Science Focus (issue 24)

Dear Readers, Have you browsed our Instagram lately? We have re-visited some of our more popular articles in past issues and reproduced them in a short format. Hopefully, these recent posts would intrigue you to dive deeper into the original articles, which can be found on our website. In this issue, we continue our scientific journey across the ages. Do you know what is in common between the shape of a Swedish traffic roundabout and app icons? Do find out how they can be described mathematically in the article on superellipse. Another shape that has inspired scientists was that of a tortoise shell, which led to the design of an ingestible capsule for the injection of insulin inside the stomach. For those of you who use post-it notes often, have you ever wondered how their not-so-sticky glue was formulated? How did they get the iconic yellow color? We also explored the subject of attraction, based on visual and odor cues, which led us to consider pheromone perfumes and an oddly “cute” deep-sea fish. Finally, as you try to finish reading this issue in one go, with the help of a bowl of spicy ramen, pause before you fetch a glass of water to douse the fiery sensation in your mouth. By the time this issue reached you, we would have concluded our latest writing competition on Instagram. Please stay tuned for more interactive activities on our social media platforms in the near future! Yours faithfully, Prof. Ho Yi Mak Editor-in-Chief 親愛的讀者: 最近有沒有瀏覽《科言》Instagram 專頁?我們把以往一些受歡迎 的文章總結成篇幅較短的貼文,希望能勾起你閱讀原文的興趣,而原文 就在《科言》網頁,歡迎大家閱讀以了解更多。 這一期我們將繼續穿越年代展開科學旅程。你知道瑞典一個迴旋 處跟應用程式圖示在形狀上有甚麼共通點嗎?在介紹超橢圓的文章中 你可以找到在數學上描述它們的方法。另一個吸引科學家的形狀也許是 陸龜龜殼的形狀,它啟發科學家設計出一種可以把胰島素注射到胃部的 口服膠囊。經常使用便利貼的你可曾想過當中不太黏的膠水是怎樣發明 的嗎?便利貼又為何會選用它獨特的黃色呢?此外,我們亦會從視覺和 嗅覺探討「吸引」這回事,我們會介紹費洛蒙香水和一種樣子古怪得「可 愛」的深海魚。最後,如果你想在一口氣讀完《科言》前煮個辛辣麵,小 休一會,請緊記我們的忠告:不要嘗試喝水來撲滅口中灼熱的辛辣感! 這期《科言》送到你手之時,我們於 Instagram 舉辦的寫作比賽 應該已經步入尾聲。請繼續留意我們在不久將來於社交平台舉辦的更多 活動! 主編 麥晧怡教授 敬上 Message from the Editor-in-Chief 主編的話 Copyright © 2023 HKUST E-mail: Homepage: Scientific Advisors 科學顧問 Prof. Yukinori Hirano平野恭敬教授 Prof. Ivan Ip 葉智皓教授 Prof. Tim Leung 梁承裕教授 Prof. Kenward Vong 黃敬皓教授 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 April Lam 林芷因 Roshni Printer Charlton Sullivan 蘇柏安 Helen Wong 王思齊 Social Media Editor 社交媒體編輯 Zoey Tsang 曾鈺榆 Graphic Designers 設計師 Ligeia Fu 付一乙 Sirinant Khunakornbodintr 吳譪恩 Tiffany Kwok 郭喬 Charley Lam 林曉薏 Evangeline Lei 雷雨晴 Coby Ngai 魏敏儀 Contents Science Focus Issue 024, 2023 What’s Happening in Hong Kong? 香港科技活動 Material Tales — The Life of Things 1 天生我「材」─ 材料科學與設計 Mars Calling 火星的呼喚 Science in History 昔日科學 The Mathematical Avengers: Nicolas Bourbaki 2 數學復仇者聯盟:Nicolas Bourbaki Science Today 今日科學 Thinking Out of the Box: Oral Insulin Pill 5 有何不可:口服胰島素藥丸 Amusing World of Science 趣味科學 The World’s “Ugliest” Animals: The Blobfish Files 8 「醜陋」動物之最:水滴魚檔案 Understand Spiciness: A Pain but Not a Taste 12 辣……其實是一種痛? How Do Sticky Notes Work? 15 便利貼的原理是? Superellipse: Turning a Circle into a Square 18 超橢圓:介乎圓形與正方形的詩意 Pheromone Perfumes: Beyond Advertisements 22 費洛蒙香水:廣告沒有告訴你的二三事