30 Sep 2021
Geb Impact aims to scale up microalgae production to provide novel super food ingredient by cost-effective mass cultivation of microalgae
28 Sep 2021
While the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing, another public health threat, antibiotic resistance, continues unabated. Microbiologists and chemists from two universities in Hong Kong recently made a breakthrough in synthesizing the first vaccine against one of the most deadly antimicrobial resistant pathogens, Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii). The vaccine shows good protection against the superbug in mice, indicating great potential as a vaccine for humans.
14 Sep 2021
Cochlear implants help deaf patients in hearing, yet the current technology remains far from perfect. A research team led by scientists from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has shown that neonatally deafened rats could be trained with cochlear implant stimulation to restore the ability to locate the directions of sound origins. The finding implies that shortcomings in current cochlear implant technology, rather than the lack of auditory experience in early childhood, maybe the reason why cochlear implant patients usually have poor spatial hearing performance.
13 Sep 2021
iCeMS scientists and colleagues have designed a molecular code that powers up cancer-fighting immune cells.
10 Sep 2021
Magnetic patterns in meteorites, Treating mitochondrial diseases, underwater sensors and a broad COVID-19 vaccine in the September Editor's Choice. Plus, what's it like to communicate vaccine research in a pandemic and Asia Research News 2022.
07 Sep 2021
Giants in History: Gloria Lim (born 1930) is a retired mycologist from Singapore who studied tropical fungi. One of the first students to attend University of Malaya when it was founded in 1949, she graduated as one of the two Botany Honours students from the inaugural class.
26 Aug 2021
A multi-functional, small molecule can tag mutant genetic sequences inside mitochondria for removal.
20 Aug 2021
A microphysiological system (MPS) is a 3D organ construct using human cells. They show us how organs respond to drugs and environmental stimuli. Now, Tohoku University researchers have developed a new imaging tool for MPS using scanning probe microscopy.
17 Aug 2021
Cells translate their genetic material at rapid rates with exquisite precision to reproduce, repair damage or even combat disease. But the process can deregulate and give rise to disease. Byproducts of errant processes can build up like gunk in the gears, especially around neurons, breaking down the repair mechanisms and causing further damage and even neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
26 Jul 2021
Using neurons directly reprogrammed from tissues of stranded whales to assess brain health A research team of the Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES) of Ehime University, Japan succeeded for the first time in direct reprogramming of whale somatic cells to neuronal cells, and conducted a neurotoxicity test using these cells. Exposure to a metabolite (4′OH-CB72) of polychlorinated biphenyls, ubiquitous environmental pollutants, caused apoptosis in the reprogrammed neurons. Transcriptome analysis of 4′OH-CB72-treated whale neurons showed altered expressions of genes associated with oxidative phosphorylation, chromatin degradation, axonal transport, and neurodegenerative diseases.
15 Jul 2021
Scientists at International Islamic University Malaysia have developed a probiotic-based treatment that could help Asia’s shrimp industry recover from repeated pandemics of bacterial infection.
14 Jul 2021
Researchers have found a way to enhance radiation therapy using novel iodine nanoparticles.
08 Jul 2021
Researchers at The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science use artificial intelligence to predict the size of cells over time without the need for simplifying assumptions, which may lead to a new understanding of microbiology principles and improved drug manufacturing from recombinant bacteria
05 Jul 2021
Scientists used digital circuitry to manipulate and store label-free matters in order to study their unique characteristics
24 Jun 2021
A research group has discovered a new gene that aids in the fight against type 2 diabetes. The gene, known as L-IST, reduces Selenoprotein P, too much of which increases insulin resistance, and can be increased through drinking tea.
17 Jun 2021
Researchers from Hiroshima University now have a better understanding of the mechanism underlying how certain bacteria can transfer genetic material across taxonomic kingdoms, including to fungi and protists. Their work, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, could have applications in changing how bacteria perform certain functions or react to changes in their environment.
31 May 2021
High-resolution genome structural analyses combined with large-scale simulations show the arrangements of the genome’s spool-like structures affecting gene expression.
28 May 2021
Contributing to embryogenesis and pathogenesis through long-term in vivo molecular imaging 1. Development of a two-photon excitation light-sheet microscope which achieves low phototoxicity, an extended field of view, and high resolution for the observation of the growth of living organisms 2. Applications of the microscope demonstrate long-term time-lapse observations for a three-day span of the embryonic development of medaka fish
14 May 2021
Researchers have observed DNA spooling and unspooling in real time using CRISPR to attach fluorescent tags to very specific DNA points in living cells.
13 May 2021
A spray-on magnetic coat turns any object into a robot controlled by a magnetic field. The biocompatible robots can walk, crawl and roll, and switch motions on demand.
12 May 2021
Acetone, a volatile solvent used for everything from removing nail polish and cleaning textiles to manufacturing plastics, could get a sustainability boost from a new strain of bacteria engineered by a research team based in Japan.
