hackingbear writes: China's developing space program took another major step forward on Saturday with the launch of its Long March 7 rocket, a new class of booster capable of lifting up to 13.5 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO). The primary payload of the flight was a dummy version of its next-generation crew capsule and some CubeSats. It marked the first launch from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, located on Hainan Island, the country's southernmost point, though they should build a launch site on one of its small islands in the South China Sea which is even closer to the equator. This allows better access to geostationary orbit for Chinese satellites. The Long March 7 also operates with kerosene and liquid oxygen fuels, rather than more environmentally dangerous hypergolic fuels used to power earlier launchers that were based on 1970s technology. Later this year, China will debut another new rocket, the Long March 5, capable of delivering 25 tons to LEO. The rocket's core stage is powered by two YF-100 engines, which China has been developing for more than a decade. The engine has a thrust of about 270,000 pounds at sea level, which is less than one of the space shuttle's main engines (418,000 lbf), but more than one of the Merlin 1D engines (190,000 lbf) used by SpaceX in its Falcon 9 rocket.
hackingbear writes: While you're free to express anything in the Land of Free and waiting to hear some real actions after posting to the White House Petition Website, online protests in the restrictive China resulted in actions swiftly. Chinese regulators have imposed limits on the number of lucrative healthcare adverts carried by Baidu Inc days following the death of a student who underwent an experimental cancer treatment which he found using China's biggest Internet search engine and his blogging of the ordeal triggered a huge public outcries. The rules mean the company must clean up in-search healthcare adverts and the positioning of paid-for search adverts of any kind cannot only be based on the highest bidder, "If they do enforce that, it would likely significantly cut into revenues," said Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting. A separate investigation Chinese regulators had ordered the fixing of "serious problems" at the military-run hospital, which had been found to be illegally working with a private healthcare business, unlawfully advertising services and using unauthorized clinical technology, according to the official Xinhua news agency. In addition, the People's Liberation Army and the Armed Police Force selected 17 units to be the first to close their commercial activities such as housing rentals, medical services and hospitality; the goal is to shut down all military's commercial activities, meaning they would have to rely on tax payer's money to run, like the U.S. military. Link to Original Source
"The human race may still have a long way to go before we can colonize the space. But before that, we have to figure out whether it is possible for us to survive and reproduce in the outer space environment like we do on Earth. Now, we finally proved that the most crucial step in our reproduction – the early embryo development – is possible in the outer space," said Duan Enkui, Professor of the Institute of Zoology affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and principle researcher of the experiment. The U.S. conducted similar experiment on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1996 and China conducted one abroad its SJ-8 in 2006, neither was able to show any viable embryos back then.
hackingbear writes: According to report by Hongkong's Mingpao Daily (Google translation), Beijing Postal and Telecom University Professor Fang Xingbin, widely known as the Father of the Great Firewall for his role in architecting the Great Firewall, caught breaking the Great Firewall openly during a public speech. During his presentation on the necessity of the Great Fire Wall, Professor Fang tried to demonstrate his points by pointing out the fact that South Korea also builds an Internet Firewall, but the South Korean site was blocked by the GWF and the message was displayed prominently to the audience. So, right there, he logged into a VPN service and bypassed the GWF to get to the site and continue his talk. The scene was described as embarrassing. And Chinese Internet users quickly accused him of accessing banned foreign site while not allowing ordinary citizens do the same.
hackingbear writes: While those general steps of long-term memory formation are clear, the details such as how exactly the molecular signals get shuttled to the command center, which generally has tight security, are unclear. A new study, led by neuroscientist Yi Zhong of Tsinghua University in Beijing, may finally have that answer. In the tiny minds of fruit flies, a protein called importin-7 acts to shuttle the memory-triggering signal into the nucleus with its top-level clearance to the restricted area, researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. With genetic tweaking, the researchers dialed up and down the amount of importin-7 in the flies and then put them through the memory training and test. They found that cranking up levels of the shuttle protein strengthened the long-term memories of the flies, while turning it off weakened their memory.
