Research Highlights

News

17 Jun 2024
A new study from Duke-NUS Medical School has highlighted the widespread use of physical restraints among caregivers of older adults with advanced dementia living at home, revealing a need for better guidance and alternative care approaches.
04 Jun 2024
Groundbreaking research from Duke-NUS offers new hope to millions with asthma and severe food allergies, signalling a new strategy for the prevention of life-threatening reactions.
30 May 2024
Renowned for its gleaming silver and gold inlay against dark metallic backgrounds, Bidriware metal work derives its name from the town of its origin — Bidar in southern India. While the earliest documented presence of Bidriware is in a 1625 Deccani miniature painting, the craft is believed to have originated in the 14th century under the patronage of the Bahmani Sultans. Bidriware's allure ensured that it was valued and patronised by royalty across the Indian subcontinent in the late medieval and early modern period. Read about this living tradition, and the processes behind the creation of Bidriware.
27 May 2024
A new study by Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has found that compared to non-volunteers, older adults who volunteer feel more supported by their social networks, which in turn leads to an improvement in their quality of life.
27 May 2024
• International study, led by researchers in Singapore and Germany, unveils unexpected mechanisms of SGLT2 inhibitors, challenging the assumption that their beneficial, organ-protective effects stem from a diuretic effect. • Insights suggest the drugs, which have been developed to treat diabetes but are meanwhile widely used for chronic kidney disease and heart failure, trigger ancient and highly conserved evolutionary survival signals that may also contribute to longer healthspans.
24 May 2024
New genetic tool developed by Duke-NUS could help investigate brain function and psychiatric disorders.
13 May 2024
Late in the sixteenth century, a master artist from the Mughal emperor Akbar’s atelier adopted the technique of using monochromatic tones with highlights of colour or gold. Known as ‘nim qalam,’ Persian for ‘half pen,’ or ‘siyah qalam’ for ‘black pen’, this technique was eventually adopted by artists in the Deccan, and later the Rajput courts. Although its precise origins remain uncertain, nim qalam continues to be used by contemporary South Asian artists working on manuscript painting.
30 Apr 2024
Immune response from two doses of mRNA vaccines is sufficient to protect against COVID-19 in children. A third dose does not confer additional benefit, research conducted by the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine) and Duke-NUS Medical School has found.
15 Apr 2024
Once a two-armed attendant to the goddess Tara, over time, Marichi was increasingly endowed with power until she became a deity in her own right. Revered as a warrior and guardian against evil and darkness, Marichi’s imagery reveals myriad symbolisms — from her association with the sun to her role as a fierce protector. Read about the multifaceted nature of Marichi's mythology and imagery, spanning nations, cultures, and time.
11 Apr 2024
Duke-NUS study reveals why some pancreatic and colorectal tumours resist targeted anti-Wnt drugs and suggests how to overcome it, offering new hope to patients with fully treatment-resistant cancers
01 Apr 2024
In India’s dry, western-most state — Rajasthan — the gods are carried from village to village, and tales that surround the deity are narrated so that the devout may be blessed. The gods are housed in a ‘kavad’, a portable shrine adorned with intricate narrative paintings of folk tales and epics. Constructed from low-density wood and painted with mineral-derived pigments, the kavad serves as a conduit for the oral storytelling tradition known as kavad banchana. Learn about the synergy between the makers, painters and patrons of these shrines, and how this tradition continues to evolve.
21 Mar 2024
Scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School have identified a gene that plays a crucial role in regulating energy supply to cells that drive kidney failure. This discovery concerning the gene, named WWP2, offers a new target for therapies aimed at mitigating kidney scarring and damage.
19 Mar 2024
In the late 1930s, French archaeologists discovered a large and remarkable group of ivory sculptures, in Afghanistan's Begram (present-day Bagram). Stipulated to have been used as accents or embellishments for wooden furniture, these carved objects showcase a blend of Greco-Roman, Central Asian, Mediterranean, and Indic stylistic influences. Despite the political upheavals in the region, some of these ivory artefacts still survive. Explore how ongoing scholarly efforts shed light on the historical significance of these art objects, highlighting the cultural connections that were built and flourished along the Silk Road.
04 Mar 2024
In the early seventeenth century, the royal ateliers of the Mewar kingdom, in present-day western India, witnessed the emergence of a new miniature painting tradition. The Mewar School, as it is known, was patronised by the ruling Sisodia dynasty. Stemming from manuscript illustration, this tradition evolved to encompass intricately detailed portraiture. Delve into the evolution of the Mewar School, tracing its distinct styles, aesthetic influences, master artists, and the shifting preferences of its royal patrons.
19 Feb 2024
Dated to the fourteenth century, the Chandayana is a Sufi romance that narrates the story of the lovelorn protagonists — Chanda and Laurik — in rhyming couplets. It was composed in the Awadhi dialect of Hindi, by the Chishti poet Mulla Daud. Five illustrated manuscripts of the poem were created between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and they are housed in five different locations worldwide. These illustrated texts provide a lens into the history of manuscript paintings in the Indian subcontinent.
29 Jan 2024
Nestled in northern Karnataka, the Badami cave temples of India are adorned with a unique blend of intricate carvings that draw religious motifs from Shaivite, Vaishnavite and Jain traditions. Learn more about these 2nd-century rock-cut shrines that bear testament to ancient Indian royal patronage and religious syncretism.
15 Jan 2024
Research by Assistant Professor Edison Ang Huixiang and his team from National Institute of Education/Nanyang Technological University Singapore
15 Jan 2024
The Punjab regions of India and Pakistan bear witness to a centuries-old, laborious tradition of embroidering cloth with silk threads. Called Vari da Bagh and Bagh, meaning “‘garden”’, these textiles are ritually significant and are adorned with geometric patterns or motifs that draw from the everyday life and culture of the region.
01 Jan 2024
In the 16th and 17th centuries, religious ivory statuettes sculpted in colonial Goa sported a unique amalgamation of European and ancient Indian symbolisms. Discover the history of this Indo-Portuguese iconography and its ties to local evangelism, slavery and colonial export.
18 Dec 2023
Amongst the earliest objects unearthed from Gandhara are carved stone dishes depicting guardian spirits, mythical creatures and scenes of merrymaking. Despite the carvings being rich in artistic and cultural information, they reveal little about the functions of these objects. Learn more about these enigmatic artefacts, and the material history of ancient Gandhara.
Flax
15 Dec 2023
A new study have compared the reinforcing efficiency of pineapple leaf fiber (PALF) and cultivated flax fiber in poly(butylene succinate) composites. PALF, a less explored but potentially sustainable alternative, outperformed flax at 20 wt.%, showcasing its potential in high-performance bio-composites and aligning with environmental goals.
stomach cancer
11 Dec 2023
Scientists uncover genetic factors allowing for the early prediction of intestinal metaplasia patients who may have higher risks of developing stomach cancer, enabling early detection, diagnosis and targeted prevention.
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.

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