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Research - Recent Scientific Breakthrough and Discoveries
The School fosters an environment that encourages and facilitates interdisciplinary research collaboration. Some of the recent significant breakthroughs and discoveries made by our faculty members are highlighted below:
 
Discovery of Possible Mechanisms of Human Brain Disorders That May Shed Light on New Treatments
Breakthrough Discovery of a New Material System that Opens a New Era for Organic Solar Cells
Breakthrough Discoveries at HKUST Offer New Hope for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
Discovery of New Measures to Facilitate Neural Repair
Develop Environmentally Friendly Organic Solar Cells with Record Performance
Discovery of Ways to Clock the Beginning of the Universe
Theoretical Physicists Solve the Puzzle of Ising Superconductivity
Breakthrough Study Brings Hope to Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Patients
Succeed in Controlling Photon’s Shape for Record Loading Efficiency into a Cavity
HKUST develops materials for record efficiency polymer solar cells
Discovery of New Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE) Materials for Applications in Forensic Science and Bacterial Imaging
Unveiling Mechanisms of Photosynthesis for Promising Renewable Energy Development
Discovery of a Novel Molecular Target and Unveils New Therapeutic Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease
Discovery of Novel Materials For Developing Fault-tolerant and Practical Quantum Computers
HKUST Physicists Derive Optimal Routes for Transportation, Communication and Logistics Networks
Unravels Molecular Mechanism Behind Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Significant Breakthrough in Superconductivity Using Ultrathin Lead Nanowires for Medical and Biological Applications
Develop New Chemosensor for Explosive Detection that Doubles as Optical Limiter
Hepatitis E Vaccine — Insects to the Rescue of Hepatitis E Sufferers
First Direct Observation of Homogeneous Crystal Melting at Single-particle Level
Identification of a Novel Protein in Muscle Stem Cells Fuelling hopes for Stem Cell Treatments for Muscular Dystrophy
Research on Ultraviolet Lasing of Nano-structured ZnO Voted the Most Cited Papers over past 50 years by Applied Physics Letters
Epileptic Seizures Decoded - Unravels Mechanism Behind Brain Development
Proof that single photons do not exceed the speed of lights
Discovering mechanism behind visual systems
Important findings on the melting of colloidal crystal films
New possibilities for the manipulating light without losses at design-specific frequencies
How genetic mutations of a motor protein lead to hereditary deaf-and-blindness
Unraveling novel signaling mechanisms in the brain
An innovative discovery of an elastic metamaterial
Joining the global effect to decode the cancer genome
Analyzing data from the first Chinese lunar satellite Chang'e-1
New hair-based drug testing technology
Turning traditional Chinese herbal recipe into an effective weapon against avian flu
The advent foldable paper-like electronic displays
The World's smallest single-walled carbon nanotubes
Recent Scientific Breakthrough and Discoveries
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Discovery of Possible Mechanisms of Human Brain Disorders That May Shed Light on New Treatments
A research team led by Prof. Mingjie Zhang (Life Science) has achieved a breakthrough that provides mechanistic insights into the causes that lead to various neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, intellectual disorders (ID) and schizophrenia. With their discoveries, new treatments for these disorders may be developed in near future. Prof. Zhang’s research team discovered that two abundant protein molecules in PSDs – SynGAP and PSD-95 – that are known to cause autism when genetic mutations alter the molecules’ interactions can form an autonomously-assembled network structure. Most surprisingly, the protein assembly can form stable “oil-like” droplets in living cells via a phenomenon called phase transition. Importantly, the team also found that defects of the proteins identified in brains of autistic patients alter the “oil-like” droplets formation and thus change the synaptic signaling activity of neurons – a mechanism that may explain the cause of the genetic disease. The research findings were published in Cell on August 25, 2016.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-researchers-find-possible-mechanisms-human-brain-disorders-may-shed-light-new-treatments-2/

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Breakthrough Discovery of a New Material System that Opens a New Era for Organic Solar Cells
A research team led by Prof. Henry He Yan (Chemistry) discovered a novel material system that would revolutionize the future development of Organic Solar Cells (OSCs). OSCs based on this new material system have demonstrated ultrafast and efficient charge separation despite a nearly zero charge separation driving force, meaning that the more environmentally-friendly OSCs may be able to perform as good as inorganic solar cells in the future. The breakthrough discovery completely redefines OSC’s maximum potential in both fundamental studies and industrial applications. The findings was published in June issue of the Nature Energy.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-finds-new-material-system-opens-new-era-organic-solar-cells/

