BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The following are the highlights of China's science news from the past week:
Researchers have disclosed that the average mercury concentrations in the northwestern Chinese city of Lanzhou decreased in the last two decades.
The researchers from the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources of the Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted atmospheric mercury measurements in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province, from October 2016 to October 2017.
MEDIAN VIRAL SHEDDING DURATION OF COVID-19
The median viral shedding duration of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was 20 days, but the longest lasted 37 days, according to a study published by the Lancet.
The study revealed risk factors and a detailed clinical course of the novel coronavirus, including viral shedding, based on the data of 191 confirmed patients from two hospitals in Wuhan, the provincial capital of central China's Hubei Province and epicenter of the outbreak.
Some vaccines for the COVID-19 are expected to enter clinical trials as soon as possible in China.
Chinese scientists have been racing to develop COVID-19 vaccines by five approaches, namely inactivated vaccines, genetic engineering subunit vaccines, adenovirus vector vaccines, nucleic acid vaccines, and vaccines using attenuated influenza virus as vectors, said Wang Junzhi, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
NEW PLANT SPECIES
Researchers have discovered a new plant species of Thismia in a national park of China's southern island province of Hainan.
There are about 40 species of the genus Thismia around the world, mainly distributed in pan-tropical regions. Previously, five of them have been found in China. As the sixth newly discovered species, the Thismia jianfenglingensis can only be found in Hainan.
Due to an extremely small population, the species is proposed to be considered as vulnerable according to the criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature for the conservation status of plant species.
Chinese scientists have shared the ultrasonographic features of the novel coronavirus pneumonia and the treatment experience of lung ultrasonography on patients.
Compared with the early chest computerized tomography, ultrasonography is more effective in screening respiratory failure causes, assessing the severity of the disease, tracking its evolution, as well as providing individualized guidance for treatment. The findings are published in the journal Intensive Care Medicine.