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Huge Cave Found under Surface of Moon (News)

Tokyo, Oct. 18 (Jiji Press)—An international research team, including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said Wednesday that it has found a 50-kilometer-long cave under the surface of the moon through a study of observation data from JAXA's Kaguya (Selene) lunar orbiter launched in 2007. The cave, located under an area called the Marius Hills, could be a candidate site for a futur…

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. Tsukasaki Asako reports on recent triumphs and ongoing challenges.

Japanese Win Ig Nobel Prize for Finding Insect with Sex-Reversed Genitals (News)

New York, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)—A team of Japanese and other researchers won this year's Ig Nobel Biology Prize on Thursday for discovering an insect with sex-reversed genitals. The Japanese researchers include Hokkaidō University Associate Professor Yoshizawa Kazunori and Keiō University Associate Professor Kamimura Yoshitaka. Their winning of the Ig Nobel Prize marked the 11th straight yea…

Nobel Laureate Ōsumi Sets Up Foundation for Fundamental Biology (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 13 (Jiji Press)—Tokyo Institute of Technology honorary professor Ōsumi Yoshinori, who won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, has announced the establishment of a foundation for fundamental biology research. "I would like to provide research funding for researchers who are important but could not receive support in the field of fundamental biology," Ōsumi said at a pres…

Chimpanzees Can Master Rock-Paper-Scissors Game: Japan Team (News)

Kyoto, Aug. 10 (Jiji Press)—A Japanese research group said Thursday it has found that chimpanzees have the ability to learn the rules of the rock-paper-scissors game. "The study shows that a chimpanzee has a cognitive capacity roughly equivalent to that of a four-year-old child," said Matsuzawa Tetsurō, a professor at Kyoto University. The findings by the group led by Matsuzawa were publishe…

University of Tokyo Probe Finds Misconduct by Professor in Five Papers (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 2 (Jiji Press)—An investigation committee of the University of Tokyo has found that a professor at its Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences committed misconduct, including data fabrications, in five papers. The university will investigate other papers for which Watanabe Yoshinori, the professor in question, is responsible and decide how to punish him. It will request him …

Japanese Privately-Developed Rocket to Be Launched on July 29 (News)

Tokyo, July 6 (Jiji Press)—An observation rocket developed by Japanese startup Interstellar Technologies Inc. is scheduled to blast off from a launch site in the town of Taiki, Hokkaidō, northern Japan, in the morning of July 29, the company said Thursday. It will be the first time for a rocket developed by a private company almost alone to make it into space. The launch will mark a "major m…

Japan’s Past Strides in Technology: Preserving Key Records for PosterityKamei Osamu

The National Museum of Nature and Science maintains a list of “Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology,” each year registering important technologies that have had major impacts in the history of science and daily life and should be conveyed to future generations. Here we introduce selected entries that highlight Japan’s achievements as a nation of technology.

Insights from a Half-Century of Oceanographic ObservationsNakano Toshiya

The Japan Meteorological Agency conducts oceanographic observations using two dedicated research vessels. Since 1967, these ships have annually measured the composition of seawater along the 137º east meridian, starting offshore from Mie Prefecture and continuing to New Guinea. This unique dataset, amassed over the past 50 years, contributes significantly to our understanding of environmental change.

The Crisis Facing Japanese Scientific ResearchNakano Tōru

In March this year, an editorial in the British journal Nature showed that the pace of scientific research in Japan has slowed considerably over the past decade. Nakano Tōru, a leading stem cell researcher, discusses the challenges facing researchers in Japan and some of the structural weaknesses holding science back.

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