If you were to ask people which pest they hate the most, many would answer “cockroaches”, not only because of their unpleasant appearance but also because they can trigger allergic reactions such as asthma. Fortunately, a CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine team is producing the world’s most comprehensive genome profile of the American cockroach, aiding future diagnosis of cockroach allergy.
Venom may be one of Spider-Man’s greatest nemeses, but the alien symbiote who can stretch and deform itself has inspired scientists to create soft robots that could transform numerous aspects of medical care, from targeted drug delivery to minimally invasive surgery. Professor Zhang Li from CUHK decided to channel Venom’s superpowers into building soft robots based on ferrofluids and a new silicone elastomer, which can be deformed in ever more complex ways, making them capable of a growing range of functions within the human body.
We all love to take photos, whether it’s to capture a special moment or to immortalise some beautiful scenery. Taking photos can also have far more serious purposes, though: for example, photos of your eyes can be used to detect Alzheimer’s disease. CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine has developed the world’s first AI model that can detect the disease solely through so-called fundus photographs: images of the retina.
2023 marks a historic milestone for CUHK - the 60th anniversary of its foundation. Today, with eight faculties, nine colleges and over a quarter of a million alumni it is a fully fledged university whose impact has grown exponentially and, as the theme of its diamond jubilee celebrations says, a place “where great minds shine”. CUHK kicked off the celebrations with a carnival of lights, featuring a stunning drone show and many thrilling performances. Catch a glimpse of the glittering commencement ceremony and upcoming spectacles.
CUHK’s network of distinguished scholars continue to garner worldwide recognition for their pursuit of excellence in research, innovation and education. For example, a CUHK architecture scholar and his team built a library for children in a rural area of China, received an award for it at the 2022 World Architecture Festival, known popularly as the Oscars of architecture. Also, seven scholars from CUHK received international and national honours in a range of disciplines over the past few months in recognition of their research excellence.
With many places around the world opening up and dropping travel restrictions, plenty of sun worshippers and tan lovers will be seeking sun at the beach over the coming Christmas holidays. To protect your perfect tanned skin from sunburn, sunscreen is a must, but some use chemical ingredients which can irritate skin and are harmful to the environment. A CUHK scientist has developed a new ingredient for sunblock that is both effective and comfortable to wear, while avoiding potentially harmful chemicals.
Cervical cancer kills hundreds of thousands of women around the world every year, but fear of embarrassment or inconvenience means some women refuse regular pap tests. A CUHK Biochemistry alumna is trying to revolutionise cervical cancer screen with a non-invasive technology that allows women to simply identify the disease in menstrual blood at home, using a sanitary napkin which is included in the self-test kit.
These little white cars might look like toys at first glance. In fact, they are smart cars built with artificial intelligence (AI) features that can track human faces and colours. Developed by a research team from the CUHK Jockey Club AI for the Future Project, the CUHK-JC iCar (iCar) gives students an opportunity to apply AI theory. The iCar is a simple, accessible device where students are in the “driver’s seat” via their ability to assemble with the attached mechanical tools and control the vehicle with simple programming, which gives students a unique way of combining study with play in the classroom.
Around the world, there are over 390,000 plant species known to science. That makes it challenging for scientists to study them. A systematised database is important to provide an insightful reference for plant identification, ecological surveys and conservation. A research team from CUHK has developed a first-of-its-kind 3D and high-definition open database of authenticated fruits and seeds voucher specimens in herbarium archive, allowing researchers, teachers and students to explore, rotate and magnify lifelike 3D models of plant species – just like holding the real thing in their hands. It is a template for botanists and herbaria worldwide to establish their own 3D databases and help revolutionise our approach to studying a key part of the natural world.
CUHK’s outstanding scholars and research have recently won several coveted international awards. In particular, Professor Dennis Lo received the prestigious Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for his revolutionary non-invasive prenatal test. Additionally, CUHK Art Museum won the UMAC Award from the International Council of Museums Committee for University Museums and Collections. The University has also set new records in world university rankings, demonstrating CUHK’s influence and leading position in the global higher education community.
Just as with the artifacts and heritage of the lost and legendary Incan city of Machu Picchu, many places in the world lost facets of their cultures which are worth reviving and restoring. As other historians and anthropologists have done, a fervent CUHK scientist, works hard and reinvigorates what was always with us, to successfully track down and replant lost local rice with a unique genome, returning it to its place of value in the community.
A summer of heatwaves has wreaked havoc on human health, food security and natural ecosystems all over the world this year. With climate change on the march, Hong Kong, as a tiny dot on the map, can’t escape its effects. CUHK experts on climate change, earth and environmental sciences, and architecture discuss what the consequences could be, and what can we do to alleviate them.