China Media Group (CMG) released top 10 scientific news stories from China and around the world for 2023.
Top 10 scientific news from China
1. China’s first deep-sea floating wind power platform sets sail for installation
China’s first deep-sea floating wind power platform set sail on March 26 from Zhuhai City in south China’s Guangdong Province towards the country’s southernmost Hainan Province. It was put into operation to generate green energy for the operation and production of offshore oilfields on May 20.
2. Chinese scientists claim anti-ageing breakthrough
A team of Chinese scientist has identified a unique group of cells that contributes to the ageing process. Their research was published in the journal Cell on January 6.
Ribonucleic acid of HERVK (L) and retrovirus-like particles accumulate in ageing human cells. /CMG
3. China’s FAST telescope detects proof of nanohertz gravitational waves
Chinese scientists have found key evidence for the existence of nanohertz gravitational waves, based on observations carried out with China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST).
4. Chinese scientists discover gene linked to crop alkali tolerance
Chinese scientists have discovered a key gene that helps crops tolerate saline conditions. The gene was named “AT-1” (Alkali Tolerance One) and researchers say that the discovery could help increase crop yield in saline-alkaline soils.
An experiment is carried out at a lab in the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology in CAS. /CAS
5. China starts drilling 10,000 m borehole for deep-Earth exploration
China began drilling its first borehole of over 10,000 meters for scientific exploration in Tarim Basin, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on May 30. With a design depth of 11,100 meters, the borehole is located in the hinterland of the Taklimakan Desert.
6. China launches record-breaking 41 satellites into orbit
A Long March-2D carrier rocket blasted off from north China’s Shanxi Province on June 15, sending a record-breaking 41 satellites into orbit.
A Long March-2D rocket carrying 41 satellites blasts off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi Province, June 15, 2023. /CMG
7. China completes world’s largest solar telescope array for monitoring solar activities
China’s Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope (DSRT), a solar telescope array in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, passed key testing on September 27, marking the completion of the world’s largest synthesis aperture radio telescope, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope consists of 313 parabolic antennas, forming a large ring with a diameter of 1 kilometer. /CMG
8. China’s national space lab put into operation
China’s orbiting space station, which functions as a national space laboratory, has been put into operation, pushing forward space applications and achieving fruitful results, Lin Xiqiang, spokesperson at the China Manned Space Agency said at a press conference held on August 18.
A 1:10 scale model of China Space Station is displayed at an expo in Shanghai, May 10, 2023. /CFP
9. Huawei releases flagship smartphone Mate 60 Pro
Chinese telecom giant Huawei introduced its flagship smartphone, Mate 60 Pro, in August, claiming “the most powerful Mate model” ever. The new product supports incoming and outgoing calls via satellite when there is no ground network.
Huawei flagship store in Shanghai, showing ads of its new smartphone Mate 60 Pro on a big screen, August 30, 2023. /CFP
10. Chinese scientists discover new strategic mineral
A new mineral, the niobobaotite, was discovered by three Chinese researchers from Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology (BRIUG) of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). It attained its official approval number from the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC) of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) on October 3.
This is the 13th newly-discovered mineral since the establishment of China’s nuclear geological system 70 years ago.
The newly-discovered mineral, niobobaotite. /BRIUG
Top 10 scientific news from around the world
1. German scientists develop world’s smallest nanophotonic electron accelerator
Scientists at the University of Erlangen–Nuremberg (FAU) in Germany have created the world’s smallest nanophotonic electron accelerator, which is around the size of a small coin.
The photo shows the nanophotonic electron accelerator, which consists of a microchip that houses a tiny acceleration tube that is just millimeters long, compared to a dime. /FAU
2. Scientists unveil detailed cell maps of human brain
A group of international scientists have mapped the genetic, cellular, and structural makeup of the human brain. The findings were published in a compendium of 24 papers across Science, Science Advances and Science Translational Medicine.
The picture shows the so-called “brain atlas,” published by MIT Technology Review on October 12, 2023. /Stephanie Arnett/MITTR | Wellcome Collection
3. Russian scientists revive worm in the Siberian permafrost
Russian scientists revived a roundworm that was frozen 46,000 years ago. It survived 40 meters below the surface in the Siberian permafrost in a dormant state, according to a CNN report in July.
The worm froze for 46,000 years in the Siberian permafrost. /Russian Academy of Sciences
4. Spinning black hole proves Einstein’s general relativity prediction
An international research team led by Chinese scientists has unveiled a recurring cycle in the processing motion of an oscillating jet of a supermassive black hole at the heart of the distant galaxy M87, providing compelling observation evidence for the black hole spin.
A schematic picture of the tilted accretion disk model. /CMG
5. European’s Juice probe blasts off, heading to Jupiter
Aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, or Juice, blasted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on April 14, embarking on an eight-year assignment to explore the ice-covered moons of Jupiter.
The probe took its first monitoring camera images a few days later, showing part of the spacecraft with Earth as a stunning backdrop.
6. Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus harbors essential elements for life
High concentrations of phosphorus, an essential element for all biological processes on Earth, have been detected in ice crystals spewed from the interior ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, adding to its potential to harbor life, researchers reported in June.
A mosaic image of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, composed from high-resolution pictures captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during a 2005 flyby, shows the long fissures in the moon’s icy crust at its south pole that allows water from the subsurface ocean to spew into space. /Reuters
7. Dramatic fossil shows pugnacious mammal attacking a dinosaur
A dramatic fossil unearthed in northeastern China shows a pugnacious badger-like mammal in the act of attacking a plant-eating dinosaur, mounting its prey and sinking its teeth into its victim’s ribs about 125 million years ago. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports on July 18.
This fossil shows a pugnacious badger-like mammal attacking a plant-eating dinosaur. /Han Gang
8. Nanopore sequencing and DNA barcoding help detect multiple diseases
British scientists at Imperial College London, together with Oxford Nanopore Technologies, have found a method to analyze dozens of biomarkers of different types at the same time, which would potentially allow clinicians to gather more information about a patient’s disease. The study was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology in September.
British scientists have found a method to analyze dozens of biomarkers of different types at the same time. /Imperial College London
9. German scientists clarify molecular mechanisms of fungal infections
German scientists have applied an effective RNA marking technique for fungi, which functions in the living organism. The researchers found out how an important RNA-binding protein regulates the growth of infectious hyphae, which triggers an infection.
The study was published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in August.
The loss of the RNA-binding protein Khd4 disrupts membrane trafficking. /Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf
10. Scientists synthesize new organometallic compound
Scientists from Japan, Germany and Russia have successfully developed a new metallocene compound, with which novel materials can be created and used in applications including medicine, catalysis and energy sector, according to Japan’s Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST).
Crystal structure of the newly synthesized 21-electron metallocene compound showing the nitrogen (blue), cobalt (red), hydrogen (green) and carbon (grey) atoms. /OIST