Posts Categorized: Research News

Precursor cells for all components of the heart – except right ventricle – found

Precursor cells for all components of the heart – except right ventricle – found

Should assist in regenerative medicine Progenitor cells – undifferentiated cells that later become specified – for all the heart’s components, except for the right ventricle, have been found by Hiroshima University researchers and detailed in a paper published in Nature Communications. It is hoped this discovery will lead to greater understanding of mechanisms employed during heart development, enable the advancement of induction systems for cardiomyocytes in the lab, and advance heart regeneration therapies. The Heart is composed of two kinds muscle cells: working cardiomyocytes – involved in the heart’s contraction contraction, and special cardiomyocytes – involved in the heart’s conduction system. The heart’s individual components of right, and left ventricles,… Read more

‘Big Data’

‘Big Data’

‘Big Data’ is collected and accumulated by businesses and economists and used to conduct high-level analyses. Professor Kazuhiko Hayakawa’s latest research looks at how this is done and how it is used to predict the economic future. Read more about this study here: https://www.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/en/HU_research/syakai001 Read about Professor Hayakawa in his Distinguished Researcher interview: https://www.facebook.com/notes/hiroshima-university-research/an-interview-with-distinguished-researcher-kazuhiko-hayakawa/543970912662831/

Hidden history, the voices behind the archives: The case of a 19th-century Japanese scholar working in Hiroshima

Hidden history, the voices behind the archives: The case of a 19th-century Japanese scholar working in Hiroshima

Find out about Yoshiki Kondo, a scholar who worked in Hiroshima in the Edo Period, through his own words. Professor Kubota Keiichi’s latest research uses Yoshiki Kondo’s letters and diaries to deduce the man’s character. Read about it on our Featured Research in Arts and Humanities page: https://www.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/…/HU_resea…/bungaku/bungaku006

China’s one-child generation not so selfish after all – Confucian roots run deep

China’s one-child generation not so selfish after all – Confucian roots run deep

Every generation has a tendency to despair at the next one’s perceived shortcomings, and Chinese society is no different in this regard.  The “Little Emperor” generation – those born during China’s strict one-child policy, have been judged by many weary elders as spoilt and tantrum prone due to the overwhelming attention bestowed on them by doting families. However, new research from Hiroshima University’s Associate Professor Yoshihiko Kadoya suggests that – in the workplace at least – the one-child generation is just as cooperative as preceding generations of Chinese workers. The study, the first to compare workplace cooperativeness between those born before 1979 when the one-child policy was implemented, and the… Read more

Recently discovered brain chemical ‘NPGL’ controls appetite and body fat composition

Recently discovered brain chemical ‘NPGL’ controls appetite and body fat composition

Beneficial for our ancestors; potential cause of obesity pandemic NPGL, a recently discovered protein involved in brain signalling, has been found to increase fat storage by the body – even when on a low-calorie diet. In addition, NPGL was shown to increase appetite in response to high caloric food intake, suggesting that perhaps we shouldn’t feel so guilty about gorging on junk food from time to time. This latest discovery by Hiroshima University’s Professor Kazuyoshi Ukena, along with collaborators from Japan and UC Berkeley, adds to our understanding of how the brain regulates energy usage and feeding habits – the control mechanisms of which are not yet fully understood.  … Read more

Latency of seizures determined by diet

Latency of seizures determined by diet

Estrogen-mediated brain protection directly linked to intake of fatty acids found in oils   Scientists are increasingly appreciating estrogen’s role in brain health. Now for the first time, production of estrogen in the brain has been directly linked to the presence of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is found in abundance in fish oils and is also synthesized from alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid found in some vegetable-based oils. The latest research from Hiroshima University connecting DHA synthesis to estrogen production, and consequentially brain health, backs up further the old adage that a daily intake of fish oil is good for you.   Assistant Professor Yasuhiro Ishihara, from HU’s Laboratory… Read more

How cells control nuclear size becomes clearer

How cells control nuclear size becomes clearer

Could lead to greater understanding of cancer and aging   Over a century since scientists first observed that cells and their nucleus grow at a constant ratio to each other, we are now closer to finding out how. The cell cycle, the process of cell growth and division that sees “daughter” cells enlarge before dividing again, includes the nucleus – the cell’s condensed genetic control center – simultaneously dividing and enlarging hand-in-hand with their cell. The mechanism involved in this in-tandem augmentation has proven one of the great-unanswered questions of cell biology; the bigger the cell the bigger the nucleus, but what controls this proportional enlargement?   Assistant Professor Kazunori… Read more

Highly safe biocontainment strategy hopes to encourage greater use of GMOs

Highly safe biocontainment strategy hopes to encourage greater use of GMOs

Hiroshima University researchers believe their simple phosphite-based control method will convince legislators to get with the times Use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – microorganisms not found in the natural world but developed in labs for their beneficial characteristics – is a contentious issue. For while GMOs could greatly improve society in numerous ways – e.g. attacking diseased cells, digesting pollution, or increasing food production – their use is heavily restricted by decades-old legislation, for fear of what might happen should they escape into the environment. For researchers, aware of their potential, it is important to develop safety strategies to convince legislators they are safe for release. For this reason… Read more

World first: Stem cell treatment for lethal STAT1 gene mutation — shows ‘disappointing’ but promising results

World first: Stem cell treatment for lethal STAT1 gene mutation — shows ‘disappointing’ but promising results

The first ever study assessing how patients with “gain of function” mutation of the STAT1 gene respond to stem cell transplantation has taken place. It involved 15 young patients, from nine different countries, each suffering a range of complications caused by the gene’s mutation. Of these, only six survived a regime of stem cell transplantation – with five completely cured and disease free by the study’s conclusion.   The study was carried out by Dr. Satoshi Okada (Hiroshima University), Professor Jennifer Leiding (University of Florida), Professor Tomohiro Morio (Tokyo Medical and Dental University), and Professor Troy Torgerson  (University of Washington). Dr. Okada, who first discovered the STAT1 gain of function… Read more

Professor leads World Health Organization survey in Cambodia

Professor leads World Health Organization survey in Cambodia

HU’s Professor Junko Tanaka is leading the first nationwide survey of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C prevalence in Cambodia. She was asked to carry out the survey on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) who hope to eradicate the diseases globally by 2030. With the survey work on the ground almost complete, it is hoped that the first results will be available by the end of the year.   Hep B and Hep C are two of the world’s biggest killers. Infection during childhood of Hep B often results in reoccurring infection – increasing the chance of liver cancer and mortality. Professor Tanaka explains that the single best way… Read more