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Welcome to Hong Kong Baptist University! As one of the top liberal arts universities in Asia, our mission is to nurture global citizens for the 21st century by providing students with an environment to achieve academic excellence and receive personalised education.
Against the backdrop of a fast-advancing technological world, the convergence of arts and technology has ushered into a new era of art technology (Art Tech), disrupting how humans create, receive, and respond to arts and culture.
This research project, “Building Platform Technologies for Symbiotic Creativity in Hong Kong”, stands at the forefront of the arts and science nexus, harnessing the power of science and technology to radically advance human and AI interaction. It aims to contribute to the long-term sustainability and viability of the arts ecosystem in Hong Kong, exploring new opportunities that AI-based Art Tech could bring to our city. This will enable new modalities of artistic creation and consumption triggering important socio-economic impacts, thus stirring up a powerful rippling resonance in areas such as business, healthcare and education.
Leveraging the recent development in AI technologies, Art Tech will radically change the art world and creative industries, creating significant social, educational, and economic benefits in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. This research project is well poised to offer a powerful interdisciplinary framework to address pressing societal challenges we face in a post-COVID pandemic era, and brings new opportunities for broad and meaningful socio-cultural-economic growth in Hong Kong.
This event serves as a precursor to the research project entitled “Building Platform Technologies for Symbiotic Creativity in Hong Kong” and will be held before the launch of the three application projects. We intend to invite well-known scientists, artists, and members of the industry and the public from all over the world to participate in this event to exchange ideas, share experiences and ignite sparks in the fields of AI and arts, so as to determine the future development direction of these fields. At that time, philosophical wisdom will be nurtured in the graceful Western Monastery; beauty and art will be created at Pier 1929; and the white paper and achievements exhibition of AI and arts will be displayed to the public at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
A Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) collaborative research study has revealed that certain gut microbial enzymes mediate the reactivation of triclosan (TCS) from its inactive glucuronide metabolite. TCS is an antimicrobial agent commonly used in a wide range of consumer products, and it is associated with the development of colitis.
The research results have been published in Nature Communications, an international scientific journal.
Mechanism of TCS exposure leading to colitis previously unclear
TCS is widely used as an antimicrobial agent in consumer products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, hand sanitisers, cosmetics and toys. It is a major environmental contaminant, and it has been shown that TCS exposure increases the risk of colitis.
Once TCS enters the human body, it is rapidly metabolised to form the biologically inactive metabolite TCS-glucuronide (TCS-G), which is easily eliminated from the body. Due to this characteristic, the mechanism of how environmental exposure to TCS leads to gut toxicity in the human body has previously remained unclear.
To answer this question, a research team co-led by Professor Cai Zongwei, Chair Professor of the Department of Chemistry and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Environmental and Biological Analysis at HKBU; Professor Matthew R Redinbo from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Professor Zhang Guodong from the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted a research study based on the hypothesis that certain gut microbial enzymes act on TCS-G in the gut, leading to the reactivation of TCS and the subsequent development of colitis.
TCS concentration uniquely high in the gut
To begin with, the research team sought to determine whether the gut has a different TCS metabolic profile compared to other body tissues. A group of mice were fed food that contained TCS. After four weeks, it was found that the biologically inactive TCS-G was dominant in their liver, bile, heart and small intestine, while the colitis-inducing TCS was dominant in the gut (cecum and colon). The results showed that the gut has a uniquely high concentration of TCS compared to other body tissues.