Science Saturday 20191102
By CGTN's Tech It Out

In this week's Science Saturday, from blockchain to smart driving, we take a look at science news making headlines around the world.

Blockchain technology

Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling for more efforts to speed up development of blockchain. Blockchain is a cryptographic tool that has been widely used in many fields, like digital finance and smart production. Xi says China has a good foundation in blockchain, and the country should actively promote its integration with the economy.

Quantum supremacy

Google says it has achieved what it calls "quantum supremacy." In an article published in Nature, scientists say they have created an advanced computer that can perform calculations that far outstrip regular ones. They claim their machine takes only four minutes to complete a mathematics calculation that would take the world's best supercomputer 10 thousand years.

Back to Earth

The United States' military space plane has finally returned to earth. The craft – known as X-37B – traveled in space for a record-breaking 780 days. It landed on Sunday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in the U.S. state of Florida. The space plane was launched into orbit in 2017 to perform classified technology experiments. The Air Force chief says the mission has advanced the U.S.'s space capabilities.

Codes of life

A group of U.S. scientists have created a new search-and-replace gene editing technique, known as "prime editing." The science team at the Broad Institute says this technology can accurately rewrite genetic codes, and correct 89 percent of errors in DNA that cause diseases. They say the research is in the initial phase.

Tiny brains, big smarts

Rats can now drive – that is, with the right instruction. Scientists at the University of Richmond in Virginia have taught some rats to drive little plastic cars. Sixteen rats have learned to steer the toy vehicles towards cereal pieces by touching the copper bars. Scientists have also found that driving can reduce rats' stress level.

"Science Saturday" is part of CGTN's science and technology series "Tech It Out." The segment brings you the latest news about innovations and technological breakthroughs in the past two weeks from across the world.