Tag Archives: china

Chinese researchers announce designer baby breakthrough

embryopic

Science has taken another step toward delivering the perfect newborn – or at least a bouncing baby free of certain genetic defects.

Chinese researchers used a genome editing technique called CRISPR to rid normal embryos of hereditary diseases that cause blood disorders and other ailments, according to New Scientist. Experts who reviewed the project told the publication that, even though it involved just six embryos, it carries promise.

“It is encouraging,” Robin Lovell-Badge, a human genome expert at the Francis Crick Institute in London, told New Scientist.

“It is encouraging.”

– Robin Lovell-Badge, Francis Crick Institute

 The acronym stands for “Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats,” and the technique is a method of disabling genes by introducing small mutations that disrupt the code of a DNA sequence. Prior to the Chinese experiment, studies involving the CRISPR technique have focused on its use in abnormal embryos that could never fully develop. For bioethics reasons, it was not previously used on healthy, or normal embryos.

The experiment successfully repaired just under 10 percent of genetic mutations, a rate too low to be practical, but high enough to be encouraging.

The Chinese team working at the Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University first worked with abnormal embryos, with little success, according to the report. But when they tried to repair mutations in normal embryos from immature eggs donated by people undergoing IVF, they had a breakthrough.

The eggs presented less of a bioethical dilemma, as they are usually discarded by IVF clinics. But healthy children have been born from such eggs. The team fertilized each egg by injecting sperm from one of two men with a hereditary disease, then used the CRISPR technique on the single-cell embryos before they started dividing.

In one case, the technique zapped a mutation that causes favism, a condition in which consumption of fava beans causes destruction of red blood cells.

In another case, it fixed a mutation that causes the blood disease beta-thalassemia, a group of inherited blood disorders that affect about one in every 100,000 people.

Another expert told New Scientist the results were compelling.

“It does look more promising than previous papers,” Fredrik Lanner, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, told the publication.

The study could lead to wider experimentation with using CRISPR to edit the genomes of normal human embryos. But experts cautioned the technology is far from the point where it could be safely used for editing embryos.

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These would make a big omelette! Chinese roadworkers unearth nest of FORTY-THREE fossilised dinosaur eggs

  • Fossils found as workman laid sewage pipe on major road
  • One man tried to steal two eggs but was stopped in his tracks
  • He fled as passers-by formed human chain to protect archaeological site 
  • Experts are not working to determine what type of dinosaur laid them  

A giant clutch of 43 fossilised dinosaur eggs were discovered by workmen doing roadworks in China.

The egg-straordinary find was made in the city centre of Heyuan, south-east China, by workman laying a sewage pipe.

The giant fossils, which included 19 eggs that are fully intact, were the first to be found in the city and are now being studied by experts from the Heyuan Dinosaur Museum, to determine the type, the People’s Daily Online reports.

Egg-straordinary find: Workers point to the dinosaur eggs that were discovered as they were fitting a new sewage pipe in Heyuan, south-east China

Egg-straordinary find: Workers point to the dinosaur eggs that were discovered as they were fitting a new sewage pipe in Heyuan, south-east China

Each range from 10 to 12 centimetres in diameter and have been well preserved by the red sandstone beds in the area.

Passers-by then formed a human chain to protect the site until police came and the artifacts were taken away for examination.

Unexpected: Crowds gather as a construction worker handles the red sandstone containing the fossils

Unexpected: Crowds gather as a construction worker handles the red sandstone containing the fossils

Egg box: The fossilised dinosaur eggs are carefully removed from the site and taken to the local museum for examination

Egg box: The fossilised dinosaur eggs are carefully removed from the site and taken to the local museum for examination

Head curator Du Yanli said: ‘There are fossilised dinosaur eggs everywhere in the red sandstone layer but they were never found because the city was built on top of the layers.

‘With the recent road and sewage system upgrade, the red sandstone layer is being exposed and has led to the discovery of the fossils’.

The Heyuan Dinosaur Museum said that more than seventeen thousand fossilised dinosaur eggs have been found in China since the first discovery in 1996.

Carefully done: A workman examines the fossils that have been preserved by the red sandstone 

Carefully done: A workman examines the fossils that have been preserved by the red sandstone

A total of 43 dinosaur eggs, 19 of which were unbroken, were found during the roadworks in Heyuan, south-east China
A total of 43 dinosaur eggs, 19 of which were unbroken, were found during the roadworks in Heyuan, south-east China

Big batch: A total of 43 dinosaur eggs, 19 of which were unbroken, were found during the roadworks in Heyuan, south-east China

The museum prides itself for having the largest fossilised dinosaur eggs collection in the world.

Heyuan has now dubbed itself as China’s ‘home of dinosaurs’.

