Innovation

News

14 Mar 2022
Researchers aim to streamline the time- and resource-intensive process of screening ligands during catalyst design by using virtual ligands.
The cancer stem cells cultured on the DN gel formed a tumor when injected into mice brain.
11 Mar 2022
A soft hydrogel could help scientists find treatments for drug-resistant cancer stem cells.
02 Mar 2022
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are extensively used in industrial and consumer applications. They are widely recognised as typical contaminants of emerging concern because of their environmentally persistent and bio-accumulative properties. Even in very low concentrations, they can disturb our hormonal balance, leading to reproductive impairment, abnormal development and growth retardation. Water and wastewater treatment systems worldwide face the challenge of effectively removing these contaminants.
The prototype of the ATP and Lactate sensor developed in the study (left); and the integrated sensor chip that detects ATP and Lactate levels (right). (Photos: Akihiko Ishida).
25 Feb 2022
Scientists have developed a prototype sensor that could help doctors rapidly measure adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and lactate levels in blood samples from patients, aiding in the rapid assessment of the severity of some diseases.
25 Feb 2022
The tourism industry’s performance was hampered first by the Easter Sunday bomb explosions in 2019 and then the COVID-19 pandemic. Sri Lanka saw a decline in tourist arrivals from 1,913,702 in 2019 to 194,495 in 2021. It is estimated that revenue declined from USD 3600 million to USD 261 million during 2019-2021, reflecting a staggering 92.75% reduction due to a fall in arrivals.
Artistic depiction of electricity enabling the addition of CO2 to heteroaromatic compounds. (Illustration provided by Tsuyoshi Mita)
22 Feb 2022
Using electricity, a new method offers the possibility of recycling CO2 while also performing a notoriously difficult reaction, producing compounds potentially useful for drug development.
(Top) The star-polymer-DNA-gel (left) liquifies when its temperature is increased to more than 70˚C (center), and returns to a gel when the temperature drops back to 25˚C (right). (Bottom) Under UV light, the star-polymer-DNA-gel fluoresces green (left, right), but does not fluoresce when liquified (Photo: Xiang Li).
16 Feb 2022
Simulations have led to the fabrication of a polymer-DNA gel that could be used in tissue regeneration and robotics.
Editor's choice
11 Feb 2022
Low volcanic temperature ushered in global cooling and thriving dinosaurs, Broccoli compound induces cell death in yeast, A single molecule makes big splash in quantum mechanics, Dengue virus makes mosquitos bite more often, and Asia Research News: How it all began, all in the February's Editor's Choice
(Left) The platinum-cobalt-indium catalyst in powder form; (Right) an electron micrograph of the catalyst (structure in top inset) on cerium oxide (CeO2, structure in bottom inset) support. (Shinya Furukawa).
27 Jan 2022
Researchers have developed an innovative catalyst for the synthesis of propylene, which has potential benefits for the chemical industry and carbon recycling.
Reaction vials being exposed to blue light from an LED (Photo: Yusuke Masuda).
18 Jan 2022
A new method for creating a highly useful chemical subunit eliminates the need for precious metals, potentially leading to the sustainable production of pharmaceuticals and electronics.
05 Jan 2022
According to Hong Kong government statistics, an average of 15,637 tonnes – more than 1,000 doubledecker buses’ weight – of solid waste was disposed of in landfills each day in 2019.
29 Dec 2021
Giants in History: 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.
21 Dec 2021
Abdus Suttar Khan (c. 1941 – 31 January 2008) was a Bangladeshi engineer who spent a significant part of his career conducting aerospace research with NASA, United Technology and Alstom
17 Dec 2021
Twenty-nine scholars of The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) were among the top 2% in the Stanford list of the world’s most-cited scientists in 2020*.
16 Dec 2021
Okara, a soybean byproduct, can now be 3D printed without any additives, boosting food sustainability efforts.
15 Dec 2021
Inspired by the ‘Game of Life’ SUTD researchers are applying cellular automation to efficiently model phase change materials with multiple optical phases for next-generation photonics devices.
13 Dec 2021
ITEX 2021 is back with a line-up of innovative inventions as the region’s top inventors vie for investor attention to commercialise their products
Julian Banzon
07 Dec 2021
Julian Arca Banzon (13 March 1908 – 13 September 1988) was a biochemist from the Philippines who was a pioneer in alternative fuel research.
30 Nov 2021
Despite significant advancements in computing technologies, they pale in comparison to the energy efficiency of human brains. Now, researchers from Tohoku University and the University of Gothenburg have developed a new spintronic technology for brain-inspired computing.
30 Nov 2021
Creating a broader and more dynamic marketplace for Inventions and Innovations
Illustrating the movement of the synthesized microrobots
29 Nov 2021
Synthesized microrobots that are capable of converting their mechanical motion into a means of self-propulsion in water have been developed by scientists at Hokkaido University.
