Month: February 2015

CiRA team reports scaffold-less chondrocyte preparation from iPS cells

The chondrocytes were prepared from human iPS cells by a culture method for producing cartilage tissue without from human iPS cell-derived chondrocytes scaffolds. When transplanted into immunodeficient mice and rats, the cartilage prepared from human iPS cells led to tumor formation. The cartilage tissue prepared from human iPS cells was transplanted to damaged articular areas […]

Group at Gunma University develops sustainable route to terephtalic acid

The raw material used were corn cobs, providing glucose which was chemically dehydrated to furfural. In a 5 step chemical procedure, furfural was converted to terephtalic acid, and mass spectrometry showed that the carbon was 100 % derived from biomass. China Bio news release, Feb. 25, 2015; Yuya TACHIBANA et al., Nature Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/srep08249

University of Tokyo group develops armband-type thermometer energized by room light

The groups of Takayasu SAKURAI and Takao SOMEYA have presented a wire-free, armband-type soft thermometer which draws energy from room light by flexible solar cells. Temperature sensing is done by a polymer-based sensor, and a piezoelectric buzzer is integrated. It measures body temperature continuously. The device was developed within the ERATO’s Someya biological harmony electronics […]

RIKEN synchrotron: progress in structural analysis of micro-thin protein crystals

The laboratory of Isao YONEKURA has reported on a new technology which, if applied to thin crystals of, e. g., membrane proteins, allows visualization of the charge state of amino acids and ions. When applied to very thin three-dimensional crystals of rabbit sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2 + -ATPase or bovine liver catalase, the electrostatic potential map […]

RIKEN’s “Robear” human care robot: improved sensory system allows for soft contact while lifting people

The robot, which is a further development of Sumitomo’s “RIBA” robot, has the following features: (1) a flexible and smooth urethane exterior prepared by special cutting tool, (2) a modified truck which can change the supporting basal plane by extending and retracting the arm; “ROBEAR” distance can lift 140 kg, and (3) detection of humans […]

University of Tokyo team improves production of aromatic chemicals from biomass lignin

The group of Kyoko NOZAKI and Shuhei KUSUMOTO at the University of Tokyo’s Dept. of Chemistry and Biotechnology report the direct and selective hydrogenolysis of sp2 C–OH bonds in substituted phenols and naphthols catalysed by hydroxycyclopentadienyl iridium complexes. The corresponding arenes were obtained in up to 99% yields, indicating the possible production of arenes from […]

National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences: high success rate for genome editing in silkworms

In a symposium held at Kyoto Research Park, an overview of recent progress in silk modification based on genome editing of silkworms was provided. Topics included the molding of new types of silk produced by recombinant silkworms to various shapes, cosmetic uses of fibroin, and potential production and applications of spider and hornet silk. Symposium […]

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