07 May 2021
A group of researchers have discovered that the cells that line the surfaces of organs or specific tissues – epithelial cells – asymmetrically release two types of exomes with distinct protein compositions. Their discovery could help understand how cancer spreads.
07 May 2021
A new mouthwash developed in Malaysia, called Microencapsulated OroSYNTM, is expected to protect against oral diseases. The mouthwash made from banana skin and a bacterium promotes a healthy microbiome in the oral cavity to protect against diseases
03 May 2021
A research team led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) scientists recently developed a new generation of microneedles technology which allows the intradermal delivery of living cells in a minimally invasive manner. Their experiment showed that vaccination using therapeutic cells through this ground-breaking technology elicited robust immune responses against tumours in mice, paving the way for developing an easy-to-use cell therapy and other therapeutics against cancers and other diseases.
15 Apr 2021
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive type of breast cancer with a high fatality rate. Currently, chemotherapy is the major treatment option, but the clinical result is unsatisfactory. A research team led by biologists at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has identified and characterised a set of specific super-enhancers that stimulate the activity of the related critical cancer genes. The research has also discovered that the deletion of certain specific super-enhancers could reduce tumour cell growth. The latest findings may help discover new effective drug targets for TNBC patients to improve their survival chance.
15 Apr 2021
Researchers from The University of Tokyo develop a novel device for the safe and effective transplantation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived pancreatic beta-cells in type I diabetes mellitus
07 Apr 2021
New national body established to further research insights, improve patient outcomes and create new economic opportunities for the biomedical technology industry.
26 Mar 2021
An ‘eat-me’ signal displayed on cell surfaces requires activation of a lipid-scrambling protein by a nuclear protein fragment.
23 Mar 2021
The University of Tokyo researchers use information theory to show that the accepted biochemical model of bacterial chemical sensing is mathematically equivalent to the optimal solution, with implications for microbiology and robotics
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Giants in history
Japanese chemist Takamine Jokichi (3 November 1854 – 22 July 1922) founded the Tokyo Artificial Fertilizer Company, where he isolated a starch-digesting enzyme (named takadiastase) from the fungus Aspergillus oryzae.
Filipina chemist María Orosa (29 November 1892–13 February 1945) fought malnutrition and food insecurity in the Philippines by devising over 700 culinary creations including Soyalac, a nutrient rich drink made from soybeans, and Darak, rice cookies packed with Vitamin B1, which could prevent beriberi disease caused by Vitamin B1 deficiency. She was also a partisan of the guerrilla movement resisting Japanese occupation during World War II, and died after being struck by shrapnel while working in her laboratory during the Battle of Manila.
Chinese biochemist Cao Tianqin (5 December 1920 – 8 January 1995) discovered the myosin light chain, a subunit of myosin, a protein crucial for muscle contraction.
In 1939, biochemist Kamala Sohonie (18 June 1911 – 28 June 1998) became the first woman to be accepted into the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Chinese agronomist Yuan Longping (7 September 1930 – 22 May 2021) developed the first varieties of the high-yield, hybrid rice that brought food security to multiple countries including China, which had been ravaged by food shortages as recently as the mid-20th century.
David T. Wong (born 1936) is a Hong Kong-born American neuroscientist who is best known for discovering the antidepressant drug fluoxetine, better known as Prozac.
Cyril Andrew Ponnamperuma (16 October 1923 – 20 December 1994) was a Sri Lankan chemist who was interested in the origins of life on Earth. His research in chemical evolution showed how inanimate molecules may have given rise to the building blocks of life – a process known as abiogenesis.
Osamu Shimomura (27 August 1928 – 19 October 2018) was a Japanese organic chemist and marine biologist who dedicated his career to understanding how organisms emitted light.
Janaki Ammal Edavalath Kakkat (4 November 1897 – 7 February 1984) was an Indian botanist who studied plant chromosomes and genetics.
Gopalasamudram Narayanan Ramachandran (8 October 1922 – 7 April 2001) is best known for developing the Ramachandran plot to understand the structure of short chains of amino acids, known as peptides.
Hsien Wu (24 November 1893 – 8 August 1959) is widely regarded as the founder of biochemistry and nutrition science in China. He was the first to propose that protein denaturation was caused by the unfolding of the protein, instead of chemical alteration.
Umetaro Suzuki (7 April 1874 – 20 September 1943) was a Japanese scientist best remembered for his research on beriberi, a disease caused by vitamin B1 deficiency, characterized by limb stiffness, paralysis and pain.
Maqsudul Alam (14 December 1954 – 20 December 2014) was a biologist from Bangladesh who is renowned for his research on genome sequencing
Barry Paw (29 August 1962 – 28 December 2017) was a biologist and oncologist who discovered several novel genes and their functions in red blood cells.
Gloria Lim (1930-2022) was a mycologist from Singapore who studied tropical fungi. One of the first students to attend University of Malaya when it was founded in 1949, she went on to become the first female Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Singapore.