Weekly News Bites

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are a magnetic slime, training for robotic surgeries, and the furthest star from Earth.

It’s April Fool’s Day at the time of this publication, but researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong had to assure enquirers that their publication of a slime that can be controlled by magnets was not a joke! The research team, which also included Harbin Institute of Technology, hope to use the slime like a robot in the future for a variety of functions, such as retrieving swallowed items safely.

Probiotic foods contain friendly bacteria that can help keep you healthy by feeding your gut microbiome. In order to do this, however, they must survive the harsh environments of your mouth and stomach acid. To help out these friendly bacteria on their journey, researchers from Nanyang Technological University have developed a seaweed-based edible coating to protect them and allow them to reach the intestine.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 may notice that they have blurry vision or sensations such as dryness, itching, or burning in their eyes. This may be due to dry eye disease which, according to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, affects one in five people that have recovered from the virus.

Stargazers at the Center for Frontier Science of Chiba University and Johns Hopkins University got a lucky break when gravitational lensing caused the light of a star to appear brighter than it actually is. This allowed the team to find what is now the most distant star from Earth.

A joint research venture between India and South Korea has developed a real-time training system for robotic surgeries that is efficient, low-cost, and user friendly. Robotic surgeries can now be more accessible to medical students. This technology was developed by L&T Technology Services Bengaluru, PSG College of Technology, PSG Institute of Medical Science and Research Coimbatore, and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).