Posts Tagged: chemistry

Meet Yoko Iwamoto

Meet Yoko Iwamoto

  Water is an all-encompassing part of Yoko Iwamoto’s life. She grew up by the sea, influencing her decision to study the ocean. Her studies have taken her as far north as the Bering Sea and as far south as the Equator. Now a marine chemist at Hiroshima University, Iwamoto studies the interaction between Earth’s oceans and atmosphere – and what this means for climate change.   What was your first time on a boat like? My first time was in Kure, where I was born. Kure is a seaside town south of here known for its shipbuilding. My family relatives had a boat. A very small boat — it… 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

Meet Rong Shang

Meet Rong Shang

  Dr. Rong Shang is a chemist. In her words, ‘We are always making new stuff.’ She and her colleagues build molecules combining organic atoms, like carbon and hydrogen, with metals, like gold and platinum. Originally from China, Dr. Shang studied and worked in three different countries before coming to Japan. Now she is Assistant Professor at Hiroshima University. She previously talked with us about her work in the lab. Here, she tells us about her path to becoming a scientist, how research is like a soccer game, and the importance of thinking beyond oneself.   What got you interested in science in the first place? Growing up in China,… Read more

Kazunori Imaizumi, biochemistry

Kazunori Imaizumi, biochemistry

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Kazunori Imaizumi A Common Cause Inside the cells of animals and plants is a folded, flattened tube of membranes piled on top of themselves. Studded along portions of the inside of this tube are ribosomes, small organelles that turn messages from DNA into protein. The proteins and occasionally important fats, or lipids, travel through the tube, folded and finalized into their completed form as they go. The tube itself is the Endoplasmic Reticulum, referred to as “the ER” by scientists. If something goes awry within the ER, proteins and lipids can get backed-up, clogging the tube and causing cellular stress. Both the potential causes and… Read more

Katsuya Inoue, chemistry

Katsuya Inoue, chemistry

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Katsuya Inoue Katusya Inoue identifies himself as a chemist, but his work blends scientific concepts that were once completely disparate.  This combination of research fields was something his 20-year-old-self hoped for, but never expected. He is currently a Distinguished Professor in Hiroshima University’s Graduate School of Science where he studies the properties of molecules that are both chiral and magnetic.  Inoue downplays the special nature of the work that happens in his laboratory, introducing the space by saying, “This is a normal organic chemistry lab.”   While a Master’s degree student at the University of Tokyo, he studied molecular magnets, which are usually made using… Read more

Toshinori Tsuru, chemical engineering

Toshinori Tsuru, chemical engineering

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Toshinori Tsuru In the natural environment, salt mixes with water in the ocean and carbon dioxide mixes with methane in natural gas deposits.  The same mixing of molecules is common when chemists create useful compounds, as at the end of the reaction when leftover hydrogen mixes with ammonia, a chemical used in fertilizers and household cleaners.  Usually only one molecule is valuable, but separating the desired molecule from the unwanted ones at the tiny, molecular-sized scale is a complicated task.  One approach is to build a filter that only lets the desirable molecule pass through.  Professor Toshinori Tsuru is a leader in the field of… Read more

Yohsuke Yamamoto, chemistry

Yohsuke Yamamoto, chemistry

A Conversation with Distinguished Professor Yohsuke Yamamoto   Distinguished Professor Yohsuke Yamamoto is efficient in his movements around the Chemistry Department of Hiroshima University.  The hallway is dimly lit between his office stuffed with books and the seminar room used as a break room by students.  He prefers to speak in the seminar room rather than his office, but he points out that the so-called seminar room is too small to hold everyone at the weekly lab seminars he organizes for his students.  Those happen in a large lecture room at the opposite end of the hall.   Yamamoto had a strong interest in organic chemistry in high school, so… Read more

Hiroshima University research on thin films of nanoparticles wins publication award

Hiroshima University research on thin films of nanoparticles wins publication award

Results from Hiroshima University researchers earned an Outstanding Paper award from the Journal of Chemical Engineering of Japan.  The research was completed by Assistant Professor Masaru Kubo, Yuki Mantani, and Professor Manabu Shimada.  Mantani was a Masters student at the time of the research. “Using our method, individual particles fall like snow,” said Professor Manabu Shimada, a chemical engineer in the Graduate School of Engineering.  This project attracted positive attention from the scientific community previously; in 2013, Assistant Professor Masaru Kubo won a best poster presentation honor at a scientific conference in Sydney, Australia. “I believe our results get this attention because they are relevant to so many other researchers…. Read more

A magnet that can be strong or weak

A magnet that can be strong or weak

Humidity and pressure control new magnetic crystals Researchers at Hiroshima University, CNRS, and Université de Strasbourg synthesized crystals with magnetic properties that can change continuously and reversibly, a world first. The study was highlighted as a cover article of the journal “Inorganic Chemistry,” a publication of the American Chemical Society in March 2016. Recently, the scientific community has had immense interest in new types of magnets with the potential to create the next generation of energy efficient devices through innovations using materials science techniques. Common magnets, like those holding reminders on home refrigerators or turning car motors, are made of metal and metal oxides.  Newer magnets can be made with… Read more

Power up when the temperature is down

Power up when the temperature is down

Transporting power sources in the coldest places may be easier with a new re-chargeable, non-metallic battery from Japan. This “eco battery” could provide portable sources of power in environments like refrigerated factories or extreme winter environments. Chemists from Hiroshima University developed a new synthesis method for organic radical batteries that are re-chargeable and continue to function at below-freezing temperatures.  The specific model prototyped by the Hiroshima University team has greater voltage than previously reported styles from other research groups around the world.  The method used to create this battery is an improvement on a report from the same Hiroshima University laboratory earlier in 2016. Most electrical devices use a lithium-ion… Read more