Weekly News Bites: Smartwatches for cows, a thousand-year-old woman, and a dinosaur that is not a bird

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.

What looks like a goose, swims like a duck but isn’t related to modern birds? A new dinosaur studied by Seoul National University had a goose-like neck, streamlined body and razor-sharp teeth but does not belong to the class of dinosaur that gave rise to modern-day birds. This suggests that streamlined bodies evolved independently for different species.

A digital reconstruction of a woman born 1 600 years ago was shared by a research team including Dokkyo Medical University and Tohoku Gakuin University. The remains found in a coffin at the bottom of a mountain contained bones, teeth, and some personal effects like a comb. DNA from her teeth and analysis of the bones structure were used to accurately create the digital model.

Eating vegetables and cutting down on meat is important to keep healthy, but research has shown that this is especially true for men. Kyung Hee University scientists found that men that ate more plant-based foods had a lower risk of bowel cancer compared to those who ate less. This correlation was not seen for women studied. 

Scientists from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and IIT Indore have developed a light harvesting system that mimics photosynthesis to create energy. The scientists developed an atom-precise nanocluster that can capture energy from the UV-visible region of the light spectrum.

Even cows need to embrace technology to keep up with the modern age! Southwest Jiaotong University has looked at the idea of a “smart ranch” where cows would wear smartwatch-like devices. Farmers could then monitor the cow’s health and environment, and even harvest kinetic energy from the cow’s movements.

Less girls are being diagnosed with cancer in India which may be due to societal gender bias, says research by All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and Cancer Institute (WIA) Chennai. More boys seem to be brought forward for diagnosis and this disparity was higher in patients from rural areas.