Plants & Animals

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A male brown bear observed in the Rusha area on the Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, in 2018. Photo taken by Yuri Shirane.
18 Nov 2021
Surveys have revealed an upward trend in the number of brown bears over the past three decades in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. Researchers at Hokkaido University have been investigating the causes and implications of the increase.
Asia research News - Editor's Choice
05 Nov 2021
Quick seawater test may reveal health of corals, Infectious disease caused by a new nairovirus, Converting CO2 into useful compounds and Automated COVID-19 diagnosis from chest scans all in the November Editor's Choice. Plus our latest podcast: Gender and Conflict in Myanmar.
Mukawa estuary, Hokkaido, one of the 22 estuaries sampled for the study (Photo: Akihide Kasai).
04 Nov 2021
The diversity of threatened fish in estuaries increases when surrounded by forest cover, whereas estuaries surrounded by farmland show the opposite effect.
27 Oct 2021
Giants in History: Maqsudul Alam (14 December 1954 – 20 December 2014) was a biologist from Bangladesh who is renowned for his research on genome sequencing.
Some of the recorded carnivore species
20 Oct 2021
Just as humans may leave their home five minutes early to avoid a talkative neighbor or depart work late to avoid a rude coworker, carnivorous mammals may go out of their way to avoid other species. But they’re not trying to navigate awkward social interactions; rather, they are negotiating space and resources for survival.
Figure 1. Total soluble solids (TSS) (A), cell turgor (B), osmotic pressure determined by the vapor pressure method (C), vapor pressure method-based calculated water potential (D), osmotic pressure determined by the freezing point method (E) and freezing point method-based calculated water potential (F) in each tissue in the watercored apple fruit.
23 Sep 2021
Single cell analyses reveal hidden turgor-associated metabolic changes and water flow across the flesh in watercored apples
Võ Quý, a hero of the environment
20 Sep 2021
Võ Quý (31 December 1929 – 10 January 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.
15 Sep 2021
Using the lamprey, researchers from Japan analyzed the photosensory mechanism of the pineal organ, also called the pineal gland, in non-mammalian vertebrates and discovered a novel mechanism of pineal color discrimination (two-cell system) in which two types of photoreceptor cells, each containing two different opsins, are used to detect color. This discovery may provide insight into the evolution of color detection in other animals, including color vision in humans.
Shouta M. M. Nakayama (yellow hoodie), Haruya Toyomaki (black polo shirt) and Yared Beyene (blue jacket), along with dogs sampled in the study and the family that owns them (Photo: Shouta M. M. Nakayama).
13 Sep 2021
Abnormally high levels of DNA methylation have been identified in dogs exposed to high levels of lead near a mining area in Kabwe, Zambia, by a team of scientists from Japan and Zambia.
Yuan Longping - father of hybrid rice
11 Sep 2021
Giants in History: 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.
Asia Research News - Giants in History
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.
Masahiro Nakaoka, Rommel Llanillo, Muammar Princess Soniega
03 Sep 2021
Social vulnerabilities of coastal communities and their reliance on blue carbon ecosystem services may be improved by addressing three major factors, according to a study led by Hokkaido University researchers.
03 Sep 2021
Carthamin’s usage as dye dates back to ancient Egypt. But scientists only discovered its chemical structure in 2019. Now, a collaborative group of researchers has identified the genes required for the biosynthesis of carthamin.
30 Aug 2021
On 20 May 2021, Sri Lanka’s worst-ever marine disaster occurred when a fire erupted on the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl container ship just 18 km Northwest of Colombo. While the long-term cost is yet to be determined, the negative impact on industries such as fisheries and tourism, and people who rely on the coastal resources of Sri Lanka is already apparent.
18 Aug 2021
A collaboration between Osaka City University and Setsunan University sheds light on the effect urbanization has on the flesh fly species Sarcophaga similis. Through a series of laboratory and in-field experiments, scientists show that an increase in nighttime illumination and temperature, two of the major characteristics of urbanization, can postpone S. similis hibernation anywhere from 3 weeks to a month.
