Life Science
| 18 Jul 2024
Physics
| 6 Jun 2024
Ocean Science
| 16 May 2024
Life Science
| 20 Feb 2024
Mathematics
| 2 Feb 2024
The research team is led by Prof. Danny LEUNG, Associate Professor of the Division of Life Science and Director of the Center for Epigenomics Research at HKUST (left), and Prof. Liona POON, Chairperson of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine.
Life Science
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Joint Study Unveils How COVID-19 Adversely Impacts Placenta During Pregnancy

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) today unveiled ground-breaking research that sheds light on how COVID-19 infection may lead to late pregnancy complications. The study reveals significant alterations in gene regulation within the placenta, paving the way for the development of potential molecular targets in future treatments to mitigate the detrimental effects of COVID-19 on maternal and fetal health. 

Japanese black seabream, one of the fish species in the study
Ocean Science
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Deciphering Fish Species Interactions for Climate Change Insights

A team led by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has developed a technique to study how different fish species interact with each other in a coastal region, a breakthrough that helps explain the complex relationships among marine species and how global warming impacts fish populations. By analyzing minute traces of fish DNA from samples of seawater, the team combined the use of environmental DNA – known as eDNA – and advanced statistical analysis to not only detect the presence of fish species, but also reveal how the species interact with each other. 

Prof. Tom CHEUNG, the S H Ho Associate Professor of Life Science in the Division of Life Science at HKUST (right), and his research group member Zhang Wenxin (Mphil student) (left).
Life Science
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HKUST Researchers Identify a Protein as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Age-Related Diseases

A research team from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has identified a key protein that may shed light on how to reverse the aging process using the adult stem cell of skeletal muscle (or muscle stem cells, MuSCs) as a model system. The discovery paves the way for the possible future development of therapeutic interventions for aging-related diseases and various mitochondrial diseases. 

HKUST President Prof. Nancy IP (center, front row), Director of HKUST’s Big Data Institute Prof. CHEN Lei (second left, front row), HKUST Division of Life Science Research Professor Prof. Amy FU (first right, front row), Hong Kong Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (HKCeND) Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Fanny IP (first left, front row) and the first author of the research paper Prof. Fred ZHOU Xiaopu (second right, front row) take a group photo with other members of the research team.
Life Science
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HKUST Scientists Achieve Groundbreaking First by Applying Artificial Intelligence for Early Risk Forecasting of Alzheimer’s Disease

An international research team led by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based model that uses genetic information to predict an individual’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) well before symptoms occur. This groundbreaking study paves the way for using deep learning methods to predict the risks of diseases and uncover their molecular mechanisms; this could revolutionize the diagnosis of, interventions for, and clinical research on AD and other common diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.

The authors of the published paper are, from left to right: Trung Duc Nguyen, Minh Khoa Ngo, Tuan Anh Nguyen (group leader), Thuy Linh Nguyen, and Thi Nhu-Y Le.
Life Science
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HKUST researchers unveil long-sought noncanonical cleavage mechanism in miRNA biogenesis

To discover and thoroughly demonstrate the newly identified noncanonical cleavage mechanism, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) research team, led by Prof. Tuan Anh Nguyen, Assistant Professor of the Division of Life Science, used several sophisticated techniques, such as miRNA sequencing, pri-miRNA structure analysis, and high-throughput pri-miRNA cleavage assays for approximately 260,000 pri-miRNA sequences. In contrast to the canonical mechanism, the noncanonical mechanism does not rely on several essential protein and RNA elements required for the canonical mechanism.

The surface of a colloidal crystal develops another crystal whose thickness increases with temperature in a power law before reaching the crystal-crystal transition temperature.
Physics
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Another Crystalline Layer on Crystal Surface as a Precursor of Crystal-To-Crystal Transition

Ice surfaces have a thin layer of water below its melting temperature of 0℃. Such premelting phenomenon is important for skating and snowflake growth. Similarly, liquid often crystallizes into a thin layer of crystal on a flat substrate before reaching its freezing temperature, i.e. prefreezing. The thickness of the surface layer usually increases and diverges as approaching the phase transition (such as melting and freezing) temperature. Besides premelting and prefreezing, whether similar surface phenomenon exists as a precursor of a phase transition has rarely been explored. 

A research team led by Prof. TONG Rongbiao, Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry at HKUST (middle)
Chemistry
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HKUST Researchers Develop World’s Most Productive Chemical Synthesis of Anthracimycin Paving Way for Development of Potent Antibiotics Against Superbugs

A research team from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has developed the world’s most productive...

(From right) Prof. Angela WU, Associate Professor of HKUST’s Division of Life Science and Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, post-doctoral fellow Dr. Lei YU as well as co-author of the paper, TAM Sing Ting
Life Science
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HKUST Breakthrough Identifies Rare Tumor Cell “Spies” Shedding Light on Previously Hidden Cancer Features

Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) developed a novel technology which allows genomic DNA and RNA sequencing to be carried out simultaneously in single cells of both frozen and fresh tissues, and identified rare brain tumor cell "spies" disguised as normal cells with this method. This breakthrough facilitates cancer research for some of the most complex and rare tumors, opening new directions for drug target discovery in the future.

Dr. Thuy Linh NGUYEN (left), and Trung Duc NGUYEN (right) are the co-first authors of the paper.
Life Science
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Scientists reveal the molecular mechanism of Microprocessor in Caenorhabditis elegans

The study of microRNAs (miRNAs), small RNAs that play important roles in gene regulation in animals and humans alike, have long been a topic of interest to many. How these miRNAs control and regulate gene expression, a subject of great importance in biology and medicine, is often believed to hold the keys to providing effective cures, or strategies, to different phenomenon and symptoms, such as cancer, a result of cell mutations.

Extensive coral bleaching occurred across depths on the north shore of Moorea during the 2019 marine heatwave.  Photo credit: Peter J. Edmunds.
Ocean Science
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Fathoming the Hidden Heatwaves that Threaten Coral Reefs

In April to May 2019, the coral reefs near the French Polynesian island of Moorea in the central South Pacific Ocean suffered severe and prolonged thermal bleaching. The catastrophe occurred despite the absence of El Niño conditions that year, intriguing ocean scientists around the world.