Weekly News Bites

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are linking carbon offsets to crypto, using math to predict vaccine efficacy, and a benefit of COVID restrictions for Dengue-prone regions.

Cryptocurrency mining takes a lot of power and can have harmful environmental effects. To try and mitigate these, a study from the National University of Singapore suggests coupling crypto currencies with carbon credits to try to offset the environmental impact.

Encouraging us to mix up our exercise routines from only cardio is research from Tohoku University, Waseda University and Kyushu University which says that doing strength exercises for 30 minutes a week could reduce your risk of dying from multiple illnesses like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

Early-onset menopause may be linked to a higher risk of dementia says research from Shandong University. A current hypothesis for why women seem to be more affected than men by neurodegenerative diseases is due to changing estrogen levels before and after menopause, but more research is needed to pin down the cause.

In COVID news, Japanese scientists from Tohoku University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases warn that Omicron might have a higher fatality rate than the flu. Though it is difficult to compare, researchers used various methods to compare mortality rates and found that reported Omicron deaths were higher than seasonal influenza.

In lighter COVID news, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science and Queensland Brain Institute have developed a mathematical model to predict the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Different antibody “profiles” were created, and the model simulated the effect of and response to vaccines based on these profiles.

A side-benefit of COVID-19 restrictions is the drop in the spread of diseases. Restrictions in 2020 caused a large drop (around 720 000) in Dengue infections according to research from Beijing Normal University and an international consortium. This finding leads to new theories about the spread of Dengue and can help tailor responses to the prevalent disease.