Simpler, greener method for producing Grignard reagents
18 Nov 2021
A new method for creating one of chemistry’s most widely used class of compounds could revolutionize industrial processes, making them cheaper, simpler and more environmentally friendly.
04 Nov 2021
The Education University of Hong Kong won 10 awards at the 6th International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada (iCAN), with three gold medals, one silver, one bronze and five special prizes, in August 2021.
02 Nov 2021
The world’s largest analysis of gastric tumour cells provides a launch pad for scientists to plan more effective therapies.
29 Oct 2021
Scientists demonstrate that diluting high concentration electrolytes can improve the cycling abilities of lithium metal batteries over a wide range of temperatures
22 Oct 2021
Set the stage for a path to recovery through innovations
15 Oct 2021
EdUHK audiology experts have found improved ways to test the hearing of the young and elderly through technological innovation.
ARN 2022
07 Oct 2021
Asia Research News features fascinating research from diverse voices. Our upcoming magazine will highlight your research with captivating articles written and visualized for a broad range of readers, produced by our professional team. Don't miss your chance to be a part of the 2022 edition.
e-Orch
05 Oct 2021
The conventional composer-performer-audience model requires students to spend a large amount of time learning complex musical notation and instrumental skills before enjoying the process of music-making. This makes music inaccessible for many, who therefore give up at an early age.
01 Oct 2021
Scientists propose an advanced network architecture that promises to overcome the drawbacks of traditional networks.

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Giants in history

Physicist and statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis (29 June 1893– 28 June 1972), who founded the Indian Statistical Institute in 1931, is known for his pioneering application of statistics to practical problems.
Tetsuya Theodore Fujita (23 October 1920 – 19 November 1998) was a Japanese-American meteorologist who created the Fujita scale that classifies the strength of tornadoes based on damage to structures and vegetation.
In 1915, pathologist Katsusaburo Yamagiwa and his research assistant Koichi Ichikawa became the first to prove that chronic exposure to chemicals can cause cancer.
In 1915, Koichi Ichikawa along with pathologist Katsusaburo Yamagiwa became the first to prove that chronic exposure to chemicals can cause cancer.
A pioneer of bio-organic chemistry, Darshan Ranganathan (4 June 1941 – 4 June 2001) is remembered for developing a protocol for synthesising imidazole, a compound used to make antifungal drugs and antibiotics. Widely considered India’s most prolific researcher in chemistry, she also published dozens of papers in renowned journals on protein folding, molecular design, chemical simulation of key biological processes, and the synthesis of functional hybrid peptides and nanotubes.
In his over 30 year career in rice research, Munshi Siddique Ahmad (1924 – 19 October 2011) developed more than 30 varieties of high-yielding rice, including the BRRI Shail strain, which was responsible for increasing the rice production of Bangladesh from 8 million tonnes in 1965 to 20 million tonnes in 1975.
Hideki Yukawa (23 January 1907 – 8 September 1981) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1949 for predicting the existence of the pi meson subatomic particle. Japan’s first Nobel laureate, Yakawa also expressed his support for nuclear disarmament by signing the Russell–Einstein Manifesto in 1955.
Ground-breaking cancer researcher Kamal Jayasing Ranadive (8 November 1917 – 11 April 2001) advanced the understanding of the causes of leukaemia, breast cancer and oesophageal cancer through the use of animal models. She was also among the first to recognise how susceptibility to cancer is linked to tumour-causing interactions between hormones and viruses.
Birbal Sahni (14 November 1891 – 10 April 1949), a pioneer of Indian palaeobotanical research, and founder of what is now the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in Lucknow, made multiple contributions to the study of prehistoric plants. These include the discovery of a new group of fossil gymnosperms (named Pentoxylae), reconstruction of the extinct Williamsonia sewardiana plant, and description of a new type of petrified wood from the Jurassic age.
The research of Filipino pharmaceutical chemist Luz Oliveros-Belardo (3 November 1906 – 12 December 1999) focussed on essential oils and other chemicals derived from native Philippine plants.
Japanese chemist Kenichi Fukui (4 October 1918 – 9 January 1998) was the first Asian scientist to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Together with Roald Hoffman, he received this honour in 1981 for his independent research into the mechanisms of chemical reactions.
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.
Research by Filipino plant scientist Benito Vergara (23 June 1934 – 24 October 2015) on the physiology of rice led to the development of deep-water and cold-tolerant rice varieties. Vergara also made several contributions to expanding public awareness of rice science.
Filipino chemist and pharmacist Manuel A. Zamora (29 March 1870 – 9 July 1929) is best remembered for his discovery of the tiki-tiki formula to combat beriberi, a disease caused by Vitamin B1 deficiency.
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).
Korean parasitologist Seung-Yull Cho (16 November 1943 – 27 January 2019) is remembered largely for his pioneering works to control infections caused by helminthic parasites and his contribution to journal publishing.
