Posts Tagged: Women in STEM

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

Researchers identify new type of depression

Researchers identify new type of depression

Protein linked with depression shows promise as new drug target     Depression is a mental disorder that affects over 300 million people around the world. While treatments exist, many of them are based on one hypothesis of how depression arises. Patients that do not fit this mold may not be getting benefits. A study led by Hiroshima University (HU), which was published online this May in Neuroscience, shed light on how one protein called RGS8 plays a role in depression behaviors. Scientists think depression occurs because of the monoamine hypothesis, so named for the type of two chemicals that depressed people lack: serotonin and norepinephrine (NE). Ninety percent of antidepressant… 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

Well-wrapped feces allow lobsters to eat jellyfish stingers without injury

Well-wrapped feces allow lobsters to eat jellyfish stingers without injury

Results advance efforts for sustainable lobster aquaculture Lobsters eat jellyfish without harm from the venomous stingers due to a series of physical adaptations.  Researchers from Hiroshima University examined lobster feces to discover that lobsters surround their servings of jellyfish in protective membranes that prevent the stingers from injecting their venom.  The results are vial for aquaculture efforts to sustainably farm lobsters for diners around the world. Lobsters grow for years before becoming a red-shelled main meal.  In their early life stages, the larvae of slipper and spiny lobsters are nearly transparent and about the size of an adult’s thumb nail.  Lobster larvae ride around the ocean on the bodies of… Read more

Scientists measure how baby bump changes the way women walk, make future safety studies possible

Scientists measure how baby bump changes the way women walk, make future safety studies possible

  Movie sets are normally the home of three-dimensional motion caption systems, but researchers used the same video recording system in a lab to measure the way pregnant women walk.  This is the first research study to use 3D motion capture to create a biomechanical model of pregnant women.  The results verify the existence of the “pregnancy waddle” and should enable future studies on how to make everyday tasks safer and more comfortable for pregnant women. The research team from Hiroshima University studied how pregnant women adjust their movements during daily life, like rising from a chair or changing direction while walking. Accidental falls cause 10-25 percent of trauma injuries… Read more

Bubble volcano

Bubble volcano

Shaking, popping by earthquakes may cause eruptions A new study on the connection between earthquakes and volcanoes took its inspiration from old engineering basics.  Future applications of these results may enable better predictions of the likelihood of a volcanic eruption for communities affected by an earthquake. If you swirl wine in a glass too strongly, the wine crashes against the sides and spills over the top.  The same swirling and crashing, technically termed “sloshing,” happens when transporting liquids on trucks or ships.  Large liquid containers must be specially designed to avoid damage as the vehicle shakes and the liquid sloshes.  Strong earthquakes can even damage large petroleum tanks. When earthquakes… Read more

The ups and downs of transportation within cells

The ups and downs of transportation within cells

New role for Rab6 How do cells avoid growing topsy-turvy?  Growing so your top, front, bottom and back all wind up on the correct side requires a good sense of direction at the cellular level.  A Hiroshima University research group has identified a familiar gene with an unexpected role in directing proteins around the cell. “I really want to figure out how proteins know where to go inside the cell.  The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to researchers who laid the groundwork for understanding transportation within cells, but the process of how different proteins are sorted to go to different locations is still unknown,” said Akiko… Read more

HiSIM-SOTB, compact transistor model, selected as international industry standard

HiSIM-SOTB, compact transistor model, selected as international industry standard

A new compact transistor model was developed and the framework for realizing a faster design support process and product development for integrated circuits in the ultra-low voltage category was established. The new compact model, HiSIM-SOTB (Hiroshima University STARC IGFET Model Silicon-on-Thin BOX), was developed by Hiroshima University’s HiSIM Research Center in collaboration with its partners in the industry and government institutions, including the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) of Japan. On June 20, 2014, after a two-year-long effort by the industry/government/academia research team, this new model was selected as an international industry standard during a meeting in Washington D.C., which was held by the Compact Modeling… Read more