Nagoya, Japan
Nagoya, Japan

Nagoya University , abbreviated to Meidai , is a Japanese national university headquartered in Chikusa-ku, Nagoya. It is the last Imperial University in Japan and among the National Seven Universities. It is the 4th best ranked higher education institution in Japan.As of 2014, six faculty and alumni of the university have won the Nobel Prize in science. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Nagoya University and Asuka Medical Inc. | Date: 2015-06-30

A laser therapeutic device for a laser endoscope capable of relatively reducing the diameter of the endoscope while being capable of emitting a laser beam of a uniform intensity over a wide area is provided. An optical guide element (a square-shaped rod lens 15, a guide tube 2b) having a quadrangular cross section and guiding a therapeutic laser beam emitted from the tip of an optical fiber toward the tip side of a probe is used. On the tip side of a probe tube 2 being a barrel, using clearances C1 to C4 formed between the optical guide element and the inner circumferential surface of the probe tube, a camera unit 11 as imaging means and white-color LED units 12 and an ultraviolet LED unit 13 as illumination means are arranged.


Patent
Koito Manufacturing Co., Tokyo Institute of Technology and Nagoya University | Date: 2016-08-26

A phosphor is represented by the general formula aM^(I)X.M^(II)_(1-x)M^(I)M^(V)O_(4):(Re)_(x ) where M^(I )is at least one atomic element selected from the group consisting of K, Li, Na, Rb, Cs, Fr, Cu, and Ag, with K being essential; M^(II )is at least one atomic element selected from the group consisting of Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, Ra, Mn, Zn, Cd, and Sn; M^(V )is at least one atomic element selected from the group consisting of P, V, Nb, Ta, As, Sb, and Bi; X is at least one halogen element, with F being essential; Re is at least one atomic element selected from the group consisting of rare earth elements, with Eu being essential; and a is in the range 0.6a1.4.


A trace component in a sample is quickly and accurately analyzed using a small sample quantity without performing preprocessing such as concentration. Trace components in a sample can be analyzed quickly and accurately using a small sample quantity and without preprocessing such as concentration, by a method for analyzing a component in a sample, the method including a step for irradiating a thermoplastic resin film internally containing the sample with ionizing laser light of a mass spectrometer.


Patent
Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha and Nagoya University | Date: 2016-07-27

A sliding member is capable of moving relative to a counterpart and includes a substrate and an amorphous carbon film which is provided on the substrate. The amorphous carbon film has a nitrogen content of 2 at % to 11 at % and a surface hardness in a range of 25 GPa to 80 GPa.


Provided is a microparticle separation chip capable of continuously separating microparticles from a solution in a short period of time in which microparticles having different particle diameters are mixed, without the need to use antibodies or the like. Also provided are a microparticle separation system and method for microparticle separation using the chip. The microparticle separation chip comprises a substrate and at least three or more pillars, a single capture site for capturing to-be-captured microparticles being formed using the at least three or more pillars having one end provided on the substrate and the other end open above, the spacing Z between any mutually adjacent pillars that form the single capture site being Y < Z X, where X is the size of the to-be-captured microparticles, and Y is the size of the microparticles to be removed, and the at least three or more pillars that form a single capture site being arranged in a positional relationship in which to-be-captured microparticles captured in the capture site do not flow out from between any adjacent pillars.


Electrodeless plasma is supplied to a space (S) between a cathode (22) and an anode (23) to lower the electrical resistivity in the space, and the electrodeless plasma is accelerated by Lorentz force induced by an axial magnetic field component (B_(x)) and a radial magnetic field component (B_(y)) generated in the space (S), and by an electric current (I_(ac)) flowing through the space (S).


Patent
Nagoya University and Nu System Corporation | Date: 2017-01-04

[Object] To provide a radical generator which can produce radicals at higher density. [Means for Solution] The radical generator includes a supply tube 10 made of SUS, a hollow cylindrical plasma-generating tube 11 which is connected to the supply tube 10 and which is made of pyrolytic boron nitride (PBN). A first cylindrical CCP electrode 13 and a second cylindrical CCP electrode 30 are disposed outside the plasma-generating tube 11. A coil 12 is provided so as to wind about the outer circumference of the plasma-generating tube 11 at the downstream end of the first CCP electrode 13. A thin connecting tube 23 extending from the bottom of the plasma-generating tube 11 is inserted into the supply tube 10.


An AlN crystal preparation method, in which: at least one element excluding Si is used that fulfills the condition that a compound is not formed with either Al or N or the condition that a compound is formed with either Al or N but the standard free energy of formation of said compound is greater than the standard free energy of formation of AlN; a composition including at least Al and the element is melted; Al vapor and nitrogen gas are reacted at a prescribed reaction temperature; and AlN crystals are formed.


A trace component in a sample is quickly and accurately analyzed using a small sample quantity without performing preprocessing such as concentration. Trace components in a sample can be analyzed quickly and accurately using a small sample quantity and without preprocessing such as concentration, by a method for analyzing a component in a sample, the method including a step for irradiating a thermoplastic resin film internally containing the sample with ionizing laser light of a mass spectrometer.


Tomita A.,Nagoya University
Journal of clinical and experimental hematopathology : JCEH | Year: 2016

CD20 is a differentiation related cell surface phosphoprotein that is expressed during early pre-B cell stages until plasma cell differentiation, and is a suitable molecular target for B-cell malignancies by monoclonal antibodies such as rituximab, ofatumumab, obinutuzumab and others. CD20 expression is confirmed in most B-cell malignancies; however, the protein expression level varies in each patient, even in de novo tumors, and down-modulation of CD20 expression after chemoimmunotherapy with rituximab, resulting in rituximab resistance, has been recognized in the clinical setting. Recent reports suggest that genetic and epigenetic mechanisms are correlated with aberrantly low CD20 expression in de novo tumors and relapsed/refractory disease after using rituximab. Furthermore, some targeting drugs, such as lenalidomide, bortezomib and ibrutinib, directly or indirectly affect CD20 protein expression. CD20-negative phenotypically-changed DLBCL after rituximab use tends to show an aggressive clinical course and poor outcome with resistance to not only rituximab, but also conventional salvage chemo-regimens. Understanding of the mechanisms of CD20-negative phenotype may contribute to establish strategies for overcoming chemo-refractory B-cell malignancies. In this manuscript, recent progress of research on molecular and clinical features of CD20 protein and CD20-negative B-cell malignancies was reviewed.


Kaneyoshi T.,Nagoya University
Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids | Year: 2017

The magnetic properties (phase diagrams and magnetizations) of a transverse Ising quadrangular nanowire are investigated for the two cases, using the effective field theory with correlations. The first case is that the transverse field ΩS at the surface shell is selected as a finite value and the transverse field ΩC in the core is fixed at ΩC=0.0. The second case is that ΩC=0.0 and the value of ΩS is changed. Many unconventional phenomena have been found for them; such as the reentrant phenomena, the appearance of a compensation point and the unexpected behaviors of a critical transverse field at which the transition temperature reduces to zero. The temperature-induced magnetization sign reverse in an applied magnetic field is also investigated. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Lee D.,Nagoya University
Proceedings - 2016 Joint 8th International Conference on Soft Computing and Intelligent Systems and 2016 17th International Symposium on Advanced Intelligent Systems, SCIS-ISIS 2016 | Year: 2016

This paper first examines the relation between simultaneous and sequential game in a vertical market structure. I show that the equilibrium in the sequential-move games can be duplicated with the asymmetric simultaneous-move games. Vertical separation plays an important role in our conclusion. Vertical separation induces the upstream to set higher (lower) input prices than its marginal costs in Bertrand (Cournot) competition. As a result, the separated upstream firm has the second-mover (first-mover) advantage in Bertrand (Cournot) competition. © 2016 IEEE.


Futamura I.,Nagoya University
Shinrigaku Kenkyu | Year: 2017

This study examined the influence of prosocial behaviors on evaluations of morality and warmth. There were four patterns of interaction: positive reciprocity (with both cost and benefit), only-cost (with cost but without benefit), negative reciprocity (without either cost or benefit), and only-benefit (with benefit but without cost). Three-hundred-fourteen undergraduate students participated in this study. The participants read an example of interaction and evaluated the actors' morality and warmth. Results of one-way ANOVA showed that the ratings of morality and warmth differed significantly between the conditions. There was no significant difference of perceived morality between only-cost and positive reciprocity. In contrast, warmth was evaluated higher in only-cost than in positive reciprocity. This suggests that people evaluated morality and warmth differently depending on whether the prosocial behavior was obligatory or optional.


Tsutsui H.,Nagoya University | Higashiyama T.,Nagoya University
Plant and Cell Physiology | Year: 2017

The CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated 9) system is widely used as a tool for genome engineering in various organisms. A complex consisting of Cas9 and single guide RNA (sgRNA) induces a DNA double-strand break in a sequence-specific manner, resulting in knockout. Some binary vectors for CRISPR/Cas9 in plants have been reported, but there is a problem with low efficiency. Here, we present a newly developed, highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9 vector for Arabidopsis thaliana, pKAMA-ITACHI Red (pKIR), harboring the RIBOSOMAL PROTEIN S5 A (RPS5A) promoter to drive Cas9. The RPS5A promoter maintains high constitutive expression at all developmental stages starting from the egg cell and including meristematic cells. Even in the T1 generation, pKIR induced null phenotypes in some genes: PHYTOENE DESATURASE 3(PDS3), AGAMOUS (AG) and DUO POLLEN 1 (DUO1). Mutations induced by pKIR were carried in the germ cell line of the T1 generation. Surprisingly, in some lines, 100% of the T2 plants had the adh1 (ALCOHOL DEHYDROGENASE 1) null phenotype, indicating that pKIR strongly induced heritable mutations. Cas9-free T2 mutant plants were obtained by removing T2 seeds expressing a fluorescent marker in pKIR. Our results suggest that the pKIR system is a powerful molecular tool for genome engineering in Arabidopsis. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.


Shukuya D.,Nagoya University | Kusano K.,Nagoya University
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2017

Observations of the Sun suggest that solar activities systematically create north-south hemispheric asymmetries. For instance, the hemisphere in which sunspot activity is more active tends to switch after the early half of each solar cycle. Svalgaard & Kamide recently pointed out that the time gaps of polar field reversal between the northern and southern hemispheres are simply consequences of the asymmetry of sunspot activity. However, the mechanism underlying the asymmetric feature in solar cycle activity is not yet well understood. In this paper, in order to explain the cause of the asymmetry from the theoretical point of view, we investigate the relationship between the dipole- and quadrupole-type components of the magnetic field in the solar cycle using the mean-field theory based on the flux transport dynamo model. As a result, we found that there are two different attractors of the solar cycle, in which either the north or the south polar field is first reversed, and that the flux transport dynamo model explains well the phase-asymmetry of sunspot activity and the polar field reversal without any ad hoc source of asymmetry. © 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Ogawa K.,Nagoya University
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2017

There are three different age-related changes in stand respiration (woody + foliage respiration) in an even-aged pure forest stand after canopy closure: (A) monotonous increase (Kira and Shidei, 1967; Odum, 1969), (B) constancy (Oohata and Shidei, 1974; Ogawa et al., 2010), and (C) monotonous decrease (Ryan et al., 1997; Drake et al., 2011). These contrasting views were based on observational data rather than on theoretical arguments. The present study was performed to model age-related changes in stand respiration to elucidate the mechanism of stand respiration dynamics after canopy closure in compliance with three concepts: (i) the self-thinning law, (ii) power scaling between mean individual annual respiration and mean individual mass, and (iii) the logistic function of stand density changes. Simulations showed that although the three hypotheses were tenable theoretically, that proposed by Kira and Shidei is a mathematically special case. Considering these modeling results, age-related stand respiration changes in plantations of hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa) (Ogawa et al., 1985) can be regarded as decreasing as well as constant after canopy closure. The present modeling revealed that there exists possibility of increasing stand respiration in Kira and Shidei's hypothesis from the theoretical viewpoints, although no observed data support their hypothetical trend. However, from both of the empirical and theoretical viewpoints, we understood that possibilities of stand respiration constancy and decrease in forest stands were regarded to be reasonable after the canopy closure. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Ohkubo Y.,Nagoya University | Tanaka M.,Nagoya University | Tabata R.,Nagoya University | Ogawa-Ohnishi M.,Nagoya University | Matsubayashi Y.,Nagoya University
Nature Plants | Year: 2017

Plants uptake nitrogen (N) from the soil mainly in the form of nitrate. However, nitrate is often distributed heterogeneously in natural soil. Plants, therefore, have a systemic long-distance signalling mechanism by which N starvation on one side of the root leads to a compensatory N uptake on the other N-rich side 1,2. This systemic N acquisition response is triggered by a root-to-shoot mobile peptide hormone, C-TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDE (CEP), originating from the N-starved roots 3,4, but the molecular nature of the descending shoot-to-root signal remains elusive. Here, we show that phloem-specific polypeptides that are induced in leaves upon perception of root-derived CEP act as descending long-distance mobile signals translocated to each root. These shoot-derived polypeptides, which we named CEP DOWNSTREAM 1 (CEPD1) and CEPD2, upregulate the expression of the nitrate transporter gene NRT2.1 in roots specifically when nitrate is present in the rhizosphere. Arabidopsis plants deficient in this pathway show impaired systemic N acquisition response accompanied with N-deficiency symptoms. These fundamental mechanistic insights should provide a conceptual framework for understanding systemic nutrient acquisition responses in plants.


Herein, I review the fabrication of new optical composites that exhibit color changes without dyes or pigments covering the whole visible region in response to temperature via changes in both the diffraction properties and the wavelength dispersion of their refractive indices. These systems, which are composed of porous polymer membranes and thermosensitive liquids, display bright coloration caused by the Christiansen effect because the wavelength dispersion of the polymer membranes and the liquids intersect in the visible region. The thermally tunable coloration of the porous polymer membranes containing thermosensitive liquid arises from the coincidence at one wavelength of the dispersion curves of the porous polymer membranes and the thermosensitive liquid portions and depends on the composition and temperature of the thermosensitive liquid. © 2017 The Society of Polymer Science, Japan (SPSJ) All rights reserved.


