Posts Categorized: Research News

Lasers melt rocks to reveal development of super-Earths and how giant impacts make magma

Lasers melt rocks to reveal development of super-Earths and how giant impacts make magma

Advanced laser shock technique puts magmas under highest-ever pressures New experiments provide insight into how Earth-type planets form when giant asteroids or planetesimals collide and how the interiors of such planets develop. Researchers at Hiroshima University, Osaka University, Ehime University, University of Tokyo, and the Chiba Institute of Technology collaborated to publish their research in the August 3, 2016 issue of Science Advances. “Our results provide a better understanding how impact-generated magmas evolve and allow us to model Earth-type planets’ inner structures. Collisions at these extreme temperatures and pressures created our own Earth and may have also formed the mantles of other Super Earth planets, for example CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b,”… Read more

Shaking Up Surgery

Shaking Up Surgery

New vibrations in old tools allow surgeons to feel what they can’t touch A small vibrating device added to surgical tools could improve surgeons’ sensitivity to different shapes and textures inside their patients’ bodies. Engineers from Hiroshima University have designed the small vibrating device to attach to any existing hand-held surgical tool and be used instantly, without requiring extra training for doctors. During minimally invasive surgeries, surgeons rely on long, thin, metal tools to explore their patients’ bodies. Such laparoscopic surgeries benefit patients by reducing the size of surgical cuts and minimizing scarring, but surgeons can no longer use their fingers to directly touch patients to sense essential information about… Read more

Japanese Tadpoles Relax in Hot Springs

Japanese Tadpoles Relax in Hot Springs

One type of juvenile frog can survive in hot onsen water Japanese tadpoles can live and grow in natural hots springs, or onsen, with water temperatures as high as 46.1oC (115oF).  Living in onsen may benefit the tadpoles’ immune systems, speed their growth, and allow the tadpoles to survive on small volcanic islands where there are few other natural sources of fresh water.   Tadpoles of the same frogs were previously found living in hot springs in Taiwan and other Japanese islands, but this field study found tadpoles living in the hottest ever recorded temperatures for any amphibian tadpole.  The research was completed by scientists at Hiroshima University with collaborators… Read more

New prebiotic identified in fermented Japanese vegetable

New prebiotic identified in fermented Japanese vegetable

Enzyme improves colon health in rats An enzyme produced by fermenting a vegetable common in Japanese cuisine may be responsible for increasing the amount of at least one beneficial bacterium associated with healthy colons in a study using rats.  The results of this prebiotic research study will be presented at the International Conference on Nutraceuticals and Nutrition Supplements in July 2016 by Norihisa Kato, Ph.D., and at the International Nutrition and Diagnostic Conference in October 2016 by doctoral student Yongshou Yang, both from Hiroshima University. The vegetable, called burdock root in English and gobo in Japanese, has a minimal positive effect on colon health when eaten raw or cooked.  Like… Read more

Cultural expectations and concern for long-term care drive preference for sons in India

Cultural expectations and concern for long-term care drive preference for sons in India

  Parents’ preference for sons persists globally, but the gender imbalance at birth remains most extreme in Asia, especially India.  New analysis reveals that in India, the preference for sons might come from the expectation – even after controlling socioeconomic factors – that sons and their wives should care for elderly family members. “Now we have the data to prove elder care motivates son preference, so we can move forward on how to understand this economic and healthcare issue,” said Yoshihiko Kadoya, Ph.D., lead author of the research study and currently Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Hiroshima University. The absence of national pension or socialized healthcare systems… Read more

Science of Sake

Science of Sake

Mutation threatening high-quality brewing yeast identified Biologists at Hiroshima University, located in the historic sake brewing town of Saijo, have identified the genetic mutation that could ruin the brew of one particular type of yeast responsible for high-quality sake.  The research was part of an academic-government-industry collaboration involving the National Institute of Brewing (Japan), the Asahi Sake Brewing Company (Niigata), the Brewing Society of Japan, The University of Tokyo, The University of Pennsylvania, and Iwate University. Two types of sake considered especially high-quality are called daiginjo-shu and junmai-daiginjo-shu and are often made using the yeast K1801.  Different brewing yeasts, whether for beer, wine, or sake, create different tastes in the… Read more