BSC members' achievements rank among China's top 10 scientific advances in 2020
China's Top 10 Scientific Advances in 2020 were announced by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) on Feb 27. Members of the Biophysical Society of China (BSC) were listed for having played a major part in revealing the transmission of human genetic material and in the in-depth analysis of biomarkers and potential intervention targets for organ aging in mammals.
Epigenetic regulation of DNA replication initiation
DNA replication is the basis for the precise transmission of human genetic material between cells. Not being able to identify the DNA replication initiation sites in higher organisms hinders our understanding of the mechanism of cancer occurrence and development.
Researchers at the Institute of Biophysics (IBP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) revealed a sophisticated mechanism for recognition and regulation of DNA replication initiation sites that is able to inhibit DNA replication and growth of cancer cells.
These results provide a new perspective for understanding the identification of DNA replication initiation sites in higher organisms and are an important contribution to solving the long-standing problem of eukaryotic DNA replication initiation site selection and startup.
In terms of the analysis of aging mechanism, the main molecular characteristics of primate ovarian aging have been discovered, providing new biological markers for evaluating ovarian aging and decreased female fertility as well as new ideas for finding measures to delay ovarian aging and develop intervening strategies for related diseases.
These research results deepen our understanding of the heterogeneity and complexity of organ aging, and lay an important foundation for the establishment of early warning and scientific response strategies for aging and aging-related diseases.
Systematic biological research on delaying multi-organ aging through caloric restriction
Other scientific advances sitting high on the list include Chinese scientists' remarkable progress in tackling COVID-19, the Chang'e 5 probe's retrieval of lunar samples and the deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe's diving record.
Also listed among the country's top 10 scientific advances were transparent ferroelectric single crystals with ultrahigh piezoelectricity, quantum interference in chemical reactions, measurement of the new height of Mount Qomolangma, tracing of the evolution and migration history of Chinese populations with ancient DNA, and recreation of the history of over 300 million years of biodiversity changes on Earth.
China's Top 10 Scientific Advances have been selected by the MOST for 16 consecutive years to publicize China's major scientific progress in basic research, inspire the enthusiasm and dedication of the scientific and technological workers, carry out science popularization, promote public understanding, care and support, and create a good scientific atmosphere throughout the country.