A technician extracts DNA in the lab of a gene testing company in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo/Xinhua]
>Gene test to detect doping
A "groundbreaking" method of using gene testing to catch doping cheats could be ready in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.
Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee president, said the technology would allow blood doping to be identified several months after banned performance-enhancing drugs such as EPO had been used by an athlete.
"With research on genetic sequencing progressing well, this new approach could be a groundbreaking method to detect blood doping, weeks or even months after it took place," Bach told the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice, Poland. "If approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency, such gene testing could be used at the Tokyo Olympics. These new methods will again strengthen deterrence," he said.
>Soldiers take ballet lessons
The British Special Air Service soldiers are taking ballet lessons to make them more flexible and mobile in battle.
Members of the elite regiment are using classical dance moves such as plie, arabesque, and pirouettes to strengthen their core, arms and legs.
Classes are being taught by a professional ballet dancer married to a member of the regiment.
An anonymous source said: "There has been a gradual move from soldiers just beasting themselves in the gym by lifting heavier and heavier weights. Big muscles might look good on the beach but it's not so good on operations when you often have to move quickly. Soldiers now want to be lithe, flexible and mobile and ballet has proved to be a great way of achieving that. There was a lot of shaking of the heads when some of the younger guys announced that they were having ballet lessons, but the ballet classes are now very popular."
A courier sorts through a sea of packages in a storehouse. [Photo/Bloomberg]
>Couriers face busiest week
Couriers are expected to experience their busiest period of the year this week after the Singles Day shopping spree ended on Monday.
The postal authority estimated that postal and courier companies are expected to handle 2.8 billion parcels between Monday and Nov 18.
On Monday alone, the express delivery industry across the country handled a record 535 million deliveries-a year-on-year increase of 28.6%, the State Post Bureau said on Tuesday.
To ease the mounting pressure on the delivery people, companies have hired an additional 400,000 workers and 120,000 vehicles, as well as 3,000 sets of sorting devices.
>600 captive pandas worldwide
A total of 60 captive panda cubs were born, 57 of which survived this year, leading to a captive panda population of 600 worldwide, China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration said Tuesday.
The rising number of captive pandas showed that a healthy, dynamic and sustainable captive panda population has basically taken shape, according to the administration, adding research on wild giant pandas is also making progress.
There are fewer than 2,000 pandas living in the wild, mostly in the provinces of Sichuan and Shaanxi.
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