China News Service, Beijing, January 18 (Reporter Sun Zifa) In the minds of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, what are the most important progress achievements in the field of science and technology in China and the world in 2021?

  On January 18, the top ten science and technology progress news in China and the world's top ten science and technology progress news in 2021, voted by academicians of the two academies, were announced in Beijing.

Among them, the first Mars exploration and the Chinese space station were selected as the top ten scientific and technological progress in China in 2021.

  The top ten news of China's scientific and technological progress in 2021, as rated by the academicians of the two academies, are:

  ——China's first Mars exploration mission was a complete success.

On June 11, the National Space Administration held the unveiling ceremony of the first scientific images of the Tianwen-1 probe landing on Mars in Beijing, and announced the panorama of the landing site, the topography of Mars, the "China Imprint" and the "Zhu Rong" taken by the Mars rover. Tour group photo” and other images.

The release of the first batch of scientific images marks the complete success of China's first Mars exploration mission.

It is reported that China's first Mars exploration mission was fully launched in 2013, and the project was approved in January 2016.

On July 23, 2020, the Tianwen-1 probe was successfully launched in Wenchang, Hainan. After the ground fire transfer, Mars capture, Mars berthing, de-orbit landing and scientific exploration, the engineering mission was carried out smoothly as planned.

  ——The Chinese space station has opened the era of long-term presence of people.

On June 17 and October 16, the Shenzhou 12 and Shenzhou 13 manned spacecraft were successfully launched, successfully sending astronauts into space.

Shenzhou 12 docked with the Tianhe core module to form a combination. Three astronauts entered the core module for a three-month stay and carried out a series of space science experiments and technical experiments. Key technologies for space station construction and operation, such as residency, regeneration and life support, space material supply, out-of-vehicle activities, extravehicular operations, and on-orbit maintenance.

After Shenzhou 13 entered orbit, it completed an autonomous and rapid rendezvous with the Tianhe core module and the Tianzhou-2 and Tianzhou-3 assemblies. The three astronauts started a 6-month on-orbit stay, during which they will carry out mechanical work. Arm operation, exit activities, module transposition, space science experiments and technical tests have further verified a series of key technologies such as astronauts' long-term in-orbit residency and regeneration and life protection. The era of long-term residency in the Chinese space station has arrived.

  ——China realizes de novo synthesis of carbon dioxide to starch.

Starch is the most important carbohydrate in "porridge rice", the main component of flour, rice, corn and other grains, and also an important industrial raw material.

Its main synthesis method is carried out by green plants fixing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.

For a long time, researchers have been working hard to improve the life process of photosynthesis, hoping to increase the conversion rate of carbon dioxide and the utilization efficiency of light energy, and ultimately improve the production efficiency of starch.

Researchers from Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences have proposed a subversive starch preparation method, which does not rely on plant photosynthesis, and uses carbon dioxide and hydrogen produced by electrolysis as raw materials to successfully produce starch. The de novo synthesis of starch makes it possible to transform starch production from the traditional agricultural planting mode to the industrial workshop production mode, and achieves an original breakthrough.

Relevant research results were published online in the journal Science on September 24.

  ——The Chinese team won the 2021 "Gordon Bell Award" for its supercomputing application that broke "quantum hegemony".

At the Global Supercomputing Conference (SC21) held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA on the afternoon of November 18, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) awarded the 2021 "Gordon Bell Award" to the Chinese supercomputing application team.

This joint scientific research team, composed of researchers from Zhijiang Laboratory, National Supercomputing Wuxi Center and other units, won this honor based on the application of "Super-Large Scale Quantum Stochastic Circuit Simulation" (SWQSIM) based on the new generation of Sunway supercomputer.

In this work, the researchers introduce a system design process that covers the algorithms, parallelization, and system architecture required for the simulation.

Using a new generation of Sunway supercomputers, the research team effectively simulated a random quantum circuit with a depth of 10x10(1+40+1).

Compared with Google's quantum computer "Plane Tree" to complete a million 0.2% fidelity sampling task in 200 seconds, "Vertex" needs 10,000 years to complete a simulation of the same complexity, and the team's SWQSIM application can obtain one million updates in 304 seconds. High-fidelity correlated samples, with the same number of uncorrelated samples obtained within a week, broke its claimed "quantum supremacy" in one fell swoop.

  ——1400 trillion electron volts, the highest energy photon ever observed by Chinese scientists.

The international cooperation team led by the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, relying on the national major scientific and technological infrastructure "High Altitude Cosmic Ray Observatory (LHAASO)", discovered 12 ultra-high-energy cosmic ray accelerators in the Milky Way, and recorded an energy of 1.4 petaelectron volts (PeV, beat = petabillion) gamma photons, which are the highest-energy photons ever observed by human beings, breaking through the traditional understanding of human beings on the acceleration of particles in the Milky Way, revealing that the ubiquitous existence in the Milky Way can accelerate particles to more than 1PeV The cosmic ray accelerator has opened the era of "ultra-high-energy gamma astronomy" observation.

The related results were published in Nature on May 17.

  ——The important research results of Chang'e-5 samples have been released successively.

On October 19, the Chinese Academy of Sciences released the latest research results of the Chang'e-5 lunar scientific research samples.

Led by the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Astronomical Observatory, together with a number of research institutions, three papers in Nature and one paper in National Science Review have reported breakthrough progress on important scientific issues surrounding lunar evolution.

