Making News

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.

The heat is on – welcome to the furnace

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.

Robots in disguise: the science of folding

What can you do with tape? Seal your package or to bind an injury? The uses of tape go much further than that in the hands of a CUHK Engineering professor who has devoted himself to medical robotics. By simply tattooing magnetised patterns onto tapes and using a magnetic field, a highly versatile “origami” soft robot is miraculously brought into being that can morph into a variety of 3D shapes - and behold, they have a future in medical and industrial applications.

Racing against mutation: COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness predicted in real time

The COVID-19 virus is mutating rapidly. As subvariants like BA.4 and BA.5 emerge, we must act fast to curb the pandemic. Vaccination is the most effective way to control epidemic, but the protection it offers declines as the virus evolves. Predicting vaccine effectiveness in a short time frame is key to winning this battle. CUHK researchers have developed a bioinformatics platform that can provide a snapshot of vaccine effectiveness in real time, instead of it taking months.

Non-invasive imaging detects early-stage “silent killer” liver fibrosis

An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and staying up late are common habits that can damage our livers. The liver is known as a silent organ: symptoms of liver failure do not typically show up until they develop into severe fibrosis, cirrhosis or even cancer. A team from CUHK is developing a non-invasive imaging method to detect biochemical symptoms associated with early-stage liver fibrosis, increasing the chances of successful treatment.

Setting sail for a sustainable future

The world is facing a confluence of crises in food and nutrition, health, education, the environment, and peace and security that threaten the very survival of humanity. To put the world on track to sustainability will require concerted action on a global scale. The education system plays an important role in raising awareness of sustainable development goals and teaching the skills needed for a sustainable world. CUHK has joined the multi-institutional Future17 programme, taking students on a journey to unleash their creativity and develop solutions that tackle SDG-related challenges.

“Bee” Microrobots can Swarm Autonomously Inside You

In a flower garden, we have army of honeybees that swarm to defend enemies; in a tortuous human lumen, we have army of microrobots that swarm to carry drugs that attack maladies. CUHK engineering professors have devised an avant-garde AI system that lets these microrobots navigate like bees and change shape inside complex environments like human bodies.

New Electrolyte Enables a Stable Power Supply to Win the “Cold War”

Life in an extremely cold region without electricity for heating and lighting can be a miserable experience, especially as existing battery technologies cannot retain a reliable power supply in such cold weather. When winter storms sweep across cities, the power crisis they cause can leave millions of people without electricity. CUHK researchers are trying to fix that with a new technology that promises to bring stability to electrical storage, even at very low temperatures.

CUHK Researchers Contribute First Black Hole Image from Milky Way’s Heart

After five years of effort, the first image of Sagittarius A*, 26,000 light-years away at the centre of the Milky Way, produced by the Event Horizon Telescope, has proved it to be a supermassive black hole. A CUHK scholar and a student from the Department of Physics are Hong Kong’s only participants in the team and have studied the simulation of gas movement and the mechanism of infalling gas around the black hole using supercomputers to help unravel the mystery of black holes.

The Discovery of an Oncogene in Gastric Cancer Overturns Previous Reports

Cancer is a group of diseases that we are taking kinds of strategies to overcome at the moment. Our bodies are made up of countless cells, and cancer cells are the result of mutations of normal ones. Although its causes are not yet fully understood, studying the mechanisms of cancer cell proliferation allows us to understand cancer better and create new treatments. A team from CU Medicine has just identified a novel oncogene in gastric cancer, giving rise to the development of a new anti-cancer therapy.

COVID mRNA Booster Key to Protecting High-risk Populations

CU Medicine has conducted what is, to date, the largest sample (about 100 million subjects), worldwide study of 24 combinations of COVID-19 vaccines covering seven vaccine types. It shows that, whilst three doses of an mRNA vaccine greatly reduce COVID-19 infection risks in immunocompromised and elderly patients compared to only two doses of vaccines of any kind, an mRNA booster to two doses of any other vaccine protects them against non-severe COVID-19 infections. Very importantly, say the findings, a third dose of mRNA vaccine is necessary to protect against Omicron infection.

