Newsletter No. 54

CUHK NEWSLETTER structure wil l b e implemented fro m the academic year 1994-95 . Here is a synopsis of the revisions proposed: 1. Th e 'board o f studies ' currentl y provided fo r in the statutes will be repealed, and the 'department' wil l be written into the Ordinance as the basic academic unit to take over all the functions of the department and the board of studies. 2. Th e chairman o f the department as departmen t hea d wil l b e appointed by the University Counci l on recommendatio n o f the Senate. Directors o f studies wil l no longer be appointed for the departments. 3. Fo r those academi c programme s which ar e not subsumed unde r a single departmen t an d those tha t are jointl y offere d by more tha n one department , a directo r o f studies wil l be appointed fo r each relevant programme . 4. Th e pro-vice-chancellor s an d the college heads will no longer serv e ex officio a s members o f all th e boards of departments an d board s of faculties. Universit y to Awar d Firs t DSc Degree Prof. R C. Leung of the Department of Orthopaedics an d Traumatology wil l be conferre d th e University's firs t Doctor o f Scienc e degre e late r thi s year. According t o University regulations, the D.Sc . degre e ma y b e awarded fo r an original an d distinguished contribution whic h add s substantially t o knowledge o r the understanding o f any branch o f science. A candidat e ha s to produc e evidence from published wor k tha t he or sh e has made suc h a contribution. A special board of examiners wa s formed in late 1993 to assess published works submitte d by Prof. Leung , an d members o f the board unanimousl y recommended th e award o f a D.Sc . degree. Th e University Senat e subsequently approved th e recommendation in its meeting on 13t h April. New Hope for Infertile Men to Become Fathers Doctors at the Prince of Wales Hospital have devise d a new techniqu e to increase th e succes s rat e of test-tube fertilization. Th e firs t baby produce d locally a s a result o f such a technique was delivere d o n 9th April by caesarean section . In standar d in vitro-fertilization (IVF), huma n egg s an d sperms are mixed i n a dish or a test tube, and the sperms are expected to make their own way int o th e egg to achieve fertilization. But whe n th e sperms ar e to o few or too weak to break through th e egg's protective 'shell' , then IVF will fail. To mak e lif e easie r fo r these sperms, doctor s no w introduce 'subzonal insemination' : a fine glas s tube thinner than a human hair is used to brea k throug h th e shel l of the eg g and inject chosen sperms into the fluid between th e shel l an d the cel l membrane. I f the eg g i s successfully fertilized by any sperm thu s brough t near, it will be replanted to the human uterus. Such micro-manipulatio n o f human egg s an d sperms wil l requir e very sophisticate d an d expensive equipment and the success rate is only 10 per cent at the moment. Doctors at the Departmen t o f Obstetric s and Gynaecology wil l continue wit h thei r research to improve the technique and increase the success rate. NO.54MA Y 199 4 2