Weekly News Bites: Fluffy longevity, regrowing teeth, and small seed spreaders

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are the lifespan of different cat breeds, the possibility of regrowing teeth, and how small creatures can help maintain our environments.

More fluff = longer life? Researchers from National Chung Hsing University and the Royal Veterinary College measured the lifespans of different cats. The team found that the cat with the shortest overall lifespan was the Sphynx (not fluffy), with an average of just 6.8 years, while Burmese and Birman breeds (fluffy) top longevity charts at 14.4 years.

New research on mice shows how our brains process visual illusions. Scientists from the University of Tokyo observed how mice reacted to an illusion using color. The team found that different layers of neurons in the brain interact to create the false images that are seen. This research offers insights into how perception works in the brain.

We can regrow our hair, nails, and skin and now there is a possibility of even regrowing teeth. Clinicians at Kyoto University Hospital are starting clinical trials of "tooth regrowth medicine". Initial trials aim to ensure safety before expanding to younger patients.

Kyung Hee University and Hyundai have invented new vertical solar panels. These can be used for areas without much space, slotting in easier than the current models. These solar panels use microprisms that enhance sunlight absorption without altering solar cells.

Even small creatures can have a big impact. While it is clear that birds and bees are crucial seed dispersers, Kobe University scientists found woodlice and earwigs, among the smallest animals, can also spread seeds they eat. This type of research demonstrates the need to maintain and conserve diverse habitats.