CUHK Scholars and Students Given Awards for Innovative Research

Professor Mei-Po KWAN from CUHK’s Department of Geography and Resource Management has been awarded the James R. Anderson Medal of Honor in Applied Geography, the highest honour in the field, for her multidisciplinary contributions to applied geography; while Professor YU Jun from the Faculty of Medicine has been awarded the Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Award by the Chinese Academy of Engineering in recognition of her distinguished achievements in gastrointestinal cancer studies.

CUHK Innovations that Changed the World

Scientific research has brought major changes to the world. CUHK brings together top researchers for the incubation of world-leading technologies into tangible applications and products under the university’s support. Advances in the fields of life and health technology, artificial intelligence, smart cities, robotics, and environment and sustainability have been in the spotlight in recent years. CUHK Innovation reveals the stories of CUHK scholars and alumni, and how they have applied innovative technologies in these fields to improve people’s health and life.

Engineering AI to Give Speech to the Vocally Stricken

When one has a mouth but cannot speak, it is a dreadful loss. But now AI can change that destiny. A CUHK Engineering professor has taken AI technology to another level to give a voice to those who are losing the power to communicate, by deploying text-to-speech technology and letting AI learn as much as possible about how one speaks, to preserve verbal identity after disease has taken the voice.

Dry Eye Disease: A Long COVID Symptom You Should Watch Out For

Experiencing dry, itchy eyes and blurred vision and thinking it is just because of prolonged exposure to digital screens? These symptoms could also be COVID-19 sequelae that you should be aware of. An ophthalmology team from CUHK has found that post-COVID-19 patients have a higher risk of developing dry eye disease, and that one in five people who have had COVID-19 suffer from at least one symptom related to dry eye disease.

Using GIScience to Combat COVID-19 and Keep People Healthy

A CUHK professor is trying to turn Geographical Information Science into a vehicle for improving people's lives. From helping protect the vulnerable groups who are most at risk of COVID-19 to monitoring the safety of public infrastructure, her work shows how the field can be a force for good.

CUHK Triumphs on International Exhibition Stage for Innovation

Remarkable research and innovation from CUHK have reaped multiple awards at this year’s International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. A CUHK professor also received the honour of AIMBE College Fellowship in recognition of his novel technology for rehabilitation and his contribution to the education of biomedical engineering.

Gut Feeling about Handling Long COVID

The Microbiota I-Centre of CUHK has identified distinct gut microbiome profiles that can characterise “long COVID”. This is the world’s first study to demonstrate gut microbiota as a key determinant of long COVID. These distinct gut microbial signatures can be used as a diagnostic tool and to guide therapy.

New Light on Causes of Severe Inflammation in COVID Patients’ Blood Vessels

A new pathway has been found whereby SARS-CoV-2 infects the endothelium cells – the innermost layer of the blood vessels, causing hyper inflammation, blood clotting and thrombosis in severe COVID-19 patients. In a collaborative research, a CU Medicine team has discovered that the virus induces inflammation by activating a unique cell surface receptor called (TLR) 4, without entering the host cell.

History of Galaxies and Stars Unravels in the World’s Biggest Survey

The birth of the universe is always a mystery, as are its stars and galaxies. A CUHK professor has played key roles in an international astronomers’ 6-year project to produce maps of 10,000 galaxies using a new fibre-bundling technology while also collecting data on 24,000 stars in the Milky Way to help assess star populations in more distant galaxies light years away.

New Blood Test Improves Diagnostic Accuracy for Shrimp Allergy

Shrimps are common and versatile ingredients that can be included in many popular dishes around the world. However, they can be a nightmare for some of us who suffer from allergic reactions to eating them, including swelling of the face, eyes and lips, and an itchy red rash. An allergic reaction to shrimp can occur at any age, therefore a reliable and accurate diagnostic method for shrimp allergy is essential to avoid severe allergic reactions.

FTERM Bestowed on CUHK President for Contribution to Regenerative Medicine

Certain traumas, diseases or ageing problems cause damage to human tissues and bodies, but regenerative medicine brings hope to patients by repairing or regenerating them. Professor Rocky S. TUAN, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK has spent years of intensive effort in the field of skeletal tissue engineering and regeneration. His achievement has recently been recognised by the TERMIS with an International Fellowship (FTERM); he is the first Hong Kong scholar to be given the honour.

