Plants & Animals

News

20 Jan 2023
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are a stem-cell based therapy for pets with cancer, how meditation could affect our gut microbiome, and an edible mushroom that contains a deadly nerve gas.
Asia Research News: Editor's choice
20 Jan 2023
Overeating mechanism: why "eating just one chip"🍟 is impossible, Measuring hidden energy of gamma-ray bursts, Marine species that can adapt to ocean acidification & A rough start can lead to a strong bond, Read all in our first Editor's Choice of 2023. Plus our interview on what dengue vaccine approval in EU💉means for global dengue protection.
13 Jan 2023
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are the growing trend of unique name pronunciations in Japan, an aquarium that can tell you about which fish you are looking at, and which professional baseballs are slipperiest.
06 Jan 2023
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are how mysterious enormous space bubbles are formed, how drinking sweet drinks might contribute to hair loss, and a synthetic tissue created to give pigs back their erectile function.
When the H5N1 HPAI virus (orange) affected a flock of crows in a public garden, it caused a mass die-off of crows. An Ezo red fox and a Japanese raccoon dog were also infected by the H5N1 HPAI virus, the former likely by consuming corpses of the crows, and the latter due to close contact with crow corpses (Illustration: Takahiro Hiono).
05 Jan 2023
Researchers at Hokkaido University have revealed the effects of high pathogenicity avian influenza virus infection on an Ezo red fox and a Japanese raccoon dog, linking their infection to a recorded die-off of crows.
30 Dec 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are a team trying to decipher dolphins’ secret language, why babies move so much in the womb, and a small enzyme that can control our sleep.
An illustration of the facial expression changes in mice following stimulation and inhibition of the median raphe nucleus (Yu Ohmura).
28 Dec 2022
New insights into the opposing actions of serotonin-producing nerve fibres in mice could lead to drugs for treating addictions and major depression.
23 Dec 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are how a wasp uses its genitals to defend itself, a compound commonly found in mushrooms that could delay cognitive decline, and sunshine as a cure for myopia.
16 Dec 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are how we determine which animals we would eat or not, a robot with sticky magnetic feet that can climb, and coriander seeds that had a great holiday in space.
15 Dec 2022
International research co-authored by The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) found that a major type of marine species can adapt to ocean acidification. Considered a major breakthrough in marine biology research, the findings were recently published in the prestigious academic journal Nature Climate Change.
15 Dec 2022
Understanding how bats tolerate viral infections, Material separates water from...water, The virtual sense of touch polished to next level and COVID-19 negatively impacted early-careers and female researchers. Read all in the December's Editor's Choice.
14 Dec 2022
Using cryogenic electron microscopy, a research team from the Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (ReCAP) at Osaka Metropolitan University has revealed, for the first time, the structures and binding environments of pigments bound to a protein called a photosynthetic antenna of the marine green macroalga Codium fragile. The team’s results extend our knowledge about the molecular mechanism by which blue-green light—the only light available in deep seawater—is efficiently utilized for photosynthesis.
Scatter plots of CI-score of all genes (2652 genes) identified in this study
11 Dec 2022
Scientists investigate how genes in some insects can influence one another to change their expression depending on environmental conditions.
09 Dec 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are a coat that can make you invisible to AI cameras, a fossilized whale skeleton found in a river valley, and hope for humans after our Y chromosome disappears.
02 Dec 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are a “smart ranch” featuring connected cows, a way to see what a 1 600-year-old woman looked like, and a new bird-like dinosaur.
01 Dec 2022
