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Scientists take giant leap forward in 2005

Chinese scientists and technicians have achieved remarkable progress in the past year, according to the 500 Chinese academicians who voted for the 10 top scientific achievements in China and the world last year.

The Shenzhou-VI manned spaceship, which returned to the Earth on October 17 after 115 hours' space travel, has been ranked as the most important achievement Chinese scientists made last year.

It came in the wake of the manned Shenzhou-V's 24-hour voyage to the Earth's orbit in 2003.

According to Bai Chunli, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS), 111 independent innovations in four major aspects enabled the success of the space mission.

Bai unveiled the results of the Chinese scientists' selection of last year's top 10 scientific events in China yesterday.

Aside from the milestone, the completion of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway and the creation of the first 64-digit CPU (central process unit) also ranked among 2005's scientific and engineering attainments.

These top three achievements were followed by Chinese scientists' first landing on the highest point of the Antarctic ice cover, the publication of the China Plant Encyclopedia, Chinese scientists' breakthrough in controlling a single molecule's self rotation, the latest accurate measure of the height of the world's highest peak Qomolangma, and digging 5,158 metres underground in the Chinese mainland.

The invention of a nanotechnology-based drug carrier, which is one billionth of a metre, and the high-resolution digitalized virtual man completed the 10 leading achievements.

China Daily

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