Shenzhen, Jun 27 (AP/UNB) — Chinese tech giant Huawei warned Thursday a U.S. senator's proposal to block the company from pursuing damages in patent courts would be a "catastrophe for global innovation."
The proposal comes amid mounting U.S. action against Huawei, the biggest maker of switching gear for phone carriers. The company has been devastated by the Trump administration's decision to impose restrictions on its access to American chips for smartphones and other components and technology.
Disrupting Huawei's access to U.S. patent courts would threaten the intellectual property system that supports technology development, said Song Liping, the company's chief legal officer.
The proposal by Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, followed reports Huawei Technologies Ltd. is asking for $1 billion from American phone carrier Verizon for use of the Chinese company's patents.
"If such a legislative proposal were to be passed, it would be a catastrophe for global innovation. It would have terrible consequences," Song said at a news conference. He said it would "break the foundation of IP protection."
American officials accuse Huawei of facilitating Chinese spying, a charge the company denies, and see it as a growing competitive threat to U.S. technology industries.
Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, said this month it has cut its project sales by $30 billion over the next two years due to curbs on access to American chips and other components. He said smartphone sales outside China will fall 40%.
Huawei's U.S. sales of network gear evaporated after a congressional panel labeled the company a security threat in 2012 and told phone carriers to avoid it. But the Chinese company has a patent portfolio it licenses to manufacturers and carriers.
Song gave no confirmation of how much Huawei wants from Verizon or the basis of its claims.
"We aren't taking an aggressive approach to intellectual property rights," Song said. "We aim to protect our IP in order to safeguard our global business and we have no intention of weaponizing IP. We are against charging exorbitant royalties, and we think that the fees should be within reasonable realms."
Huawei, founded in 1986, has China's biggest corporate research and development budget at $15 billion in 2018. The company is a leader in developing next-generation telecoms technology.
On Wednesday, a U.S. federal court jury in Texas ruled Huawei stole trade secrets from a Silicon Valley company but awarded no damages, saying the Chinese company didn't benefit.
The jury rejected Huawei's claims that Cnex Labs Inc. co-founder Yiren Huang stole its technology while he worked at a Huawei subsidiary.
Huawei's head of intellectual property, Jason Ding, said the company was studying the verdict and deciding what to do next.
Asked about a report by Bloomberg News that some Huawei researchers had published papers with Chinese military personnel over the past decade, Song said the company wasn't aware of its employees publishing research as private individuals.
"We don't customize products or do research for the military," said Song. "We are not aware of employees publishing papers. We don't have projects of that kind."
Sydney, June 27 (Xinhua/UNB) -- An international group of scientists have observed for the first time ever two galaxy clusters on the verge of colliding, an event which is predicted to create a 100-million-degree shockwave across millions of light years, researchers have revealed.
Galaxy clusters are the largest known objects bound by gravity, and as the name suggests consist of hundreds of galaxies, each containing billions of stars.
Due to their size, which measures in the millions of light years, the collision of two galaxy clusters takes around a billion years to complete, meaning the first stage when the clusters touch is a relatively short and rare moment to witness.
"Merging galaxy clusters have been observed many times in various stages of the merger process but this is the first time we clearly observe one in which two large subclusters are just about to merge," Dr. Huib Intema from Western Australia's Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy told Xinhua.
"This observation provides the first clear view on what happens just before two large clusters merge, and allows us to study how the potential energy released in the merger is affecting and shaping the newly-to-be-formed larger cluster."
Computer simulations show that in the first moments before clusters touch, an immense shockwave of 100-million-degree gas is released, a theory which has been predicted but evidence of which is only now being revealed.
"X-ray and radio images of these clusters show the first clear evidence for this type of merger shock," lead author Liyi Gu from Japan's RIKEN research institute said.
"The shock created a hot belt region of 100-million-degree gas between the clusters, which is expected to extend up to, or even go beyond the boundary of the giant clusters."
