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.
The bed you lie in, the food you eat - mites are everywhere. For people with mite allergy, they are devils causing itchy skins, shortness of breath, or even triggering severe diseases. Fortunately, a CUHK team has observed the unusual phenomenon on the evolution of astigmatic mites, laying the genomic groundwork for diagnosing and intervening in some dangerous human mite allergies.
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.
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.
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.