Weekly News Bites: Dog tears, solar flares, and burial practices

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are dogs crying happy tears when their owner comes home, a new early warning system for solar flares, and burial practices that can tell us about ancient migration patterns.

It’s a great feeling when our dogs greet us enthusiastically when coming home after a long day. Dogs can show excitement by wagging their tails and jumping around but a study by Azabu University and Jichi Medical University has shown that they may also cry tears of joy. The study found that the dogs only teared up when reunited with their owners.

Huazhong Agricultural University scientists have built a new system using neural networks that can act as an early warning system for solar flares. These flares are difficult to predict and can be dangerous, disrupting radio communications, satellites, and power grids.

Scientists from the Beijing Institute of Technology have injected a rat with liquid metal designed to work as an electrode. This electrode can link the brain or spinal cord to the rest of the body and is usually made of solid metal; this is the first time scientists are trying with liquid metal. The results were promising and the researchers hope that it can be used as an artificial nerve and help treat neural diseases.

AI is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. By collecting data on facial expressions, heart rate, etc., AI can sense and react to human emotions. Scientists from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University wanted to study Gen Z's attitudes towards “emotional” AI. The team found that 50% were concerned about this data collection and participant’s attitudes varied depending on their gender, income, education level, and religion.

Researchers from the Australian National University and Gadjah Mada University have found three ancient bodies on an Indonesian island that had “unusual and interesting” burials. Each body was buried in a different position and one had their extremities removed. These cultural practices can give scientists an insight into ancient migration patterns.