Double Strength and Longer for End of Century Typhoons

Over the past 40 years, there has been a marked increase in powerful super typhoons in the Pacific like Typhoon “In-fa” and “Cempaka”. From analysing recent typhoons and making projections based on a high-resolution climate model, a CUHK research team revealed that typhoons in Asia could be more intense at landfall, last longer and potentially double their punch by the end of this century, and they will travel further inland and do much more damage if global warming continues.

Two CUHK Scholars Excel with Honours in the Field of Optics

Applications of quantum sensing technology can be found in a wide range of settings, including medical imaging, prediction of weather patterns and even analysis of seismic activity. Professor Renbao Liu from Physics of CUHK has received the 2022 Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics for his contribution to spin decoherence and quantum sensing research. He and Professor Chester Shu from Electronic Engineering have also been elected Fellows of a prestigious society, highly commending their research achievements.

CUHK Receives Multiple Research Grants Topping Hong Kong in Collaborative Research Fund

CUHK researchers and their projects have recently been funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council under its various schemes, supporting innovative and more collaborative research. CUHK topped Hong Kong’s universities in the Collaborative Research Fund 2021/22, as well as securing significant funding from other schemes.

Highly Commended CUHK Virtual Student Exchange Programme Made International Exchange Possible under the Pandemic

Physical exchange programmes from global educational institutions have been heavily affected by the pandemic. CUHK has initiated a virtual student exchange programmme for students to experience international education without leaving home. The endeavour made it into the final round and was a “Highly Commended” entry for International Strategy of the Year at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Asia 2021.

Novel Molecular Mechanism Enhancing Drought Resistance of Plants

As the world warms, it poses a serious threat to the production yield of crops worldwide caused by widespread extreme weather such as drought and hot waves. A CUHK life sciences team has recently discovered a novel molecular mechanism underlying plants response to stress which provides a new understanding of how to improve the drought resistance of plants in bioengineering.

Gold Nanoparticle in Long Awaited Strike for Psoriasis Sufferers

Gold is anti-inflammatory and has applications in the fields of jewelry, aviation, chemistry, and electronic circuit boards. Now researchers from CUHK Engineering have struck gold for psoriasis sufferers by developing a self-therapeutic gold nanoparticle that does not contain steroids and vitamin D analogs but has a similar effect, as proven in mice models. It was demonstrated that the gold nanoparticle could enter skin epidermal cells without causing hair loss and skin wrinkling.

DeepThaw Yields Insights into the Melting and Collapsing Cryosphere

Current technology like satellite remote sensing is sharper and faster than the human eye in studying earth terrain for climate change effects but limited in detecting changes to landscape from massive and vast permafrost thawing. A CUHK geophysicist has developed an AI tool “DeepThaw”, a unique algorithm fed by massive numbers of satellite images to detect destabilised slopes over a wide area automatically to address the risk our cryosphere is facing.

Six CUHK InnoHK Centres Combine World-Class Technologies and Cultivate I&T Talents

Playing a major role in enhancing the quality of human life, healthcare technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics technologies are the international global trends in the development of innovation and technology. CUHK has established six InnoHK Centres covering health, biomedicine, robotics and artificial intelligence in partnership with prestigious global universities.

Strengthened Response to COVID Vaccines Could Come from the Gut

Sinovac and BioNTech work more effectively in people who have an abundance amount of a particular bacterium called Bifidobacterium adolescentis in their gut. In most of us, this reduces with age, modern diet, stress, and the use of antibiotics, and a joint CUHK-HKU study has found that those who lack it have a lower antibody response to the vaccines. This implies that modulating the gut has potential to power up the impact of COVID vaccines.

CUHK Research Gains Global Accolades Three Medicine Professors Named “Top 20 Translational Researchers”

In the past two months, CUHK scholars gained international recognition from various disciplines for their outstanding research achievement. Three medicine scholars’ effective translation of non-invasive prenatal test and cancer diagnostic approaches from scientific research level into clinical application, has earned them inclusion in “Top 20 Translational Researchers of 2020” by the world-renowned scientific journal Nature Biotechnology.

Innovations from CUHK Teams Earn Honours

Innovative researches led by CUHK teachers and students won them awards of high national and local impacts. Exemplary research and novel inventions covering the fields of medicine, religion, engineering, psychology, and business administration have shown benefits to groups of people in society.

