Research Highlights

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07 Dec 2023
Chronic wounds cost Singapore an estimated SGD$350 million a year, accounting for approximately 0.07% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The amount is a significant economic burden, considering that the country spends 4% of its GDP on healthcare. This is according to the first local study that has quantified the national cost of chronic wounds in a multi-ethnic Asian population. The research, conducted by scientists and clinicians at eight institutions in Singapore, was led by Duke-NUS Medical School and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
06 Dec 2023
A research team led by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has developed a novel drug delivery system for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The researchers have engineered exosomes, extracellular vesicles released by cells, to effectively carry the bioactive compound Corynoxine-B extracted from the Chinese herbal medicine Gouteng to the brain of mice with AD. As Corynoxine-B can induce autophagy, a process that maintains the health of cells, this new drug delivery system using exosomes can improve cognitive function and movement while reducing the symptoms of AD.
04 Dec 2023
Since nearly the twelfth century, painters, called ‘patuas’, lived around the Jagannatha Temple at Puri in Odisha, painting tales from Hindu and Islamic religious mythologies, and local legends onto cloth scrolls. Discover how the rituals and festivals of the temple, and its principal deities — Jagannatha, Balabhadra, and Subhadra — inspire these paintings.
20 Nov 2023
Created by western India’s nomadic Vaghri community, mata ni pachedi is a tradition of cloth painting dating back 300 years. Originally meant as canopies for shrines and as objects of ritual worship, these textiles depict a pantheon of local goddesses surrounded by regional motifs. Read on to understand how printing, painting and cloth come together in religious consumerism.
13 Nov 2023
Steel and aluminum are key players in supporting economic growth, yet materials joining them remain unexplored due to their fusion zones’ brittleness. A new 3D printing method’s fix may be a step toward a steel-aluminum hybrid renaissance.
Camera trap photo of Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna
10 Nov 2023
Expedition led by Indonesian NGO YAPPENDA with Cenderawasih University students finds two species lost to science: Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna—one of Re:wild’s most wanted lost species—and Mayr’s honeyeater.
09 Nov 2023
The School of Chinese Medicine at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) found that 55% of the patients who sought medical treatment from the “HKBU Chinese Medicine Telemedicine Centre Against COVID-19” during the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to experience at least one long COVID symptom for six months to a year after diagnosed with an infection. The most common symptoms are fatigue, brain fog and cough.
09 Nov 2023
A research led by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has discovered that hyodeoxycholic acid (HDCA), a bile acid generated in human intestine, can reduce fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver, demonstrating its strong therapeutic potential for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The research also found that HDCA’s intervention in NAFLD works by reshaping the population of beneficial gut bacteria, which affects the metabolic interactions between the gut and the liver. The result highlighted the critical role of gut health in liver disease.
06 Nov 2023
Since the 3rd century CE, master puppeteers of southern India have brought the epics of the subcontinent to life through Tholu Bommalata, a form of shadow puppetry performed with elaborate, life-sized leather puppets. Come discover this intricate musical theatre tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation and continues to thrive to this day.
20 Oct 2023
The Cholamandal Artists' Village was established in 1966 to encourage self-sufficiency, community living and the creation of a South Indian visual identity. Since then, it has undergone a transformative journey. Discover its history and achievements.
20 Oct 2023
A huge step forward in the evolution of perovskite solar cells recorded by researchers at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will have significant implications for renewable energy development. The CityU innovation paves the way for commercialising perovskite solar cells, bringing us closer to an energy-efficient future powered by sustainable sources.
09 Oct 2023
Between the seventh and ninth centuries, south peninsular India experienced a cultural renaissance, resulting from the extensive patronage of a powerful dynasty, the Pallavas. Discover their unique contributions to the arts and literature of the time, which led to the creation of a new, Dravidian idiom of temple architecture in South Asia.
24 Sep 2023
Amidst the political tumult of nineteenth-century colonial India, Abanindranath Tagore — an artist from Bengal — set out to invent a new ‘Indian’ visual language, rejecting European artistic ideals. He pioneered a style that combined themes from mythology, history, and rural life, with elements from India’s miniature painting traditions. This would evolve into the Bengal School — a movement that reimagined a distinctly Indian approach to art. Tagore influenced an entire generation of artists and left a lasting impact on the quest for Indian identity during the struggle for Independence.
11 Sep 2023
In the mid-sixteenth century, Mughal emperor Humayun brought two Persian master painters to India, who not only established an imperial atelier but also began a major tradition of miniature painting in South Asia — Mughal manuscript paintings. This painting tradition flourished for centuries, enjoying royal patronage and resulted in the illustration of significant literary texts, scriptures, biographies, dynastic histories and scientific literature. Known for their naturalism and intricacy, Mughal paintings also combined a range of influences — Persian, Indian and European — and were often made collaboratively by artists and other specialists in the imperial ateliers, known as kitabkhanas. Discover the legacy and lasting influence of this painting tradition and its eventual decline in the late eighteenth century.
