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Breakthrough flu test discovered at PolyU

The PolyU research team led by Dr. Jianhua Hao, associate professor of applied physics, (right) and Dr. Mo Yang, associate professor of biomedical engineering, (left) have developed a novel nanobiosensor for rapid detection of flu and other viruses. (Photo credit: HK Polytechnic University).

Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have developed a faster and cheaper test for flu using a nanobiosensor. The technique can detect the flu in about three hours, compared to an existing test that takes at least one day. Moreover, it costs only HK$20 (US$2.56) per sample, which is about 80% lower than traditional testing methods.

The technology could also be used for detecting the Ebola and Zika viruses. “Theoretically the test can be applied to different types of viruses and can be detected by modifying the capture probe,” explained biomedical engineering Associate Professor Mo Yang. He added that the biosensor is comparable to, if not better than, the traditional clinical approach.

The next step is for the research team to get in touch with the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and local medical schools to begin clinical tests. Researchers hope that the biosensor, which was developed with funding from the Hong Kong government’s Innovation and Technology Fund, will be approved for clinical use within two years.

HKU dentistry school earns top ranking

The University of Hong Kong's dental school is ranked best in the world.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) dental school has been ranked the best in the world, according to the QS World Universities Rankings by Subject 2016, beating out the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, which ranked first last year.

The faculty dean, Professor Thomas Frank Flemmig, said this is a wonderful recognition of the hard work and academic contributions of staff and students at HKU. Professor Flemmig added that he was looking forward to further advancing the delivery of comprehensive oral health care for Hong Kong people through collaboration with dental professionals, the government and other stakeholders.

HKU’s faculty of dentistry was established in 1982 and is now the only educational center for dentists in Hong Kong. It offers programs in specialties such as dental public health, pediatric dentistry, periodontology, endodontics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Traveling abroad? Download ‘Safeguard HK’

The “Safeguard HK” mobile app provides a one-stop platform for Hong Kong travelers.

Hong Kong's Security Bureau has launched a new “Safeguard HK” mobile app that serves as a one-stop platform for useful information on safety and assistance in handling emergencies while traveling outside of Hong Kong.      

“Safeguard HK” provides instant updates on outbound travel alerts, contact information for consulates, Hong Kong border-control-point wait times, first-aid instructions, emergency numbers, crime and scam prevention tips and other information.          

The app is available for free from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Thriving app market in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a booming market for apps.

Hong Kong was the world’s 16th-largest app market for the Apple App Store and 12th for Google Play in 2015, surpassing gigantic markets such as India, Sweden, Israel, Brazil and Mexico.

With Hong Kong’s population of just 7 million, several factors explain its sizeable app market, including high smartphone penetration rate and high average installed apps per smartphone.

The city’s booming app market has been an attractive destination to international publishers, making it Asia’s frontier for soft-launching apps.

Immigration Department voted 'best'

Assistant director Choi Yue-ning (left) receives the 2016 Skytrax Award for Best Airport Immigration Service on behalf of the Hong Kong Immigration Department in Cologne, Germany, on March 16.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department (ImmD) has been voted the winner of the Skytrax Award for Best Airport Immigration Service for the second consecutive year in the annual passenger survey commissioned by UK-based Skytrax, a specialist research agent of the air transport industry.

The survey was conducted between June and February, and covered 550 airports worldwide. A total of 13.25 million survey questionnaires on the immigration services of various airports were collected from passengers of 106 nationalities.

The ImmD continues to strive for excellence and to facilitate the coming of visitors to Hong Kong.

Immigration-clearance measures, such as implementing a non-stamping service and arrangements for reciprocal use of automated services with Korea, Singapore and Germany, have helped shorten passenger wait times. In addition, the ImmD has made concerted efforts to utilize information technology to enhance the operational efficiency of control points. The ImmD will continue to upgrade the automated passenger-clearance system, looking to enable the flexible deployment of e-Channel services according to passenger traffic patterns and further enhancing the handling capacity of inbound and outbound passengers.


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