AI Guided Magnetic Endoscope Gives Surgeon Uncluttered Hands-free View

Magnets, play an important role in daily life, sometimes an invisible one, from refrigerator doors, credit cards, computers to high-speed maglev trains and more. A CUHK Surgery team’s invention of an intelligently guided magnetic endoscope brings an exciting new advance in minimally invasive thoracic surgery. No collisions between scope and scalpel, smooth video coverage of the cavity and no clean-up interruptions.

A Predictive Platform to Combat Infertility

Anticipating a newborn brings joy to parents but delays in marriages and childbirth planning make it harder to conceive successfully. Selecting a high developmental potential embryo is still the key to pregnancy even though assisted reproductive technology like conventional IVF has been advancing with time. CUHK researchers have recently developed a new predictive platform which helps doctor to select an appropriate embryo and devise transfer schemes to increase the rate of success.

Future Eyes and Ears of IoT- Composite Self-Powered Wireless Sensing E-Sticker

loT is the key to building a smart city, in which sensors act as eyes and ears of the system to collect and convert physical variables into electronic signals for analysis. A self-powered wireless sensing e-sticker, thin as two human hairs, developed by CUHK, converts the power of a finger touch into electromagnetic wave signals to advance the smart sensing technology. Another discovery is a TENG with high power output to better harvest mechanical and biomechanical motion.

From Discovery to Innovation: First Chinese Scientist Awarded Royal Medal in Biological Sciences

With a clear and pronounced emphasis on promoting “Research and Innovation”, CUHK has been working diligently to bring out talents and pioneers in the industry. Recently, CUHK scholars received global and national recognition for their research excellence, among whom Professor Dennis LO from Medicine has become the first Chinese scientist to receive the Royal Medal in biological sciences.

CUHK Research Synergies in Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Driving research, innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, CUHK recently hosted two major highlighted events, CUHK Innovation Day and CUHK Entrepreneur Day, to provide its communities an exchange platform to showcase innovation and entrepreneurial achievements to industries and the public, as well as translate innovative research into practice.

Understand Hand-Eye Coordination of Surgical Robots for a Safer Operation

Surgical robots are commonly used in minimally invasive surgery and their accuracy holds the key to a successful operation. CUHK researchers have developed a world-first AI system with a novel deep learning method to optimise the gesture recognition of robots. The intelligent cognitive assistance not only allows robots to operate with greater precision for a safer surgery, but also wins patients’ trust in robotic surgery.

Unique Approach Brings Online Early Prediction of Kids’ Learning Problems

Parents should keep an early lookout for their kids having difficulty in Chinese, English and mathematics. It may signal a disability. Waiting for a time-consuming face to face assessment might miss the best time for intervention. A CUHK team is building an online assessment tool that lets parents predict early their kids’ learning problems in these core subjects for a timely and satisfactory solution.

A 30-minute EEG Test Forecasts Children’s Language Development

Taking a long time to produce their first words and mixing up similar sounding words like "mother" and "horse" in Cantonese may be indicators of developmental language problems that impact children's social and emotional development as well as academic performance later in life. Therefore, early detection is important, as it allows for early intervention to be prescribed. CUHK has developed a new algorithm to forecast infants’ future language development.

No More Probes! World-First Sensitive Faecal Test for Colon Cancer and Polyps Detection

A low sensitivity faecal test is used to screen for colorectal cancer. Its cause, polyps can only be detected by a probing colonoscopy. Now a CUHK Medicine team has devised a first ever, highly sensitive, non-invasive “bacterial gene markers” test on faeces. It is 94% sensitive to the cancer, and over 90% sensitive to recurring polyps - which the present test can’t detect at all.

Mangroves May be Threatened by Low Functional Diversity of Invertebrates

Mangrove forests need a healthy community of invertebrates to sustain their trees. But a study of mangroves worldwide suggests most suffer from “low functional diversity”. If one invertebrate species is lost, its functional role may not be filled by another species. The good news? Hong Kong’s small mangroves remain healthily diverse. The message? Understanding invertebrates’ diversity is crucial for the assessment and management of mangroves.

UN Applauds CUHK Sustainability Visions for Rural Villagers and Future Students

The recent IPCC report rang loud and clear. CUHK chimed in with recognition for its work towards sustainable development at the UN International Green Gown Awards. The rural sustainable development assistance programme initiated by the One University One Village team of the School of Architecture won the “Benefitting Society” category, and the SDG Study Scheme launched by the Office of University General Education was selected as a finalist in “2021 Next Generation Learning and Skills”.

