Short Biography of YUAN LONGPING,ZULMA BRANDONI DE GASPARINI, | 200 Words | in English

Biography of YUAN LONGPING in Short


(BORN 1930)

In the 1960s, tens of millions of people died in China due to a famine. A combination of bad weather, natural disasters and poor economy meant that there just wasn’t enough food to go around. People ate everything they could: grass, clay, roots, and even sometimes each other.

Yuan was horrified. He had been born to a poor family and had graduated from a farming college. One night, Yuan dreamed of towering rice plants. taller than any that had been seen in China before. It gave him an idea. As rice is the main staple of the Chinese

diet, he thought that the key to preventing future famine would be to work out a way of producing more of it.

Yuan’s idea was to breed two different kinds of rice together into a new kind of hybrid rice that might provide more food. The first experiments did create a new kind of rice but it had no benefits over the old. Next Yuan tried breeding the rice with wild rice rather than the common cultivated variety. The results were unbelievable.

The new rice would yield twenty per cent more than the previous rice breeds. China’s rice output quadrupled between 1950 and 2017, to almost 200 million tons. The increase each year was enough to feed an extra sixty million people.

Yuan hasn’t stopped working Now he’s trying to create an even more productive kind of rice that will feed countless people across the globe.

Every day, Yuan rides out on his motorbike through his rice fields. He will never know how many millions of lives he may have saved; all he knows is that he wants to save more.



(BORN 1944)

Gasparinisaura was a small, plant eating dinosaur that walked on two legs and balanced itself with a long tail. Eighty-three million years ago, it roamed what is now South America in small herds. Gasparinisaura is one of the few dinosaurs to be named with the feminine ‘Saura’ rather than the masculine ‘Saurus’ Why? Because it was named after a woman called Zulma Brandoni de Gasparini.

Growing up in Argentina in the 1950s, it was unthinkable that Zulma would become a scientist. Women were expected to stay at home, doing housework and looking after children But Zulma didn’t let that get in the way of her studying zoology at the university of La Plata.

When she went to continue her studies at the Miguel Lillo Institute, she was warned away from studying the fossils of marine reptiles. The other scientists claimed it was too complex for her to understand. Zulma ignored them.

She wrote to a university in America, seeking information on fossil records, and began her own exhaustive research.

Travelling between Argentina, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, and Antarctica she hunted tirelessly for fossils. By examining the skeletons of marine creatures that lived millions of years ago, Zulma helped to piece together a picture of what our world once looked like

When Zulma discovered the Gasparinisaura, it was quickly decided that the creature ought to be named after the woman who had done so much to further our understanding of life on earth. Today, Zulma teaches at the National University of La Plata, encouraging a new generation of young women to pursue the mysteries of the dinosaurs.

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