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Breakthrough Discoveries at HKUST Offer New Hope for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
A research team led by Prof. Nancy Ip (Life Science) has discovered that a protein found in the human body could be potentially developed as an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The team, in collaboration with Prof. Eddy Liew from the University of Glasgow and Prof. Baorong Zhang from Zhejiang University, has found that the protein interleukin-33 (IL-33) ameliorates cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease-like pathology. The results have just been published in the prestigious scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/breakthrough-discoveries-hkust-offer-new-hope-treatment-alzheimers-disease-2/

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Discovery of New Measures to Facilitate Neural Repair
Prof. Kai Liu (Life Science) has recently discovered a novel strategy to promote axonal regeneration of injured neurons, which could inspire new directions for CNS repair research, including spinal cord injuries. In his previous proof of principle work published in 2015, Prof. Liu had found that inhibition of the PTEN gene would activate mTOR signaling pathway, which drives axons to regenerate across the lesion site and reform connections after chronic spinal cord injuries. In his latest research, Prof. Liu suggested a mechanism by which enhancing neuronal activity promotes axon regeneration. The findings may potentially lead to the development of clinically useful methods to facilitate neural repair, and were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on 16 February 2016.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-scientists-discover-new-measures-facilitate-neural-repair-2/

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Develop Environmentally Friendly Organic Solar Cells with Record Performance
A record-efficient organic solar cell developed by Prof. Henry He Yan (Chemistry) via an environmentally-friendly method, has been put on the renowned “Best Research-Cell Efficiencies Chart” by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the United States, the first time a solar cell developed by a Hong Kong institution appears on this historic chart, which records all the best efficiency cells around the world over the past 40 years. The chart, which has compiled values of highest conversion efficiencies for different types of solar cells since 1976, recently posted “Hong Kong UST” – an organic solar cell which yields efficiencies of up to 11.5%, as the latest world record for emerging organic solar cells. The cell, developed by Prof. Henry Yan’s research team, was also published in the prestigious journal Nature Energy.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-develops-environmentally-friendly-organic-solar-cells-record-performance-2/

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Discovery of Ways to Clock the Beginning of the Universe
Prof. Yi Wang (Physics) and his collaborators from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics discovered a method to observationally distinguish different theories of how the universe first began at its very early stage. The findings were accepted by the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. The team found that some heavy particles that are known existing at the birth of the universe can be used as standard clocks. With the time reference set by the clocks, the primordial stages of the universe can be labeled with time, and thus the expansion or contraction history of the primordial universe can be reconstructed. Their work proposed that the time of every primordial era can be labeled, such that new observations shall be like a movie, which shows in time order how our universe comes from.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-harvard-scientists-discovered-ways-clock-beginning-universe-2/

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Theoretical Physicists Solve the Puzzle of Ising Superconductivity
A research team led by Prof. Vic Kam Tuen Law (Physics) gave an explanation to the complex phenomenon of superconductivity that survives under strong magnetic field, offering a theoretical answer to an unsolved experimental observation by a group of scientists in the Netherlands. The collective findings were published in Science in November 2015.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-theoretical-physicists-solve-puzzle-ising-superconductivity/

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Breakthrough Study Brings Hope to Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Patients
A research team led by Prof. Kai Liu (Life Science) has successfully found a way to stimulate the growth of corticospinal tract (CST) axons, nerve fibres that control voluntary motor functions, spell the dawn of a new beginning on chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) treatments. The groundbreaking discoveries have been published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Prof. Liu’s team demonstrated that the deletion of the PTEN gene would activate another gene, mTOR, which drives axons to regenerate and reform connections. The team initiated PTEN deletion on mice with a severed CST. Similar treatment procedures were carried out on a second group 1 month after severe spinal cord injuries, and a third group after 12 months. The team recorded a regenerative response of CST axons in all three models—showing that PTEN deletion stimulates CST axon sprouting and regeneration, even though the injury was sustained a long time ago. Regeneration of Axons would be an important first step towards a recovery for many suffering from SCI. This is the first time where CST axonal regeneration in chronic lesion has been found.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-breakthrough-study-brings-hope-chronic-spinal-cord-injury-patients-2/

