Team:HK HCY LFC/Public Engagement


RTHK Radio Programme —— Adwisor

“Secondary Students share their thoughts on SCA Project”


Figure. 1 Our iGEM team captains participating in RTHK radio program "Adwisor"

Spinocerebellar ataxia is a genetic disease with 100% incidence rate. iGEM team HK HCYxLFC has shared how an alternative diagnostic method can help the SCA patients.

On 7th of August, 2018, Lam Tsz Yan Tiffany, Law Chun Hin Marshall, the iGEM team leaders of Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College and Po Leung Kuk Laws Foundation College, and Dr. Yuen Man Luek Jacky, iGEM team instructor, as well as a Biology teacher of Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College, and Professor Chan Ho Yin Edwin, Associate Vice-President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong were invited to have an introduction for our project on SCA 3 to the public through a RTHK radio programme —— Adwiser.

In this one-hour radio programme, we have introduced about spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) and our project to the public.

Professor Chan explained the condition of SCA patients in Hong Kong. He said that it was difficult for the patients to be diagnosed as SCA unless genetic testing is carried out. Most of the patients were diagnosed as SCA after they gave birth to children. Since SCA is a genetic disease, their children may inherit and suffer from this disease.

“We couldn’t decide our fate, but I am very touched to hear the students who want to help the patients.” said Professor Chan. “So I give some advice on how to find out some simpler and easier diagnostic methods of SCA, so as to relieve their pressure from illnesses with an unknown reason.”

Our team leaders introduced and shared the difficulties we encountered in both human practice and laboratory works. They explained the experimental design and the objectives of our project.

Marshall had mentioned the difficulties in various experiments. “It requires your patience and carefulness,” he said, “The amount of solution added is crucial and the sequence of adding different solution must be correct, otherwise we can’t collect accurate results.”

Besides, Tiffany has mentioned about the laboratory skills in our project. “Since our school doesn’t have the apparatus required in this experiment, we have to learn about the working principles of the experiments and how to use those apparatus, and conduct the experiments in LFC during our summer vacation.” said Tiffany.

“Also, we have to read those scientific journals written by scientists, and learn about how different experiments are related to our project. It seems difficult to us, as there are lots of specified terms in scientific articles. Under the mentorship of our teachers, HKU advisors, and Professor Chan, we could apply our knowledge on our project, which is a meaningful thing that we could help the patients by our knowledge.” mentioned Tiffany. She said it was glad to see that the team members actively participated in the project.

Last but not least, the radio programme has raised Hong Kong citizens’ awareness on the needs of patients suffering from rare diseases like SCA. We hope that the Hong Kong citizens,as well as the Hong Kong Government, could give support to the patients and their family members. Meanwhile, the programme had promoted the iGEM competition to Hong Kong young people. Students in high schools and universities may be interested in joining the iGEM competition, apply their scientific knowledge and contribute to the field of science and the society.

Figure. 2 Team captains recording in RTHK studio

Click HERE for the footage of the RTHK radio program (Chinese)

Hong Kong Joint School Science Exhibition (JSSE)

Our teammates had participated in the Joint School Science Exhibition (JSSE). During the exhibition, they introduced our iGEM project and collected opinions from both scholars and other participants.


Figure. 3 51st Joint School Science Exhibition & Figure. 4 Our teammates' participation in JSSE

Figure. 5 Introducing our iGEM project during the exhibition