China science, technology news summary -- Jan. 18


BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The following is a summary of published science and technology news of China.

ROBOTIC TESTER

A robot designed to take throat swabs for COVID-19 nucleic acid tests has been deployed in the city of Shenyang in northeast China's Liaoning Province as part of the latest citywide testing campaign.

Photos of the robot, Lingcai, soon made headlines across the city, which has seen a resurgence of COVID-19 cases since December last year. Local medical staff hailed the robot invention, saying it limits person-to-person infections.

WORLD'S OCEAN HEAT

Despite reductions in global carbon emissions due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the world's oceans in 2020 were the warmest in recorded history, according to a new study by 20 scientists from 13 institutes in China, the United States and Italy.

Compared with 2019, the upper 2,000 meters of the Earth's oceans have absorbed a greater amount of heat, enough to boil 1.3 billion kettles, each containing 1.5 liters of water. The increase in heat within the oceans is responsible for the increasing trend of record-breaking global ocean temperatures, said the study.

CHINESE COVID-19 VACCINE

The inactivated vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG) affiliated with Sinopharm is broad-spectrum and can cross-neutralize different coronavirus strains, CNBG chairman Yang Xiaoming told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"Tests for the mutant strains found in Britain are in progress, and the preliminary results are good. It (the vaccine) can induce protection," said Yang.

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