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.
Fe Villanueva del Mundo (27 November 1911 – 6 August 2011) was a Filipina paediatrician who founded the Philippines’ first paediatric hospital.
After witnessing death and suffering as a youth in his home village during World War II, Nguyễn Tài Thu (6 April 1931 – 14 February 2021) set his sights on alleviating pain by becoming a doctor. After studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in China in the 1950s, Thu returned to Vietnam to serve in military hospitals. Eventually, he became the country’s foremost practitioner of acupuncture, a technique he first learned by inserting needles into himself.
Minoru Shirota (April 23, 1899 – March 10, 1982) was a Japanese microbiologist who invented the popular fermented drink Yakult.
Wu Lien-teh (10 March 1879 – 21 January 1960) was a Malaysian-born doctor who invented a mask that effectively suppressed disease transmission. Winning the prestigious Queen’s Scholarship enabled Wu to become the first Chinese student to study medicine at the University of Cambridge.
Physicist Narinder Singh Kapany (31 October 1926 – 4 December 2020) pioneered the use of optical fibres to transmit images, and founded several optical technology companies. Born in Punjab, India, he worked at a local optical instruments factory before moving to London for PhD studies at Imperial College. There, he devised a flexible fibrescope to convey images along bundles of glass fibres.
Japanese physicist Ukichiro Nakaya (1900-1962) made the world’s first artificial snowflakes. He started his research on snow crystals in the early 1930s at Hokkaido University, where there is an unlimited supply of natural snow in winter. By taking over 3,000 photographs, he established a classification of natural snow crystals and described their relationship with weather conditions.
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.
The techniques that make industrial pearl culturing possible were developed over a century ago at the Misaki Marine Biological Station in Japan. The station’s first director, Professor Kakichi Mitsukuri, emphasized to Kokichi Mikimoto in 1890 that stimulating pearl sac formation was important for pearl growth, and they went on to successfully develop methods for culturing pearls.
The field of solid-state ionics originated in Europe, but Takehiko Takahashi of Nagoya University in Japan was the first to coin the term ‘solid ionics’ in 1967. ‘Solid-state ionics’ first appeared in 1971 in another of his papers, and was likely a play on ‘solid-state electronics’, another rapidly growing field at the time.
Charles Kuen Kao (Nov. 4, 1933 to Sept. 23, 2018) was an engineer who is regarded as the father of fibre optics. His work in the 1960s on long distance signal transmission using very pure glass fibres revolutionized telecommunications, enabling innovations such as the Internet.
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.
Motoo Kimura (13 November 1924 – 13 November 1994) was a Japanese theoretical population geneticist who is best remembered for developing the neutral theory of molecular evolution.
Meghnad Saha (6 October 1893 – 16 February 1956) was an Indian astrophysicist best known for formulating the Saha ionization equation which describes the chemical and physical properties of stars.
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose (30 November 1858 – 23 November 1937) was a scientist and inventor who contributed to a wide range of scientific fields such as physics, botany and biology.
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.
Woo Jang-choon (8 April 1898 – 10 August 1959) was a Korean-Japanese agricultural scientist and botanist.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (19 October 1910 – 21 August 1995) was an Indian astrophysicist who studied the structure and evolution of stars.
Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani (12 May 1977 – 14 July 2017) was the first and only woman and Iranian to date to win the Fields Medal in 2014 for her work on curved surfaces.
Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (7 November 1888 – 21 November 1970) was an Indian physicist who performed ground-breaking research in the field of light-scattering.
Mohammad Abdus Salam (29 January 1926 – 21 November 1996) was a theoretical physicist and the first Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize in science.
Srinivasa Ramanujan (22 December 1887 – 26 April 1920) was a math prodigy and widely considered one of India’s greatest mathematicians. Despite having almost no formal training in mathematics, he made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions.
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.
Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie (25 June 1936 – 11 September 2019) was an Indonesian engineer who was President of Indonesia from 1998 to 1999.
Abdus Suttar Khan (c. 1941 – 31 January 2008) was a Bangladeshi engineer who spent a significant part of his career conducting aerospace research with NASA, United Technology and Alstom.
Chien-Shiung Wu (31 May 1912 – 16 February 1997) was an experimental physicist who made several important contributions to nuclear physics. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project – a top-secret program for the production of nuclear weapons during World War II and helped to develop a process for separating uranium into U235 and U238.
Julian Arca Banzon (13 March 1908 – 13 September 1988) was a biochemist from the Philippines who was a pioneer in alternative fuel research. Banzon investigated the use of indigenous crops as sources of renewable fuels and chemicals.
Rajeshwari Chatterjee (24 January 1922 – 3 September 2010) was the first female engineer from Karnataka in India.
Fazlur Rahman Khan (3 April 1929 – 27 March 1982) was a Bangladeshi-American structural engineer and architect who invented the tube principle, which formed the basis for modern skyscraper design.