Weekly News Bites: Ghostly worms, plastic-creating bacteria, and water on the moon

Asia Research News monitors the latest research news in Asia. Some highlights that caught our attention this week are glowing worms named after ghosts, bacteria that can create plastic from thin air, and a water source on the moon.

Scientists from Nagoya University discovered 3 new species of bioluminescent worms in Japan. The worms can be spotted in the water glowing with a blue/violet color, reminiscent of some ghostly Japanese folklore tales. The research group thus decided to name these worms after Japanese yokai (ghosts and spirits).

Bullying seems to be a never-ending problem, with generations of people suffering bad memories of school. Scientists from Korea University are testing out a new promising way of tackling the issue by creating an “anti-bullying climate” in the classroom. Rather than focusing on individual students, changing the social climate encouraged bystanders to act and take on a defender role.

There may be accessible water on the moon! Glass beads found on the surface were studied by a team including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Nanjing University. These beads contained a small percentage of water, which could be accessed by simply heating the beads up. This discovery shows a promising future for lunar missions. 

Scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) may have found a 2-in-1 solution to help decarbonization efforts, i.e. removing carbon from the atmosphere to help slow down climate change. This big solution happens to be a tiny bacteria that can create biodegradable plastic from carbon dioxide. The bacteria can continuously generate poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) plastic and KAIST have found a way to optimize this process.