Weekly News Bites: Waterless toothpaste, quantum telepathy, and a robot gripper

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are a toothpaste that can be used in space, how to always win at a quantum game, and a trunk-inspired robot gripper.

Managing water rations in space is difficult, but astronauts still need to take care of their teeth. To combat this, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has chosen Oralpeace, a waterless, edible toothpaste to be used by one of their astronauts on the ISS. This toothpaste was developed by the president of Trife Inc. who originally designed it to be edible and easy to use to help his ailing father.

A potential cure for hair loss could be on the horizon as Yokohama National University researchers have grown hair follicles and shafts in their lab. The follicles were then planted into the skin of mice and normal hair growth cycles started after about 3 weeks. The researchers hope that this method can be used for human hair growth to ease hair transplants.

How do you cheat at a quantum game? By using quantum telepathy of course! Using a property called entanglement, scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China & Nanjing University have demonstrated how to always win at the Mermin-Peres magic square game. 

The Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) has developed a robot gripper that can pick up a variety of objects, from a small needle to a large packing box. The researchers took inspiration from an elephant’s trunk to create the soft robot arm that combines the functionalities of claw-like and suction-type grippers.