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Japanese iPSC On the Cusp of a Stem Cell Revolution: Research Turns to Clinical ApplicationsTsukasaki Asako

In the decade since Nobel laureate Yamanaka Shin’ya of Kyoto University created the first human iPS cells, the pioneering technology has emerged as an important new tool in drug development, offering hope for patients with rare and untreatable diseases. Tsusasaki Asako reports on recent triumphs and ongoing challenges.
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Akahoshi Takayuki: Leading Innovator in Cataract Surgery

Cataracts—the clouding of lenses in the eye—remain the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Although the condition can be cured with surgery, many patients in developing countries cannot receive treatment. In March 2017 Dr. Akahoshi Takayuki, developer and practitioner of a safe and quick procedure for cataract surgery, received the Kelman Award, presented by the Hellenic Society of Intraocular Implant and Refractive Surgery to ophthalmologists who have contributed internationally to this field.
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Yellow Dust Increases Heart Attack Risk: Japan Team (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 4 (Jiji Press)—A Japanese research team said Monday it has confirmed that yellow dust increases the risk of acute myocardial infarction. The risk was 1.46 times higher than normal on the next days of the arrivals of yellow sand, according to the team, including Kojima Sunao of Kumamoto University and researchers mainly at the National Institute for Environmental Studies. Exposur…
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Prominent Japanese Doctor Hinohara Dies at 105 (News)

Tokyo, July 18 (Jiji Press)—Hinohara Shigeaki, honorary head of St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo and an advocate of patient-centered medical services, died of respiratory failure Tuesday morning. He was 105. As he continued practicing medicine even after he turned 100, Hinohara was regarded as an icon of elderly people playing active roles in Japan's graying society. Born in 1911 i…
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Speaking the Language of Medicine: Egyptian Physician Osama Ibrahim

Egyptian-born Osama Ibrahim came to Japan determined to earn his Japanese medical license and become a practicing ophthalmologist. To do this, however, he first had to overcome the language barrier by mastering Japanese. In this interview, he shares what brought him to Japan and the trials he faced in achieving his dream.
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Hitachi Develops New Tech for Detecting Breast Cancer (News)

Tokyo, May 24 (Jiji Press)—Japanese electronics giant Hitachi Ltd. said Wednesday it has developed a new technology that detects breast cancer by beaming ultrasonic waves at the breasts from 360º. The new technology can identify breast cancer in young women with high accuracy compared with one-way ultrasonography or mammography, company officials said.
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Japan Town Starts Cancer Tests Using Dogs (News)

Kaneyama, Yamagata Pref., May 13 (Jiji Press)—A small town in northeastern Japan has launched for its residents a unique health checkup program using dogs to sniff out cancer. The town of Kaneyama, Yamagata Prefecture, became the first municipality in the country to introduce screening tests by cancer-sniffing dogs, according to the town. The Mogami region of northern Yamagata, where the tow…
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Japan Team Conducts World’s First Transplant of Donor iPS Cells (News)

Kobe, March 28 (Jiji Press)—A team led by Japanese government-affiliated research institute Riken said Tuesday that it has carried out the world's first surgery to transplant into a patient retina cells created from donor iPS cells. By using a stockpile of induced pluripotent stem cells at Kyoto University, not iPS cells made from the patient's own mature cells, the team, including Kobe City Me…
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Antibody Confirmed Effective in Easing Atopic Itch (News)

Kyoto, March 2 (Jiji Press)—An international clinical trial has confirmed that an antibody developed by Japan's Chūgai Pharmaceutical Co. substantially eases itching caused by atopic dermatitis, a research team said Thursday. An application for approval of a new drug based on the antibody, nemolizumab, will be submitted to the Japanese health ministry as early as 2019, after the team completes …
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Five Patients Sought to Receive Donor Transplants of iPS Cells (News)

Kobe, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)—The Riken Center for Developmental Biology and others said Monday that they have started soliciting five patients who want to join clinical research for transplants of retina cells created from induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells made from another person's cells. A team led by Takahashi Masayo of the CDB plans to carry out a transplant for the first patient in the …
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