The Frontiers of Science

Reporting from the Frontlines of Scientific Research

Japan’s cutting-edge technology is the result of healthy competition and cooperation between researchers in the government, industrial, and academic sectors. We visit some of the country’s leading research laboratories to bring you a first glimpse of Japan’s latest technological innovations.

The Science Behind Frixion Erasable Pens

Pilot’s Frixion series of groundbreaking erasable-ink pens became international bestsellers following their launch in 2006. Frixion products have now sold a total of 1.5 billion units worldwide.

Wacoal Lingerie: In Pursuit of the Ideal Figure

Lingerie today is about more than just showing off a shapely figure. More and more women are looking for undergarments that also bring health benefits, such as improving posture. Japanese manufacturer Wacoal has been at the forefront of this trend toward developing lingerie that is both flattering and functional.

Euglena: A Microorganism with “Macro” Potential

The biotech company Euglena is attracting attention for pioneering an amazing algae-like microorganism of the same name that has the potential to address global food shortages and environmental problems. The microorganism, with its high nutritional content and powers of carbon sequestration, could be a game-changer for the planet.

Putting Fido Through His Paces: The World’s First Pedometer for Dogs

Fujitsu has developed the world’s very first dog pedometer, “Wandant.” (The name is a punning reference to “wan,” the sound Japanese dogs supposedly make when they bark.) The pendant-style pedometer attaches to the dog’s collar and, in conjunction with cloud computing, helps owners to monitor exercise and look after their dogs' health.

Kōshinsha—At the Forefront of “Extreme Counting” Technology

Kōshinsha is a Kyoto-based manufacturer of highly accurate counting devices called Digital Area Counters. Here we look at how the company is bringing innovative technology solutions to the most challenging counting tasks.

Dai Nippon Printing Branches Out into Regenerative Medicine

Dai Nippon Printing, a leader in the printing industry, is now applying its technologies in the field of regenerative medicine and other areas of life science. Despite the differences between these realms, they have a surprising number of points in common.

Olympus Endoscopes: The Inside Story

Olympus is more widely known for its consumer camera products, but the company is a world leader in medical equipment—particularly endoscopes, in which it enjoys a global market share of 70%. We investigate the technology and look into the story behind the company’s success.

Using Its Noodle for Success: Nissin Food Products

Back in the late 1950s, Nissin Food Products Co. created the world’s first instant ramen. The product soon became a hit around the world, with nearly 100 billion packages of instant noodles now consumed every year. Here we take a look at how the company came up with this innovative food item.

Fujifilm Finds New Life in Cosmetics

Fujifilm has launched a new line of cosmetics developed using the company’s film-related technologies. Cosmetics and film may seem like unrelated industries, but Fujifilm found a way to tap into a surprising synergy between them.

Using Genetically Modified Silkworms to Develop Cheaper Drugs

A new page is about to turn in the age-old history of sericulture. Cuting-edge research using transgenic silkworms is making it possible to create new types of silk and pharmaceutical products. The National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, is one of the leading centers of this new research.

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