In the latest study, the researchers used ultra-high spatial resolution uranium-lead (U-Pb) dating technology to analyze more than 50 uranium-rich minerals (deleyelite, perovskite zircon) in the basalt debris of the Chang'e-5 lunar sample. , Jinghai Stone), and determined that the basalt formation age was 2.030±0.04 billion years, indicating that there was still magma activity on the moon until 2 billion years ago, which was about 800 million years longer than the magma activity limited by previous lunar samples.

The study shows that the initial melting of the basalt of the Chang'e-5 lunar sample was not involved in the "Krep matter" enriched in potassium, rare earth elements, and phosphorus. In the later stage of the magma, after a large number of minerals were crystallized and solidified, the residual part was enriched.

This result ruled out the mainstream hypothesis that the initial magmatic melting heat source of the rocks in the Chang'e-5 landing area came from radioactive heat-generating elements, and revealed the late lunar magmatic activity process.

It is reported that the ultra-high spatial resolution dating and isotopic analysis technology used in this study is at the international leading level, providing a new technical method for the study of precious extraterrestrial samples such as chronology.

  ——A new breakthrough was made in the rapid de novo domestication of allotetraploid wild rice.

With the rapid growth of the world's population, food production may increase by 50% by 2050 to fully meet demand.

At the same time, in recent years, the world's climate change has intensified, global warming, and frequent extreme weather have brought enormous challenges to food security.

In this context, how to further improve the crop yield has become a serious problem to be solved urgently.

The team of Academician Li Jiayang from the Institute of Seed Innovation/Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, proposed for the first time a new strategy for rapid de novo domestication of allotetraploid wild rice, with the aim of finally cultivating a new polyploid rice crop, thereby greatly improving food production. yield and increase the adaptability of crops to environmental changes.

This study proposes a new feasible strategy for coping with food crises in the future, and opens up a new direction of crop breeding.

The related research results were published in Cell on February 4.

  ——China successfully developed -271℃ superfluid helium large-scale cryogenic refrigeration equipment.

On April 15, the national major scientific research equipment development project "development of large-scale cryogenic refrigeration system from liquid helium to superfluid helium temperature area" undertaken by the Institute of Physical and Chemical Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences passed the acceptance and achievement appraisal, indicating that China has the ability to develop liquid helium temperature. (minus 269 degrees Celsius) kilowatt-level and superfluid helium temperature (minus 271 degrees Celsius) 100-watt large-scale low-temperature refrigeration equipment can meet the urgent needs of national strategic high-tech development such as large scientific engineering, aerospace engineering, and helium resource development.

The successful implementation of the project has also driven the rapid development of high-end helium screw compressors, cryogenic heat exchangers and cryogenic valves in China, improved the core competitiveness of a number of high-tech manufacturing companies, and enabled related technologies to grow from nothing. , The promotion from low-end to high-end has initially formed a low-temperature industry group with complete functions and clear division of labor in China.

  - The first demonstration of functional gene transfer from plants to animals.

After 20 years of follow-up research, Zhang Youjun's team from the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences found that the only "super pest" Bemisia tabaci has been identified by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) so far. ”: it acquires defense genes from the host plant.

This is the first study to confirm the existence of functional horizontal gene transfer between plants and animals in the more than 100 years since the birth of modern biology.

Relevant scientific research results were published online in "Cell" on March 25, and published on April 1 as the cover article of "Cell".

This is the first paper in the journal "Cell" in the field of agricultural pest research in China. It reveals how insects use horizontal transfer genes to overcome the host's defense, which opens up a new perspective for exploring the law of insect adaptive evolution, and also provides a new generation of target genes. The research and development of oriented whitefly field precise green prevention and control technology provides a new idea.

  - Rare earth ions realize multi-mode quantum relay and 1-hour optical storage.

The law of quantum unclonability gives quantum communication security based on the principles of physics.

This law also determines that the photon transmission loss cannot be overcome by using traditional amplifiers, making long-distance quantum communication one of the core problems of today's quantum information science.

Quantum relay and removable quantum storage are two feasible schemes for realizing long-distance quantum communication, and their common requirement is high-performance quantum memory.

In terms of quantum relay, the existing international experimental research has focused on the architecture of emissive memory, which cannot meet the two key technical requirements of deterministic luminescence and multi-mode multiplexing at the same time.

In terms of portable quantum storage, the longest optical storage time in the world is only 1 minute, which cannot meet the hour-level storage time requirement of portable quantum storage.

University of Science and Technology of China Academician Guo Guangcan's team Li Chuanfeng and Zhou Zongquan's research team developed a high-performance solid-state quantum memory based on rare-earth ion-doped crystals, and made important progress in the above two technical routes, realizing a multi-device absorption-based memory. Mode quantum relay, and successfully increased the optical storage time to 1 hour.

The related results were published in Nature Communications and Nature on April 22 and June 2, respectively.

  It is understood that the annual selection of the top ten scientific and technological progress activities in China and the world by the academicians of the two academies is hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and undertaken by the Academic Work Bureau of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the General Office of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the China Science News Agency.

This annual selection event has been held 28 times so far, which has played a positive role in helping the public to further understand the development of Chinese and foreign science and technology and popularize science and technology.

(Finish)

Keywords: