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Bat Cave Solves Mystery of Deadly SARS Virus — and Suggests New Outbreak Could Occur

           

Researchers analysed strains of SARS virus circulating in horseshoe bats, such as this one (Rhinolophus sinicus), in a cave in Yunnan province, China.  Credit: Libiao Zhang/Guangdong Institute of Applied Biological Resource

Chinese scientists find all the genetic building blocks of SARS in a single population of horseshoe bats.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus

nature.com - by David Cyranoski - December 1, 2017

After a detective hunt across China, researchers chasing the origin of the deadly SARS virus have finally found their smoking gun. In a remote cave in Yunnan province, virologists have identified a single population of horseshoe bats that harbours virus strains with all the genetic building blocks of the one that jumped to humans in 2002, killing almost 800 people around the world. 

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China's H7N9 Cases Spike, Led by Infections in Beijing

josephbergen / Flickr cc

cidrap.umn.edu - by Lisa Schnirring - April 21, 2017

After several weeks of declining H7N9 avian influenza activity, China's cases are rising again, partly related to a recent spurt of local infections in Beijing, an area that usually doesn't see many cases and is located north of the main hot spots.

Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP), citing mainland health officials, said today that 27 more cases, 7 of them fatal, were reported from Apr 14 to Apr 20. Seven of them are in Beijing. Cases peaked in January and February, but over the past few weeks, new infections had declined to about 15 a week.

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CLICK HERE - PRESS RELEASE - Hong Kong - Centre for Health Protection

Updates will be posted within the links below . . . 

Hong Kong - Centre for Health Protection - Avian Influenza Report
http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/guideline1_year/29/134/332.html

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More than 100 Chinese cities now above 1 million people

A boom in telecommunications businesses – including the arrival of e-commerce giant Alibaba – has transformed once-sleepy Guiyang. Photograph: Alamy

IMAGE: A boom in telecommunications businesses – including the arrival of e-commerce giant Alibaba – has transformed once-sleepy Guiyang. Photograph: Alamy

theguardian.com - March 20th 2017 - Benjamin Haas

China now has more than 100 cities of over 1 million residents, a number that is likely to double in the next decade.

According to the Demographia research group, the world’s most populous country boasts 102 cities bigger than 1 million people, many of which are little known outside the country – or even within its borders.

Quanzhou, for example, on the south-east coast of China, was one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world a millennium ago, when it served as a hub for traders from across Asia and the Middle East. 

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Tiny Genetic Change Lets Bird Flu Leap to Humans

           

At least six provinces have reported human cases of H7N9 influenza this year, according to Chinese state media - Getty Images

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Nature Communications - An NS-segment exonic splicing enhancer regulates influenza A virus replication in mammalian cells

bbc.com - March 21, 2017

A change in just a single genetic "letter" of the flu virus allows bird flu to pass to humans, according to scientists.

Monitoring birds for viruses that carry the change could provide early warning of risk to people, they say . . .

 . . . The change in a single nucleotide (a building block of RNA) allows the H7N9 virus to infect human cells as well as birds, say Prof Honglin Chen and colleagues.

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China's Science Revolution

Prof Peng Bo

Image: Prof Peng Bo

bbc.co.uk - May 23rd 2016 - Rebecca Morelle

China is super-sizing science.

From building the biggest experiments the world has ever seen to rolling out the latest medical advances on a massive scale and pushing the boundaries of exploration from the deepest ocean to outer space - China’s scientific ambitions are immense.

Just a few decades ago the nation barely featured in the world science rankings. 

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What everyone needs to know about China’s debt load

It needs a bit of work. (Reuters/Chance Chan)

Image: It needs a bit of work. (Reuters/Chance Chan)

qz.com - May 4th 2016 - Matt Phillips

Few have watched the development of the Chinese economy as closely as Arthur Kroeber.

His new book, published last month, is a wide-ranging and authoritative primer on the history and development of China’s unique blend of decentralized economic authoritarianism.

It’s an idiosyncratic system, developed in defiance of the advice of western-trained economists in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Mounting debts could derail China plans to cut steel, coal glut

Workers are seen at Shuangyashan Mine, owned by Longmay Group, in Shuangyashan, Heilongjiang province, in this March 15, 2016 file picture. REUTERS/Brenda Goh/FilesI

mage: Workers are seen at Shuangyashan Mine, owned by Longmay Group, in Shuangyashan, Heilongjiang province, in this March 15, 2016 file picture. REUTERS/Brenda Goh/Files

reuters.com - March 22, 2016 - David Stanway

China's campaign to slim down its bloated industries could be derailed by more than $1.5 trillion of debt in its steel, coal, cement and non-ferrous metal sectors, which threatens to overwhelm local banks.

Tackling industrial overcapacity has become a priority for Beijing to make its slowing economy more efficient and address a supply glut that has hammered coal and steel prices.

China is providing more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) in the next two years to handle layoffs from coal and steel, but that will only be made available once debts have been settled.

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China's Mobile Payment Revolution Is Going to Africa

          

BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

huffingtonpost.com - by Claire van den Heever - February 26, 2016

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- With the launch of Apple Pay in mainland China on Feb. 18, Apple has become the first foreign player to secure a place at the table for China's enormous mobile payment market. . . .

. . . Africa's largest lender by assets, Standard Bank, has opted for a more direct route: joining forces with WeChat to secure a piece of Africa's growing mobile payment market. The Standard Bank-backed WeChat Wallet was launched in November 2015 in the continent's most industrialized nation, South Africa, and gives users access to a variety of the Chinese version's most popular offerings, including peer-to-peer money transfers and in-app payments for taxis and other services.

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China Is Headed for a Debt Meltdown Like the U.S. in 2008 - But Worse

               

Empty apartment developments stand in the city of Ordos, Inner Mongolia on September 12, 2011. MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images) | MARK RALSTON via Getty Images

huffingtonpost.com - by Robert Hockett - January 8, 2016

World attention has focused in recent months on an acute refugee crisis occasioned by the mass migration to Europe of hundreds of thousands now fleeing the Syrian civil war. Less noticed has been another refugee crisis at least as ominous as that underway in the Middle East and Europe -- the fleeing of money from China.

What's going on, and why is it ominous? . . .

. . . where Chinese money is going -- to U.S. real estate and other asset markets. . . .

. . . First, it is fueling new real estate bubbles in the U.S. . . .

. . . Second, the shift of investment flows from Chinese to American assets is placing downward pressure on Chinese currency values, and will place upward pressure on the dollar -- yet again. This will ultimately worsen America's trade balance with China, harming America's own economic recovery and fueling mutual Chinese-American resentments -- possibly culminating in financially destabilizing competitive currency devaluations, trade war, or both. . . .

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Global Stock Markets Dive on China Worries

         

The index was at the lowest level in nearly three months.  Associated Press

Wall Street has continued the rout on global share markets, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 closing down more than 1.5% and Nasdaq down 2%.

bbc.com - January 4, 2016

It followed sharp falls in China, where trading on the main stock markets was halted early after indexes tumbled 7%.

A survey indicating China's manufacturing sector contracted again last month was blamed for the falls. . . .

. . . On Wall Street, all 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the 2.4% fall in the technology sector. Bank stocks were also hard hit, with JP Morgan down 3.65%.

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(ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW)

CLICK HERE - The Guardian - US stock markets open with worst performance since 2008

CLICK HERE - Huffpost Business - China Halts Trading After 7 Percent Plunge

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