China begins production on panels for world’s largest radio telescope, FAST

China Electronics Technology Group Corp. (CETC) has begun production on reflection panels for the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, the company announced on Saturday.

They expect to complete the first of 4,450 panels for the Five-hundred meter Aperature Spherical Telescope (FAST) by May.

Beginning construction in Guizhou Province in 2011, the telescope will be the largest of its kind when it is finished in 2016.

It will be twice as sensitive as the Arecibo Observatory, currently the world’s largest single-aperature telecsope, operated by the United States in Puerto Rico, Zheng Yuanpeng, a CETC engineer in charge of producing the panels, told official Chinese media.

Arecibo Observatory is just over 300 meters across and is used in
radio astronomy, aeronomy, and radar astronomy research.

China’s FAST project, which will have similar functions, will cost around 109 million U.S. dollars.

30% of heroin users in China diagnosed with additional mental disorders

China’s recent crackdown on drugs has revealed a nationwide epidemic that has been bubbling under the surface for years.

Every week, the country sees stories on drug busts where huge amounts, sometimes tons, of Heroin or crystal meth have been seized.

As authorities quell the problem of distribution, psychologists are examining the causes behind the country’s widespread drug use.

In a recent study, researchers from Second Xiangya Hospital at Central South University in cooperation with the Yale School of Medicine interviewed more than 1000 heroin addicts at three rehab centers in Changsha, China to determine if their substance abuse had any link to other disorders.

They found 29.6% of participants had been diagnosed with some form of life-long mental health disorder and 19.5 had experienced symptoms in the previous month.

The most common diagnosis were Antisocial (40.7%) and Borderline (22.6%) Personality Disorders.  57.8% of the heroin addicts were found to have problems abusing other substances as well.

Recruiting participants from two clinics where patients were required to be there by law or other compulsory means and one voluntary clinic, the study examined the socio-economic status of those being treated for heroin addiction.

Females were found to be of lower socio-economic status than their male counterparts in compulsory clinics.

Males in compulsory clinics were much more likely to have additional disorders, whether mental or substance, and were from a lower socio-economic status than men in volunteer clinics.

“The study findings suggest an urgent need to expand and improve diagnostic and treatment capabilities in compulsory rehabilitation settings in China,” the study said.

It was published online on February 2.