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