It is still challenging to identify causal genes governing obesity. Pbwg1.5, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for resistance to obesity, was previously discovered from wild Mus musculus castaneus mice and was fine-mapped to a 2.1-Mb genomic region of mouse chromosome 2, where no known gene with an effect on white adipose tissue (WAT) has been reported. The aim of this study was to identify a strong candidate gene for Pbwg1.5 by an integration approach of transcriptome analysis (RNA-sequencing followed by real-time PCR analysis) and the causal inference test (CIT), a statistical method to infer causal relationships between diplotypes, gene expression and trait values. Body weight, body composition and biochemical traits were measured in F2 mice obtained from an intercross between the C57BL/6JJcl strain and a congenic strain carrying Pbwg1.5 on the C57BL/6JJcl background. The F2 mice showed significant diplotype differences in 12 traits including body weight, WAT weight and serum cholesterol/triglyceride levels. The transcriptome analysis revealed that Ly75, Pla2r1, Fap and Gca genes were differentially expressed in the liver and that Fap, Ifih1 and Grb14 were differentially expressed in WAT. However, CITs indicated statistical evidence that only the liver Ly75 gene mediated between genotype and WAT. Ly75 expression was negatively associated with WAT weight. The results suggested that Ly75 is a putative quantitative trait gene for the obesity-resistant Pbwg1.5 QTL discovered from the wild M. m. castaneus mouse. The finding provides a novel insight into a better understanding of the genetic basis for prevention of obesity. © 2017 Akira Ishikawa. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Nagashima H.,Nagoya University | Mino H.,Nagoya University
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2017

Proton matrix electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy was performed to specify the location of the methanol molecule near the manganese cluster in photosystem II. Comparison of the ENDOR spectra in the presence of CH3OH and CD3OH revealed two pairs of hyperfine couplings, 1.2 MHz for A⊥ and 2.5 MHz for A//, arising from the methyl group in methanol. On the basis of the crystal structure, the possible location of methanol close to the manganese cluster was discussed. © 2017 American Chemical Society.


Suzuki K.,Nagoya University
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2017

The Time-of-Propagation (TOP) detector is a new type of ring-imaging Cherenkov detector developed for particle identification in the barrel region of the Belle II spectrometer. In the assembly and installation, it is crucial for the detector performance to achieve precision alignment and secure gluing of the optical components as well as to mechanically support them managing the stress, attitude, optical and electrical contacts, and limited installation space. Various efforts were made to develop the procedures and jigs along with the development of the mechanical structure. Such efforts accomplished the assembly and installation in April and May 2016, respectively, without a significant incident. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Kaji Y.,Nagoya University
Proceedings of 2016 International Symposium on Information Theory and Its Applications, ISITA 2016 | Year: 2016

Bound expressions of the entropy of multinomial distributions are studied. Practical random processes are often characterized by multinomial distributions, but it seems difficult to derive a closed-form formula of the entropy of multinomial distributions. An upper-bound and a lower-bound of the entropy have been studied so far, but those known bounds are separated by a noticeable gap that is proportional to one of two major parameters of the distribution. This study proposes improved bounds that are valid even for non-asymptotic parameters, and asymptotically converge to the true value of the entropy. © 2016 IEICE.


Kodera Y.,Nagoya University
Surgery Today | Year: 2017

Surgery had been and remains a mainstay in the treatment of gastric cancer. The Japanese surgical oncologists employed surgery-first approach to treat gastric cancer because of the widespread use of D2 lymph node dissection and the high incidence of oncologically resectable cancer, and early attempts at the multimodality treatment strategy featured surgery followed by postoperative chemotherapy. Although evidence to treat Stage II/III gastric cancer with this strategy is now abundant in the Far East, poor compliance of the post-gastrectomy patients to intense combination chemotherapies has been a limitation associated with this strategy. Evidence in support of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the West and in various other types of cancer prompted the Japan Clinical Oncology Group (JCOG) researchers to explore this strategy, primarily for a selected population of locally advanced cancer that could either be unresectable by the surgery-first approach or is known to suffer from a poor prognosis; cancers with bulky lymph node metastases or those with a scirrhous phenotype. Encouraged by some promising results from these neoadjuvant trials and taking into account the aforementioned limitations associated with postoperative chemotherapy, the JCOG researchers decided to embark on a phase III trial to explore neoadjuvant chemotherapy among patients with clinically Stage III cancer. This review describes the development of the neoadjuvant strategy for gastric cancer in Japan, mainly by going through a series of clinical trials conducted by the JCOG. © 2017 Springer Japan


Kodera Y.,Nagoya University
Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2016

The incidence of gastric cancer and the number of gastric cancer patients that a surgeon treats annually are so vastly different between countries and regions that it is not easy to define which type of gastric cancer surgery should be considered the global standard. Nevertheless, a consensus that D2 dissection is the most appropriate way to treat resectable advanced gastric cancer has arguably been reached after long-term follow-up and flexible interpretation of the Dutch D1 versus D2 trial and evidence from the Japan Clinical Oncology Group 9501 study which denied survival benefit of more extensive lymphadenectomy. After the Japan Clinical Oncology Group 9501 trial, surgeons gradually lost interest in attempting to improve survival through extended resection and instead began to expend greater resources on establishing and standardizing the technique of minimally invasive surgery and proving its oncological non-inferiority compared with the conventional approach. Laparoscopic distal gastrectomy has become an option in daily clinical practice in the Far East, and more demanding procedures such as laparoscopic total gastrectomy and laparoscopic surgery for advanced gastric cancer are currently being explored in clinical trials from the viewpoint of both safety and oncological feasibility. In addition, the high proportion of early-stage cancer in the Far East prompted surgeons to develop limited surgery such as proximal gastrectomy and pyloruspreserving gastrectomy, which warrant further evaluation regarding benefits in terms of postoperative nutritional state and/or quality of life measurements to convince the rest of the world. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Climatological characteristics of simulated intense tropical cyclones (TCs) in the western North Pacific were explored with a 20-km-mesh atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM20) and a 5-km-mesh regional atmospheric nonhydrostatic model (ANHM5). From the AGCM20 climate runs, 34 intense TCs with a minimum central pressure (MCP) less than or equal to 900 hPa were sampled. Downscaling experiments were conducted with the ANHM5 for each intense TC simulated by the AGCM20. Only 23 developed into TCs withMCP#900 hPa. Most of the best-track TCs with anMCP#900 hPa underwent rapid intensification (RI) and attained maximum intensities south of 258N. The AGCM20 simulated a similar number of intense TCs as the best-track datasets. However, the intense AGCM20 TCs tended to intensify longer and more gradually; only half of them underwent RI. The prolonged gradual intensification resulted in significant northward shifts of the location of maximum intensity compared with the location derived from two best-track datasets. The inner-core structure of AGCM20 TCs exhibited weak and shallow eyewall updrafts with maxima below an altitude of 6 km, while downscaling experiments revealed that most of the intenseANHM5TCs underwent RI with deep and intense eyewall updrafts and attained their maximumintensity at lower latitudes. The altitudes of updraft maxima simulated by the AGCM20 descended rapidly during the phase of greatest intensification as midlevel warming markedly developed. The change in major processes responsible for precipitation in AGCM20 TCs before and after maximum intensification suggests close relationships between the large-scale cloud scheme and midlevel warming and prolonged gradual intensification. © 2017 American Meteorological Society.


Nakajima H.,Nagoya University
IMSCI 2016 - 10th International Multi-Conference on Society, Cybernetics and Informatics, Proceedings | Year: 2016

This paper describes the effects of online learning courses that are designed to develop leadership capacity for faculty and staff in higher education institutions. In this study, two online courses, leadership approaches and strategic planning, have been developed to provide learning opportunities for academic leaders who are aspiring superior capacity of leadership and management. Feedbacks from 10 monitors of the courses show following implications. (1) "Think on your own" style of exercises is effective to acquire the way of thinking for academic leaders. Group of exercises consists of conflict-based personal story describing problems in academic institutions and open-ended questions for problem solution. (2) Time to learn the management and leadership is much shorter than other similar professional trainings. Average time to complete our courses is 12 hours, which is equivalent to 2 hours learning in 6 days. This is a realistic solution for academic managers to learn leadership and management with lots of tasks on their campus. (3) Cost to develop and maintain the courses is sufficiently low, which means our online programs can transplant and modify at other institutions more easily than existing programs.


Wang X.,Nagoya University
ICMI 2016 - Proceedings of the 18th ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction | Year: 2016

Multi-view videos taken by multiple cameras from different angles are expected to be useful in a wide range of applications, such as web lecture broadcasting, concerts and sports viewing, etc. These videos can enhancing viewing experience of users' personal preference through means of virtual camera switching and controlling viewing interfaces. However, the increasing number of cameras burdens even experts on suitable viewpoint selection. Thus, my doctoral research goal is to construct a system providing convenient and high quality viewing support for personal multi-view video viewing. We intend to include 3 parts: Automatic viewpoint sequence recommendation, multimodal user feedback analysis, and on-line recommendation updating. Prior works focused on automatic viewpoint sequence recommending considering contextual information and user preference. We proposed a context-dependent recommending model and improved by considering the spatio-Temporal contextual information. Further work will concentrate on analyzing multimodal user feedback while viewing recommendations to detect the unsatisfactory timing and model the user preference of viewpoint switching. The switching records and multimodal feedback can be used for on-line recommendation updating to improve the personal viewing support. © 2016 ACM.


Suzuki S.,Nagoya University | Yamaguchi J.,Waseda University
Chemical Communications | Year: 2017

Multiply arylated arenes are privileged structures with highly useful functions and fascinating optoelectronic and biological properties. This feature article reports the synthesis of fully arylated (hetero)arenes bearing more than two different aryl substituents and categorizes this emerging topic by the type of (hetero)arene core and the type of chemistry employed to install the (hetero)aryl substituents. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Rapid urbanization has exerted substantial pressure on China's energy system and contributed to climate change. To find the key drivers of urban residential energy consumption and CO2 emissions, this paper uses an extended Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence and Technology (STIRPAT) model that employs city-level data to examine the influences of population scale, income level, population compactness and price on house-based residential energy consumption, energy-related CO2 emissions and private vehicle ownership. The empirical results indicate that factors such as population scale, affluence, and population compactness can lead to increases in residential energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In terms of transportation, income and population scale positively drive the growth of private vehicle ownership, while the fuel price negatively influences private vehicle ownership. Moreover, population scale is the most important factor in residential energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Finally, policy recommendations are suggested for China's urban development strategy and urban design and to encourage technology innovations that reduce residential energy consumption and CO2 emissions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


We present several equinumerous results between generalized oscillating tableaux and semistandard tableaux and give a representation-theoretic proof to them. As one of the key ingredients of the proof, we provide Pieri rules for the symplectic and orthogonal groups. © 2016, Australian National University. All rights reserved.


Ohgami N.,Nagoya University
Nihon eiseigaku zasshi. Japanese journal of hygiene | Year: 2017

The inner ears contain the organ of Corti, vestibule and semicircular canal. The organ of Corti is crucial for hearing, while the vestibule and semicircular canal play important roles in maintaining balance. Exposure to noise at excessive levels is known to cause damages of the inner ears, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss. On the other hand, noise levels (dB) are used for the evaluation of health risks by exposure to noise, although noise consists of sound with broad frequencies (Hz). Thus, information about the frequency-dependent effect of noise on health is largely unknown. In this review, we first introduce noise-induced hearing loss caused by exposure to audible noise. We then describe the imbalance in mice exposed to low-frequency noise (100 Hz).


Yajima I.,Nagoya University
Nihon eiseigaku zasshi. Japanese journal of hygiene | Year: 2017

Several experimental studies on hygiene have recently been performed and fieldwork studies are also important and essential tools. However, the implementation of experimental studies is insufficient compared with that of fieldwork studies on hygiene. Here, we show our well-balanced implementation of both fieldwork and experimental studies of toxic-element-mediated diseases including skin cancer and hearing loss. Since the pollution of drinking well water by toxic elements induces various diseases including skin cancer, we performed both fieldwork and experimental studies to determine the levels of toxic elements and the mechanisms behind the development of toxic-element-related diseases and to develop a novel remediation system. Our fieldwork studies in several countries including Bangladesh, Vietnam and Malaysia demonstrated that drinking well water was polluted with high concentrations of several toxic elements including arsenic, barium, iron and manganese. Our experimental studies using the data from our fieldwork studies demonstrated that these toxic elements caused skin cancer and hearing loss. Further experimental studies resulted in the development of a novel remediation system that adsorbs toxic elements from polluted drinking water. A well-balanced implementation of both fieldwork and experimental studies is important for the prediction, prevention and therapy of toxic-element-mediated diseases.


Uneme C.,Nagoya University
Nihon eiseigaku zasshi. Japanese journal of hygiene | Year: 2017

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to identify and clarify the requirements for 3D stereoscopic images that do not cause viewing discomfort to the human eye even when the protrusion distance is large.METHODS: A total of 140 healthy men and women aged 14 to 79 years participated in this study. We first measured the fusion limits in these participants using two 3D stereoscopic images. We then measured the expansion of the fusion limit by inserting a middle image in a region located equally parallax from the two images.RESULTS: The results showed that the fusion limits were significantly expanded (p<0.01) after inserting the middle image.CONCLUSIONS: Insertion of middle images with parallax can extend the fusion limit. This method was shown to be an effective for viewing 3D stereoscopic images without causing discomfort.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

People who possess a greater understanding of finance are less likely to fret about life in their twilight years. It seems financial literacy - the ability to understand how money works, enables people to accumulate more assets and income during their lifetime, and so increases confidence for the years ahead. Additionally, financial literacy seemingly engenders a greater perception for risk and enables those who have it to face off later-life's dilemmas with ease. These findings, from Associate Professor Yoshihiko Kadoya of Hiroshima University and Mostafa Saidur Rahim Khan of Nagoya University, stem from a study which asked people from across Japan to answer questions assessing their calculation skills, understanding of pricing behavior, and financial securities such as bonds and stocks. Respondents were also asked about their accumulated wealth, assets, and lifestyle - and to rate the level of anxiety they felt about life beyond 65. As the first study to investigate financial literacy as a contributing factor to anxiety about old age, it should prove useful to policy makers in Japan and other developed countries where population aging is a growing concern. The study has thrown up several intriguing findings for economic gurus to mull over. It suggests that financial literacy is not particularly high throughout Japanese society, and that men, and those with a higher level of education are more financially clued-in than women, and those with less education respectively. The overriding thrust is that the more financially literate earn and accumulate more during their lifetime - and thus worry less about growing old. It also appears that financial literacy helps shape people's perception towards risk and uncertainty - making them more capable and confident in tackling whatever problems life throws at them. Professor Kadoya says that financial literacy increases our awareness about financial products, builds a capacity to compare all available financial options, and changes our financial behavior - all which bodes well for our perceptions of, and actual experiences during our seniority. While financial literacy taken alone was seen to reduce anxiety - its affect was further heightened by other factors. Married respondents had even lower levels of anxiety about growing old than financially literate singletons. This could be down to married couples together planning more-effectively for the future due to familial responsibilities. Age also plays a significant role, with anxiety levels peaking around 40. The researchers suggest that people at this age have the most home and workplace responsibilities, but with less money and time to support them, increasing anxiety about the here and now - and the journey ahead. Interestingly as people get older their anxiety levels drop off on gaining access to social security, government funded health care and pensions - all taking the sting out of the post-retirement blues. Having dependent children on the other hand increased anxiety levels - presumably due to respondent's worry for their children's wellbeing - as well as their own. The findings should have implications for Japan and other countries where retirees account for a large and rapidly growing share of the population. Although Japan has a universal pension system, its benefits depend on an individual's ability to pay throughout their working life. As in much of the developed world, it is increasingly perceived that a pension is insufficient for daily expenses without a backup pool of savings and assets - putting the financially literate at a distinct advantage. But should we be worrying about our finances in old age at all? Professor Kadoya doesn't think so and says governments need to develop strategies to stem an anxiety pandemic: "People shouldn't spend time worrying about the future. That is why governments provide pensions, housing, and medical plans. If the perception is that these are not fulfilling their purpose then governments and providers need to look at making them more accessible - if people are still worried then we need to look at educating people about these services that are supplied for their needs."


