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China Debuts 1st Commercial Flight Using 'Gutter Oil' Biofuel
   2015-03-26 20:10:06    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Meng Xue



"China debuts 1st commercial flight using 'gutter oil' biofuel"

Hainan Airlines has become the first Chinese airline to pilot a commercial passenger flight using biofuel produced from waste cooking oil known as "gutter oil," sparking heated debate across the country.

Flight HU7604 traveled two hours between Shanghai and Beijing on Saturday morning, powered by a "half-half" mixture of traditional jet fuel and biofuel developed from gutter oil.

Hainan Airlines says the fuel mix underwent a series of stringent safety examinations and tests by aviation authorities before obtaining official approval for the maiden flight.

Hainan Airlines and Sinopec say the oil mixture can gradually reduce carbon emissions by 35 percent, and also effectively reduce particle pollution.

But that effect can be realized only if biofuel is in mass production and application, the chance of which is now dampened by high production costs.

Statistics show that China's annual output of gutter oil is over 30 million tons, but only about 2 million tons can be collected and recycled.


"4D Ultrasound Study Reveals Unborn Babies Grimace When Mothers Smoke While Pregnant"

Unborn babies appear to grimace in the womb when their mother lights up, scientists have shown, demonstrating the harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy.

The tiny movements were captured in the faces of the foetuses during 4D ultrasound scans.

Pregnant women have long been urged to give up cigarettes because they heighten the risk of premature birth, respiratory problems and even cot death.

Now researchers believe they can show the effects of smoking on babies in the womb - and use the images to encourage mothers who are struggling to give up.

Both 3D and 4D ultrasounds have become very popular in recent years, with some mothers opting to have the images taken once each month during pregnancy.


"Preschool kids need new ideas, not old rules"

Beijing education authorities have launched inspection tours of kindergartens to ensure that children are not overburdened with schoolwork.

Although Chinese, mathematics and English are supposed to be taught to primary school students, it is not uncommon to see preschool-age children across China being forced to study these subjects.

In 2012, the Ministry of Education told kindergartens not to burden pupils with schoolwork on the pretext of holding special or experimental classes.

The ministry also directed kindergartens not to assign homework to preschool children. But in practice, few local education authorities and kindergartens have followed the rule.

Fully implementing this regulation has become difficult due to the growing competition for admission to schools and inadequate seats for applicants.

Some parents are too anxious about their children's lagging behind and would send their children to other training schools, which also fails to reduce the pressure on children.



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