Making News

The world’s most powerful artificial muscle gives hope to the injured

Wearable artificial muscles offer the hope of recovery for people with devastating injuries and medical conditions. With ExoMuscle, Professor Raymond Tong Kai-yu from CUHK has come up with the most effective artificial muscle yet developed: twice as strong as human muscles, it could potentially be used to create a wearable exoskeleton, like something worn by super villain Doctor Octopus. ExoMuscle interprets signals from the muscles and brain through a unique interface that connects them with the bionic muscle.

Making abounded glass an urban cooling aid

Can you imagine how hot you would feel when a heatwave comes if you lived in a tin-sheet house? It would be like living in a steam oven. Heatwaves are roasting the world, smashing records with unrelenting severity. A CUHK research team has developed a high-performance radiative cooling paint based on recycled glass, a forgotten resource in our communities. It can potentially provide buildings with supplemental cooling without consuming energy.

mRNA pioneer Professor Katalin Karikó’s journey of perseverance

Professor Katalin Karikó’s story is a shining example of how the power of persistence can lead to discoveries that change the world. In the face of countless obstacles, she tenaciously pursued her vision of utilising mRNA for therapy for decades. Alongside Professor Drew Weissman, their research paved the way for the development of life-saving Covid vaccines. She embodies not only relentless pursuit of scientific knowledge, but also the hope to ignite passion and inspire young minds about the wonders of science.

Bridging borders and breaking barriers: CUHK’s new centres promote global collaboration

CUHK’s new centres are set to usher in an era of thrilling academic collaboration and scientific breakthroughs. The internationally accredited CU-Med Biobank promises revolutionary drug research, while the S.H. Ho Research Centre for Infectious Diseases unites researchers to fight contagious diseases. The CUHK Beijing and Shanghai Centres create a vibrant corridor, bridging mainland China and Hong Kong and forging new knowledge, innovation and industry partnerships.

CUHK scholars recognised on the international stage

CUHK’s distinguished scholars have recently reaped several awards. Professor Li Cheuk-ting was honoured with the IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award 2023; Professor Qin Ling and Professor Yu Jun were elected as Foreign Members of the Academia Europaea; and Distinguished Visiting Professor-at-Large Yau Shing-tung was awarded the Shaw Prize 2023 in Mathematical Sciences. Additionally, CUHK broke into the top 100 in THE Impact Rankings 2023 for the first time, making a significant milestone on its academic journey.

The amphibious drone: A bird in the air, a fish in the water

Take a quick look at the TJ-FlyingFish, and you might think it’s a typical quadcopter drone. Watch it in action, though, and you’ll discover it’s an amphibious drone, equally at home in the air and under the water, is capable of moving seamlessly between the two, and can operate entirely autonomously in both environments. The new drone, jointly invented by CUHK Professor Ben M. Chen and his research team, promises to revolutionise a range of tasks, from surveying to remote sensing to search and rescue.

The cancer killer

Painful, debilitating and potentially dangerous: treating cancer metastases in the lungs through conventional methods is fraught with challenges. A new treatment, however, promises to revolutionise the process by using a remote, robotically controlled system to deliver a catheter into delicate areas of the lungs, where it can destroy the cancer cells precisely and effectively using microwave energy. Entirely non-invasive and in most cases pain-free, the system has delivered impressive results in early trials, successfully treating several patients with multiple lung metastases.

Beating back blindness

In today’s digital age, children spend most of the time glued to their devices, so the risk of them developing myopia is skyrocketing. Once the condition has kicked in, there’s no way of reversing it – and it can lead to all sorts of more serious eye problems. A new CUHK study demonstrates that giving children eyedrops featuring low concentrations of common anti-myopia medication atropine can prevent the condition from developing in the first place.

Guts and glory

Maybe you are one of the victims of a debilitating gastrointestinal disease, like gastric acid reflux or pathogen H pylori. When you are suffering from those diseases, you might wonder how bacteria which causes peptic ulcers can survive the acidic environment in your stomach? Besides risky invasive surgeries treating gastric acid reflux, is there an easier way getting rid of heartburn? You may be inspired by two recent CUHK breakthroughs.

Taking a bite out of shrimp allergy

Shrimp is one of the most common food allergies in the world, and severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening. But there’s some good news: researchers from CUHK have successfully identified 11 allergens in shrimp, which could help diagnose allergies more accurately. It means that in the future, when someone suspects they’re allergic to shrimp, a component-based specific IgE antibody test could be able to help them.

Global academic leaders at CUHK

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is partnering with Times Higher Education (THE) to host the THE Asia Universities Summit on 21-23 June 2023. The three-day Summit is themed “The Asian University in 2050”. Speakers include presidents, vice-presidents and university leaders from top universities in nations and regions including mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Oceania and beyond. CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rocky S. Tuan will open the summit and speak on a number of sessions.

CUHK’s Advanced Therapy Products GMP Centre offers hope of curing cancers

Imagine that some of the most aggressive cancers can be cured and patients no longer have to face a bleak destiny. For years, cancer patients had little hope for a cure despite all the excruciating surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But now, those who were once hopeless are experiencing miraculous recoveries, thanks to the advent of cell and gene therapy. CUHK’s Advanced Therapy Products Good Manufacturing Practice Centre promises to help researchers speed up clinical trials and deliver breakthrough treatments, opening a new era of hope and possibility.

CUHK’s innovation talents honoured in national and international competitions

One of the most innovative universities in the city and the region, CUHK is committed to producing impactful research and propelling innovation in Hong Kong and beyond. Recently, CUHK students and scholars have excelled in several national and international competitions, while the CUHK Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Research Institute (Futian) (FITRI) has recently been unveiled to foster cross-border I&T collaboration.

Fighting allergies: CUHK unravels the genome profile of the American cockroach

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.

Soft power: how deformable robots are powering the future of medicine

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.

Retinal images can help early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

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.

Celebrating CUHK’s 60th Anniversary

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 scholars honoured for extraordinary achievements Children’s library wins the Oscars of architecture

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.

Beating microplastics – a novel sustainable sunscreen

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.

Screening for cervical cancer on your own

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.

CUHK-JC iCar starts its AI talent training journey

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.

Planting a seed: the botanical database of the future

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 sweeps international awards and hits record high in world university rankings

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.

Revitalising what was once lost in local paddy

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.