UM holds six biomedicine lectures for local high school students

Students observe the nematodes

To enhance the scientific literacy of Macao students, the University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) organised six lectures in biomedicine. During the lectures, FHS teaching staff shared fun scientific mysteries with over 250 secondary school students, with the aim of stimulating their interest in science.

Prof Garry Wong delivered a lecture titled ‘A Love Story of Mr Coding and Ms Biology’ to Form 5 students of Sacred Heart Canossian College (English Session). Associate Professor Henry Kwok Hang Fai delivered a lecture titled ‘Pharmaceutical Century - Ten Decades of Drug Discovery’ to Form 5 students of Colégio Diocesano de São José (5ª). Associate Professor Tam Kin Yip delivered a lecture titled ‘Drug with Monster Bite: How Nature's Deadliest Venoms Are Saving Human Lives?’ to Form 4 students of the same school. Associate Professor Chris Wong Koon Ho gave a lecture titled ‘Do Your Genes Determine Everything about You?’ to Form 4 students of Escola Xin Hua and Form 5 students of Colégio Diocesano de São José (5ª). Senior Instructor Liu Weiwei delivered a lecture titled ‘Sleep for Your Health’ to Form 5 students of Escola Xin Hua.

Prof Wong discussed whether code and biology are a ‘good match’ and explained how mathematics and information science can be used to solve biology-related problems, citing examples where people use data analysis and statistical methods and theories to manage and analyse biological data to make the results more credible. Prof Kwok talked about how toxins in venom can also be used to treat diseases. He pointed out that many drugs containing venom are already in extensive use. Prof Tam talked about how drug development is crucial to the well-being of humanity and gave a detailed account of the history of drug discovery and development. Prof Wong discussed whether genes determine one’s entire life and explained how genes inherited from parents determine one’s characteristics and risk for certain diseases. Dr Liu discussed the importance of sleep, the amount of sleep required at different ages, the sleep cycle, the factors that affect sleep, and the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

The speakers shared scientific knowledge in an entertaining and informative manner, interspersing their lectures with interactive elements such as video watching, online voting, and the observation of the nematodes. They also encouraged students to develop an interest in science, keep an open mind, and overcome self-imposed limitations, so that one day they can transform the world with science and technology.

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