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Succeed in Controlling Photon’s Shape for Record Loading Efficiency into a Cavity
A research team led by Prof. Shengwang Du (Physics) succeeded in controlling photon’s shape, and reached a record photon loading efficiency of 87% into a cavity. The scientific breakthrough can be used to build nodes of a quantum network based on cavity quantum electrodynamics (CQED) and will help advance the development of quantum communication. The research findings were published recently in Physical Review Letters, one of the most prestigious journals in physics.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-physicists-control-photons-shape-record-loading-efficiency-cavity-2/

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Development of materials for record efficiency polymer solar cells
A research team led by Prof. He Yan (Chemistry) has developed a family of polymer and fullerene materials that enabled multiple cases of high-efficiency polymer solar cells. The team discovered a material design motif that led to three new polymers and over ten high-performance material combinations yielding solar cell efficiencies of up to 10.8%, a new record for single-junction polymer solar cells. In a paper published recently in Nature Communications, Prof. Yan and his collaborators from North Carolina State University show that the temperature dependent aggregation properties of the polymers is the key to creating highly efficient polymer solar cells that can be mass produced relatively cheaply. These findings open the door to experimentation with different chemical mixtures that comprise the active layers of the cells. Prof Yan’s group also achieved record efficiencies in other sub-categories of organic solar cells. Innovations in new acceptor materials have greatly broadened material choices for organic solar cells and will facilitate the development of high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells in the long run. Three important papers describing these results have been published in Advanced Materials and Energy and Environmental Science.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-developes-materials-record-efficiency-polymer-solar-cells/

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Discovery of New Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE) Materials for Applications in Forensic Science and Bacterial Imaging
A research team led by Prof Benzhong Tang (Chemistry) has discovered new AIE materials which could be used on visualizing fingerprints and revealing bacteria with greater effectiveness. The new materials not only produce fingerprints of much better quality as compared to carbon powder, saving 90 per cent of the time in evidence collection, they also make a more accurate and stable agent in detecting bacterial activities. Prof Tang has developed numerous AIE materials ever since his discovery of the AIE phenomenon in 2001, they were applied in a wide range of areas including high-performance OLEDs, cancer screening and environmental monitoring. His latest discoveries have expanded AIE’s applications into the arena of forensic science and bacterial detection.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-discovers-new-aggregation-induced-emission-aie-materials-applications-forensic-science-bacterial-imaging-2/

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Unveiling Mechanisms of Photosynthesis for Promising Renewable Energy Development
A research team, led by Prof. Xuhui Huang (Chemistry) has solved a long-standing question in photosynthesis which provides insight into the design of artificial photosynthetic systems that may serve as alternative energy devices by effectively utilizing the sunlight. His team revealed the secrets behind this phenomena by applying theoretical chemistry tools such as molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics calculations. They discovered that the dynamic and asymmetric protein environment makes one specific chlorophyll, CLA606, in the active chain significantly easier to be activated by sunlight energy, thus leading to the electron transfer along the active chain. The results will provide insight into the fundamental mechanisms of photosynthesis and potential applications for the rational design and engineering of the photosynthetic machinery. They also show potential applications in physical chemistry, molecular biology and material science. Their findings were published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-chemists-unveil-mechanisms-photosynthesis-promising-renewable-energy-development-2/

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Discovery of a Novel Molecular Target and Unveils New Therapeutic Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease
A research team led by Prof Nancy Ip (Division of Life Science) has successfully discovered a novel molecular target for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), unveiling a potentially new therapy for the disease. The team recently discovered that aberrant activation of the protein EphA4 is involved in the pathology of AD and identified a naturally occurring compound from a traditional Chinese medicine herb that can block the activity of EphA4. These groundbreaking discoveries have been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), a prestigious scientific journal.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-discovers-novel-molecular-target-unveils-new-therapeutic-strategy-alzheimers-disease-3/

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Discovery of Novel Materials For Developing Fault-tolerant and Practical Quantum Computers
A collaborative research team, comprising of Prof. Iam-keong Sou, Prof. Jiannong Wang, Prof. Rolf Lortz and Prof. Kam-tuen Law together with their postgraduate students and postdoctoral associates from the Department of Physics, has achieved a scientific breakthrough by demonstrating that a two-dimensional superconductivity occurs at the interface between two new classes of materials. The groundbreaking discovery in the emerging field of topological superconductors could advance the development of a practical fault-tolerant quantum computer with unusually high computing power, and data storage abilities. The findings were recently reported in a paper entitled “Two-dimensional superconductivity at the interface of a Bi2Te3/FeTe heterostructure” that was published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

http://www.ust.hk/about-hkust/media-relations/press-releases/hkust-physicists-discover-novel-materials-developing-fault-tolerant-practical-quantum-computers-2/