Multi-functional Prosthetic Realises Amputee’s Violin Dream

It is a tough task for an able bodied person to learn the violin, let alone someone without an arm. A multi-functional prosthetic with convertible adaptor developed by CUHK researchers gave hope to Roy who had lost his left arm and took him onto the stage in a concert given by a thousand-player orchestra, where he demonstrated his dream playing wonderful pieces of music.

How Electricity Comes with the Flow – Coming of Age of Blue Energy

The ocean is the largest energy treasure house on earth, covering approximately 70% of its surface. Harvesting this is called “blue energy” and it’s a solution to energy crisis. However, given its complex technology and high cost, electricity generation from blue energy isn’t easy. A CUHK research team has recently developed a high-efficacy generator for harnessing ocean wave energy, which turns a new page.

Microrobotic Doctors Roam Deep into Your Body for Treatments

A sci-fi adventure film from the 1960s, Fantastic Voyage, features a group of doctors shrinking into microscopic size and venturing into a patient’s brain to repair damages. A CUHK research team has recently brought this surreal fantasy to life by developing biohybrid soft microrobots, which navigates in tiny lumens for health inspections and medical treatments.

Vaccine Effectiveness against Seasonal Flu Predictable by Computer

Innovative algorithms developed by a CUHK team, using bioinformatics analysis of virus genome, can estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) by quantifying the relationship between the genetic mismatch between flu vaccines and current virus strains. This real-time prediction method of VE early in flu season gives the government a heads-up in selecting effective vaccines and organising resources before mass vaccination.

New Membrane Gives Duration Boost to Redox Flow Battery

Distinguished as safe, powerful and flexible but plagued by a short life, sulphur-based redox flow batteries have been given a boost to their duration by CUHK engineers, ending a long unsolved challenge. They have designed a novel membrane, keeping the battery’s two electrodes apart and reducing the loss of active materials, so ramping up its lifetime, stability, and its usefulness in grid-scale energy storage devices.

CUHK Researches were Recognised as World Leading Level

CUHK aspired to strengthen technology transfer and translate researches into applications that are beneficial to society by encouraging academic staff to innovate through research and development. Its strong capability in research is shown through the results of Research Assessment Exercise 2020 recently released by the University Grants Committee. Performances in many disciplines were judged as being of “world-leading / internationally excellent” standard.

Remarkable CUHK Scholars Win International Acclaim

Constant academic pursuit by scholars is essential to driving improvements in life and social progress. Scholars and research studies from CUHK have received international and national awards in various disciplines over the past few months, with research excellence widely recognised.

CUHK Leads in Promoting COVID-19 Vaccination for New Academic Year

Apart from achieving research excellence, the education sector has the prime responsibility to lookout for the interests of the community in these challenging times. CUHK rolled out thorough infection control measures and vigorous vaccination promotion efforts in fighting against COVID-19 , to get everyone back to their normal lives as soon as possible.

Pioneering Genetic Test Gives Hope to Despairing Women

Frustration, disbelief, marital and mental stress can all come to women who have recurrent miscarriages but only half the couples could find out why it was happening to them. Now a new and more probing genome sequencing test – ChromoSeq is uncovering the causes, protecting the pathway to birth and rekindling hopes.

Health Secrets Behind the Window to the Soul

Eyes are the window to the soul, and so to our health. A research team from CUHK has developed Automatic Retinal Image Analysis technology to evaluate the risk of stroke and dementia. Recently, they have extended its application to assess the risk of autism in children by analysing their captured retinal images, hoping to reduce delayed diagnosis or even misdiagnosis.

Vaccine and Distancing in Tandem Vital Against Virus

Research results show that physical distancing can only be relaxed in ratio to the rate of vaccination in the city’s population until herd immunity is achieved. A CUHK team developed a social contact index (SCI) which quantifies the effect of distancing and vaccination combined, to bridge gaps between intervention measures and disease transmission.

New Treatment Puts a Brake on Parkinson’s

It began with a PhD student in a CUHK research team making a surprising discovery. A protein commonly found in humans can suppress the toxic protein in the brain that leads to loss of cognitive and motor functions. From this the team has developed a peptide inhibitor that can slow down deterioration in people with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Seeking Change in Challenges, Scholars Strive to Impact the World

Global higher education is facing new challenges in the midst of the pandemic attack and a receding economy. CUHK scholars work to triumph over adversity and improve the condition of mankind through exceptional research achievement. Acknowledgement has been given to CUHK scholars through regional and international funding and fellowship support so that their research projects may further flourish.

