Weekly News Bites: Bumblebees and EVs, tilting the Earth, and prehistoric climate refugees

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are how worms use electric fields to jump onto bumblebees, how humans moving water affects the Earth’s rotation, and rising sea levels causing the displacement of people over 20 000 years ago.

What do bumblebees and electric vehicles have in common? Both are used for transport according to Hiroshima University scientists who found that microscopic worms use electric fields to jump onto the backs of bumblebees and ride them. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) worms can hop onto things that are electrically charged, whether they are objects or living organisms.

Scientists have used quantum computing to simulate the physics of black holes. The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tianjin University, RIKEN, and the Beijing Academy of Quantum Information Sciences used the simulation to investigate Hawking radiation, which is the emission of particles that were previously swallowed by the black hole.

Loneliness and social isolation are not good for your health, says research by Harbin Medical University. Social isolation means being alone while you can feel loneliness even when surrounded by people. These feelings over the long term can act like chronic stress and a smaller social circle can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as poor exercise and smoking.

Humans have moved water around the Earth so much that we may have changed its rotation according to Seoul National University. Pumping large amounts of water out of the ground seems to have tilted the Earth. This can have effects on our environment such as rising sea levels.

Rising sea levels caused climate refugees in prehistoric times, says research by Nanyang Technological University. The scientists studied genomes from ethnic groups in South East and South Asia and found common genetic ancestry between indigenous groups from Malaysia and South Asia. The rapid rise in sea levels occurred after melting ice from the latest ice age.