Research led by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) involving the use of a pioneering female sterility technique has led to a breakthrough in the production of hybrid rice seeds. Compared to the commonly used “three-line” male sterility technique in hybrid rice seeds production, the novel approach enhances the efficiency of hybrid rice production by eliminating rice seeds that have been produced due to the self-pollination of the “restorer line”. The novel technique enables fully automatic harvesting of hybrid seeds by machines, which can substantially reduce harvesting costs.
Amami spiny rat (Photo: Asato Kuroiwa).
28 Nov 2022
The Sox9 gene is upregulated in the absence of sex-determining Y chromosome and Sry gene in Amami spiny rat.
21 Nov 2022
Intestinal bacteria composition is crucial to driving the recovery of neutrophils counts in the blood of mice following treatments such as stem cell transplants or chemotherapy.
18 Nov 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are the discovery that rats enjoy music like we do, a microrobot that can tickle small insects, and how dinosaurs’ flight differs from birds.
18 Nov 2022
An expedition with the Search for Lost Birds captured the first-ever photos and video of the black-naped pheasant-pigeon.
11 Nov 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are a bioinspired tiny jumping robot, evidence of gender stereotypes in young children, and the first sighting of a new species of crab.
Cancer immunity induction system
31 Oct 2022
A research group at Osaka Metropolitan University has developed a drug delivery system that activates a strong cellular immune response to attack cancer cells, using one-tenth of the amount of antigen needed in the group’s previous work. By incorporating positively charged cationic lipids into liposomes and adding negatively charged pH-responsive polysaccharides to the surface, the research group increased the uptake efficiency of liposomes encapsulating cancer antigens by dendritic cells by approximately five times, which increased cytokine production by about 100 times. This increased M1-type macrophages, which activate cancer immunity, and decreased M2-type macrophages, which promote cancer growth.
28 Oct 2022
Osaka Metropolitan University scientists conducted a 7-year study on seedling recruitment and mortality in a national park in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. During the study period, an extremely strong El Niño event occurred, leading to a stronger and longer drought than normal. Seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs), which experience an annual dry season, are considered drought-tolerant. Nevertheless, the study found that seedling mortality increased in SDTFs when severe and prolonged drought occurred. The mortality rate was greater in evergreen forests at higher elevations that usually experience less severe drought than in deciduous forests at lower elevations where severe drought is more common. The study results advance the understanding of the effects of El Niño on seedling dynamics in SDTFs.
26 Oct 2022
Plastic sheets coated with an Eu3+ film that converts UV light to red light were able to accelerate growth of vegetal plants and trees.
25 Oct 2022
Small neighboring galaxy filled with dark matter detected with gamma rays, How a virus induces heart inflammation, Shedding light on the happy hormone, Microfossils may hold key evolution clues. Read all in the October's Editor's Choice plus Upcoming event KNOWLEDGE MARKETPLACE – Bangkok 2022: Exchanging of ideas for a Democratic Myanmar.
23 Oct 2022
Published in 1693, Hortus Indicus Malabaricus offers a glimpse into the history of medical and natural sciences of South Asia.
21 Oct 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are scaling up production of a zombie fungus, the critical eye of female dogs, and enlightenment available on your smartphone.
Japanese Wild Boar (KENPEI, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia Commons)
18 Oct 2022
Researchers develop a ground-breaking model to estimate bait vaccination effectiveness in wild animals based on the proportion of immunized animals in a population and the number of vaccine applications.
14 Oct 2022
Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are shrinking mangroves, a wind harvester that can generate electricity using a breeze, and a new supercontinent 300 million years from now.
06 Oct 2022
Giants in History: Archana Sharma (16 February 1932 - 14 January 2008) conducted research into plant and human genetics that expanded the understanding of both botany and human health.