Fellowships that Stretch Beyond

Distinguished scholars are not only devoted to contributing their rich research experience to communities, they constantly pursue excellence in their areas of expertise and seek breakthroughs in their work, which attracts worldwide recognition.

Nasal Strip Gentle COVID-19 Test for All-Ages

Scared kids gagging on swabs probing into noses and throats or embarrassed old folk trying to heave up saliva has been the unhappy side of COVID-19 testing. Now, a nasal strip sampling for COVID-19 test that is gentle, fast, easy and accurate is on its way for all ages, equaling one of the standard test methods and out-performing the other.

Universal Ink – New World for Precise Chips Production

Advancing high-performance chips is the principal ambition of the semiconductor industry. Global demand for electronic products is buoyant. A recent study found that the average calligraphy ink is perhaps key to a low-cost, streamlined and environmentally friendly material deposition technology, helping to cope with the growing demand for chips with high applicability.

Harvest Energy on Your Own and Revolutionalise Your Smartwatch User Habit

Smart wearable technology is evolving into a new form. Powering a smartwatch through solar power could be one the ways but how could it be sustainable under a lengthy cloudy sunless day? Researchers in CUHK recently found that you can be in control of your watch’s energy and sustain its battery endurance through walking and the swinging of your arms.

How Research Improves Your Health and Quality of Life

Science has the potential to change the world and the future of mankind. Through science, we can live a better life, or develop new vaccines, medicines, and technologies to prevent plagues, cure diseases, or explore the unknown possibilities. CUHK scholars reveal their research results on advancing human betterment. Their contributions to society have gained tremendous acclaim across global.

What Gets Under Your Skin?

T-rays radiation does but, far from annoying, it’s a new, safe and easy boon to diagnosing skin disease. With your arm on the imaging window of T-ray equipment, T-rays get under the skin to measure thickness and hydration. A novel method of analysis from CUHK and Warwick University, T-rays improve treatment of eczema, psoriasis and skin cancer.

Old Folks Fall More Often in Care Homes

Elderly people in care homes face two to three times the risk of falls than those in the community, with 56.8 hip fractures per 1000 persons per year, according to a joint CUHK-Canadian research team. Hip protectors are an answer, reducing fractures by over half, and the team will work to improve their design and materials.

Poor Kids, Radioligists, Investors Aided by University Innovations

A remarkable medley of research projects led by CUHK professors include free speech training for underprivileged children with language disorders from a one-stop service platform for language development "Speak Along", helping radiologists better identify pulmonary lesions from X-rays images, and mining public data for improved decisions by China market investors, all winning Hong Kong ICT Awards this year.

“Oscar of Sciences” Goes to “Father of Non-invasive Prenatal Testing”

If they heard, 7 million women worldwide every year would applaud the award of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences 2021 to Professor Dennis Lo. In a paradigm shift in medical science, he discovered the presence of fetal DNA in maternal blood and developed non-invasive prenatal testing for Down syndrome and other genetic diseases.

Let’s Take a Brick Philip Fu Makes Sketches Come to Life with LEGO Algorithm

We all know what LEGO is—it is a timeless, fun and educational toy for a kid, one he or she played with as a child, and now probably steps on when walking around the house as a parent. But the charm of LEGO knows no bounds. In fact, more and more adults nowadays show an increased interest in tinkering with these brightly hued bricks.

Marathoning by Learning Muscle Synergies

Neuronal networks in the brain and spinal cord use a mechanism to adjust muscle commands for the way you run, depending on your body condition and experience. Research has found that muscle patterns – “muscle synergies” – are changed and merged across age and training groups, allowing runners to run longer with more energetic efficiency.

Uncovering a Swarming Mystery of the Ocean

Of the jellyfish- not actually a fish - little is known about its evolution, reproduction, or feeding habits. For years CUHK researchers have dived deep into jellyfish genomes and decoded for the first time the high-quality genomes of two jellyfish commonly found in Asian waters, shedding new light on these translucent mysteries of the seas.