Work has temporarily halted as a 1.3 square kilometre dinosaur fossil and geological protected zone is set up in the area for further scientific research.

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2,100-year-old king’s mausoleum discovered in China

mausoleum-discovery1

Archaeologists in China have discovered a mausoleum, dating back over 2,100 years, that contains three main tombs, including the tomb of Liu Fei (shown at bottom), the ruler of the Jiangdu kingdom in China.Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

A 2,100-year-old mausoleum built for a king named Liu Fei has been discovered in modern-day Xuyi County in Jiangsu, China, archaeologists report.

Liu Fei died in 128 B.C. during the 26th year of his rule over a kingdom named Jiangdu, which was part of the Chinese empire.

Although the mausoleum had been plundered, archaeologists found that it still contained more than 10,000 artifacts, including treasures made of gold, silver, bronze, jade and lacquer. They also found severallife-size chariot and dozens of smaller chariots.

Excavated between 2009 and 2011, the mausoleum contains “three main tombs, 11 attendant tombs, two chariot-and-horse pits, two weaponry pits” and the remains of an enclosure wall that originally encompassed the complex, a team of Nanjing Museum archaeologists said in an article recently published in the journal Chinese Archaeology. The wall was originally about 1,608 feet long on each side. [See Photos of the Ancient Mausoleum and Artifacts]

The archaeologists said their work was a “rescue excavation,” as the site was threatened by quarrying.

Liu Fei’s tomb
A large earthen mound extending more than 492 feet once covered the king’s tomb, the archaeologists say. The tomb has two long shafts leading to a burial chamber that measured about 115 feet long by 85 feet wide.

When archaeologists entered the burial chamber they found that Liu Fei was provided with a vast assortment of goods for the afterlife.

Such goods would have been fitting for such a “luxurious” ruler. “Liu Fei admired daring and physical prowess. He built palaces and observation towers and invited to his court all the local heroes and strong men from everywhere around,” wrote ancient historian Sima Qian (145-86 B.C.), as translated by Burton Watson. “His way of life was marked by extreme arrogance and luxury.”

His burial chamber is divided into a series of corridors and small chambers. The chamber contained numerous weapons, including iron swords, spearheads, crossbow triggers, halberds (a two-handled pole weapon), knives and more than 20 chariot models (not life-size).

The archaeologists also found musical instruments, including chime bells, zither bridges (the zither is a stringed instrument) and jade tuning pegs decorated with a dragon design.

Liu Fei’s financial needs were not neglected, as the archaeologists also found an ancient “treasury” holding more than 100,000 banliang coins, which contain a square hole in the center and were created by the first emperor of China after the country was unified. After the first emperor died in 210 B.C., banliang coins eventually fell out of use. [Photos: Ancient Chinese Warriors Protect Secret Tomb of First Emperor]

In another section of the burial chamber archaeologists found “utilities such as goose-shaped lamps, five-branched lamps, deer-shaped lamps, lamps with a chimney or with a saucer .” They also found a silver basin containing the inscription of “the office of the Jiangdu Kingdom.”

The king was also provided with a kitchen and food for the afterlife. Archaeologists found an area in the burial chamber containing bronze cauldrons, tripods, steamers, wine vessels, cups and pitchers. They also found seashells, animal bones and fruit seeds. Several clay inscriptions found held the seal of the “culinary officer of the Jiangdu Kingdom.”

Sadly, the king’s coffins had been damaged and the body itself was gone. “Near the coffins many jade pieces and fragments, originally parts of the jade burial suit, were discovered. These pieces also indicate that the inner coffin, originally lacquered and inlaid with jade plaques, was exquisitely manufactured,” the team writes.

The adjacent tomb
A second tomb, which archaeologists call “M2,” was found adjacent to the king’s tomb. Although archaeologists don’t know who was buried there it would have been someone of high status.

“Although it was looted, archaeologists still discovered pottery vessels, lacquer wares, bronzes, gold and silver objects, and jades, about 200 sets altogether,” the team writes.

“The ‘jade coffin’ from M2 is the most significant discovery. Although the central chamber was looted, the structure of the jade coffin is still intact, which is the only undamaged jade coffin discovered in the history of Chinese archaeology,” writes the team.

More chariots and weapons
In addition to the chariot models and weapons found in the king’s tomb, the mausoleum also contains two chariot-and-horse pits and two weapons pits holding swords, halberds, crossbow triggers and shields. [In Photos: Early Bronze Age Chariot Burial]

In one chariot-and-horse pit the archaeologists found five life-size chariots, placed east to west. “The lacquer and wooden parts of the chariots were all exquisitely decorated and well preserved,” the team writes. Four of the chariots had bronze parts gilded with gold, while one chariot had bronze parts inlaid with gold and silver.

