LSCI1004 Frontiers in Biological Sciences

Course LSCI1004
Frontiers in Biological Sciences







Class Date 15, 16, 17, 19, 22 and 23 July 2019
(24 and 25 July 2019 are reserved for make-up class in case there is any cancellation of classes due to bad weather or other unexpected factors.)
Class Time 1:00pm – 3:30pm
Class Location 15, 16, 22 and 23 July
LHC 103 | CUHK Map
(Y.C. Liang Hall – LHC)


17 and 19 July
Workshop A 

SC 188 | CUHK Map
(Science Centre – SC)
Workshop B
SC 392 | CUHK Map
(Science Centre – SC)

Teacher Prof. S.K. KONG and Prof. P.K. WONG

Professors, School of Life Science, CUHK


Prof. T. F. CHAN and Prof. Faye TSANG

Associate Professors, School of Life Science, CUHK


Prof. Jerome HUI and Prof. Jack WONG

Assistant Professors, School of Life Science, CUHK


Dr. Cherry CHOW, Dr. K.C. CHUNG and Dr. Nina SIOW

Lecturers, School of Life Science, CUHK

Email TBC
Medium of Instruction English
Course Description This course aims to take students to explore recent advances in life sciences and to appreciate their impacts in health and medical, environmental and industrial areas. The course will include a lecture series and two parallel workshops I) Molecular & Cellular Biology, or II) Biodiversity & Conservation. Students can select one of the workshops according to their interest.


Workshop I Molecular & Cellular Biology introduces students to basic laboratory techniques commonly used in life science research laboratories. Through hands-on training, the workshop will allow students to understand how fundamental discoveries in basic science and innovations in experimental methodologies advance life science research.


Workshop II Biodiversity & Evolution introduces students to animal and plant diversity. The workshop will include: 1) animal diversity and evolution, in-particular the comparative anatomy and function of different animal groups will be illustrated with preserved and live specimens; 2) plant diversity and floral structures, with a hands-on session on floral dissection.


Pre-Requisite Information: Students studying in S.5 of the HKDSE curriculum (or equivalent) with background knowledge in Biology or Chemistry.

This course presents the recent breakthrough and advancements in biological sciences. The lectures are on a range of topics, covering biochemistry, biotechnology, cell biology, development biology, evolution and molecular biology. Contents will vary from year to year.


Examples of activities in the Workshop I Molecular & Cellular Biology include mapping DNA using restriction enzymes and using cultured cells in the laboratory to perform biochemical assays.


Examples of activities in the Workshop II Biodiversity & Conservation include display of live and preserved specimens and discussions on their biological interests and adaptations, in-particular the comparative structure and functions of vertebrate limb evolution will be illustrated with relevant examples. Students will also be guided to observe different types and structures of flowers, and to discuss the corresponding pollination strategies. A Hands-on practical session on floral dissection will also be included.

Learning Outcomes Students are expected to understand the basic concepts and recent development in various life science disciplines, and to appreciate their contribution that revolutionizes our daily life.


For students who take Workshop I Molecular & Cellular Biology, they are expected to

  1. build up practical skills in molecular biology and animal cell biology commonly used to solve problems in life science disciplines; and
  2. develop a proper attitude towards science that values curiosity, creativity and innovation through discussions and hands-on training.


For students who take Workshop II Biodiversity & Conservation, they are expected to

  1. Understand the diversity and adaptive features of various groups of animals, concept of selection and evolution, the interdependence of structure and function in animal evolution, in-particular the concept of homologous and heterologous structures will be illustrated with examples on the evolution of limbs in vertebrates;
  2. Appreciate the diversity and “wisdom” of flowering plants;
  3. Understand the basic approach to observe different types and structures of flowers, and evaluate the adaptive values of floral features in regard with the pollination strategies; and
  4. Learn and practice how to dissect a flower and present their observations in the form of floral diagrams.
Recommended Reading(s) / Reference(s) Lecture handout for each of the topics will be uploaded to the accompanied Blackboard site. Additional reading materials will be provided by individual teachers.
Course Assessment Towards the end of the course, students are required to complete a written test on the lecture series and the selected workshop. (100%)