Asia Research News: Editor's Choice
06 Aug 2021
ARN's August 2021 newsletter features research about cancer-killing nanoparticles, a more powerful radio receiver tuning into space, good tiger news, and more. We also check in with a research team to find out what it was like to be the center of media attention.
27 Jul 2021
An international team of scientists say that tigers could come roaring back in an unlikely place: northeastern China.
Exposure of a PCB metabolite to whale-derived induced neurons caused apoptosis and neurodegeneration
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.
21 Jul 2021
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) have succeeded in creating the first genetically engineered marsupial. This study, published in the scientific journal Current Biology, will contribute to deciphering the genetic background of unique characteristics observed only in marsupials.
20 Jul 2021
Using electron microscopy and high-speed atomic force microscopy, researchers show the internal molecular motor behind the gliding mechanism for Mycoplasma mobile to consist of two ATP synthase-like molecules. Sharing a similar structure with ATP synthase suggests a common evolutionary ancestor. This synthase-like ATPase is challenging the origin of cells and proteins themselves.
25 Jun 2021
Many waterbird species which travel across hemispheres are affected by a wide range of environmental and anthropogenic factors. A first-of-its-kind study along the China coast, jointly conducted by the Science Unit of Lingnan University in Hong Kong (LU) and the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS), quantified the 20-year wintering population trends of 42 waterbirds species in the Deep Bay area to evaluate the impacts of different threats along the East Asian-Australasian flyway (EAAF), providing important baseline information and recommendations on conservation.
A female yakushika deer on Yakushima Island (Photo: Yoshimi Agetsuma-Yanagihara).
31 May 2021
Scientists have shown that the population of the Yakushima sika deer has declined due to natural factors, suggesting that the population can be regulated without culling.
Arabidopsis plants used in one of the experiments during the study (Photo by Takeo Sato).
28 May 2021
Scientists from Japan, Europe and the USA have described a pathway leading to the accelerated flowering of plants in low-nitrogen soils. These findings could eventually lead to increases in agricultural production.
21 May 2021
A group of researchers carried out eDNA sequencing on jelly fish in the Florida Keys using a newly developed Fieldable eDNA sequencing kit to identify species that may be endangered, invasive or dangerous.
18 May 2021
The Asia Research News magazine brings you fascinating research stories from diverse voices in environment, technology, materials, medicine, space and social sciences. The 2021 edition is out now.
Mayuko Nakagawa operating a stable isotope mass analyser
11 May 2021
“By looking at substances in volcanos, lakes and hotsprings, you can start to see the ecosystems that existed billions of years ago,” says Mayuko Nakagawa, a microbiologist and specially-appointed assistant professor at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. She analyses components left by microorganisms with colleagues from various disciplines, while as a lab manager, she looks after cutting-edge equipment and visitors from different countries.
Nakagawa in lab
11 May 2021
火山や湖、温泉の物質からは数十億年前に存在した微生物の生態系が見えてくると語るのは、東京工業大学・地球生命研究所(ELSI)の中川麻悠子特任助教。異分野の研究者たちと共に微生物の作り出した成分を解析する傍ら、ラボマネージャーとして国内外の訪問者サポートや最先端の機材の管理などを行っている。
10 May 2021
A new study on frogs shows gene flow and population structure should be considered to determine if morphologically similar and genetically distinct animals comprise separate species.
10 May 2021
Deep sea animals face greater risks compared to those nearer the surface as they become less able to maintain their preferred thermal habitats with climate change.
PD-L1 immunohistochemical staining in typical oral malignant melanoma (left) and squamous cell skin cancer (right)
22 Apr 2021
Scientists have shown that the biological molecule PD-L1 is a potential target for the treatment of metastasized oral malignant melanoma in dogs.

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