Weekly News Bites: Childhood rumors, a microwave for clothes, and mysterious Egyptian structures

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are how negative rumors affect children, a new fiber-sorting method, and an ancient Egyptian “anomaly”.

Partaking in gossip starts from a young age. A study of 7-year-olds by Osaka University and NTT Communication Science Laboratories found that kids trust good rumors when there are multiple sources but are swayed by even one bad rumor from a single source. Using puppets as the target of these rumors, the kids were asked to give out rewards after hearing gossip about them and were much less generous when one bad rumor was mixed with the positive ones.

Is singing just fancy speaking? What are the differences? Researchers from the University of Auckland and Keio University found that traditional songs globally are slower, higher-pitched, and have more stable pitches than speech. This study involved diverse global contributions to get a wider picture on global folk songs and to shed light on the evolution of music.

C-section births may impact immune development since babies are not exposed to as much of the mother’s microbiome. This means they may have a lower immune response to the first dose of measles vaccine, causing it to be ineffective says study by Fudan University and Cambridge University. Babies should receive two doses anyway, but C-section babies especially should have all recommended doses to ensure they are protected.

Recycling clothes can be difficult due to the different types of fibers mixed together. Sorting these fibers takes time, is costly and mixed materials are becoming more common with the increased demand for new clothes. To solve this, Osaka University created a microwave-like device to decompose polyester, leaving cotton intact, with a recovery rate of over 90%.

Mysteries from ancient Egypt are still being discovered today. Archeologists from Egypt’s National Research Institute of Astronomy, Higashi Nippon International University, and Tohoku University uncovered an L-shaped structure near the Great Pyramid of Khufu in Giza, Egypt. This structure sits upon another “anomaly” which is made of “electrically resistive material”. The researchers hypothesize that they may be hidden tombs.