Science

Possible breakthrough

Japan-US team claims progress on Ebola vaccine

TOKYO -- A Japanese-U.S. team said it has developed a new vaccine against Ebola that can prevent the deadly disease in monkeys exposed to dangerous levels of the virus. University of Tokyo virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka and his team, which includes...

  • Regenerative medicine

    Riken will tap iPS cell bank for transplant

    OSAKA -- A stockpile of stem cells derived from other people will be used in clinical trials of cell transplants for patients with an incurable eye disease, a potential breakthrough that could sharply reduce costs and waiting time. Masayo Takahas...

  • Muscular dystrophy

    Japan makes strides toward stem cell therapy

    OSAKA -- Japanese researchers report taking their first steps toward possible stem-cell-based treatments for muscular dystrophy. A Kyoto University team and chemical company Asahi Kasei created skeletal muscle stem cells from induced pluripotent ...

  • Stem cells

    Japanese team sees progress on treating kidney failure

    OSAKA -- A research team at Kyoto University and Astellas Pharma has treated acute kidney failure with some success by using induced pluripotent stem cells, The Nikkei learned Friday. The group led by professor Kenji Nagafune at Kyoto University'...

  • Nobel winner Noyori to resign as Riken head after stem cell scandal

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Ryoji Noyori, a Japanese Nobel laureate who heads the Riken research institute, intends to step down after a difficult year caused by a Riken researcher's misconduct in a stem-cell study, sources close to the matter said Friday. ...

  • Kyoto Univ. Hospital to open iPS cell therapy center in 2019

    KYOTO (Kyodo) -- Kyoto University Hospital will open a center to conduct clinical studies on induced pluripotent stem cell therapies in the 2019 financial year, the hospital said Monday. According to the hospital, the 30-bed ward will test the ef...

  • Drug-resistant malaria

    Experts warn of disease's deadly spread in Asia

    As virulent, drug-resistant strains of malaria spread in Asia, governments in the Asia-Pacific region must redouble their efforts to eradicate the disease, amid the growing risk that these new forms will spread to South Asia, China and Africa, accord...

  • Useful nematodes

    Hitachi harnessing roundworms to sniff out cancer

    TOKYO -- Hitachi and Kyushu University plan to develop a low-cost test that detects cancer by exploiting how roundworms react to the urine of people with the disease. Roundworms measure about 1mm long and are attracted to the smell of cancer pati...

  • Not off the hook

    Japanese institute may pursue charges against disgraced biologist

    OSAKA -- The Riken research institute may file a criminal complaint against an ex-staffer accused of scientific misconduct and charge her for the expense of discredited stem cell studies. Haruko Obokata resigned last December, but the government-...

  • Biotech breakthroughs

    Synthetic biology puts artificial organisms within reach

    TOKYO -- Researchers in Japan are taking bioscience to new limits, creating artificial organisms that can generate a range of useful substances more efficiently and with greater functions. Such organisms could bring revolutionary changes to manufactu...

  • A new dawn

    Japan's Akatsuki probe to attempt Venus orbit again

    TOKYO -- A Japanese space probe launched five years ago will on Dec. 7 try for the second and possibly final time to get into orbit around Venus, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced Friday. Akatsuki, meaning "dawn" in Japanese, was d...

  • New biodrug class

    Japanese companies off to fast start in nucleic acid treatments

    TOKYO -- Japan's pharmaceutical industry has been quick off the blocks in the new field of nucleic acid medicine, not wanting to repeat their slow showing in the market for antibody drugs. Nucleic acid medicines are a new class of biopharmaceutic...

  • Tackling China's pollution

    Guangdong university working for cleaner, greener lives

    GUANGZHOU, China -- Zhou Qian, a doctoral student at China's Sun Yat-sen University, has just run a toxicity analysis on a vegetable, and she looks concerned. "It contains high levels of toxic heavy metals," she says. "This has to change." Zhou an...

  • Medical research in Japan

    Drugmakers promoting tie-ups with Japanese universities, labs

    TOKYO -- Global pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline are keeping a keen eye on the work of Japanese universities and laboratories, as they seek partners for joint research and development programs. Bayer Yakuhin, the...

  • Coastal disruptions

    Jellyfish swarms worry world

    TOKYO -- Seas around the world are turning into jellyfish soup, as swarms of the creatures hit coastal areas, paralyzing power plants and undermining fisheries. These massive outbreaks are being caused by coastal development, overfishing and othe...

  • Stem cell medicine

    Kyoto University opens up iPS cell stockpile

    OSAKA -- Japan's Kyoto University has begun sharing its reserve of cells reprogrammed to an embryonic state in an effort to bring regenerative medicine closer to reality. The university has provided induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to Keio Un...

  • Obokata fails to file appeal after panel condemns "STAP cell" study

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Riken research institute said Tuesday embattled scientist Haruko Obokata has not filed an appeal in response to a panel investigation finding that "STAP cells" she claimed to have created almost certainly did not exist. Riken...

  • Unblocking blood vessels

    Heat and a drug do the trick

    TOKYO -- A Keio University team has developed what it says is an improved method of opening blood vessels that have narrowed and become clogged. Such blockages result from conditions like arteriosclerosis. With the new technique, blood vessels ar...

  • H.K. bans poultry products from Japan over bird flu scare

    HONG KONG (Kyodo) -- Hong Kong's food watchdog said Tuesday that poultry meat and eggs from western Japan's Yamaguchi Prefecture have been banned due to an outbreak of bird flu there. The Center for Food Safety said in a statement the ban was imp...

  • Understanding dunes and dust

    Japanese university tackles the problems of arid climates

    TOKYO -- A university in western Japan is seeking new ways to cope with arid climates by reproducing them on campus. When most Japanese think of Tottori Prefecture, they think of the area's famous sand dunes. So perhaps it is appropriate that the...