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Many young stars, as well as more middle-aged stars like our sun, have "debris disks"--like the Oort Cloud in our own solar system--that are believed to be remnants of the system's formation. Recently, radio observations have detected gas within a number of such discs, but it was not clear why the gas was there. There are two major hypotheses: either the gas is primordial gas from the original gas cloud that formed the star, or it originates from collisions between objects in the disk. In search of a solution to this problem, a team from the RIKEN Star and Planet Formation Laboratory decided to look at emissions of carbon, which are important as they can provide clues to the origin of the gas. Normally, carbon will exist mostly in a molecular form, as carbon monoxide. Ultraviolet light from the central star will "dissociate" the atoms, creating free atomic carbon, but normally a chemical reaction--mediated by hydrogen--recombines the carbon into CO. However, if there is no hydrogen, then the reaction does not take place and the carbon remains in its atomic state. Aya Higuchi, the first author of the paper, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, was able to use the ten-meter Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE) in Chile to examine the atomic carbon line from two young star systems--49 Ceti and Beta Pictoris--that are known to have debris disks. They then compared this from data on CO taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an array of telescopes in the same facility. "We were surprised," she says, "to find atomic carbon in the disk, the first time this observation has been made at sub-millimeter wavelength. But more so, we were surprised at how much there was. It was about as common as the carbon monoxide." The implication, at least for these two star systems, is that there is very little hydrogen to drive the carbon back into CO. Because hydrogen makes up most of the gas in protoplanetary clouds, this hints that the gas is not primordial, but rather is generated from some process taking place in the debris disk. Gas has been found in other debris disks, but is not found in all. Higuchi says, "If we can perform similar measurements on other young stars, it will help to clarify the origin of the gas in debris disk. Our data here suggests that the gas is secondary." Looking to the future, she continues, "This work will also help to understand how a protoplanetary disk evolves into a debris disks by distinguishing the origin of the gas in the disks." The work was done in collaboration with scientists from Ibaraki University and Nagoya University.


News Article | April 24, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

(National Institutes of Natural Sciences) The National Institutes of Natural Sciences National Institute for Fusion Science, in collaborative research with Nagoya University, has clarified through theory and simulation research that turbulence in a plasma confined in the magnetic field is suppressed and the heat and particle losses are reduced in cases with larger ion mass. This research provides a novel understanding for clarifying the 'ion mass effect' which has been a riddle since the beginning of fusion and plasma research.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nagoya, Japan - A Nagoya University-led team reveals the mechanisms behind different earthquakes at a plate boundary on the west coast of South America, shedding light on historical seismic events and potentially aiding prediction of the future risk from these natural disasters. When tectonic plates that have been sliding past each other get stuck, a huge amount of energy builds up, and is eventually released in the form of an earthquake. Although much is known about the mechanisms behind this process, more needs to be understood about what happens at particular plate boundaries to determine the risk of earthquakes and tsunamis at specific sites and potentially to predict when these events might occur. In a breakthrough in this field, researchers at Nagoya University and their colleagues in South America have studied several earthquakes that occurred at the Ecuador-Colombia subduction zone over the last hundred years, revealing the relationships between different earthquakes and the size and location of the ruptures at plate boundaries that caused them. The findings were published in Geophysical Research Letters. The team used a combination of data sources and models to study large earthquakes that struck the west coast of South America in 1906, 1942, 1958, 1979, and 2016. These included information on tsunami waveforms recorded at sites across the Pacific, data on seismic waves obtained by monitoring stations in Ecuador and Colombia, and previous work on the intensity of coupling, or locking together, of adjacent plates and the distance that they slipped past each other to cause each earthquake. "The Ecuador-Colombia subduction zone, where the Nazca plate passes underneath the South American plate, is particularly interesting because of the frequency of large earthquakes there," says study author Hiroyuki Kumagai of the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University. "It's also a good site to investigate whether the ruptures at plate boundaries causing huge earthquakes are linked to subsequent large earthquakes years or decades later." By carefully modeling the fault area where these earthquakes arose in combination with the other data, the team showed that the strongest of the earthquakes, that of 1906, involved a rupture at a different site than the other earthquakes. They also used data on the known speed at which the plates are moving past each other and the simulated "slip" of a plate associated with the 2016 earthquake to show that the 1942 and 2016 earthquakes were triggered by ruptures at the same site. "Now that we can precisely link previous earthquakes to ruptures at specific sites along plate boundaries, we can gauge the risks associated with the build-up of pressure at these sites and the likely frequency of earthquakes there," lead author Masahiro Yoshimoto says. "Our data also reveal for the first time differences in rupture mechanisms between oceanic trenches and deeper coastal regions in this subduction zone." The findings provide a foundation for risk prediction tools to assess the likelihood of earthquakes and tsunamis striking this region and their potential periodicity and intensity. The article "Depth-dependent rupture mode along the Ecuador-Colombia subduction zone" was published in Geophysical Research Letters at doi: 10.1002/2016GL071929.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: phys.org

Optical microscopy allows researchers to see and distinguish between objects that are about 200 nanometres (nm) apart. In comparison, a human hair is about 90,000 nm thick. Unfortunately, most objects of interest in biology, such as organelles in cells and proteins, are much smaller than 200 nm. Biologists have been looking for ways to improve the resolution of microscopes, pioneering the field of super-resolution microscopy. Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy is one such improvement: a source of light focuses on a point of interest while the surrounding zone is kept in the dark and toned down, so to speak, using a special laser to form a background without interferences. This technique is fluorescence-based, using special dyes to tag the cells or structures of interest. STED microscopy is very effective, allowing researchers to detect objects that are only tens of nanometres apart. However, it does come with its own set of challenges: most importantly, that the special laser used to tone down the background is, counter-intuitively, very intense. Not many dyes can withstand this intensity without losing fluorescence so quickly that only a few images can be taken, which is much too fast for the needs of researchers. Professor Shigehiro Yamaguchi and Professor Tetsuya Higashiyama from the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules at Nagoya University in Japan have developed a dye, called C-Naphox, that, thanks to a carbon-bonded structure, is very stable and does not dim even under the harsh conditions of STED microscopy. It is also non-toxic, so it can be used in live cells. The researchers found that the dye remained stable after two hours of irradiation. When taking multiple images in succession—a key part of super-resolution microscopy as it allows researchers to follow live cells undergoing their natural processes over time—the team found that C-Naphox remained stable after five images. Even after taking 50 images, more than 80 percent of the C-Naphox signal remained. In comparison, one of the best options available commercially, a compound called Alexa 488, dimmed almost to invisibility after taking only five images. Once widely available, C-Naphox should enable prolonged recording of live cells using STED microscopy; a previously unattainable feat. Explore further: A new molecular tool for continuous super-resolution fluorescence microscopy


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nagoya, Japan - A Nagoya University-led research team mimics the rich color of bird plumage and demonstrates new ways to control how light interacts with materials. Bright colors in the natural world often result from tiny structures in feathers or wings that change the way light behaves when it's reflected. So-called "structural color" is responsible for the vivid hues of birds and butterflies. Artificially harnessing this effect could allow us to engineer new materials for applications such as solar cells and chameleon-like adaptive camouflage. Inspired by the deep blue coloration of a native North American bird, Stellar's jay, a team at Nagoya University reproduced the color in their lab, giving rise to a new type of artificial pigment. This development was reported in Advanced Materials. "The Stellar's jay's feathers provide an excellent example of angle-independent structural color," says last author Yukikazu Takeoka, "This color is enhanced by dark materials, which in this case can be attributed to black melanin particles in the feathers." In most cases, structural colors appear to change when viewed from different perspectives. For example, imagine the way that the colors on the underside of a CD appear to shift when the disc is viewed from a different angle. The difference in Stellar's jay's blue is that the structures, which interfere with light, sit on top of black particles that can absorb a part of this light. This means that at all angles, however you look at it, the color of the Stellar's Jay does not change. The team used a "layer-by-layer" approach to build up films of fine particles that recreated the microscopic sponge-like texture and black backing particles of the bird's feathers. To mimic the feathers, the researchers covered microscopic black core particles with layers of even smaller transparent particles, to make raspberry-like particles. The size of the core and the thickness of the layers controlled the color and saturation of the resulting pigments. Importantly, the color of these particles did not change with viewing angle. "Our work represents a much more efficient way to design artificially produced angle-independent structural colors," Takeoka adds. "We still have much to learn from biological systems, but if we can understand and successfully apply these phenomena, a whole range of new metamaterials will be accessible for all kinds of advanced applications where interactions with light are important." The article, "Bio-inspired Bright Structurally Colored Colloidal Amorphous Array Enhanced by Controlling Thickness and Black Background" was published in Advanced Materials at DOI: 10.1002/adma.201605050 .


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: phys.org

Researchers in Japan have recently improved the existing probing techniques using a cyanine dye called Cy3. RNA and DNA 'probes' are conventionally made using fragments of strands that have nucleotide sequences on either end that complement each other. A fluorescent chemical compound, called a 'fluorophore', is added to one end of the probe and a 'quencher' is added at the other. In the absence of its complementary 'target', the single-stranded probe comes together in a hairpin-like manner, with the complementary sequences at either end of the strand binding together, bringing the fluorophore and quencher close to each other and turning down, or 'quenching', the fluorophore's fluorescence. However, when a probe is present in a sample with its complementary target RNA, the probe strand opens up to combine with its target, allowing its detection when light is shone and the fluorophore fluoresces. This method is widely used, but the response of the hairpin-like probe to its targets is relatively slow. A team of researchers from Nagoya University and the Japan Science and Technology Agency developed a new probe design based on Cy3 as the fluorophore. Cy3 and the quencher (nitro methyl red) were incorporated into either end of a linear strand that lacked the self-complementary sequences found in conventional probes. Even so, Cy3 and the quencher were drawn to each other spontaneously to form a highly stable complex in the absence of a target, quenching Cy3's fluorescence. In the presence of a complementary target, a strong fluorescent response was observed, which was ten times faster compared to conventional techniques. The team optimized its design by incorporating two Cy3 residues separated by two nucleotide bases on one end of the probe strand, and two nitro methyl red residues separated by two nucleotide bases on the other end. This optimized design detected RNA with high efficiency and sensitivity. Because Cy3 and nitro methyl red are able to combine in the probe, quenching fluorescence without the need for self-complementary pairing, "this strategy will be applicable to the design of peptide-based probes," conclude the researchers in their paper published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. Peptide probes are chains of linked amino acids that can be designed to bind with specific cell receptors, making them useful in tumour receptor imaging, for example.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: phys.org

Many molecules with pharmaceutical uses contain stereocenters (chiral centers, where an atom has three or more different atoms or functional groups attached to it). Researchers seek the development of efficient stereoselective reactions to synthesize a particular stereoisomer (isomers that differ in the three-dimensional orientations of their atoms in space). Each stereoisomer usually has different characteristics and precise control is required to obtain the desired stereoisomer in a pure form. When connecting carbon atoms that have three different functional groups attached to them, this can result in a series of stereoisomers, in which the functional groups are orientated differently in space. Enantiomers are a type of stereoisomer that contain one or more stereocenters and are mirror images of each other. So far, numerous asymmetric reactions have been developed to generate chiral centers in high efficiency. Diastereomers are stereoisomers of a compound that have different configurations at one or more stereocenters and are not mirror images of each other. A pair of carbon molecules with two different hands can be connected in a variety of combinations, and four different stereoisomers can be synthesized in theory. These stereoisomers are a series of enantiomers and diastereomers depending on the relationship to each other (mirror image or not). Conventional methods to synthesize diastereomers have required a specific catalyst for each isomer. In most cases, a completely new catalytic system is necessary to specifically obtain one of the stereoisomers. When two molecules to be connected each have four different hands, the situation becomes more complicated and potentially leads to 16 (24) types of stereoisomers. Since the reaction can now occur at different positions, the possible generation of regioisomers (positional isomers) also arises. In order to make a specific stereoisomer (regioisomer, enantiomer, or diastereomer), a reaction system needs to be established for the starting materials to react at a specific site and in a specific orientation, i.e. for the molecules to be positioned to hold hands in a particular manner. Professor Takashi Ooi's group at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University has developed iminophosphorane catalysts that can generate specific stereoisomers in high yield and selectivity. Moreover, a slight change in the organocatalyst structure leads to pinpoint inversion of a single stereocenter to generate a diastereomer, enabling access to a particular diastereomer of interest in a pure form. "I was really excited the moment I saw the inversion in stereochemistry by changing the organocatalyst," says Ken Yoshioka, a graduate student in Professor Ooi's research group. "Initially, we were trying to expand the scope of our catalytic system to new substrates, so this was also the moment when I thought that this was more than an ordinary stereoselective reaction." The iminophosphorane catalyst is derived from amino acids, and a change in the amino acid structure can tune the properties of the catalyst. In this case, a slight change in the position of the methyl groups on the catalyst led to the diastereomer of the 1,6-adduct. "Since starting this research five years ago, it took me about three years to find the optimal reaction conditions after finding the stereochemical inversion reaction," continues Yoshioka. "One main issue was the reproducibility of this reaction, as the selectivities varied in each reaction. I had repeated the reaction over and over again to see what was happening." "We were really confused by these variable results, and we initially assumed that the presence of water was playing a role in the transition state and was affecting the selectivity of this reaction," says Daisuke Uraguchi, an Associate Professor at Nagoya University. Complete removal of water is difficult in organocatalysts as they are able to form hydrogen bonds with water molecules. "After various optimization studies, we were able to find that lowering the temperature to −30 °C was the key to controlling the selectivity of this 1,6-addition reaction," says Yoshioka. "This took a while to figure out, and were relieved to be able to generate reliable results. We were also able to stereospecifically synthesize diversely functionalized proline derivatives by further reactions of the 1,6-adducts." "We then carried out experimental and computational studies to find a rationale for this unique stereochemical inversion," explains Uraguchi. "The organocatalysts that lead to different diastereomers share the same core and we were keen to find out how the position of the methyl groups on the catalyst affects the diastereoselectivity of this reaction." Analysis by X-ray crystallography and DFT (density functional theory) studies revealed that the shape of the catalyst has a major role on positioning the substrates for reacting with one another. "Even though the methyl groups appear to be on the outside of the catalyst, they actually have a huge influence on holding the substrates in place to react on a particular face," says Uraguchi. "We were able to show that a small difference in the catalyst structure changes the transition state, and leads to a change in diastereoselectivity. Diastereodivergence (making diastereomers from a common set of substrates) has been a challenging topic, but the group succeeded in developing a new strategy for the inversion of stereochemistry by their unique reaction system. "I had been working on this project throughout the course of my graduate studies and I believe that my persistence paid off," says Yoshioka. "Although there were times where we were unsure of what was happening in the reaction, we checked each factor one by one and it was a great feeling of satisfaction to find the origin of the stereoselectivity." "We were pleased to accomplish diastereodivergence in 1,6-addition reactions with high levels of stereocontrol, and envisage that this diastereodivergent strategy will advance the field of asymmetric synthesis," says Uraguchi and Takashi Ooi, a Professor at Nagoya University, who led this study. "We hope to continue to make unique catalysts that will contribute to making complex molecules, which will have potential uses in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries," says Ooi. Explore further: New method of producing stereoisomers developed More information: Daisuke Uraguchi et al. Complete diastereodivergence in asymmetric 1,6-addition reactions enabled by minimal modification of a chiral catalyst, Nature Communications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14793


