Weekly News Bites: Lunar asteroids, disease-detecting droplets, and ape medicine

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are the origin of a nearby asteroid, laser-activated droplets that detect biomarkers, and another example of how apes are not too far from us humans!

Astronomers from the University of Arizona and Tsinghua University have traced the origin of an asteroid to a crater on the moon. This suggests that it was ejected from the moon by a massive impact. The Kamo’oalewa asteroid is a little too close to Earth for comfort, so scientists have been keeping a close eye on it.  

Researchers at Nanyang Technological University have developed a shape-memory adhesive that can allow for crawling up or holding on to surfaces. By heating it up and cooling it down, It can stick to and detach from surfaces. Potential applications include robotics and climbing gear, though it currently takes too long to change state for quick climbing.

An orangutan has treated his wounds with medicinal herbs, much like humans would. Rakus, the Sumatran orangutan, chewed up a leaf and put the mash on his wound, helping it to heal. This observation by the Max Planck Institute and Universitas Nasional Jakarta gives more insight into how wound care could have evolved between animals and humans.

Antibody-coated droplets developed by Nanyang Technological University can detect disease biomarkers such as proteins shed by viruses. The droplets are ‘activated’ by laser energy which causes them to amplify energy signals when in contact with specific proteins allowing scientists to more easily see indications of disease in the body.

By recycling waste products, soybean processing and fish farming could help each other become more ecofriendly. Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Technological University have demonstrated how to use the wastewater from the soybeans to make fish feed, helping to recycle the waste product and use less resources when fish farming.