Weekly News Bites: Exercising cells, three honeybees, and a tiny plant in space

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are helping to speed up chronic wound healing by gently moving skin cells, distinct species of Japanese honeybees, and how the world’s smallest flowing plant can help astronauts.

Developing sores on the body is an unpleasant symptom of diabetes. These sores can take longer to heal than regular injuries and exercise can both help and delay healing.  The National University of Singapore have developed a magnetic gel that can help by gently exercising skin cells. The magnetic particles are activated by a machine and gently move around, bringing skin cells with them.

A new species of alligator has been confirmed after institutions, including University of Tübingen, Chulalongkorn University and the Department of Mineral Resources, examined fossils found in Thailand in 2005. The “Mun River Alligator” had a shorter snout than other alligators and lived about 230,000 years ago.

Three distinct species of Japanese honeybee have been identified by Tohoku University and Tokyo Metropolitan University. When comparing the genomes of bees across Japan, the team saw a difference in their genetic composition in the northern, central, and southern part of their habitat.

Providing non-alcoholic substitute drinks might encourage people to modify their behavior and consume less alcohol, says study by the University of Tsukuba. Making these different options more available might be a strategy to curb excessive drinking.

When going into space for a long time some challenges arise such as food sustainability and …space! Mahidol University tested a tiny plant that could be used both as an astronaut’s renewable food and oxygen source. Watermeal is the world’s smallest flowering plant and can be a good source of protein.