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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
People who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection may suffer from poor memory, hair loss, difficulty in sleeping and other long-term consequences, which are commonly known as “long COVID”. CU Medicine has found that patients with long COVID have a less diverse gut microbiome, indicating that gut microbiome composition may be linked to the risk of developing long COVID, while gut microbiota modulation could facilitate timely recovery and reduce the burden of post-acute COVID-19 syndrome.
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.