China launches lobster-eye telescope

In another landmark achievement for the country’s young space program, China has officially deployed the world’s first lobster-eye telescope into orbit. Known as the ‘Einstein Probe’, the advanced satellite observatory can detect far-off cosmic phenomena, including black holes and neutron stars. A Long March 2C liquid fuel rocket successfully launched the Einstein Probe from the…

Chinese start-up unveil coin-sized nuclear battery

Chinese start-up, Betavolt New Energy Technology, has revealed a nuclear battery powerful enough to charge your smartphone for fifty years. When the coin-sized power bank enters production, it will become the world’s first mass-produced atomic battery. Measuring just 15 millimetres squared and 5 millimetres high, the tiny three-volt battery has 100 microwatts of power, putting…

Chinese scientists develop a coal-to-protein animal feed process

It sounds like alchemy, but Chinese researchers have developed a method that uses methanol to convert coal into protein for animal feed. The breakthrough has the scientific community hopeful the low-cost source of protein could become an alternative source of nutrition for animals as food prices worldwide continue to increase. Population growth, particularly in underdeveloped…

China launches world’s first industrial-level coal-to-ethanol plant

Test runs for the world’s largest coal-to-ethanol conversion plant have commenced. Chinese authorities have announced that the site has a reported output of an estimated 600 000 tonnes per year, making it the only industrial-level facility of its kind. Ethanol is traditionally synthesised from agricultural crops like corn, sugar and cassava but the new plant,…

Chinese scientists develop aerosol-based vaccine

A group of immunologists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have reportedly developed a “super-small” inhalable vaccine that could provide better protection against viral infections than conventional injectable vaccines. A single dose of the aerosol-propelled drug delivers microscopic 2.8 micron-thick particles that produced a sustained immune response in several lab subjects, including mice, hamsters…

Robo-octupus breakthrough to boost human-robot interaction

Chinese roboticists from Beijing’s prestigious Beihang University have created a flexible robotic appendage capable of mimicking the movements of an octopus’s arm. The research team believes the breakthrough design marks a significant step in soft robotics and human-robot interaction. The device, which has been named an electronics-integrated soft robotic octopus arm (E-SOAM) has the agility…

Chinese scientists modify corn to tackle iron deficiencies

Chinese agronomists are using genetic engineering to create a corn cultivar with significantly higher iron content. Those close to the project are hopeful the iron-rich strain could offer hope to people suffering from anaemia, a potentially life-threatening condition characterised by a lack of healthy red blood cells. Iron is a mineral that plays an important…

Chinese answer to Musk’s Starlink launches

Chinese authorities have announced the initial completion of the country’s long-awaited high-orbit satellite communications network. In what is being touted as a potential competitor to Elon Musk’s Starlink internet constellation, the Chinese equivalent promises to offer high-speed internet services to the country’s more than 1.4 billion inhabitants. The satellite communications network would provide services to…