Weekly News Bites

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are data-storing diamonds, motivated honeybees, and meteorites that contain the building blocks of life.

The ingredients necessary for life may have come to Earth from outer space. Researchers at Hokkaido University looked at meteorites that fell at different times and locations and found DNA and RNA nucleobases. Now all five nucleobases that are present in living creatures (on Earth at least) have been found in fallen meteorites.

Animals want things that they like and will change their behavior in order to get a reward, like a dog sitting down to get a treat. Scientists from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University found a similar “wanting system” in honeybees that were motivated by dopamine to go out and look for nectar.

Getting the right amount of sleep is important for our mental and physical health. A study from Fudan University and Cambridge University looked at almost 500,000 adults and found that seven hours of sleep was the ideal amount for adults middle-aged and older. Getting any more or less sleep was found to affect their cognitive performance and mental health.

Have you ever been in the middle of a big project or close to an important deadline when your computer shuts down losing your progress? Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a computer that can save your data even when the power is off. This could not only save your work but also save energy.

Did you know that diamonds can store data? Saga University and Adamant Namiki Precision Jewel Co. have created a 2-inch diamond wafer than can store massive amounts of data. The wafer could store the equivalent of one billion Blu-Ray discs and could be used in quantum computing.

Nanyang Technological University scientists have created a new type of concrete that replaces sand with crushed, recycled glass. This concrete is 3D-printable, has similar strength to regular concrete, helps recycle glass, and uses less water to make.

A drug used to treat asthma (montelukast) can block a crucial protein produced by SARS-CoV-2 says research by the Indian Institute of Science. This drug prevents a viral protein from hijacking our immune cells’ “protein-making machinery” leading to lower viral replication and potentially reducing the severity of COVID-19.

Published: 29 Apr 2022