A group of plant biologists at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, have reported in the journal Genes and Development, on their discovery on how plant's maternal and paternal factors cooperate for the child to grow in the proper shape. In a research led by Dr. Minako Ueda, a lecturer at ITbM, the group discovered that upon fertilization, the factor originating from the father's sperm cell activates a particular protein in the zygote (fertilized egg cell). In addition, this activated protein cooperates with the factor derived from the mother's egg cell for the zygote to develop in the correct manner. This research shows for the first time how father- and mother-derived factors cooperate in the child development of plants. In a similar manner to animals, a zygote (child) is generated upon fertilization of the mother's egg cell by a father's sperm cell in plants. Subsequently, the generated zygote contains a mixture of genes and proteins derived from both parents' cells. The nutritive tissue surrounding the zygote is also formed from fertilization, and it is known that a parental conflict phenomenon exists in this tissue, where the paternal and maternal factors oppose each other. In plants where multiple seeds are made from a single pistil (female reproductive organ = mother), all the seeds in the pistil are considered as children of the mother. On the other hand, pollen (male reproductive organ = father) that is generated from different male species can attach to a single pistil, and even though it is within the same pistil, only the seed that is generated from its own sperm cells is considered as the father's child. In other words, the mother can have children from different fathers within its pistil, and the father does not consider seeds resulting from other fathers as its own child. Due to this difference in perception between males and females, the mother tries to evenly distribute the nutrients to each child, whereas the father tries to concentrate the nutrients on its own child. This opposition between the maternal and paternal factors is called parental conflict. "Although parental conflict in nutritive tissues has been known before, it has remained a mystery whether the parental factors counteract or cooperate with each other in the zygote," says Ueda. "Since starting this investigation in 2011, we were able to show that the plant's mother and father actually cooperate in their child's development." This research was carried out through the international collaboration of researchers at Nagoya University (Japan), Nara Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Japan), Ghent University (Belgium) and Freiburg University (Germany). During the process of plant body formation, the zygote elongates in the vertical direction and divides to form the embryo. This asymmetric cell division leads to small and large cells on the top and bottom part of the embryo, respectively. The small top cell forms a round tissue and eventually grows into flowers and leaves of the plant, whereas the large bottom cell elongates to form roots. Therefore, elongation of the zygote and the direction of cell division determine the vertical axis of the plant body. Ueda's group found that in the zygote, the factors derived from the parents cooperate with each other to bring about asymmetric division of the zygote and appropriate development of the embryo. Previous studies from Ueda's group have shown that a protein derived from both the maternal and paternal cells, WRKY2, is responsible for making the shape of the zygote and embryo. WRKY stands for the amino acids (represented in a single letter code), which are present in the core of the protein (W = tryptophan, R = arginine, K = lysine and Y = tyrosine). In addition, they also found that a factor called SHORT SUSPENSOR (SSP), generated in the sperm cell, is important for cell division of the zygote and development of the embryo. In this study, Ueda and her colleagues investigated the relationship between WRKY2 and SSP in plant body development. "We found a signaling pathway, where SSP phosphorylates the WRKY2 protein in the zygote, thus activating WRKY2," explains Ueda. "We also identified which sites on the protein were phosphorylated and found that the five serine residues inside the cluster contained in WRKY2 are important for the protein function." Ueda's group performed experiments to show that phosphorylation activates WRKY2 by using mutants absent of SSP and replaced serine residues in WRKY2 with asparagine by base exchange, which mimics serine phosphorylation. The mutant with activated WRKY2 resulted in asymmetric division of the zygote. Ueda's group also discovered HOMEODOMAIN GLABROUS11 (HDG11) and HDG12, the factors derived from the egg cells, which are responsible for controlling the asymmetric division of the zygote and development of the embryo. The group previously reported that WRKY2 acts upon the WUSCHEL (WUS) HOMEOBOX8 (WOX8) gene to synthesize the WOX8 protein, which leads to asymmetric division of the zygote. In this research, they found that HDG11/12 also act upon the WOX8 gene. HDG11/12 are not expressed in the sperm cell, and the HDG11/12 derived from the egg cell lead to asymmetric division of the zygote. Therefore, HDG11/12 derived from the mother cooperate with WRKY2, which is activated by SSP derived from the father, to generate the WOX8 protein, the key factor for early stage plant development. Through their studies, they observed that zygotes absent of SSP, WRKY2, and HDG11/12, do not develop properly and their cell division no longer becomes asymmetric. In addition, the embryo fails to develop in an appropriate manner and is unable to grow in the correct shape. "We were able to prove by our research that the cooperation between factors of from the father and the mother is essential for the development of zygotes and embryos in Arabidopsis plants," says Ueda. The group also detected that the WOX8 protein was only synthesized in small amounts in zygotes absent of both SSP (related to the father) and HDG11/12 (related to the mother). Therefore, the group hypothesized that paternal factors are cooperating with each other to synthesize a sufficient amount of WOX8 to help shape the child's plant body. In a zygote absent of SSP or HDG11/12, the group artificially synthesized the WOX8 protein, which led to asymmetric division of the zygote. This provided evidence that the WOX8 protein is important for shaping the plant body. This research shows for the first time, that the cooperation of paternal and maternal factors in the plant zygote helps to shape the child's plant body from the early stage of development. This is an opposite observation to the parental conflict theory proposed in the nutritive tissue surrounding the zygote. Ueda's group has demonstrated a new parental relationship in the zygote, where the parental factors cooperate with each other. This discovery of the cooperation mechanism is expected to lead to further understanding on the strategy of how parental factors control child development in plants. In addition, the group was able to show that artificial synthesis of the WOX8 protein in the absence of parental factors (SSP and HDG11/12), also leads to embryo development. By applying this approach, it may become possible to generate hybrid plants between different plant species, where the parental factors do not necessarily match. "Plants have evolved to develop a different growth mechanism to animals," says Ueda. "This observation of parental cooperation, where the paternal factor plays a role in early stage development may be the plants' unique adaptation strategy, which may also exist in other plant species." Explore further: Live cell imaging of asymmetric cell division in fertilized plant cells More information: Minako Ueda et al. Transcriptional integration of paternal and maternal factors in thezygote, Genes & Development (2017). DOI: 10.1101/gad.292409.116


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: phys.org

Bright colors in the natural world often result from tiny structures in feathers or wings that change the way light behaves when it's reflected. So-called "structural color" is responsible for the vivid hues of birds and butterflies. Artificially harnessing this effect could allow us to engineer new materials for applications such as solar cells and chameleon-like adaptive camouflage. Inspired by the deep blue coloration of a native North American bird, Stellar's jay, a team at Nagoya University reproduced the color in their lab, giving rise to a new type of artificial pigment. This development was reported in Advanced Materials. "The Stellar's jay's feathers provide an excellent example of angle-independent structural color," says last author Yukikazu Takeoka, "This color is enhanced by dark materials, which in this case can be attributed to black melanin particles in the feathers." In most cases, structural colors appear to change when viewed from different perspectives. For example, imagine the way that the colors on the underside of a CD appear to shift when the disc is viewed from a different angle. The difference in Stellar's jay's blue is that the structures, which interfere with light, sit on top of black particles that can absorb a part of this light. This means that at all angles, however you look at it, the color of the Stellar's Jay does not change. The team used a "layer-by-layer" approach to build up films of fine particles that recreated the microscopic sponge-like texture and black backing particles of the bird's feathers. To mimic the feathers, the researchers covered microscopic black core particles with layers of even smaller transparent particles, to make raspberry-like particles. The size of the core and the thickness of the layers controlled the color and saturation of the resulting pigments. Importantly, the color of these particles did not change with viewing angle. "Our work represents a much more efficient way to design artificially produced angle-independent structural colors," Takeoka adds. "We still have much to learn from biological systems, but if we can understand and successfully apply these phenomena, a whole range of new metamaterials will be accessible for all kinds of advanced applications where interactions with light are important." More information: Masanori Iwata et al. Bio-Inspired Bright Structurally Colored Colloidal Amorphous Array Enhanced by Controlling Thickness and Black Background, Advanced Materials (2017). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201605050


News Article | April 18, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Photosynthesis requires a mechanism to produce large amounts of chemical energy without losing the oxidative power needed to break down water. A Japanese research team has clarified part of this mechanism, marking another step towards the potential development of artificial photosynthesis. The findings were published on February 27 in the online edition of The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. The team was led by Professor KOBORI Yasuhiro (Kobe University Molecular Photoscience Research Center) and PhD student HASEGAWA Masashi (Graduate School of Science) with Associate Professor MINO Hiroyuki (Nagoya University Graduate School of Science). During the water-splitting reaction in photosynthesis, plants produce oxygen by converting solar energy into chemical energy, providing the energy source necessary for their survival. This reaction is carried out by a protein complex in chloroplasts (located in leaves) called the photosystem II complex (see figure 1). In 2015 Professor Kobori's research team succeeded in analyzing the electronic interactions and 3-dimensional placement of the initial charge separation produced directly after photoreaction in the photosynthetic reaction center of purple bacteria, which do not cause the oxidation potential for water-splitting. However, in the photosystem II complex for higher plants, the configuration of the initial charge separation state was unclear, and it was a mystery as to how it led to an effective water-splitting reaction while retaining the high oxidative power. The scientists extracted thylakoid membranes (where the photoreaction takes place in photosynthesis) from spinach, added a reducing agent, and irradiated the samples. This enabled them to detect microwave signals from the initial charge separation state to a degree of accuracy of a 10 millionth of a second (see figure 3a). They developed a method of analyzing the microwave signals using spin polarization imaging. For the first time it was possible to carry out 3D view analysis of the configuration of the electric charge produced directly after exposure to light as a reactive intermediate. This was done with an accuracy to within 10 millionth of a second, as consecutive photography (see figure 3b). Based on this visualization, they also quantified the electronic interaction that occurs when electron orbits overlap for molecules with electric charges (figure 3c). The initial electric charge separation structure clarified by this analysis was not very different from the structure before the reaction, but the imaging analysis showed that the positive electric charge that occurred in the pigment as a reactive intermediate existed disproportionately in chlorophyll single molecules (figure 3b, c). It suggests that there is strong stabilization caused by electrostatic interaction between the charges. It has been revealed that the return of the negative charge is suppressed, since the overlap between electron orbits is greatly limited by the insulating effect of the vinyl group terminus. This means that it becomes possible to use the high oxidizing powers of the positive charge in chlorophyll (PD1) for the subsequent oxidative decomposition of water. Based on these findings, researchers have unlocked part of the mechanism to effectively produce high amounts of chemical energy without loss of the oxidative power needed to split water in photosynthesis. These findings could help to design an "artificial photosynthesis system" that can provide a clean energy source by efficiently converting solar energy into large amounts of electricity and hydrogen. The application of this principle could contribute to solving issues with energy, the environment and food shortages.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: phys.org

The team was led by Professor KOBORI Yasuhiro (Kobe University Molecular Photoscience Research Center) and PhD student HASEGAWA Masashi (Graduate School of Science) with Associate Professor MINO Hiroyuki (Nagoya University Graduate School of Science). During the water-splitting reaction in photosynthesis, plants produce oxygen by converting solar energy into chemical energy, providing the energy source necessary for their survival. This reaction is carried out by a protein complex in chloroplasts (located in leaves) called the photosystem II complex (see figure 1). In 2015 Professor Kobori's research team succeeded in analyzing the electronic interactions and 3-dimensional placement of the initial charge separation produced directly after photoreaction in the photosynthetic reaction center of purple bacteria, which do not cause the oxidation potential for water-splitting. However, in the photosystem II complex for higher plants, the configuration of the initial charge separation state was unclear, and it was a mystery as to how it led to an effective water-splitting reaction while retaining the high oxidative power. The scientists extracted thylakoid membranes (where the photoreaction takes place in photosynthesis) from spinach, added a reducing agent, and irradiated the samples. This enabled them to detect microwave signals from the initial charge separation state to a degree of accuracy of a 10 millionth of a second (see figure 3a). They developed a method of analyzing the microwave signals using spin polarization imaging. For the first time it was possible to carry out 3-D view analysis of the configuration of the electric charge produced directly after exposure to light as a reactive intermediate. This was done with an accuracy to within 10 millionth of a second, as consecutive photography (see figure 3b). Based on this visualization, they also quantified the electronic interaction that occurs when electron orbits overlap for molecules with electric charges (figure 3c). The initial electric charge separation structure clarified by this analysis was not very different from the structure before the reaction, but the imaging analysis showed that the positive electric charge that occurred in the pigment as a reactive intermediate existed disproportionately in chlorophyll single molecules (figure 3b, c). It suggests that there is strong stabilization caused by electrostatic interaction between the charges. It has been revealed that the return of the negative charge is suppressed, since the overlap between electron orbits is greatly limited by the insulating effect of the vinyl group terminus. This means that it becomes possible to use the high oxidizing powers of the positive charge in chlorophyll (PD1) for the subsequent oxidative decomposition of water. Based on these findings, researchers have unlocked part of the mechanism to effectively produce high amounts of chemical energy without loss of the oxidative power needed to split water in photosynthesis. These findings could help to design an "artificial photosynthesis system" that can provide a clean energy source by efficiently converting solar energy into large amounts of electricity and hydrogen. The application of this principle could contribute to solving issues with energy, the environment and food shortages. Explore further: First movie of energy transfer in photosynthesis solves decades-old debate More information: Masashi Hasegawa et al. Regulated Electron Tunneling of Photoinduced Primary Charge-Separated State in the Photosystem II Reaction Center, The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b00044


