Weekly News Bites: 3D printed “seafood”, ancient drainage systems, and an alternative way of thinking about gravity

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are vegan 3D printed calamari rings, 4 000-year-old ceramic pipes and ditches, and how swirling stars make some rethink how gravity works.

3D printed calamari rings may be on restaurant menus in the future, at least that what National University of Singapore researchers hope for with their new method of producing vegan seafood. Microalgae, mung bean protein, and plant-based oils make these “calamari rings” nutritious, sustainable, taste like fish, and have multiple textures.

Yonsei University scientists have created a special coating for lampshades could act as a household air purifier. The coating breaks down pollutants (volatile organic compounds or VOCs) when activated by the light bulb’s heat to remove indoor VOCs. The team are now adjusting the materials to make them less expensive and able to function on LED bulbs that produce little heat.

Ceramic pipes and ditches helped prevent flooding in an ancient Chinese walled city. University College London and Peking University archaeologists found these networks of pipes at the site of the walled city of Pingliangtai. This sophisticated drainage system shows that people had advanced engineering skills 4 000 years ago.

Teenage smokers may have less gray matter in the decision-making section of their brains than teens who did not start smoking says research by Fudan University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Warwick. This section of the frontal lobe influences the choices to break or follow the rules and the team say this may be used as a biomarker for nicotine addiction.

Do we need a modified view of how gravity works? Astronomers at Sejong University think so after using data from the Gaia satellite to observe how binary stars move around each other. The movement of the stars shows that they accelerate faster than predicted when using the “normal” theory of gravity but correspond to this modified theory.