The New York Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai Institutes of Biomedical Sciences were recently involved in a unique conference to apprise the world of the progress made by China in the field of medical sciences especially in the light of epidemics like SARS, the H5N1 bird flu virus and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in that country.
More than a 100 scientists from China, the U.S., Europe and other parts of Asia participated in the conference. Basically the conference highlighted Chinese achievements in (1) chemical biology (2) infectious diseases (3) genomic medicine, and (4) neuroscience. In Chemical biology section, Chinese researchers were urged by Gregory Verdine, Harvard College professor of chemical biology and Virginia Cornish, Columbia University to find ways of "co-opting ribosomes to synthesize strings of nucleotides that do not occur naturally." Dawei Ma, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry and Hua-Liang Jiang, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica threw light on how the process of chemical biology could help in treating SARS.
Zhu Chen, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences discussed the implications of genomic medicine in finding ways to treat leukemia. David Perlin, president and scientific director of the Public Health Research Institute in Newark, New Jersey discussed his work on the control of infectious disease especially in light of the evolution of drug-resistant strains of infectious fungi. Xu Zhang, Chinese Academy of Science's Institute of Neuroscience discussed pain at molecular and cellular levels. Étienne-Émile Baulieu, the past president of the French Academy of Sciences discussed the need of hormonal therapy in combating male and female diseases.