Yamaguchi S.,Nagoya University
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2014

The synthesis of a planarized trinaphthylborane with partially fused structure is presented. This compound shows not only high chemical and thermal stability but also sufficient Lewis acidity to form Lewis adducts with pyridine derivatives in solution. The B-N Lewis adducts exhibit unprecedented photodissociation behavior in the excited state, reminiscent of the photogeneration of carbenium ions from triarylmethane leuco dyes. Consequently, these B-N Lewis adducts exhibit dual fluorescence emission arising from the initial tetracoordinate B-N adducts and the photodissociated tricoordinate boranes. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Goshima G.,Nagoya University | Scholey J.M.,University of California at Davis
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2010

The mitotic spindle accurately segregates genetic instructions by moving chromosomes to spindle poles (anaphase A) and separating the poles (anaphase B) so that, in general, the chromosomes and poles are positioned near the centers of the nascent daughter cell products of each cell division. Because the size of different types of dividing cells, and thus the spacing of their daughter cell centers, can vary significantly, the length of the metaphase or postanaphase B spindle often scales with cell size. However, significant exceptions to this scaling rule occur, revealing the existence of cell size-independent, spindle-associated mechanisms of spindle length control. The control of spindle length reflects the action of mitotic force-generating mechanisms, and its study may illuminate general principles by which cells regulate the size of internal structures. Here we review molecules and mechanisms that control spindle length, how these mechanisms are deployed in different systems, and some quantitative models that describe the control of spindle length. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Hayashi M.,Nagoya University | Hayashi M.,National University of Singapore | Tsurumaru T.,MItsubishi Electric
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2012

We present a tight security analysis of the Bennett-Brassard 1984 protocol taking into account the finite-size effect of key distillation and achieving unconditional security. We begin by presenting a concise analysis utilizing the normal approximation of the hypergeometric function. Next we show that a similar tight bound can also be obtained by a rigorous argument without relying on any approximation. In particular, for the convenience of experimentalists who wish to evaluate the security of their quantum key distribution systems, we also give the explicit procedures of our key distillation and show how to calculate the secret key rate and the security parameter from a given set of experimental parameters. In addition to the exact values of key rates and security parameters, we also describe how to obtain their rough estimates using the normal approximation. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


Naoe T.,Nagoya University
International Journal of Hematology | Year: 2012

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is predominantly a disease of older adults, with a median age at diagnosis of over 65 years. AML in older adults differs biologically and clinically from that in younger ones, and is characterized by stronger intrinsic resistance and lower tolerance to chemotherapy. The effects of age on both patient- and disease-related factors result in a higher incidence of early death during chemotherapy, a lower rate of complete remission, and a reduced chance of long-term survival. Treatment options for older adults with AML include intensive chemotherapy, less-intensive chemotherapy, best supportive care, or enrolment in clinical trials. Given the heterogeneous nature of AML in older adults, therapeutic decisions need to be individualized after systematic assessment of disease biology and patient characteristics. Regardless of treatment, however, outcomes for older AML patients remain in general unsatisfactory. In contrast with the progress made for younger adults, the treatment of AML in older adults has not improved significantly in recent decades. Development of less toxic and more targeted agents may well provide treatment alternatives for a majority of these patients. The overall dismal outcome with currently available treatment approaches has encouraged older AML patients to participate in prospective clinical trials. © 2012 The Japanese Society of Hematology.


Tomamichel M.,National University of Singapore | Hayashi M.,National University of Singapore | Hayashi M.,Nagoya University
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2013

We consider two fundamental tasks in quantum information theory, data compression with quantum side information, as well as randomness extraction against quantum side information. We characterize these tasks for general sources using so-called one-shot entropies. These characterizations - in contrast to earlier results - enable us to derive tight second-order asymptotics for these tasks in the i.i.d. limit. More generally, our derivation establishes a hierarchy of information quantities that can be used to investigate information theoretic tasks in the quantum domain: The one-shot entropies most accurately describe an operational quantity, yet they tend to be difficult to calculate for large systems. We show that they asymptotically agree (up to logarithmic terms) with entropies related to the quantum and classical information spectrum, which are easier to calculate in the i.i.d. limit. Our technique also naturally yields bounds on operational quantities for finite block lengths. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Hayashi M.,Tohoku University | Hayashi M.,Nagoya University | Hayashi M.,National University of Singapore
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2013

Motivated by the desirability of universal composability, we analyze in terms of L1 distinguishability the task of secret key generation from a joint random variable. Under this secrecy criterion, using the Rényi entropy of order 1+s for s [0,1], we derive a new upper bound of Eve's distinguishability under the application of the universal2 hash functions. It is also shown that this bound gives the tight exponential rate of decrease in the case of independent and identical distributions. The result is applied to the wiretap channel model and to secret key generation (distillation) by public discussion. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Patent
Nagoya University, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Sumitomo Electric and A.L.M.T. Corporation | Date: 2010-03-05

A method for producing an ammonium tungstate aqueous solution includes the steps of: adding sulfuric acid to a solution containing tungstate ions; bringing the solution having the sulfuric acid added therein, into contact with an anion exchange resin; and bringing the anion exchange resin into contact with an aqueous solution containing ammonium ions.


Patent
T Cell Technologies Inc., Medical, Biological Laboratories Co. and Nagoya University | Date: 2011-08-03

The invention is intended to further improve the operability, economic efficiency and safety in the preparation of antigen-specific CTLs. The invention provides a preparation kit used for a method for preparing antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, the method comprising: a first step for inducing antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, wherein the components of the first step include a culture medium contained in an injection vessel, a hermetically sealed culture vessel, and the like; a second step for preparing an activated T cell for antigen presentation, wherein the components of the second step include a culture medium contained in an injection vessel, a hermetically sealed culture vessel, and the like.; and a third step for proliferating antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, wherein the components of the third step include a culture medium contained in an injection vessel, a hermetically sealed separation vessel, a hermetically sealed culture vessel, and the like.


Patent
Nagoya University, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd. and Autonetworks Technologies Ltd. | Date: 2011-08-09

In a network in which a plurality of ECUs are connected to one another with a common bus, one or more slots are allocated to each ECU in advance, and the plurality of ECUs cyclically transmit messages in an order prescribed in relation to the slots. When each ECU transmits the message related to one slot, each ECU creates and transmits a message including data to be transmitted to other ECUs, and information representing respectively a success/failure of the message reception related to other slots. Each ECU checks information of ACK field included in a message received during one cycle from message transmission related to one slot to a next message transmission related to said one slot. When the message related to one slot is not accurately received by the other ECUs, retransmits the message in the next transmission related to said one slot.


Patent
Nagoya University and Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd. | Date: 2013-06-10

A microwave plasma generation apparatus (4) includes: a rectangular waveguide (41) that transmits a microwave; a slot antenna (42) that has a slot (420) through Which the microwave passes; and a dielectric portion (43) that is arranged so as to cover the slot (420) and of which a plasma generating region-side front face is parallel to an incident direction in which the microwave enters from the slot (420). The microwave plasma generation :apparatus (4) is able to generate microwave plasma (P1) under a low pressure of lower than or equal to 1 Pa. A magnetron sputtering deposition system (1) includes the microwave plasma generation apparatus (4), and carries out film deposition using magnetron plasma. (P2) while radiating microwave plasma (P1) between a base material (20) and a target (30). With the magnetron sputtering deposition system (1), it is possible to form a thin film having small asperities on its surface.


Patent
Nagoya University, A.L.M.T. Corporation, Sumitomo Electric and Sumitomo Electric Industries | Date: 2014-05-28

A method for producing an ammonium tungstate aqueous solution, comprising the steps of: producing a polyacid solution containing poly tungstate ions and Mo-containing polyacid ions, adsorbing said poly tungstate ions to a first anion exchange resin of an anion exchange resin and adsorbing said Mo-containing polyacid ions to a second anion exchange resin of said anion exchange resin by supplying said polyacid solution to said anion exchange resin constituted of said first anion exchange resin and said second anion exchange resin connected to each other, such that said first anion exchange resin is first supplied with said polyacid solution, disconnecting said first anion exchange resin and said second anion exchange resin from each other, and bringing an aqueous solution containing ammonium ions, into contact with said first anion exchange resin after the step of disconnecting.


Patent
Nagoya University, A.L.M.T. Corporation, Sumitomo Electric and Sumitomo Electric Industries | Date: 2013-01-09

A method for producing an ammonium tungstate aqueous solution includes the steps of: adding sulfuric acid to a solution containing tungstate ions; bringing the solution having the sulfuric acid added therein, into contact with an anion exchange resin; and bringing the anion exchange resin into contact with an aqueous solution containing ammonium ions.


The disclosed multi-view image coding/decoding device first obtains depth information for an object photographed in an area subject to processing. Next, a group of pixels in an already-coded (decoded) area which is adjacent to the area subject to processing and in which the same object as in the area subject to processing has been photographed is determined using the depth information and set as a sample pixel group. Then, a view synthesis image is generated for the pixels included in the sample pixel group and the area subject to processing. Next, correction parameters to correct illumination and color mismatches in the sample pixel group are estimated from the view synthesis image and the decoded image. A predicted image is then generated by correcting the view synthesis image relative to the area subject to processing using the estimated correction parameters.


The disclosed multi-view image coding/decoding device first obtains depth information for an object photographed in an area subject to processing. Next, a group of pixels in an already-coded (decoded) area which is adjacent to the area subject to processing and in which the same object as in the area subject to processing has been photographed is determined using the depth information and set as a sample pixel group. Then, a view synthesis image is generated for the pixels included in the sample pixel group and the area subject to processing. Next, correction parameters to correct illumination and color mismatches in the sample pixel group are estimated from the view synthesis image and the decoded image. A predicted image is then generated by correcting the view synthesis image relative to the area subject to processing using the estimated correction parameters.


Patent
Nippon Telegraph, Telephone and Nagoya University | Date: 2012-08-02

Disclosed is a spatial switching apparatus having a plurality of input terminals, an input optical signal of a single wavelength being input to each of the plurality of the input terminals, and a plurality of output terminals an output optical signal of a single wavelength being output from each of the plurality of the output terminals. The apparatus includes a signal wavelength converting portion having an electric signal converting element converting the input optical signal into an electric signal and a variable wavelength laser, the signal wavelength converting portion using the variable wavelength laser to convert an electric signal converted by the electric signal converting element into an optical signal of an arbitrary wavelength; and a spatial switching portion having a plurality of first cyclic AWGs performing output from a plurality of output ports corresponding to wavelengths of a plurality of input signals input from the variable wavelength laser.


Patent
Nagoya University, Medical, Biological Laboratories Co. and Oncomics Co. | Date: 2014-07-23

To develop a simple, low-cost and highly reliable testing method for mesothelioma, and a kit used for said testing method. The present invention provides a testing method for mesothelioma comprising a step in which the concentration of human periostin protein is measured in at least one type of sample from among samples of the blood or pleural fluid of a subject. The step in which the concentration of human periostin protein is measured may use an antibody directed against human periostin protein. The present invention further provides a kit for diagnosing mesothelioma, said kit including the antibody directed against human periostin protein. In one kit for diagnosing mesothelioma, the diagnosis of mesothelioma determines if a subject that may have mesothelioma has mesothelioma or is healthy. In another kit for diagnosing mesothelioma, the diagnosis of mesothelioma determines if a subject that may have mesothelioma has mesothelioma or has a respiratory illness other than mesothelioma.


Patent
Sumitomo Electric Industries and Nagoya University | Date: 2013-08-14

A score of each of multiple pieces of reflection spectrum information included in a population is calculated using a first second principal component loading acquired by a principal component analysis, and a first group is classified based on the calculated score. Then, a score of each of multiple pieces of reflection spectrum information included in the population is calculated using a second second principal component loading acquired by a principal component analysis on a second population in which the reflection spectrum information of the first group is not included, and a second group is classified based on the calculated score. By performing a second principal component analysis using the second population, the second group can be accurately classified based on minute characteristics of each type of material included in the reflection spectrum information and the classification can be performed with a high accuracy.


Patent
Nagoya University, Autonetworks Technologies Ltd., Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd. and Sumitomo Electric Industries | Date: 2014-09-12

A rewrite detection system, a rewrite detection device and an information processing device can detect unauthorized rewrite to a program or data stored in a storage unit of the information processing device. A rewrite detection device generates a random seed and transmits it to an ECU and a server device. The ECU calculates a hash value using a predetermined hash function on the basis of the received random seed and the storage content of the storage unit, and transmits the hash value to the rewrite detection device. The server device transmits an expectation in response to an inquiry from the rewrite detection device. The rewrite detection device determines whether unauthorized rewrite to a program or data in the ECU has been performed or not in accordance with whether the expectation received from the server device and the hash value received from the ECU coincide with each other or not.


Patent
Nagoya University, NU Eco Engineering Co. and Katagiri Engineering Co. | Date: 2013-07-03

[Object] To provide a radical generator which can produce radicals at higher density. [Means for Solution] The radical generator includes a supply tube 10 made of SUS, a hollow cylindrical plasma-generating tube 11 which is connected to the supply tube 10 and which is made of pyrolytic boron nitride (PBN). A cylindrical CCP electrode 13 is disposed outside the plasma-generating tube 11. A coil 12 is provided so as to wind about the outer circumference of the plasma-generating tube at the downstream end of the CCP electrode 13. A parasitic-plasma-preventing tube 15 made of a ceramic material is inserted into an opening of the supply tube 10 at the connection site between the supply tube 10 and the plasma-generating tube 11.


Patent
Nagoya University, NU ECO Engineering Co. and Katagiri Engineering Co. | Date: 2016-08-19

A molecular beam epitaxy apparatus includes a radical generator for generating a radical species, a molecular beam cell for generating a molecular beam or an atomic beam, and a vacuum chamber for accommodating a substrate therein, in use, the substrate being irradiated with the radical species and the molecular beam or the atomic beam in vacuum, to thereby form, on the substrate, a crystal of a compound derived from the element of the radical species and the element of the molecular beam or the atomic beam.


