EDUCATION NEWS

Hong Kong academics patent method to verify herbal medicine's quality

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 June, 2015, 6:24am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 June, 2015, 10:53am

Patent just the tonic for Hong Kong academics: Three academics at Baptist University - assistant professor Dr Han Quanbin, associate professor Dr Chen Hubiao and Dr Xu Jun, senior research assistant at the university's school of Chinese medicine - have invented a convenient and low-cost method to efficiently authenticate the body-strengthening Chinese herbal medicine tiepi shihu. The novel authentication method has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is being used by a Chinese medicine company in Hong Kong.

Tiepi shihu (Latin name Dendrobium officinale Kimura et Migo) nourishes the stomach, supplements bodily fluids, helps tonify yin, clears heat and strengthens the immune system. Due to its scarcity, the tiepi shihu found in the market may be mixed with other species of shihu or may even be counterfeit.

UK campus harassment concerns: British universities are failing to respond to endemic levels of harassment against female students as new evidence raises questions about campus safety, according to the University Worlds News website, quoting Sky News. A survey of woman students at universities across the UK found one in three has experienced discrimination or sexual harassment, with more than half of those instances taking place on campus.

Of women who had these experiences, 93 per cent did not report them, the survey found. Of the students who did report incidents including serious sexual violence, one said she had dropped out of lectures to avoid seeing the male student responsible, while no action was taken against him. One female student said her case was "dropped by the police after pressure from the university".

The survey, by student website Hexjam, is the latest in a series of revelations about the extent of harassment and sexual violence on campuses across the UK, after a 2010 study by the National Union of Students found that one in seven female students had experienced a serious physical or sexual assault.

Forum seeks global outlook in classrooms: A new bilateral conference on education involving Britain and Japan aimed at encouraging a global outlook in school classrooms will be staged in Japan in late August.

The first UK-Japan Forum on International Perspectives in Education, to be held in Fukushima, Kyoto and Tokyo from August 23 to 28, will feature presentations, seminars and workshops involving teachers from Britain and Japan, with the aim of developing a global perspective in professional teacher training and facilitating exchanges of ideas and resources.

Topics to be addressed include the use of technology in breaking down barriers between classrooms and countries, language and communication as major elements of global collaboration, science as a global language, the role of women in science, and the importance of a humanist education. Visit thinkglobalukjapan.edublogs.org/