Fragment-based design of isoquinoline derivatives as anti-inflammatory drugs

Dr Masakazu Atobe and his colleagues have developed a methodology that can be applied to the discovery of effective drugs.

Fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) is a well-established high-throughput screening method for drug generation. Fragment molecules used in FBDD tend to be structurally less complex than the compounds used in conventional high-throughput screening techniques. Dr Masakazu Atobe from Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation in Japan and his colleagues have developed a methodology that can be applied to the discovery of effective drugs […]

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Cell culture protocols for growing human keratinocytes in the laboratory

Dr Hitomi Fujisaki studies human epidermal keratinocytes (skin cells).

Dr Hitomi Fujisaki, Senior Research Scientist at Nippi Research Institute of Biomatrix in Japan, studies human epidermal keratinocytes (skin cells) and cancer cells using two- and three-dimensional type I collagen substrates. Through her research, she aims to understand more about the ways in which these cells interact with the substrate that they are grown on, and how this relationship can […]

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The child deficit and the changing value of children in Asia

In most Asian countries, average family size has more than halved over the past six decades.

Since the 1960s, Asia has experienced a dramatic decline in fertility rates. Philip Morrison, Professor Emeritus at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, asks whether this shift has been accompanied by a reduction in the value of children as inferred from the European experience. If so, one might expect a convergence of the ideal and actual family size and a […]

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‘Mosquito method’ avoids crossed wires in optical circuitry

‘Mosquito method’ avoids crossed wires in optical circuitry

Electric circuitry – energy-wasting and prone to interference – is overdue an overhaul. In several industries optical fibres allow faster data transfers, and ‘fibre’ is becoming synonymous with ‘faster internet’. As technologies like cloud storage drive a desire for ever-increasing data transfer speeds, optical fibres are expected to make their way inside computers. This requires a new set of manufacturing […]

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That’s disgusting! How primates decide what not to eat

Many species either avoid food contaminated with faeces or thoroughly handle the food, trying to clean it before eating.

All animals need to find a way to avoid contact with pathogens when they are eating. For primates, Dr Cécile Sarabian, based at Kyoto University Primate Research Institute in Japan, shows that many species either avoid food contaminated with faeces or thoroughly handle the food, trying to clean it before eating. For the researcher, this is proof that this behaviour […]

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Kibi Plateau: A stable location within active Japan

Kibi Plateau: A stable location within active Japan

The Japan Islands experience some of the most extreme earthquakes and volcanoes in the world. Located on the subduction junction between four different continental and oceanic plates, the islands are at risk from large earthquakes and volcanoes as the crust moves below. Dr Tetsumaru Itaya is a geologist at the Institute of GeoHistory of Japan Geochronology Network, and his research […]

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A new biological approach to control harmful algal blooms

A new biological approach to control harmful algal blooms

Harmful algal blooms can be extremely destructive for local marine life. The acceleration of geographic expansion and intensity of these blooms on a global scale associated with climate change have recently been reported. September 2019, the first report published from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel (IPCC) linked climate change to harmful algal blooms. Existing methods to control them are often […]

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Regional revitalization: How the RESAS is overturning a downward trend

Regional revitalization: How the RESAS is overturning a downward trend

Japan is the tenth largest country in the world by population size, but it is on track to become the globe’s first ‘hyper-aged’ society. General depopulation as a result of a low birth and death rate, as well as the relocation of young people from rural to urban areas has led the Japanese government to act to prevent an economic […]

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Stem cells could offer hope for muscular dystrophy

Stem cells could offer hope for muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophies are genetic conditions that cause muscles to become progressively weaker. Researchers are investigating several novel approaches, including gene and stem cell therapy, to meet the challenges of these serious illnesses. Recently, Dr Yoshitsugu Aoki of the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo and colleagues have drawn on research from around the world to create a picture of […]

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Why we need to reassess the sustainability of aging populations

The rise of fossil fuels and with it mechanisation means that people now live much longer and healthier lives.

Modern societies have largely been able to grow and develop due to fossil fuels and monetary systems. However, with more aging populations around the world, questions are starting to be asked about the sustainability of this paradigm. Professor Kozo Torasan Mayumi of the Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics in Japan reassesses the double-edged nature of fossil fuels and […]

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