Events

18 Nov 2020
The Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit will focus on accelerating innovation in supply chain resilience, urban food systems, alternative proteins, and affordable nutrition. Will you be joining the conversation virtually on November 18-20?
The Khwarizmi International Award (KIA) acknowledges the efforts made by researchers, innovators and inventors from across the globe and to appreciate their high quality research work and contributions to different fields of science and technology.
28 Aug 2019
The 2019 Genome Expo is scheduled to be held at UNIST from August 28 to 29, 2019.
20 Nov 2019
Accelerating technology and investment in Asia’s agri-food supply chain

Researchers

Mags Crumlish
Dr. Crumlish has researched aquatic microbial diseases, specifically ones that have economic impact in global aquaculture, and potential solutions to such infectious diseases. Her current project seeks to develop vaccines against antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture.
Nguyen Huu Nghia
Nguyen Huu Nghia is the Director of the Center for Environment and Disease Monitoring in Aquaculture (CEDMA) at the Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 (RIA1) under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. He has co-managed various research efforts in Vietnam aquaculture as well as published recent research into the use of nanobubbles.
Dr. Phan Thi Van
Dr. Van is the Director of the Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1 (RIA1) under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. She has extensive expertise in aquatic animal health and aquaculture safety management.
City University of Hong Kong (CityU)
Sophie St-Hilaire
Professor St-Hilaire is associate head and professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, City University of Hong Kong (CityU). She has extensively researched fish nutrition and diseases, including treatment efficacy, and has helped investigate fish disease outbreaks.
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Dr. Natrah Fatin Bt Mohd Ikhsan
Dr. Ikhsan is an associate professor at the Department of Aquaculture, University Putra Malaysia. Her research on aquatic microbial ecology includes the development of novel and sustainable microbial management strategies.
I am an organic chemist with broad interests in biochemistry and protein evolution.
Assistant Professsor Lauren Sallan is a fish paleobiologist who uses big data — the fossil record — to study how some species win and others lose. Her multiple TED Talks on the evolution of fishes, mass extinction and paleontology have received over 3 million views.
The Asian Institute of Technology
Dong currently works at the Asian Institute of Technology. He does research in Aquaculture, Pathology, Infectious Diseases, and Aquatic Bioscience.
I am a Health Economist/Researcher, working with UN agencies in the development of policy documents for developing countries including Nepal, Ethiopia and Pakistan.
City University of Hong Kong (CityU)
Dr. Brian Kot Chin Wing
Dr Brian Kot is a registered diagnostic radiographer and veterinary imaging researcher in the City University of Hong Kong.
Hiroshima University
Prof. Miyabi Nakabayashi
Prof. Miyabi Nakabayashi works on tropical ecology, especially on seed dispersal by mammals in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Recently, she is focusing on seed dispersal system of fig trees (Ficus spp.) and large-seeded plants such as durians.
Duke-NUS Medical School
Picture of Prof. Gavin James Smith
Prof Smith’s research programme primarily investigates the ecology and evolution of zoonotic viruses and the molecular epidemiology of human respiratory pathogens.
City University of Hong Kong (CityU)
Prof. Chen Sheng
Prof. Chen’s current research covers research on bacterial antimicrobial resistance, virulence and tolerance in the veterinary, food and medical microbiology fields
Guangshun Jiang
Guangshun Jiang does research in ecology and zoology with a special focus on big feline ecology and conservation research.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Krishna Institute of Allied Sciences Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences Deemed To Be University, Karad
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Dr. Connie Cassy Ompok is an early childhood education expert and a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology and Education, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. She Started her career in Early Childhood Education as a preschool teacher (2004-2007), a lecturer in early childhood education at the Malaysian Institute of Teacher Education (2008-2016) before serving as a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at UMS (2016 until now).
Hokkaido University
Daisuke Hirano is an assistant professor at the Ocean and Sea Ice Dynamics Group, the Institute of Low Temperature Science of Hokkaido University, Japan.
Hokkaido University
Jorge García Molinos is an aquatic ecologist broadly interested in global change ecology and macroecology.
My current research is generally on the bioactive compounds, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties especially from agricultural by-product. Recently, I have found that these agricultural by-product has a promising potential to be used as biopesticide. They are not expensive, practical and will not significantly affect the environment and human health.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Associate Professor Sitti Raehanah Muhamad Shaleh is the director of Borneo Marine Research Institute at Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
Mangala Gunatilake is a veterinarian and professor at the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Dr NK Prasanna
Dr NK Prasanna is currently working as Sr. Scientist & Scientific Editor, Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics, Research Journals Division at CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research, New Delhi since December 2016. Before joining CSIR (NIScPR), she was at IIT Guwahati. Dr Prasanna completed her Ph.D from Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. In CSIR-NIScPR, She served one important flagship journals viz. Indian journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics (IJBB; ISSN: 0301-1208) It is pertinent to mention that the journal ranks first among all the NIScPR journals as per the available Journal Metrics by international agencies such as Thomson Reuters and Scopus. Details of remarkable academic achievements of IJBB which she spearheading, both nationally and globally. The Indian journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics (IJBB) is a premier SCI-indexed bimonthly peer-reviewed research journal that publishes original research articles in the subject area of biochemistry and biophysics
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Professor Dr. Indraneil Das is a conservation biologist at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)
Dr Heo is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
Hokkaido University
Assistant Professor Ryota Kawanishi is an aquatic biologist at Hokkaido University, Japan.
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
Associate Professor at Department of Landscape Architecture, KAED, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Research interests include urban design/urban landscape, cultural landscape, residential landscape, GIS and human-computer interaction, and environmental planning.
Nagoya University
Michitaka Notaguchi is an assistant professor at the Bioscience and Biotechnology Center, Nagoya University, Japan.
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)
Currently Associate Professor at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Holds a PhD from University College of Wales and BSc (Hons) Genetics from the University of Liverpool
Professor and Head of Microbiology and Immunology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Lincoln University College (LUC) Malaysia.
Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)
Professor Qiu Jianwen currently works at the Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University. He is interested in ecology and adaptation of apple snails, biodiversity and systematics of polychaetes, stress responses in shallow-water corals, and deep-sea biology. His research involves the use of various molecular tools including transcriptomics, proteomics and genomics.

