Posts Categorized: Research News

Space-like gravity weakens muscle development

Space-like gravity weakens muscle development

Microgravity conditions affect DNA methylation of muscle cells, slowing their differentiation   Astronauts go through many physiological changes during their time in spaceflight, including lower muscle mass and slower muscle development. Similar symptoms can occur in the muscles of people on Earth’s surface, too. In fact, it could affect everyone to some extent later in life. “Age-related skeletal muscle disorders, such as sarcopenia, are becoming a greater concern in society,” said Hiroshima University (HU) Professor and Space Bio-Laboratories Director Louis Yuge. “It is especially a big concern in Japan, where the number of aging people is increasing.” In a study published in Microgravity, a medical research group at HU led by Yuge shed light… Read more

Machine learning offers new way of designing chiral crystals

Machine learning offers new way of designing chiral crystals

Logistic regression analysis model predicts ideal chiral crystal   Engineers and chemists at Hiroshima University successfully used the same technology at the core of facial recognition to design chiral crystals. This is the first study reporting the use of this technology, called logistic regression analysis, to predict which chemical groups are best for making chiral molecules. Results were published in Chemistry Letters. Chirality describes the quality of possessing a mirror image to something else, but without the ability to superimpose it. Your left foot, for example, is a mirror of your right. They look similar, but they are not the same. This is why you cannot wear a left shoe… Read more

Transcription factor helps tumors grow in low oxygen, resist anticancer therapies

Transcription factor helps tumors grow in low oxygen, resist anticancer therapies

  An international team of researchers found how cancer cells respond to DNA damage signaling when in low oxygen, or hypoxia. Through comprehensive gene expression analyses, the team determined how one family of genes controls DNA damage response, as well as how it weakens the effectiveness of anticancer therapies. Our bodies have strict molecular mechanisms that help us respond to hypoxia. These mechanisms are not just limited to helping us adapt to higher altitudes when climbing up a mountain. They also arise in diseases such as anemia, diabetes, or cancers. In the case of a new study led by Keiji Tanimoto’s team at Hiroshima University (HU), hypoxia indicates developments or… Read more

For Americans, understanding money eases old age anxiety

For Americans, understanding money eases old age anxiety

  A new household economics study from Hiroshima University suggests that financially literate people are more capable of accumulating wealth and worrying less about life in old age. This study is the first of its kind to examine how financial literacy influences anxiety about life in old age in the United States. “Anxiety is bad for one’s health, and it is bad for the economy,” Yoshihiko Kadoya said. Kadoya, Associate Professor of Health Economics at Hiroshima University, is the primary author of this study. Indeed, nearly 75 percent of Americans report feeling anxious about old age. “If you have a high level of anxiety about the future, you tend to… Read more

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