Highlights of China’s science news

Xinhua News Agency | May 23, 2020 at 6:59 AM

BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The following are the highlights of China's science news from the past week:

AGRICULTURAL PLANNING

Chinese researchers have proposed a land-use approach for the management of mercury-contaminated farmlands.

The researchers from the Institute of Geochemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences hoped to devise an agricultural planning strategy for reducing human exposure to mercury pollution through selecting native low-mercury-accumulating crops for future planting in contaminated farmlands.

CANCER RESEARCH CENTER

The University of Oxford and China's Sichuan University have jointly launched a center to bolster research cooperation on gastrointestinal cancer.

Representatives from the two sides signed a contract for the Sichuan University-University of Oxford Huaxi Joint Centre for Gastrointestinal Cancer during a recent video conference, according to a statement by the Sichuan University.

ICE CORES

A Chinese research team has, for the first time, extracted ice core samples from a glacier outside the country. This will help the study of the history of climate and environmental changes in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and surrounding areas.

Using self-developed drill systems, the researchers obtained ice core samples with a total length of more than 110 meters at an altitude of 5,600 meters at the Biafo Glacier. They also extracted four cores from the beds of two nearby lakes called Sheo Sar and Saiful Malook.

RICE RESISTS WEEDS

Scientists have revealed that gene clustering helped rice evolve to produce so-called momilactone to defend itself against weeds, according to a study published in the journal PNAS.

Chinese and Japanese scientists analyzed more than 100 genome sequences from plants, finding that the gene clusters that can compound momilactone exist only in three plant species, including rice.

5G-ASSISTED UNMANNED BOAT

An unmanned boat with 5G wireless technology has been used to monitor water quality in a Beijing park, according to the Beijing Daily Thursday.

The unmanned boat shuttles in the waters of Beihai Park to collect data on water quality and the surrounding environment.

The 1.2-meter-long boat is equipped with high-definition cameras and a water quality sensor, which can transmit real-time data to a monitoring platform through the 5G network.