Patent
NEC Corp and Nagoya University | Date: 2013-03-07

An optical cross-connect apparatus includes: a plurality of optical cross-connect portions each having an inter-node connection input port and an inter-node connection output port respectively connected to each of the plurality of the inter-node connection optical fibers, an internal connection input port, and an internal connection output port, wherein for each of the plurality of the optical cross-connect portions, the internal connection output port of a predetermined optical cross-connect portion is directly connected to the internal connection input port of another optical cross-connect portion, or the internal connection output port of a predetermined optical cross-connect portion is directly connected to the internal connection input port of another optical cross-connect portion and is indirectly connected via the another optical cross-connect portion to the internal connection input port of yet another optical cross-connect portion.


Fuyuto K.,Nagoya University | Senaha E.,Nagoya University | Senaha E.,National Central University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

We revisit the electroweak phase transition and the critical bubble in the scale invariant two Higgs doublet model in the light of recent LHC data. Moreover, the sphaleron decoupling condition is newly evaluated in this model. The analysis is done by using the resummed finite-temperature one-loop effective potential. It is found that the 125 GeV Higgs boson inevitably leads to the strong first-order electroweak phase transition, and the strength of which is always large enough to satisfy the sphaleron decoupling condition, vN/TN>1.2, where TN denotes a nucleation temperature and vN is the Higgs vacuum expectation value at TN. In this model, even if the Higgs boson couplings to gauge bosons and fermions are similar to the standard model values, the signal strength of the Higgs decay to two photons is reduced by 10% and the triple Higgs boson coupling is enhanced by 82% compared to the standard model prediction. © 2015 The Authors.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2008.1.1.6.1. | Award Amount: 4.29M | Year: 2009

The hydrological system of Northern India is based on two main phenomena, the monsoon precipitation in summer and the growth and melt of the snow and ice cover in the Himalaya, also called the Water Tower of Asia. However, climate change is expected to change these phenomena and it will have a profound impact on snow cover, glaciers and its related hydrology, water resources and the agricultural economy on the Indian peninsula (Singh and Kumar, 1996, Divya and Mehrotra, 1995). It is a great challenge to integrate the spatial and temporal glacier retreat and snowmelt and changed monsoon pattern in weather prediction models under different climate scenarios. Furthermore, the output of these models will have an effect on the input of the hydrological models. The retreat of glaciers and a possible change in monsoon precipitation and pattern will have a great impact on the temporal and spatial availability of water resources in Northern India. Besides climate change, socio-economic development will also have an influence on the use of water resources, the agricultural economy and the adaptive capacity. Socio-economic development determines the level of adaptive capacity. It is a challenge to find appropriate adaptation strategies with stakeholders for each of the sectors agriculture, energy, health and water supply by assessing the impact outputs of the hydrological and socio-economical models. The principal aim of the project is to assess the impact of Himalayan glaciers retreat and possible changes of the Indian summer monsoon on the spatial and temporal distribution of water resources in Northern India and to provide recommendations for appropriate and efficient response strategies that strengthen the cause for adaptation to hydrological extreme events.


Researchers at the Nagoya Institute of Technology (NITech) and Nagoya University (NU) have recently developed an in vivo imaging method to observe MCs in living skin. Not only could this imaging method unlock the mechanism of mechanoreceptor function, but could also be used as a novel diagnostic tool for neural diseases, and accelerate the study of aging-related neurodegeneration. Previous studies, which involved observing MCs in cut sections of fixed tissues, have described the morphology and physiological functions of MCs, but the mechanism of mechanical transduction by MCs in living tissue remains unknown. The NITech-NU research team has now opened a window to understanding the mechanism of mechanoreceptor function by using two-photon microscopy to observe MCs in action, in situ in the fingertips of live mice. Two-photon microscopy is a fluorescence-based technique that allows the imaging of living tissue, up to a depth of one millimeter, with high resolution and low phototoxicity. Using two-photon imaging, the NITech-NU scientists are the first to observe mechanoreceptors in vivo in non-transgenic tissue. "To visualize MCs, we used a nontoxic and long-lived fluorescent lipophilic dye that allows for extended time-lapse observation in the same individual", says Pham Quang Trung, a PhD Student of NITech, the leading author of this study. "The fluorescent dye persisted in injected mice for at least 5 weeks, and we successfully imaged the same MCs in a mouse paw three times over five days." The basis of MC mechanotransduction is that light mechanical pressure on the skin causes physical deformation of a MC that results in an action potential. The NITech-NU scientists plan to investigate these pressure-induced changes in MC architecture with their new imaging methodology. Mr. Pham explains, "We have designed and built a specialized chamber that isolates and stabilizes a mouse's paw for two-photon imaging. This imaging chamber could be modified to provide controlled weight or vibration stimulations that result in different MC morphology transformations, which could then be monitored by two-photon microscopy." Mr. Pham adds, "We could combine our in vivo imaging method with microneurography to describe the relationship between changes in MC architecture and the traffic of nerve impulses." A current limitation of this in vivo imaging method is that the lipophilic dye used only labels the neural components of the MC. Looking to the future, Dr. Sano, the principle investigator of the study comments, "To create a more complete model of MC structure and function, efforts will need to focus on developing two-photon-compatible in vivo labeling methods for other MC components, such as lamellar cells and the collagen capsule." The ability to image MCs in vivo over extended periods of time, without toxicity or physical damage, has applications to human health. Human MCs decline in density with normal aging, and studies have reported changes in the shape, size and density of MCs in a number of neural diseases, such as peripheral neuropathies. Dr. Miyata, a senior scientist at NU and co-author of the study, concludes, "Our newly developed in vivo imaging method makes it possible, for the first time, to longitudinally track structural changes in human MCs for the diagnosis of neural diseases, and for the study of aging." The article "Two-photon imaging of DiO-labelled Meissner corpuscle in living mouse's fingertip" was published in IEEE Transactions on Haptics at DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2016.2574718 Explore further: Novel live-cell imaging technique offers new opportunities to understanding immune responses in the skin More information: Trung Quang Pham et al, Two-Photon imaging of DiO-labelled Meissner corpuscle in living mouse's fingertip, IEEE Transactions on Haptics (2016). DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2016.2574718


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

An international team led by researchers from Tohoku University has found an extremely faint dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The team's discovery is part of the ongoing Subaru Strategic Survey using Hyper Suprime-Cam. The satellite, named Virgo I, lies in the direction of the constellation Virgo. At the absolute magnitude of -0.8 in the optical waveband, it may well be the faintest satellite galaxy yet found. Its discovery suggests the presence of a large number of yet-undetected dwarf satellites in the halo of the Milky Way and provides important insights into galaxy formation through hierarchical assembly of dark matter. Currently, some 50 satellite galaxies to the Milky Way have been identified. About 40 of them are faint and diffuse and belong to the category of so-called "dwarf spheroidal galaxies". Many recently discovered dwarf galaxies, especially those seen in systematic photometric surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Dark Energy Survey (DES) are very faint with absolute luminosity in the optical waveband below -8 magnitude. These are so-called "ultra-faint dwarf galaxies". However, previous searches made use of telescopes with a diameter of 2.5 to 4 meters, so only satellites relatively close to the Sun or those with higher magnitudes were identified. Those that are more distant or faint ones in the halo of the Milky Way are yet to be detected. The combination of the large aperture of 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope and the large field-of-view Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) instrument is very powerful in this study. It enables an efficient search for very faint dwarf satellites over large areas of the sky. The first step in searching out a new dwarf galaxy is to identify an over density of stars in the sky, using photometric data. Next is to assess that the over dense appearance is not due to line-of-sight or accidental juxtapositions of unrelated dense fields, but is really a stellar system. The standard method for doing this is to look for a characteristic distribution of stars in the color-magnitude diagram (comparable to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram). Stars in a general field shows no particular patterns in this diagram. Daisuke Homma, a graduate student at Tohoku University, found Virgo I under the guidance of his advisor, Masashi Chiba, and their international collaborators. "We have carefully examined the early data of the Subaru Strategic Survey with HSC and found an apparent over density of stars in Virgo with very high statistical significance, showing a characteristic pattern of an ancient stellar system in the color-magnitude diagram," he said. "Surprisingly, this is one of the faintest satellites, with absolute magnitude of -0.8 in the optical waveband. This is indeed a galaxy, because it is spatially extended with a radius of 124 light years - systematically larger than a globular cluster with comparable luminosity." The faintest dwarf satellites identified so far was Segue I, discovered by SDSS (-1.5 mag) and Cetus II in DES (0.0 mag). Cetus II is yet to be confirmed, as it is too compact as a galaxy. Virgo I may ultimately turn out to be the faintest one ever discovered. It lies at a distance of 280,000 light years from the Sun, and such a remote galaxy with faint brightness has not been identified in previous surveys. It is beyond the reach of SDSS, which has previously surveyed the same area in the direction of the constellation Virgo. According to Chiba, the leader of this search project, the discovery has profound implications. "This discovery implies hundreds of faint dwarf satellites waiting to be discovered in the halo of the Milky Way," he said. "How many satellites are indeed there and what properties they have, will give us an important clue of understanding how the Milky Way formed and how dark matter contributed to it." Formation of galaxies like the Milky Way is thought to proceed through the hierarchical assembly of dark matter, forming dark halos, and through the subsequent infall of gas and star formation affected by gravity. Standard models of galaxy formation in the context of the so-called cold dark matter (CDM) theory predict the presence of hundreds of small dark halos orbiting in a Milky Way-sized dark halo and a comparable number of luminous satellite companions. However, only tens of satellites have ever been identified. This falls well short of a theoretical predicted number, which is part of the so-called "missing satellite problem". Astronomers may need to consider other types of dark matter than CDM or to invoke baryonic physics suppressing galaxy formation to explain the shortfall in the number of satellites. Another possibility is that they have seen only a fraction of all the satellites associated with the Milky Way due to various observational biases. The issue remains unsolved. One of the motivations for the Subaru Strategic Survey using HSC is to do increase observations in the search for Milky Way satellites. The early data from this survey is what led to the discovery of Virgo I. This program will continue to explore much wider areas of the sky and is expected to find more satellites like Virgo I. These tiny companions to be discovered in the near future may tell us much more about history of the Milky Way's formation. Daisuke Homma (Tohoku University, Japan), Masashi Chiba (Tohoku University, Japan), Sakurako Okamoto (Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, China), Yutaka Komiyama (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Japan), Masayuki Tanaka (NAOJ, Japan), Mikito Tanaka (Tohoku University, Japan), Miho N. Ishigaki (Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU, WPI), University of Tokyo, Japan), Masayuki Akiyama (Tohoku University, Japan), Nobuo Arimoto (Subaru Telescope, NAOJ, USA), Jose A, Garmilla (Princeton University, USA), Robert H. Lupton (Princeton University, USA), Michael A. Strauss (Princeton University, USA), Hisanori Furusawa (NAOJ, Japan), Satoshi Miyazaki (NAOJ, Japan), Hitoshi Murayama (Kavli IPMU, WPI, University of Tokyo, Japan), Atsushi J. Nishizawa (Nagoya University, Japan), Masahiro Takada (Kavli IPMU, WPI, University of Tokyo, Japan), Tomonori Usuda (NAOJ, Japan), Shiang-Yu Wang (Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan) Leo II: An Old Dwarf Galaxy with Juvenescent Heart http://subarutelescope.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: spaceref.com

Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have, for the first time, achieved a precise size measurement of small dust particles around a young star through radio-wave polarization. ALMA's high sensitivity for detecting polarized radio waves made possible this important step in tracing the formation of planets around young stars. Astronomers have believed that planets are formed from gas and dust particles, although the details of the process have been veiled. One of the major enigmas is how dust particles as small as 1 micrometer aggregate to form a rocky planet with a diameter of 10 thousand kilometers. Difficulty in measuring the size of dust particles has prevented astronomers from tracing the process of dust growth. Akimasa Kataoka, a Humboldt Research Fellow stationed at Heidelberg University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, tackled this problem. He and his collaborators have theoretically predicted that, around a young star, radio waves scattered by the dust particles should carry unique polarization features. He also noticed that the intensity of polarized emissions allows us to estimate the size of dust particles far better than other methods. To test their prediction, the team led by Kataoka observed the young star HD 142527 with ALMA and discovered, for the first time, the unique polarization pattern in the dust disk around the star. As predicted, the polarization has a radial direction in most parts of the disk, but at the edge of the disk, the direction is flipped perpendicular to the radial direction. Comparing the observed intensity of the polarized emissions with the theoretical prediction, they determined that the size of the dust particles is at most 150 micrometers. This is the first estimation of the dust size based on polarization. Surprisingly, this estimated size is more than 10 times smaller than previously thought. "In the previous studies, astronomers have estimated the size based on radio emissions assuming hypothetical spherical dust particles," explains Kataoka. "In our study, we observed the scattered radio waves through polarization, which carries independent information from the thermal dust emission. Such a big difference in the estimated size of dust particles implies that the previous assumption might be wrong." The team's idea to solve this inconsistency is to consider fluffy, complex-shaped dust particles, not simple spherical dust. In the macroscopic view, such particles are indeed large, but in the microscopic view, each small part of a large dust particle scatters radio waves and produces unique polarization features. According to the present study, astronomers obtain these "microscopic" features through polarization observations. This idea might prompt astronomers to reconsider the previous interpretation of observational data. "The polarization fraction of radio waves from the dust disk around HD 142527 is only a few percent. Thanks to ALMA's high sensitivity, we have detected such a tiny signal to derive information about the size and shape of the dust particles," said Kataoka. "This is the very first step in the research on dust evolution with polarimetry, and I believe the future progress will be full of excitement." Reference: "Millimeter Polarization Observation of the Protoplanetary Disk around HD 142527," A. Kataoka et al., 2016 Nov. 10, Astrophysical Journal Letters [http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8205/831/2/L12, preprint: https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.06318]. The research team members are Akimasa Kataoka (Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers / Heidelberg University / National Astronomical Observatory of Japan / former Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad at Japan Society for Promoting Science), Takashi Tsukagoshi (Ibaraki University), Munetake Momose (Ibaraki University), Hiroshi Nagai (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan), Takayuki Muto (Kogakuin University), Cornelis P. Dullemond (Heidelberg University), Adriana Pohl (Heidelberg University / Max Planck Institute for Astronomy), Misato Fukagawa (Nagoya University), Hiroshi Shibai (Osaka University), Tomoyuki Hanawa (Chiba University), Koji Murakawa (Osaka Sangyo University) This research was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (No. 23103004, 15K17606, 26800106). The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI). ALMA construction and operations are led by ESO on behalf of its Member States; by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), on behalf of North America; and by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) on behalf of East Asia. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA. Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Plant biologists at ITbM, Nagoya University have developed a genome editing method to knockout target genes in a model plant with high efficiency. The team reports a new CRISPR/Cas9 vector for the model plant that can strongly induce inheritable mutations. This method is expected to become a powerful molecular tool for genome engineering in various plant species. Nagoya, Japan - A pair of plant biologists at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, has reported in the journal Plant and Cell Physiology, on the development of a new vector (a carrier to transfer genetic information) to knockout the target genes in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, in a highly efficient and inheritable manner. The genome consists of the organism's complete set of DNA, including its genes, which contains all the information needed to develop and maintain the organism. Genome engineering, which involves specific modification of parts of the genome by removing, adding and altering sections of the DNA sequence, is a rapidly developing technique. So far, the CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) system is one of the most popular methods for genetic manipulation arising from its simplicity, versatility and efficiency. Nonetheless, the mutation inducing efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9 towards the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, has remained somewhat low so far. This is because the trigger for gene mutation is activated at later developmental stages in cells. Therefore, a significant amount of time, effort and plant species has been required to obtain the desired plant species with the targeted gene knocked out. CRISPR/Cas9 consists of 2 key molecules, a piece of RNA called guide RNA (gRNA) and an enzyme called Cas9. Cas9 acts as a molecular scissor that can cut both strands on DNA at a specific location in the genome, so that DNA sequences can be added or removed at that position. On the other hand, the gRNA consists of a pre-designed RNA sequence (about 20 bases long) that is located within a longer RNA scaffold. The RNA scaffold binds to DNA and the pre-designed RNA sequence guides the Cas9 protein to the specific part of the genome, so that Cas9 can cut at the targeted position. "By using a promoter for a RIBOSOMAL PROTEIN S5A (RPS5A) gene, which is expressed from an early embryonic stage in plant cells, we were able to induce the Cas9 protein to knockout genes in egg cells with high efficiency," says Hiroki Tsutsui, the first author of this study. "This RPS5A promoter is active in egg cells and we decided to call this molecular tool, a pKAMA-ITACHI Red (pKIR) vector, which can edit the plant's genome in high efficiency relative to the 35S promoter commonly used in plants," he continues. 'Kama-itachi' has the Japanese meaning of three weasel-like creatures, where the first weasel targets and trips a person, followed by the second one injuring the person by cutting them, and the third one healing the person. This is similar to the process of the CRISPR/Cas9 system towards DNA, where CRISPR targets, Cas9 cuts, and induces repair of the specific DNA sequence of interest. "By being able to efficiently knockout the targeted gene in Arabidopsis thaliana, we consider this to be a promising method to elucidate the genetic functions of plants," says Tetsuya Higashiyama, a Professor and leader of this research. "We hope that we can apply this methodology for genome editing of crops, such as Brassica napus, to accelerate their growth and generate a variety of plant lines." The CRISPR/Cas9 system works by knocking out a specific gene in order to investigate their function. In the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, as the Cas9 protein is expressed at a later developmental stage of the cell, the degree of gene knockout varies according to the tissue. The genome mutation efficiency has therefore been relatively low. For instance, when a commonly used 35S promoter for plants was used to express the Cas9 protein in Arabidopsis thaliana, although frequent knockouts of the genes were observed in the leaves, only a few were detected in flowers. This suggests that the knockout mutation efficiency of the target gene was relatively low in the reproductive cells of flowers. Subsequently, the knockout mutation was difficult to be passed on to the daughter cells in the next generation. In order to solve this issue, Higashiyama's group decided to express the Cas9 protein in the egg cell and in the cell during the early developmental stage, in order to improve the knockout efficiency of the genes. "Since egg cells and fertilized egg cells (zygotes) are the origin for plant cells to develop and grow, we figured that if genome editing is carried out at an early stage, gene mutation may occur with high efficiency and can be inherited by the next generation of cells," explains Tsutsui. "The pKIR vector was ideal as it can continuously express the Cas9 protein during the egg cell stage and the developmental stage." The team first attempted the knockout of the PDS3 (Phytoene DeSaturase 3) gene, which is known to be responsible for the synthesis of chlorophyll in plants. Without chlorophyll, the plant will become an albino species with a white appearance. By expressing Cas9 with pKIR, Tsutsui succeeded in observing the knockout of the PDS3 gene, indicated by the generation of an albino plant. Tsutsui also investigated the effect on the amount of chlorophyll synthesized in the flower stem, when the PDS3 gene was knocked out. Upon use of the 35S promoter to express Cas9, the amount of chlorophyll was only slightly different to the amount observed in the wild type. On the other hand, when Cas9 was induced by pKIR, the amount of chlorophyll decreased drastically, suggesting that knockout of the gene had occurred efficiently. The team also found that the pKIR vector successfully knocks out other genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, such as AGAMOUS (AG), DUO1 (DUO POLLEN 1), and ADH1 (ALCOHOL DEHYDROGENASE 1), which are involved in the development of the flower, sperm cell, and an enzyme that converts alcohol to aldehydes, respectively. AGAMOUS is a transcription factor involved in flower development (floral meristem). Upon knockout of the AGAMOUS gene induced by pKIR, a flower within a flower, known as a double flower was observed in high frequency. In addition, in the knockout experiment of DUO1 gene, which encodes a male germ line, induced by pKIR, cell division of the generative cell was impaired and a non-fertile sperm-like cell was observed. The ADH1 gene, which encodes an enzyme that converts allyl alcohol into acrolein (an aldehyde), was also knocked out by induction with pKIR in high frequency. This high frequency suggests that the ADH1 gene was knocked out in all of the reproductive cells (egg and sperm cells) in the first generation. Mutants with the ADH1 gene knockout were able to survive, while the wild type and heterozygous plants were killed due to the generation of acrolein, which is toxic for plants. "Since all of the species in the second generation showed the same mutation pattern, this indicates that genome editing had occurred early in the developmental stage (in the egg cells of the first generation)," describes Tsutsui. In order to easily identify the species installed with genes for CRISPR/Cas9, the seeds that contain Cas9 are marked by red fluorescence. Tsutsui and Higashiyama have found an efficient method for genome editing of Arabidopsis thaliana, which consists of expressing Cas9 with a RPS5A promoter (pKIR vector) that can knockout the genes in cells during an early developmental stage and induce mutations that can be passed on to the daughter cells in the next generation. "This pKIR method allows us to investigate gene clusters, which may have overlapping functions," says Tsutsui. "Previously, we had to make multiple knockout plants by crossing existing mutants to examine overlapping gene functions, which took time. We should be able to explore the functions of unidentified gene clusters by being able to rapidly access mutants by our relatively low cost method." "We hope we can continue to improve this method to increase the mutation efficiency, so that it becomes a useful genome engineering tool for modifying the target DNA sequences in various organisms," says Higashiyama. This article "pKAMA-ITACHI vectors for highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knockout in Arabidopsis thaliana" by Hiroki Tsutsui and Tetsuya Higashiyama is published online in Plant and Cell Physiology. DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcw191 The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society.


News Article | November 29, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

An international group of plant biologists have succeeded for the first time in visualizing how egg cells in plants divides unequally (asymmetric cell division) after being fertilized. The direction of this asymmetric cell division determines the body axis of flowering plants, i.e. the top part producing leaves and flowers, and the bottom part developing into roots. This mechanistic discovery on asymmetric cell division in plants provides insight into finding out how flowering plants have evolved to form their body shape. Nagoya, Japan - A group of plant biologists at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, the University of Tokyo, the Gregor Mendel Institute, and the University of Kentucky, have reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, on their discovery on how the plant's egg cells initially lose their skeletal pattern upon fertilization and are reorganized by two major cytoskeleton components in the cell, microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (F-actin). Through live cell imaging, the group was able to visualize how fertilized egg cells in plants undergo asymmetric cell division, which is responsible for determining the plant's body axis. Flowering plants form various organs, such as the flower, leaves, root and stem, which develops along its body axis. As many plants take up a cylinder-like shape, the most important axis becomes the apical-basal (shoot-root) axis, i.e. the apical (top part) develops into shoots, containing flowers, stems and leaves, and the basal (bottom part) grows into roots. The fertilized egg cell (zygote), which is the origin for plants, establishes the plant's body axis from its first cell division. Before cell division occurs, the contents within the zygote become unevenly distributed (polarized). This results in an unequal (asymmetric) cell division, generating a relatively small cell on top and a large cell at the bottom. "Although polarization and asymmetric cell division of zygotes to form the body axis is a common phenomena found in algae, mosses, and flowering plants, the origin of cell polarity and how asymmetric cell division occurs have remained a mystery up to now," says Dr. Minako Ueda, a lecturer at ITbM, Nagoya University and a leader of this research. "The reason why this has been difficult was because there was not an efficient method to visualize the dynamics of cell division using the living zygote hiding deep inside the plants," she continues. In 2015, Dr. Daisuke Kurihara's research group at Nagoya University reported a technique to visualize the growth of living embryos in a model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). Ueda, Kurihara and their colleagues improved the resolution of this imaging technique to be able to observe the internal structure of the cell. "The most difficult part of this research was to be able to identify the suitable markers to visualize the contents of the plant cell," explains Ueda. "With the help of Dr. Tomokazu Kawashima at the University of Kentucky and Professor Frederic Berger at the Mendel Institute, we tried different combinations of colored markers based on green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) to create a contrast between the different components within the cell. Yusuke Kimata, a graduate student in our group, conducted experiments to observe what was actually happening to the egg cell after fertilization." The group succeeded in visualizing for the first time, how the cytoskeleton of plant egg cells is disassembled after fertilization and then reorganized to create a polarity in the cell that eventually leads to asymmetric cell division. Plant cells contain two major cytoskeletons, i.e. microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (F-actin), which help cells to maintain their shape, provide mechanistic support and enable the cells to divide and move. Ueda and Kimata used fluorescent markers of MTs and F-actin to see how they change before and after fertilization, and how the two fibers play a role in the polarization and asymmetric division of the zygote. "From our live cell imaging experiments, we observed that MTs that were initially aligned along the top-bottom axis of the unfertilized egg cell, disintegrates upon fertilization, leading to shrinkage of the cell," describes Ueda. "After nearly 3 hours, a ring structure appeared at the top part of the zygote, from where a bulge appeared to elongate the cell. This ring structure was retained while the cell elongated. Finally, the MTs gathered around the nucleus after about 18 hours and distributed the chromosomes, eventually leading to cell division after about 22 hours," she continues. "We were really excited when we saw this movie, where the zygotes behave like a stretched Japanese rice cake, as this event was nothing like we have seen before." The group then studied the dynamics of F-actin by live imaging techniques. In a similar manner to MTs, the initial assembly of F-actin in an unfertilized egg cell was disrupted upon fertilization. "What was different for F-actin, was that they align along the top-bottom axis after fertilization, and gather in a cap structure at the tip of the cell," describes Ueda. "We were able to observe that the initial assembly of both MTs and F-actin are disrupted upon fertilization of the egg cell, and the growing zygote gradually aligns these fibers in a different pattern from those in the egg cell. This is the first time to visualize the real time event of asymmetric cell division, and we were able to see other events such as cell elongation of the zygote and migration of the nucleus." Not only did the group succeed in visualizing the real time events of zygote polarization and asymmetric cell division, they were able to quantify the dynamic patterns of the cytoskeleton (i.e. formation of the ring structure and longitudinal array of MTs and F-actin, respectively). Experts of image analysis, Dr. Takumi Higaki and Professor Seiichiro Hasezawa at the University of Tokyo, performed these detailed quantification experiments. The group hypothesized that MTs and F-actin play different roles in the zygote due to their different alignment in the cell. In order to investigate their specific roles, they used inhibitors of each protein to see their effect on zygote polarization and asymmetric cell division. "Through live imaging, we saw that inhibition of MTs hinders zygote elongation, resulting in formation of a round and swollen shape of the zygote head," describes Ueda. "On the other hand, when we inhibited F-actin, the nucleus was unable to move upwards and remained near the center of the zygote. As a result, cell division occurred at the position of the nucleus, leading to nearly symmetric cell division, where the generated cells were similar in size." The group's results show that MTs are responsible for elongation of the zygote along the top-bottom axis, whereas F-actin plays a role in moving the nucleus towards the top part of the zygote, to make it ready for asymmetric cell division. "We were able to show by live cell imaging that polarization of the cell occurs after fertilization of the egg cell, and both MTs and F-actin play a role in inducing asymmetric cell division to form the plant's body axis," says Ueda. "We hope to be able to find the exact origin of what causes polarization and the components that are being distributed in the cell by visualizing more components in the plant zygote. We envisage that this work will lead to discovering how flowering plants have evolved to form their current structure and shape." This article "Cytoskeleton dynamics control the first asymmetric cell division in Arabidopsis zygote" by Yusuke Kimata, Takumi Higaki, Tomokazu Kawashima, Daisuke Kurihara, Yoshikatsu Sato, Tomomi Yamada, Seiichiro Hasezawa, Frederic Berger, Tetsuya Higashiyama and Minako Ueda is published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1613979113 (http://dx. ) The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society.


News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan, will be holding "The 4th International Symposium on Transformative Bio-Molecules (ISTbM-4)" on December 12-13, 2016 at the Noyori Conference Hall in Nagoya University. This international symposium brings together speakers who are world-class scientists in the fields of biology, chemistry, and theoretical sciences. In conjunction with ISTbM-4, award lectures from the 12th Hirata Award Winner, Professor Emily P. Balskus of Harvard University (USA), and the 2nd Tsuneko and Reiji Okazaki Award Winner, Professor Yukiko M. Yamashita of the University of Michigan and HHMI (USA) will also be delivered. The 2nd Tsuneko and Reiji Okazaki Award Award Winner: Yukiko M. Yamashita (University of Michigan and HHMI, USA) Sponsored by: Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University (http://www. ) Registration: Free of charge Please register online: http://www. The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society.