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HKUST Physicists Derive Optimal Routes for Transportation, Communication and Logistics Networks
In collaboration with Prof. David Saad from Aston University, Dr. Chi-ho Yeung and Prof. Michael Wong (Physics) have applied polymer physics to derive a novel approach for coordinating optimal routes for individual passengers. By applying polymer physics, the research team has found a novel way of coordinating passenger paths. Their simulations using data from the London underground network show that the new method reduces crowding experienced by passengers by 24%, while journeys take only 5% longer on average. An immediate application of the results would be a next-generation navigation system which coordinates the path of road users or passengers. Logistics, air traffic, and communication networks, such as the internet, may also benefit.

The findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of the USA. The HKUST-Aston joint research was selected by PNAS editors as a highlight in both online and published versions, and highlighted by prestigious journals and media, including Nature Physics, PNAS science blog and the worldwide science news website Phys.org.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20131030-1054.html

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Unravels Molecular Mechanism Behind Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Prof. Nancy Ip (Life Science) and her research team have discovered a novel mechanism that controls brain cell production and cortical expansion. Her team has demonstrated that by pharmacological or genetic manipulations, they can increase the production of neurons in the brain and expand the cerebral cortex in mice. This approach opens up the possibility of determining whether cortical overgrowth is directly attributable to autism.  Moreover, the new discovery can be applied to stem cell therapy, and test whether increasing or decreasing the number of neurons during early brain development can treat developmental disorders, such as smaller or larger brain disorders. The study has significantly contributed to our understanding of the evolution of the brain and the molecular basis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, with far-reaching implications for biomedicine. 
These groundbreaking discoveries have been published in Neuron, a prestigious journal in neuroscience.                                                       .

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20130916-1047.html

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Significant Breakthrough in Superconductivity Using Ultrathin Lead Nanowires for Medical and Biological Applications
A cross-disciplinary research team, led by Prof. Rolf Walter Lortz (Physics), has achieved significant breakthrough with a novel approach, using ultrathin lead nanowires to produce magnetic fields which are 200 times stronger and increase the temperature of the environment in which superconductors operate. The research, providing solutions to a bottleneck unsolved for over a century concerning low applications of superconductors due to ultra low temperatures and low magnetic critical fields required, is envisaged to greatly enhance superconductor-based technologies to facilitate their applications in medical and biological fields such as high-resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) devices for cancer and stroke detection. The breakthrough research is published in the prestigious nanoscience and technology journal ACS Nano.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20130619-1038.html

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Develop New Chemosensor for Explosive Detection that Doubles as Optical Limiter
Prof. Benzhong Tang (Chemistry) and his research team have achieved a major breakthrough in his search for new polymerization reactions and new functional materials that are the answers to the prayers of security authorities. These groundbreaking discoveries are detailed in Polymer Chemistry, a prestigious journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. On top of these breathtaking discoveries, the research team also devised a novel polymerization approach to upgrade the structure of organic light emitting materials to three dimensions, rendering it a more nimble sensor for explosives. The agent is applicable in security systems, screening for explosives under any circumstances, thus heightening the detection capability of security systems.

http://epublish.ust.hk/cgi-bin/eng/story.php?id=20&catid=16&sid=206&keycode=9605e8ab581fe35dc34d7133429a679f

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Hepatitis E Vaccine — Insects to the Rescue of Hepatitis E Sufferers
Prof. Yong Xie (Life Science) and his research team have successfully developed a new vaccine candidate for the prevention of hepatitis E, which affects one-third of the world’s population. The vaccine candidate they developed uses an innovative moth cell expression system whose protein folding structure approaches that of the natural HEV protein. This represents the first time in the world that insect cell technology has been used to create a vaccine candidate to prevent HEV. By simplifying the production process, this novel technology cuts down on the production costs. Preclinical trials are proceeding smoothly and promisingly as planned.

http://epublish.ust.hk/cgi-bin/eng/story.php?id=20&catid=16&sid=211&keycode=ed2d9e1ed1feb3964a0e892bc2095a90

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First Direct Observation of Homogeneous Crystal Melting at Single-particle Level
A research team led by Prof. Yilong Han (Physics) has for the first time successfully observed homogeneous melting at single-particle resolution, closing the long-term debate on alleged defects generated before melting. In addition to this, Prof. Han and his team members Ziren Wang, Feng Wang, Yi Peng and Zhongyu Zheng also measured the superheat limit of colloidal crystals for the first time. All of these discoveries have been published in the latest issue of Science, one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20121011-984.html