08 Sep 2023
Study addresses gaps in understanding of swine influenza A virus evolution and highlights need for early warning of disease emergence
28 Aug 2023
Traditionally woven in Gujarat, India, mashru — meaning ‘lawful’ or ‘permitted’ in Arabic — was invented to allow Muslims to wear silk garments despite injunctions against it in the Hadith, an important Islamic religious text offering teachings and moral guidance. The fabric’s innovative weaving technique, where each silk warp crosses six cotton wefts, keeps silk from touching the body when worn. Whilst the earliest visual references to mashru date back to the seventeenth-century in the Deccan region of southern India, the fabric has lived many lives, gaining popularity amongst Islamic populations in India, West Asia and Africa as it was traded along Indian Ocean maritime routes.
24 Aug 2023
Study suggests broad-spectrum vaccines with wide coverage necessary to achieve effective immunity against future, functionally-distinct variants.
14 Aug 2023
In the early seventeenth century, a new painting tradition — characterised by its use of bold colours, gilding and gem-setting — emerged in the Thanjavur region of southern India. While Thanjavur paintings originally featured gods and saints, the tradition grew to incorporate secular subjects owing to a range of influences over the next several centuries, including Mughal, Maratha, and European art. Thanjavur paintings continue to be popular as memorabilia and worship objects, and are one the most recognisable South Indian painting styles today.
07 Aug 2023
A research led by scientists of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) found that isoliquiritigenin (ISL), a flavonoid isolated from the Chinese herbal medicine licorice, can inhibit pancreatic cancer progression. It may also enhance the efficacy of conventional chemotherapeutic drugs in treating pancreatic cancer. It is the first time that a research group reported the anticancer potential of ISL in treating pancreatic cancer.
31 Jul 2023
Backstrap looms are portable weaving contraptions with a component that is tied around the weaver’s waist, thereby engaging the weaver’s entire body in the process of creating textile out of warp and weft. Historical and archaeological evidence suggests that these looms, which presumably date as far back as the Bronze Age in China, have been, and continue to be, used by indigenous communities worldwide.
An electric car in Singapore
28 Jul 2023
Newcastle University (UK) and the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University hosted a UK-Singapore symposium funded by the UK Government in April 2023. It aimed to foster partnerships and research for widespread electric vehicle adoption. The event featured discussions on technology, economics, and policy over three days, encouraging joint collaboration in advanced electric transport research and commercialization.
20 Jul 2023
Thursday at the International Congress of Genetics in Melbourne
19 Jul 2023
From big, permanent structures within imambaras to palm-sized ones made of cigarette boxes and coloured paper, tazias are replicas of the tomb of Imam Hussain which play a significant role in the rituals observed during Muharram. They were initially popularised by the Mughals for those royals who were unable to visit the actual tomb but the tradition continues, even today, when photographic images of the tomb are widely available — as a mode of creative expression or, perhaps more, as a performance of homage.
18 Jul 2023
Research stories from the International Congress of Genetics in Melbourne Tuesday 18 July 2023
18 Jul 2023
Highlights from the first two days of the 23rd International Congress of Genetics, Melbourne Australia For the next six days we will hear how genetics has transformed medicine, food, conservation, and almost every area of human activity.
04 Jul 2023
The use of veterinary antibiotics is not uncommon in the fields of animal husbandry and fisheries to speed up growth and prevent disease. However, residual antibiotics may damage human gut microbiota, promote antibiotic resistance, and even delay the growth and development of brain cells, posing hazards to human health.
03 Jul 2023
Comprising over 750 rock shelters — of which over a hundred are painted — the Bhimbetka caves are perhaps the earliest known repository of art in South Asia. These prehistoric paintings illustrate hunting scenes as well as scenes of collective rituals and processions. Although their purposes remain unknown, Bhimbetka paintings provide immense historical information about humans, animals and their relationship with nature and culture.
Plastics floating in the sea
22 Jun 2023
Researchers from Newcastle University, led by Dr Kheng Lim Goh, have developed a cost-effective Cellular Automata (CA) model for predicting marine plastic movement. Findings from model predictions align well with traditional particle-tracking models, suggesting its potential as a valuable tool for assessing marine plastic pollution and mitigation strategies.
Recycling bin for used plastics
22 Jun 2023
An international team of researchers from India and Singapore, led by Associate Professor Kheng Lim Goh from Newcastle University in Singpaore, has examined the impact of plastic waste management on creating a new type of clean-energy device, Tribo-electric nanogenerator. It compares recycling practices in Singapore and India, highlighting the importance of waste policies and infrastructure for successful recycling of plastics for making the clean-energy device. Challenges include contamination and decreased material quality with recycling.
22 Jun 2023
An international team of researchers revisited the fundamentals of Negative Poisson's ratio structure (NPRS) and investigated its creation using laminated carbon fiber reinforced plastics, a strong and lightweight material. Their objective was to gain a deeper understanding of the process and explore potential applications, aiming to unlock new possibilities and advancements in the field of materials science for sustainability.

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