Weekly News Bites: Melatonin for memory, interlocking drones, and an anemone like no other

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are how melatonin can help us remember objects, drones that can assemble and disassemble in mid-air, and a new species of anemone.

Melatonin may play a role in long term memory formation for objects according to a study by Sophia University. The researchers found that melatonin and its derivatives sparked some memory signalling pathways in the brains of male mice. While treatment with melatonin derivatives seemed to help the development of long-term memory, the underlying effects still need more study.

Microplastics are being found almost everywhere and are introduced into the human body though a variety of ways. One of the most common is through water. A solution by the University of British Columbia and Sichuan University may help remove them leaving behind clean water. The scientists have developed plant-based filters made from fruit to remove up to 99.9% of the pollutants.

When using a drone, size matters, with a trade-off between being small and agile but weak, or large and strong but bulky. University of Tokyo engineers created a system of interlocking drones so they don’t have to choose between strength and mobility. The drones can assemble and separate mid-air allowing for more flexibility while using them.

The tiger anemone common to an area of Singapore’s shores has been confirmed as a new species in a paper by St John’s Island National Marine Laboratory, the National University of Singapore and, Museum of Tropical Queensland. Although the species has been noticed around 20 years ago, researchers have only now confirmed that it is like no other species through comparison with hundreds of similar-looking specimens and genetic samples.