Researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have decoded for the first time the genome of Scaly-foot Snail, a rare snail inhabited in what scientists called ‘the origin of life’- deep-sea hydrothermal vents characterized with impossible living condition. Unraveling the genome of this unique creature will not only shed light on how life evolved billions of years ago, but will also lay the foundation for the discovery of potential remedies offered by these ancient creatures. 


Despite an extreme environment characterized by high pressure, high temperatures, strong acidity and low oxygen levels which resemble living conditions in pre-historic times, hydrothermal vents harbor a diverse amount of creatures - most of which have huge potential for biomedical and other applications. Among inhabitants of such difficult environments, the Scaly-foot Snail, also known as “Sea Pangolin”, is of particular interest to marine scientists. Read More... 


Prof. QIAN Peiyuan (front) and his research team
Scientific Breakthroughs & Discoveries