Weekly News Bites

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are amino acids from space, a robot finger wrapped in human skin, and what makes dogs "man’s best friend".

Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins and thus life, have been found on the Ryugu asteroid 300 million kilometers away in space. A large team of institutions in Japan have analyzed the samples of the asteroid brought back by the Hayabusa2, led by The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and including institutions such as the University of Tokyo and Hiroshima University.

Multiple institutions from around China, including the Institute of Geochemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Geological Science, China University of Geosciences and Shandong University, say that they have published the most detailed map of the moon to date. The institutions mapped out the rocks and craters which can help with research and landing site selection.

Singapore’s Indian communities form distinct but interconnected communities resembling a “mosaic or a patchwork quilt” according to a study that aimed to capture their history. A series of monographs and documentaries have been produced by the study from the National University of Singapore.

Dogs can form an important part of the family and being “man’s best friend” seems to be in their genes says research from Azabu University. Dogs that had mutations in stress-response genes interacted more with humans during experiments; this mutation seems to reduce fear and aggression and make them more friendly to humans.

The University of the Philippines Manila has opened its first Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Health Center which will provide disaster simulation training using tools such as virtual reality to help responders be prepared for real-life crises.

Vortex rings are common to spot in gases and fluids (like when someone blows smoke rings) but how can light be twisted into such a shape? The University of Shanghai for Science and Technology and the University of Dayton have managed to create this doughnut-shaped light formation by using lasers, lenses, and mirrors.

Scientists from the University of Tokyo have wrapped a robot finger in lab-grown human tissue resembling skin. The robot “skin” is waterproof, can bend and flex, and heal itself like real skin. The researchers’ goal is to develop “…robots that are truly human-like,”.  

Published: 10 Jun 2022