Beware Bad Health from “Hot Nights”

You fend off the heat on a scorching day but it's at night when you recover- or not, if that's hot too. Consecutive “hot nights” spell increased risk to health, even death, particularly in women and the elderly. Now Hong Kong researchers are telling metropolitan cities to be smart and improve urban greenery planning to combat “hot nights”.

For Diabetes Sufferers – COVID-19 too?

Diabetes, already a major killer, could increase the risk of sufferers being infected by COVID-19 and severely. The alarm has been raised by researchers who have applied advanced statistical analysis to possible virus risks, and shed light on drug development for it. Diabetes patients need to watch their diets and be extra vigilant.

Transformation of Enzymes Fuels the Popularisation of Biodiesel

Biodiesel, always eco attractive, always ineligible because of the cost, has now been made an affordable fuel to put in your tank. Drivers will be able to fill up with a high value, low cost, low pollution biodiesel developed by a CUHK research team by extracting enzymes from bacteria in a simple process.

Half Good Done by Mangrove Wetlands Eliminated by Methane

Mangrove wetlands help with climate change by retaining carbon but the methane they emit counters the benefit. An international study shows the good being done by retention is reduced by emission to half over 20 years. And the balance is tipping the wrong way because of global warming and river discharge.

Gravitational Waves from Dying Stars Clues to Origin of Life

Travelling from the core of collapsing stars, newly detected gravitational waves may tell us about the meltdown which leads to these massive supernovas. Thrust into the universe from the explosions of dying stars, their ashes give birth to new worlds, so understanding supernovas is a step to ultimately understanding our origins.

New “Soft Power”: Batteries Safe and Stable as Skin Cream

High energy batteries, in cell phones and laptops, can blow up in your face. Research around that problem surfaced with a solution from a surprisingly different field. It is a soluble polymer used in skin cream that can also stabilise battery output. Soon, putting a phone on your cheek will be as gentle on your skin as moisturizer.

Study Shows Cantonese Tones May be in the Genes

If you have that specific ASPM genotype that enjoys the ups and downs of tone language, that’s the way you’ll go and about 70% of Cantonese speakers participating in a CUHK study had it, with better tone perception. If you don’t, or aren’t Chinese, all is not lost. Music training may help you improve your performance in lexical tones.

Scratching Your Head, Biting Your Lip? You’re Coping with Stress

Previously unknown brain circuitry can generate repetitive behaviour that fends off harm from emotional stress. CUHK biomedical scientists find that responses like compulsive hand rubbing when anxious are coping mechanisms not to be repressed. That circuitry gone awry can also be a research lead into OCD and autism.

Full Genome of “Senzu” Revealed for the “Purrfect” Treatments

Thanks to “Senzu”, an American shorthair, and joint CUHK-Japanese research, precision veterinary medicine will be driven forward. Advanced genomic technology has produced a genome that is much more complete and genetically resembles modern cats more than the one that was published in 2007 from an Abyssinian, “Cinnamon”.

Maybe Not Too Late for Late Stage Cancer Sufferers

A new chapter is opening in cancer immunotherapy. A first-in-human clinical trial of CRISPR technology to treat late stage lung cancer has proved safe by a CUHK joint research. T-Cells of advanced condition patients have been extracted, gene edited and reinfused as potential fighters against cancer cells.

Fresh From the Garden: Display Ozone’s Harm to Plants

An “ozone garden” is where a CUHK research team studied bean plants attempting to grow under Hong Kong’s rising ozone skies in the first plant-based measurement of ozone in the South China Region. Even though it was Spring and in the countryside, the ozone eroded the beans and stressed them into opening more flowers, forcing them to wither more quickly.

CUHK LAW Students Won Global Moot Contest in a Challenging Year

Delight and pride are CUHK reactions to their Law student team for arguing their way to the top in a pre-eminent international arbitration mooting competition. The team’s excellent advocacy skills and unremitting efforts paid off in face of strong global rivals, and the pandemic.

“Simple” Mechanism for Modulating Neurons Strengthens Brain Diseases Therapy

Doing something simple is how a CUHK researcher describes finding an essential mechanism to regulate alterations in neuron types that can harm the brain and cause neurological diseases. “By simply adjusting the strength of certain extrinsic signaling cues……” he says, and there lies an important path into stem cell biology.

