Maths and honeycombs: Searching for the materials of the future

a graphic showing a honeycomb pattern

The nanotechnology revolution is fuelled by the versatility of nanomaterials. Changing a nanomaterial’s composition and structure alters its properties, rendering nanomaterials tailor-made for specific applications. Mathematical modelling guides researchers towards predicting desired behaviour prior to experimentation. Titus Masese of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Godwill Kanyolo of the University of Electro-Communications (UEC), in Japan, […]

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Modelling sea-island reversal in viscoelastic phase separation

liquid droplets upon a dark surface

In the 1990s, researchers first discovered that within mixtures of viscoelastic materials, unique transitions known as phase separations can appear when the right conditions are applied. In his research, Mr Yoshihide Kubo, Hiroshima University alumnus, presents the first robust approach for modelling these systems, avoiding unnecessary complexities while producing results which can be easily reproduced in experiments. His work addresses […]

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The way we think is reflected in our brain activity

The way we think is reflected in our brain activity

People think and act differently. The ability to visualise things, to read newspapers upside down, to mentally rotate objects, to remember faces or phone numbers, or to perform any other daily task, differs from one person to another. Everyone is unique, and yet, despite these individual differences people interact, communicate and understand each other. Professor Kazuo Nishimura at Kobe University, […]

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Quality of life for family caregivers is impacted by satisfaction with care

Cancer does not only affect the patient but their caregiver.

Cancer has an emotional and physical impact on caregivers as well as patients. If relatives are not happy with the care they are able to provide for the patient, this can impair their quality of life. Dr Miki Morishita-Kawahara at the Tokyo Women’s Medical University aims to understand better the factors that influence the quality of life of family caregivers […]

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How did the data propagate? Automated Optical Path Monitoring

Optical fibre cables facilitate high-speed data transfer.

With the development of 5G, our world might seem more wireless than ever. However, lurking behind this and facilitating all high-speed data transfer are kilometres and kilometres of optical fibres. The backbone network for all communication, wireless or otherwise, is this sprawling network of fibres. For reliable communications and internet access, the world’s expanse of fibre optic cables must work […]

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Soil and groundwater contamination: An old and new issue needs to be solved

Industrial and agricultural waste contaminate the soil and groundwater.

Dr Ming Zhang is an innovation coordinator at Geological Survey of Japan, AIST. Alongside his research group, he is advocating the importance of using interdisciplinary tools for sustainable remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater. Their research has shown that cost-effective and environment-friendly technologies such as the use of microorganisms to degrade organic contaminants and the use of minerals to immobilise […]

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A focus on beta cell mass could help prevent type 2 diabetes

A focus on beta cell mass could help prevent type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a global health problem expected to affect nearly seven percent of the world’s population by 2035. Treatment broadly focuses on regulating glucose levels, and an increase in the range of pharmacological options means that it is usually possible to manage the condition. However, diabetes cannot be cured. Professor Yoshifumi Saisho from Keio University, Japan, advocates moving the focus […]

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Crystal engineering for solid-state molecular recognition

for solid-state molecular recognition

Host-guest interactions in crystalline frameworks can be exploited to selectively and reversibly adsorb molecular species within a crystalline lattice. This process is important in a variety of technological fields, including gas separation, catalysis, trapping of pollutants and carbon capture. Professor Akiko Hori (Shibaura Institute of Technology) is developing chemical approaches for optimising the building blocks of these solid-state systems. Perfluorination […]

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Lighting Up Iridium Complexes

Ir-containing molecules have proved very popular for OLED devices.

Iridium (Ir) is a fascinating element. A rare metal found in the Earth’s crust, Ir can bond with a variety of other elements to make different metal complexes. Such complexes have unusual and interesting interactions with light, with many complexes exhibiting strong luminescence on long timescales. This has made them widely used as molecules for bioimaging probes and organic light […]

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Predicting post-seismic liquefaction through geological response analysis

During liquefaction, solid sandy ground behaves like a liquid.

During liquefaction, solid sandy ground behaves like a liquid, posing a significant threat in earthquake-prone regions. Seismic waves cause water-saturated sandy sediments to flow, resulting in ground subsidence and flooding. To address gaps in our understanding, Prof Yukitake Shioi from the Hachinohe Institute of Technology in Japan applied a finite element method model to observations from the 1994 Far-Off Sanriku […]

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