I remembered during CUSA3003 Biological Science Student Knowledge Enhancement Course this summer, we covered some basic topics, such as ‘cell cycle’ and ‘the central dogma’. I reminded the students that although the public exams might require the ‘model answers’ of the description of these biological events, the exact mechanisms were still not yet 100% understood. We should expect the knowledge to change or to be updated in the future; where the ‘model answers’ might not be eternal in science: they could eventually turn out to be wrong.
Here we have a good example to demonstrate the new discovery related to the DNA replication process that occurs during a cell cycle. A group of scientists in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Peking University has recently reported a protein complex called Origin Recognition Complex (ORC), which was demonstrated to scan through the whole genome and to initiate DNA replication during the S-phase of the cell cycle, for instance. With this discovery, the old model of DNA replication will be revised.
I would like to bring out two take-home messages from this example; firstly, students should realize that the ability to apply scientific method to solve problems in real life setting is much more important than memorizing ‘model answers’ in exams. Secondly, Science Students in Hong Kong can do something great in science to rewrite the theories of life science.