Weekly News Bites: An extinct giant ape, the immune system and dizziness, and a solar-powered detoxifier

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are how a King Kongesque ape went extinct, how antibodies can make you dizzy, and a material that can break down harmful chemicals using the sun.

A gigantic ape used to flourish in the southern regions of China but went extinct around 250,000 years ago. its An international consortium, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shandong University, uncover new insights into the extinction of the largest ape to roam Earth. Fossil findings from Asia suggest that Gigantopithecus blacki couldn't adapt to environmental changes which affected its food source.

New study reveals genetic factors influencing educational attainment among East Asians, identifying genome locations that seemed to be frequently associated with more years spent in education. The research from National Health Research Institutes Taiwan, Sungkyunkwan University, and Seoul National University explores the interplay between genes and academic success, while still emphasizing the influence of social and environmental factors.

Dizziness is a symptom of many different conditions. A study by Anam Hospital reveals a link between the immune system and a form of sudden dizziness caused by vestibular neuritis. A type of antibody called Anti-GQ1b attacks a component of nerve cell membranes. The nerves that are targeted the most are those that regulate balance, body motion and eye movement.

Researchers from IISER Bhopal have developed a material designed to detoxify chemical warfare agents. It has been tested on mustard gas, a poisonous chemical that targets the person’s nervous system. The material absorbs natural sunlight and uses that energy to break down the harmful chemicals. This sustainably powered material is also reusable say the researchers.