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Identification of a Novel Protein in Muscle Stem Cells Fuelling hopes for Stem Cell Treatments for Muscular Dystrophy
Prof. Zhenguo Wu (Life Science) and his research team have discovered a novel protein Pax3/7BP that plays an influential role in skeletal muscle stem cells. This groundbreaking discovery could lead to more effective stem cell treatments for various muscle diseases including muscular dystrophy. The breakthrough discovery will facilitate the development of muscle stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of muscle diseases; for speeding up muscle regeneration after muscle injuries and for improving muscle strength and functions in elderly people. The above findings have been published in the latest issue of Cell Stem Cell, a leading biomedical journal on stem cell research.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20120819-973.html

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Research on Ultraviolet Lasing of Nano-structured ZnO Voted the Most Cited Papers over past 50 years by Applied Physics Letters
Prof. Zikang Tang and Prof. Geroge Wong (Physics) and their research team discovered room-temperature ultraviolet (UV) lasing using high-quality nano-structured ZnO semiconductors in 1998, defying the norm that for decades, UV lasing of ZnO could only be observed at low temperatures. The groundbreaking discovery has opened up a wide range of potential applications for ZnO semiconductors in UV laser diodes as well as energy-saving semiconductor white light sources. Their publication titled 'Room-temperature ultraviolet laser emission from self-assembled ZnO microcrystallite thin films' was recognized to be amongst the top 50 most cited papers over the past 50 years in Applied Physics Letters, one of the world's most esteemed scientific journals. This is also the only research developed in Greater China region that made it into the top 50.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20120730-969.html

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Epileptic Seizures Decoded - Unravels Mechanism Behind Brain Development
Prof. Nancy Ip (Life Science) and her research team have made breakthrough discoveries in signaling mechanisms in brain development that have far-reaching implications for biomedicine. They have successfully identified a cellular protein α2-chimaerin as a key regulator of neuronal migration and brain function. These groundbreaking discoveries by Prof Ip and her research team have been published in Nature Neuroscience, a prestigious journal in neuroscience.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20120111-936.html

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Proof that single photons do not exceed the speed of lights
The optics groups led by Prof. Shengwang Du (Physics) reported a direct observation of the optical precursor of a single photon and proved that single photons cannot travel faster than c, the speed of light in a vacuum. The study reaffirms Einstein’s theory that nothing travels faster than light and closes a decade-long debate about the speed of a single photon. This breakthrough was published and selected as an Editor's Suggestion in the Physical Review Letters, one of the most prestigious journals in physics. It was also highlighted as a Physics Synopsis by the American Physical Society and brought to wide attention as a Feature Story by PhysORG.com.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20110719-893.html

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Discovering the mechanism behind visual systems
Prof. Mingjie Zhang (Life Science) and his team of researchers have achieved significant breakthrough concerning the visual systems of animals detecting light. The discovery was the cover story of Cell, one of the most prestigious scientific journals in biomedical sciences.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20110627-888.html

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Important findings on the melting of colloidal crystal films
Recent studies of the melting of colloidal crystal films by Prof. Yilong Han (Physics) appeared in the journal Physical Review Letters, one of the most prestigious journals in physics. This work was the subject of a Feature article in Physical Review Focus, in recognition of its importance. It was also highlighted together with Prof. Han’s work on phase space networks in the June 2011 Newsletter of www.SoftMAtterWorld.org
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New possibilities for the manipulating light without losses at design-specific frequencies
The group led by Prof. Che Ting Chan (Physics) has demonstrated that it is possible to design dielectric photonic crystals as if they had near-zero dielectric constants. Artificial materials with zero dielectric constants have the very unique property that light passes through those media with zero phase change. The realization of this peculiar characteristic in an all-dielectric media by the HKUST group opens new possibilities for the manipulation of light without losses at design-specific frequencies. This breakthrough was published in Nature Materials, one of the most prestigious journals in the field of materials physics.
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How genetic mutations of a motor protein lead to hereditary deaf-and-blindness
Prof. Mingjie Zhang (Life Science) and his team have achieved a significant breakthrough in explaining how genetic mutations of Motor Protein Myosin VIIa leads to hereditary deaf-and-blindness. This is excellent news for the prospect of developing preventive and remedial measures against hereditary deaf-and-blindness. The findings were published in the top scientific journal Science.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20110211-845.html

