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China science, technology news summary — Nov. 24

BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — The following is a summary of published science and technology news of China.

ANTI-COVID-19 DRUGS

Two Chinese antiviral medicine for COVID-19 mainly developed by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have commenced human trials overseas.

One candidate, coded VV116, is an oral anti-COVID-19 nucleoside drug. It has shown significant inhibiting activity against COVID-19 original strain and variant strain, such as the Delta variant, in vitro tests.

The other candidate is called FB2001. Researchers conducted phase-1 trials in the United States in March.

SHENZHOU-12 ASTRONAUTS

Three astronauts of the Shenzhou-12 spaceflight mission were awarded medals for their service to China’s space endeavors on Tuesday.

Nie Haisheng, 56, commander of the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft, was honored with a first-class aerospace achievement medal, and Liu Boming, 54, was conferred a second-class medal, while Tang Hongbo, 45, received a third-class medal and the honorary title “heroic astronaut.”

POLAR ICEBREAKER

Xuelong 2, China’s first domestically-built polar icebreaker, set off Tuesday from Shanghai for the country’s 38th Antarctic scientific expedition.

The vessel, carrying a 101-member team, will work with another icebreaker Xuelong, which set sail on Nov. 5 with 154 members on board for the polar expedition, said the Polar Research Institute of China.