The second chariot pit contained about 50 model chariots. “Since a large quantity of iron ji (Chinese halberds) and iron swords were found, these were likely models of battle chariots,” the team writes.

Attendant tombs
A series of 11 attendant tombs were found to the north of the king’s tomb. By the second century B.C. human sacrifice had fallen out of use in China so the people buried in them probably were not killed when the king died.

Again, the archaeologists found rich burial goods. One tomb contained two gold belt hooks, one in the shape of a wild goose and the other a rabbit.

Another tomb contained artifacts engraved with the surname “Nao.” Ancient records indicate that Liu Fei had a consort named “Lady Nao,” whose beauty was so great that she would go on to be a consort for his son Liu Jian and then for another king named Liu Pengzu. Tomb inscriptions suggest the person buried in the tomb was related to her, the team says.

Kingdom’s end
During the second century B.C. China was one of the largest, and wealthiest, empires on Earth, however, the power of its emperor was not absolute. During this time a number of kings co-existed under the control of the emperor. These kings could amass great wealth and, at times, they rebelled against the emperor.

About seven years after Liu Fei’s death, the Chinese emperor seized control of Jiangdu Kingdom, because Liu Jian, who was Liu Fei’s son and successor, allegedly plotted against the emperor.

Ancient writers tried to justify the emperor’s actions, claiming that, in addition to rebellion, Liu Jian had committed numerous other crimes and engaged in bizarre behavior that included having a sexual orgy with 10 women in a tent above his father’s tomb.

The journal article was originally published, in Chinese, in the journal Kaogu, by archaeologists Li Zebin, Chen Gang and Sheng Zhihan. It was translated into English by Lai Guolong and published in the most recent edition of the journal Chinese Archaeology.

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Sexualization of Food…sigh…

Peachy keen takes on a whole new meaning as idiots dress up peaches with underwear for sale.  Scientists have long shown that cleavage is a sexual attention getter for humans, hence the fascination with breasts and butts.  However, selling peaches as “sexy fruit” provokes images I would rather not think about…  Article below:

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

Brian Ashcraft

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

Peaches have long been compared to backsides. Because, well, peaches look like tushes! And now, thanks to some fruit venders in China, they really look like butts. Sexy butts.

These peaches are apparently being sold to capitalize on the the upcoming romantic Qixi Festival. They’re a novelty present! And should be taken as such. But, they aren’t cheap: A box of nine panty fruit is 498 yuan or US$80.

The peaches are getting mainstream coverage in China. Online, some people have been delighted by the peaches, while as Sina explains, some think they are rather vulgar! They look kind of cheeky to me.

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

[Photo: 农业博士]

China News reports that these unusual peaches are called “Ripe Fruit” (蜜桃成熟時), a name evoking obvious sexual connotations. The panty peaches were first developed by a fruit vender in Nanjing, with each pair of underwear slipped on each sexy butt by hand. As SDChina reports, the peaches are from Yangshan, in Wuxi, an area that’s also famous for its lingerie and garment industry.

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

[Photo: FenyiZX]

And how do these peaches taste? Well, The Wall Street Journal once called Wuxi peaches “the juiciest, most delicious peaches on earth,” so they’re probably pretty good!

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

[Photo: Mancy]

Other fruit venders in Shanghai and elsewhere have also apparently started selling sexy peaches. SDChina adds that this Nanjing fruit vender claims to have applied for a panty peach patent a month ago and is filing for infringement with the intellectual property bureau. Peach panty patents, who knew?

Peaches Sold as Sexy Butts in China

[Photo: Sjzhchb]

水果店老板推”内裤蜜桃”热传 无节操营销引争议(图) [China News]

小伙发明”穿内裤的水蜜桃” 网友大呼无节操(图) [SDChina]

Top photo: Eastday

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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Chinese lunar rover makes first tracks on moon, state media reports

Chinese lunar rover makes first tracks on moon, state media reports

Published December 15, 2013

FoxNews.com
  • China Space_Cham(1)640.jpg

    December 15, 2013: This image taken from video, shows China’s first moon rover touching the lunar surface and leaving deep traces on its loose soil, several hours after the country successfully carried out the world’s first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades. The writing at the top of the image reads “Surveillance camera C image.” (AP Photo/CCTV VNR via AP video)

  • China Space_Cham640.jpg

    December 14, 2013: This photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, shows a picture of the moon surface taken by the on-board camera of the lunar probe Chang’e-3 on the screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China. (AP)

China’s first lunar rover has successfully separated from the probe that carried it into space has and made its first track upon the surface of the moon, Chinese state media reported Sunday. 

The so-called “Jade Rabbit” rover detached itself from the much larger landing vehicle early Sunday morning, approximately seven hours after the unmanned Chang’e 3 space probe touched down on a fairly flat, Earth-facing part of the moon. The soft landing — the term for a landing in which neither the spacecraft nor its equipment is damaged — was the first on the moon by any nation in 37 years.

