Science Focus (Issue 23)

Dear Readers, Welcome to the new issue of Science Focus. In addition to being a source of your “book reports”, I hope this magazine can serve as a starting point for your further exploration of specific topics. When our writers prepare each article, they normally consult multiple references to ensure the accuracy of the content. I hope you will develop the same habit during your personal journey of discovery. Did you know that elephants are much less likely to suffer from cancer than us? Find out why from our cover story on Peto’s paradox when we discussed the surprising lack of correlation between body size and cancer. One way to treat cancer is to undergo surgery. It turns out we have Joseph Lister to thank for popularizing antiseptic surgeries, which greatly increase the survival rate of patients. Turning to mathematics, we consider a seemingly simple quest of counting objects or birthdays and how it can go wrong. We will also explore how the concept of radioactive decay can be applied to a mathematical problem. For those of you who enjoy horticulture, we revisit how fertilizers are made using the Haber process. Is there more to learn beyond the chemistry textbook? Finally, don’t miss our articles on the forefront of scientific breakthroughs, from using light to control brain activities to using artificial intelligence for mathematical proofs. As always, please follow our social media channels for additional bite-size scientific stories. Drop us a line in the comments section. We would love to hear from you! Yours faithfully, Prof. Ho Yi Mak Editor-in-Chief 親愛的讀者: 歡迎閱讀最新一期《科言》!除了可能作為閱讀報告的「指定書目」 外,我希望這本雜誌能為你提供探索科學題材的切入點。當我們的學生 編輯預備每篇文章時,他們通常都會參考多篇文獻以確保內容的準確 性,希望大家踏上科學旅程時也能養成同樣習慣。 你知道大象患癌的機率遠比我們小嗎?箇中原因可以在關於佩托 悖論的封面故事中找到,我們會討論體型和癌症背後出乎意料地沒有 關聯的原因。進行手術是治療癌症的其中一個方法,說到手術,我們要 感謝 Joseph Lister 使抗菌程序普及化,這大大增加了病人手術後的存 活率。也讓我們來談談數學,看看我們如何在的數算物件或生日的過程 中出亂子,亦窺探一下數學家如何把放射性衰變的概念應用在數學問題 上。此外,我們亦為喜歡園藝的你重溫一下透過哈柏法製造肥料的過程, 教科書以外還有沒有甚麼是值得學習的呢?最後,不要錯過介紹最新科 學突破的文章,當中包括運用光來控制腦部活動和利用人工智能來寫數 學證明的技術。 一如以往,我們歡迎大家追蹤我們的社交專頁,那裡會連載一些雜 誌以外的科學小故事。我們亦期待在網上與大家互動,歡迎隨時留言給 我們! 主編 麥晧怡教授 敬上 Message from the Editor-in-Chief 主編的話 Copyright © 2022 HKUST E-mail: Homepage: Scientific Advisors 科學顧問 Prof. Jason Chan陳鈞傑教授 Prof. Ivan Ip 葉智皓教授 Prof. Stanley Lau 劉振鈞教授 Prof. Tim Leung 梁承裕教授 Editor-in-Chief 主編輯 Prof. Ho Yi Mak麥晧怡教授 Managing Editor 總編輯 Daniel Lau 劉劭行 Student Editorial Board學生編委 Editors 編輯 Sonia Choy 蔡蒨珩 Peace Foo 胡適之 Dana Kim 金娥凜 Sirius Lee 李揚 Lambert Leung 梁卓霖 Graphic Designers 設計師 Tiffany Kwok 郭喬 Charley Lam 林曉薏 Samantha Kaitlyn Ng Cheuk Hei Tsang 曾卓希 Contents Science Focus Issue 023, 2022 What’s Happening in Hong Kong? 香港科技活動 Dinosaurs of Antarctica 3D 1 極地尋龍 3D The Shaw Prize 2022 Exhibition 2022 邵逸夫獎展覽 Amusing World of Science 趣味科學 Peto’s Paradox: Is Body Size the Key to Fighting Cancer? 2 佩托悖論:體型大小是對抗癌症的關鍵嗎? Not One Less: Fencepost Errors 6 一個都不能遺漏:柵欄錯誤 The Number Sequence That Needs to Be Said 10 唸出數列之必要:聽射性數列 Science in History 昔日科學 The Father of Antiseptic Surgery: Joseph Lister 14 抗菌手術之父:Joseph Lister Science Today 今日科學 Haber Process: More Than Just Nitrogen and Ammonia 16 哈柏法:改變世界的化學反應 Optogenetics: Controlling Brain Activities with Light 20 光遺傳學:運用光控制腦部活動 Will Mathematicians Be Replaced? – 22 Computers in Mathematics 數學家會被取代嗎?—電腦在數學中的角色