Scientists intend to build up a collection of "snapshots" documenting the clusters' progress to increase understanding of collisions.
Los Angeles, June 27 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected two partner organizations to run a nationwide contest giving US students a chance to make history by naming the Mars 2020 rover, according to a release of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on Tuesday.
Battelle Education, of Columbus, Ohio, and Future Engineers, of Burbank, California, will collaborate with NASA on the Mars 2020 "Name the Rover" contest, which will be open to students from kindergarten to 12th grade in the fall of 2019.
The student contest is part of NASA's efforts to engage the public in its missions to the Moon and Mars.
"We're very excited about this exceptional partnership," said Mars 2020 program executive George Tahu in NASA's Planetary Science Division.
"Contests like this present excellent opportunities to invite young students and educators to be a part of this journey to understand the possibilities for life beyond Earth and to advance new capabilities in exploration technology."
The currently unnamed rover is a robotic scientist weighing more than 1,000 kg, according to the JPL. It will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.
The spacecraft is targeted for a July 2020 launch and is expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.
Beijing, June 27 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Chinese researchers have improved a diagnostics system for nuclear fusion devices, paving the way for producing controlled thermonuclear fusion power in the future.
At the temperatures required for fusion reactions, the matter can only exist in the plasma state, free negative electrons and positive nuclei. Some fusion reactors use a magnetic field to confine hot plasma for fusion actions to take place.
Plasma is hard to control and contain and is subject to sudden termination, usually with very little warning. When a disruption occurs, the considerable thermal and magnetic energy contained within the plasma is suddenly released very quickly, which can lead to damages.
Scattering of laser light from the electrons in plasma is known as Thomson scattering. It has been used as an established method to measure the electron temperature and density in fusion devices, assisting in the identification of critical points of the fusion plasmas.
Researchers from Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) tested their new Thomson scattering diagnostic system in the Keda Torus eXperiment, a fusion device at the USTC.
The new system used laser beams of 200 Hz repetition rate and 1.5 J pulse energy each as the source of intense radiation for scattering and achieved the accurate detection of the electron temperature under 5 electron volts, the energy unit that electron temperature is often expressed in terms of.
The time response of the diagnostic system using a single laser unit is two times faster than that of a conventional one.
According to the researchers, the frequency of laser beam decides how often the diagnostic system measure the electron temperature. In a hot magnetically confined plasma, the laser system thus can record fast changes and measure turbulence and electron fluctuations so as to ensure safe operation of the fusion reactor.
In future studies, the researchers plan to develop Thomson scattering diagnostic system based on laser beams with much higher frequency.
Nuclear fusion has the potential to revolutionize energy production, with virtually endless power available from common elements like hydrogen and helium and no dangerous waste products produced.
Jerusalem, June 27 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Israeli researchers have deciphered the way that biological cells ingest food, which may lead to an explanation of many activities in the cell, the northern Israel Institute of Technology reported on Wednesday.
Biological cells, like the whole organism, cannot live without eating. Since they do not have an eating organ, the cells evolved into a clever ingestion technique called endocytosis.
In this process, the cell membrane has a dent that develops and protrudes inward, and then the membrane forms an internal bubble in which the food particle is trapped.
To complete the engulfing process, it is necessary to cut the bubble's neck and release the nutrients into dedicated organelles in the cell.
Thus, the molecules of the protein dynamin tighten around the bladder's neck and cut it, releasing the food particle inside the cell.
In the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers examined the activity of the dynamin, whose structure is a helix, like other proteins and the DNA molecule, whose structure is a double helix.
The researchers showed that the shape and stability of the dynamin chain are largely determined by the angle of insertion of the dynamins' edges in the membrane of the cell, and this is critical to the success of cutting the membrane neck and breaking down the chain of dynamin to release the nutrients inside the cell.
Furthermore, the researchers successfully predicted the arrangement of the protein structure in the cells.
Following the findings, the team presented a new geometric object -- the tilted helix