State broadcaster China Central Television showed images taken from the lander’s camera of the rover and its shadow moving down a sloping ladder and touching the surface, setting off applause in the Beijing control center. It said the lander and rover, both bearing Chinese flags, will take photos of each other Sunday evening.

Later, the six-wheeled rover will survey the moon’s geological structure and surface and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will carry out scientific explorations at the landing site for one year.

The mission marks the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon.

“It’s still a significant technological challenge to land on another world,” Peter Bond, consultant editor for Jane’s Space Systems and Industry, told the Associated Press. “Especially somewhere like the moon, which doesn’t have an atmosphere so you can’t use parachutes or anything like that. You have to use rocket motors for the descent and you have to make sure you go down at the right angle and the right rate of descent and you don’t end up in a crater on top of a large rock.”

On Saturday evening, state-run China Central Television showed a computer-generated image of the Chang’e 3 lander’s path as it approached the surface of the moon, saying that during the 12-minute landing period it needed to have no contact with Earth. As it was just hundreds of meters (yards) away, the lander’s camera broadcast images of the moon’s surface.

The Chang’e 3’s solar panels, which are used to absorb sunlight to generate power, opened soon after the landing.

The Chang’e mission blasted off from southwest China on Dec. 2 on a Long March-3B carrier rocket.

The Chang’e 3 mission is named after a mythical Chinese goddess of the moon and the “Yutu” rover, or “Jade Rabbit” in English, is the goddess’ pet.

China’s military-backed space program has made methodical progress in a relatively short time, although it lags far behind the United States and Russia in technology and experience.

China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003, becoming the third nation after Russia and the United States to achieve manned space travel independently. In 2006, it sent its first probe to the moon. China plans to open a space station around 2020 and send an astronaut to the moon after that.

“They are taking their time with getting to know about how to fly humans into space, how to build space stations … how to explore the solar system, especially the moon and Mars,” Bond said. “They are making good strides, and I think over the next 10-20 years they’ll certainly be rivaling Russia and America in this area and maybe overtaking them in some areas.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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China builds a luxury ‘groundscraper’ hotel in old quarry

China builds a luxury ‘groundscraper’ hotel in old quarry

Published April 12, 2012

FoxNews.com
  • chinahotel2.jpg

    Surrounding cliffs will be given over to bungee jumping and rockclimbing. (Shanghai Shimao Property Group/ Atkins)

  • chinahotel3.jpg

    The InterContinental Shimao Wonderland is expected to open in late 2014 or early 2015. (Shanghai Shimao Property Group/ Atkins)

  • chinahotel4.jpg

    A large-scale theme park is planned as part of the wonderland complex. (Shanghai Shimao Property Group/ Atkins)

  • chinahotel1.jpg

    The Intercontinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland (Shanghai Shimao Property Group/ Atkins)

Would you spend upwards of $300 to stay in a hotel resort more than 300 feet below the Earth’s surface?

Construction began last month on Shanghai’s first “groundscraper”, soon to be the InterContinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland, a 19-story, 380-room luxury hotel and theme park, reports Smart Planet.

The building, being built in an abandoned quarry at an expected cost of some $555 million, is an engineering feat designed by U.K.-based engineering firm Atkins, the company behind the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.  According to the developers, the hotel will be grafted onto the side of the quarry, where three floors will be resting above ground on the crater, and another 16 floors will be underground. A massive 190-feet tall glass curtain wall that is designed to mimic a waterfall will cascade down the rockface, reports CNN.

Below the surface the resort will have restaurants, luxury hotel rooms, spa services, an underwater restaurant, an athletic complex for water sports and a 32-feet deep aquarium.

Above ground, guests will be able to use the quarry’s cliffs for extreme sports like bungee jumping and rock climbing.

The hotel is due to open in late 2014 or early 2015, and rooms is expected to run at a rate of $320 per night.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/04/12/china-builds-underground-luxury-hotel/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2dgA5jnNB

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Chinese Paris – Incredible…

Chinese Paris

This area in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China looks oddly reminiscent of Paris, France. It is also called “Chinese Paris”. Built in 2007 by real estate company Zhejiang Guangsha, the residential area with European-style villas was constructed to attract the country’s wealthy people. However, the town now has a population of just two thousand as many people are not able to afford the houses in this upper-class area.

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This area in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China looks oddly reminiscent of Paris, France. It is also called "Chinese Paris". Built in 2007 by real estate company Zhejiang Guangsha, the residential area with European-style villas was constructed to attract the country’s wealthy people. However, the town now has a population of just two thousand as many people are not able to afford the houses in this upper-class area.

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