In the tiny minds of fruit flies, a protein called importin-7 acts to shuttle the memory-triggering signal into the nucleus with its top-level clearance to the restricted area, researchers report in the .
hackingbear writes: In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, a computing system developed by Google's DeepMind researchers in Great Britain has beaten a top human player, Fan Hui, Europe’s reigning Go champion, at the game of Go, the ancient Eastern contest of strategy and intuition that has bedeviled AI experts for decades. Nature published a paper describing DeepMind’s system, which makes clever use of, among other techniques, an increasingly important AI technology called deep learning. Using a vast collection of Go moves from expert players—about 30 million moves in total—DeepMind researchers trained their system to play Go on its own as well as playing against itself. “The most significant aspect of all thisis that AlphaGo isn’t just an expert system, built with handcrafted rules,” says Demis Hassabis, who oversees DeepMind. “Instead, it uses general machine-learning techniques how to win at Go.”
hackingbear writes: Scientists at Institute of Microbiology of Chinese Academic of Science in Beijing have discovered the mechanism of how Ebola virus infects human beings. Filoviruses, including Ebola and Marburg, cause fatal hemorrhagic fever in humans and primates. Understanding how these viruses enter host cells could help to develop effective therapeutics. An endosomal protein, Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1), has been identified as a necessary entry receptor for this process, and priming of the viral glycoprotein (GP) to a fusion-competent state is a prerequisite for NPC1 binding. The researchers have determined the crystal structure of the primed GP (GPcl) of Ebola virus bound to domain C of NPC1 (NPC1-C) at a resolution of 2.3 Å. NPC1-C utilizes two protruding loops to engage a hydrophobic cavity on head of GPcl. Upon enzymatic cleavage and NPC1-C binding, conformational change in the GPcl further affects the state of the internal fusion loop, triggering membrane fusion.
hackingbear writes: Following similar path of the 19th century America, China has advanced from being copycats to innovators. After its middle class has risen from 4% of population to 2/3 in the last decade, a generation both creative and comfortable with risk-taking are born. “We’re seeing people in their early twenties starting companies—people just out of school, and there are even some dropouts,” says Kai-Fu Lee, a Chinese venture capitalist and veteran of Apple, Microsoft, and Google, who has spent the past decade crisscrossing the nation, helping youths start firms. Major cities, i.e. Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, are crowded with ambitious inventors and entrepreneurs, flocking into software accelerators and hackerspaces. They no longer want jobs at Google or Apple; like their counterparts in San Francisco, they want to build the next Google or Apple. Venture capitalists pumped a record $15.5 billion into Chinese startups last year, so entrepreneurs are being showered in funding, as well as crucial advice and mentoring from millionaire angels. Even the Chinese government—which has a wary attitude toward online expression and runs a vast digital censorship apparatus—has launched a $6.5 billion fund for startups.
hackingbear writes: China's Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite Wukong (literally Understanding Emptiness,) named after the Buddhist name of the fictional character Monkey King, was successfully launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province on Thursday. The probe will be in service for three years to observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter. Two further missions will blast off next year: the world’s first quantum-communications satellite and an X-ray telescope observing in a unique energy band. Together, these missions mark a new start for space science in China which previously focused on non-science missions, says Wu Ji, director-general of the National Space Science Centre (NSSC).
hackingbear writes: When Anthem revealed a data breach that exposed the details of more than 80 million people, the incident raised a lot of questions: who would conduct such a hack against a health insurance firm? Investigators finally have some answers... and they're not quite what you'd expect. Reportedly, the culprits were Chinese hackers helping their nation understand how US medical care works. It may be part of a concerted campaign to get ready for 2020, when China plans to offer universal health care. Next, we should outsource politicians from China to fix our healthcare system.
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.
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."