Giants in history

Lim Boo Liat (21 August 1926 – 11 July 2020), a leading authority in the conservation of Malaysia’s biological diversity, had his initial interest in the outdoors piqued by nature lessons in school. Lim, who helped found the National Zoo of Malaysia and re-establish the Malaysian Nature Society, had a particular interest in researching zoonotic diseases associated with small animals.
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.
Known as Mr. Natural Rubber, chemist and researcher B. C. Shekhar (17 November 1929 – 6 September 2006) introduced a number of technical innovations that helped put Malaysia’s natural rubber industry on the world map.
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.
Thai physician and conservationist Boonsong Lekagul (1907 – 1992) made major contributions to the preservation of his country’s wildlife.
Lü Junchang (1965–9 October 2018) was a Chinese palaeontologist who is remembered as one of the most important dinosaur researchers of the last 50 years. Lü was an expert on reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic period about 252 million years ago. Cumulatively, Lü and his colleague/competitor Xiaolin Wang described and named more than 50 new species of flying dinosaurs known as pterosaurs.
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.
Eminent Filipina scientist and educator Clara Lim-Sylianco (18 August 1925 – 23 July 2013) is remembered for her extensive research on mutagens – often-carcinogenic agents that permanently alter genetic materials such as DNA – antimutagens and bioorganic mechanisms.
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.
Chinese palaeontologist, archaeologist and anthropologist Pei Wenzhong (January 19, 1904 – September 18, 1982) is regarded as a founder of Chinese anthropology.
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.
Ali
Little is known about Ali, a teenager from Sarawak, Malaysia, who was chief assistant to the famous naturalist Alfred Wallace. Most of what is known comes from Wallace’s writings. Ali accompanied Wallace on expeditions throughout the Malay Archipelago from December 1855 to February 1862.
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.
Indian organic chemist Asima Chatterjee (1917 to 2006) studied the medicinal properties of plant products, especially compounds known as vinca alkaloids.
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.
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.
Rinchen Barsbold (born 21 December 1935) is a Mongolian palaeontologist and geologist who was instrumental in discovering and recovering one of the largest dinosaur collections in the world from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and China.
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.
Joo-myung Seok (November 13, 1908 – October 6, 1950) was a Korean butterfly entomologist who made important contributions to the taxonomy of the native butterfly species in Korea.
Janaki Ammal Edavalath Kakkat (4 November 1897 – 7 February 1984) was an Indian botanist who studied plant chromosomes and genetics.
Salimuzzaman Siddiqui (19 October 1897 – 14 April 1994) was an artist and chemist from Pakistan whose research focused on natural products from plants.
Rapee Sagarik (4 December 1922 – 17 February 2018) was Thailand’s renowned expert on orchids.
Maqsudul Alam (14 December 1954 – 20 December 2014) was a biologist from Bangladesh who is renowned for his research on genome sequencing
Susan Lim (14 February 1952 – 2 August 2014) was a Malaysian parasitologist who specialized in studying a class of flatworms, the Monogeans, which are parasites of fishes.
Kono Yasui (16 February 1880 – 24 March 1971) was a Japanese botanist who researched the genetics of poppies, corn and spiderworts and surveyed the plants that had been affected by the nuclear fallout after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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.
Rampa Rattanarithikul is a Thai entomologist who is a leading expert on mosquitoes. Rattanarithikul began her scientific career as a technician collecting mosquito specimens for the United States Operations Mission (USOM) malaria control program. Throughout her career, she discovered 23 species and officially described 13 others.
Meemann Chang (born 17 April 1936) is a Chinese palaeontologist who studied the fossils of ancient fish to understand the evolution of life. By examining fossils, she uncovered new insights on how vertebrates, animals with a backbone, migrated from the sea and became adapted to live on land.
Michiyo Tsujimura (17 September 1888 – 1 June 1969) was a Japanese agricultural scientist and biochemist recognized for her research of green tea components.
Roseli Ocampo-Friedmann (23 November 1937 – 4 September 2005) was a Filipino-American scientist whose research focused on cyanobacteria and microorganisms that inhabit extreme environments.
Min Chueh Chang (10 October 1908 – 5 June 1991) was a Chinese-American biologist who studied fertilization in mammalian reproduction.
A Japanese surgeon, Tetsuzo Akutsu (20 August 1922 – 9 August 2007) built the first artificial heart capable of keeping an animal alive.
Gloria Lim (born 1930) is a retired mycologist from Singapore who studied tropical fungi. Over the course of her career, Lim published 140 research papers, wrote several books on fungi and consulted for private companies and public sectors.
Edgardo Dizon Gomez (7 November 1938 – 1 December 2019) was a Filipino marine biologist who recognized the need to protect marine resources, especially coral reefs, in the Philippines.
Võ Quý (1929 – 2017) was a Vietnamese ornithologist who studied the destruction of tropical forests and agricultural lands in Vietnam by Agent Orange, a herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. In addition to planning forest restoration projects, Quý rediscovered the rare eastern sarus crane, an endangered species that had vanished during the war.