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Timeline for August 2014

Landslides caused by torrential rain kill 72 people in Hiroshima and Japan marks anniversaries of the dropping of atomic bombs and the end of World War II. These are the top Japanese news stories of August 2014.
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Timeline for July 2014

The government reinterprets the Constitution, sanctions on North Korea are eased, and Typhoon Neoguri causes three deaths. Here are the key Japanese news stories for July 2014.
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The Great STAP Cell CommotionTakeda Tōru

The uproar over the STAP cell papers and the doubts raised about their authenticity goes beyond science, offering an insight into the current state of Japanese society. Media sociologist Takeda Tōru describes Riken’s attempts to use public relations techniques to boost interest in its results and how this plan backfired.
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Timeline for April 2014

Consumption tax goes up for the first time in 17 years; Obokata Haruko faces her critics after the STAP cell controversy; and Japan welcomes Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and US President Barack Obama. A look back at some of the top stories from April 2014.
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The Problems of Science Management: Riken Is No Isolated CaseSven Saaler

The recent revelations concerning irregularities in papers published by a number of researchers affiliated with the research institute Riken have caused a rare surge of media interest in the state of affairs of science in Japan. In fact, the situation has exposed problems not only in Japan’s scientific establishment, but also in science and research management in general. Media coverage has nar…
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After Riken Confirms Misconduct in STAP Cell Papers, Obokata Haruko Fights Back

Earlier this year, the government-funded Riken scientific research institute set up a Research Paper Investigative Committee to investigate alleged improprieties in the publication of two papers on STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells. The papers were published in January by a team of researchers from the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, led by Obokata Haruk…
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Nobel Selection, Noda RejectionShiraishi Takashi

Yamanaka Shin’ya, a professor at Kyoto University, has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent, a finding that holds tremendous promise for the development of regenerative medicine. This is splendid news, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Professor Yamanaka. …
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Nursing Care Robot Lends a Helping Hand

The research institute Riken has developed the world’s first nursing care robot. This cute, cutting-edge robot, named RIBA, is capable of gently lifting up and moving care recipients, adjusting its posture to suit each person’s physique. RIBA will help Japan cope with its nursing care crisis stemming from a rapidly graying population.
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SACLA X-ray Free Electron Laser Facility

Ground-breaking scientific work is underway at the SACLA facility at the Riken Harima Institute. The facility has produced an X-ray free electron laser with the world’s shortest wavelength, making it possible to observe matter at the atomic and electronic level. The practical applications of XFEL-based research are enormous.
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