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Unraveling novel signaling mechanisms in the brain
Prof. Nancy Ip (Life Science) and her research team have made a breakthrough discovery in unraveling a novel signaling mechanism in the brain that has far-reaching implications in biomedicine. Prof. Ip and her team showed how the cell surface protein EphA4 regulates brain plasticity. They found that EphA4-mediated signaling can effectively control unrestrained activity in the brain by regulating the level of neurotransmitter receptors. Since many neurodegenerative diseases are associated with impaired neurotransmission in the brain, the exciting findings by Prof. Ip and her team now raises the intriguing possibility that EphA4 is a potential target for developing novel treatments to alleviate cognitive deficits in afflicted patients. The  findings were published in Nature Neuroscience and Neuron, the two most prestigious journals in neuroscience.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20101230-837.html

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An innovative new elastic metamaterial
The metamaterials group, led by Prof. Zhaoqing Zhang and Prof. Ping Sheng (Physics), has developed an elastic metamaterial that exhibits multiple resonances in its building blocks. This metamaterial exhibits characteristics that have no comparable analogue in conventional solids and may lead to novel applications. Of particular interest is that this solid can behave like a liquid within a certain frequency regime. This new development was published in Nature Materials, one of the most prestigious journals in the field of materials physics.
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Joining the global effort to decode the cancer genome
Prof. Hannah H. Xue (Life Science), an expert in decoding genomes, is participating in the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), the largest and most comprehensive cancer research effort to date. Comprising 200 members from 12 countries and territories, the Consortium is aiming to decode genomes from 25,000 cancer samples related to 50 types and subtypes of cancer. It has published an article in Nature about the international network of cancer genome projects. The data released can be used immediately by researchers who are working on better ways of preventing, detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20100415-757.html

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Analyzing data from the first Chinese lunar satellite Chang'e-1
Prof. Kwing Lam Chan (Mathematics) achieved a breakthrough in analyzing the data obtained from China's first lunar probe, Chang'e-1. He was invited by the China National Space Administration to join the first Chinese lunar satellite research team. The analysis result has been published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters in May 2010 and Prof. Chan is the first Hong Kong scholar to publish Chang'e-1 data analysis results in an international journal.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20100422-760.html

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New hair-based drug testing technology
Prof. Karl Tsim (Biochemistry) successfully developed a hair-based drug testing technology as an alternative to other drug testing methods, including the urine-based drug test commonly used in Hong Kong.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20091216-732.html

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Turning a traditional Chinese herbal recipe into an effective weapon against avian flu
The Centre for Chinese Medicine R&D (CCM) under the School has developed an advanced technology to extract effective liposoluble ingredients from the traditional Chinese herbal recipe "Xiasangju" which has been proved effective in preventing flu viruses, including the avian flu virus, from entering body cells. A collaborative agreement has been reached with Guangzhou Xing Qun Pharmaceutical Company Limited (XQP), a subordinated enterprise of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (GPC) which is one of the top pharmaceutical companies in Mainland China. The agreement, which formalizes the sale of HKUST's patented technology to XQP and fosters scientific research collaboration between Guangdong and Hong Kong in combating avian flu and common flu by using Chinese medicine.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20071228-575.html

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The advent of foldable paper-like electronic displays
Prof. Weijia Wen (Physics) and his research team have pioneered the development of foldable paper-like electronic displays. The device can be bent or wrapped around a column like a piece of paper for a wide range of commercial or industrial applications. Measuring about one sixth of the thickness of a credit card, the breakthrough device is made by embedding conductive wiring patterns into thermochromic composite films. With its thermochromic quality, the images produced are clear and the color displayed can be tuned, reversed or repeated by varying the temperature. The team's achievements have been widely published in prestigious international journals including Advanced Materials and Applied Physics Letter.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/press_20071105-549.html

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The World’s smallest single-walled carbon nanotubes
Prof. Zikang Tang (Physics) and his research team have succeeded in fabricating the smallest single-walled carbon nanotube in the world, with a diameter of only 0.4nm (nanometer). This discovery has not only provided novel samples for groundbreaking research on carbon nanotubes and has also opened up new hi-tech applications in various hi-tech areas such as electronics, information technology and biology. The breakthrough discovery of the team has been published in Nature, a leading international science journal in November 2000.

http://www.ust.hk/eng/news/archive/e_pa001102-68.pdf

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