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Chinese scientists first discover spider species breastfeeding, nursing

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2018

 

Spider babies eating milk on bellies of spider mothers | REUTERS

Chinese scientists discovered a spider species that feeds their babies with milk as mammals, marking the first time humans discovering invertebrates breastfeeding and nursing theirs offspring, said Chinese Academy of Sciences Friday.

Breastfeeding is a unique animal behavior to mammals, including humans. This type of spider, commonly known as big ant spider, discovered with “breastfeeding behavior”, belongs to Myrmarachne of Salticidae, which is a spider species widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of East and Southeast Asia.

“Spider babies which just hatched out clime up on spider moms’ bellies, to eat a kind of liquid (secreted by spider moms), which was tested to be milk containing four times the protein of cow’s milk. We call it spider milk,” said Chen Zhanqi, a post doctor from Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Researchers found after long-term observation that the newly hatched spider babies feed themselves entirely with the milk in the first 20 days after birth, during which they grow as big as half of their mothers. From 20 to 40 days, spider babies go out looking for food by themselves, while also eating milk from their mothers. This period is a transition for weaning.

The study also found that spider babies don’t leave their mothers after weaning, and continue to stay with them in nests, even after they grow up. This kind of spider will take care of its grown-up offspring, which is seen as a long parental behavioral mode. This mode was once thought to only exist in the social vertebrates with long lifespan.

Experts believe that this breakthrough discovery has extremely important significance for the research on revolution of breastfeeding behavior for contemporary animals. — Reuters

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China marks 81st Nanjing Massacre anniversary

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2018

 

Students standing in tribute in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province in China | CCTV via Reuters

China marked the 81st anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre in eastern Nanjing City on Thursday (December 13), an event which still plays a key role in defining the country’s relationship with Japan.

China and Japan have long sparred over their painful history. China consistently reminds its people of the 1937 massacre in which it says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in Nanjing.

A postwar Allied tribunal put the death toll in the eastern city of Nanjing at 142,000, but some conservative Japanese politicians and scholars deny a massacre took place at all.

Sino-Japanese relations have been tense in recent years due to a feud over East China Sea islands, and suspicion in China about efforts by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to amend Japan’s pacifist constitution. But in October this year, Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a broad range of agreements and pledged to forge closer ties at the first full-scale Sino-Japanese summit since 2011. — Reuters

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People worried as China’s capital blanket by pollution

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2018

A building in smog in Beijing, China | REUTERS

A total of 79 Chinese cities have triggered air pollution alerts as severe winter smog covers wide swaths of the country, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday (December 1).

China’s capital Beijing issued its first air pollution alert for the winter season on Nov. 23, and it has again issued a yellow alert, the third-highest in its pollution warning system from Saturday (December 1).

Beijing was visibly clouded in smog on Sunday (December 2), and residents were not happy, but many seem resigned to the constant recurrence.

As of Nov.30, five cities had issued red pollution warnings, the most severe in China’s pollution warning system, 73 had issued orange warnings, the second-most severe, and on issued yellow, triggering the implementation of emergency management and control measures, Xinhua reported.

China has taken steps to broaden its campaign against air pollution, including extending a monthly air quality ranking to 169 cities from 74 to pressure local authorities to clean up dirty skies. — Reuters

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China’s first private WiFi satellite meets public

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2018

 

WiFi satellite | CCTV via REUTERS

China’s first private WiFi satellite met the public in Shanghai on Tuesday.

The satellite “LinkSure No.1,” independently developed by LinkSure Network, a Shanghai-based mobile internet unicorn company specializing in free internet access, will be launched into space together with the Long March rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China in 2019.

The company also launched its satellite network program — “LinkSure Swarm Constellation System,” which aims to provide free satellite network around the globe in 2026.

Compared with the already existing networks, the system will be more helpful for areas that are uncovered by Internet.

“There are still many places in the world still uncovered by the Internet. According to information released by the United Nations last year, 3.9 billion users had no access to the Internet by the end of 2017. The Earth has many different terrains like ocean or dessert, where Internet infrastructure cannot be constructed, so we got the idea of developing such satellites,” said Wang Jingying, CEO of LinkSure Networks.

The system plans to launch the first 10 WiFi satellites in 2020. The entire system, consisting of 272 satellites of different orbits at different heights, will finally cover the whole world.

Wang said it is costly to launch so many satellites, but what the LinkSure Networks eyes is the broad application prospect of the system in communication, navigation, environment monitoring and other areas.

“Such a satellite plan is actually very costly in the early stage. Our own budget is three billion yuan (about 431 million U.S. dollars). We believe it will pay off, with many scenes, many applications and different modes,” said Wang.

Wang’s view was echoed by Huang Zhicheng, an aerospace technology expert.

“Aerospace programs have high risks and need big investment. Programs that you can see return in three to five years are very few. So patience is very important,” said Huang. — Reuters

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