How to Reap Energy Every Step You Take

You get lost on a mountain and your cell phone battery goes flat. How do you get help? You help yourself by walking, wearing a featherweight biomechanical device which harvests energy from the movement of your body. CUHK Professor Wei Hsin Liao explains how a moving knee can generate electricity.

Public Lectures to Broaden Knowledge during the Pandemic

To encourage students to keep learning at home during the pandemic, CUHK is introducing the “Class Acts” CUHK Online Talk Series. Nine outstanding scholars will deliver short lectures on different areas of expertise through a video conferencing platform. The first one, given by CUHK’s Provost, will be held on 20 March.

Ensuring Online Teaching Quality in the Epidemic

In the epidemic, many education institutions have suspended classes. CUHK has changed face-to-face lectures to online teaching. It is no easy task to complete all the arrangements in a short time and maintain teaching quality. CUHK organised over 20 online workshops and arranged a support team to familiarise teachers and students with the online teaching.

Hong Kongers Scared Stiff of COVID-19 but still Get Together

98% of Hong Kongers feared catching the COVID-19 virus and practically all were abnormally anxious, while 90% were taking to strict mask wearing and hand washing, according to a survey in the outbreak’s early phase. But not to recommended “social distancing”. 90% of cases took 6 to 14 days between feeling ill and getting isolated.

In Your Blood or Guts, Microrobots will Swarm to Defend

There is a new way to deploy the right microrobotic swarm into a bodily fluid to fight illness. A research group of the Faculty of Engineering has categorised magnetic swarming microrobots and devised ways to select the one that navigates best in a bio-fluid, taking treatment into the vascular system and other confined regions of the body.

House that Makes Kids Happy to Read Wins Architecture “Oscar”

Professor Peter Ferretto and his architecture team built a book house in a Chinese Dong minority community in traditional style as a happy gathering place for children to read books. It won them an award at The World Architecture Festival - the judges saying it “demonstrated excellence of process”.

Prenatal Diagnostic Work Puts Research Pair in World Top 20

Professors Dennis Lo and Rossa Chiu of the Faculty of Medicine, drew attention to the city as the only Hong Kong researchers in Nature Biotechnology’s “Top 20 Translational Researchers” for 2018, for their work on prenatal diagnostics. For Professor Lo, the first Chinese recipient of the Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award, it’s the third time in the Top 20.

HK$5m Step towards Taking Risk Out of Eye Scans

The HK$5m Croucher Innovation Award to Engineer Professor Renjie Zhou’s programme brings closer a breakthrough in in vivo imaging technology which takes away the radiation risk from X rays in detecting eye diseases. His work on TPM aims for frequent scanning to catch eye degeneration early and monitor longer term disease.

Chinese Women with PCOS Show 4 Times Risk of Diabetes

It was known Chinese women with PCOS risk developing diabetes. Faculty of Medicine’s ten-year case-control study has now shown Chinese women have four times the risk and that onset will be earlier. Now affected women can be advised to be screened and have blood pressure monitored to reduce long term risks.

Breakthrough in Quantum Sensing Makes Diamonds Physicists’ Best Friend

Physics professors Swee Kuan Goh and Sen Yang have been using colour centres in nano-diamonds in a breakthrough technique for exploring quantum materials. The technique, which will revolutionise the design of quantum materials, and will sharpen Hong Kong’s capability in metrology and precision instrumentation.

Faster Cheaper Better Revolution in Nanoscale 3D Printing Technology

10,000 times faster, 98% cheaper and better quality, a revolution in nanoscale 3D printing technology comes from the Faculty of Engineering Professor Shih Chi Chen and his team with FP-TPL. It prints layer-by-layer not point-by-point, greatly improves resolution, and heralds a new era for biomedical and nanotechnology.

Click Hackers on the Run from Browser-Based Analysis Framework

Hackers roaming the web hijacking clicks for fraud and malware downloads may soon be foiled. Professor Wei Meng of Faculty of Engineering’s browser-based analysis framework has found three techniques used for intercepting user’s clicks. The source code of the framework will be released so web browsers can detect interceptions and warn users.

“Phantom Dancer” Makes Smart Moves to Win ABU Robocon Championship

Phantom Dancer, CUHK student robotics team, won the ABU Robocon championship in Mongolia with some smart moves. After a year of hard work, two robots were engineered to take tricky steps over terrain and on ropes to win this international trophy - a first for CUHK and Hong Kong.