD to 3 RMB but the black market rate was 1:8. Nobody would bring their USDs to the bank to get Yuan; instead they all found black market source to get more Yuan. Eventually, the Chinese government realized they couldn't pop up the Yuan and so let it fall to the black market rate. Currently, the black market rate is the same as the official rate. If it is really undervalued, I would think the black market would reflect that. In China, always look at the black market first.

Submission + - China Vows to Help Russia, Aiming at World Dominance (yahoo.com)

hackingbear writes: Two Chinese ministers offered support for Russia as President Vladimir Putin seeks to shore up the plummeting ruble without depleting foreign-exchange reserves which is already the largest in the world. Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said expanding a currency swap between the two nations and making increased use of yuan for bilateral trade would have the greatest impact in aiding Russia. Western governments and experts have been criticizing China for restricting exchange and suppressing the value of its currency, even though anyone who lived in China during the 1990's knew that the value of Yuan was cut to align the same as in the (vibrant) black market that is still thriving. But as grandma has warned us, be careful of what we wish for. China has recently greatly sped up the relaxation of currency exchange and is promoting the yuan as an alternative to the dollar for global trade and finance and has signed currency-swap agreements with 28 other central banks to encourage this. Once accomplished, back by China's growing military might, Renminbi would be a formidable competitor to U.S. Dollar and which means U.S. wouldn't borrow almost freely from the world and our state of finance would be like that of Greece.

Submission + - China Plans Superheavy Rocket, Ups Reliability (chinadaily.com.cn)

hackingbear writes: China is conducting preliminary research on a super-heavy launch vehicle that will be used in its manned missions to the moon. Liang Xiaohong, deputy head of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, disclosed that the Long March-9 is planned to have a maximum payload of 130 tons and its first launch will take place around 2028, comparable to US's SLS Block II in terms of capability and likely beating its schedule. The China National Space Administration has started preliminary research for the Mars exploration program and is persuading the government to include the project into the country's space agenda, according to Tian Yulong, secretary-general of the administration. Separately, China's Long March series of rocket has completed the 200th flight on Dec 7. It took 37 years to complete the first 100 flights but only 7 years for the second 100 flights. In addition, it claims (link in Chinese) a success rate of 98%, on par with EU's and beating US's 97% and Russia's 93% success rates.

Submission + - Chinese CEO Said Free Is the Right Price for Mobile Software (recode.net)

hackingbear writes: Sheng Fu, CEO of Cheetah Mobile, a public Chinese mobile software company you probably haven't heard of but have top downloaded products in Android markets around the world, said that the intense competition of the Chinese market leads to products that can compete globally. There are so many recent university graduates working in tech, all with their startups looking to find their place in the market, he said. Chinese companies saw the impact that piracy played in the PC software era, and China’s mobile companies grew up knowing they would need to make money without getting consumers to open their wallets. “Chinese companies are so good at making free but high-quality products,” he said. Sounds like we have a good race to the bottom.

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison