Hong Kong, China

The Chinese University of Hong Kong is a public research university in Shatin, Hong Kong, formally established in 1963 by a charter granted by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. It is the territory's second oldest institution of higher learning, and the only collegiate university. The University was originally founded as a federation of three existing colleges, Chung Chi College, New Asia College and United College, the oldest of which was founded in 1949.Today, CUHK is organised into nine constituent colleges and eight academic faculties. Though the original statement in the charter of the University stipulates Chinese as the principal language, English is currently the main language of instruction in most classes, with Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese being retained only by a minority of colleges and academic departments. As of 2013, four Nobel laureates are associated with the University, making it the only tertiary institution in the territory with recipients of the Nobel Prize, Turing Award, Fields Medal and Veblen Prize as faculty in residence. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine, Science and Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2016-08-11

Disclosed herein are methods and compositions for the delivery of polypeptides, including vaccine candidate polypeptides, into mammalian cells comprising the use of photosensitized trypanosomatid organisms. Also disclosed are methods of treatment of trypanosomatid infections comprising administering phthalocyanine compounds or phthalocyanine-treated trypanosomatid microorganisms as vaccines, as well as and polypeptide delivery vectors comprising phthalocyanine-treated trypanosomatid microorganisms.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2016-08-12

Embodiments may include a method of determining a nucleic acid sequence. The method may include receiving a plurality of DNA fragments. The method may also include concatemerizing a first set of the DNA fragments to obtain a concatemer. The method may include performing single-molecule sequencing of the concatemer to obtain a first sequence of the concatemer. In some embodiments, single-molecule sequencing may be performed using a nanopore, and the method may include passing the concatemer through a nanopore. A first electrical signal may then be detected as the concatemer passes through the nanopore. The first electrical signal may correspond to a first sequence of the concatemer. In addition, the method may include analyzing the first electrical signal to determine the first sequence. Subsequences of the first sequence may be aligned to identify sequences corresponding to each of the first set of the DNA fragments.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2016-09-22

Embodiments of the present invention provide methods, systems, and apparatus for deducing the fetal DNA fraction in maternal plasma without using paternal or fetal genotypes. Maternal genotype information may be obtained from a maternal-only DNA sample or may be assumed from shallow-depth sequencing of a biological sample having both maternal and fetal DNA molecules. Because sequencing may be at shallow depths, a locus may have only few reads and may fail to exhibit a non-maternal allele even if a non-maternal allele is present. However, normalized parameters that characterize non-maternal alleles sequenced can be used to provide an accurate estimate of the fetal DNA fraction, even if the amount of non-maternal alleles is in error. Methods described herein may not need high-depth sequencing or enrichment of specific regions. As a result, these methods can be integrated into widely used non-invasive prenatal testing and other diagnostics.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2015-09-30

BATS protocols may be utilized for high efficiency communication in networks with burst or dependent type losses. Systematic recoding at intermediate network nodes may be utilized to reduce the computational cost during recoding. A block interleaver based BATS protocol may be utilized to handle burst loss, where batches are recoded to a same number of packets. Adaptive recoding may be utilized to improve the throughput, where a batch with a higher rank is recoded to a larger number of packets. Using adaptive recoding, a non-block interleaver based BATS protocol may be utilized.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2016-11-28

Embodiments are related to the accurate detection of somatic mutations in the plasma (or other samples containing cell-free DNA) of cancer patients and for subjects being screened for cancer. The detection of these molecular markers would be useful for the screening, detection, monitoring, management, and prognostication of cancer patients. For example, a mutational load can be determined from the identified somatic mutations, and the mutational load can be used to screen for any or various types of cancers, where no prior knowledge about a tumor or possible cancer of the subject may be required. Embodiments can be useful for guiding the use of therapies (e.g. targeted therapy, immunotherapy, genome editing, surgery, chemotherapy, embolization therapy, anti-angiogenesis therapy) for cancers. Embodiments are also directed to identifying de novo mutations in a fetus by analyzing a maternal sample having cell-free DNA from the fetus.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2016-07-20

Systems, apparatuses, and method are provided for determining the contributions of different tissues to a biological sample that includes a mixture of cell-free DNA molecules from various tissues types, e.g., as occurs in plasma or serum and other body fluids. Embodiments can analyze the methylation patterns of the DNA mixture (e.g., methylation levels at particular loci) for a particular haplotype and determine fractional contributions of various tissue types to the DNA mixture, e.g., of fetal tissue types or tissue types of specific organs that might have a tumor. Such fractional contributions determined for a haplotype can be used in a variety of ways.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2015-09-21

A device for shaping and scanning an ultrafast laser beam including a laser source configured to output a pulsed laser beam containing different frequency spectrum; a digital micromirror device (DMD) consisting of a plurality of micromirrors, configured to receive the laser beam and shape the received laser beam with a first angular dispersion; and a dispersion compensation unit, arranged before or after the DMD, configured to transfer the laser beam from the laser source to the DMD with a second angular dispersion for neutralizing the first angular dispersion.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2016-09-09

Masers and microwave amplifiers that can function in the continuous-wave mode at room temperature are provided. The maser system can include a diamond gain medium having nitrogen-vacancy centers, and a resonator can be disposed around the gain medium. The resonator can be disposed in a cavity box, and radiation (e.g., visible light) can be provided to the gain medium to cause emission of microwave radiation.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2015-08-26

Disclosed is an air-filled patch antenna, comprising: a ground plane; a patch arranged to be in parallel to the ground plane; four inherent metal legs extending from the patch perpendicularly, wherein each of distal ends of the four legs is electrically and mechanically connected to the ground plane; and a feeding structure configured to provide a signal interface to the antenna.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2015-08-28

Computationally efficient message encoding and decoding schemes for NCMA-based multiple access networks are enabled. Belief propagation decoding of fountain codes designed for NCMA-based multiple access networks may be enhanced using Gaussian elimination. Networks utilizing a network-coded slotted ALOHA protocol can benefit in particular. In such cases, Gaussian elimination may be applied locally to solve the linear system associated with each timeslot, and belief propagation decoding may be applied between the linear systems obtained over different timeslots. The computational complexity of such an approach may be of the same order as a conventional belief propagation decoding algorithm. The fountain code degree distribution may be tuned to optimize for different numbers of expected channel users.


Patent
Chinese University of Hong Kong | Date: 2017-02-22

This application describes the discovery that, in a pregnant woman, certain genes (such as RASSFIA, APC, CASP8, RARB, SCGB3A1, DAB2IP, PTPN6, THYl, TMEFF2, and PYCARD) originated from a fetus are highly methylated, whereas the same genes of maternal origin are unmethylated. This discovery allows the easy detection of one or more of these methylated fetal genes in a biological sample from a pregnant woman, serving as a universal indicator of the presence of fetal DNA in the sample. These fetal methylation markers are particularly useful as positive controls for a non-invasive analytical process during which the quality and quantity of fetal DNA are monitored. These newly identified fetal markers can also be measured directly for diagnosis of certain pregnancy-related conditions.


Bi S.,National University of Singapore | Zhang Y.J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid | Year: 2014

The normal operation of power system relies on accurate state estimation that faithfully reflects the physical aspects of the electrical power grids. However, recent research shows that carefully synthesized false-data injection attacks can bypass the security system and introduce arbitrary errors to state estimates. In this paper, we use graphical methods to study defending mechanisms against false-data injection attacks on power system state estimation. By securing carefully selected meter measurements, no false data injection attack can be launched to compromise any set of state variables. We characterize the optimal protection problem, which protects the state variables with minimum number of measurements, as a variant Steiner tree problem in a graph. Based on the graphical characterization, we propose both exact and reduced-complexity approximation algorithms. In particular, we show that the proposed tree-pruning based approximation algorithm significantly reduces computational complexity, while yielding negligible performance degradation compared with the optimal algorithms. The advantageous performance of the proposed defending mechanisms is verified in IEEE standard power system testcases. © 2010-2012 IEEE.


Zhou Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhou Q.,Shanghai University | Xia K.-Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We report an experimental investigation of the local dissipation scale field η in turbulent thermal convection. Our results reveal two types of universality of η. The first one is that, for the same flow, the probability density functions (PDFs) of η are insensitive to turbulent intensity and large-scale inhomogeneity and anisotropy of the system. The second is that the small-scale dissipation dynamics in buoyancy-driven turbulence can be described by the same models developed for homogeneous and isotropic turbulence. However, the exact functional form of the PDF of the local dissipation scale is not universal with respect to different types of flows, but depends on the integral-scale velocity boundary condition, which is found to have an exponential, rather than Gaussian, distribution in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Zhou Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhou Q.,Shanghai University | Xia K.-Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We report measurements of the instantaneous viscous boundary layer (BL) thickness δv(t) in turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard convection. It is found that δv(t) obtained from the measured instantaneous two-dimensional velocity field exhibits intermittent fluctuations. For small values, δv(t) obeys a lognormal distribution, whereas for large values, the distribution of δv(t) exhibits an exponential tail. The variation of δv(t) with time is found to be driven by the fluctuations of the large-scale mean-flow velocity, and the local horizontal velocities close to the plate can be used as an instant measure of this variation. It is further found that in the present parameter range of the experiment, the mean velocity profile measured in the laboratory frame can be brought into coincidence with the theoretical Prandtl-Blasius laminar BL profile, if it is resampled relative to the time-dependent frame of δv(t). © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Cheng K.C.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yap R.H.C.,National University of Singapore
Constraints | Year: 2010

A table constraint is explicitly represented as its set of solutions or non-solutions. This ad hoc (or extensional) representation may require space exponential to the arity of the constraint, making enforcing GAC expensive. In this paper, we address the space and time inefficiencies simultaneously by presenting the mddc constraint. mddc is a global constraint that represents its (non-)solutions with a multi-valued decision diagram (MDD). The MDD-based representation has the advantage that it can be exponentially smaller than a table. The associated GAC algorithm (called mddc) has time complexity linear to the size of the MDD, and achieves full incrementality in constant time. In addition, we show how to convert a positive or negative table constraint into an mddc constraint in time linear to the size of the table. Our experiments on structured problems, car sequencing and still-life, show that mddc is also a fast GAC algorithm for some global constraints such as sequence and regular. We also show that mddc is faster than the state-of-the-art generic GAC algorithms in Gent et al. (2007), Lecoutre and Szymanek (2006), Lhomme and Régin (2005) for table constraint. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009.


Lu Y.,McGill University | Lau J.Y.W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Barkun A.,McGill University
British Journal of Surgery | Year: 2014

Background: The modern management of acute non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding is centred on endoscopy, with recourse to interventional radiology and surgery in refractory cases. The appropriate use of intervention to optimize outcomes is reviewed. Methods: A literature search was undertaken of PubMed and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials between January 1990 and April 2013 using validated search terms (with restrictions) relevant to upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Results: Appropriate and adequate resuscitation, and risk stratification using validated scores should be initiated at diagnosis. Coagulopathy should be corrected along with blood transfusions, aiming for an international normalized ratio of less than 2·5 to proceed with possible endoscopic haemostasis and a haemoglobin level of 70 g/l (excluding patients with severe bleeding or ischaemia). Prokinetics and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can be administered while awaiting endoscopy, although they do not affect rebleeding, surgery or mortality rates. Endoscopic haemostasis using thermal or mechanical therapies alone or in combination with injection should be used in all patients with high-risk stigmata (Forrest I-IIb) within 24 h of presentation (possibly within 12 h if there is severe bleeding), followed by a 72-h intravenous infusion of PPI that has been shown to decrease further rebleeding, surgery and mortality. A second attempt at endoscopic haemostasis is generally made in patients with rebleeding. Uncontrolled bleeding should be treated with targeted or empirical transcatheter arterial embolization. Surgical intervention is required in the event of failure of endoscopic and radiological measures. Secondary PPI prophylaxis when indicated and Helicobacter pylori eradication are necessary to decrease recurrent bleeding, keeping in mind the increased false-negative testing rates in the setting of acute bleeding. Conclusion: An evidence-based approach with multidisciplinary collaboration is required to optimize outcomes of patients presenting with acute non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding. © 2013 BJS Society Ltd.


Yeoh A.E.J.,National University of Singapore | Tan D.,Raffles Cancer Center and the Singapore General Hospital | Li C.-K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Hori H.,Mie University | And 2 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2013

Survival for adults and children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia has risen substantially in recent years because use of improved risk-directed treatments and supportive care has widened. In nearly all developed countries, multidisciplinary panels of leukaemia experts have formulated clinical practice guidelines in which standard treatment approaches are recommended on the basis of current evidence. However, those guidelines do not take into account resource limitations in low-income countries, including financial and technical challenges. In Asia, huge disparities in economy and infrastructure exist between countries, and even among different regions in some large countries. At a consensus session held as part of the 2013 Asian Oncology Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, a panel of experts summarised recommendations for management of adult and paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Strategies were developed for Asian countries on the basis of available financial, skill, and logistical resources and were stratified in a four-tier system according to the resources available in a particular country or region (basic, limited, enhanced, and maximum). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Wang F.,China Academy of Space Technology | Huang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhao Y.,Peking University
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications | Year: 2012

Supporting the quality of service of unlicensed users in cognitive radio networks is very challenging, mainly due to the dynamic resource availability induced by the licensed users' activities. In this paper, we derive the optimal admission control and channel allocation decisions in cognitive overlay networks to support delay sensitive communications of unlicensed users. We formulate it as a Markov decision process problem, and solve it by transforming the original formulation into a stochastic shortest path problem. We then propose a simple heuristic control policy, which includes a threshold-based admission control scheme and and a largest-delay-first channel allocation scheme, and prove the optimality of the largest-delay-first channel allocation scheme. We further propose an improved policy using the rollout algorithm. By comparing the performance of both proposed policies with the upper-bound of the maximum revenue, we show that our policies achieve close-to-optimal performances with low complexities. © 2012 IEEE.


Chua M.L.K.,11 Hospital Drive | Chua M.L.K.,National University of Singapore | Wee J.T.S.,11 Hospital Drive | Wee J.T.S.,National University of Singapore | And 2 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2016

Epidemiological trends during the past decade suggest that although incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is gradually declining, even in endemic regions, mortality from the disease has fallen substantially. This finding is probably a result of a combination of lifestyle modification, population screening coupled with better imaging, advances in radiotherapy, and effective systemic agents. In particular, intensity-modulated radiotherapy has driven the improvement in tumour control and reduction in toxic effects in survivors. Clinical use of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) as a surrogate biomarker in nasopharyngeal carcinoma continues to increase, with quantitative assessment of circulating EBV DNA used for population screening, prognostication, and disease surveillance. Randomised trials are investigating the role of EBV DNA in stratification of patients for treatment intensification and deintensification. Among the exciting developments in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, vascular endothelial growth factor inhibition and novel immunotherapies targeted at immune checkpoint and EBV-specific tumour antigens offer promising alternatives to patients with metastatic disease. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Ma R.C.W.,Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity | Ma R.C.W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lin X.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Jia W.,Shanghai JiaoTong University
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2014

The prevalence of diabetes in China has increased substantially over recent decades, with more than 100 million people estimated to be affected by the disease presently. During this period there has been an increase in the rates of obesity and a reduction in physical activity. Many of the changes in lifestyle and diet are a result of increased economic development and urbanisation. In addition to an increasingly westernised diet, the traditional Chinese diet also plays a part, with the quantity and quality of rice intake linked to the risk of type 2 diabetes. Familial factors including inherited genetic variants are important, although differences in the genetic architecture suggest a different combination of genetic variants could be most relevant in Chinese when compared with Europeans. Recent advances have also emphasised the role of early life factors in the epidemic of diabetes and non-communicable diseases: maternal undernutrition, maternal obesity, and gestational diabetes are all linked to increased risk of diabetes in offspring. A mismatch between developmentally programmed biology and the modern environment is relevant for countries like China where there has been rapid economic transformation. Multisectoral efforts to address the risks will be needed at different stages throughout the lifecourse to reduce the burden of diabetes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Zhang J.,University of Macau | McBride-Chang C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Developmental Psychology | Year: 2014

A 4-stage developmental model, in which auditory sensitivity is fully mediated by speech perception at both the segmental and suprasegmental levels, which are further related to word reading through their associations with phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, verbal short-term memory and morphological awareness, was tested with concurrently collected data on 153 2nd- and 3rd-grade Hong Kong Chinese children. Nested model comparisons were conducted to test this model separately against alternatives in relation to both Chinese and English word reading using structural equation modeling. For Chinese word reading, the proposed 4-stage model was demonstrated to be the best model. Auditory sensitivity was associated with speech perception, which was related to Chinese word reading mainly through its relations to morphological awareness and rapid automatized naming. In contrast, for English word reading, the best model required an additional direct path from suprasegmental sensitivity (in Chinese) to English word reading. That is, in addition to phonological awareness, Chinese speech prosody was also directly associated with English word recognition. © 2013 American Psychological Association.


Yan Y.,Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Sciences and Technology | Huang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang J.,Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Sciences and Technology
IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications | Year: 2013

Cooperative spectrum sharing can effectively improve the spectrum usage by allowing secondary users (SUs) to dynamically and opportunistically share the licensed bands with primary users (PUs). In return, an SU will relay a PU's traffic to improve the PU's effective data rate. In this paper, we study how one PU and one SU achieve an efficient spectrum sharing through dynamic noncooperative bargaining. The key challenge is that the PU does not have complete information of the SU's energy cost. We model the dynamic bargaining with incomplete information as a dynamic Bayesian game, and investigate the equilibria under both single-slot and multi-slot bargaining models. Theoretical analysis and numerical results indicate that our proposed scheme can lead to a win-win situation, where both the PU and the SU obtain data rate improvements via the bargaining-based CSS mechanism. Furthermore, the SU can take advantage of the incomplete information to improve its bargaining power (also called reputation effect), and thus gain a higher data rate. © 2013 IEEE.


Bernstein C.N.,University of Manitoba | Loftus Jr. E.V.,Mayo Medical School | Ng S.C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lakatos P.L.,Semmelweis University | Moum B.,University of Oslo
Gut | Year: 2012

Hospitalisation and surgery are considered to be markers of more severe disease in Crohn's disease. These are costly events and limiting these costs has emerged as one rationale for the cost of expensive biologic therapies. The authors sought to review the most recent international literature to estimate current hospitalisation and surgery rates for Crohn's disease and place them in the historical context of where they have been, whether they have changed over time, and to compare these rates across different jurisdictions. It is in this context that the authors could set the stage for interpreting some of the early data and studies that will be forthcoming on rates of hospitalisation and surgery in an era of more aggressive biologic therapy. The most recent data from Canada, the United Kingdom and Hungary all suggest that surgical rates were falling prior to the advent of biologic therapy, and continue to fall during this treatment era. The impact of biologic therapy on surgical rates will have to be analysed in the context of evolving reductions in developed regions before biologic therapy was even introduced. Whether more aggressive medical therapy will decrease the requirement for surgery over long periods of time remains to be proven.


Wang X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ma K.T.,National University of Singapore | Ng G.-W.,DSO National Laboratories | Grimson W.E.L.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
International Journal of Computer Vision | Year: 2011

We propose a novel framework of using a nonparametric Bayesian model, called Dual Hierarchical Dirichlet Processes (Dual-HDP) (Wang et al. in IEEE Trans. Pattern Anal. Mach. Intell. 31:539-555, 2009), for unsupervised trajectory analysis and semantic region modeling in surveillance settings. In our approach, trajectories are treated as documents and observations of an object on a trajectory are treated as words in a document. Trajectories are clustered into different activities. Abnormal trajectories are detected as samples with low likelihoods. The semantic regions, which are subsets of paths commonly taken by objects and are related to activities in the scene, are also modeled. Under Dual-HDP, both the number of activity categories and the number of semantic regions are automatically learnt from data. In this paper, we further extend Dual-HDP to a Dynamic Dual-HDP model which allows dynamic update of activity models and online detection of normal/abnormal activities. Experiments are evaluated on a simulated data set and two real data sets, which include 8,478 radar tracks collected from a maritime port and 40,453 visual tracks collected from a parking lot. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) denotes bacillary resistance to at least isoniazid and rifampicin. Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB is MDR-TB with additional bacillary resistance to any fluoroquinolone and at least one second-line injectable drugs. Rooted in inadequate TB treatment and compounded by a vicious circle of diagnostic delay and improper treatment, MDR-TB/XDR-TB has become a global epidemic that is fuelled by poverty, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and neglect of airborne infection control. The majority of MDR-TB cases in some settings with high prevalence of MDR-TB are due to transmission of drug-resistant bacillary strains to previously untreated patients. Global efforts in controlling MDR-TB/XDR-TB can no longer focus solely on high-risk patients. It is difficult and costly to treat MDR-TB/XDR-TB. Without timely implementation of preventive and management strategies, difficult MDR-TB/XDR-TB can cripple global TB control efforts. Preventive strategies include prompt diagnosis with adequate TB treatment using the directly observed therapy, short-course (DOTS) strategy and drug-resistance programmes, airborne infection control, preventive treatment of TB/HIV, and optimal use of antiretroviral therapy. Management strategies for established cases of difficult MDR-TB/XDR-TB rely on harnessing existing drugs (notably newer generation fluoroquinolones, high-dose isoniazid, linezolid and pyrazinamide with in vitro activity) in the best combinations and dosing schedules, together with adjunctive surgery in carefully selected cases. Immunotherapy may also have a role in the future. New diagnostics, drugs and vaccines are required to meet the challenge, but science alone is insufficient. Difficult MDR-TB/XDR-TB cannot be tackled without achieving high cure rates with quality DOTS and beyond, and concurrently addressing poverty and HIV. © 2012 The Authors. Respirology © 2012 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.


Soria J.-C.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Mok T.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Cappuzzo F.,Instituto Toscano Tumori | Janne P.A.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Cancer Treatment Reviews | Year: 2012

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumours with certain mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase have been termed 'oncogene addicted' to reflect their dependence on EGFR-mediated pro-survival signalling and their high susceptibility to apoptosis induced by EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs, e.g. gefitinib and erlotinib). The most common mutations (L858R and exon 19 deletions) predict an improved clinical response to first-line oral EGFR-TKIs compared with standard platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC. Moreover, these mutations are also prognostic of a relatively indolent course of disease, regardless of treatment, as compared with classical NSCLC. Treatment strategies for oncogene-addicted NSCLC are therefore distinct from those for non-oncogene addicted NSCLC, and will depend on the specific genetic mutation present. © 2011.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: en.prnasia.com

HONG KONG, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- HKBN Ltd. ("HKBN" or the "Group"; SEHK stock code: 1310) announced today that with effect from 1 March 2017, Ni Quiaque Lai ("NiQ") will be named Chief Operating Officer ("COO"). Formerly the Group's Chief Talent & Financial Officer ("CT&FO"), NiQ, in this expanded new role, will lead the Group's sales and marketing operations for the residential market whilst he retains executive oversight of his previous CT&FO responsibilities in finance, legal as well as Talent engagement. NiQ's appointment leverages a multifunctional perspective to consolidate greater synergy between HKBN's various teams to drive sustainable growth for the Group's business and operations. Whilst NiQ will retain executive oversight in the respective areas of finance, Talent engagement and legal, Andrew Wong, Financial Controller, CY Chan, Associate Director -- Talent Management & Organization Development and Co-Owner, and Amy Tam, Head of Legal & Company Secretary and Co-Owner, will step up to take on more operational management responsibilities in their respective areas. As COO, NiQ will report directly to CEO and Co-Owner William Yeung. William Yeung said, "NiQ's strong leadership and deep understanding across many different aspects of our business means he is well positioned to unify our strengths and steer HKBN's growth via improved strategic thinking, efficiency and agility among teams." The Group also announces that its Chief Marketing Officer, Selina Chong, has decided to step down from her role with effect from 19 March 2017 to focus on new opportunities beyond HKBN. In her five years with the Group, Selina successfully strengthened the HKBN brand, making it a highly compelling choice for broadband, mobile, and OTT services as well as enterprise solutions. The Group thanks Selina for her tremendous contributions and wishes her all the best in her future endeavours. HKBN Ltd. (SEHK Stock Code: 1310, together with its subsidiaries, the "Group") is an investment holding company. The Group is Hong Kong's largest provider of residential high speed fibre broadband (symmetrical 100Mbps to 1,000Mbps) services by number of subscriptions, and a fast growing enterprise solutions provider. The Group offers a full range of telecommunications solutions for both the residential and enterprise markets, encompassing broadband and Wi-Fi network services, cloud solutions, data connectivity, data facilities, system integration, mobile services, entertainment and voice communications. HKBN owns an extensive fibre network in Hong Kong, which covers over 2.2 million residential homes passed, representing approximately 81% of Hong Kong's total residential units, and 2,300 commercial buildings. HKBN embraces "Make our Hong Kong a Better Place to Live" as its core purpose, and takes great pride in developing its Talents into a competitive advantage. The Group is managed by about 340 Co-Owners who have invested their own savings to buy HKBN shares, representing the majority of supervisory and management level Talents in the Group. NiQ Lai, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Owner, joined 2004. NiQ has over 24 years of experience in telecom, research and finance industries. Prior to joining the Group, NiQ was Director and Head of Asia Telecom Research at Credit Suisse. In 2016, NiQ was chosen Best CFO in Hong Kong in the FinanceAsia Survey. As one of the pioneers shaping HKBN's unique Talent culture into a competitive advantage, he was named a Champion of Human Resources by The Hong Kong HRM Awards in 2009. In his youth, NiQ aspired to be a professional tennis player but a lack of sporting talent diverted him into the corporate track instead. NiQ holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Western Australia, and an Executive Master of Business Administration Degree from Kellogg-HKUST, Hong Kong. NiQ is a Fellow member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and CPA Australia. Andrew Wong, Financial Controller, joined 2006. Andrew joined the Group as Manager in 2006 and is now responsible for overall finance functions. During his 10 years with the Group, Andrew has been a key team member responsible for different capital projects such as the management buyout in 2012, the initial public offering in 2015, acquisition of New World Telecom in 2016 and several major refinancing projects between 2013 and 2016. Prior to joining HKBN, Andrew spent five years with KPMG in Hong Kong specializing in the telecommunications industry. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and Law from the University of Manchester in the UK and an Executive Master of Business Administration Degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. CY Chan, Associate Director -- Talent Management & Organization Development and Co-Owner, joined 2011. CY oversees HKBN's Talent management, organization development and performance improvement strategy and initiatives. He has over 15 years of experience in organizational change, HR and business development. As a business consultant and HR practitioner across different industries, CY has worked for Wilson Learning China, Dun & Bradstreet and Hutchison Global Communications, and was involved in large sized consultancy projects like partnership projects for MTR Corporation, raising commercial awareness of NGOs for the Social Welfare Department and leadership development programmes for over 60 organizations across the South China region. Believing that success starts with a clear purpose, he enjoys sharing his experience and hopes that he can be a catalyst for the career and life success of others. CY holds a Master of Science Degree in Strategic HRM from Hong Kong Baptist University and a Master of Social Science Degree in Applied Psychology from City University of Hong Kong. Amy Tam, Head of Legal & Company Secretary and Co-Owner, joined 2015. With over 20 years of experience in the legal field, Amy oversees the legal and regulatory aspects of the Group. Prior to joining HKBN, she worked in both private practice and as a Senior Legal Advisor for MTR Corporation Limited. Amy was admitted as a solicitor and practicing lawyer of Hong Kong by the High Court of Hong Kong in July 1991 and has been a member of the Law Society of Hong Kong since July 1991. In 1992, she was also admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Amy's expertise covers general commercial work, property management, compliance and corporate governance, China business and general litigation. She believes that by committing to a high standard of corporate governance practices, the integrity of the Group's operations is safeguarded and stakeholder trust is also maintained.


HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Nov 23, 2016) - The following article was first published in the China Business Knowledge (CBK) website by CUHK Business School -- https://goo.gl/zw4jQI: A cutting-edge option pricing research at CUHK Business School reveals flaws in the derivatives markets. The study not only challenges our fundamental understanding of how these markets operate, but it also opens the door to sustainable and predicable profit-making opportunities. The results have turned heads on Wall Street and may rewrite the manual on trading strategies. It is said that there is no such thing as a free lunch, least of all on Wall Street. Conventional wisdom tells us that financial markets operate efficiently, and that securities -- whether it is stocks, bonds, or the derivative instruments they underlie -- are priced tightly to eliminate any arbitrage opportunity that may generate risk-free profits. But a recent finance research study by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School throws a spanner into those long-held views, specifically in the option markets. The results of the study entitled Option Return Predictability reveal that sustained returns from trading delta-hedged options are not only possible, but they are also predictable using basic stock fundamentals such as market capitalisation and return on equity. Leading the research was Associate Professor Jie Cao of the Department of Finance at CUHK Business School and his former Ph.D. student Xintong Zhan who joined Erasmus University Rotterdam as Assistant Professor in Finance this August, alongside Bing Han of the University of Toronto and Qing Tong of Singapore Management University. The team conducted extensive regression analyses using monthly option data of over 5,000 underlying stocks between 1996 and 2012, which amounts to nearly 160,000 data points. The model focused on actively traded stocks in the United States across a broad range of industry sectors, screening out small, highly illiquid ones that could potentially skew results. A delta-hedged or delta-neutral option position involves longing and shorting options and underlying stocks in such a way that the overall payout is the same regardless of stock volatility. The position has to be rebalanced on a regular basis to adjust for fluctuating stock prices. Delta-hedged options are priced using traditional models such as Black-Scholes and stochastic volatility to eliminate any arbitrage gains. The central question is whether a relationship exists between delta-hedged option gains and well-known stock characteristics used by financial analysts and investors. Of the 12 characteristics studied by the research team, eight of them, namely market capitalisation, cash-to-asset ratio, return on equity, new issuance, idiosyncratic volatility, monthly returns, annual returns and the dispersion of analyst forecast, show a strong correlation with delta-hedged option returns. That means long-short trading strategies involving delta-hedged options based on those eight stock characteristics can yield stable, predictable profits over time. Their Sharpe ratios -- a commonly used measure of risk-adjusted return -- ranged from 0.63 to 2.00 (for perspective, a portfolio of U.S. Treasury bills has a Sharpe ratio of exactly zero). The correlation remains robust regardless of seasonality and market conditions. For instance, the profitability of the option trading strategies did not diminish during the 2008-2009 subprime mortgage crisis. The predictive power of these stock fundamentals suggests one of two things: either conventional pricing models are flawed, or the option market -- with all its modern innovations and the rise of high-frequency algorithmic trading -- is not as efficient as previously thought. While further studies are necessary to understand the exact cause of the abnormal returns, Prof. Cao's research team believes that one possible source of market inefficiency is the insufficient cross-sectional arbitrage activities in the option market. More specifically, trading frictions created by regulatory limits to arbitrage may have played a key role in, ironically, spawning the delta-hedged arbitrage. Until this anomaly is corrected, arbitrage opportunities continue to exist and risk-free profits in the option market -- the proverbial free lunch -- are there for the taking. That's why Wall Street traders and fund managers have taken notice of the startling results. In October 2015, Prof. Cao presented his research findings to a captivated audience at the Third Deutsche Bank Annual Global Quantitative Strategy Conference in New York. He was subsequently invited to speak at a seminar at Morgan Stanley's head office, hosted by Dr. Peter Carr, the investment bank's Global Head of Market Modelling. Within the same month, his Ph.D. student Xintong Zhan gave similar presentations to a number of New York-based hedge funds and investment firms, including OptionMetrics, Cubist Systematic Strategies, and Two Sigma. What followed were other high profile speaking engagements, including the 10th Advances in the Analysis of Hedge Fund Strategies Conference in London; the Sixth Risk Management Conference in Mont-Tremblant, Canada; the Fourth Chicago Quantitative Alliance Asia Conference in Hong Kong; and a presentation at Menta Capital LLC in San Francisco. More recently, in May this year, Prof. Cao presented his research at the 4th annual Asia Bureau of Finance and Economic Research Conference in Singapore, one of the largest events of its kind in Asia Pacific. In June, he presented it at Macquarie Global Quantitative Research Conference, a leading conference for finance industry, and in August, at European Finance Association Annual Meeting in Oslo, Norway, a leading conference for finance academic researchers. Reactions from the financial community have ranged from excitement and intrigue to amazement and disbelief. To answer the sceptics, Prof. Cao and his team continue to test the robustness of their theory by controlling for "noise" such as stock volatility risk factors and adjusting for transaction costs resulting from the spread between bids and ask option prices. So far, the findings have held up and the research remains on firm ground. There have also been questions of a more pragmatic nature: how big the potential market is and whether option traders can make fortunes by replicating the trading strategy on a large scale. "Our research is relatively new and Wall Street has yet to test it in the actual derivatives markets," says Prof. Cao. "But based on the presentations we have done to date, there is a lot of interest in our discoveries on the streets," he says. When it comes to risk-free gains, however, popularity can be a double-edged sword. "As more traders start to take advantage of our trading strategy," Prof. Cao offers a reality check, "we expect the arbitrage to narrow. It may eventually disappear." That sentiment may have answered, if only preliminarily, the question of what causes the abnormal returns in the first place. Prof. Cao's prediction of narrowing arbitrage suggests that the anomaly uncovered by the study may have far less to do with flaws in the conventional pricing models than market inefficiency and regulatory frictions. While the study is being discussed and debated in the real world, Prof. Cao has already moved on to analysing other derivative instruments. He is expanding his research from delta-hedged options to raw options and straddles -- longing a call and a put option with the same strike price and expiration date -- in hopes of discovering a similar pattern. "We've dug up something interesting and opened a door to a new area of research," says Prof. Cao. "More broadly speaking, our study forces us to examine how much we actually understand option valuation and trading. We hope our work will attract attention from both practitioners and researchers so that more people will focus on this area." It appears that the professor does not have to wait long for his hope to materialize. His research has already drawn praise from heavyweights in high finance. "I just wanted to say how impressed I was with your new papers," wrote Euan Sinclair, option trader and author of such definitive treatises as Volatility Trading and Option Trading: Pricing and Volatility Strategies and Techniques, in a congratulatory email to Prof. Cao. "For a few years I've been convinced that the next frontier in option trading is using factors like [the ones referenced in your research]." Reference Cao, Jie and Han, Bing and Tong, Qing and Zhan, Xintong, Option Return Predictability (April 8, 2016). Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 2698267; 27th Annual Conference on Financial Economics and Accounting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2698267 This article was first published in the China Business Knowledge (CBK) website by CUHK Business School: https://goo.gl/zw4jQI. About CUHK Business School CUHK Business School comprises two schools -- Accountancy and Hotel and Tourism Management -- and four departments - Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. Established in Hong Kong in 1963, it is the first business school to offer BBA, MBA and Executive MBA programs in the region. Today, the School offers 8 undergraduate programs and 13 graduate programs including MBA, EMBA, Master, MSc, MPhil and PhD. In the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2016, CUHK MBA is ranked 26th. In FT's 2016 EMBA ranking, CUHK EMBA is ranked 37th in the world. CUHK Business School has about 4,400 full-time and part-time students and has the largest business school alumni network in Hong Kong, with over 32,000 alumni worldwide. Professor Kalok Chan is the Dean of CUHK Business School. More information is available at: http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk or by connecting with CUHK Business School on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cuhkbschool and LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/cuhk-business-school. About China Business Knowledge (CBK) CBK is a portal belonging to the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School which provides easy access to the China-related research conducted at CUHK Business School. Through feature articles, mini case studies, discussions and a research paper database, CBK aim to narrow the knowledge gap between China and the rest of the world, providing in-depth knowledge and practical tips about doing business in China. Free content is available at http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk/faculty/cbk/index.aspx or by connecting with CBK@CUHK on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CBKCUHK, Twitter: https://twitter.com/CBK_CUHK and LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1B8cGdU.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.acnnewswire.com

The 27th HKTDC Education & Careers Expo opened to the public free of charge today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The four-day event continues through 26 February and gathers more than 860 organisations from 22 countries and regions, including educational institutions, consulting firms, government departments as well as private enterprises to showcase a wealth of information on further studies, continuous education and job opportunities. Eddie Ng, Secretary for Education, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, officiated the opening ceremony this morning. He said the annual expo has established itself as a premier event providing the public with comprehensive and updated information on further studies, training and career openings. He added that the event also echoes government policy of providing diversified and flexible pathways for students. Speaking one day after the government unveiled its 2017/18 Budget, Mr Ng said, "Government investment in education ranks the highest among all policy areas; for every five dollars we spend, we spend one on education." He also pledged to launch various measures for students and job seekers to help pave the way for their future. Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC, noted that the expo continues to feature education and career theme days, providing students and job seekers with valuable information on further education and employment trends. She added that various seminars and activities are organised to evaluate job prospects in different industries and help young people to identify careers that best suit their talent and interests. - Brand new career theme days cater to industry needs - Responding to human resources needs of different industries, the expo features four career theme days spotlighting employment demand and trends of various sectors. The Tech & Innovation theme day (23 February) explores the trends in digital technology and research and development, areas that the government has been actively promoting in recent years. In addition to expert insights from industry representatives about the application of innovation technology in the commercial sector and aviation industry, the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) is showcasing some of the latest innovative projects jointly developed by its teachers and students. These include a smart drying rack that combines automatic sensors and a mobile app. Visitors can also get hands-on experience of the latest interactive technology such as controlling robots via smart devices and testing their skills in virtual reality (VR) games. A series of seminars highlighting opportunities in the creative sectors such as digital games, film, performing arts, fine arts, design, architecture and media are organised under the Arts theme day (24 February). With various large-scale infrastructure projects underway in Hong Kong, the industry is constantly seeking new talent. As such, the ever-popular Electrical & Mechanical theme day (25 February) returns to the expo. Formed by the Electrical Mechanical Services Department along with 18 related organisatons that include CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd, MTR Corporation Ltd and the Water Supplies Department, The Hong Kong E&M Trade Promotion Working Group explores industry prospects, provides information on training programmes and offers job opportunities on-site. Organised with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, the events on the Startup theme day (26 February) target young people who want to start their own businesses. Representatives from online stores, cafes and other businesses will share their stories and explore startup opportunities and challenges with visitors. Among them, founders of Y Cocktail & Mocktail and local artisanal beer brewery Mak's Beer will talk about their entrepreneurial journeys tomorrow (24 February). - 2,300 vacancies via on-site recruitment - Various government departments and public and private sector organisations are accepting on-the-spot job applications with over 2,300 job vacancies are expected to be offered, including those in the Police Force, Fire Services Department, Hong Kong Airport Authority, Aviation Security Company Ltd and Centaline Property Agency Ltd. Job seekers should bring their resumes for on-the-spot job application. To prepare students for employment, the Youth Zone offers information on internships and employment opportunities. Besides, representatives from the Labour Department are on hand to provide information on mainland jobs and overseas working holiday programmes, as well as the Youth Employment and Training Programme, which is designed to support local youth employment. - A one-stop career information hub - The expo's education theme days spotlight the Chinese mainland (23 February), Japan (24 February), Europe (25 February) and Australia and New Zealand (26 February). Representatives from these countries will provide the latest updates on overseas study opportunities. Visitors can learn about admission procedures, entry requirements and campus life by attending thematic activities and seminars. Due to keen interest in studying in Japan, the inaugural Japan theme day offers information on admission requirements of Japanese educational institutions and government scholarships. Regarding the Chinese mainland, the Scheme for Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions covers 90 mainland higher education institutions, including Tsinghua University and Peking University. Representatives from the Office of the China Education Exchange (HK) Centre are ready to talk about trends and opportunities for further studies on the mainland. The newly launched "International Exchange Village" gathers various Consulate General (CG) offices and officially recognised bodies. Together, they provide visitors with a range of information and offer consultations on studying and working abroad. Participating CG offices include Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Sweden and South Africa, as well as countries along the "Belt and Road" such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Iran and the Philippines. Students can explore education and exchange opportunities in these countries. Other organisations such as VTC, Hang Seng Management College, The Open University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Shue Yan University are available to discuss their respective curricula. Education programmes on arts and creative industries are also available via the Arts Education Section of Education Bureau, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Baron School of Music, offering students more channels to pursue their studies. - Celebrity sharing on job experiences - About 100 activities are organised throughout the expo, featuring further education and industry trends. Renowned speakers include Chairman of Hong Kong's Commission on Youth Lau Ming-wai (23 February) discussing the challenges of finding the right career path; media veteran Stephen Chan (24 February) and chairman of a digital game company Sze Yan-ngai (24 February) explaining technology, media, arts and giving advice on ways to turn personal interests into careers; and Hong Kong Jockey Club apprentice jockey Kei Chiong (25 February) will share her experience of chasing her dream to become a jockey. Other seminar highlights include practical tips on taking IELTS examinations as well as the Chinese skills in preparation for the Diploma of Secondary Education hosted by Dr Au Yeung Wai-hoo ("Ben Sir"), Senior Lecturer at the Chinese Language and Literature Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Yan Yuk-ki, author and consultant for the 5 Stars Chinese Compositions Series. A series of seminars on working holidays are also organised to present the application requirements and types of work available in Japan, Germany, France and other countries and regions. Date Career Theme Days Education Theme Days Thu 2/23 Tech & Innovation (New) Chinese mainland Fri 2/24 Arts (New) Japan (New) Sat 2/25 Electrical and Mechanical Europe Sun 2/26 Startup (New) Australia and New Zealand Fair website: http://www.hktdc.com/hkeducationexpo/ Event schedule: http://bit.ly/2lIz3TY Photo download: http://bit.ly/2lypzbX Media representatives wishing to cover the event may register on-site with their business cards and/or media identification. To view press releases in Chinese, please visit http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/tc. (Photo 1:) The 27th Education & Careers Expo opens today. Guests attending the opening ceremony include: (from left) Rachael McGuckian, Consul (Trade Commissioner), New Zealand Consulate-General, Hong Kong & Macao; Kuninori Matsuda, Ambassador and Consul-General, Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong; Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC; Eddie Ng, Secretary for Education, HKSAR Government; Eric Berti, Consul-General, Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macao; Carmen Cano De Lasala, Head of Office, European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao; Ronald Chung Chi-kit, Deputy Executive Director, Vocational Training Council. (Photo 2:) Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC (second left) and Eddie Ng, Secretary for Education, HKSAR Government (left) visit the booth of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. About HKTDC Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn. Google+: https://plus.google.com/+hktdc Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hktdc LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hong-kong-trade-development-council Contact:


Ng F.F.-Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Pomerantz E.M.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Deng C.,East China Normal University
Child Development | Year: 2014

Chinese parents exert more control over children than do American parents. The current research examined whether this is due in part to Chinese parents' feelings of worth being more contingent on children's performance. Twice over a year, 215 mothers and children (Mage = 12.86 years) in China and the United States (European and African American) reported on psychologically controlling parenting. Mothers also indicated the extent to which their worth is contingent on children's performance. Psychologically controlling parenting was higher among Chinese than American mothers, particularly European (vs. African) American mothers. Chinese (vs. American) mothers' feelings of worth were more contingent on children's performance, with this contributing to their heightened psychological control relative to American mothers. © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.


Background: The HIV prevalence and incidence among men who have sex with men (MSM) are high. Unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with male regular partners (RP) is an important but under-emphasized risk behavior. The current study aimed to describe the prevalence of UAI with regular partner and the associated multi-dimensional factors with UAI among MSM in Hong Kong, China.Methods: Respondent Driven Sampling method was used to recruit participants. A total of 285 participants were recruited, of whom 211 (75.1%) had had anal sex with RP in the last six months and their data were analyzed in this report. Weighed data were presented and logistic regression methods were fit.Results: Participants' high risk behaviors in the last six months included high prevalence of having had UAI with RP (45.8%), having had non-regular male sex partners (NRP: 27.3%) and UAI with such partners (18.9%). Adjusted for socio-demographic variables, factors associated with UAI with RP included: 1) substances use prior to having anal sex (65.7% versus 43.8%; AOR =2.36; 95% CI =1.07-5.18), 2) worry that condom use symbolizes mistrust (67.9% versus 44.3%; AOR = 2.91; 95% CI =1.19-7.10), 3) a lower perceived degree of the RP's acceptance of condom use (91.7% versus 38.3%; AOR = 22.70; 95% CI =6.20-83.10), and 4) a higher level of impulsivity (61.1% versus 35.0%; AOR =4.02; 95% CI = 1.62-9.97). Two of these four variables, substances use (ORm = 2.28, 95% CI = 1.01-5.16) and perceived lower level of RP's acceptance of condom use (ORm = 17.22; 95% CI = 5.06-58.62) were selected by the forward stepwise logistic regression model.Conclusions: MSM with RP in Hong Kong is subjected to high risk of HIV transmission. Risk factors of UAI are multi-dimensional and interventions need to take into account factors of structural, interpersonal and individual levels. © 2014 Cai and Lau; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang J.,Shanghai JiaoTong University
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks | Year: 2010

This paper presents a k-winners-take-all (kWTA) neural network with a single state variable and a hard-limiting activation function. First, following several kWTA problem formulations, related existing kWTA networks are reviewed. Then, the kWTA model model with a single state variable and a Heaviside step activation function is described and its global stability and finite-time convergence are proven with derived upper and lower bounds. In addition, the initial state estimation and a discrete-time version of the kWTA model are discussed. Furthermore, two selected applications to parallel sorting and rank-order filtering based on the kWTA model are discussed. Finally, simulation results show the effectiveness and performance of the kWTA model. © 2006 IEEE.


Lo K.-W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lo K.-W.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Lin L.-M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

We study the dimensionless spin parameter j (= cJ/(GM2)) of uniformly rotating neutron stars and quark stars in general relativity. We show numerically that the maximum value of the spin parameter of a neutron star rotating at the Keplerian frequency is jmax ∼ 0.7 for a wide class of realistic equations of state. This upper bound is insensitive to the mass of the neutron star if the mass of the star is larger than about 1 M ⊙. On the other hand, the spin parameter of a quark star modeled by the MIT bag model can be larger than unity and does not have a universal upper bound. Its value also depends strongly on the bag constant and the mass of the star. Astrophysical implications of our finding will be discussed. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society.


Gao J.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Li D.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Operations Research | Year: 2013

One long-standing challenge in both the optimization and investment communities is to devise an efficient algorithm to select a small number of assets from an asset pool such that a portfolio objective is optimized. This cardinality constrained investment situation naturally arises due to the presence of various forms of market friction, such as transaction costs and management fees, or even due to the consideration of mental cost. Unfortunately, the combinatorial nature of such a portfolio selection problem formulation makes the exact solution process NP-hard in general. We focus in this paper on the cardinality constrained mean-variance portfolio selection problem. Instead of tailoring such a difficult problem into the general solution framework of mixed-integer programming formulation, we explore the special structures and rich geometric properties behind the mathematical formulation. Applying the Lagrangian relaxation to the primal problem results in a pure cardinality constrained portfolio selection problem, which possesses a symmetric property, and to which geometric approaches can be developed. Different from the existing literature that has primarily focused on some direct relaxations of the cardinality constraint, we consider modifying the objective function to some separable relaxations, which are immune to the hard cardinality constraint. More specifically, we develop efficient lower bounding schemes by using the circumscribed box, the circumscribed ball, and the circumscribed axis-aligned ellipsoid to approximate the objective contour of the problem. In particular, all these cardinality constrained relaxation problems can be solved analytically. Furthermore, we derive efficient polynomial-time algorithms for the corresponding dual search problems. Most promisingly, the lower bounding scheme using the circumscribed axis-aligned ellipsoid leads to a semidefinite programming (SDP) formulation and offers a sharp bound and high-quality feasible solution. By integrating these lower bounding schemes into a branch-and-bound algorithm (BnB), our solution scheme outperforms CPLEX significantly in identifying the exact optimal portfolio. ©2013 INFORMS.


Du J.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Shu C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Lightwave Technology | Year: 2013

With cascaded and multisection Sagnac interferometers, all-optical fast Fourier transform (FFT) has been demonstrated for optical demultiplexing (DEMUX) of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) signals. The transmission characteristics of the interferometers have been investigated theoretically and experimentally. The scalability and tunability of the all-optical OFDM DEMUX are analyzed and demonstrated for 5-channel OFDM signals. © 1983-2012 IEEE.


Ng J.L.W.,University of California at San Francisco | Chan M.T.V.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Gelb A.W.,University of California at San Francisco
Anesthesiology | Year: 2011

Perioperative stroke after noncardiac, nonneurosurgical procedures is more common than generally acknowledged. It is reported to have an incidence of 0.05-7% of patients. Most are thrombotic in origin and are noted after discharge from the postanesthetic care unit. Common predisposing factors include age, a previous stroke, atrial fibrillation, and vascular and metabolic diseases. The mortality is more than two times greater than in strokes occurring outside the hospital. Delayed diagnosis and a synergistic interaction between the inflammatory changes normally associated with stroke, and those normally occurring after surgery, may explain this increase.Intraoperative hypotension is an infrequent direct cause of stroke. Hypotension will augment the injury produced by embolism or other causes, and this may be especially important in the postoperative period, during which monitoring is not nearly as attentive as in the operating room. Increased awareness and management of predisposing risk factors with early detection should result in improved outcomes. © 2011, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Anesthesiology.


Papatheodoridis G.V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Chan H.L.-Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Hansen B.E.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Janssen H.L.A.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2015

In the treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB), the ultimate goal is preventing hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated liver disease, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recently published studies show that in CHB patients treated with the currently recommended first-line nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) entecavir or tenofovir, annual HCC incidences range from 0.01% to 1.4% in non-cirrhotic patients, and from 0.9% to 5.4% in those with cirrhosis. In Asian studies including matched untreated controls, current NA therapy consistently resulted in a significantly lower HCC incidence in patients with cirrhosis, amounting to an overall HCC risk reduction of ∼30%; in non-cirrhotic patients, HCC risk reduction was overall ∼80%, but this was only observed in some studies. For patients of Caucasian origin, no appropriate comparative studies are available to date to evaluate the impact of NA treatment on HCC. Achievement of a virologic response under current NA therapy was associated with a lower HCC risk in Asian, but not Caucasian studies. Studies comparing entecavir or tenofovir with older NAs generally found no difference in HCC risk reduction between agents, except for one study which used no rescue therapy in patients developing lamivudine resistance. Overall, these data indicate that with the current, potent NAs, HCC risk can be reduced but not eliminated, probably due to risk factors that are not amenable to change by antiviral therapy, or events that may have taken place before treatment initiation. Validated pre- and on-therapy HCC risk calculators that inform the best practice for HCC surveillance and facilitate patient counseling would be of great practical value. © 2015 European Association for the Study of the Liver.


Ai W.,Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications | Huang Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhang S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Mathematical Programming | Year: 2011

In this paper, we present several new rank-one decomposition theorems for Hermitian positive semidefinite matrices, which generalize our previous results in Huang and Zhang (Math Oper Res 32(3):758-768, 2007), Ai and Zhang (SIAM J Optim 19(4):1735-1756, 2009). The new matrix rank-one decomposition theorems appear to have wide applications in theory as well as in practice. On the theoretical side, for example, we show how to further extend some of the classical results including a lemma due to Yuan (Math Program 47:53-63, 1990), the classical results on the convexity of the joint numerical ranges (Pang and Zhang in Unpublished Manuscript, 2004; Au-Yeung and Poon in Southeast Asian Bull Math 3:85-92, 1979), and the so-called Finsler's lemma (Bohnenblust in Unpublished Manuscript; Au-Yeung and Poon in Southeast Asian Bull Math 3:85-92, 1979). On the practical side, we show that the new results can be applied to solve two typical problems in signal processing and communication: one for radar code optimization and the other for robust beamforming. The new matrix decomposition theorems are proven by construction in this paper, and we demonstrate that the constructive procedures can be implemented efficiently, stably, and accurately. The URL of our Matlab programs is given in this paper. We strongly believe that the new decomposition procedures, as a means to solve non-convex quadratic optimization with a few quadratic constraints, are useful for many other potential engineering applications. © 2009 Springer and Mathematical Programming Society.


Griffith J.F.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Genant H.K.,University of California at San Francisco
Current Rheumatology Reports | Year: 2011

The digital era has witnessed an exponential growth in bone imaging as new modalities and analytic techniques improve the potential for noninvasive study of bone anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. Bone imaging very much lends itself to input across medical and engineering disciplines. It is in part a reflection of this multidisciplinary input that developments in the field of bone imaging over the past 30 years have in some respects outshone those in many other fields of medicine. These developments have resulted in much deeper knowledge of bone macrostructure and microstructure in osteoporosis and a much better understanding of the subtle changes that occur with age, concurrent disease, and treatment. This new knowledge is already being translated into improved day-to day clinical care with better recognition, treatment, and monitoring of the osteoporotic process. As "the more you know, the more you know you don't know" certainly holds true with osteoporosis and bone disease, there is little doubt that further advances in bone imaging and analytical techniques will continue to hold center stage in osteoporosis and related research. © 2011 The Author(s).


Saleh M.N.,Georgia Cancer Specialists | Bussel J.B.,Cornell University | Cheng G.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Meyer O.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | And 3 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2013

Patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia may have bleeding resulting from low platelet counts. Eltrombopag increases and maintains hemostatic platelet counts; however, to date, outcome has been reported only for treatment lasting≤ 6 months. This interim analysis of the ongoing open-label EXTEND (Eltrombopag eXTENded Dosing) study evaluates the safety and efficacy of eltrombopag in 299 patients treated up to 3 years. Splenectomized and nonsplenectomized patients achieved platelets≥ 50 000/μL at least once (80% and 88%, respectively). Platelets ≥ 50 000/μL and 2 × baseline were maintained for a median of 73 of 104 and 109 of 156 cumulative study weeks, respectively. Bleeding symptoms (World Health Organization Grades 1-4) decreased from 56% of patients at baseline to 20% at 2 years and 11% at 3 years. One hundred (33%) patients were receiving concomitant treatments at study entry, 69 of whom attempted to reduce them; 65% (45 of 69) had a sustained reduction or permanently stopped ≥ 1 concomitant treatment. Thirty-eight patients (13%) experienced ≥ 1 adverse events leading to study withdrawal, including patients meeting protocol-defined withdrawal criteria (11 [4%] thromboembolic events, 5 [2%] exceeding liver enzyme thresholds). No new or increased incidence of safety issues was identified. Long-term treatment with eltrombopag was generally safe, well tolerated, and effective in maintaining platelet counts in the desired range. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00351468. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology.


Jia K.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Wang X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Tang X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2013

In this paper, we propose a framework of transforming images from a source image space to a target image space, based on learning coupled dictionaries from a training set of paired images. The framework can be used for applications such as image super-resolution and estimation of image intrinsic components (shading and albedo). It is based on a local parametric regression approach, using sparse feature representations over learned coupled dictionaries across the source and target image spaces. After coupled dictionary learning, sparse coefficient vectors of training image patch pairs are partitioned into easily retrievable local clusters. For any test image patch, we can fast index into its closest local cluster and perform a local parametric regression between the learned sparse feature spaces. The obtained sparse representation (together with the learned target space dictionary) provides multiple constraints for each pixel of the target image to be estimated. The final target image is reconstructed based on these constraints. The contributions of our proposed framework are three-fold. 1) We propose a concept of coupled dictionary learning based on coupled sparse coding which requires the sparse coefficient vectors of a pair of corresponding source and target image patches to have the same support, i.e., the same indices of nonzero elements. 2) We devise a space partitioning scheme to divide the high-dimensional but sparse feature space into local clusters. The partitioning facilitates extremely fast retrieval of closest local clusters for query patches. 3) Benefiting from sparse feature-based image transformation, our method is more robust to corrupted input data, and can be considered as a simultaneous image restoration and transformation process. Experiments on intrinsic image estimation and super-resolution demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed method. © 2012 IEEE.


Mitra M.,Durham University | Pascoli S.,Durham University | Wong S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

In light of recent experimental results, we carefully analyze the effects of interference in neutrinoless double beta decay, when more than one mechanism is operative. If a complete cancellation is at work, the half-life of the corresponding isotope is infinite, and any constraint on it will automatically be satisfied. We analyze this possibility in detail assuming a cancellation in Xe136, and find its implications on the half-life of other isotopes, such as Ge76. For definiteness, we consider the role of light and heavy sterile neutrinos. In this case, the effective Majorana mass parameter can be redefined to take into account all contributions, and its value gets suppressed. Hence, larger values of neutrino masses are required for the same half-life. The canonical light neutrino contribution cannot saturate the present limits of half-lives or the positive claim of observation of neutrinoless double beta decay, once the stringent bounds from cosmology are taken into account. For the case of cancellation, where all the sterile neutrinos are heavy, the tension between the results from neutrinoless double beta decay and cosmology becomes more severe. We show that the inclusion of light sterile neutrinos in this setup can resolve this issue. Using the recent results from GERDA, we derive upper limits on the active-sterile mixing angles and compare them with the case of no cancellation. The required values of the mixing angles become larger, if a cancellation is at work. A direct test of destructive interference in Xe136 is provided by the observation of this process in other isotopes, and we study in detail the correlation between their half-lives. Finally, we discuss the model realizations which can accommodate light and heavy sterile neutrinos and the cancellation. We show that sterile neutrinos of few hundred MeV or GeV mass range, coming from an Extended seesaw framework or a further extension, can satisfy the required cancellation. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.5.1 | Award Amount: 21.96M | Year: 2008

Each year Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) causes over 1.9 million deaths in the EU, causing direct health costs of 105 billion. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), half of all CVD deaths, is the single most cause of death in Europe. Heart Failure (HF) a CHD being the most frequent cause of hospitalization for people over 65 has 10 million patients in the EU. Current treatment of HF entails recommendations from clinicians on medication, diet and lifestyle. Patients only receive feedback at doctors visits, or when facing symptoms. Daily monitoring, close follow up, and help on treatment routine is lacking. Non-adherence to the treatment regime is a major cause of suboptimal clinical benefit.HeartCycle will provide a closed-loop disease management solution to serve both HF and CHD patients, including hypertension, diabetes and arrhythmias as possible co-morbidities. This will be achieved by multi-parametric monitoring of vital signs, analysing the data and providing automated decision support, to derive therapy recommendations.The system will contain a patient loop interacting directly with the patient to support the daily treatment. It will show the health development, including treatment adherence and effectiveness. Being motivated, compliance will increase, and health will improve. The system will also contain a professional loop involving medical professionals, e.g. alerting to revisit the care plan. The patient loop is connected with hospital information systems, to ensure optimal and personalised care.Europes health system is undergoing radical changes due to an aging population. Its moving from reactive towards preventative care, and from hospital care to care at home. Tomorrows patients will become more empowered to take their health into their own hands. New ICT is required to enable this paradigm shift.HeartCycle, coordinated by Philips leading in electronics and health care , includes experts on textiles, ICT, decision support and user interaction.


Kim Y.-H.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Cohen D.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Au W.-T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology | Year: 2010

The self is defined and judged differently by people from face and dignity cultures (in this case, Hong Kong and the United States, respectively). Across 3 experiments, people from a face culture absorbed the judgments of other people into their private self-definitions. Particularly important for people from a face culture are public representations-knowledge that is shared and known to be shared about someone. In contrast, people from a dignity culture try to preserve the sovereign self by not letting others define them. In the 3 experiments, dignity culture participants showed a studied indifference to the judgments of their peers, ignoring peers' assessments-whether those assessments were public or private, were positive or negative, or were made by qualified peers or unqualified peers. Ways that the self is " knotted" up with social judgments and cultural imperatives are discussed. © 2010 American Psychological Association.


Chan J.C.N.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhang Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ning G.,Shanghai JiaoTong University
The Lancet Global Health | Year: 2014

China has a large burden of diabetes: in 2013, one in four people with diabetes worldwide were in China, where 11·6% of adults had diabetes and 50·1% had prediabetes. Many were undiagnosed, untreated, or uncontrolled. This epidemic is the result of rapid societal transition that has led to an obesogenic environment against a backdrop of traditional lifestyle and periods of famine, which together puts Chinese people at high risk of diabetes and multiple morbidities. Societal determinants including social disparity and psychosocial stress interact with factors such as low-grade infection, environmental pollution, care fragmentation, health illiteracy, suboptimal self-care, and insufficient community support to give rise to diverse subphenotypes and consequences, notably renal dysfunction and cancer. In the China National Plan for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Treatment (2012-15), the Chinese Government proposed use of public measures, multisectoral collaborations, and social mobilisation to create a health-enabling environment and to reform the health-care system. While awaiting results from these long-term strategies, we advocate the use of a targeted and proactive approach to identify people at high risk of diabetes for prevention, and of private-public-community partnerships that make integrated care more accessible and sustainable, focusing on registry, empowerment, and community support. The multifaceted nature of the societal and personal challenge of diabetes requires a multidimensional solution for prevention in order to reduce the growing disease burden. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

BEIJING, March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ATA Inc. ("ATA" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:ATAI), a leading provider of advanced testing technologies and testing-related services in China, today announced that Ms. Shelly Jiang, the Company’s Interim CFO, has tendered her resignation effective April 1, 2017 to pursue other interests. Ms. Amy Tung, who has served in a variety of financial and operational positions within ATA over the past 11 years, including Acting CFO in 2010, will be appointed as Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), as well as Financial and Principal Accounting Officer. Mr. Kevin Ma, ATA's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We would like to thank Shelly for her many contributions to ATA over the years and wish her all the best with her future endeavors. We are very pleased that Amy has agreed to lead our finance team as the Company’s new Chief Financial Officer, as she has served as an exceptional manager in different facets of our operations throughout her career at ATA. In every segment of ATA’s operations where Amy has worked, we have seen an immediate and lasting positive impact on our business. We believe Amy’s extensive financial and accounting background and intimate knowledge of our business will prove valuable as ATA works to increase its exposure in the capital markets.” Ms. Tung has been with the Company since 2006, most recently serving as the Assistant to the CEO, a role in which she assisted the CEO in HR, strategic projects and board meeting activities. She previously served as ATA’s vice president/financial controller from 2006 to 2014, playing a crucial role in the Company’s finance department. This included serving as a conduit between shareholders and the Company since ATA’s initial public offering in January 2008. Prior to her service with ATA, Ms. Tung has held various financial and accounting positions with Bayer Healthcare Limited in Hong Kong, BEA Systems (Hong Kong) Limited, Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services (Hong Kong) Limited, Agilent Technologies Hong Kong Limited, and Compaq Computer Limited. Ms. Tung received her master’s degree in financial engineering from Columbia University in 2002 and her MBA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2001. She received a diploma in accounting in 1996 and a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1994. She is a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Ms. Tung stated, “I am grateful for this opportunity to continue working with our team to build upon the Company’s successes in education and, more specifically, the testing services business. I believe this Company has the potential to achieve significant growth for many years to come, and I feel privileged to have been given a position where I can continue to serve ATA’s customers and shareholders.” U.S. Roadshow Management intends to visit with U.S. investors in June. For more information or to schedule a one-on-one meeting with management, please contact the Company’s investor relations firm The Equity Group. About ATA Inc. ATA is a leading provider of advanced testing technologies in China. The Company offers comprehensive services for the creation and delivery of assessments based on its proprietary testing technologies and test delivery platform. ATA’s testing technologies are used for professional licensure and certification tests in various industries, including information technology services, banking, teaching, asset management, insurance, and accounting. As of December 31, 2016, ATA's test center network comprised 3,105 authorized test centers located throughout China. The Company believes that it has the largest test center network of any commercial testing service provider in China. ATA has delivered more than 87.7 million billable tests since ATA started operations in 1999. For more information, please visit ATA’s website at www.atai.net.cn.


News Article | September 21, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Lightning records The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has recognized two world records for extreme lightning: the longest-distance flash covered 321 kilometres in 2007 in Oklahoma, and the longest-duration flash lasted 7.74 seconds in southern France in 2012. The WMO has added lightning records, announced on 16 September, to its list of other weather extremes — such as temperature and precipitation — given the improved monitoring of the phenomenon in recent years. Arctic ice cover hits second-lowest level Despite a relatively cold and cloudy summer, sea ice in the Arctic Ocean dropped to its second lowest extent since satellite observations began 37 years ago. Arctic sea ice seems to have reached its seasonal minimum on 10 September, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. Ice cover stood at 4.14 million square kilometres, which ties with 2007 as the second-lowest minimum in the satellite record. The ten lowest extents have all occurred since 2005. In September 2012, Arctic sea-ice cover dropped to a record-low 3.39 million square kilometres. Terror discovered Marine archaeologists have found the probable remains of HMS Terror, the second of two ships lost in a failed 1845 Arctic expedition led by John Franklin. Following a tip from an Inuit crew member, a search party from the Arctic Research Foundation, a Canadian charity, found the submerged vessel in the aptly named Terror Bay, on the coast of Canada’s King William Island. The wreck was in good condition with its hatches closed, suggesting that crew members abandoned it and boarded Franklin’s second ship, HMS Erebus to sail farther south. The Erebus was later abandoned and all 129 expedition members lost. Parks Canada said on 14 September that it aims to validate the find. Dystrophy drug The US Food and Drug Administration has approved its first drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The decision, announced on 19 September, is controversial owing to the small size and lack of a placebo control in the key clinical trial conducted by the developer, Sarepta Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The agency will require Sarepta to conduct another study to verify the effects of the drug, eteplirsen. Gaia reveals The European Space Agency released the largest, most detailed star map yet of the Milky Way on 14 September, in the first data release from its Gaia space observatory. The data suggest that the Milky Way is slightly bigger than previously estimated. See page 459 for more. Trial transparency Long-awaited US rules intended to crack down on the large number of clinical trials that are never reported were released on 16 September. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will require that researchers report the design and results of all clinical trials, and those who do not comply can be penalised. And the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is imposing new rules on agency-funded work, including stricter reporting requirements for phase I trials. Both sets of laws go into effect in January. Separately, US vice-president Joe Biden announced that the NIH has developed a user-friendly registry for cancer trials. See page 450 for more. Value science Science should be valued more highly in international decision-making, argues a United Nations report released on 18 September. Prepared by the UN Scientific Advisory Board, the report says that policymakers should consider the role of science in policy and society more seriously when addressing issues such as sustainable development, climate change, food and water security and inequality. It also recommends that nations invest a greater fraction of gross domestic product in science, technology and innovation. State of the EU Research stands to do well out of the European Commission’s mid-term review of its budget for 2014–20. The review, released on 14 September, proposes freeing up €6.3 billion (US$7 billion) from budget reserves and other sources for programmes that foster job creation and address the refugee crisis. The Commission proposed allocating €400 million to top up its Horizon 2020 research-funding programme, and €200 million to strengthen its student exchange scheme Erasmus+. It also promised to unwind some of the red tape that comes with its grants. The proposals require approval by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. Chinese space lab China has launched its second orbiting space lab — marking another step towards the country’s goal of building a space station by the early 2020s. Tiangong 2 (meaning ‘heavenly palace’) launched on a Long March rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert on 15 September (pictured). It will initially fly uncrewed in low-Earth orbit, but a planned second launch will carry two astronauts to it in November. The 8-tonne module carries several scientific experiments, including a γ-ray detector. Nuclear go-ahead The UK government approved the building of an £18-billion (US$23-billion) nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in southwest England on 15 September, seven weeks after it put a surprise brake on the project. The government had said that it needed time to review the deal, which is being funded two-thirds by French energy company EDF and one-third by China. Hinkley Point C will be the first new UK nuclear plant this century, and it is expected to meet 7% of UK electricity demand. The government says that it has imposed national-security safeguards on the deal. New GSK chief GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will become the only major global drug firm to be led by a woman. The company announced on 20 September that Emma Walmsley, head of its consumer-health-care division, will replace Andrew Witty as the company’s chief executive. Witty, one of the biggest names in the industry, will stand down in March 2017. Cosmic upgrade The Pierre Auger Observatory, a facility spread over 3,000 square kilometres in Argentina that aims to reveal the origins of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, began a US$14-million upgrade on 15 September. The improvements should enable it to tell apart different types of cosmic ray. Sensors called scintillators are being added to each of the observatory’s Cherenkov detectors (water tanks) to measure the ratio of electrons and muons that rain down when a cosmic ray hits the atmosphere above. That, in turn, will improve estimates of the mass of the particles that make up these rays. Million-dollar prize The first winners of a set of US$1-million prizes awarded for research done in China were announced on 19 September. The Future Science Prize for life sciences was awarded to pathologist Yuk Ming Dennis Lo at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for the discovery that DNA from a fetus can be extracted from the mother’s blood, and for the non-invasive prenatal test it enabled. Qi-Kun Xue at Tsinghua University in Beijing won the physics prize for discovering experimentally the quantized anomalous Hall effect (an unusual motion of electrons in a conductor at low temperature) and high-temperature superconductivity at material interfaces. The prizes, billed in Chinese media as ‘China’s Nobels’, are funded by Robin Li, head of China’s Internet giant Baidu, and other business executives. Agriculture merger Agricultural biotech giant Monsanto has accepted a US$66-billion takeover bid by Bayer, a health-care and chemical company in Leverkusen, Germany. The deal, announced on 14 September, could reshape the agricultural technology industry, which has recently seen the consolidation of several large companies. The combined firm will be headquartered in St Louis, Missouri, and have a research-and-development budget of about €2.5 billion (US$2.8 billion). The deal has yet to be approved by regulators and Monsanto shareholders, but is expected to be finalized by the end of 2017. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses distil articles on similar research into what is meant to be an authoritative take on a topic. But valuable work is being diluted by a torrent of “unnecessary” articles, according to a report by a leading meta-researcher. The number of such studies added to PubMed each year is more than 27 times what it was in 1991 (J. P. A. Ioannidis Milbank Q. 94, 485–514; 2016). The increase might stem from articles intended to increase citations, or to serve as marketing tools, the report says. 27 September–7 October The International Civil Aviation Organization discusses aircraft emissions at its summit in Montreal, Canada. go.nature.com/2d1bmty


News Article | March 3, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

China’s rubber-stamp legislature convenes this weekend with the script focused on containing economic risks while president Xi Jinping consolidates power ahead of a pivotal Communist party meeting later this year. The gathering of 3,000 delegates for the national people’s congress in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People is staged annually by the party. And although it has little bearing on policy, it will be scrutinised this year for any clues about the state of the economy in premier Li Keqiang’s annual report on Sunday. This will include a target for economic growth, which analysts expect to be unchanged from last year at between 6.5-7%. Growth in that band would continue the slowest rates for more than a quarter of a century, a development which has complicated government efforts to shift from an economic model based on debt-fuelled investment and exports towards a consumer-driven one. The government also wants to trim its bloated state-owned government industries while tackling a slumping currency, massive capital flight by Chinese enterprises seeking better returns abroad, and fears of a housing bubble and bad-loan crisis. The total of Chinese debt has reached almost 250% of GDP and Capital Economics China expert Julian Evans-Pritchard warned this week that the window for Beijing to tackle the problem by recapitalising the banks and allowing state firms to fail was “closing fast”. The currency issue could also become a flashpoint. The yuan fell on Friday below the 6.9 per dollar level for the first time in one-and-a-half months, as the greenback continued to gain momentum on expectations of higher US interest rates. Pressure on the Chinese currency was due to growing expectations the Federal Reserve could raise rates as early as this month after a solid run of US economic data and policymakers hinting a rate rise would be appropriate soon. Traders will be looking for signs about whether the Beijing government is prepared to let the yuan fall further against the dollar and risk the wrath of US president Donald Trump, who has accused China of keeping the yuan low in order to boost exports to the detriment of US producers. However, the People’s Bank of China has burned through a trillion dollars of foreign exchange reserves since 2014 in order to keep the yuan from falling even further, according to Capital Economics, and traders believe Beijing could allow the currency to float more freely against the dollar. But caution and control are expected to dominate NPC discussions. “We expect the meeting this year to confirm a shift in policy towards reining in risks and away from supporting short-run growth,” Capital Economics said in a report. In perhaps a preview of NPC discourse, China’s new banking watchdog Guo Shuqing warned Thursday of threats posed by debt-strapped state-owned firms, inflated real-estate markets, and massive unregulated lending. He promised to end regulatory “chaos”. Since taking over in 2012 Xi has consolidated power more rapidly than any leader in decades. He is expected to unveil a leadership shuffle at the autumn gathering amid speculation it could indicate he intends to stay on beyond the traditional 10-year term. “This is a watershed year,” China politics analyst Willy Lam, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said of the political machinations. Anticipated to run for 10 days amid heavy security, the NPC kicks off with a splash of colour as delegates from China’s dozens of ethnic minorities arrive in traditional dress alongside military officers in full uniform – meant to reinforce national unity. Facing pressure over severe smog, authorities have shut down factories and other polluting activities in northern China to clear the air for the legislative show. Official forecasts nonetheless say the capital will be shrouded in smog this weekend.


News Article | April 13, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Last month, in an extraordinary dispute before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), university lawyers laid out their clients' legal strategies for claiming patents that cover the celebrated gene-editing technology CRISPR–Cas9. Over the next year, the USPTO will receive volumes of evidence centred on who first invented the technology. Battles over scientific priority are as old as science itself. But the CRISPR–Cas9 patent dispute is unusual because it pits two leading research institutions against one another for the control and industrial development of a foundational technology: the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As scientific institutions increase their involvement in the commercialization of research1, it is worth considering the potential consequences for science if more institutions follow the path of UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute. In May 2012, researchers at UC Berkeley, led by Jennifer Doudna and her collaborator, Emmanuelle Charpentier (then located at the University of Vienna in Austria) filed a patent application in the United States for CRISPR–Cas9. Seven months later, Feng Zhang, a researcher at the Broad Institute, filed a competing application that covered similar uses of the technology. After Zhang's lawyers requested that his application be fast-tracked, the USPTO awarded one patent to Zhang in April 2014, followed by a dozen more in the subsequent 12 months. Meanwhile, the application made by Doudna and her colleagues languished. Last April, Doudna's lawyers requested that the USPTO conduct a specialized legal trial, known as a patent interference, to determine the ownership of the US patents that cover the CRISPR–Cas9 system. This January, the USPTO formally agreed to carry out the proceeding. One conspicuous aspect of this case, in my opinion, is the degree to which UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute have weighed in on what is essentially a dispute over scientific priority. The Broad Institute has produced press releases, videos and a slick feature on its website that stress the importance of Zhang's contributions to the development of the CRISPR–Cas9 technology. And earlier this year, the central positioning of Zhang's work in a historical perspective of CRISPR published in Cell2 by the president and director of the Broad Institute, Eric Lander, prompted a storm of angry responses from scientists, including Doudna and Charpentier. Meanwhile, at UC Berkeley, a press release that discussed the potential of CRISPR described Doudna as “the inventor of the CRISPR–Cas9 technology”. The financial stakes are high. The CRISPR–Cas9 patents are widely viewed to be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. Both organizations have invested directly in spin-off companies that were co-founded by their researchers — the Broad Institute in Editas Medicine, co-founded by Zhang, and UC Berkeley in Caribou Biosciences, co-founded by Doudna. A report submitted by Editas in January to the US Securities and Exchange Commission lists the Broad Institute and other Harvard-affiliated institutions as owning a major equity stake in the company: about 4.2% of its common shares. Efforts to commercialize the research output from universities played out differently in the past. Since 1980, US universities have been able to patent the inventions of their researchers, thanks to the Bayh–Dole Act — legislation that determines the ownership of intellectual property arising from federally funded research. But for the most part, institutions have kept their distance from disputes over scientific priority. In fact, after factoring in the costs of filing patents and staffing, university technology-transfer offices have generally been money losers for their institutions3. Even in the case of lucrative patents, commercial development has frequently been left to venture capitalists and the researchers themselves. Take the Cohen–Boyer patents, which covered early gene-splicing technology and netted Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), both in California, hundreds of millions of dollars in licensing fees during the 1980s and 1990s. In this instance, Genentech, the company in South San Francisco, California, that was formed to commercialize the underlying technology, sprung from the efforts of Herbert Boyer, one of the founding researchers, and the financier Robert Swanson. The company was neither owned by, nor an exclusive licensee of, Stanford or UCSF. Research institutions in general are starting to play a bigger part in shepherding their researchers' projects through the commercialization process. A 2014 report from the Association of University Technology Managers in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois — an organization that supports managers of intellectual property at academic research institutions, non-profit organizations and government agencies worldwide — documented that universities are increasing equity investments in their researchers' start-up companies. Of the patent licences granted by universities in 2014, 10% were tied to such investments1, compared with 6.7% in 1999 (ref. 4). I am concerned that such involvement in commercialization has the potential to clash with the broader, educational mission of research institutions. Universities worldwide have long strived to foster a culture of scientific collaboration. Even when universities have obtained broad patents, as the Carnegie Institute of Washington in Washington DC did in the early 2000s for a gene-expression control technology known as RNA interference, licences have been cheap and easy for researchers to obtain5. In other cases, scientists have simply ignored patents that cover fundamental technologies6. Academic research institutions now seem less shy about taking each other to court for patent infringement. In 2011, the University of Utah in Salt Lake City sued the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science in Germany over claims to a patent that covered a technology called short interfering RNA, which inhibits gene expression (see go.nature.com/vyujnp). And over the past four years, Stanford University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin have engaged in a heated patent litigation over prenatal genetic diagnostic blood tests, a market that was worth US$530 million in 2013. In the current era of budget tightening, universities of all stripes might be tempted to use licensing fees as another funding mechanism. The University of South Florida in Tampa, for example — a public institution that had its state funding cut by $48 million in 2012 — holds a substantial number of patents that have not yet been licensed and has a famously low ratio of patent-licence revenue to research expenditure7. If its financial situation were to deteriorate further, the university might be compelled to extract licence fees from other research institutions for those patents. It would be wrong to suggest that patents, writ large, are failing educational research institutions. In the cases of gene splicing, RNA interference and human embryonic stem cells, patents have been major earners for institutions and researchers without damaging the scientific enterprise5. But an obvious danger of increasing the focus on commercialization is that educational institutions will view scientific research as a path to profit, above all else. It is not hard to imagine that patent disputes might lead to university administrators pushing certain views on their scientists, denigrating collaboration with researchers from competing institutions and tasking tenure committees with valuing patents over publications. Where scientific advances have the potential to be profitable, universities should support researchers to bring that work to fruition. This might include helping them to secure patents. But it is my view that serious commercialization efforts — such as granting exclusive licences or receiving equity ownership in researchers' start-ups — should be left to industry. The CRISPR–Cas9 dispute could have played out very differently. Zhang and Doudna were both co-founders of Editas. And UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute could have filed patent applications that listed the research teams from both institutions as co-inventors. Any resulting patents could then have been freely or cheaply licensed to other research institutions, or used to fund a joint academic organization dedicated to studying the technology. The patents could also have been widely, but not exclusively, licensed to a variety of industry competitors — promoting a robust, competitive market for commercial CRISPR–Cas9 applications and creating a funding stream for further academic research. Biomedical research in educational institutions has long prided itself on a culture of openness and sharing — one that both Zhang and Doudna have exercised by donating various components of the CRISPR–Cas9 system to the open-science consortium Addgene in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The incentives that patents create for educational institutions should not be allowed to erode scientific collaboration.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

RICHLAND, Wash. - Two researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been elected to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. Ruby Leung and Johannes Lercher are among the 106 new members elected worldwide to the 2017 class. The NAE is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that is part of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. NAE focuses on maintaining a strong engineering community and bringing together experts to provide independent advice to the federal government on engineering and technology challenges. Lercher and Leung join emeritus staff member Subhash Singhal, who is a National Academy of Sciences member, as PNNL researchers in the National Academies. "I am thrilled that the exceptional contributions of two of our researchers have been recognized by the National Academy of Engineering," said PNNL director Steven Ashby. "Membership in the NAE is among the highest honors that a researcher can achieve, and Ruby and Johannes are most deserving. Congratulations to both of them!" Ruby Leung is an atmospheric scientist at PNNL and also an affiliate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. She was elected based on her leadership in regional and global computer modeling of the Earth's climate and water cycles. Leung's research has advanced understanding and modeling of the regional and global water cycles, with implications for managing water, agriculture and energy. She has organized key workshops sponsored by environmental agencies, served on panels that define future priorities in climate modeling, and has developed computer climate models that are used globally. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. She earned a bachelor's degree in physics and statistics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a master's degree and a doctorate in atmospheric science from Texas A&M University. Johannes Lercher is a chemist and holds a joint appointment at PNNL and the Technische Universität München in Germany. At PNNL, he serves as the director of the Institute for Integrated Catalysis, and at TUM he is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and holds the chair of the Institute for Technische Chemie. He was elected based on his catalysis research, which focuses on the details of how catalysts work at the elementary level and using that insight to design and build better catalysts for industrial applications, including cleaner fossil fuels and renewable, biology-based fuels. He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles, is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Catalysis and was previously elected to the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Academia Europaea and the European Academy of Sciences. He has won numerous awards, including the David Trim and Noel Cant Lectureship given by the Catalysis Society of Australia, the Eni Award for energy research, and the Francois Gault lectureship of the European Association of Catalysis Societies. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a doctorate in chemistry from the Technische Universität Wien, Austria. The newly elected class brings the NAE's total U.S. membership to 2,281 and the number of foreign members to 249. Lercher and Leung will be inducted at a ceremony in Washington, DC in October. Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,400 staff and has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.


News Article | March 29, 2016
Site: phys.org

The proposed rules come as China increases censorship across the board, ratcheting up already strict limits on access to online content and stepping up pressure on the media to toe the government line. The regulations, released for public comment last week by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, aim to update rules for the use of "domain names", the addresses used to navigate the Internet. The rules are "broad and vague" but in their strictest reading they could be used to "censor any domain name that is not registered in China", said Lokman Tsui, an expert on Internet policy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "Only domain names approved by the authorities are allowed, and other domain names not registered in China now would be under this new regulation de facto blocked". Violators could be fined up to 30,000 RMB ($4,600). It was not clear whether the rules would apply to websites hosted outside China but accessible from within the country, or only those located on domestic servers. But several Chinese news outlets, including the Communist Party-linked Global Times, reported the regulations would probably affect foreign companies, including Microsoft and Apple, which host services on servers in China. The regulations also stipulate that domain names cannot "endanger state security", "leak state secrets", or "harm national honour". Kan Kaili, a professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, said he believed that the rules were meant to regulate companies in China providing domain registration services, and that they were unlikely to affect access to foreign websites. Nevertheless, "Chinese authorities are quite cautious about every aspect of the Internet", he said, adding that they "can't lose control over it whatsoever". China's Great Firewall, the system used to prevent access to select foreign websites such as Google and Facebook, could be rendered "ineffective" without restrictions on domain name registration, he said. The new rules are open for public comment until April 25. In the past, controversial laws and regulations have undergone significant amendment if they generate heated criticism. Explore further: China issues new rules on Internet domain names


News Article | October 23, 2015
Site: news.mit.edu

Solar cells made out of lead sulfide quantum dots could eventually offer a cheaper, more flexible alternative to ones made using silicon, but they are currently much less efficient. However, altering the chemical composition of quantum-dot solar cells offers a way of tuning them to reach higher efficiencies, MIT physics graduate student Patrick R. Brown says. "Instead of starting with a high-efficiency technology and then trying to make it cheaper, which is what we're doing now with silicon, our plan is to start with something that we know we could make cheaply and see if we could make it more efficient," Brown explains. Lead sulfide is plentiful, occurring naturally in the mineral galena, and the world currently produces enough lead and sulfur in the span of a few weeks to build lead sulfide solar cells to supply all the world's electricity, Brown notes. Other alternatives to silicon such as cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) have the disadvantage of using costlier and less-abundant starting materials. Lead sulfide quantum dots have another advantage over other emerging thin-film solar-cell technologies like organic polymers and perovskites in that they are stable in air. "I'm focusing on trying to figure out what are the knobs that we have to turn on this material that will then enable us to get to higher efficiency," Brown says. Quantum dots are nanoscale crystalline semiconductors whose bandgap changes with their size. The bandgap determines which regions of the solar spectrum — which contains ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light — that the quantum dot solar cells can absorb and convert to electricity. Brown's recent collaborative research with MIT Professor Vladimir Bulović and five others demonstrated how attaching different organic molecules, or ligands, to the surface of quantum dots can modify their energy level. Brown fabricated and studied his lead sulfide quantum-dot solar cells in Bulović's Organic and Nanostructured Electronics Lab. When sunlight strikes a semiconductor in a solar cell, it can excite an electron from its tightly-bound ground state in the "valence band" into less-tightly-bound states in the "conduction band," where the electrons can move freely and generate an electric current. Brown studied the influence that different chemical ligands have on the ground-state energies of electrons in the quantum-dot valence band. Using a technique known as ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy in the lab of MIT Professor Marc A. Baldo, Brown measured the differing electronic properties of lead sulfide quantum dot films treated with 12 different chemical ligands. The results show that these surface ligands act as tiny electric dipoles — the electrical equivalent of the familiar bar magnet — and thus can influence the energy of the electrons within a quantum dot. "In our work, we show that as you change the surface ligands, you can leave the bandgap the same, but change the absolute energy levels," Brown says. The ability to tune both the size of the quantum dot and its surface chemistry can guide the design of efficient solar cells and, eventually, multi-junction devices that absorb more of the sun's spectrum. "With this ability to tune the energy levels of the quantum dots by changing the ligands, we can make sure that there are no energetic barriers in our device and that the electrons have a downhill energetic path out of the device," Brown explains. "The ability to tune these properties using such simple chemical processes is what sets these materials apart, making them a unique and promising choice for use in solar cells," Brown says. Brown and MIT materials science graduate student Donghun Kim were co-lead authors of the paper, "Energy Level Modification in Lead Sulfide Quantum Dot Thin Films through Ligand Exchange," published in ACS Nano in June 2014. Other co-authors were MIT Professors Vladimir Bulović, Jeffrey C. Grossman, and Moungi G. Bawendi, as well as Richard R. Lunt, assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science at Michigan State University, and Ni Zhao, assistant professor of electronic engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Brown, 27, is in his sixth year as a physics graduate student and expects to get his PhD during 2015. He received his BS in physics and chemistry at the University of Notre Dame. Brown is a National Science Foundation Fellow as well as a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellow. Kim used atomic-scale computer simulations to model the interactions of the chemical ligands with the quantum-dot surface. These simulations explained a key result of the study, showing that the differing electric dipole moments of the ligands are responsible for the changes in quantum dot energy levels. "Regardless of the way that a specific ligand binds to the quantum dot surface, Donghun's simulations showed a shift in energy levels that matched the shifts that we were measuring experimentally," Brown says. To supply a major portion of the world’s energy demand with photovoltaics, tens of thousands of square kilometers of solar cells would need to be installed, Brown says. Silicon-based solar cells are efficient and getting cheaper as more are made, but their brittle nature means that they must be encapsulated by rigid, relatively heavy aluminum-and-glass frames. “The key idea with quantum dots is that instead of starting from big crystals of silicon that must be sliced into single wafers, we start with very tiny crystals, roughly 10 nanometers in diameter, which we can dissolve in solution and print out like an ink. So instead of being tied to these rigid glass substrates, we could eventually be able to print or spray our solar cells onto flexible substrates like you would print a newspaper,” Brown says. “Those are the kinds of things that you wouldn’t be able to do with a silicon wafer.” Quantum dots do have their disadvantages, of course, which is why this technology hasn’t yet hit the market. “Electrons have a harder time hopping between quantum dots than they do traveling through a pure, uniform crystal of silicon. While the materials we are using are very cheap, the difficulty in moving charge through them leads to low solar cell efficiencies,” Brown says. For example, electrons can get trapped on the surfaces of quantum dots. “One thing we want to do is figure out what kind of chemical tricks we can play at the surface of the quantum dot to get rid of those trap states,” he says. The long-term goal of the research is to use the tunable electronic properties to make higher-efficiency lead sulfide quantum-dot solar cells that are flexible and able to be manufactured at low cost, Brown says.


SAN DIEGO, Feb. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bionano Genomics, a company focused on genome structure analysis, today highlighted study results that demonstrate the translational and clinical significance of next-generation mapping (NGM) to improve serious human disease research by precisely detecting large structural variations (SVs) often missed by other technologies such as sequencing. Research is being presented at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) General Meeting this week. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D., CEO of Bionano, commented, “Large genomic rearrangements are increasingly understood as drivers of serious human health conditions. Sequencing solutions based on short reads do not capture these SVs with sufficient sensitivity and specificity to enable comprehensive studies of their biological and clinical significance and even long read sequencing does not overcome these limitations. Results of these four studies demonstrate the ability of Bionano's next-generation mapping to accurately detect large SVs, many of which have critical clinical implications with the potential to meaningfully improve patient outcomes. We look forward to sharing these results with researchers at AGBT this week.” Key findings from four of the studies being presented include: Poster #814: Detecting a novel range of large somatic genomic rearrangements in human cancer using the Bionano Optical mapper Vanessa Hayes, Ph.D., Lab Head of Human Comparative and Prostate Cancer Genomics, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and her team demonstrate NGM as a complimentary tool to next-generation sequencing (NGS) due to NGM’s ability to examine megabase length DNA molecules outside the detection range of NGS. Using optical mapping with Bionano’s Irys® System, the researchers generated complete human genome maps from tumor-normal pairs of both primary and metastatic prostate cancer from five prostate cancer patients, and identified a novel set of large SVs within prostate cancer, of which almost 90% were undetectable using NGS alone. Use of NGS and NGM methods allowed for verification of up to 95% of the large SVs identified through NGM. Most importantly, the researchers identified a target mutation of drug metabolism in the NGM results that was completely missed by NGS.  This finding could have guided patient treatment, illustrating the significant need to accurately and comprehensively detect large SVs that have clinical implications in serious human health conditions, including cancer. Poster #516: Potential for improved molecular diagnosis of FSHD through D4Z4 array quantitation using Bionano technology Jonathan Pevsner, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Kennedy Krieger Institute and primary faculty appointment at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and his team used NGM with Saphyr to determine the genomic architecture of specific regions of chromosomes associated with Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), the third most common hereditary form of muscle disease for which genetic testing, while sensitive and specific, is also complex, laborious, and specialized. 95% cases of FSHD have a defect in FSHD1 gene that is associated with contraction of a 3.3 kilobase D4Z4 repeat in the subtelomeric region of chromosome 4q35. The researchers assembled D4Z4 genome maps from normal individuals and FSHD patients, and demonstrated that NGM correctly distinguished between the pathogenic and the non-pathogenic allele, correctly determined the number of D4Z4 repeats on chromosome 4 while at the same time distinguishing it from the non-relevant but highly similar repeat on chromosome 10. Whole-genome sequencing and 10X-Genomics sequencing failed to resolve this locus or to distinguish the chromosome 4 and 10 repeats. Han Cao, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Bionano Genomics, presents the results of collaborators at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Drexel University, and Chinese University of Hong Kong. The team examined the sensitivity of detection and localization of SVs in human populations. Researchers constructed genome optical maps using Irys for 146 unrelated individuals from 26 human populations with long DNA molecules (>150 kb) using native DNA without amplification and then de novo assembled the map without the use of the NGS-generated human reference genome assembly. The NGM-generated optical maps showed clear specific SV patterns among different ethnic groups and individuals in the population, with patterns most pronounced in complex regions of the genome where large (>50 kb) inversions and tandem duplications are mixed together in the same loci. The study demonstrates the power of long single-molecule NGM in resolving complex SVs in the human genome beyond the ability of NGS. Furthermore, it explains the need to create specific reference genomes for a wide range of ethnically diverse populations to allow for precision medicine initiatives reflecting the correct genomic structure of each patient. Poster #1116: Efficient de novo structural variation analysis and annotation using next-generation mapping (NGM) with the Bionano Irys System Andy Wing Chun Pang, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Bionano Genomics, and the Bionano team demonstrate the significance of NGM using Irys to discover de novo SV mutations that are associated with genetic disease and can be missed by NGS and microarray. Blood samples were obtained from a quintet family with all three children displaying developmental delay, and for each individual, DNA molecules larger than 150 kbp were extracted and assembled de novo, creating megabases-long optical maps. The process from sample collection to SV-discovery took only one week. In each sample, researchers detected more than 3,500 insertions and deletions of lengths more than 500 bp, and discovered five to seven de novo SVs in the affected children, one of which was shared among all three and possibly associated with developmental delay. The study suggests that Irys may replace conventional approaches for rapid discovery of functionally-relevant variants, and overall, significantly improves deeper understanding of genomes. Learn more by visiting Bionano’s Saphyr Room # 213 at AGBT and visiting www.bionanogenomics.com/AGBT2017. Bionano Genomics, Inc. provides the Irys and Saphyr systems for next-generation mapping (NGM), which is the leading solution in physical genome mapping.  NGM offers customers whole genome analysis tools that reveal true genome structure and enabling researchers to capture what’s missing in their data to advance human, plant and animal genomic research. NGM uses NanoChannel arrays to image DNA at the single-molecule level with average single-molecule lengths of about 350,000 base pairs, which leads the genomics industry.  The long-range genomic information obtained with NGM detects and deciphers structural variations (SVs), which are large, complex DNA segments involving repeats that are often missed by sequencing technologies and which are a leading cause of inaccurate and incomplete genome assembly. As a stand-alone tool, NGM enables the accurate detection of SVs, many of which have been shown to be associated with human disease as well as complex traits in plants and animals. As a complementary tool to next-generation sequencing (NGS), NGM integrates with sequence assemblies to create contiguous hybrid scaffolds for reference-quality genome assemblies that reveal the highly informative native structure of the chromosome. NGM also provides the additional ability to verify, correct and improve a NGS-generated genome assembly. Only Bionano provides long-range genomic information with the cost-efficiency and high throughput to keep up with advances in NGS. NGM has been adopted by a growing number of leading institutions around the world, including: National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, BGI, Garvan Institute, Salk Institute, Mount Sinai and Washington University. Investors in the Company include Domain Associates, Legend Capital, Novartis Venture Fund and Monashee Investment Management. For more information, please visit www.BionanoGenomics.com. Notes: Bionano Genomics is a trademark of Bionano Genomics, Inc. Any other names of actual companies, organizations, entities, products or services may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


HONG KONG, Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- International Chinese ink painting exhibition "Ink Global" showcasing the profoundness and excellence of contemporary ink painting will be held 3 - 8 August 2017 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The exhibition organised by the Young Artists Development Foundation from Hong Kong aims at promoting ink painting development and its international position by showcasing 500 masterpieces from elite artists worldwide. "Ink Global" is now calling for entries. Participants in Mainland art scene, ink painters and art lovers are cordially invited to take part in the event. The exhibition targets to showcase 500 inspiring ink paintings selected from all the submissions. Spanning an area of 150,000 square metre, "Ink Global", estimated to attract 150,000 art lovers and visitors, is going to be the ever largest and one of the best art exhibitions in Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas. The Organiser is honoured to receive the support from the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Professor Jao Tsung-I. "Ink Global" is a platform for artists of different ages, from different countries to show their artworks, exchange their insights and experiences with others. Official of the Hong Kong SAR elite artists and renowned ink painters from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, are cordially invited to join today's press conference, thus fostering communication between art circles in different regions. Largest Ever Ink Painting Exhibition in China and Overseas to Mark Hong Kong SAR 20th Anniversary Today's press conference was attended by influential figures including Ms Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs of the Government of  the Hong Kong SAR, Mrs Nellie Fong, Chairman of Young Artists Development Foundation, Dr Kwok Homun, Curator of Ink Global, Mr Xiang Huaicheng, former Minister of Finance, Mr Liu Dawei, Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association, Hong Kong ink master Mr Wucius Wong and Mr Liu Kuo-sung, Father of Modern Ink Painting in Taiwan; together with the support from elites of the arts sector: Mr Feng Dazhong, Chairman of China Fine Brush Association' Mr He Jiaying, Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association, Mr Shi Qi, Chinese artist from Beijing Fine Art Academy, Mr Tian Liming, Vice President of Chinese National Academy of Arts, Mr Xu Qinsong, Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association, Mr Wu Shanming, Professor and Doctoral Supervisor at Chinese Academy of Arts, Mr Mo Xiaosong, Deputy Director of the Art Committee of Beijing Fine Art Academy, and Mr Chen Jun, Chairman of Lanxi Municipal Federation of Literary and Art Circles. Mrs Nellie Fong, Chairman of Young Artists Development Foundation, says, "'Ink Global', a community event celebrating the Hong Kong SAR 20th anniversary, aims to promote the development of ink painting and enhance its position in the international art circle by showcasing 500 masterpieces from worldwide elite artists. We cordially invite the Mainland arts sector to participate in this mega art event and that's why we hold the press conference in Beijing - the hub of elite artists and ink painting masters. 'Ink Global' is now calling for entries and I hope that you would share the news with the ink painters and art lovers around you. I believe that we would be able to carry on the heritage and promote ink painting to all levels, by identifying more ink painting talents through the event and offering them a great opportunity to learn from the art masters. The exhibition supported by the Hong Kong SAR Government and Professor Jao Tsung-I will greatly enrich the city's art scene and further promote Hong Kong to be the 'Asian hub of ink painting'." "It is our pleasure that the Hong Kong SAR government official and ink painting experts in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan and the United States have accepted to be Advisors of Ink Global, including Professor Jao Tsung-I, Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Government of  the Hong Kong SAR, Mr Liu Dawei, Chairman of China Artists Association, Mr Wang Mingming, President of Beijing Fine Art Academy, Mr Feng Dazhong, President of China Gongbi Painting Association, Mr He Jiaying, Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association, Mr Shi Qi, Chinese artist from Beijing Fine Art Academy, Mr Lu Yushun, Executive Vice President of China National Academy of Painting, Mr Tian Liming, Vice President of Chinese National Academy of Arts, Mr Xu Qinsong, Vice Chairman of Chinese Artists Association, Mr Fang Zengxian, Honourary Curator of Shanghai Art Museum, Mr Wu Shanming, Professor and Doctoral Supervisor at Chinese Academy of Arts, Mr Dong Xiaoming, Honorary Chairman of Shenzhen Municipal Federation of Literary and Art Circles, Mr Wucius Wong, Hong Kong renowned ink master, Mr Liu Kuo-song, Taiwan Contemporary Ink Master, Mr Chiang Ming-shyan, representative of Taiwan Arts Sector, Mr He Zhengguang, Publishing Veteran in Taiwan, and Mr Kuiyi Shen, Professor of Art History and Director of Chinese Studies Program at University of California." "Ink Global" Featuring 500 Inspirational Masterpieces of Ink Painting Now Calls for Entries The ever first "Ink Global" in Hong Kong is now calling for entries. The exhibition targets to showcase 500 inspiring ink paintings selected from all the submissions, enhancing Hong Kong's position in the world of ink painting and promoting the city to be the "Asian hub of ink painting". Dr Kwok Homun, Curator of Ink Global, speaks at the kick-off ceremony, "'Ink Global' will gather and exhibit 500 masterpieces from exceptional artists worldwide. We are looking for top-notch works with prominent art presentation, high skill level and competence. There is no limitation on style, themes and techniques chosen for the creation." With a plan to comprise the judging panel with 20 influential figures from the art circle, the panel now has 17 members: members of the organising committee including Ms Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, Dr Louis Ng, Deputy Director (Culture) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Government of  the Hong Kong SAR, Mrs Nellie Fong, Chairman of Young Artists Development Foundation, and Dr Kwok Homun, Curator of Ink Global, together with art experts including Dr Lesley Lau, Head of Art Promotion Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Government of  the Hong Kong SAR, Mr Tang Hoi Chiu, Former Chief Curator of Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Government of  the Hong Kong SAR, Professor Mok Kar Leung Harold, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Josh Yiu, Director of the Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Mr Kuiyi Shen, Professor of Art History and Director of Chinese Studies Program at University of California, as well as ink masters Mr Wucius Wong, Mr He Baili,  Mr Lam Wu Fui, Mr Wong Hau Kwei, Mr Shen Ping, Mr Hung Hoi, Mr Wang Qiu Tong and Mr Chan Shingkau. The judging panel will select the elite works by online assessment. Dr Kwok mentions, "There are two key elements in 'Ink Global'. First, the exhibition is an excellent opportunity to gather our advisory board members together, who are influential figures in the ink painting field, indicating the excellence and position of our event. Second, our high quality and professional judging panel comprises experts from the arts sector, government representatives, arts museum curators and academic officers. They will focus on the ink paintings instead of the reputation or background of the artists. 'Ink Global' bases on the principle of being 'open, fair and just' to call for entries and select exhibits." Open enrollment has already begun, with submission deadline on 28 February 2017. Those who are interested can enroll and submit the paintings by updating the digital files of the paintings to the online submission system at www.inkglobal.org. All submitted paintings should be in the size of 6-foot xuan paper (96.5x178cm, with a total area around 1.5 square meters) or 8-foot xuan paper (123x249cm, with a total area around 2.5 square meters). Combination of paintings is accepted. Enrollment details and results will be announced at www.inkglobal.org. "Ink Global" Provides an Exchange Platform for Emerging and Established Artists The exhibition features modern, contemporary and 20th century ink painting, generally classified into portraits, landscapes, birds, flowers, fishes, insects, animals and contemporary ink painting. It provides a platform for artists at different ages, from different countries to showcase their works, promoting the exchange of arts and cultural ideas, as well as enhancing individual artistic accomplishments. 'Ink Global' gets the support of ink painting masters from Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan.  Mr Liu Dawei, Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association, says at the press conference, "In the Mainland, we have ink painting exhibitions frequently held in different provinces and regions, but I am especially impressed by the scale and diversity of 'Ink Global' and I look forward to it. I believe with the geographical advantages of Hong Kong, the exhibition would become a milestone in future ink painting development." Hong Kong ink master Mr Wucius Wong says, "'Ink Global', in terms of the number of participating artists and the variety of exhibits, is definitely a leading art event. I think the event will speed up the development of international ink painting by refreshing the art scene with various elements and promoting it to the public." Father of Taiwan's modern ink painting, Mr Liu Kuo-sung indicates, "'Ink Global' breaks geographical boundaries by soliciting artworks from around the world, connecting international art lovers to contribute to the development of ink painting. It turns a new page for ink painting." "Ink Global" will be open to the public with free admission for the citizens and art lovers to participate in the largest and the best ever ink painting exhibition. The audience will be able to learn about the long history and art development of Chinese culture through the appreciation of works of ink painting. The exhibition will bring along activities including art seminars with on-site demonstration by masters and guided tour, giving the audience a chance to learn and take a closer look of the masters' paintings. Young Artists Development Foundation aims to provide opportunities for art-loving youths to enrich the knowledge and insights by different types of activities. Current programmes include Master Workshops, HK Territory-wide Youths Painting Day, Overseas Art Tour, and Winning Painting Exhibition. For more information please visit www.yadf.hk.


WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AstraZeneca today presented data from the AURA3 trial that is supportive of TAGRISSO® (osimertinib) potentially becoming the new standard of care for second-line treatment of patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) T790M mutation-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The first randomized Phase III data showed that TAGRISSO second-line therapy improved progression-free survival (PFS) by 5.7 months compared with standard platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR]=0.30; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.23, 0.41; p<0.001). The results were presented at the 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Vienna, Austria, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and published simultaneously online in The New England Journal of Medicine. Sean Bohen, Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer at AstraZeneca, said: “ The confirmatory Phase III data suggest the potential for TAGRISSO to replace chemotherapy as the standard of care for patients who have progressed following EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment. As lung cancer is the most common type of cancer to spread to the brain, it is also encouraging to see the activity of TAGRISSO in patients with central nervous system metastases whose prognosis is often particularly poor.” AURA3 data showed TAGRISSO offered a statistically significant improvement in PFS versus standard platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (10.1 months vs 4.4 months, hazard ratio [HR] 0.30; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.23, 0.41; p<0.001). In an investigator-assessed, pre-specified exploratory subgroup analysis of 34% of patients with central nervous system (CNS) metastases at baseline, PFS was 8.5 months with TAGRISSO versus 4.2 months with platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy (HR 0.32; 95% CI: 0.21, 0.49). Dr. Vassiliki A Papadimitrakopoulou, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, said: “ The results of AURA3 are not only statistically significant, but clinically meaningful because it is the first time a targeted medicine like TAGRISSO has shown improvement in progression-free survival over standard platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy. It’s very rewarding to be able to give this type of news to patients, as it highlights the major advances we are making in targeted lung cancer treatments.” Professor Tony Mok, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said: “ The superiority of TAGRISSO in progression free survival and response rate over platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy suggests we may be moving towards a new standard of care for patients with resistance to EGFR TKI. With the publication of the AURA3 data, clinicians should perform T790M mutation testing to ensure TAGRISSO be given to patients who are most likely to benefit.” The AURA3 safety data for TAGRISSO were in line with previous experience. Grade ≥3 drug-related adverse events (AEs) were reported in 6% of patients (n=16) treated with TAGRISSO and 34% (n=46) treated with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy. The most common drug-related AEs in the TAGRISSO group, were diarrhea (29% overall; 1% Grade ≥3) and rash (28% overall; <1% Grade ≥3) and, in the chemotherapy group, they were nausea (47% overall; 3% Grade ≥3) and decreased appetite (32% overall; 3% Grade ≥3). The data for AURA3 are consistent with those previously presented in the Phase II trials, AURA2 and AURA extension. This consistency extends to testing of tissue and plasma samples for the detection of the EGFR T790M resistance mutation. In AURA3, approximately half of patients with T790M in tumor tissue also had the T790M mutation detected in plasma. Clinical benefits were reported with TAGRISSO compared to platinum-based doublet chemotherapy, irrespective of whether the T790M mutation was identified by plasma ctDNA or tissue testing. Plasma testing for the presence of the mutation is recommended only when a tumor biopsy cannot be obtained. If this mutation is not detected in a plasma specimen, re-evaluate the feasibility of biopsy for tumor tissue testing. TAGRISSO was granted accelerated approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2015 for the treatment of patients with metastatic EGFR T790M mutation-positive NSCLC, as detected by an FDA-approved test, who have progressed on or after EGFR TKI therapy. In the EU, TAGRISSO was granted conditional marketing authorization for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic EGFR T790M NSCLC, irrespective of previous EGFR TKI treatment by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in February 2016. In addition, TAGRISSO received approval in Japan in March 2016 for the treatment of patients with EGFR T790M mutation-positive inoperable or recurrent NSCLC that is resistant to EGFR TKI therapy, and it is currently under fast track review in China, where nearly half of lung cancer patients are thought to have the EGFR mutation. TAGRISSO is indicated for the treatment of patients with metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) T790M mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as detected by an FDA-approved test, who have progressed on or after EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials. AURA3 compared the efficacy and safety of TAGRISSO 80mg once daily and platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (platinum-pemetrexed) in 419 patients with EGFR T790M mutation-positive, locally-advanced or metastatic NSCLC whose disease had progressed on or after treatment with a previous EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). The trial was carried out in more than 130 locations worldwide, including the USA, Canada, Europe, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Australia. The primary endpoint of the trial was PFS, and secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), overall response rate (ORR), duration of response (DoR), disease control rate (DCR), safety and measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, accounting for about one-third of all cancer deaths and more than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined. Among patients with lung cancer, 25% to 40% have brain metastases at some time in the course of their disease. Patients who have the EGFRm form of NSCLC, which occurs in 10-15% of NSCLC patients in the US and Europe and 30-40% of NSCLC patients in Asia, are particularly sensitive to treatment with currently-available EGFR TKIs, which block the cell signaling pathways that drive the growth of tumor cells. However, tumors almost always develop resistance to treatment, leading to disease progression. Approximately two-thirds of patients develop resistance to approved EGFR TKIs such as gefitinib and erlotinib due to the secondary mutation, T790M. TAGRISSO (osimertinib, AZD9291) 80mg once-daily tablet is approved in the US, EU, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Israel, Mexico, Australia and a number of other countries as the first treatment for patients with locally-advanced or metastatic EGFR T790M mutation-positive NSCLC. TAGRISSO is also approved in South Korea for the same indication. Eligibility for treatment with TAGRISSO is dependent on confirmation that the EGFR T790M mutation is present in the tumor. TAGRISSO has one of the fastest development programs, from start of clinical trials to approval in just over two and a half years. TAGRISSO is an irreversible EGFR inhibitor, born out of scientific exploration and engineered to combat the mechanism of resistance by targeting the T790M resistance mutation. TAGRISSO is also investigated in the adjuvant and metastatic first-line settings, including in patients with and without brain metastases, in leptomeningeal disease, and in combination with other treatments. AstraZeneca has a deep-rooted heritage in Oncology and offers a quickly growing portfolio of new medicines that has the potential to transform patients’ lives and the Company’s future. With at least six new medicines to be launched between 2014 and 2020, and a broad pipeline of small molecules and biologics in development, we are committed to advance New Oncology as one of AstraZeneca’s six Growth Platforms focused on lung, ovarian, breast and blood cancers. In addition to our core capabilities, we actively pursue innovative partnerships and investments that accelerate the delivery of our strategy as illustrated by our investment in Acerta Pharma in hematology. By harnessing the power of four scientific platforms – Immuno-Oncology, the genetic drivers of cancer and resistance, DNA damage response and antibody drug conjugates – and by championing the development of personalized combinations, AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer treatment and one day eliminate cancer as a cause of death. AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.


Zhang B.,Beihang University | Gao Y.,Griffith University | Zhao S.,Griffith University | Liu J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing | Year: 2010

This paper proposes a novel high-order local pattern descriptor, local derivative pattern (LDP), for face recognition. LDP is a general framework to encode directional pattern features based on local derivative variations. The nth-order LDP is proposed to encode the (n-1)th-order local derivative direction variations, which can capture more detailed information than the first-order local pattern used in local binary pattern (LBP). Different from LBP encoding the relationship between the central point and its neighbors, the LDP templates extract high-order local information by encoding various distinctive spatial relationships contained in a given local region. Both gray-level images and Gabor feature images are used to evaluate the comparative performances of LDP and LBP. Extensive experimental results on FERET, CAS-PEAL, CMU-PIE, Extended Yale B, and FRGC databases show that the high-order LDP consistently performs much better than LBP for both face identification and face verification under various conditions. © 2010 IEEE.


Guo Z.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Liu Q.,Nanjing Southeast University | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks | Year: 2011

In this paper, a one-layer recurrent neural network is presented for solving pseudoconvex optimization problems subject to linear equality constraints. The global convergence of the neural network can be guaranteed even though the objective function is pseudoconvex. The finite-time state convergence to the feasible region defined by the equality constraints is also proved. In addition, global exponential convergence is proved when the objective function is strongly pseudoconvex on the feasible region. Simulation results on illustrative examples and application on chemical process data reconciliation are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness and characteristics of the neural network. © 2011 IEEE.


Liu J.,University of Pennsylvania | Cheng H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Leung P.W.L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology | Year: 2011

Preschool children have long been a neglected population in the study of psychopathology. The Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA), which includes the Child Behavior Checklist/1.5-5 (CBCL/1.5-5) and the Caregiver-Teacher Report Form (C-TRF), constitutes the few available measures to assess preschoolers with an empirically derived taxonomy of preschool psychopathology. However, the utility of the measures and their taxonomy of preschool psychopathology to the Chinese is largely unknown and has not been studied. The present study aimed at testing the cross-cultural factorial validity of the CBCL/1.5-5 and C-TRF, as well as the applicability of the taxonomy of preschool psychopathology they embody, to Mainland Chinese preschoolers. Country effects between our Chinese sample and the original U.S. sample, gender differences, and cross-informant agreement between teachers and parents were also to be examined. A Chinese version of the CBCL/1.5-5 and C-TRF was completed by parents and teachers respectively on 876 preschoolers in Mainland China. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) confirmed the original, U.S.-derived second order, multi-factor model best fit the Chinese preschool data of the CBCL/1.5-5 and C-TRF. Rates of total behavior problems in Chinese preschoolers were largely similar to those in American preschoolers. Specifically, Chinese preschoolers scored higher on internalizing problems while American preschoolers scored higher on externalizing problems. Chinese preschool boys had significantly higher rates of externalizing problems than Chinese preschool girls. Cross-informant agreement between Chinese teachers and parents was relatively low compared to agreement in the original U.S. sample. Results support the generalizability of the taxonomic structure of preschool psychopathology derived in the U.S. to the Chinese, as well as the applicability of the Chinese version of the CBCL/1.5-5 and C-TRF. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Shao M.-W.,Qingdao Technological University | Leung Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wu W.-Z.,Zhejiang Ocean University
International Journal of Approximate Reasoning | Year: 2014

In this paper, we introduce the notion of formal decision context as an extension of formal contexts by employing the notion of decision information table. We use formal concept analysis to formulate an approach to extract "if-then" rule from formal decision contexts. We also construct a knowledge-lossless method for complexity reduction in formal decision contexts so that the maximum rules extracted from the reduced formal decision contexts are identical to that extracted from the initial decision formal contexts. More specifically, we develop the discernibility matrix and the discernibility function in formal decision contexts to compute all of the attribute reductions without loss of knowledge. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Wu W.-Z.,Zhejiang Ocean University | Leung Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Information Sciences | Year: 2011

Granular computing and acquisition of if-then rules are two basic issues in knowledge representation and data mining. A formal approach to granular computing with multi-scale data measured at different levels of granulations is proposed in this paper. The concept of labelled blocks determined by a surjective function is first introduced. Lower and upper label-block approximations of sets are then defined. Multi-scale granular labelled partitions and multi-scale decision granular labelled partitions as well as their derived rough set approximations are further formulated to analyze hierarchically structured data. Finally, the concept of multi-scale information tables in the context of rough set is proposed and the unravelling of decision rules at different scales in multi-scale decision tables is discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Behrman J.R.,University of Pennsylvania | Xiong Y.,Nanjing Southeast University | Zhang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2015

Adult health outcomes and health behaviors are often associated with schooling. However, such associations do not necessarily imply that schooling has causal effects on health with the signs or magnitudes found in the cross-sectional associations. Schooling may be proxying for unobserved factors related to genetics and family background that directly affect both health and schooling. Recently several studies have used within-monozygotic (MZ) twins methods to control for unobserved factors shared by identical twins. Within-MZ estimates for developed countries are generally smaller than suggested by cross-sectional associations, consistent with positive correlations between unobserved factors that determine schooling and those that determine health. This study contributes new estimates of cross-sectional associations and within-MZ causal effects using the Chinese Adults Twins Survey, the first study of its type for developing countries. The cross-sectional estimates suggest that schooling is significantly associated with adult health-related behaviors (smoking, drinking, exercising) but not with own or spouse health outcomes (general health, mental health, overweight, chronic diseases). However, within-MZ-twins estimators change the estimates for approximately half of these health indicators, in one case declining in absolute magnitudes and becoming insignificant and in the other cases increasing in absolute magnitudes. Within-MZ estimates indicate significant pro-health effects for at least one of the indicators for own health (better mental health), own health-related behaviors (less smoking) and spouse health (less overweight). © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Xu Z.,Nanjing Southeast University | Xu Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Cai X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Information Sciences | Year: 2011

In many group decision-making situations, decision makers' preferences for alternatives are expressed in preference relations (including fuzzy preference relations and multiplicative preference relations). An important step in the process of aggregating preference relations, is to determine the importance weight of each preference relation. In this paper, we develop a number of goal programming models and quadratic programming models based on the idea of maximizing group consensus. Our models can be used to derive the importance weights of fuzzy preference relations and multiplicative preference relations. We further develop iterative algorithms for reaching acceptable levels of consensus in group decision making based on fuzzy preference relations or multiplicative preference relations. Finally, we include an illustrative example. © 2010 Published by Elsevier Inc.


Yang C.,Tsinghua University | Wong C.P.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Wong C.P.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yuen M.M.F.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Journal of Materials Chemistry C | Year: 2013

Enormous efforts have been made towards the next generation of flexible, low-cost, environmentally benign printed electronics. In this regard, advanced materials for the printed conductive lines and interconnects are of significant importance. To improve efficiency and effectiveness, for several decades, conductive fillers have been filled into dispersants, which lead to the so-called electrically conductive composites (ECCs), which are a key material to the printed electronics varying from substituting the traditional solders to finding new applications in the blooming field of flexible printed electronics. ECCs in various formulations have converged in the current efforts to develop platforms with the desired specifications of electrical and thermal conductance, mechanical strength, and others. This platform is highly versatile and valuable for the emerging novel electronic devices, which emphasize tailoring processing conditions to cater to the key functional materials to optimize outcomes. The properties obtained can facilitate decisions about modifications to treatment. Noble metal fillers, such as silver flakes, have long been studied as active fillers for the ECCs. Owing to the recent progress in nanotechnology and surface modifications, many new avenues have opened for them. By taking advantage of the well-developed surface chemistry of these materials, researchers are enhancing their electrical conductivity, which is essential for broader applications. In recent years, the advances of ECCs have benefited the development of the applications of optoelectronics, e-papers, electromagnetic shielding, clinical diagnosis, radio frequency devices, etc. Despite the various advantages that they can offer over the traditional technologies, their limitations, e.g. low electrical conductivity, poor impact strength, increased contact resistance at elevated temperatures and humidity aging, have been considered as the major obstacles. In this feature article, we introduce the surface engineering techniques of the conductive filler materials that we and others have developed, with an emphasis on how these techniques influence the performance of the ECCs, especially for the improvement of the filler-to-filler electron transfer in the resin dispersants, some of which have potentially been approaching the theoretical upper limit of what they can reach in electrical conductivity. We and others have developed a set of chemical and engineering methods to modify the conductive fillers, enabling tailor-made surface functionalities and charges. These features, in turn, can be harnessed to adjust the electrical property and reliability of the ECCs, and further, to cater to various novel printed electronics, based on e.g. low temperature processing conditions. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.


Langer C.J.,University of Pennsylvania | Mok T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Postmus P.E.,VU University Amsterdam
Cancer Treatment Reviews | Year: 2013

The prognosis for patients with relapsed/progressive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains poor. For first-line therapy, a number of platinum-based regimens are standard; second-line therapies include single-agent docetaxel, pemetrexed, and erlotinib. Treatment options for patients whose tumors have failed to respond to two or more conventional chemotherapy regimens are limited, with erlotinib, which targets the epidermal growth factor receptor, and crizotinib, which targets EML4/ALK, the only agents currently approved in the United States as third-line therapy for patients with advanced/metastatic NSCLC. Among the targeted agents that have undergone evaluation for third-line therapy and beyond are afatinib, apatinib, axitinib, AUY922, pazopanib, sorafenib, sunitinib, and vandetanib. Agents that affect multiple pathways have the potential to provide significant clinical benefits. Identifying molecular characteristics that make tumors more likely to respond to a targeted therapy is crucial. This article reviews the hypotheses and data that provide the rationale for the development of targeted agents for third- and fourth-line treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory NSCLC. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Meng X.-M.,Anhui Medical University | Nikolic-Paterson D.J.,Monash University | Lan H.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Nature Reviews Nephrology | Year: 2014

Many types of kidney injury induce inflammation as a protective response. However, unresolved inflammation promotes progressive renal fibrosis, which can culminate in end-stage renal disease. Kidney inflammation involves cells of the immune system as well as activation of intrinsic renal cells, with the consequent production and release of profibrotic cytokines and growth factors that drive the fibrotic process. In glomerular diseases, the development of glomerular inflammation precedes interstitial fibrosis; although the mechanisms linking these events are poorly understood, an important role for tubular epithelial cells in mediating this link is gaining support. Data have implicated macrophages in promoting both glomerular and interstitial fibrosis, whereas limited evidence suggests that CD4 + T cells and mast cells are involved in interstitial fibrosis. However, macrophages can also promote renal repair when the cause of renal injury can be resolved, highlighting their plasticity. Understanding the mechanisms by which inflammation drives renal fibrosis is necessary to facilitate the development of therapeutics to halt the progression of chronic kidney disease. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Huang J.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | Su X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Li Z.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2012

In this work, we propose a simple and enzyme-free strategy for sensitive and selective DNA detection by using two different types of molecular beacons (MBs), MB1 and MB2. In this method, the target DNA binds with and restores the fluorescence of MB1 first. Then, MB2 hybridizes with MB1 and free the target, which is used to trigger another reaction cycle. The cycling use of the target and the employment of bi-MBs amplify the fluorescence intensity for sensitive DNA detection. The detection limit of this method was obtained as 10 pM, which is about 2 orders of magnitude sensitive than the conventional MB-based approaches. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Fang C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Shao L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhao Y.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wu H.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Advanced Materials | Year: 2012

Gold nanocrystals are dispersed uniformly in poly(dimethylsiloxane) to produce a plasmonic composite. The composite can be readily used to fabricate microfluidic channels. An efficient optical heating approach on the microfluidic chips made of the composite is realized on the basis of plasmon-enabled photothermal conversion. A fluid flow switch based on the plasmonic heating is also demonstrated. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Bina O.,University of Lisbon | Bina O.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy | Year: 2013

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (or Rio+20) was conceived at a time of great concern for the health of the world economy. In this atmosphere 'green economy' was chosen as one of two central themes for the conference, building on a burgeoning body of literature on the green economy and growth. This research examines the relationship and influence between the double crisis and the rise of 'greening' as part of the solution. The aim is to understand what defines and distinguishes the proposals contained in twenty-four sources on the green economy (including policy documents by international agencies and think tanks, and research papers), and what is the meaning and implication of the rising greening agenda for sustainable development as it enters the 21st century. Through a systematic qualitative analysis of textual material, three categories of discourse that can illuminate the meaning and implication of greening are identified: 'almost business as usual', 'greening', and 'all change'. An analysis of their relationship with Dryzek's classification of environmental discourse leads to the identification of three interrelated patterns: (1) scarcity and limits, (2) means and ends, and (3) reductionism and unity-which deepen our understanding of the tensions between emerging propositions. The patterns help explain the meaning and implications of greening for sustainable development, revealing an economisation and polarisation of discourses, the persisting weak interpretation of sustainable development, and a tension between the fixing or shifting of dominant socioeconomic paradigms that underpin its conceptualisation. © 2013 Pion and its Licensors.


Wu W.-Z.,Zhejiang Ocean University | Leung Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
International Journal of Approximate Reasoning | Year: 2013

Human beings often observe objects or deal with data hierarchically structured at different levels of granulations. In this paper, we study optimal scale selection in multi-scale decision tables from the perspective of granular computation. A multi-scale information table is an attribute-value system in which each object under each attribute is represented by different scales at different levels of granulations having a granular information transformation from a finer to a coarser labelled value. The concept of multi-scale information tables in the context of rough sets is introduced. Lower and upper approximations with reference to different levels of granulations in multi-scale information tables are defined and their properties are examined. Optimal scale selection with various requirements in multi-scale decision tables with the standard rough set model and a dual probabilistic rough set model are discussed respectively. Relationships among different notions of optimal scales in multi-scale decision tables are further analyzed. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Liu Q.,Nanjing Southeast University | Liu Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks | Year: 2011

This paper presents a one-layer recurrent neural network for solving a class of constrained nonsmooth optimization problems with piecewise-linear objective functions. The proposed neural network is guaranteed to be globally convergent in finite time to the optimal solutions under a mild condition on a derived lower bound of a single gain parameter in the model. The number of neurons in the neural network is the same as the number of decision variables of the optimization problem. Compared with existing neural networks for optimization, the proposed neural network has a couple of salient features such as finite-time convergence and a low model complexity. Specific models for two important special cases, namely, linear programming and nonsmooth optimization, are also presented. In addition, applications to the shortest path problem and constrained least absolute deviation problem are discussed with simulation results to demonstrate the effectiveness and characteristics of the proposed neural network. © 2011 IEEE.


Liu Q.,Nanjing Southeast University | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang J.,Dalian University of Technology
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems | Year: 2013

This paper presents a one-layer projection neural network for solving nonsmooth optimization problems with generalized convex objective functions and subject to linear equalities and bound constraints. The proposed neural network is designed based on two projection operators: linear equality constraints, and bound constraints. The objective function in the optimization problem can be any nonsmooth function which is not restricted to be convex but is required to be convex (pseudoconvex) on a set defined by the constraints. Compared with existing recurrent neural networks for nonsmooth optimization, the proposed model does not have any design parameter, which is more convenient for design and implementation. It is proved that the output variables of the proposed neural network are globally convergent to the optimal solutions provided that the objective function is at least pseudoconvex. Simulation results of numerical examples are discussed to demonstrate the effectiveness and characteristics of the proposed neural network. © 2013 IEEE.


Chan M.Y.P.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Hamamura T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Janschewitz K.,Marist College
Pain | Year: 2013

Although research suggests that Asian Americans are more reactive to physical pain than European Americans, some evidence suggests that the observed differences in ethnicity may actually reflect Asian Americans' differing levels of acculturation. Two studies were conducted to test this hypothesis. In Study 1, first- and second-generation Asian Americans and European Americans took part in a cold pressor task. Evidence of heightened pain responses was found only among first-generation Asian Americans. Study 2 further controlled for ethnicity and replicated this pattern in finding heightened pain reactions among mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong relative to Hong Kong Chinese students. These findings suggest a role for acculturation in accounting for ethnic differences in physical pain sensitivity. © 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain. All rights reserved.


Liu Q.,Nanjing Southeast University | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics | Year: 2011

This paper presents a novel one-layer recurrent neural network modeled by means of a differential inclusion for solving nonsmooth optimization problems, in which the number of neurons in the proposed neural network is the same as the number of decision variables of optimization problems. Compared with existing neural networks for nonsmooth optimization problems, the global convexity condition on the objective functions and constraints is relaxed, which allows the objective functions and constraints to be nonconvex. It is proven that the state variables of the proposed neural network are convergent to optimal solutions if a single design parameter in the model is larger than a derived lower bound. Numerical examples with simulation results substantiate the effectiveness and illustrate the characteristics of the proposed neural network. © 2011 IEEE.


Wen Y.-W.,Kunming University of Science and Technology | Chan R.H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing | Year: 2012

There are two key issues in successfully solving the image restoration problem: 1) estimation of the regularization parameter that balances data fidelity with the regularity of the solution and 2) development of efficient numerical techniques for computing the solution. In this paper, we derive a fast algorithm that simultaneously estimates the regularization parameter and restores the image. The new approach is based on the total-variation (TV) regularized strategy and Morozov's discrepancy principle. The TV norm is represented by the dual formulation that changes the minimization problem into a minimax problem. A proximal point method is developed to compute the saddle point of the minimax problem. By adjusting the regularization parameter adaptively in each iteration, the solution is guaranteed to satisfy the discrepancy principle. We will give the convergence proof of our algorithm and numerically show that it is better than some state-of-the-art methods in terms of both speed and accuracy. © 2011 IEEE.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.1.1 | Award Amount: 3.32M | Year: 2008

N-CRAVE will deliver a proof-of-concept for network coding as the major enabler in dynamic wireless network environments with multiple communicating peers, where robustness is a key challenge. The simple, yet disruptive idea of network coding is that nodes are allowed to not only forward but also process and mix the incoming independent information flows. The objective is to develop solutions for architecting and controlling wireless networks in performance-challenged and resource-constrained environments. N-CRAVE will advance knowledge of fundamentals of network coding for improving attainable performance limits of networked systems for capacity, throughput, latency, complexity and energy with a view towards practically encountered scenarios. Key protocol components of the access, transport and network layers that operate hand-in-hand with network coding will be developed. In doing so, novel lightweight techniques will be designed based on convex optimization, linear algebra and backpressure control principles for transporting maximal amount of data over the network. Emphasis will be placed on advanced modes of information transport such as multi-cast and group-to-group communication with multiple simultaneous sessions in highly volatile environments. Innovative content distribution and storage methods will be developed for various wireless architectures and application-driven performance metrics, such as throughput, delay and fairness. A major goal will be to make the techniques viable in dynamically changing, volatile environments by preserving low computational complexity and signaling load. Besides inherent benefits of network coding in capacity provisioning and robustness, positive ramifications in security will be used to fortify confidentiality, secrecy and resilience to data corruption and other threats. Finally N-CRAVE will deliver an experimental wireless test-bed on which various network coding techniques will be implemented and validated.


News Article | January 11, 2017
Site: www.sciencenews.org

SAN FRANCISCO — Mostly dead is still partly alive, even for cells on the brink of suicide, new research suggests. Near-death experiences may play a role in embryo development and help cancer cells that survive chemotherapy spread throughout the body, Denise Montell, a cell biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reported December 6 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology. Montell described a recently discovered process called anastasis that saves cells in the midst of committing a type of cellular suicide known as apoptosis. She and others are only beginning to unravel how the process works. Preliminary results indicate that cells simultaneously kill themselves and hold on to a lifeline in case conditions improve, she said. Scientists had thought that once a cell going through apoptosis activated an executioner molecule known as a caspase, the cell would surely die, said Claire Walczak, a cell biologist at Indiana University in Bloomington. But cells sometimes call off their attempted suicides at the last moment, even after the executioner starts working, cell biologist Ho Lam Tang discovered in 2008 while a graduate student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Tang, now at Johns Hopkins University, named the process anastasis, which in Greek means “rising to life.” Tang’s discovery that apoptosis is reversible “was really shocking,” said Walczak. “It’s a really nice illustration of how adaptable cells are.” Tang initially made the discovery by treating an immortal type of cancer cells, called HeLa cells, with a drug that stimulates apoptosis. Once the cells were dying, Tang washed away the drug and some of the cells recovered. “That experiment is essentially what we do to patients” undergoing chemotherapy treatment, said J. Marie Hardwick, a cell and molecular biologist at Johns Hopkins. She reported with Tang last year in Scientific Reports that fruit fly egg cells can come back from apoptosis and even produce an adult fly. Cancer patients are given a dose of chemotherapy drugs or radiation that causes cells to commit apoptosis. Then the treatments are stopped for a short time to allow the patient to recover. If cancer cells can come back through anastasis, they may cause a resurgence of the disease, Hardwick suggests. Many of the cells brought back by anastasis have genetic defects. “If you’ve already attempted to die, you’ve got problems,” Hardwick says. Some cells that survive apoptosis brought on by stresses such as heat or irradiation can go on to divide and “do basically anything a normal cell can do,” Montell said. But unpublished work from her lab indicates that cells brought back to life by anastasis may never go back to their untreated state and may carry permanent memories of their near-death experiences, she said at the cell biology meeting. Montell and colleagues compared gene activity in untreated cells and ones taken to the brink of death and allowed to recover for varying amounts of time. Cell survival genes are already being made while the cell is preparing to kill itself, her team discovered. “Dying cells are actually hedging their bets. They’re on the brink of death. They don’t know if things are going to get better or get worse,” Montell said. After recovery, the reanimated cells begin to move and to stimulate blood vessel production. Those are things cells do when healing a wound, but they are also actions taken by tumor cells. “This would be an extremely unbeneficial response if the cells in question happen to be cancer cells,” Montell said. The findings suggest that stopping anastasis may lead to more effective cancer treatments. In some other cases, stimulating anastasis may benefit patients, Montell said, such as by saving heart cells after a heart attack or brain cells after a stroke. Those cells don’t divide much so there’s less risk of cancer and recovered cells could restore heart and brain function. Scientists don’t know exactly how anastasis works — few researchers are even aware it happens — so it may take some time before anyone is able to start or stop anastasis at will, Hardwick said.


News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: en.prnasia.com

HONG KONG, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Kong biomedical start-up GemVCare today launches quick and budget-friendly genetic tests for identifying the risk of diabetes onset for individuals. The solution came after 20 years of studying the genetic links of diabetes by the Hong Kong Science Park-based start-up that is also a company of Incu-Bio Programme of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP). GemVCare's founding team began the research at the Chinese Unversity of Hong Kong some 20 years ago, as diabetes is estimated to affect as many as 600 million people globally, or one in every 10 people in the world, by 2040. Their research focused on finding the link between Asians and diabetes, due to higher incidences of the disease occurring among Asians (presently, 60% of the world's diabetes patients are Asian). Due to the silent nature of diabetes and its complications, many are not diagnosed and therefore not treated nor controlled. In order to find reliable predictive means for diabetes so that a healthy person can take preventative measures, the team conducted clinical studies of Asian diabetes patients in the last 20 years and developed databases that point to a panel of Chinese/Asian-relevant genetic markers which can be used to predict and prevent diabetes and lead to personalised care for those with or at risk of diabetes. The breakthrough led the development of accessible predictive genetic tests of diabetes that are expected to benefit at least 2-3 million people in Hong Kong alone, and will have much wider application to millions of people of Chinese and Asian descent around the world. Asians at higher risk of diabetes and its debilitating complications Dr. Juliana Chan, Chairman of GemVCare, thinks that raising the awarenesss of diabetes is the first line of defence against this "silent killer". In the years of diabetes research, she has witnessesd the debilitating effect of diabetes and its complications. "It's not uncommon to see diabetes leading to heart disease, kidney disease and eye problems. I have seen a young patient in her 20s losing her sight because of diabetes. We checked her family health history and found that her elder sister was also diagnosed with diabetes in her 20s. This is relatively rare among westerners. This led me to focus on finding a diabetes preventative solution for Asians." Dr. Chan has been leading the research team of the Chinese University of Hong Kong since the 1990s. She observed the genetic links of diabetes, and found that diabetes is also linked to age, smoking or obesity. She later set up The Hong Kong Diabetes Registry with the medical team of the Prince of Wales Hospital. The goal is to create an Asian clinical databases of diabetes to help doctors and patients make early decisions on lifestyle changes or treatments. Big data of 20 years for developing quick and precise genetic evaluation The team has recruited 20,000 Asians for the study, with the consent of the patients and their families as well as healthy volunteers. The team set out to identify the causes and effects of diabetes and related complications. As diabetes is a common chronic disease with complex causes, it is challenging to accurately predict how likely an individual would develop diabetes. Under the leadership of Dr Chan, the research team made a break-through discovery that Asians have a panel of genetic markers which interact with lifestyle and other modifiable risk factors to predict diabetes and its complications. This discovery has gained patents from China and the USA. With the support of Innovation and Technology Commission and The Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the research project was commercialized into genetic test services. GemVCare was officially founded in 2014. The project was supported by more than HKD 400 million competitive grants and donations over the years, and more than 100 knowledge workers have been trained to help build the genetic and clinical databases. Other scientists, among them, actuarial scientists, geneticists, biologists and bio-infomatic scientists, also contributed to the successs of the project. "We closely examined every case and have built a database of 20 years of clinical research data. We found the correlations of the data through advanced algorithms and developed quick and precise genetic tests to identify subjects at risk for diabetes," Dr Chan said. GemVCare offers two forms of tests, for predicting diabetes risks in healthy people and for predicting the risk of complications in patients with diabetes. The tests have been piloted in some clinics and are officially launched today. The budget-friendly tests will help people find out how much they are at risk of becoming diabetic over time and what they can do to change the trajectory. Dr Chan said that the community in Asia prone to high-risk habits is at high risk of diabetes. This makes it even more important for people in this part of the world to find out if they are in the high-risk group. "In the case of Hong Kong, 30% of our population is overweight or have high blood pressure or abnormal lipids. One in four families has a member affected by diabetes, 10% of people are smokers, 10% of children have obesity and one in eight pregnancies are affected by gestational diabetes, all of whom are potential users of this technology." "In general, every one in 10 people is at risk of becoming diabetic. This risk gets higher as age goes up. In the age group of 55, every one in five people is at risk. Other than genetics and age reasons, smoking and overweight are major contributing environmental factors. It has now been proven beyond doubt that changing and embracing a healthy lifestyle can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes, while quality diabetes care can substantially reduce the risks of complications and critical illnesses," added Dr. Juliana Chan. GemVCare believes that everyone has the power to stay healthy. It has developed a mobile app in conjunction with the genetic tests that will empower people undertaking the tests to manage their own health through the tests, and reduce the risks of diabetes and related complications. Andrew Young, Chief Commercial Officer of HKSTP, said: "Since the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) of HKSAR introduced the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU) in 2014, HKSTP has been driving the commercialisation of the research efforts of local universities. GemVCare's latest achievement in diabetes research is a success story of knowledge transfer from the universities, and will benefit the whole society, and by extension, our economy, as it empowers people to make smart decisions about their health and their family's. HKSTP embraces GemVCare in our Incu-Bio Programme, and is very glad to see that GemVCare makes the milestone of sharing breakthrough diabetes tests with the world, having benefited from the full range of services provided under HKSTP's incubation programme." GemVCare™ (Gem stands for Genetic Evaluation & Management™) is the first Hong Kong-based genetic testing company specialized in diabetes. The company was founded in 2014 by local academics, medical doctors specialised in diabetes and scientists, supported by the Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU) through the Hong Kong Government Innovation and Technology Committee and is also a member company of the Incu-Bio Programme of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park Corporation. We are located in the Hong Kong Science Park supported by a world-class infrastructure with a network of partners to serve the needs of our clients.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

Life starts with a puzzle. Out of sight in a mother's womb, 3 billion letters of DNA code somehow turn into 3D bodies, all in the space of a mere 40 weeks. Fetuses form eyes, brains, hearts, fingers and toes — in processes that are meticulously coordinated in both time and space. Biologists have pieced together parts of this puzzle, but many gaps remain. Now, a crop of molecular technologies is giving scientists tantalizing hints about how to fill in those gaps. Improved ways of reading and interpreting the information in fetal genetic material are uncovering a raft of genes involved in human development, and letting researchers eavesdrop on the hum of gene activity before birth. They can see which genes turn on or off at pivotal moments, and sense how the environment nurtures or intrudes on this. Even the vital life-support system that we jettison at birth — the placenta — is laying bare its secrets. “It really is this great mystery in reproduction,” says Zev Williams, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “It's obviously such a critical part of human development, but it's been so understudied.” Until now, much of the work has relied on amniotic or placental samples obtained during routine invasive tests such as amniocentesis. But scientists are eyeing the next step: studies that are non-invasive for the fetus and are done on a teaspoonful of blood drawn from a pregnant woman's arm. In this way, researchers could monitor fetuses as they develop and, down the line, develop non-invasive tests for a broad range of conditions, in both fetus and mother. Physicians are already moving towards treating fetuses in the womb on the basis of such diagnoses. “It's an exciting time,” says Mark Kilby, a fetal-medicine specialist at the University of Birmingham, UK. But it won't be plain sailing. The technologies are developing so quickly that scientists are struggling to interpret the information they yield and are facing knotty ethical quandaries. What, for example, should doctors do if non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) reveals a DNA sequence that sometimes causes disease — but not always? “That is what we have to discuss as a whole community,” says clinician and geneticist Dennis Lo of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who was the first to find fetal DNA in a mother's blood1. Probing fetal development starts, naturally enough, with DNA, the recipe for life. Developmental biologists have already gathered a trove of information here, through studies of laboratory animals from worms to mice, identifying many genes and processes that have human equivalents. Painstaking detective work on families with inherited genetic diseases has yielded even more insight. But the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing is transforming the field. It is now relatively easy to sequence genomes, in whole or in part, to look for the causes of rare genetic disorders. And discoveries are piling up: how key signalling proteins help cells to adopt their myriad identities, and how the packaging of DNA influences brain development, to name just two. “We are currently in a very rich vein of accelerated understanding,” says Matthew Hurles, a geneticist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge, UK. Most studies so far have parsed genomes after birth. But researchers are pushing to use the same methods on fetuses in the womb, in the hope of improving the diagnoses and prognoses they can offer to expectant parents. Hurles and his colleagues, for example, are studying 1,000 fetuses with structural abnormalities spotted through ultrasounds. Using cells from fetus, mother and father, the team is sequencing the 1–2% of the genome that carries instructions for making proteins (the exome), as well as the entire genomes of a smaller subset, to try to identify the genetics behind the disorders. Researchers want to go still further, and sequence entire fetal genomes using blood from the mother. This would give them ready access to DNA at nearly all stages of fetal development, in healthy fetuses as well as ones that may have problems. The approach is realistic, they say. The field is racing ahead: a flurry of papers, from Lo2, 3, Stephen Quake at Stanford University in California4, 5 and genome scientist Jay Shendure at the University of Washington in Seattle6 have honed the resolution with which scientists can analyse a fetal genome from tiny bits of DNA floating in the mother's blood. They can now count the number of chromosomes in a fetus2, 4, and are developing ever-more-accurate ways to sequence genomes. In principle, they can now detect single-letter variants in the DNA sequence that might cause inherited diseases, and are building up their ability to find mutations that underlie some developmental disorders but are not present in either parent. Several companies have been formed to develop the technologies. There are barriers to overcome before the newest technologies will see widespread use in lab or clinic. One is the cost. Whole-genome sequencing is getting cheaper, but researchers often need to repeat it many times to boost the resolution of their results7. But researchers are confident that these roadblocks won't remain. “There's work to be done here, but it's not an unsolvable problem from a technical perspective,” says Shendure. Interpreting the results will be another sticking point. Not all DNA changes cause disorders. And even if an individual carries a specific mutation, scientists cannot yet be sure that it will always result in disease. But as costs drop, scientists say, they will be able to sequence enough genomes to learn which mutations predict disorders with high probability. They then hope to see non-invasive whole-genome sequencing applied as a screening tool during pregnancy. “This is the kind of thing you could imagine would be incredibly useful in diagnosing metabolic and immune disorders where you want to treat the baby right when they're born,” says Quake. And even before birth might be an option. A team of scientists is already using next-generation sequencing of specific genes to diagnose brittle-bone disease in fetuses as part of a clinical trial that uses stem cells to treat the condition in the womb. The researchers are currently obtaining the fetal cells through invasive sampling techniques, but aim to switch to non-invasive testing. DNA is but the start of the story of human development. Researchers are keen to understand how instructions in the genome are deployed in time and space as a fetus grows, and how this goes wrong during disease. Many are therefore focusing on the molecule RNA, which the cell uses to copy — and then act on — a given set of DNA instructions. And that presents fresh challenges. RNA breaks down very quickly, so it is harder to work with than DNA, especially when trying to untangle a fetus's output of RNA — its transcriptome — from the mother's. To simplify things, clinician and geneticist Diana Bianchi, now director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, began by studying the transcriptome of amniotic fluid, which contains freely floating RNA from fetus and placenta. Over the past decade, her team has built up intriguing snapshots of gene activity through the second and third trimesters (from discarded samples taken during amniocentesis tests), and at term (from samples gleaned during Caesarean sections), as well as some work with maternal blood, which bears free-floating RNA fragments from fetus, mother and placenta. She has shown how a full-term fetus switches on just the sorts of genes that might be expected for a baby gearing up to be born — including ones involved in lung and gut physiology, energy metabolism, the immune system and the eye8. Genes involved in smell ramp up, too, “which we think has some evolutionary advantage”, says Bianchi, “because the baby needs to know the smell of its own mother, for survival reasons”. Much of Bianchi's work has focused on amniotic-fluid samples from fetuses affected by chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down's syndrome (an extra chromosome 21) and Edward's syndrome (an extra chromosome 18). She finds that gene activity is abnormal across the whole genome, not just on the extra chromosome, and even in genes needed for brain development9. She's also found that cells of fetuses with Down's incur damage from the by-products of metabolism, a condition known as oxidative stress10. This raises the provocative possibility of treating fetuses in the womb to ameliorate the cognitive impairment associated with Down's. To explore this, Bianchi's team compared transcriptome data from fetuses with and without Down's, and mouse models of the syndrome, to pinpoint patterns associated with the condition11. Then they scoured a database for molecules that might reverse some of the abnormal patterns, including some drugs that are already approved for human use. They fed one of these molecules, called apigenin, to pregnant 'Down's syndrome' mice and in unpublished data found that the offspring had improved memory and met developmental milestones sooner than those whose mothers did not get the compound. “It's not that everything gets better, but certain areas do improve,” says Bianchi. “We are very encouraged.” Bianchi and others in the field are now seeking ways to get more detailed information, non-invasively, about fetal RNA. Until recently, the work has been done using devices called microarrays, which allow scientists to detect known RNA sequences. Although valuable, they offer limited insight because much about the transcriptome remains mysterious. A version of next-generation DNA sequencing called RNA-seq reveals the transcriptome in all its complex glory, and quantifies each RNA type much more accurately. Researchers have shown that such an approach is possible12, 13. In 2014, for example, Quake's team examined blood samples from pregnant women using RNA-seq, in combination with other methods, to detect RNAs that probably originated in the fetus and placenta12. They could track the ebbs and flows of transcripts through all three trimesters, including the activity of genes that are crucial for normal brain development. Now they are hunting for transcripts that could yield insight into conditions associated with pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, in which problems with the placenta cause dangerously high blood pressure in the mother. The placenta is also the focus of an RNA-seq project led by Williams and RNA biologist Thomas Tuschl at the Rockefeller University in New York City. They are focusing on microRNA (miRNA), a kind of RNA that's known to control the activity of genes, in the hope of uncovering insight into placental biology and devising early-warning tests for pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy conditions. Existing tests, such as looking for protein in the mother's urine, don't reveal the disease until the mother has already started to develop organ damage, says Williams. His team hopes to use miRNA to monitor the placenta non-invasively, and detect pre-eclampsia before damage takes hold. But such methods still need more work to ensure accuracy and reproducibility before their full potential can be realized, he says. The third piece of the puzzle is how conditions in the womb affect fetal development. Researchers have long known that environmental exposures during this delicate time can influence an individual's lifelong health. Babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy, for example, grow more slowly in the womb and have an increased risk of developing respiratory diseases and obesity, and studies14 suggest that smoking alters the transcriptome of the placenta. One way in which the environment exerts such effects is by altering chemical marks on DNA and the proteins that package up the genome — thereby altering the activities of genes without changing the DNA sequence. The best-studied of these 'epigenetic' marks are methyl groups that, when added to or removed from DNA, boost or silence gene activity. Researchers are using microarrays as well as a form of DNA sequencing known as bisulfite sequencing to lay bare these methylation patterns across the whole genome in samples from maternal blood and fetuses. That includes the all-important placenta. One surprise from studies of placental tissue is just how dynamic placental methylation is, says Wendy Robinson, a developmental biologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The most striking trimester-to-trimester changes are in genes related to immune-system functions, possibly reflecting the placenta's role as a peacemaker between the mother's immune cells and the fetus. Researchers are itching to understand changes in DNA methylation in pregnancy conditions and after environmental assaults such as smoking. Indeed, studies already suggest that smoking during pregnancy may lead to altered methylation patterns in placental DNA15. Lo's group has shown that it can do bisulfite sequencing on fetal DNA in blood samples. But the complexity of unravelling links between environment and epigenetics makes it hard to draw definitive conclusions for these samples yet, says Robinson. Researchers are therefore focusing on studies of placental tissue for now. The promises of all these technologies raise issues that should be debated sooner rather than later, say scientists and bioethicists — not least because there are concerns about the NIPT tests already on the market. These tests have spread fast: since becoming commercially available in 2011, NIPT for missing or extra chromosomes (aneuploidies) is now being used in at least 90 countries. And millions of women have had the tests. NIPT for aneuploidy is a dramatic improvement, says Bianchi. Globally, it has led to a 70% reduction in invasive procedures such as amniocentesis, which carry a small risk of triggering miscarriage. But NIPT can't diagnose aneuploidies reliably, she says: it is a screen, and other, more-invasive diagnostic tests must be used to follow up on the findings. Nonetheless, some women have opted to terminate their pregnancies on the basis of NIPT results alone. Concerns such as these have led several societies to publish position statements that give recommendations for how to counsel patients. The situation stands to get even murkier. Careless talk about the epigenetics of pregnancy risks scapegoating women for their babies' ill health, when problems such as obesity and gestational diabetes can stem from many factors, including poverty and poor access to health care, say social scientists. Women must also prepare for unexpected findings, researchers say — and not just about their fetuses. In several cases, non-invasive fetal screening has picked up undiagnosed cancers and diseases such as lupus in pregnant women. And sequencing will sometimes reveal fetal DNA variants that increase the risk of conditions later in life, such as breast cancer or neurodegenerative diseases. Medical researchers say that clinicians must prepare what to share with patients, even as the light-speed pace of invention and discovery outstrips their ability to interpret the findings. It is always hard to balance the right to know against the potential harm of revealing the presence of a DNA variant — especially if scientists can't be sure what the effect of that variant will be, says Shendure. “It's just going to get really tricky.”


HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Feb 28, 2017) - The following article was first published in the China Business Knowledge (CBK) website by CUHK Business School -- https://goo.gl/X6UkJr: Research in sociology and psychology tells us that beauty can have a significant impact on people's earning, job opportunities and career success and that attractive individuals generally receive better treatments in the workplace and other social settings. In the working paper "More than Skin-deep? Analysts' Beauty and Their Performance", Prof. George Yang, Associate Professor at the School of Accountancy of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School, extends the study to information acquisition and forecast performance in China's capital market. It reveals that the attractiveness of financial analysts is positively associated with their earnings forecast accuracy and stock recommendation informativeness. "Our study aims to look at whether a predetermined attribute of a financial analyst, namely, their physical attractiveness, affects his or her success in information acquisition and job performance," says Prof. Yang who works on the study in collaboration with Prof. Ying Cao, Associate Professor of the School of Accountancy of CUHK Business School, Prof. Feng Guan of Shanghai Lixin University of Commerce, as well as Prof. Zengquan Li, Dean of the School of Accountancy at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. In capital markets, sell-side financial analysts who are generally employed by broker-dealers and investment banks, play an important role in disseminating the information on particular securities or stocks, giving investors the necessary information they need to judge the attractiveness of certain investments. "In China, the influence of financial analysts on the stock market is even greater because the market is dominated by retail investors who are more likely to be influenced by the so-called expert opinions than institutional investors," says Prof. Yang. Therefore, the financial analysts would actively seek out information from various sources, and the private communication with firm management is one of the critical sources, being viewed as more useful to their earnings forecasts and stock recommendations than firms' public disclosure and even their own primary research. Prior research already reveals that analysts who cater to the interests of managers enjoy an information advantage and exhibit superior forecast performance, according to researchers. The Study In the study, the researchers studied a sample of 89,056 earnings forecasts made by 2,328 analysts from 2005 to 2014. The analysts in their sample come from 102 unique brokerages, which cover all the largest brokerages in China. At the same time, they downloaded the head-to-shoulder ID photos of all sell-side financial analysts in the sample from the website of the Securities Association of China and asked 63 raters with different education background, occupation, income, and social experience to score them on a five-point scale: 1 for homely or not good looking; 2 for below average; 3 for average; 4 for above average and; 5 for strikingly beautiful or handsome. The 63 raters were from different settings including a Big Four accounting firm, a brokerage firm, a large private company, as well as university faculty members and students. Of the group, 27 of them are males while the rest are females. All the raters were reminded to use the common people in the Chinese population, not the sample analysts, as the benchmark for rating and that age should not be considered in rating. Hence, the rating score would be solely based on attractiveness, not depending on how young or old he or she looks. Lookism Matters As expected, the study reveals that the beauty ratings of financial analysts are significantly negatively associated with their forecast errors. That is to say, more attractive analysts make more accurate forecasts. The research team points out that their evidence suggests that more attractive financial analysts possess an advantage in acquiring information from firm management. "Compared with other analysts, attractive analysts are more likely to gain advance access to information about pending significant corporate events, and they are more likely to issue a stock recommendation in the quarter prior to the public announcement of three types of corporate news, including restructuring, signing of important business contracts and earning warning. Accordingly, they can produce more informative stock recommendations," says Prof. Yang. When it comes to information access, it is important to go to the right people. Again, attractive analysts have better access to them. "Attractive analysts are more likely to get more information from corporate site visits when they can directly interact with firm management. Our results show that firm managers are more likely to disclose information to those attractive analysts," he says. Taste-Driven Discrimination However, what's interesting is that the study also shows that the beauty effect disappears when managers are allowed to trade their shares in the open market or when their firm is under a share pledge agreement. To explore the reason behind, Prof. Yang went on to find out if the effect was attributed to managers' taste-based discrimination on the attractiveness of the analysts or on the notion that attractive people possess superior job-related skills and can better serve the interests of the firm. If managers believe that more attractive analysts are more capable and valuable to firms, the beauty effect would persist when there is a strong incentive for managers to boost the firm performance and increase the stock value. But, the researchers didn't find such evidence in the study. "In other words, it suggests that managers' discrimination among financial analysts is just taste-driven," Prof. Yang comments. "When managers need to rely more on analysts to inform and guide the market, they are less likely to allow their taste for beauty to sway the decision about which analysts to rely on for disseminating firm information," he explains. Apart from the relation between analysts' attractiveness level and their forecast performance, the study also demonstrates the impact of analysts' attractiveness on their career opportunities. Specifically, it finds that a more attractive analyst is more likely to be voted as a star analyst who is more likely to be hired by top-notch brokerage firms even if, for some reason, he or she could only get into a smaller firm initially. A New Challenge While social science has documented and extensively studied the beauty effect, this study provides a new perspective into the practice by financial analysts in capital markets. Unlike in previous research suggesting that analysts who issue favorable opinions would obtain more information from firm management, the current study documents a different incentive -- the indulgence of managers' taste for beauty, which affects the interaction between managers and financial analysts. "Since this form of discrimination originates from psychological and social bias and is difficult to regulate, it brings new challenges to regulators and practitioners in the industry," Prof. Yang says. Reference Ying Cao, Feng Guan, Zengquan Li and Yong George Yang, "More than Skin-deep? Analysts' Beauty and Their Performance", 2016. Working paper. This article was first published in the China Business Knowledge (CBK) website by CUHK Business School: https://goo.gl/X6UkJr. About CUHK Business School CUHK Business School comprises two schools -- Accountancy and Hotel and Tourism Management -- and four departments -- Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. Established in Hong Kong in 1963, it is the first business school to offer BBA, MBA and Executive MBA programs in the region. Today, the School offers 8 undergraduate programs and 13 graduate programs including MBA, EMBA, Master, MSc, MPhil and PhD. In the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2017, CUHK MBA is ranked 36th. In FT's 2016 EMBA ranking, CUHK EMBA is ranked 37th in the world. CUHK Business School has the largest number of business alumni (32,000+) in Hong Kong - many of whom are key business leaders. The School currently has about 4,400 undergraduate and postgraduate students and Professor Kalok Chan is the Dean of CUHK Business School. More information is available at: http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk or by connecting with CUHK Business School on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cuhkbschool and LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/cuhk-business-school. About China Business Knowledge (CBK) CBK is a portal belonging to the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School which provides easy access to the China-related research conducted at CUHK Business School. Through feature articles, mini case studies, discussions and a research paper database, CBK aim to narrow the knowledge gap between China and the rest of the world, providing in-depth knowledge and practical tips about doing business in China. Free content is available at http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk/faculty/cbk/index.aspx or by connecting with CBK@CUHK on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CBKCUHK, Twitter: https://twitter.com/CBK_CUHK and LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/1B8cGdU.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.acnnewswire.com

The 27th HKTDC Education & Careers Expo opens on 23 February and continues through 26 February at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 860 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions are set to join the expo, including educational institutions, consulting firms, professional associations, government departments, semi-government bodies and private enterprises. The expo provides a wealth of information on further studies, continuous education and job opportunities and will be open to the public free of charge. The four-day fair will feature two major zones: Education Zone and Careers Zone. Different career and education theme days are set for each day for visitors to grasp the relevant information from various exhibitors and events. On-site recruitment for 2,300+ vacancies There will be four career theme days this year, including the newly launched Tech & Innovation (23 February), Arts (24 February) and Startup (26 February) theme days, as well as the ever-popular Electrical and Mechanical theme day (25 February). Each career theme day will spotlight the employment trends of relevant industries. A number of organisations, including Vocational Training Council (VTC), Arts Education Section of Education Bureau, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups will provide current industry trends, career prospects, advice on entering different industries and job availability, to help students and job seekers plan their career paths. At the Youth Zone, organisations from different sectors will offer young people information on further education and employment. Representatives from the Labour Department will also be on hand to introduce the Youth Employment and Training Programme, which is designed to support local youth employment, and provide information on different overseas employment and working holiday programmes. Representatives from different industries will also discuss various developments and career prospects. In addition, various government departments together with private and public organisations including the Police Force, Fire Services Department, Hong Kong Airport Authority, Aviation Security Company Limited and Centaline Property Agency Limited will accept on-the-spot job applications; a total of more than 2,300 job opportunities comprising summer jobs and internships are expected to be offered during the expo. Global educational institutions to showcase study and exchange opportunities On education, the expo will gather consultants from different countries and regions to provide the latest updates on overseas study opportunities. This year's education theme days will focus on the Chinese mainland (23 February), Europe (25 February), Australia and New Zealand (26 February) as well as Japan (24 February), which is a new theme for this year. Representatives from educational institutions in these markets will host seminars for visitors to learn about the admission procedures, entry requirements and campus life in these destinations. Gathering various Consulate General (CG) offices and officially recognised bodies, the newly launched "International Exchange Village" will provide visitors with information and consultation service on studying and working abroad. Participating CG offices include Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Sweden and South Africa, as well as countries along the "Belt and Road" such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Iran and the Philippines. Students can explore education and exchange opportunities in these countries. What's more, the expo will provide information on further studies and continuous education in Hong Kong. Institutions such as the VTC, Hang Seng Management College, The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Shue Yan University and YMC College of Careers will give details of different courses. Exhibitors such as Arts Education Section of Education Bureau, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Baron School of Music will present arts and creative education opportunities, offering students different channels for advancing studies. 100 fascinating events; celebrities to share workplace insights Close to 100 activities will be held during the expo, including an assortment of seminars and talks on further studies, industry trends and working holiday programmes. Renowned speakers include Chairman of Commission of Youth Lau Ming-wai, experienced media person Stephen Chan, Chairman of a digital game company Sze Yan-ngai and Hong Kong Jockey Club apprentice jockey Kei Chiong, will have job experience sharings. Aside from seminars offering practical tips on taking TOEFL and IELTS examinations, the HKTDC has also invited Dr Au Yeung Wai-hoo (Ben Sir), Senior Lecturer at the Chinese Language and Literature Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Yan Yuk-ki, author and consultant for the 5 Stars Chinese Compositions Series to host a seminar about Chinese writing skills in preparation for the Diploma of Secondary Education. The HKTDC will also collaborate with the VTC to showcase some of the innovative projects co-developed by its teachers and students. There will be an interactive technology experience showcase where visitors can experience the excitement of controlling robots via smart devices, virtual reality (VR) gaming and building a robotic boat. Date & Opening Hours: 23 February (Thursday) 10:30am-7pm Career Theme Days: Tech & Innovation Education Theme Days: Chinese mainland Date & Opening Hours: 24 February (Friday) 10:30am-7pm Career Theme Days: Arts Education Theme Days: Japan Date & Opening Hours: 25 February (Saturday) 10:30am-7pm Career Theme Days: Electrical and Mechanical Education Theme Days: Europe Date & Opening Hours: 26 February (Sunday) 10:30am-6pm Career Theme Days: Startup Education Theme Days: Australia and New Zealand Fair website: http://www.hktdc.com/hkeducationexpo/ Photo download: http://bit.ly/2lJMZhm Highlighted videos: Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts: https://goo.gl/iex8z7 Bridal Academy: https://goo.gl/fFQHTt Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups: https://goo.gl/ncPAc3 HK E&M Trade Working Group: https://goo.gl/znG4TO Media Registration: Media representatives wishing to cover the event may register on-site with their business cards and/or media identification. To view press releases in Chinese, please visit http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/tc About HKTDC Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong's businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Google+, Twitter @hktdc, LinkedIn. Google+: https://plus.google.com/+hktdc Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hktdc LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hong-kong-trade-development-council Contact:


Wong G.W.K.,Medicine and Therapeutics | Leung T.F.,Medicine and Therapeutics | Ko F.W.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Research | Year: 2013

Asia-Pacific is one of the most densely populated regions of the world and is experiencing rapid economic changes and urbanization. Environmental pollution is a significant problem associated with the rapid modernization of many cities in South Asia. It is not surprising that the prevalences of asthma and allergies are increasing rapidly, although the underlying reasons remain largely unknown. Many studies from this region have documented the changing prevalence of allergic diseases in various parts of the world. However, the methodologies used were neither standardized nor validated, making the results difficult to evaluate. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) has provided a global epidemiology map of asthma and allergic diseases, as well as the trend of changes in the prevalence of these diseases. Allergic sensitization is extremely common in many Asian communities. However, the prevalence of allergic diseases remains relatively rare. The rapid urbanization in the region, which increases environmental pollution and can affect the rural environment, will likely increase the prevalence of asthma and allergies in Asia. © The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology.


Zhou Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Cui X.,Tsinghua University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

Intensive theoretical studies have recently predicted that a Bose-Einstein condensate will exhibit a variety of novel properties if spin-orbit coupling is present. However, an unambiguous fact has also been pointed out: Rashba coupling destroys a condensate of noninteracting bosons even in high dimensions. Therefore, a conceptually important question arises as to whether or not a condensate exists in the presence of interaction and a general type of spin-orbit coupling. Here we show that interaction qualitatively changes the ground state of bosons under Rashba spin-orbit coupling. Any infinitesimal repulsion forces bosons either to condense at one or two momentum states or to form a superfragmented state that is a superposition of infinite numbers of fragmented condensates. The superfragmented state is unstable against the anisotropy of spin-orbit coupling in systems with large numbers of particles, leading to the revival of a condensate in current experiments. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Cui X.,Tsinghua University | Cui X.,Ohio State University | Zhou Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2013

We show that spin-orbit coupling (SOC) significantly enhances the depletion of a homogeneous Bose-Einstein condensate in three dimensions. With decreasing anisotropy of the SOC, both the quantum and thermal depletion increase. In particular, different types of SOC give rise to qualitatively different dependences of the condensate depletion on microscopic variables including the scattering length, the strength of the SOC, and the temperature, which can be directly observed once these types of SOC are realized in experiments. Moreover, we point out that thermal depletion in three dimensions becomes logarithmically divergent at any given finite temperature when both the SOC and the interaction approach the isotropic limit. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Liu G.,CAS Shenyang Institute of Metal Research | Yu J.C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lu G.Q.,University of Queensland | Cheng H.-M.,CAS Shenyang Institute of Metal Research
Chemical Communications | Year: 2011

Crystal facet engineering of semiconductors has become an important strategy for fine-tuning the physicochemical properties and thus optimizing the reactivity and selectivity of photocatalysts. In this review, we present the basic strategies for crystal facet engineering of photocatalysts and describe the recent advances in synthesizing faceted photocatalysts, in particular TiO2 crystals. The unique properties of faceted photocatalysts are discussed in relation to anisotropic corrosion, interaction dependence of adsorbates, photocatalytic selectivity, photo-reduction and oxidation sites, and photocatalytic reaction order. Ideas for future research on crystal facet engineering for improving the performance of photocatalysts are also proposed. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Xiang Q.,Wuhan University of Technology | Yu J.,Wuhan University of Technology | Wong P.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2011

Hydroxyl radicals (OH) have been deemed to be the major active species during the photocatalytic oxidation reaction. In this study, OH produced on various semiconductor photocatalysts in aqueous solution under Xenon lamp irradiation was quantitatively investigated by the photoluminescence (PL) technique using coumarin (COU) as a probe molecule. The results indicated that the formation rate of OH on the surface of irradiated commercial Degussa P25 (P25) was much higher than that of other semiconductor. The pH values of the solution and phase structure of TiO2 significantly influenced the production rate of OH. The acidic pH environment of the solutions and bi-phase structure (anatase and rutile) of TiO2 were beneficial to enhancing the formation rate of OH. In addition, the formation rate of OH on anatase TiO2 and P25 was much faster than that of OH on the other semiconductors (such as rutile TiO2, ZnO, WO3, CdS, Bi2WO4 and BiOCl, etc.). A new concept " OH-index" was first proposed to compare photocatalytic activity of photocatalysts, which would provide new insight into the investigation of semiconductor photocatalysts. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Li P.K.T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Burdmann E.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Mehta R.L.,University of California at San Diego
Transplantation | Year: 2013

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is increasingly prevalent in developing and developed countries and is associated with severe morbidity and mortality. Most etiologies of AKI can be prevented by interventions at the individual, community, regional, and in-hospital levels. Effective measures must include community-wide efforts to increase an awareness of the devastating effects of AKI and provide guidance on preventive strategies, and early recognition and management. Efforts should be focused on minimizing the causes of AKI, increasing awareness of the importance of serial measurements of serum creatinine in high-risk patients, and documenting urine volume in acutely ill people to achieve early diagnosis; there is as yet no definitive role for alternative biomarkers. Protocols need to be developed to systematically manage prerenal conditions and specific infections. More accurate data about the true incidence and clinical impact of AKI will help raise the importance of the disease in the community and increase awareness of AKI by governments, the public, and general and family physicians and other health care professionals to help prevent the disease. Prevention is the key to avoid the heavy burden of mortality and morbidity associated with AKI. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Yu H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang F.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xie F.,Sun Yat Sen University | Li W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | And 2 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2014

CH3NH3PbI3-xClx is a commonly used chemical formula to represent the methylammonium lead halide perovskite fabricated from mixed chlorine- and iodine-containing salt precursors. Despite the rapid progress in improving its photovoltaic efficiency, fundamental questions remain regarding the atomic ratio of Cl in the perovskite as well as the reaction mechanism that leads to its formation and crystallization. In this work we investigated these questions through a combination of chemical, morphological, structural and thermal characterizations. The elemental analyses reveal unambiguously the negligible amount of Cl atoms in the CH3NH3PbI3-xClx perovskite. By studying the thermal characteristics of methylammonium halides as well as the annealing process in a polymer/perovskite/FTO glass structure, we show that the formation of the CH3NH3PbI3-xClx perovskite is likely driven by release of gaseous CH3NH3Cl (or other organic chlorides) through an intermediate organometal mixed halide phase. Furthermore, the comparative study on CH3NH3I/PbCl2 and CH3NH3I/PbI2 precursor combinations with different molar ratios suggest that the initial introduction of a CH3NH3+ rich environment is critical to slow down the perovskite formation process and thus improve the growth of the crystal domains during annealing; accordingly, the function of Cl- is to facilitate the release of excess CH3NH3+ at a relatively low annealing temperatures. © 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


Wu R.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wen Z.,Sun Yat Sen University | He Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Climate | Year: 2013

This study investigates interannual aerosol variations over the Maritime Continent and the western North Pacific Ocean and aerosol-cloud-precipitation relationship during the period 2000-10 based on monthlymean anomalies. The local aerosol-cloud-precipitation relationship displays strong regional characteristics. The aerosol variation is negatively correlated with cloud and precipitation variation over the Maritime Continent, but is positively correlated with cloud and precipitation variation over the region southeast of Japan. Over broad subtropical oceanic regions, the aerosol variation is positively correlated with cloud variation, but has a weak correlation with precipitation variation. Aerosol variations over the Maritime Continent and over the region southeast of Japan display a biennial feature with an obvious phase lag of about 8 months in the latter region during 2001-07. This biennial feature is attributed to the impacts of El Nĩno events on aerosol variations in these regions through large-scale circulation and precipitation changes. Around October of El Nĩno-developing years, the suppressed precipitation over the Maritime Continent favors an aerosol increase by reducing the wet deposition and setting up dry conditions favorable for fire burning. During early summer of El Nĩno-decaying years, suppressed heating around the Philippines as a delayed response to El Nĩno warming induces an anomalous lower-level cyclone over the region to the southeast of Japan through an atmospheric teleconnection, leading to an accumulation of aerosol and increase of precipitation. The aerosol-precipitation relationship shows an obvious change with time over eastern China, leading to an overall weak correlation © 2013 American Meteorological Society.


Jin J.,Wuhan University of Technology | Yu J.,Wuhan University of Technology | Liu G.,CAS National Center for Nanoscience and Technology | Wong P.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Materials Chemistry A | Year: 2013

Single crystalline hexagonal CdS nanowires were prepared by a solvothermal method using ethylenediamine as a solvent. Pt/CdS nanocomposites were produced by different reduction methods and characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy, nitrogen absorption, pulse H2 chemisorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The photocatalytic performance of the as-synthesized Pt/CdS nanocomposites was evaluated towards H2 generation from a lactic acid aqueous solution under visible light (λ ≥ 420 nm). The sample prepared by the NaBH4 reduction method showed a higher photocatalytic H2-production activity than the sample prepared by the photo-reduction deposition method. A remarkable H 2-production rate of 1.49 mmol h-1 with a quantum efficiency (QE) of 61.7% was first achieved on the former with a small amount of Pt (0.3 wt%) as a co-catalyst. The photocatalytic activity difference of the samples is because reduction methods influence the size and dispersion of Pt nanoparticles (NPs), which further influence the photocatalytic H 2-production activity. The sample from the NaBH4 reduction method contains smaller Pt NPs (ca. 1-2 nm) and has higher Pt dispersion (72%), thus resulting in the higher H2-production activity. Further experiments showed that the one-dimensional nanostructure markedly enhanced the photocatalytic H2-production activity of CdS. After ball milling of the nanowires, which leads to destruction of their structure, the photocatalytic H2-production activity of CdS decreases by more than 30%. The underlying mechanism for the observed photocatalytic H2-production performance of Pt/CdS nanocomposites was discussed. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Wang C.,Jilin University | Wang C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xin Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis | Year: 2013

This paper concerns the well-posedness of a boundary value problem for a quasilinear second order elliptic equation which is degenerate on a free boundary. Such problems arise when studying continuous subsonic-sonic flows in a convergent nozzle with straight solid walls. It is shown that for a given inlet being a perturbation of an arc centered at the vertex of the nozzle and a given incoming mass flux belonging to an open interval depending only on the adiabatic exponent and the length of the arc, there is a unique continuous subsonic-sonic flow from the given inlet with the angle of the velocity orthogonal to the inlet and the given incoming mass flux. Furthermore, the sonic curve of this continuous subsonic-sonic flow is a free boundary, where the flow is singular in the sense that while the speed is C1/2 Hölder continuous at the sonic state, the acceleration blows up at the sonic state. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Li P.K.T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Burdmann E.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Mehta R.L.,University of California at San Diego | Martin S.,World Kidney Day Global Operations Center
Kidney International | Year: 2013

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is increasingly prevalent in developing and developed countries and is associated with severe morbidity and mortality. Most etiologies of AKI can be prevented by interventions at the individual, community, regional, and in-hospital levels. Effective measures must include community-wide efforts to increase an awareness of the devastating effects of AKI and provide guidance on preventive strategies, as well as early recognition and management. Efforts should be focused on minimizing causes of AKI, increasing awareness of the importance of serial measurements of serum creatinine in high-risk patients, and documenting urine volume in acutely ill people to achieve early diagnosis; there is as yet no definitive role for alternative biomarkers. Protocols need to be developed to systematically manage prerenal conditions and specific infections. More accurate data about the true incidence and clinical impact of AKI will help to raise the importance of the disease in the community, increase awareness of AKI by governments, the public, general and family physicians, and other health-care professionals to help prevent the disease. Prevention is the key to avoid the heavy burden of mortality and morbidity associated with AKI. © 2012 International Society of Nephrology.


Chen H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Chen H.,Sun Yat Sen University | Shao L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Li Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

Gold nanorods have been receiving extensive attention owing to their extremely attractive applications in biomedical technologies, plasmon-enhanced spectroscopies, and optical and optoelectronic devices. The growth methods and plasmonic properties of Au nanorods have therefore been intensively studied. In this review, we present a comprehensive overview of the flourishing field of Au nanorods in the past five years. We will focus mainly on the approaches for the growth, shape and size tuning, functionalization, and assembly of Au nanorods, as well as the methods for the preparation of their hybrid structures. The plasmonic properties and the associated applications of Au nanorods will also be discussed in detail. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Ding Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Robinson D.G.,University of Heidelberg | Jiang L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Current Opinion in Cell Biology | Year: 2014

As in yeast and mammalian cells, novel unconventional protein secretion (UPS) or unconventional membrane trafficking pathways are now known to operate in plants. UPS in plants is generally associated with stress conditions such as pathogen attack, but little is known about its underlying mechanism and function. Here, we present an update on the current knowledge of UPS in the plants in terms of its transport pathways, possible functions and its relationship to autophagy. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Wu C.,Tsinghua University | Mohsenian-Rad H.,Texas Tech University | Huang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid | Year: 2012

Electric vehicles (EVs) are likely to become very popular worldwide within the next few years. With possibly millions of such vehicles operating across the country, one can establish a distributed electricity storage system that comprises of the EVs' batteries with a huge total storage capacity. This can help the power grid by providing various ancillary services, once an effective vehicle-to-grid (V2G) market is established. In this paper, we propose a new game-theoretic model to understand the interactions among EVs and aggregators in a V2G market, where EVs participate in providing frequency regulation service to the grid. We develop a smart pricing policy and design a mechanism to achieve optimal frequency regulation performance in a distributed fashion. Simulation results show that our proposed pricing model and designed mechanism work well and can benefit both EVs (in terms of obtaining additional income) and the grid (in terms of achieving the frequency regulation command signal). © 2011 IEEE.


Liu C.,Tsinghua University | Gong S.,Queen Mary, University of London | Loy C.C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Pattern Recognition | Year: 2014

State-of-the-art person re-identification methods seek robust person matching through combining various feature types. Often, these features are implicitly assigned with generic weights, which are assumed to be universally and equally good for all individuals, independent of people's different appearances. In this study, we show that certain features play more important role than others under different viewing conditions. To explore this characteristic, we propose a novel unsupervised approach to bottom-up feature importance mining on-the-fly specific to each re-identification probe target image, so features extracted from different individuals are weighted adaptively driven by their salient and inherent appearance attributes. Extensive experiments on three public datasets give insights on how feature importance can vary depending on both the viewing condition and specific person's appearance, and demonstrate that unsupervised bottom-up feature importance mining specific to each probe image can facilitate more accurate re-identification especially when it is combined with generic universal weights obtained using existing distance metric learning methods. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Ntoumanis N.,Curtin University Australia | Ng J.Y.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Barkoukis V.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Backhouse S.,Leeds Beckett University
Sports Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: There is a growing body of empirical evidence on demographic and psychosocial predictors of doping intentions and behaviors utilizing a variety of variables and conceptual models. However, to date there has been no attempt to quantitatively synthesize the available evidence and identify the strongest predictors of doping. Objectives: Using meta-analysis, we aimed to (i) determine effect sizes of psychological (e.g. attitudes) and social-contextual factors (e.g. social norms), and demographic (e.g. sex and age) variables on doping intentions and use; (ii) examine variables that moderate such effect sizes; and (iii) test a path analysis model, using the meta-analyzed effect sizes, based on variables from the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Data Sources: Articles were identified from online databases, by contacting experts in the field, and searching the World Anti-Doping Agency website. Study Eligibility Criteria and Participants: Studies that measured doping behaviors and/or doping intentions, and at least one other demographic, psychological, or social-contextual variable were included. We identified 63 independent datasets. Study Appraisal and Synthesis Method: Study information was extracted by using predefined data fields and taking into account study quality indicators. A random effects meta-analysis was carried out, correcting for sampling and measurement error, and identifying moderator variables. Path analysis was conducted on a subset of studies that utilized the TPB. Results: Use of legal supplements, perceived social norms, and positive attitudes towards doping were the strongest positive correlates of doping intentions and behaviors. In contrast, morality and self-efficacy to refrain from doping had the strongest negative association with doping intentions and behaviors. Furthermore, path analysis suggested that attitudes, perceived norms, and self-efficacy to refrain from doping predicted intentions to dope and, indirectly, doping behaviors. Limitations: Various meta-analyzed effect sizes were based on a small number of studies, which were correlational in nature. This is a limitation of the extant literature. Conclusions: This review identifies a number of important correlates of doping intention and behavior, many of which were measured via self-reports and were drawn from an extended TPB framework. Future research might benefit from embracing other conceptual models of doping behavior and adopting experimental methodologies that will test some of the identified correlates in an effort to develop targeted anti-doping policies and programs. © 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Yang S.,Tsinghua University | Yeung R.W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2014

Network coding can significantly improve the transmission rate of communication networks with packet loss compared with routing. However, using network coding usually incurs high computational and storage costs in the network devices and terminals. For example, some network coding schemes require the computational and/or storage capacities of an intermediate network node to increase linearly with the number of packets for transmission, making such schemes difficult to be implemented in a router-like device that has only constant computational and storage capacities. In this paper, we introduce batched sparse code (BATS code), which enables a digital fountain approach to resolve the above issue. BATS code is a coding scheme that consists of an outer code and inner code. The outer code is a matrix generation of a fountain code. It works with the inner code that comprises random linear coding at the intermediate network nodes. BATS codes preserve such desirable properties of fountain codes as ratelessness and low encoding/decoding complexity. The computational and storage capacities of the intermediate network nodes required for applying BATS codes are independent of the number of packets for transmission. Almost capacity-achieving BATS code schemes are devised for unicast networks and certain multicast networks. For general multicast networks, under different optimization criteria, guaranteed decoding rates for the destination nodes can be obtained. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Ding Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Stierhof Y.-D.,University of Tübingen | Robinson D.G.,University of Heidelberg | Jiang L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Trends in Plant Science | Year: 2012

It is generally believed that protein secretion or exocytosis is achieved via a conventional ER (endoplasmic reticulum)-Golgi-TGN (trans-Golgi network)-PM (plasma membrane) pathway in the plant endomembrane system. However, such signal peptide (SP)-dependent protein secretion cannot explain the increasing number of SP-lacking proteins which are found outside of the PM in plant cells. The process by which such leaderless secretory proteins (LSPs) gain access to the cell exterior is termed unconventional protein secretion (UPS) and has been well-studied in animal and yeast cells, but largely ignored by the plant community. Here, we review the evidence for UPS in plants especially in regard to the recently discovered EXPO (exocyst-positive-organelle). © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

A FAST test for genetic disorders means women could learn about the future health of their baby as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy. The test for single-gene disorders, which are collectively more common than Down’s syndrome, could become available within five years. This would enable prospective parents to choose whether to proceed with a pregnancy if conditions like muscular dystrophy or Huntington’s disease are detected. “This is just sensational – I’m completely blown away,” says Andrew McLennan, a specialist in prenatal diagnosis at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia. Many inherited diseases, including sickle cell anaemia, haemophilia and cystic fibrosis, are caused by mutations within a single gene. We know of 10,000 single-gene conditions and together, they affect about one in 100 births. At the moment, options for prospective parents are limited. Embryos can be screened using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), if couples opt for IVF. Those who conceive naturally can have tests like amniocentesis, but these carry a small risk of miscarriage, and detect a limited number of genetic disorders. “Abortion isn’t the only option. Test results could help reduce the effects of a genetic disorder” But the speed and ease of safer tests is improving. The non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) for Down’s syndrome is available in over 60 countries, including the US and Australia, and it is being trialled in some UK hospitals. Now the team that developed NIPT has found a similar way to detect single-gene diseases. The test, developed by Rossa Chiu at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and her colleagues, can detect almost any single-gene disorder in the first 6 to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Guided by DNA from parent blood samples, the test looks for increases in the level of mutations associated with a particular condition in the mother’s blood once she is pregnant. In theory, any hospital pathology lab could run the test, producing results in one to two weeks. In a study of pregnant women at risk of having a child with a single-gene disorder, the test accurately predicted the condition in all 12 fetuses whose DNA they were able to test (Clinical Chemistry, doi.org/bv3h). In the UK, the Don’t Screen Us Out campaign has voiced concerns that NIPT for Down’s syndrome could lead to the number of babies born with the condition to decrease by more than 10 per cent. The group says this would have a long-term effect on the Down’s community, and will allow an informal kind of eugenics. Advances in prenatal screening often spark controversy because of concerns that they might promote intolerance of diversity, McLennan says. “But this is not a negative eugenics campaign,” he says. “This is about choice. It’s about being given the opportunity to have information, to have appropriate counselling, and to make decisions.” “Some of the cystic fibrosis community are very against tests that are post-conception because they say ‘my life is pretty good and I wouldn’t exist if that test was around when I was born’,” says Nettie Burke from Cystic Fibrosis Australia. “But there are mothers who have said to me ‘I wish I’d known, because I would have had an abortion’.” But abortion isn’t the only option. In some cases, test results could help reduce the effects of a genetic disorder. Some of the symptoms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, such as genital ambiguity, can be alleviated if a mother is given a steroid before 9 weeks of pregnancy. Thalassemia blood disorders can be treated with blood transfusions if given soon after birth. “In the future, some disorders may also be treatable in utero using gene therapies,” says Chiu. The test will first be developed for couples with family histories of genetic disorders, but Chiu hopes it will later be incorporated into universal screening programmes. “The potential for this is just phenomenal,” says McLennan. This article appeared in print under the headline “Early fetal gene test”


SHENZHEN, China, Oct 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The first World Medical Robotics Conference, hosted by Medical Robotics Society (MRS) and organized by ROBO Health Institute, was held in Shenzhen on Oct 29th -30th, 2016. The event was chaired by Yangsheng Xu, dean of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. The conference was jointly hosted by Hannes Bleuler, Director of Robotics Laboratory at Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland and Lining Sun, Director of ROBO Health Institute. Medical robotics are becoming more and more important in the medical industry. The conference focused on scientific research in clinical applications and industrialization of medical robots. Many clinical experts, business leaders, and famous researchers were invited. Other important topics that were discussed during the conference included surgical robots, rehabilitation robots, artificial intelligence, etc. The conference also live broadcasted a surgical operation operated by medical robots. This surgical operation was operated by Dr. Huangjian, the chairman of Chinese Urology Medical Association and Director of Urology in Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital. After the surgery, the speaker and guests visited the National Gene Bank which was opened in September 2016. Official website of the conference: http://www.worldmrs.org/en/events/WMRC2016/ MRS, set up in 2014 and headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the world's first professional association and non-profit organization devoted to the advancement in medical robotics technology for the improvement of worldwide healthcare conditions.MRS is establishing a main platform for the medical robotics community and its technical professionals for improving worldwide healthcare conditions through the development of robotics and automation technology. For more information, please visit www.worldmrs.org ROBO Health Institute (ROBO), jointly sponsored by ROBO Medical, Lausanne's Robotics Institute of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and Beijing Genomics Institute(BGI), is a global research institution focusing on medical robotics. ROBO is devoted to the research application of robots and artificial intelligence in medical areas. Our main focus is on surgical robotics, robot-assisted diagnosis, rehabilitation robotics, medial artificial intelligence, health internet of things and big data for medical application, etc. For more information, please visit www.robohi.org To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-first-world-medical-robotics-conference-successfully-concludes-in-shenzhen-china-300353931.html


Bogdanov A.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Viola E.,Northeastern University
SIAM Journal on Computing | Year: 2010

We present a new approach to constructing pseudorandom generators that fool low- degree polynomials over finite fields, based on the Gowers norm. sUsing this approach, we obtain the following main constructions of explicitly computable generators G : Fs → Fn that fool polynomials over a finite field F: 1. a generator that fools degree-2 (i.e., quadratic) polyno mials to within error 1/n, with seed length s = 0(log n), 2. a generator that fools degree-3 (i.e., cubic) polynomials to within error ∈, with seed length s = O(log|F| n) + f (∈,F), where f depends only on ∈ and F (not on n), 3. assuming the "inverse conjecture for the Gowers norm," for every d a generator that fools degree-d polynomials to within error ∈, with seed length s = 0(d · log|F| n) + f (d,∈,F), where f depends only on d, ∈,and F (not on n). We stress that the results in (1) and (2) are unconditional, i.e., do not rely on any unproven assumption. Moreover, the results in (3) rely on a special case of the conjecture which may be easier to prove. Our generator for degree-d polynomials is the componentw ise sum of d generators for degree-1 polynomials (on independent seeds). Prior to our work, generators with logarithmic seed length were only known for degree-1 (i.e., linear) polynomials [J. Naor and M. Naor, SIAM J. Comput., 22 (1993), pp. 838-856]. In fact, over small fields such as F2 = {0, 1}, our results constitute the first progress on these problems since the long-standing generator by Luby, Veličković, and Wigderson [Deterministic approximate counting of depth-2 circuits, in Proceedings of the 2nd Israeli Symposium on Theoretical Computer Science (ISTCS), 1993, pp. 18-24], whose seed length is much bigger: s = exp (ω (√log n)), even for the case of degree-2 polynomials over 7Fdbl;2. © 2010 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


Liang Y.,Macau University of Science and Technology | Leung K.-S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Applied Soft Computing Journal | Year: 2011

This paper introduces a new technique called adaptive elitist-population search method. This technique allows unimodal function optimization methods to be extended to efficiently explore multiple optima of multimodal problems. It is based on the concept of adaptively adjusting the population size according to the individuals' dissimilarity and a novel direction dependent elitist genetic operators. Incorporation of the new multimodal technique in any known evolutionary algorithm leads to a multimodal version of the algorithm. As a case study, we have integrated the new technique into Genetic Algorithms (GAs), yielding an Adaptive Elitist-population based Genetic Algorithm (AEGA). AEGA has been shown to be very efficient and effective in finding multiple solutions of complicated benchmark and real-world multimodal optimization problems. We demonstrate this by applying it to a set of test problems, including rough and stepwise multimodal functions. Empirical results are also compared with other multimodal evolutionary algorithms from the literature, showing that AEGA generally outperforms existing approaches. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Yam J.C.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Kwok A.K.H.,Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital
International Ophthalmology | Year: 2014

The objective of this study is to review the association between ultraviolet (UV) light and ocular diseases. The data are sourced from the literature search of Medline up to Nov 2012, and the extracted data from original articles, review papers, and book chapters were reviewed. There is a strong evidence that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is associated with the formation of eyelid malignancies [basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)], photokeratitis, climatic droplet keratopathy (CDK), pterygium, and cortical cataract. However, the evidence of the association between UV exposure and development of pinguecula, nuclear and posterior subcapsular cataract, ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), and ocular melanoma remained limited. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is related to UV exposure. It is now suggested that AMD is probably related to visible radiation especially blue light, rather than UV exposure. From the results, it was concluded that eyelid malignancies (BCC and SCC), photokeratitis, CDK, pterygium, and cortical cataract are strongly associated with UVR exposure. Evidence of the association between UV exposure and development of pinguecula, nuclear and posterior subcapsular cataract, OSSN, and ocular melanoma remained limited. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether AMD is related to UV exposure. Simple behaviural changes, appropriate clothing, wearing hats, and UV blocking spectacles, sunglasses or contact lens are effective measures for UV protection. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Lam H.-M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Remais J.,Emory University | Fung M.-C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xu L.,Jiangnan University | Sun S.S.-M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
The Lancet | Year: 2013

Food supply and food safety are major global public health issues, and are particularly important in heavily populated countries such as China. Rapid industrialisation and modernisation in China are having profound effects on food supply and food safety. In this Review, we identified important factors limiting agricultural production in China, including conversion of agricultural land to other uses, freshwater deficits, and soil quality issues. Additionally, increased demand for some agricultural products is examined, particularly those needed to satisfy the increased consumption of animal products in the Chinese diet, which threatens to drive production towards crops used as animal feed. Major sources of food poisoning in China include pathogenic microorganisms, toxic animals and plants entering the food supply, and chemical contamination. Meanwhile, two growing food safety issues are illegal additives and contamination of the food supply by toxic industrial waste. China's connections to global agricultural markets are also having important effects on food supply and food safety within the country. Although the Chinese Government has shown determination to reform laws, establish monitoring systems, and strengthen food safety regulation, weak links in implementation remain.


Zhao Y.-B.,University of Birmingham | Li D.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
SIAM Journal on Optimization | Year: 2012

Numerical experiments have indicated that the reweighted ℓ 1-minimization performs exceptionally well in locating sparse solutions of underdetermined linear systems of equations. We show that reweighted ℓ 1-methods are intrinsically associated with the minimization of the so-called merit functions for sparsity, which are essentially concave approximations to the cardinality function. Based on this observation, we further show that a family of reweighted ℓ 1- algorithms can be systematically derived from the perspective of concave optimization through the linearization technique. In order to conduct a unified convergence analysis for this family of algorithms, we introduce the concept of the range space property (RSP) of a matrix and prove that if its adjoint has this property, the reweighted ℓ 1-algorithm can find a sparse solution to the underdetermined linear system provided that the merit function for sparsity is properly chosen. In particular, some convergence conditions for the Candès-Wakin-Boyd method and the recent ℓ p-quasi-norm- based reweighted ℓ 1-method can be obtained as special cases of the general framework. © 2012 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


Dai L.,Suzhou University of Science and Technology | Zhang L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Nanoscale | Year: 2013

The controllable fabrication of self-scrolling SiGe/Si/Cr helical nanoribbons on Si(111) substrates is investigated. The initial lateral etching profile of the Si(111) substrates shows a 2-fold rotational symmetry using 4% ammonia solution, which provides guidance for initial scrolling of one-end-fixed nanoribbons to form helical structures. The chirality of the SiGe/Si/Cr helices with isotropic Young's moduli is governed by the anisotropic underetching in the initial stage, which can be precisely judged, as the orientation of the ribbon is predesigned. Furthermore, the helicity angle and radius of the formed helices are investigated by the lateral etching behavior and Cosserat curve theory of the Si(111) substrates, respectively, which are consistent with the experimental data. The present work provides the scrolling rule of nanoribbons with an isotropic Young's modulus and anisotropic underetching in the formation of micro-/nanohelices. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Wang X.,Harbin Institute of Technology | Hong Y.,CAS Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science | Huang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Jiang Z.-P.,New York University
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2010

In this note, the robust output regulation problem of a multi-agent system is considered. An internal model based distributed control scheme is adopted to achieve the objectives of asymptotic tracking and disturbance rejection in an uncertain multi-agent system where both the reference inputs and disturbances are generated by an exosystem. © 2006 IEEE.


Liu Z.-Y.,CAS Institute of Automation | Qiao H.,CAS Institute of Automation | Xu L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2012

The path following algorithm was proposed recently to approximately solve the matching problems on undirected graph models and exhibited a state-of-the-art performance on matching accuracy. In this paper, we extend the path following algorithm to the matching problems on directed graph models by proposing a concave relaxation for the problem. Based on the concave and convex relaxations, a series of objective functions are constructed, and the Frank-Wolfe algorithm is then utilized to minimize them. Several experiments on synthetic and real data witness the validity of the extended path following algorithm. © 2012 IEEE.


Peyer K.E.,ETH Zurich | Zhang L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Nelson B.J.,ETH Zurich
Nanoscale | Year: 2013

Microrobots have been proposed for future biomedical applications in which they are able to navigate in viscous fluidic environments. Nature has inspired numerous microrobotic locomotion designs, which are suitable for propulsion generation at low Reynolds numbers. This article reviews the various swimming methods with particular focus on helical propulsion inspired by E. coli bacteria. There are various magnetic actuation methods for biomimetic and non-biomimetic microrobots, such as rotating fields, oscillating fields, or field gradients. They can be categorized into force-driven or torque-driven actuation methods. Both approaches are reviewed and a previous publication has shown that torque-driven actuation scales better to the micro- and nano-scale than force-driven actuation. Finally, the implementation of swarm or multi-agent control is discussed. The use of multiple microrobots may be beneficial for in vivo as well as in vitro applications. Thus, the frequency-dependent behavior of helical microrobots is discussed and preliminary experimental results are presented showing the decoupling of an individual agent within a group of three microrobots. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Thoeny H.C.,University of Bern | De Keyzer F.,University Hospitals Leuven | King A.D.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Radiology | Year: 2012

Extracranial applications of diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging are gaining increasing importance, including in head and neck radiology. The main indications for performing DW imaging in this relatively small but challenging region of the body are tissue characterization, nodal staging, therapy monitoring, and early detection of treatment failure by differentiating recurrence from posttherapeutic changes. Lower apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) have been reported in the head and neck region of adults and children for most malignant lesions, as compared with ADCs of benign lesions. For nodal staging, DW imaging has shown promise in helping detect lymph node metastases, even in small (subcentimeter) nodes with lower ADCs, as compared with normal or reactive nodes. Follow-up of early response to treatment is reflected in an ADC increase in the primary tumor and nodal metastases; whereas nonresponding lesions tend to reveal only a slight increase or even a decrease in ADC during follow-up. Optimization and standardization of DW imaging technical parameters, comparison of DW images with morphologic images, and increasing experience, however, are prerequisites for successful application of this challenging technique in the evaluation of various head and neck pathologic conditions. © RSNA, 2012.


Huang Y.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Li Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ma W.-K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhang S.,University of Minnesota
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2012

We consider a robust downlink beamforming optimization problem for secondary multicast transmission in a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) spectrum sharing cognitive radio (CR) network. The minimization of transmit power is formulated subject to both quality-of-service (QoS) constraints on the secondary receivers and interference temperature constraints on the primary users, under the assumption of imperfect channel state information (CSI). The problem is a nonconvex quadratically constrained quadratic program (QCQP), and in general it is hard to achieve the global optimality. As a compromise, we present two randomized approximation algorithms for the problem via convex optimization techniques. Apart from the general setting of the robust beamforming problem, we identify one interesting special case, the robust problem of which can be solved efficiently. Simulation results are presented to demonstrate the performance gains of the proposed algorithms over an existing robust design. © 2006 IEEE.


Tottori S.,ETH Zurich | Zhang L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Peyer K.E.,ETH Zurich | Nelson B.J.,ETH Zurich
Nano Letters | Year: 2013

Controlling the motion of small objects in suspensions wirelessly is of fundamental interest and has potential applications in biomedicine for drug delivery and micromanipulation of small structures. Here we show that magnetic helical microstructures that propel themselves in the presence of rotating weak magnetic fields assemble into various configurations that exhibit locomotion and a change in swimming direction. The configuration is tuned dynamically, that is, assembly and disassembly occur, by the field input. We investigate a system that consists of two identical right-handed helices assembled at their center in order to model the motion of assembled swimmers. The swimming properties are dependent on both the component design and the assembly configuration. For particular designs and configurations, a reversal in swimming direction emerges, yet with other designs, a reversal in motion never appears. Understanding the locomotion of clustered chiral structures enables uni- and multidirectional navigation of this class of active suspensions. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Tang L.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Yu Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2014

In this paper, we study the partial regularity of fractional Navier–Stokes equations in R3 × (0, ∞) with 3/4 < s < 1. We show that the suitable weak solution is regular away from a relatively closed singular set whose (5−4s)-dimentional Hausdorff measure is zero. The result is a generalization of the partial regularity for the classical Navier–Stokes system in Caffarelli et al. (Commun Pure Appl Math 35:771–831, 1982). © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Liu L.,Capital Medical University | Wang D.,Illinois College | Lawrence Wong K.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang Y.,Capital Medical University
Stroke | Year: 2011

At the same time as the world recognizes the rapid economic development in China, Chinese healthcare system has also had significant improvement. However, this nation of 1.4 billion faces tough challenges in treating stroke, the leading cause of death in China. The recently completed Chinese National Stroke Registry has provided new information on the status of stroke epidemiology, diagnosis, management, and prevention strategies in China. In this article, we summarized these new findings, described the effort of providing and improving stroke care, and illustrated the challenges in risk factor modification and secondary stroke prevention. Well-designed epidemiological surveys and clinical trials for stroke prevention and management are still urgently needed in China. © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.


Tsang Y.-K.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Chen H.-C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Memory and Language | Year: 2013

In three priming experiments, we investigated whether the meanings of ambiguous morphemes were activated during word recognition. Using a meaning generation task, Experiment 1 demonstrated that the dominant meaning of individually presented ambiguous morphemes was reported more often than did other less frequent meanings. Also, participants tended to produce responses that were consistent with the morphemic meaning of the subliminally presented prime words. Experiment 2 employed a masked priming lexical decision task (prime display duration = 40. ms) and showed that the recognition of targets which took the dominant meaning of ambiguous morphemes was facilitated by all morpheme-sharing primes, regardless of their intended interpretation. In contrast, morphological priming for subordinate targets was observed only in the subordinate priming condition. Using an unmasked priming task (prime display duration = 100. ms). Experiment 3 revealed that lexical decision responses were facilitated only when the morphemic interpretations in primes and targets were matched. These data indicate that the different meanings of an ambiguous morpheme are activated early during word recognition and that it takes time to select the appropriate morphemic interpretation. The results are discussed with reference to a modified lemma model of word recognition. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Chan M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Guo J.,University of Maryland University College
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking | Year: 2013

This comparative study of young adults in an established democracy (America) and transitional democracy (Hong Kong) analyzed the impact of political efficacy on the relationship between Internet/Facebook use on political and civic participation. Regression analyses in both samples showed that Facebook use consistently predicted both types of participation. Moreover, there were significant negative interaction effects of political efficacy and Facebook use on participation, such that the relationship between Facebook use and participation was stronger for those with lower levels of political efficacy. The findings provide cross-cultural support for the argument that social media use among youth can facilitate greater political and civic engagement, particularly for those who perceive that they have limited ability to participate and understand political affairs. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013.


He K.,Microsoft | Sun J.,Microsoft | Tang X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2013

In this paper, we propose a novel explicit image filter called guided filter. Derived from a local linear model, the guided filter computes the filtering output by considering the content of a guidance image, which can be the input image itself or another different image. The guided filter can be used as an edge-preserving smoothing operator like the popular bilateral filter [1], but it has better behaviors near edges. The guided filter is also a more generic concept beyond smoothing: It can transfer the structures of the guidance image to the filtering output, enabling new filtering applications like dehazing and guided feathering. Moreover, the guided filter naturally has a fast and nonapproximate linear time algorithm, regardless of the kernel size and the intensity range. Currently, it is one of the fastest edge-preserving filters. Experiments show that the guided filter is both effective and efficient in a great variety of computer vision and computer graphics applications, including edge-aware smoothing, detail enhancement, HDR compression, image matting/feathering, dehazing, joint upsampling, etc. © 2013 IEEE.


He K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Sun J.,Microsoft | Tang X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2011

In this paper, we propose a simple but effective image priordark channel prior to remove haze from a single input image. The dark channel prior is a kind of statistics of outdoor haze-free images. It is based on a key observationmost local patches in outdoor haze-free images contain some pixels whose intensity is very low in at least one color channel. Using this prior with the haze imaging model, we can directly estimate the thickness of the haze and recover a high-quality haze-free image. Results on a variety of hazy images demonstrate the power of the proposed prior. Moreover, a high-quality depth map can also be obtained as a byproduct of haze removal. © 2011 IEEE.


Luo Z.-Q.,University of Minnesota | Zhang S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
SIAM Journal on Optimization | Year: 2010

We present a general semidefinite relaxation scheme for general n-variate quartic polynomial optimization under homogeneous quadratic constraints. Unlike the existing sum-ofsquares approach which relaxes the quartic optimization problems to a sequence of (typically large) linear semidefinite programs (SDP), our relaxation scheme leads to a (possibly nonconvex) quadratic optimization problem with linear constraints over the semidefinite matrix cone in R n×n. It is shown that each α-factor approximate solution of the relaxed quadratic SDP can be used to generate in randomized polynomial time an O(α)-factor approximate solution for the original quartic optimization problem, where the constant in O(-) depends only on problem dimension. In the case where only one positive definite quadratic constraint is present in the quartic optimization problem, we present a randomized polynomial time approximation algorithm which can provide a guaranteed relative approximation ratio of (1 - O(n-2)). Copyright © 2010, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


Xu A.J.,University of Minnesota | Schwarz N.,University of Southern California | Wyer R.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Hunger motivates people to consume food, for which finding and acquiring food is a prerequisite. We test whether the acquisition component spills over to nonfood objects: Are hungry people more likely to acquire objects that cannot satisfy their hunger? Five laboratory and field studies show that hunger increases the accessibility of acquisition-related concepts and the intention to acquire not only food but also nonfood objects. Moreover, people act on this intention and acquire more nonfood objects (e.g., binder clips) when they are hungry, both when these items are freely available and when they must be paid for. However, hunger does not influence how much they like nonfood objects. We conclude that a basic biologically based motivation can affect substantively unrelated behaviors that cannot satisfy the motivation. This presumably occurs because hunger renders acquisitionrelated concepts and behaviors more accessible, which influences decisions in situations to which they can be applied.


Zhao X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Huo B.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Huo B.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Selen W.,United Arab Emirates University | Yeung J.H.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Operations Management | Year: 2011

Supply chain integration (SCI) among internal functions within a company, and external trading partners within a supply chain, has received increasing attention from academicians and practitioners in recent years. SCI consists of internal integration of different functions within a company and external integration with trading partners. While both supply chain internal and external integration have been studied extensively, our understanding of what influences SCI and the relationship between internal and external integration is still very limited. This paper argues that external integration with customers and suppliers is simultaneously influenced by internal integration and relationship commitment to customers and suppliers. Internal integration enables external integration because organizations must first develop internal integration capabilities through system-, data-, and process-integration, before they can engage in meaningful external integration. At the same time, before external integration can be successfully implemented, organizations must have a willingness to integrate with external supply chain partners, which is demonstrated by their relationship commitment. We propose and test a model that specifies the relationship between internal integration, relationship commitment, and external integration, using data collected from manufacturing firms in China. The results show that internal integration and relationship commitment improve external integration independently, and their interactive effect on external integration is not significant. However, internal integration has a much greater impact on external integration than relationship commitment. We also examine the model for companies with different ownerships, and the results indicate that for Chinese controlled companies where there is a strong collectivism culture and more reliance on "Guanxi" (relationship), relationship commitment has a significant impact on external integration with suppliers and customers. This is in stark contrast to foreign controlled companies, characterized by a more individualistic culture and more reliance on technological capabilities, where no significant relationship between relationship commitment and external integration could be found. The model is also tested across different industries and different regions in China, providing useful insights for Chinese companies in particular. This study makes significant contributions to the SCI literature by simultaneously studying the effects of internal integration and relationship commitment on external integration, and providing several future research directions. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Chen L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | He S.,City University of Hong Kong | Zhang S.,University of Minnesota
Operations Research | Year: 2011

In this paper we develop tight bounds on the expected values of several risk measures that are of interest to us. This work is motivated by the robust optimization models arising from portfolio selection problems. Indeed, the whole paper is centered around robust portfolio models and solutions. The basic setting is to find a portfolio that maximizes (respectively, minimizes) the expected utility (respectively, disutility) values in the midst of infinitely many possible ambiguous distributions of the investment returns fitting the given mean and variance estimations. First, we show that the single-stage portfolio selection problem within this framework, whenever the disutility function is in the form of lower partial moments (LPM), or conditional value-at-risk (CVaR), or value-at-risk (VaR), can be solved analytically. The results lead to the solutions for single-stage robust portfolio selection models. Furthermore, the results also lead to a multistage adjustable robust optimization (ARO) solution when the disutility function is the second-order LPM. Exploring beyond the confines of convex optimization, we also consider the so-called S-shaped value function, which plays a key role in the prospect theory of Kahneman and Tversky. The nonrobust version of the problem is shown to be NP-hard in general. However, we present an efficient procedure for solving the robust counterpart of the same portfolio selection problem. In this particular case, the consideration of the robustness actually helps to reduce the computational complexity. Finally, we consider the situation whereby we have some additional information about the chance that a quadratic function of the random distribution reaches a certain threshold. That information helps to further reduce the ambiguity in the robust model. We show that the robust optimization problem in that case can be solved by means of semidefinite programming (SDP), if no more than two additional chance inequalities are to be incorporated. © 2011 INFORMS.


Cai X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Vairaktarakis G.L.,Case Western Reserve University
Operations Research | Year: 2012

We consider an outsourcing problem where a group of manufacturers outsource jobs to a single third party who owns a specialized facility needed to process these jobs. The third party announces the time slots available on her facility, and the associated prices. Manufacturers reserve, on a first-come-first-book basis, time slots that they desire to utilize. Booking of overtime is possible, at a higher cost. A job completed after its due date incurs a tardiness cost. Each manufacturer books chunks of facility time and sequences his jobs over the time slots booked to minimize his booking, overtime, and tardiness costs. This model captures the main features of outsourcing operations in industries such as semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology, and drug R&D. In current practice, the third party executes all outsourced jobs without performing optimization and coordination. We investigate the issue of the third party serving as a coordinator to create a win-win solution for all. We propose a model based on a cooperative game as follows: (i) Upon receiving the booking requests from the manufacturers, the third party derives an optimal solution if manufacturers cooperate, and computes the savings achieved. (ii) She devises a savings sharing scheme so that, in monetary terms, every manufacturer is better off to coordinate than to act independently or coalesce with a subgroup of manufacturers. (iii) For her work, the third party withholds a portion p of the booking revenue paid by the manufacturers for time slots that are released after coordination. We further design a truth-telling mechanism that can prevent any self-interested manufacturer from purposely reporting false job data to take advantage of the coordination scheme. Finally, we perform a computational experiment to assess the value of coordination to the various parties involved. © 2012 INFORMS.


Flynn B.B.,Indiana University | Huo B.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Huo B.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhao X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Operations Management | Year: 2010

This study extends the developing body of literature on supply chain integration (SCI), which is the degree to which a manufacturer strategically collaborates with its supply chain partners and collaboratively manages intra- and inter-organizational processes, in order to achieve effective and efficient flows of products and services, information, money and decisions, to provide maximum value to the customer. The previous research is inconsistent in its findings about the relationship between SCI and performance. We attribute this inconsistency to incomplete definitions of SCI, in particular, the tendency to focus on customer and supplier integration only, excluding the important central link of internal integration. We study the relationship between three dimensions of SCI, operational and business performance, from both a contingency and a configuration perspective. In applying the contingency approach, hierarchical regression was used to determine the impact of individual SCI dimensions (customer, supplier and internal integration) and their interactions on performance. In the configuration approach, cluster analysis was used to develop patterns of SCI, which were analyzed in terms of SCI strength and balance. Analysis of variance was used to examine the relationship between SCI pattern and performance. The findings of both the contingency and configuration approach indicated that SCI was related to both operational and business performance. Furthermore, the results indicated that internal and customer integration were more strongly related to improving performance than supplier integration. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Fan L.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | Fan L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yao Y.-G.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology
Mitochondrion | Year: 2013

The determination of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups is not only crucial in anthropological and forensic studies, but is also helpful in the medical field to prevent establishment of wrong disease associations. In recent years, high-throughput technologies and the huge amounts of data they create, as well as the regular updates to the mtDNA phylogenetic tree, mean that there is a need for an automated approach which can make a speedier determination of haplogroups than can be made by using the traditional manual method. Here, we update the MitoTool (www.mitotool.org) by incorporating a novel scoring system for the determination of mtDNA into haplogroups, which has advantages on speed, accuracy and ease of implementation. In order to make the access to MitoTool easier, we also provide a stand-alone version of the program that will run on a local computer and this version is freely available at the MitoTool website. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and Mitochondria Research Society.


Tai A.P.K.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Tai A.P.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Martin M.V.,Colorado State University | Martin M.V.,University of Sheffield | Heald C.L.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

Future food production is highly vulnerable to both climate change and air pollution with implications for global food security. Climate change adaptation and ozone regulation have been identified as important strategies to safeguard food production, but little is known about how climate and ozone pollution interact to affect agriculture, nor the relative effectiveness of these two strategies for different crops and regions. Here we present an integrated analysis of the individual and combined effects of 2000-2050 climate change and ozone trends on the production of four major crops (wheat, rice, maize and soybean) worldwide based on historical observations and model projections, specifically accounting for ozone-temperature co-variation. The projections exclude the effect of rising CO 2, which has complex and potentially offsetting impacts on global food supply. We show that warming reduces global crop production by >10% by 2050 with a potential to substantially worsen global malnutrition in all scenarios considered. Ozone trends either exacerbate or offset a substantial fraction of climate impacts depending on the scenario, suggesting the importance of air quality management in agricultural planning. Furthermore, we find that depending on region some crops are primarily sensitive to either ozone (for example, wheat) or heat (for example, maize) alone, providing a measure of relative benefits of climate adaptation versus ozone regulation for food security in different regions.© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Wang L.,Xi'an Jiaotong University | Yeung J.H.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhang M.,University of Nottingham
International Journal of Production Economics | Year: 2011

Research into two important control mechanisms for managing the supply chain relationship contracts and trust is on the rise. However, our understanding of how they influence innovation in a firm remains rather unclear. Thus, the primary objective of this study is to examine the individual and interactive effects of contracts and trust on firms innovation performance and the contingent effects of environmental uncertainty on those relationships in China. The empirical results from a survey of Chinese manufacturing firms indicate that there is a positive relationship between trust and firms innovation performance, an inverted U-shaped relationship between the use of contracts and firms innovation performance, and that contracts and trust are substitutes. Moreover, we find that environmental uncertainty enhances the effects of trust, but does not influence the impact of contracts on innovation performance. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Luo Z.-Q.,University of Minnesota | Ma W.-K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | So A.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ye Y.,Stanford University | Zhang S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Signal Processing Magazine | Year: 2010

In recent years, the semidefinite relaxation (SDR) technique has been at the center of some of very exciting developments in the area of signal processing and communications, and it has shown great significance and relevance on a variety of applications. Roughly speaking, SDR is a powerful, computationally efficient approximation technique for a host of very difficult optimization problems. In particular, it can be applied to many nonconvex quadratically constrained quadratic programs (QCQPs) in an almost mechanical fashion, including the following problem: © 2010 IEEE.


Lau J.Y.W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Barkun A.,McGill University | Fan D.-M.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Kuipers E.J.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | And 2 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2013

Acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding is a common medical emergency worldwide, a major cause of which are bleeding peptic ulcers. Endoscopic treatment and acid suppression with proton-pump inhibitors are cornerstones in the management of the disease, and both treatments have been shown to reduce mortality. The role of emergency surgery continues to diminish. In specialised centres, radiological intervention is increasingly used in patients with severe and recurrent bleeding who do not respond to endoscopic treatment. Despite these advances, mortality from the disorder has remained at around 10%. The disease often occurs in elderly patients with frequent comorbidities who use antiplatelet agents, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and anticoagulants. The management of such patients, especially those at high cardiothrombotic risk who are on anticoagulants, is a challenge for clinicians. We summarise the published scientific literature about the management of patients with bleeding peptic ulcers, identify directions for future clinical research, and suggest how mortality can be reduced.


Tsao S.-W.,University of Hong Kong | Tsang C.M.,University of Hong Kong | To K.-F.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lo K.-W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Pathology | Year: 2015

The close association of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection with non-keratinizing nasopharyngeal carcinomas and a subset of gastric carcinomas suggests that EBV infection is a crucial event in these cancers. The difficulties encountered in infecting and transforming primary epithelial cells in experimental systems suggest that the role of EBV in epithelial malignancies is complex and multifactorial in nature. Genetic alterations in the premalignant epithelium may support the establishment of latent EBV infection, which is believed to be an initiation event. Oncogenic properties have been reported in multiple EBV latent genes. The BamH1 A rightwards transcripts (BART s) and the BART -encoded microRNAs (miR-BART s) are highly expressed in EBV-associated epithelial malignancies and may induce malignant transformation. However, enhanced proliferation may not be the crucial function of EBV infection in epithelial malignancies, at least in the early stages of cancer development. EBV-encoded gene products may confer anti-apoptotic properties and promote the survival of infected premalignant epithelial cells harbouring genetic alterations. Multiple EBV-encoded microRNAs have been reported to have immune evasion functions. Genetic alterations in host cells, as well as inflammatory stroma, could modulate the expression of EBV genes and alter the growth properties of infected premalignant epithelial cells, encouraging their selection during carcinogenesis. Copyright © 2014 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Liang Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Tang Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xu J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Miao Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Miao Q.,University of Hong Kong
Advanced Materials | Year: 2011

An exploratory study on a group of silylethynylated N-heteropentacenes as soluble and stable organic semiconductors is presented. An interesting finding is that a silylethynylated N-heteropentacene can function as a p-type, n-type, or ambipolar organic semiconductor depending on the structure of its π-backbone. The tetraazapentacene derivative is one of the best performing n-type organic semiconductors with an electron mobility of up to 3.3 cm 2 V-1 s-1. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Miao Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Miao Q.,University of Hong Kong
Advanced Materials | Year: 2014

Introducing N atoms to the pentacene backbone leads to N-heteropentacenes, whose properties can be tuned by changing the number, position and valence state of N atoms in the pentacene backbone. With a rapid development in recent years, N-heteropentacenes and their derivatives have arisen as a new family of organic semiconductors with high performance in organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs). This article reviews the research efforts of developing N-heteropentacenes into organic semiconductors starting from 2003 with emphasis on the work of the author's group since 2009. The structure-property relationship and design rationale are highlighted based on an overview of reported organic semiconductors of N-heteropentacenes. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Wong V.W.-S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Janssen H.L.A.,University of Western Ontario | Janssen H.L.A.,Erasmus Medical Center
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2015

Summary Chronic hepatitis B is one of the leading causes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) worldwide. Accurate prediction of HCC risk is important for decisions on antiviral therapy and HCC surveillance. In the last few years, a number of Asian groups have derived and validated several HCC risk scores based on well-known risk factors such as cirrhosis, age, male sex and high viral load. Overall, these scores have high negative predictive values of over 95% in excluding HCC development in 3 to 10 years. The REACH-B score was derived from a community cohort of non-cirrhotic patients and is better applied in the primary care setting. In contrast, the GAG-HCC and CU-HCC scores were derived from hospital cohorts and include cirrhosis as a major integral component. While the latter scores may be more applicable to patients at specialist clinics, the diagnosis of cirrhosis based on routine imaging and clinical parameters can be inaccurate. To this end, recent developments in non-invasive tests of liver fibrosis may further refine the risk prediction. The application of HCC risk scores in patients on antiviral therapy and in other ethnic groups should be evaluated in future studies. © 2015 European Association for the Study of the Liver.


Tang J.,Southern Medical University | Li Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lu L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Cho C.H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Seminars in Cancer Biology | Year: 2013

β-Adrenoceptors are broadly distributed in various tissues of the body. Stress hormones regulate a panel of important physiological functions and disease states including cancer. Nicotine and its derivatives could stimulate the release of stress hormones from cancer cells, leading to the promotion of cancer development. β-Blockers have been widely used to control hypertension for decades. Recently, these agents could have significant implications in cancer therapy through blockade of adrenoceptors in tumour tissues. In this review, we summarize recent advancements about the influence of stress hormones, nicotine and β-adrenoceptors on cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and metastasis, and also tumour vasculature normalization. Relevant signal pathways and potential value of β-blockers in the treatment of cancer are also discussed in this review. © 2013 The Authors.


Miao Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Miao Q.,University of Hong Kong
Synlett | Year: 2012

N-Heteropentacenes and their derivatives have been recently discovered as a new family of organic semiconductors exhibiting high performance in organic field effect transistors (OFETs). Introducing nitrogen atoms to the pentacene moiety leads to a large number of structurally related -backbones with tunable electronic structures, stability, solubility, and molecular packing. This gives considerable freedom when designing organic semiconductors and provides good opportunities for studying structure-property relationships. In this account, efforts on developing N-heteropentacenes and N-heteropentacenequinones as organic semiconductors are reviewed, with focus on the recent work of our own group. 1 Overview 2 Brief Introduction to Organic Semiconductors and Organic Field Effect Transistors 3 Dihydrodiazapentacenes and Diazapentacenes 4 A Dihydrotetraazapentacene and Its Methylated Derivatives 5 N- Heteropentacenequinones 6 Silylethynylated N-Heteropentacenes 7 Conclusion and Outlook. © Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York.


Ho S.-W.,University of South Australia | Yeung R.W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2010

Strong typicality, which is more powerful for theorem proving than weak typicality, can be applied to finite alphabets only, while weak typicality can be applied to countable alphabets. In this paper, the relation between typicality and information divergence measures is discussed. The new definition of information divergence measure in this paper leads to the definition of a unified typicality for finite or countably infinite alphabets which is stronger than both weak typicality and strong typicality. Unified typicality retains the asymptotic equipartition property and the structural properties of strong typicality, and it can potentially be used to generalize those theorems which are previously established by strong typicality to countable alphabets. The applications in rate-distortion theory and multisource network coding problems are discussed. © 2006 IEEE.


Ho S.-W.,University of South Australia | Yeung R.W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2010

The relation between the Shannon entropy and variational distance, two fundamental and frequently-used quantities in information theory, is studied in this paper by means of certain bounds on the entropy difference between two probability distributions in terms of the variational distance between them and their alphabet sizes. We also show how to find the distribution achieving the minimum (or maximum) entropy among those distributions within a given variational distance from any given distribution. These results are applied to solve a number of problems that are of fundamental interest. For entropy estimation, we obtain an analytic formula for the confidence interval, solving a problem that has been opened for more than 30 years. For approximation of probability distributions, we find the minimum entropy difference between two distributions in terms of their alphabet sizes and the variational distance between them. In particular, we show that the entropy difference between two distributions that are close in variational distance can be arbitrarily large if the alphabet sizes of the two distributions are unconstrained. For random number generation, we characterize the tradeoff between the amount of randomness required and the distortion in terms of variation distance. New tools for non-convex optimization have been developed to establish the results in this paper. © 2006 IEEE.


Zumla A.,University College London | Hui D.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Perlman S.,University of Iowa
The Lancet | Year: 2015

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a highly lethal respiratory disease caused by a novel single-stranded, positive-sense RNA betacoronavirus (MERS-CoV). Dromedary camels, hosts for MERS-CoV, are implicated in direct or indirect transmission to human beings, although the exact mode of transmission is unknown. The virus was first isolated from a patient who died from a severe respiratory illness in June, 2012, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. As of May 31, 2015, 1180 laboratory-confirmed cases (483 deaths; 40% mortality) have been reported to WHO. Both community-acquired and hospital-acquired cases have been reported with little human-to-human transmission reported in the community. Although most cases of MERS have occurred in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cases have been reported in Europe, the USA, and Asia in people who travelled from the Middle East or their contacts. Clinical features of MERS range from asymptomatic or mild disease to acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiorgan failure resulting in death, especially in individuals with underlying comorbidities. No specific drug treatment exists for MERS and infection prevention and control measures are crucial to prevent spread in health-care facilities. MERS-CoV continues to be an endemic, low-level public health threat. However, the virus could mutate to have increased interhuman transmissibility, increasing its pandemic potential. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Yan E.,University of Hong Kong | Kwok T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry | Year: 2011

Objective: This study examined the prevalence and risk factors for elder abuse in older Chinese with dementia by their family caregivers in Hong Kong. Methods: A sample of 122 family caregivers of older persons with dementia was conveniently recruited from local community centers for the elderly. Participants provided information on their demographic characteristics, care recipients' physical functioning and agitated behavior, caregiver burden, and whether they had directed any abusive behavior at the care recipients in the previous month. Results: Sixty-two and 18 per cent of the caregivers reported having verbally or physically abused the care recipients in the past month. Family caregivers who spent more days co-residing with the care recipients, lacked any assistance from a domestic helper, observed more agitated behaviors in the care recipients, and/or reported a higher level of caregiver stress, reported more abusive behaviors. The results of hierarchical regression analysis showed that the number of co-residing days (p<0.001), lack of any assistance from a domestic helper (p<0.05), and caregiver burden (p<0.01) were significant predictors of verbal abuse. Care recipient agitated behavior (p<0.01) also predicted verbal abuse, with its effect mediated by caregiver burden. For physical abuse, the number of co-residing days (p<0.01) was the only significant predictor. Conclusions: Verbal and physical abuse were highly prevalent among this population of older Chinese with dementia. A higher level of caregiver stress is related to a higher level of verbal, but not physical abuse inflicted by the caregivers of these older persons with dementia. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Zeng H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Cui X.,University of Hong Kong
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2015

The ultimate goal of making atomically thin electronic devices stimulates intensive research on layered materials, in particular the group-VI transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). Atomically thin group-VI TMD crystals with a 2H stacking order emerging as a family of intrinsic 2-dimensional (2D) semiconductors with a sizeable bandgap in the visible and near infrared range satisfy numerous requirements for ultimate electronics and optoelectronics. In addition, the characteristic inversion symmetry breaking presented in monolayer TMDs leads to non-zero but contrasting Berry curvatures and orbit magnetic moments at K/K′ valleys located at the corners of the first Brillouin zone. These features provide an opportunity to manipulate electrons' additional internal degrees of freedom, namely the valley degree of freedom, making monolayer TMDs a promising candidate for the conceptual valleytronics. Besides, the strong spin-orbit interactions and the subsequent spin-valley coupling demonstrated in atomically thin group-VI TMDs open up potential routes towards quantum manipulation. In this tutorial review, we highlight recent advances in the optical study on electronic structures, vibrational properties, excitonic effects, valley dependent optical selection rules, and the interplay of valley, spin, and layer degrees of freedoms in this class of atomic 2D semiconductors including MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, and WSe2. © 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Chan S.W.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Franklin J.,University of New South Wales
Decision Support Systems | Year: 2011

Although most quantitative financial data are analyzed using traditional statistical, artificial intelligence or data mining techniques, the abundance of online electronic financial news articles has opened up new possibilities for intelligent systems that can extract and organize relevant knowledge automatically in a usable format. Most information extraction systems require a hand-built dictionary of templates and thus need continual modification to accommodate new patterns that are observed in the text. In this research, we propose a novel text-based decision support system (DSS) that (i) extracts event sequences from shallow text patterns, and (ii) predicts the likelihood of the occurrence of events using a classifier-based inference engine. The prediction relies on two major, but complementary, feature sets: adjacent events and a set of information-theoretic functions. In contrast to other approaches, the proposed text-based DSS gives explanatory hypotheses about its predictions from a coalition of intimations learned from the inference engine, while preserving robustness and without indulging in formalism. We investigate more than 2000 financial reports with 28,000 sentences. Experiments show that the prediction accuracy of our model outperforms similar statistical models by 7% for the seen data while significantly improving the prediction accuracy for the unseen data. Further comparisons substantiate the experimental findings. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Liu R.-B.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yao W.,University of Hong Kong | Sham L.J.,University of California at San Diego
Advances in Physics | Year: 2010

We review the progress and main challenges in implementing large-scale quantum computing by optical control of electron spins in quantum dots (QDs). Relevant systems include self-assembled QDs of III-V or II-VI compound semiconductors (such as InGaAs and CdSe), monolayer fluctuation QDs in compound semiconductor quantum wells, and impurity centres in solids, such as P-donors in silicon and nitrogen-vacancy centres in diamond. The decoherence of the electron spin qubits is discussed and various schemes for countering the decoherence problem are reviewed. We put forward designs of local nodes consisting of a few qubits which can be individually addressed and controlled. Remotely separated local nodes are connected by photonic structures (microcavities and waveguides) to form a large-scale distributed quantum system or a quantum network. The operation of the quantum network consists of optical control of a single electron spin, coupling of two spins in a local nodes, optically controlled quantum interfacing between stationary spin qubits in QDs and flying photon qubits in waveguides, rapid initialization of spin qubits and qubit-specific single-shot non-demolition quantum measurement. The rapid qubit initialization may be realized by selectively enhancing certain entropy dumping channels via phonon or photon baths. The single-shot quantum measurement may be in situ implemented through the integrated photonic network. The relevance of quantum non-demolition measurement to large-scale quantum computation is discussed. To illustrate the feasibility and demand, the resources are estimated for the benchmark problem of factorizing 15 with Shor's algorithm. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.


Yang X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Liu D.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Miao Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Miao Q.,University of Hong Kong
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2014

This study presents a new class of conjugated polycyclic molecules that contain seven-membered rings, detailing their synthesis, crystal structures and semiconductor properties. These molecules have a nearly flat C 6-C7-C6-C7-C6 polycyclic framework with a p-quinodimethane core. With field-effect mobilities of up to 0.76cm2V-1s-1 as measured from solution-processed thin-film transistors, these molecules are alternatives to the well-studied pentacene analogues for applications in organic electronic devices. All sixes and sevens: A new class of conjugated polycyclic molecules have a nearly flat C6-C7-C6-C 7-C6 polycyclic framework with a p-quinodimethane core. With a field-effect mobility of up to 0.76cm2V-1s -1 as measured from solution-processed thin-film transistors, these molecules are alternatives to the pentacene analogues for application in organic electronic devices. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Law C.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yip P.S.F.,University of Hong Kong
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health | Year: 2011

Background: Setting physical barriers, for example platform screen doors (PSDs), has been proven to be effective in preventing falls onto railway tracks, but its cost-effectiveness is not known. For economic evaluation of public health interventions, the importance of including non-health factors has been noted despite a lack of empirical studies. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of PSDs, which are installed in part of the Hong Kong railway system, for preventing railway injuries. Methods: Data on railway injuries from 1997 to 2007 were obtained from the railway operators. Poisson regression was used to examine the risk reduction. Two incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER) were calculated to assess the cost-effectiveness based on (1) disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) only and (2) DALYs with potential fare revenue and passengers' waiting time lost due to railway circulation collapse. Results: The PSD installation has effectively reduced railway injuries (adjusted 5-year average percentage change: -68.8%, p<0.0001) with no apparent substitution effect to the other platforms observed. To be cost-effective, the cost of gaining a healthy life year (ICER) should not exceed three times the per capita GDP (US$74 700). The PSD installation would only be cost-effective if the loss of fare revenue and passengers' waiting time, in addition to DALY, were included (ICER: US$65 400), while the ICER based on DALY only would be US$77 900. Conclusion: The challenges of complexity for economic evaluation appear in many community-based health interventions. A more extensive perspective for exploring other outcome measurements and evaluation methods to reflect a fair and appropriate value of the intervention's cost-effectiveness is needed.


Su Y.,Fuzhou University | Huang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Automatica | Year: 2013

In this paper, we study the cooperative global output regulation problem for a class of heterogeneous second order nonlinear uncertain multi-agent systems. We first introduce a type of distributed internal model that converts the cooperative global output regulation problem into the global robust stabilization problem of the so-called augmented multi-agent system. Then we further globally stabilize this augmented multi-agent system via a distributed state feedback control law, thus leading to the solution of the original problem. A special case of our result leads to the solution of the global leader-following consensus problem for the second order nonlinear multi-agent systems without satisfying the global Lipschitz condition.© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Li X.,University of Hong Kong | Choy W.C.H.,University of Hong Kong | Lu H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Sha W.E.I.,University of Hong Kong | Ho A.H.P.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2013

It is been widely reported that plasmonic effects in metallic nanomaterials can enhance light trapping in organix solar cells (OSCs). However, typical nanoparticles (NP) of high quality (i.e., mono-dispersive) only possess a single resonant absorption peak, which inevitably limits the power conversion efficiency (PCE) enhancement to a narrow spectral range. Broadband plasmonic absorption is obviously highly desirable. In this paper, a combination of Ag nanomaterials of different shapes, including nanoparticles and nanoprisms, is proposed for this purpose. The nanomaterials are synthesized using a simple wet chemical method. Theoretical and experimental studies show that the origin of the observed PCE enhancement is the simultaneous excitation of many plasmonic low- and high-order resonances modes, which are material-, shape-, size-, and polarization-dependent. Particularly for the Ag nanoprisms studied here, the high-order resonances result in higher contribution than low-order resonances to the absorption enhancement of OSCs through an improved overlap with the active material absorption spectrum. With the incorporation of the mixed nanomaterials into the active layer, a wide-band absorption improvement is demonstrated and the short-circuit photocurrent density (Jsc) improves by 17.91%. Finally, PCE is enhanced by 19.44% as compared to pre-optimized control OSCs. These results suggest a new approach to achieve higher overall enhancement through improving broadband absorption. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Wong B.K.,University of Hong Kong | Lai V.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
International Journal of Production Economics | Year: 2011

The objectives of this research are to identify the research trends in and publication outlets for the applications of the fuzzy set theory technique in production and operations management (POM). The major findings indicate that (1) the most popular applications are capacity planning, scheduling, inventory control, and product design, (2) some application areas make more use of particular types of fuzzy techniques, (3) the percentage of applications that address semi/unstructured types of POM problems is increasing, (4) the most common technologies integrated with the fuzzy set theory technique are genetic/evolutionary algorithms and neural networks, and (5) the most popular development tool is C Language and its extension. Our survey confirms several research trends, some of which are unexpected and some of which contradict previous findings. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Duan L.,Singapore University of Technology and Design | Gao L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Huang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing | Year: 2014

Providing economic incentives to all parties involved is essential for the success of dynamic spectrum access. Cooperative spectrum sharing is one effective way to achieve this, where secondary users (SUs) relay traffics for primary users (PUs) in exchange for dedicated spectrum access time for SUs' own communications. In this paper, we study the cooperative spectrum sharing under incomplete information, where SUs' wireless characteristics are private information and not known by a PU. We model the PU-SU interaction as a labor market using contract theory. In contract theory, the employer generally does not completely know employees' private information before the employment and needs to offers employees a contract under incomplete information. In our problem, the PU and SUs are, respectively, the employer and employees, and the contract consists of a set of items representing combinations of spectrum accessing time (i.e., reward) and relaying power (i.e., contribution). We study the optimal contract design for both weakly and strongly incomplete information scenarios. In the weakly incomplete information scenario, we show that the PU will optimally hire the most efficient SUs and the PU achieves the same maximum utility as in the complete information benchmark. In the strongly incomplete information scenario, however, the PU may conservatively hire less efficient SUs as well. We further propose a decompose-and-compare (DC) approximate algorithm that achieves a close-to-optimal contract. We further show that the PU's average utility loss due to the suboptimal DC algorithm and the strongly incomplete information are relatively small (less than 2 and 1.3 percent, respectively, in our numerical results with two SU types). © 2014 IEEE.


Wang X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Tieu K.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Grimson W.E.L.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2010

We propose a novel approach for activity analysis in multiple synchronized but uncalibrated static camera views. In this paper, we refer to activities as motion patterns of objects, which correspond to paths in far-field scenes. We assume that the topology of cameras is unknown and quite arbitrary, the fields of views covered by these cameras may have no overlap or any amount of overlap, and objects may move on different ground planes. Using low-level cues, objects are first tracked in each camera view independently, and the positions and velocities of objects along trajectories are computed as features. Under a probabilistic model, our approach jointly learns the distribution of an activity in the feature spaces of different camera views. Then, it accomplishes the following tasks: 1) grouping trajectories, which belong to the same activity but may be in different camera views, into one cluster; 2) modeling paths commonly taken by objects across multiple camera views; and 3) detecting abnormal activities. Advantages of this approach are that it does not require first solving the challenging correspondence problem, and that learning is unsupervised. Even though correspondence is not a prerequisite, after the models of activities have been learned, they can help to solve the correspondence problem, since if two trajectories in different camera views belong to the same activity, they are likely to correspond to the same object. Our approach is evaluated on a simulated data set and two very large real data sets, which have 22,951 and 14,985 trajectories, respectively. © 2010 IEEE.


Li D.,Dalian University of Technology | Han M.,Dalian University of Technology | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems | Year: 2012

In this paper, a robust recurrent neural network is presented in a Bayesian framework based on echo state mechanisms. Since the new model is capable of handling outliers in the training data set, it is termed as a robust echo state network (RESN). The RESN inherits the basic idea of ESN learning in a Bayesian framework, but replaces the commonly used Gaussian distribution with a Laplace one, which is more robust to outliers, as the likelihood function of the model output. Moreover, the training of the RESN is facilitated by employing a bound optimization algorithm, based on which, a proper surrogate function is derived and the Laplace likelihood function is approximated by a Gaussian one, while remaining robust to outliers. It leads to an efficient method for estimating model parameters, which can be solved by using a Bayesian evidence procedure in a fully autonomous way. Experimental results show that the proposed method is robust in the presence of outliers and is superior to existing methods. © 2012 IEEE.


Yuan C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ng E.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Norford L.K.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building and Environment | Year: 2014

In high-density megacities, air pollution has a higher impact on public health than cities of lower population density. Apart from higher pollution emissions due to human activities in densely populated street canyons, stagnated air flow due to closely packed tall buildings means lower dispersion potential. The coupled result leads to frequent reports of high air pollution indexes at street-side stations in Hong Kong. High-density urban morphologies need to be carefully designed to lessen the ill effects of high density urban living. This study addresses the knowledge-gap between planning and design principles and air pollution dispersion potentials in high density cities. The air ventilation assessment for projects in high-density Hong Kong is advanced to include air pollutant dispersion issues. The methods in this study are CFD simulation and parametric study. The SST κ. ω model is adopted after balancing the accuracy and computational cost in the comparative study. Urban-scale parametric studies are conducted to clarify the effects of urban permeability and building geometries on air pollution dispersion, for both the outdoor pedestrian environment and the indoor environment in the roadside buildings. Given the finite land resources in high-density cities and the numerous planning and design restrictions for development projects, the effectiveness of mitigation strategies is evaluated to optimize the benefits. A real urban case study is finally conducted to demonstrate that the suggested design principles from the parametric study are feasible in the practical high density urban design. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Duan L.,Singapore University of Technology and Design | Huang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Shou B.,City University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing | Year: 2012

This paper presents a comprehensive analytical study of two competitive secondary operators' investment (i.e., spectrum leasing) and pricing strategies, taking into account operators' heterogeneity in leasing costs and users' heterogeneity in transmission power and channel conditions. We model the interactions between operators and users as a three-stage dynamic game, where operators simultaneously make spectrum leasing decisions in Stage I, and pricing decisions in Stage II, and then users make purchase decisions in Stage III. Using backward induction, we are able to completely characterize the dynamic game's equilibria. We show that both operators' investment and pricing equilibrium decisions process interesting threshold properties. For example, when the two operators' leasing costs are close, both operators will lease positive spectrum. Otherwise, one operator will choose not to lease and the other operator becomes the monopolist. For pricing, a positive pure strategy equilibrium exists only when the total spectrum investment of both operators is less than a threshold. Moreover, two operators always choose the same equilibrium price despite their heterogeneity in leasing costs. Each user fairly achieves the same service quality in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at the equilibrium, and the obtained predictable payoff is linear in its transmission power and channel gain. We also compare the duopoly equilibrium with the coordinated case where two operators cooperate to maximize their total profit. We show that the maximum loss of total profit due to operators' competition is no larger than 25 percent. The users, however, always benefit from operators' competition in terms of their payoffs. We show that most of these insights are robust in the general SNR regime. © 2012 IEEE.


Yu S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Liang Y.,Nanjing Agricultural University
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences | Year: 2012

During biosynthesis many membrane and secreted proteins are transported from the endoplasmic reticulum, through the Golgi and on to the plasma membrane in small transport vesicles. These transport vesicles have to undergo budding, movement, tethering, docking, and fusion at each organelle of the biosynthetic pathway. The transport protein particle (TRAPP) complex was initially identified as the tethering factor for endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived COPII vesicles, but the functions of TRAPP may extend to other areas of biology. Three forms of TRAPP complexes have been discovered to date, and recent advances in research have provided new insights on the structures and functions of TRAPP. Here we provide a comprehensive review of the recent findings in TRAPP biology. © Springer Basel AG 2012.


Duan L.,Singapore University of Technology and Design | Huang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Shou B.,City University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing | Year: 2013

Femtocells can effectively resolve the poor connectivity issue of indoor cellular users. This paper investigates the economic incentive for a cellular operator to add femtocell service on top of its existing macrocell service. We model the interactions between a cellular operator and users as a Stackelberg game: The operator first determines spectrum allocations and pricings of femtocell and macrocell services, and then heterogeneous users choose between the two services and the amount of resource to request. In the ideal case where the femtocell service has the same full spatial coverage as the macrocell service, we show that the operator will choose to provide femtocell service only, as this leads to a better user quality of service and a higher operator profit. However, if we impose the constraint that no users' payoffs decrease after introducing the femtocell service, then the operator will always continue providing the macrocell service (with or without the femtocell service). Furthermore, we study the impact of operational cost, limited coverage, and spatial reuse on femtocell service provision. As the operational cost increases, fewer users are served by femtocell service and the operator's profit decreases. When the femtocell service has limited spatial coverage, the operator always provides the macrocell service beside the femtocell service. However, when the coverage is high or the total resource is low, the operator will set the prices such that all users who can access femtocell will choose to use the femtocell service only. Finally, spatial reuse of spectrum will increase the efficiency of femtocell services and gives the operator more incentives to allocate spectrum to femtocells. © 2002-2012 IEEE.


Li H.,University of Electronic Science and Technology of China | Ngan K.N.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing | Year: 2011

In this paper, we introduce a method to detect co-saliency from an image pair that may have some objects in common. The co-saliency is modeled as a linear combination of the single-image saliency map (SISM) and the multi-image saliency map (MISM). The first term is designed to describe the local attention, which is computed by using three saliency detection techniques available in literature. To compute the MISM, a co-multilayer graph is constructed by dividing the image pair into a spatial pyramid representation. Each node in the graph is described by two types of visual descriptors, which are extracted from a representation of some aspects of local appearance, e.g., color and texture properties. In order to evaluate the similarity between two nodes, we employ a normalized single-pair SimRank algorithm to compute the similarity score. Experimental evaluation on a number of image pairs demonstrates the good performance of the proposed method on the co-saliency detection task. © 2006 IEEE.


Brown P.R.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Kim D.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Lunt R.R.,Michigan State University | Zhao N.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | And 3 more authors.
ACS Nano | Year: 2014

The electronic properties of colloidal quantum dots (QDs) are critically dependent on both QD size and surface chemistry. Modification of quantum confinement provides control of the QD bandgap, while ligand-induced surface dipoles present a hitherto underutilized means of control over the absolute energy levels of QDs within electronic devices. Here, we show that the energy levels of lead sulfide QDs, measured by ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, shift by up to 0.9 eV between different chemical ligand treatments. The directions of these energy shifts match the results of atomistic density functional theory simulations and scale with the ligand dipole moment. Trends in the performance of photovoltaic devices employing ligand-modified QD films are consistent with the measured energy level shifts. These results identify surface-chemistry-mediated energy level shifts as a means of predictably controlling the electronic properties of colloidal QD films and as a versatile adjustable parameter in the performance optimization of QD optoelectronic devices. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Li H.,University of Electronic Science and Technology of China | Ngan K.N.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology | Year: 2011

This paper proposes an approach to extract focused objects (i.e., attention objects) from low depth-of-field images. To recognize the focused object, we decompose the image into multiple regions, which are described by using three types of visual descriptors. Each descriptor is extracted from a representation of some aspects of local appearance, e.g., a spatially localized texture, color, or geometrical property. Therefore, the focus detection of a region can be achieved by the classification of extracted visual descriptors based on a binary classifier. We employ a boosting algorithm to learn the classifier with a cascade of decision structure. Given a test image, initial segmentation can be achieved using obtained classification results. Finally, we apply a post-processing technique to improve the results by incorporating region grouping and pixel-level segmentation. Experimental evaluation on a number of images demonstrates the performance advantages of the proposed method, when compared with state-of-the-art methods. © 2011 IEEE.


Guo Z.,Hunan University | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yan Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems | Year: 2014

This paper presents new theoretical results on the invariance and attractivity of memristor-based cellular neural networks (MCNNs) with time-varying delays. First, sufficient conditions to assure the boundedness and global attractivity of the networks are derived. Using state-space decomposition and some analytic techniques, it is shown that the number of equilibria located in the saturation regions of the piecewise-linear activation functions of an n-neuron MCNN with time-varying delays increases significantly from 2 n to 22n2+n22n2(times}) compared with that without a memristor. In addition, sufficient conditions for the invariance and local or global attractivity of equilibria or attractive sets in any designated region are derived. Finally, two illustrative examples are given to elaborate the characteristics of the results in detail. © 2013 IEEE.


Xu Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Huang B.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters | Year: 2014

The aim of this letter is to present a spatio-temporal pixel-swapping algorithm (STPSA), based on conventional pixel-swapping algorithms (PSAs), in which both spatial and temporal contextual information from previous land cover maps or observed samples are well integrated and utilized to improve subpixel mapping accuracy. Unlike conventional pixel-swapping algorithms, STPSA is capable of utilizing prior information, which was previously ignored, to predict the attractiveness based on pairs of subpixels. This algorithm involves threemain steps and operates in an iterative manner: 1) it predicts the maximum and minimum attractiveness of each pair of pixels; 2) ranks the swapping scores based on the attractiveness of all the pairs; and 3) swaps the locations of the pair of pixels with amaximum score to increase the objective function. Experiments with actual satellite images have demonstrated that the proposed algorithm performs better than other algorithms. In comparison, the proposed STPSA's better performance is due to the fact that prior information used in other algorithms is restricted to a percentage level rather than the real subpixel level. © 2013 IEEE.


Cheung P.C.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2010

Both wild and cultivated mushrooms have been consumed by humans for their nutritional and medicinal benefits. Nutritionally, mushrooms are low in energy and fat but high in protein, carbohydrate, and dietary fibre. Mushrooms contain a variety of minerals and trace elements such as potassium, and copper and vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, and folates. They have been used as food for centuries because of their unique taste. Apart from being recognised as a nutritious food, certain mushrooms are also an important source of biologically active compounds with potential additional medicinal value in Chinese medicine. Bioactive secondary metabolites found in mushrooms include phenolic compounds, sterols and triterpenes. In vitro and in vivo studies with mushrooms and isolated bioactive constituents have purported many pharmacological effects such as anti-tumour, antioxidant, antiviral, hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycaemic effects. Consumption of mushrooms or mushroom products in our daily diet may provide health benefits. © 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 British Nutrition Foundation.


Feng Y.,City University of Hong Kong | Chen Y.F.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Operations Research | Year: 2011

This note considers a joint inventory-pricing control problem in an infinite-horizon periodic-review system. Demand in a period is random and depends on the posted price. Besides the holding and shortage costs, the system incurs inventoryreplenishment costs that consist of both variable and fixed components. At the beginning of each period, a joint inventory and pricing decision is made. Under the long-run average profit criterion, we show that an optimal policy exists within the class of so-called 4s1 S1p5 policies. This is established based on our algorithmic development, which also results in an algorithm for finding an optimal 4s1 S1p5 policy. Subject classifications: joint pricing and inventory control; setup cost; price dependent demand; stochastic inventory model. Area of review: Manufacturing, Service, and Supply Chain Operations. History: Received May 2003; revisions received May 2004, August 2005, July 2007, May 2009; accepted April 2010. © 2011 INFORMS.


In this article I demonstrate the knowledge perceptions of and the preventive health behaviors toward the influenza A H1N1 pandemic, or human swine flu, among the chronic renal disease patients in Hong Kong. Based on ethnographic data from participant observation in a chronic renal disease patient self-help alliance and semistructured interviews with its 30 members, I demonstrate that the participants knowledge perceptions of and the adoption of the preventive health behaviors against H1N1 were greatly influenced by their past experiences of being stigmatized in the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. In addition, the past experiences in the SARS outbreak not only led the participants to remember their stigmatization experiences in this H1N1 pandemic, but also aroused the memory of the general Hong Kong population that chronic renal disease patients were dangerous and polluted, which could further contribute to their stigmatization in this H1N1 pandemic. © The Author(s) 2010.


Wu J.C.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2010

Due to unsatisfactory results from conventional treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities are increasingly popular treatment alternatives. Unfortunately, most CAM clinical trials have been of poor quality, and the efficacies of these therapies have not been adequately elucidated, even through systematic reviews or meta-analyses. There is also a general lack of understanding of their mechanisms of action. Currently, insufficient evidence exists to support the use of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, meditation, and reflexology for treatment of IBS. However, there is some evidence supporting the use of peppermint oil and gut-directed hypnotherapy for IBS treatment. Due to mounting evidence of the microbiologic and immunologic basis of IBS, probiotics and exclusion diets are also becoming promising treatment modalities. This paper will review the current literature on various CAM practices for IBS treatment and appraise their advantages and disadvantages in clinical practice.


Chang K.-C.,Tuberculosis and Chest Service | Yew W.-W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Tam C.-M.,Tuberculosis and Chest Service | Leung C.-C.,Tuberculosis and Chest Service
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2013

It is often necessary to includeWHOgroup 5 drugs in the treatment of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) and fluoroquinolone-resistant multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). As clinical evidence about the use of group 5 drugs is scarce, we conducted a systematic review using published individual patient data.Wesearched PubMed and OvidSP through 7 April 2013 for publications in English to assemble a cohort with fluoroquinolone-resistant MDR-TB treated with group 5 drugs. Favorable outcome was defined as sputum culture conversion, cure, or treatment completion in the absence of death, default, treatment failure, or relapse. A cohort of 194 patients was assembled from 20 articles involving 12 geographical regions. In descending order of frequency, linezolid was used in treatment of 162 (84%) patients, macrolides in 84 (43%), clofazimine in 65 (34%), amoxicillin with clavulanate in 56 (29%), thioridazine in 18 (9%), carbapenem in 16 (8%), and high-dose isoniazid in 16 (8%). Cohort analysis with robust Poisson regression models and random-effects meta-analysis similarly suggested that linezolid use significantly increased the probability (95% confidence interval) of favorable outcome by 57% (10% to 124%) and 55% (10% to 121%), respectively. Defining significant associations by risk ratios>1.2 or<0.9, neither cohort analysis nor meta-analysis demonstrated any significant add-on benefit from the use of other group 5 drugs with respect to outcome for patients treated with linezolid, although selection bias might have led to underestimation of their effects. Our findings substantiated the use of linezolid in the treatment of XDR-TB or fluoroquinolone-resistant MDR-TB and call for further studies to evaluate the roles of other group 5 drugs. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Wu W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lui J.C.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Proceedings - IEEE INFOCOM | Year: 2011

Content providers of P2P-Video-on-Demand (P2P-VoD) services aim to provide a high quality, scalable service to users, and at the same time, operate the system with a manageable operating cost. Given the volume-based charging model by ISPs, it is to the best interest of the P2P-VoD content providers to reduce peers' access to the content server so as to reduce the operating cost. In this paper, we address an important open problem: what is the "optimal replication ratio" in a P2P-VoD system such that peers will receive service from each other and at the same time, reduce the traffic to the content server. We address two fundamental problems: (1) what is the optimal replication ratio of a movie given its popularity, and (2) how to achieve the optimal ratios in a distributed and dynamic fashion. We formally show how movie popularities can impact server's workload, and formulate the video replication as an optimization problem. We show that the conventional wisdom of using the proportional replication strategy is non-optimal, and expand the design space to both passive replacement policy and active push policy to achieve the optimal replication ratios. We consider practical implementation issues, evaluate the performance of P2P-VoD systems and show that our algorithms can greatly reduce server's workload and improve streaming quality. © 2011 IEEE.


Lu Y.-S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Peng X.-S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Organic Letters | Year: 2011

A concise and efficient strategy for the construction of the heptacyclic core of the chloranthaceae family has been developed. The key strategy comprises an S N2-type intramolecular nucleophilic substitution and a biomimetic endo-Diels-Alder cycloaddition. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Lau N.-C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society | Year: 2016

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is one of the most prominent modes of atmospheric and oceanic variability on interannual and interdecadal time scales. The essential ENSO signals originate from the tropical Pacific (TP). However, the impacts of ENSO are felt in many other parts of the world. Major ENSO events are accompanied by notable changes in the extratropical atmospheric circulation in both hemispheres, various monsoon systems located beyond the TP, global air temperature and precipitation patterns, and the sea surface temperature (SST) distribution throughout the World Ocean. During the past several decades, this author has participated in a sustained effort to study the processes contributing to these "teleconnections" between ENSO forcing in the TP and variations in the atmosphere-ocean system elsewhere. These investigations are based on a large suite of experiments with several generations of general circulation models (GCMs) at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). These experiments are specifically designed to reveal various facets of the teleconnections with ENSO. In this lecture, a summary is given of the principal findings of this series of model studies. An account is given of the train of thought underpinning the sequence of experiments described herein, so as to illustrate how certain experimental setups have been motivated by the problem or hypothesis at hand. ©2016 American Meteorological Society.


Ren S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Qiu Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xie Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Mix threeâ get one: The complexation of a transition-metal center to an olefin or alkyne can significantly modify its reactivity, which makes the selective coupling of different alkenes or alkynes to carboryne possible. An example of a three-component [2+2+2] cycloaddition reaction of carboryne with unactivated alkene (see scheme, blue) and alkyne (red) mediated by zirconium and nickel complexes is described. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Ho C.-Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | He L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2010

Making head or tail of it: The first single-operation, highly selective intermolecular tail-to-tail hetero-hydroalkenylation from two readily available monosubstituted alkenes is described (see scheme; IPr=1,3-Bis(2,6-di- isopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene). The reaction is catalyzed by the proposed [(IPr)NiH]OTf species. The method allows the use of more common and structurally diverse α olefins as substrates, which were previously not compatible with known methods. Copyright © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Wong G.L.-H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
World Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2013

Assessment of liver fibrosis and steatosis is crucial in chronic liver diseases in order to determine the prognosis, the need of treatment, as well as monitor disease progression and response to treatment. Liver biopsy is limited by its invasiveness and patient acceptability. Transient elastography (TE, Fibroscan®) is a non-invasive tool with satisfactory accuracy and reproducibility to estimate liver fibrosis and steatosis. TE has been well validated in major liver diseases including chronic hepatitis B and C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis. As alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is one of the major confounding factors of liver stiffness in chronic hepatitis B, an ALT-based algorithm has been developed and higher liver stiffness measurements (LSM) cutoff values for different stages of liver fibrosis should be used in patients with elevated ALT levels up to 5 times of the upper limit of normal. Otherwise falsely-high LSM results up to cirrhotic range may occur during ALT flare. TE is also useful in predicting patient prognosis such as development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), portal hypertension, post-operative complications in HCC patients, and also survival. Unfortunately, failed acquisition of TE is common in obese patients. Furthermore, obese patients may have higher LSM results even in the same stage of liver fibrosis. The new XL probe, a larger probe with lower ultrasound frequency and deeper penetration, increases the success rate of TE in obese patients. The median LSM value with XL probe was found to be lower than that by the conventional M probe, hence cutoff values approximately 1.2 to 1.3 kPa lower than those of M probe should be adopted. Recent studies revealed a novel ultrasonic controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) of the machine is a useful parameter to detect even low-grade steatosis noninvasively. CAP may also be used to quantify liver steatosis by applying different cutoff values. As both LSM and CAP results are instantly available at same measurement, this makes TE a very convenient tool to assess any patients who are suspected or confirmed to suffer from chronic liver diseases. © 2013 Baishideng.


Qiu Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang S.R.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Xie Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2010

(Represented Chemical Equation) A View [2+2+2] a Kill: For the first time, nickel-catalyzed [2+2+2] cycloaddition reactions of alkynes or diynes with carboryne using 1-iodo-2-lithiocarborane as a precursor have been achieved. The mechanism is proposed after the structural confirmation of the key intermediate, nickelacyclopentene. © 2010 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Cheng K.-K.M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Chik M.-C.J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques | Year: 2013

This paper presents, for the first time, the theoretical and experimental study of broadband rat-race coupler design with a tunable power dividing ratio. Wide fractional bandwidth (around 40%) is accomplished by the adoption of frequency compensating networks with specific derivatives of even- and odd-mode admittances. General formulation is analytically carried out to lay down the design principles of these networks. The proposed design also features wide tuning range (almost 20 dB), low insertion loss, high port isolation (over 25 dB), good return loss, simple structure, compact size, zero dc power consumption, and single voltage operation with a minimal number of tuning diodes. For demonstration, both simulated and measured results of a 1-GHz tunable rat-race coupler implemented on microstrip are shown. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Cheng K.-K.M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yeung S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques | Year: 2013

This paper presents, for the first time, a novel rat-race coupler design with tunable power dividing ratio. Wide tuning ratio is accomplished by the use of two tuning diodes and a single control voltage. Ideal port isolation and return loss characteristics, evaluated at the center frequency of operation, are proven for all dividing ratios. The structure is simple to construct and involves 50-ohm lines only. For verification, the simulated and measured results of a 1-GHz rat-race coupler implemented on microstrip are shown. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Hu H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wu K.-L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques | Year: 2013

This paper presents a novel dielectric resonator filter exploiting dual TM11 degenerate modes. The dielectric rod resonators are short circuited on the top and bottom surfaces to the metallic cavity. The dual-mode cavities can be conveniently arranged in many practical coupling configurations. Through-holes in height direction are made in each of the dielectric rods for the frequency tuning and coupling screws. All the coupling elements, including inter-cavity coupling elements, are accessible from the top of the filter cavity. This planar coupling configuration is very attractive for composing a diplexer or a parallel multifilter assembly using the proposed filter structure. To demonstrate the new filter technology, two eight-pole filters with cross-couplings for UMTS band are prototyped and tested. It has been experimentally shown that as compared to a coaxial combline filter with a similar unloaded $Q$, the proposed dual-mode filter can save filter volume by more than 50%. Moreover, a simple method that can effectively suppress the lower band spurious mode is also presented. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Hu H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wu K.-L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques | Year: 2013

Circular waveguide dual-mode (CWDM) filters have been widely employed in the manifold-coupled output multiplexer (OMUX) for satellite payloads. In this paper, a deterministic electromagnetic (EM) design technique for fast and accurately computerized prototyping a general CWDM filter is presented. By introducing a generalized K impedance inverter using the generalized scattering matrix of the tuning screw section, the insertion phase and the coupling of the two degenerate modes in a CWDM cavity can be determined by a most effective way. To handle the asynchronously tuned cases, the theoretical formula that relates a self-coupling to its corresponding phase offset is derived. The design technique is based on modal analysis at the center frequency and is deterministic without using optimization or curve fitting. The presented technique enables the full-wave EM design of CWDM filters as easy and accurate as designing conventional single mode waveguide filters. To validate the design technique, practical design of eight-pole symmetric and asymmetric CWDM filters have been studied theoretically and experimentally. An EM design of a complete Ku-band 15-channel contiguous OMUX is also demonstrated. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Huang F.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lee T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing | Year: 2013

Pitch estimation from acoustic signals is a fundamental problem in many areas of speech research. For noise-corrupted speech, reliable pitch estimation is difficult. This paper presents a study of pitch estimation in noisy speech based on robust temporal-spectral representation and sparse reconstruction. We propose to accumulate spectral peaks over consecutive time frames. Since harmonic structure of speech changes much more slowly than noise spectrum, spectral peaks related to pitch harmonics would stand out over the noise through the accumulation. Experimental results show that the accumulated peak spectrum is indeed a robust representation of pitch harmonics. Subsequently, the accumulated peak spectrum is expressed as a sparse linear combination of a large set of clean peak spectrum exemplars. Gaussian mixture density is used to model noise spectrum peaks. The weights of the linear combination are estimated so as to maximize the likelihood of the accumulated peak spectrum under sparsity constraint. Robust pitch estimation is done based on the sparse weights and the corresponding peak spectrum exemplars. The use of Gaussian mixture model leads to non-convexity of the objective function for sparse weight estimation. By approximation and reformulation, two convex optimization approaches are developed to estimate the weights. Extensive experimental studies are carried out to evaluate performance of the proposed pitch estimation algorithms on a wide variety of noise conditions. It is clearly shown that the proposed methods significantly and consistently outperform the conventional methods, particularly at very low signal-to-noise ratios (e.g., SNR <-5 dB). © 2012 IEEE.


Meng H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wu K.-L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques | Year: 2013

This paper presents a direct approach to the synthesis of a general Chebyshev bandpass filter that matches to a frequency variant complex load. The approach is based on the power wave renormalization theory and two practical assumptions, which are: 1) the prescribed transmission zeros are stationary and 2) the reflection zeros are located along the imaginary axis. Three necessary conditions that stipulate the characteristic polynomials associated to the filter are derived through renormalization of the load reference impedances. It has been shown that these three conditions can only be satisfied by an ideal filter circuit model separated by a piece of interconnecting stub from the complex load. The length of the stub will be optimally designed in the sense that the designed filter will best match to the complex load over a given frequency range. The proposedmethod offers a deterministic, yet flexible way for optimally designing a diplexer or a multiplexer with a realistic loading effect. The effectiveness of the method is demonstrated by two design examples. © 2013 IEEE.


Chu T.T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2012

Previous studies have suggested that Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum) has antioxidant effects and possibly beneficial effects on blood pressure, plasma lipids and glucose, but these have not been confirmed in subjects with mild hypertension or hyperlipidaemia. The objective of the present study was to assess the cardiovascular, metabolic, antioxidant and immunomodulatory responses to therapy with Lingzhi in patients with borderline elevations of blood pressure and/or cholesterol in a controlled cross-over trial. A total of twenty-six patients received 1·44 g Lingzhi daily or matching placebo for 12 weeks in a randomised, double-blind, cross-over study with placebo-controlled run-in and cross-over periods. Body weight, blood pressure, metabolic parameters, urine catecholamines and cortisol, antioxidant status and lymphocyte subsets were measured after each period. Lingzhi was well tolerated and data from twenty-three evaluable subjects showed no changes in BMI or blood pressure when treated with Lingzhi or placebo. Plasma insulin and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance were lower after treatment with Lingzhi than after placebo. TAG decreased and HDL-cholesterol increased with Lingzhi but not with placebo in the first treatment period, but significant carry-over effects prevented complete analysis of these parameters. Urine catecholamines and cortisol, plasma antioxidant status and blood lymphocyte subsets showed no significant differences across treatments. Results indicate that Lingzhi might have mild antidiabetic effects and potentially improve the dyslipidaemia of diabetes, as shown previously in some animal studies. Further studies are desirable in patients with hyperglycaemia.


Xu L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2010

We study the instability development during a viscous liquid drop impacting a smooth substrate, using high-speed photography. The onset time of the instability highly depends on the surrounding air pressure and the liquid viscosity: it decreases with air pressure with the power of minus two, and increases linearly with the liquid viscosity. From the real-time dynamics measurements, we construct a model which compares the destabilizing stress from air with the stabilizing stress from liquid viscosity. Under this model, our experimental results indicate that at the instability onset time, the two stresses balance each other. This model also illustrates the different mechanisms for the inviscid and viscous regimes previously observed: the inviscid regime is stabilized by the surface tension and the viscous regime is stabilized by the liquid viscosity. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Zhou S.X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Chao X.,University of Michigan
Production and Operations Management | Year: 2014

We consider a periodic-review inventory system with regular and expedited supply modes. The expedited supply is faster than the regular supply but incurs a higher cost. Demand for the product in each period is random and sensitive to its selling price. The firm determines its order quantity from each supply in each period as well as its selling price to maximize the expected total discounted profit over a finite or an infinite planning horizon. We show that, in each period if it is optimal to order from both supplies, the optimal inventory policy is determined by two state-independent thresholds, one for each supply mode, and a list price is set for the product; if only the regular supply is used, the optimal policy is a state-dependent base-stock policy, that is, the optimal base-stock level depends on the starting inventory level, and the optimal selling price is a markdown price that decreases with the starting inventory level. We further study the operational impact of such supply diversification and show that it increases the firm's expected profit, reduces the optimal safety-stock levels, and lowers the optimal selling price. Thus that diversification is beneficial to both the firm and its customers. Building upon these results, we conduct a numerical study to assess and compare the respective benefit of dynamic pricing and supply diversification. © 2013 Production and Operations Management Society.


Ng T.B.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Biopolymers | Year: 2012

Lipid-transfer proteins (LTPs) are basic proteins found in abundance in higher plants. LTPs play lots of roles in plants such as participation in cutin formation, embryogenesis, defense reactions against phytopathogens, symbiosis, and the adaptation of plants to various environmental conditions. In addition, LTPs from field mustard and Chinese daffodil exhibit antiproliferative activity against human cancer cells. LTPs from chili pepper and coffee manifest inhibitory activity against fungi pathogenic to humans such as Candida species. The intent of this article is to review LTPs in the plant kingdom.


Lai T.Y.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Retina | Year: 2016

PURPOSE:: To review and summarize the latest developments in the diagnosis and management of myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV). METHODS:: A review of the literature was performed, focusing on tests and investigations for diagnosing mCNV, as well as the key treatment options available for mCNV. RESULTS:: Standard essential tests and investigations for diagnosing mCNV include spectral-domain optical coherence tomography for screening, fluorescein angiography for confirmation, and indocyanine green angiography and fundus autofluorescence for providing supplementary information. The current first line treatment of mCNV is the use of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy. CONCLUSION:: Various investigations can assist the differentiation of mCNV from other coexisting retinal pathologies associated with myopia or choroidal neovascularization resulting from other causes. Prompt use of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy has good efficacy and safety in the treatment of mCNV. © 2016 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.


Li P.K.-T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Chow K.M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
American Journal of Kidney Diseases | Year: 2013

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) represents an important but underused strategy for patients who are beginning dialysis treatment worldwide. The development of a health care model that encourages increased use of PD is hampered by a lack of expertise and absence of pragmatic strategies. This article provides a brief review of a PD-first initiative that was implemented in Hong Kong more than 25 years ago and issues related to this policy. Clinical studies and research by the authors' and other teams around the world have shown evidence that, as a home-based dialysis therapy, PD can improve patient survival, retain residual kidney function, lower infection risk, and increase patient satisfaction while reducing financial stress to governments by addressing the burden of managing the growing number of patients with end-stage renal disease. Achieving a successful PD-first policy requires understanding inherent patient factors, selecting patients carefully, and improving technique-related factors by training physicians, nurses, patients, and caregivers better. Dialysis centers have the important role of fostering expertise and experience in PD patient management. Dialysis reimbursement policy also can be helpful in providing sufficient incentives for choosing PD. However, despite successes in improving patient survival, PD treatment has limitations, notably the shortcoming of technique failure. Potential strategies to and challenges of implementing a PD-first policy globally are discussed in this review. We highlight 3 important elements of a successful PD-first program: nephrologist experience and expertise, peritoneal dialysis catheter access, and psychosocial support for PD patients. © 2013 National Kidney Foundation, Inc.


Ma W.-K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Hsieh T.-H.,Realtek Semiconductor Corporation | Chi C.-Y.,National Tsing Hua University
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2010

In real-world applications such as those for speech and audio, there are signals that are nonstationary but can be modeled as being stationary within local time frames. Such signals are generally called quasi-stationary or locally stationary signals. This paper considers the problem of direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation of quasi-stationary signals. Specifically, in our problem formulation we assume: i) sensor array of uniform linear structure; ii) mutually uncorrelated wide-sense quasi-stationary source signals; and iii) wide-sense stationary noise process with unknown, possibly nonwhite, spatial covariance. Under the assumptions above and by judiciously examining the structures of local second-order statistics (SOSs), we develop a KhatriRao (KR) subspace approach that has two notable advantages. First, through an identifiability analysis, it is proven that this KR subspace approach can operate even when the number of sensors is about half of the number of sources. The idea behind is to make use of a virtual array structure provided inherently in the local SOS model, of which the degree of freedom is about twice of that of the physical array. Second, the KR formulation naturally provides a simple yet effective way of eliminating the unknown spatial noise covariance from the signal SOSs. Extensive simulation results are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the KR subspace approach under various situations. © 2006 IEEE.


Ng C.S.H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Thoracic Disease | Year: 2013

The history of uniportal Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) stretches back almost a decade with the treatment of simple thoracic conditions. As the technique matures with increasing ability to tackle the full spectrum of thoracic surgical diseases, most notably major lung resections for lung tumours, the spread of uniportal VATS across the globe has been phenomenal. VATS centres in Asia are now performing uniportal VATS, and developing their individual styles and techniques with great successes. The enthusiasm from surgeons, demand from patients, as well as the dynamism and diversity of uniportal VATS in the region have helped fuel this excitement and change. The 1st Asian Single Port VATS Symposium in 2013 heralded the beginning of academic exchange between uniportal VATS centres in Asia and experts from around the world. Wetlabs in the region will provide further training for thoracic surgeons interested in super-specializing in uniportal VATS. The future of this approach will hinge on good regional collaboration, research and training. © Pioneer Bioscience Publishing Company.


Ng J.M.-K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yu J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2015

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignancy and the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. It results from the accumulation of multiple genetic and epigenetic changes leading to the transformation of colon epithelial cells into invasive adenocarcinomas. In CRC, epigenetic changes, in particular promoter CpG island methylation, occur more frequently than genetic mutations. Hypermethylation contributes to carcinogenesis by inducing transcriptional silencing or downregulation of tumour suppressor genes and currently, over 600 candidate hypermethylated genes have been identified. Over the past decade, a deeper understanding of epigenetics coupled with technological advances have hinted at the potential of translating benchtop research into biomarkers for clinical use. DNA methylation represents one of the largest bodies of literature in epigenetics, and hence has the highest potential for minimally invasive biomarker development. Most progress has been made in the development of diagnostic markers and there are currently two, one stool-based and one blood-based, biomarkers that are commercially available for diagnostics. Prognostic and predictive methylation markers are still at their infantile stages. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Cheng J.,Nanyang Technological University | Fu A.W.-C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Liu J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Proceedings of the ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data | Year: 2010

Serious concerns on privacy protection in social networks have been raised in recent years; however, research in this area is still in its infancy. The problem is challenging due to the diversity and complexity of graph data, on which an adversary can use many types of background knowledge to conduct an attack. One popular type of attacks as studied by pioneer work [2] is the use of embedding subgraphs. We follow this line of work and identify two realistic targets of attacks, namely, NodeInfo and LinkInfo. Our investigations show that k-isomorphism, or anonymization by forming k pairwise isomorphic subgraphs, is both sufficient and necessary for the protection. The problem is shown to be NP-hard. We devise a number of techniques to enhance the anonymization efficiency while retaining the data utility. A compound vertex ID mechanism is also introduced for privacy preservation over multiple data releases. The satisfactory performance on a number of real datasets, including HEP-Th, EUemail and LiveJournal, illustrates that the high symmetry of social networks is very helpful in mitigating the difficulty of the problem. Copyright 2010 ACM.


Critchley L.A.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Lee A.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ho A.M.-H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Anesthesia and Analgesia | Year: 2010

Numerous cardiac output (CO) monitors have been produced that provide continuous rather than intermittent readings. Bland and Altman has become the standard method for validating their performance against older standards. However, the Bland and Altman method only assesses precision and does not assess how well a device detects serial changes in CO (trending ability). Currently, there is no consensus on how trending ability, or trend analysis, should be performed. Therefore, we performed a literature review to identify articles published between 1997 and 2009 that compared methods of continuous CO measurement. Identified articles were grouped according to measurement technique and statistical methodology. Articles that analyzed trending ability were reviewed with the aim of finding an acceptable statistical method. Two hundred two articles were identified. The most popular methods were pulse contour (69 articles), Doppler (54), bioimpedance (38), and transpulmonary or continuous thermodilution (27). Forty-one articles addressed trending, and of these only 23 provided an in-depth analysis. Several common statistical themes were identified: time plots, regression analysis, Bland and Altman using change in CO (ΔCO), and the 4-quadrant plot, which used direction of change of ΔCO to determine the concordance. This plot was further refined by exclusion of data when values were small. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to define the exclusion zone. In animal studies, a reliable reference standard such as an aortic flowprobe was frequently used, and regression or time plots could be used to show trending. Clinical studies were more problematic because data collection points were fewer (8-10 per subject). The consensus was to use the 4-quadrant plot with exclusion zones and apply concordance analysis. A concordance rate of >92% when using a 15% zone indicated good trending. A new method of presenting trend data (ΔCO) on a polar plot is proposed. Agreement was shown by the angle with the horizontal axis and ΔCO by the distance from the center. Trending can be assessed by the vertical limits of the data, similar to the Bland and Altman method. © 2010 International Anesthesia Research Society.


Chan Y.S.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ng T.B.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

A 70-kDa galactose-specific lectin was purified from the tubers of Dioscorea opposita cv. nagaimo. The purification involved three chromatographic steps: anion exchange chromatography on a Q-Sepharose column, FPLC-anion exchange chromatography on a Mono Q column, and FPLC-gel filtration on a Superdex 75 column. The purified nagaimo lectin presented as a single 35-kDa band in reducing SDS-PAGE while it exhibited a 70-kDa single band in non-reducing SDS-PAGE suggesting its dimeric nature. Nagaimo lectin displayed moderate thermostability, retaining full hemagglutinating activity after heating up to 62°C for 30 minutes. It also manifested stability over a wide pH range from pH 2 to 13. Nagaimo lectin was a galactose-specific lectin, as evidenced by binding with galactose and galactose-containing sugars such as lactose and raffinose. The minimum concentration of galactose, lactose and raffinose required to exert an inhibitory effect on hemagglutinating activity of nagaimo lectin was 20 mM, 5 mM and 40 mM, respectively. Nagaimo lectin inhibited the growth of some cancer cell lines including breast cancer MCF7 cells, hepatoma HepG2 cells and nasopharyngeal carcinoma CNE2 cells, with IC50 values of 3.71 μM, 7.12 μM and 19.79 μM, respectively, after 24 hour treatment with nagaimo lectin. The induction of phosphatidylserine externalization and mitochondrial depolarization indicated that nagaimo lectin evoked apoptosis in MCF7 cells. However, the anti-proliferative activity of nagaimo lectin was not blocked by application of galactose, signifying that the activity was not related to the carbohydrate binding specificity of the lectin. © 2013 Chan, Ng.


Zhang H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Chu L.M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2011

Quarries are an important type of degraded land in southern China requiring ecological improvement and rehabilitation. In this study, plant community structure, soil properties, and microbial biomass and community function were examined at different rehabilitated phases in three quarries, namely Turret Hill Quarry, Lam Tei Quarry and Shek O Quarry, in Hong Kong. Results show that plant species richness and the percentage of native species increased with rehabilitated ages in the three quarries. The highest coverage of woody species was found at older phases, while the lowest woody coverage occurred at younger phases. Soils were strongly to moderately acidic in reaction, and more acidic soils were found in the older than in the younger sites. Organic C as well as total N and P accumulated in soil along with secondary succession in the three quarries, which were positively correlated with woody species richness. Older phases had higher total microbial biomass C and N which were positively correlated with soil organic C, total N and extractable NO 3-N, as well as woody species coverage and native species richness as shown by the biplot of redundancy analysis. Diversity of utilized carbons suggested that metabolic abilities developed gradually with rehabilitation ages in Shek O Quarry, but Turret Hill Quarry and Lam Tei Quarry had similar patterns of carbon source utilization. Principal component analysis further revealed consistent differences in metabolic diversity. Woody coverage and native species richness were significantly correlated with carbon source utilization and functional diversity. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Hu Z.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Yu J.C.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Materials Chemistry A | Year: 2013

A new photocatalyst was prepared by loading 1 wt% of a platinum cobalt alloy on CdS via a simple polyol reduction method. XRD measurements confirmed the composition of the alloy as Pt3Co. Results from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) measurements showed that Pt3Co nanoparticles with an average size of 4 nm were uniformly assembled on the surface of CdS. It was found that the activity of Pt3Co-CdS was approximately two times higher than that of Pt-CdS for photocatalytic H2 evolution. Photochemical measurements suggested that the high activity could be attributed to a better accumulation of photoexcited electrons and the higher conductivity of Pt3Co-CdS than that of Pt-CdS. The Pt3Co alloy cocatalyst was also loaded on TiO2, another widely used photocatalyst, and it also exhibited higher activity than pure Pt loaded on TiO2. This demonstrates the potential of Pt3Co as a universal cocatalyst. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Zhao R.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Ouyang W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang X.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision | Year: 2013

Human salience is distinctive and reliable information in matching pedestrians across disjoint camera views. In this paper, we exploit the pair wise salience distribution relationship between pedestrian images, and solve the person re-identification problem by proposing a salience matching strategy. To handle the misalignment problem in pedestrian images, patch matching is adopted and patch salience is estimated. Matching patches with inconsistent salience brings penalty. Images of the same person are recognized by minimizing the salience matching cost. Furthermore, our salience matching is tightly integrated with patch matching in a unified structural Rank SVM learning framework. The effectiveness of our approach is validated on the VIPeR dataset and the CUHK Campus dataset. It outperforms the state-of-the-art methods on both datasets. © 2013 IEEE.


Family caregiving is an important form of informal care provided to frail, community-dwelling older adults. This article describes a health and social collaborative case management (HSC-CM) model that aims to optimize the support given to caregivers of frail elderly adults. The model was characterized by a comprehensive assessment to identify the caregiver's needs; a case management approach to provide integrated, coordinated, continued care; and multidisciplinary group-based education customized to the caregiver's individualized needs. A pilot study using a randomized controlled trial study design was conducted to evaluate the effects of the HSC-CM on caregiver burden and health-related quality of life of family caregivers of frail elderly adults. Sixty family caregivers (mean age 61.3 ± 15.5) of frail older adults recruited from a community center for elderly adults in Hong Kong were randomly assigned to receive a 16-week HSC-CM intervention or usual care. Case managers who conducted a comprehensive assessment of the care dyads to identify caregiver needs using a case management approach to optimize care coordination and continuity led the HSC-CM. These case managers served as liaisons for multidisciplinary efforts to provide group-based education according to caregiver needs. Family caregivers who participated in the HSC-CM had significantly greater improvement on the Caregiver Burden Index (p =.03) and on the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Survey subscales, including vitality (p =.049), social role functioning (p =.047), and general well-being (p =.049). This study provides preliminary evidence indicating that client-centered care, a case management approach, and multidisciplinary support are crucial to an effective caregiving support initiative. A full-scale study is required to validate these findings. © 2016, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2016, The American Geriatrics Society


Liang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Liao W.-H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Smart Materials and Structures | Year: 2011

In the research of piezoelectric energy harvesting (PEH), the previous foci were mostly on the amount of energy that can be harvested from the ambient vibration sources. Other portions of energy, e.g., the energy dissipated during the harvesting process, were seldom considered in PEH systems. Yet, the ignorance on these energies might cause some misunderstanding in the studies of energy harvesting. This paper sets up an energy flow based framework for the analysis of PEH systems. An energy flow chart is introduced to comprehensively illustrate the energy paths within the PEH system. Taking the interface circuits of standard energy harvesting (SEH) and synchronized switch harvesting on inductor (SSHI) as examples, different branches of energy flow in the PEH systems are quantitatively investigated. In the previous literature, only the harvested energy was emphasized as a function of the rectified voltage or its corresponding DC load resistance. To be more general, we show that both the harvesting energy and dissipated energy change with the rectified voltage; in addition, these two portions of energy also depend on the ratio between the rectifier voltage drop and the open circuit voltage. Three experiments are carried out with an SSHI device to measure its performances on energy harvesting, energy dissipation, and structural damping. The experimental results show good agreement with theoretical analysis. The functional relations among these branches of energy flow are found.


Xu L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Frontiers of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in China | Year: 2010

Firstly proposed in 1995 and systematically developed in the past decade, Bayesian Ying-Yang learning1) is a statistical approach for a two pathway featured intelligent system via two complementary Bayesian representations of a joint distribution on the external observation X and its inner representation R, which can be understood from a perspective of the ancient Ying-Yang philosophy. We have q(X, R) = q(X{pipe}R)q(R) as Ying that is primary, with its structure designed according to tasks of the system, and p(X, R) = p(R{pipe}X)p(X) as Yang that is secondary, with p(X) given by samples of X while the structure of p(R{pipe}X) designed from Ying according to a Ying-Yang variety preservation principle, i.e., p(R{pipe}X) is designed as a functional with q(X{pipe}R), q(R) as its arguments. We call this pair Bayesian Ying-Yang (BYY) system. A Ying-Yang best harmony principle is proposed for learning all the unknowns in the system, in help of an implementation featured by a five action circling under the name of A5 paradigm. Interestingly, it coincides with the famous ancient WuXing theory that provides a general guide to keep the A5 circling well balanced towards a Ying-Yang best harmony. This BYY learning provides not only a general framework that accommodates typical learning approaches from a unified perspective but also a new road that leads to improved model selection criteria, Ying-Yang alternative learning with automatic model selection, as well as coordinated implementation of Ying based model selection and Yang based learning regularization. This paper aims at an introduction of BYY learning in a twofold purpose. On one hand, we introduce fundamentals of BYY learning, including system design principles of least redundancy versus variety preservation, global learning principles of Ying-Yang harmony versus Ying-Yang matching, and local updating mechanisms of rival penalized competitive learning (RPCL) versus maximum a posteriori (MAP) competitive learning, as well as learning regularization by data smoothing and induced bias cancelation (IBC) priori. Also, we introduce basic implementing techniques, including apex approximation, primal gradient flow, Ying-Yang alternation, and Sheng-Ke-Cheng-Hui law. On the other hand, we provide a tutorial on learning algorithms for a number of typical learning tasks, including Gaussian mixture, factor analysis (FA) with independent Gaussian, binary, and non-Gaussian factors, local FA, temporal FA (TFA), hidden Markov model (HMM), hierarchical BYY, three layer networks, mixture of experts, radial basis functions (RBFs), subspace based functions (SBFs). This tutorial aims at introducing BYY learning algorithms in a comparison with typical algorithms, particularly with a benchmark of the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm for the maximum likelihood. These algorithms are summarized in a unified Ying-Yang alternation procedure with major parts in a same expression while differences simply characterized by few options in some subroutines. Additionally, a new insight is provided on the ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin-Yang and WuXing from a perspective of information science and intelligent system. © 2010 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Ming T.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Chen H.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Jiang R.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Li Q.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wang J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2012

Control over light absorption and emission using plasmonic nanostructures is an enabling technology, which can dramatically enhance the performances of existing optical and optoelectronic devices, such as solar cells, light-emitting devices, biosensors, and high-resolution fluorescence microscopes. This Perspective takes fluorescence as an example, illustrating how plasmonic nanostructures can control the light absorption and emission of nanoscale optical species. The origins of fluorescence intensity enhancements will be first discussed. Different parameters that can largely affect the interactions between plasmonic nanostructures and fluorophore molecules will be examined, including the distance between the fluorophore molecule and the metal nanostructure and the wavelengths of their respective optical responses. The role of plasmonic nanostructures on fluorescence will then be reconsidered from the perspective of optical nanoantennas. We expect that more functionalities of plasmonic nanostructures as optical nanoantennas will further be discovered in analogy with the radio frequency antenna counterparts. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Li Y.Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Smart Materials and Structures | Year: 2011

This paper deals with the vibro-acoustic coupling of an irregular enclosure covered with a PZT-bonded panel. The modeling of the system is developed with full consideration of the acoustic-structural-piezoelectric interactions between the actuated panel and the enclosure, along with the modeling of the irregular shape of the enclosure. Simulations are conducted to investigate the effect of the actuation patch on structural modal modification, and subsequently on the structural-acoustic coupling mechanism. Results show that the structural mode shapes can be altered significantly, depending on the patch locations and structural frequency behavior (singlet, doublet or closely coupled), and the patch effect on the coupling density is noticeable, especially when the inclined angle of the enclosure is within a sensitive region. This study provides a more thorough physical understanding of how the PZT patch influences the modal coupling between the actuated panel and the enclosure, which might be useful for all control techniques involving PZT actuated panels. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Hu K.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | Huang G.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | Wu R.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Climate | Year: 2013

The present study investigates the decadal change in the relationship between China high temperature extremes (HTEs) and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It is found that the relationship between the August HTEs in the southern Yangtze River valley (SYRV) and ENSO has strengthened since the late 1980s. Before the late 1980s, the relationship is weak, whereas, after the late 1980s, the August hot-day numbers in the SYRV region tend to be more than normal during El Niño decaying years. During 1988-2008, El Niño-induced August warm SST anomalies are mainly located in the eastern tropical and north Indian Ocean. As a response to the north Indian Ocean warming, the South Asia high extends eastward, and the SYRV is overlain by upper-level easterly anomalies. The cold horizontal temperature advection induced by upperlevel easterly anomalies leads to anomalous descent, which is conducive to the occurrence of HTEs through adiabatic warming. During 1966-86, El Niño-induced August warm SST anomalies are main y distributed in the equatorial central and southwest tropical Indian Ocean. Corresponding to the equatorial Indian Ocean warming, the ascending motion over the Arabian Sea is enhanced, which leads to an anomalous anticyclone over the Middle East through a Rossby wave-type response and in turn an anomalous cyclone over China through a midlatitude wave pattern. The SYRV is controlled by upper-level westerly anomalies, which is not conducive to the occurrence of HTEs since the corresponding horizontal temperature advection and anomalous vertical motion are weak. As such, the impact of ENSO on August SYRV HTEs is weak before the late 1980s. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.


Yang W.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Oncogene | Year: 2015

Accumulating evidence reveals the effectiveness of epigenetic therapy in gastric cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms and targets underlying such therapeutic responses remain elusive. Herein, we report an aberrant yet therapeutically rectifiable epigenetic signaling in gastric carcinogenesis. Administration of DNA-demethylating drug 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) reduced gastric cancer incidence by ~74% (P<0.05) in N-nitroso-N-methylurea-treated mice. Through genome-wide methylation scanning, novel promoter hypermethylation-silenced and drug-targeted genes were identified in the resected murine stomach tumors and tissues. We uncovered that growth/differentiation factor 1 (Gdf1), a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, was silenced by promoter hypermethylation in control tumor-bearing mice, but became reactivated in 5-aza-dC-treated mice (P<0.05). In parallel, the downregulated SMAD2/3 phosphorylation in gastric cancer was revived by 5-aza-dC in vivo. Such hypermethylation-dependent silencing and 5-aza-dC-mediated reactivation of GDF1-SMAD2/3 activity was conserved in human gastric cancer cells (P<0.05). Subsequent functional characterization further revealed the antiproliferative activity of GDF1, which was exerted through activation of SMAD2/3/4-mediated signaling, transcriptional controls on p15, p21 and c-Myc cell-cycle regulators and phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein. Clinically, hypermethylation and loss of GDF1 was significantly associated with reduced phosphorylated-SMAD2/3 and poor survival in stomach cancer patients (P<0.05). Taken together, we demonstrated a causal relationship between DNA methylation and a tumor-suppressive pathway in gastric cancer. Epigenetic silencing of GDF1 abrogates the growth-inhibitory SMAD signaling and renders proliferation advantage to gastric epithelial cells during carcinogenesis. This study lends support to epigenetic therapy for gastric cancer chemoprevention and identifies a potential biomarker for prognosis.Oncogene advance online publication, 27 July 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.276. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited


Han L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Tang P.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Zhang L.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Nano Energy | Year: 2014

Combining hydrothermal synthesis, electrodeposition with soaking process, we synthesized coaxial nanowire arrays consisting of Co3O4 nanowire as the core, polypyrrole (PPy) as the inner shell and MnO2 outer layer as the exodermis. The key to fabricate one-dimensional hierarchical architecture, Co3O4 at PPy at MnO2 "core-shell-shell" nanowires, was to introduce a PPy intermediate layer on the surface of Co3O4 nanowire, which could enhance the conductivity of nanowire arrays and act as a reactive template to induce a coating of amorphous MnO2. The device based on the ternary composite Co3O4 at PPy at MnO2 nanowire arrays exhibited prominent electrochemical performance with a high energy density of 34.3Whkg-1 at a power density of 80.0Wkg-1 and a remarkable long-term cycling stability. In addition, the performance of as-assembled asymmetrical supercapacitor was demonstrated using a DC motor. The results imply that ternary composite based electrode materials have enormous potential for energy storage devices and systems. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Liao X.M.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Leung K.N.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Oncology Reports | Year: 2013

Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor found in infancy and childhood. Current multimodal therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell transplantation often cause inevitable severe side-effects, therefore, it is necessary to develop novel drugs with higher efficacy on neuroblastoma cells and minimal side-effects on normal cells. Indirubin-3'-oxime (I3M), an indigo alkaloid, was found to exhibit potent antitumor activities on various types of cancer cells. However, its modulatory effects on human neuroblastoma and the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. As mitochondrial biogenesis and function play critical roles in cell growth and survival, in the present study the effects of I3M on mitochondrial functions and their correlation to the anticancer effect of I3M on human neuroblastoma cells were investigated. I3M was found to inhibit the growth of the human neuroblastoma LA-N-1, SH-SY5Y and SK-N-DZ cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner, but exhibited little, if any, direct cytotoxicity on normal cells. Mechanistic studies showed that I3M specifically decreased the expression of the mitochondrial regulators ERR? and PGC-1β and resulted in decreased mitochondrial mass and altered mitochondrial function characterized by a reduction in mitochondrial membrane potential and elevation of reactive oxygen species levels in LA-N-1 cells. I3M also increased the level of CDK inhibitor p27Kip1 and reduced the levels of CDK2 and cyclin E in LA-N-1 cells, leading to cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase. Collectively, these results suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction might be an important.


Chen W.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | Feng J.,CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics | Wu R.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Journal of Climate | Year: 2013

The present study investigates the roles of El Nin~ o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) in the relationship between the EastAsian winter monsoon (EAWM) and the following East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). The variability of the EAWM is divided into an ENSO-related part named EAWMEN and an ENSO-unrelated part named EAWMres. Corresponding to a weak EAWMEN, an anomalous low-level anticyclone forms over the western North Pacific (WNP) and persists from winter to the following summer. This anticyclone enhances southerlies over the coast of East Asia in summer. Hence, a weak EAWMEN tends to be followed by a strong EASMand vice versa. As such, a link is established between theEAWMEN and the EASM. The persistence of this WNP anticyclone may be mainly attributed to the sea surface temperature anomalies associated with the ENSO-related EAWM part in the tropical Indian Ocean and the extratropical North Pacific. In contrast, corresponding to a weakEAWMres, the anomalous WNP anticyclone is only seen in winter, and there is no obvious relationship between the EAWMres and the following EASM. Therefore, the observed EAWM-EASM relationship is dominated by thewinter monsoon variability associated with ENSO. It is found that the EAWMEN-EASM relationship is modulated by the PDO. There tends to be a much stronger EASMafter a weakEAWMEN during the positivePDO phases than during the negative PDO phases. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.


Cheung C.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Wu J.C.-Y.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gut and Liver | Year: 2013

Ghrelin is a 28-amino-acid peptide that plays multiple roles in humans and other mammals. The functions of ghrelin include food intake regulation, gastrointestinal (GI) motility, and acid secretion by the GI tract. Many GI disorders involving infection, inflammation, and malignancy are also correlated with altered ghrelin production and secretion. Although suppressed ghrelin responses have already been observed in various GI disorders, such as chronic gastritis, Helicobacter pylori infection, irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, and cachexia, elevated ghrelin responses have also been reported in celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Moreover, we recently reported that decreased fasting and postprandial ghrelin levels were observed in female patients with functional dyspepsia compared with healthy subjects. These alterations of ghrelin responses were significantly correlated with meal-related symptoms (bloating and early satiation) in female functional dyspepsia patients. We therefore support the notion that abnormal ghrelin responses may play important roles in various GI disorders. Furthermore, human clinical trials and animal studies involving the administration of ghrelin or its receptor agonists have shown promising improvements in gastroparesis, anorexia, and cancer. This review summarizes the impact of ghrelin, its family of peptides, and its receptors on GI diseases and proposes ghrelin modulation as a potential therapy.

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