News Article | November 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Arising from a collaboration between plant and animal biologists, and organic chemists at ITbM, Nagoya University, the group succeeded in developing a new compound, a triarylmethane that can rapidly inhibit cell division in plants. This compound was found to selectively inhibit cell division in plant cells with respect to animal cells. Having a reversible cell inhibiting property, this triarylmethane could be a potential candidate for developing new agrochemicals that can control plant growth. Nagoya, Japan - Dr. Minako Ueda, Dr. Masakazu Nambo of the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University and their colleagues have reported in the journal Plant and Cell Physiology, on the development of a series of triarylmethane compounds, which were tested on plant cells to see their effect on cell division. Through live cell imaging, they were able to identify a new triarylmethane compound that can rapidly inhibit cell division in plant cells. They also found that this new compound does not have an effect on the cell division of animal cells, and that cell division restarts in plant cells upon removal of the compound. Being able to control the cell division in plant cells may be effective in controlling plant growth. Thus, the selectivity and reversibility of this new triarylmethane compound on the cell division of plant cells makes it a good candidate for an agrochemical. Plant growth occurs by increasing the number of cells by cell division followed by enlargement of the cells. Thus, it has been considered that if there is a way to control cell division in plants, this will lead to the control of plant growth in a range of plant species. Although various compounds that can control cell division in plants have been explored in the past, they have mainly resulted in damage to the plant shape or irreversible inhibition of cell division despite removal of the compounds. "As part of ITbM's interdisciplinary research initiative, we decided to search for new compounds that can inhibit the cell division in plants without causing damage to them," says Minako Ueda, a plant biologist and a leader of this study. "Being in the Mix Lab (special labs that have researchers from different disciplines mixed together) at ITbM, I was able to talk to an organic chemist, Masakazu Nambo, who suggested the use of triarylmethane compounds for cell division inhibition in plant cells," she continues. "We had reported a new catalytic reaction in December 2013, to rapidly synthesize triarylmethanes in 3 steps from readily available starting materials, using a palladium catalyst," says Masakazu Nambo, an organic chemist and another leader of this study. "Triarylmethanes have not really been used before on plants, but we were able to visualize their effect on Tobacco plant cells using live cell imaging. We started this research about 3 years ago, but we were fortunate to be able to identify a triarylmethane compound that can rapidly inhibit cell division in plants," he continues. Triarylmethanes are a group of compounds that derive from methane (a molecule consisting of carbon with 4 hydrogen atoms attached to it) and consist of a carbon atom center with 3 aryl (aromatic ring) groups and a hydrogen atom. This structure can be found in organic materials, such as dyes and fluorescent probes, as well as in natural products. Some compounds containing the triarylmethane moiety are known to exhibit anticancer properties, and many new compounds have been synthesized to investigate their bioactivities. "Our palladium-catalyzed sequential arylation reaction has been highly useful to rapidly synthesize a variety of triarylmethanes to be used for testing their effect on the cell division in plants," says Nambo. "We used a Tobacco plant cell attached with a fluorescent probe to visualize the cell division process," says Ueda. "We added the triarylmethane compounds to the cultivated cells and investigated whether cell division had occurred or not by realtime live cell imaging." "As a result of screening about 200 compounds, we found that (3-furyl)diphenylmethane (chem7), which is a triarylmethane that contains 2 phenyl groups and a furyl (a 5-membered aromatic ring containing 4 carbons and an oxygen atom in the ring) group, had strong inhibitory activity on plant cell division," says Ueda. When the furyl moiety was replaced with other aromatic groups, or when one of the benzene rings was removed, the cell division inhibitory activity was not observed, suggesting that a triarylmethane structure containing both the benzene and the furan rings are necessary for their bioactivity. "Although I did not have any issues about working with compounds directly synthesized by chemists, I was initially surprised to receive compounds that were not necessarily soluble in the solvents that I was using in my biological experiments," says Ueda. "It was exciting to test new compounds and I was astonished by the speed that the compounds were being synthesized. The speed of compounds being generated was faster than the speed that we could test them on the cells." The group also tested whether chem7 could inhibit cell division in other plants, or in other developing tissues. By applying chem7 to the young seeds and roots of a model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, the group found that rapid inhibition of cell division was observed in both tissues. "We saw that chem7 had hardly any effect on the shapes of the cells and tissues, thus, suggesting that chem7 stops cell division in plant cells, but does not cause any severe damage to the shapes," describes Ueda. "With the help of animal biologists, we found that chem7 had no effect on budding yeasts and human cells, which indicates that chem7 does not inhibit the cell division of animal cells." Cell division consists of several phases, including the M phase where the cells actually divide (M = mitosis), the S phase where the DNA is copied and prepares for division (S = synthesis) and the G1/G2 phase in between (G = gap). These phases (cell cycle) are repeated leading to cell division. In order to figure out which phase that chem7 actually acts upon, Ueda and her team used two fluorescent proteins of different colors to visualize the process of the cell cycles in the root of Arabidopsis thaliana. (Green indicates the M phase and red indicates the S and G2 phases.) "As the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana contain cells at various phases, it was possible to observe different phases, shown in green and red," explains Ueda. "Upon addition of chem7 to the roots, we found that both colors existed but the area that contains fluoresced cells (tissues with high cell division activity) became smaller." This indicates that chem7 does not target a specific plant cell phase, but exhibits cell inhibitory activity regardless of the phase. The group concluded that chem7 causes no severe damage to the shapes of cells and tissues by being able to rapidly stop the cell activity at any cell phase. In addition, when chem7 was washed away from the roots and cultivated cells treated with chem7, cell division was observed again, indicating that the effect of chem7 is not lethal. "Through the collaboration with chemists and biologists, we were fortunate to discover a new compound that can selectively inhibit the cell division of plant cells regardless of the cell phase," says Ueda and Nambo. "chem7 rapidly stops cell division and plant growth without causing drastic damage to the shapes or functions of the cells." "It was nice to be able to come together and discuss research with people from different research fields. We are currently carrying out further studies to generate new compounds that can rapidly and reversibly control plant growth without causing harm to humans and bacteria in the surrounding environment, which can potentially work as agrochemicals," they speak. This article "Combination of Synthetic Chemistry and Live-Cell Imaging Identified a Rapid Cell Division Inhibitor in Tobacco and Arabidopsis thaliana" by Masakazu Nambo, Daisuke Kurihara, Tomomi Yamada, Taeko Nishiwaki-Ohkawa, Naoya Kadofusa, Yusuke Kimata, Keiko Kuwata, Masaaki Umeda and Minako Ueda is published online in Plant and Cell Physiology. DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcw140 (http://dx. ) The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society.


News Article | November 14, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Plant biologists at ITbM, Nagoya University, have made a key discovery that the contents in pollen tubes alone can increase the size of seeds, without the need for fertilization. This new plant phenomenon, named as POEM (pollen tube-dependent ovule enlargement morphology), shows that even in the absence of fertilization (fusion of sperm and egg cells), release of the pollen tube content (PTC) to the ovule leads to enlargement of the ovule and seed coat formation. This finding may be useful in developing crops, which can develop seeds under unfavorable environmental conditions where fertilization does not readily occur. Nagoya, Japan - Dr. Ryushiro Kasahara, Professor Tetsuya Higashiyama of the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University and their colleagues have reported in Science Advances, on the discovery of a new plant phenomenon where the pollen tube contents (PTCs) trigger seed enlargement in the absence of fertilization. Upon pollination, pollen grows pollen tubes inside the pistil, in order to deliver its sperm cells (male) to the egg cells (female) located inside the ovules. Although PTCs have been known to exist inside the pollen tube along with sperm cells, its actual function has been unknown for a long time. In animals, the function of the seminal fluid (containing sperm cells), which is in a similar position to PTCs in plants, has been well studied. Research in mice shows that when a particular protein is removed from the seminal fluid, the sperm cell is unable to induce fertilization, thus indicating that the seminal fluid is essential for fertilization to occur in animals. Ryushiro Kasahara, a leader of this research, decided to look into the function of PTCs to see if it has a similar function to the seminal fluid in animals. He conducted hybridization experiments using mutants of a model plant Arabidopsis thaliana that can release PTCs into the ovule even when fertilization does not occur. As a result, his group found that ovules subjected to PTCs without fertilization lead to cell division, along with enlargement of the seed. In addition, formation of the seed coat and endosperm was also observed. For years, it has been considered that ovule enlargement only occurs upon fertilization. Nevertheless, Kasahara's new discoveries show that PTCs alone can induce ovule enlargement, which breaks the common principle that fertilization is essential for seed development. "The most difficult part of this research was to make sure that fertilization does not occur in order to identify the function of PTCs," says Kasahara. "I was extremely excited when I saw that PTCs alone led to seed development without fertilization." Reproduction in plants starts from pollination on the pistil, followed by pollen tube guidance, which eventually leads to fertilization. This research demonstrates the existence of an unexplored step between pollen tube guidance and fertilization, where PTCs have a major role in seed development. In crops, such as rice, corn and wheat, the parts that we mainly eat are the endosperm in the seed. By further elucidation on the function of the PTCs, as well as development of new technology to apply PTCs to plants, it may become possible to produce crops that can form the endosperm without fertilization. As the fertilization rate becomes relatively low under unfavorable or unusual weather conditions (e.g. typhoon and high temperatures) during the flowering season, this has drastic effects on crop production. If endosperms can form by application of the key molecules in PTCs, without the need for fertilization, this may be useful in producing crops that are unaffected by climate conditions. Initially, Kasahara and his colleagues investigated what kind of genes is expressed in ovules that have accepted PTCs, by analyzing the genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. They carried out experiments using mutants that do not necessarily fertilize upon pollination. "We found that ovules that have accepted PTCs, undergone fertilization and have developed an embryo and endosperm, show expression of genes that are essential for embryo and endosperm formation," explains Kasahara. "On the other hand, ovules that have accepted PTCs but have not been fertilized did not show gene expression of the embryo and the endosperm. We were surprised to see that this unfertilized ovule showed expression of genes that induce cell expansion and division, as well as seed coat formation." From the results of gene expression, Kasahara hypothesized that the division and enlargement of ovules, as well as seed coat formation can occur without fertilization. Therefore, he decided to look into the gene expression of ovules. "We found that ovules with the insertion of pollen tubes but without fertilization are on average 2.5 times larger that those without the insertion of pollen tubes. The unfertilized ovules?with pollen tube insertion also showed seed coat formation," says Kasahara. "This new observation overturns the common principle that ovules need to fertilize for enlargement to occur." Kasahara was then able to confirm through further experiments that PTCs were responsible for ovule enlargement. By using mutants where pollen tubes burst at a certain rate and release PTCs, they compared to ratio of ovules that increased in size without fertilization, to the ovules where the pollen tube ruptures and releases PTCs. "We were delighted to see that the percentage of ovules that become enlarged and the percentage of ovules accepting PTCs showed a good match," describes Kasahara. "This shows evidence that PTCs contribute to ovule enlargement." Kasahara named this new phenomenon, POEM, which stands for "pollen tube dependent ovule enlargement morphology". Upon using a mutant that generates an endosperm without fertilization, the rate of autonomous endosperm formation was below 3% without PTCs. On the other hand, when PTCs were released into the ovule, 50% of the ovules autonomously formed an endosperm. This indicates that PTCs are able to increase the probability of endosperm formation in ovules. "We are currently interested in what kind of molecules in the PTCs are responsible for triggering POEM," says Kasahara. "We hope we can find key molecules, which can be constantly expressed in ovules so that the endosperm can be formed without fertilization. This is expected to be highly useful for producing crops in various climates, where fertilization does not readily occur." This article "Pollen tube contents initiate ovule enlargement and enhance seed coat development without fertilization" by Ryushiro D. Kasahara, Michitaka Notaguchi, Shiori Nagahara, Takamasa Suzuki, Daichi Susaki, Yujiro Honma, Daisuke Maruyama, Tetsuya Higashiyama is published online in Science Advances. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600554 The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society.


Home > Press > One-pot synthesis towards sulfur-based organic semiconductors A short and simple synthetic route for thiophene-fused aromatic compounds Abstract: Thiophene-fused polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are known to be useful as organic semiconductors due to their high charge transport properties. Scientists at Nagoya University have developed a short route to form various thiophene-fused PAHs by simply heating mono-functionalized PAHs with sulfur. This new method is expected to contribute towards the efficient development of novel thiophene-based electronic materials. Dr. Lingkui Meng, Dr. Yasutomo Segawa, Professor Kenichiro Itami of the JST-ERATO Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project, Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University and Integrated Research Consortium on Chemical Sciences, and their colleagues have reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, on the development of a simple and effective method for the synthesis of thiophene-fused PAHs. Thiophene-fused PAHs are organic molecules composed of multiple aromatic rings including thiophene. Thiophene is a five-membered aromatic ring containing four carbon atoms and a sulfur atom. Thiophene-fused PAHs are known to be one of the most common organic semiconductors and are used in various electronic materials, such as in transistors, organic thin-film solar cells, organic electro-luminescent diodes and electronic devices. More recently, they have found use in wearable devices due to their lightweight and flexibility. Thienannulation (thiophene-annulation) reactions, a transformation that makes new thiophene rings via cyclization, leads to various thiophene-fused PAHs. Most conventional thienannulation methods require the introduction of two functional groups adjacent to each other to form two reactive sites on PAHs before the cyclization can take place. Thus, multiple steps are required for the preparation of the substrates. As a consequence, a more simple method to access thiophene-fused PAHs is desirable. A team led by Yasutomo Segawa, a group leader of the JST-ERATO project, and Kenichiro Itami, the director of the JST-ERATO project and the center director of ITbM, has succeeded in developing a simple and effective method for the formation of various thiophene-fused PAHs. They have managed to start from PAHs that have only one functional group, which saves the effort of installing another functional group, and have performed the thienannulation reactions using elemental sulfur, a readily available low cost reagent. The reactions can be carried out on a multigram scale and can be conducted in a one-pot two-step reaction sequence starting from an unfunctionalized PAH. This new approach can also generate multiple thiophene moieties in a single reaction. Hence, this method has the advantage of offering a significant reduction in the number of required steps and in the reagent costs for thiophene-fused PAH synthesis compared to conventional methods. The researchers have shown that upon heating and stirring the dimethylformamide solution of arylethynyl group-substituted PAHs and elemental sulfur in air, they were able to obtain the corresponding thiophene-fused PAHs. The arylethynyl group consists of an alkyne (a moiety with a carbon-carbon triple bond) bonded to an aromatic ring. The reaction proceeds via a carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bond cleavage at the position next to the arylethynyl group (called the ortho-position) on PAHs, in the presence of sulfur. As the ortho-C-H bond on the PAH can be cleaved under the reaction conditions, prior functionalization (installation of a functional group) becomes unnecessary. Arylethynyl-substituted PAHs are readily accessible by the Sonogashira coupling, which is a cross-coupling reaction to form carbon-carbon bonds between an alkyne and a halogen-substituted aromatic compound. The synthesis of thiophene-fused PAHs can also be carried out in one-pot, in which PAHs are subjected to a Sonogashira coupling to form arylethynyl-substituted PAHs, followed by direct treatment of the alkyne with elemental sulfur to induce thienannulation. "Actually, we coincidentally discovered this reaction when we were testing different chemical reactions to synthesize a new molecule for the Itami ERATO project," says Yasutomo Segawa, one of the leaders of this study. "At first, most members including myself felt that the reaction may have already been reported because it is indeed a very simple reaction. Therefore, the most difficult part of this research was to clarify the novelty of this reaction. We put in a significant amount of effort to investigate previous reports, including textbooks from more than 50 years ago as well as various Internet sources, to make sure that our reaction conditions had not been disclosed before," he continues. The team succeeded in synthesizing more than 20 thiophene-fused PAHs. They also revealed that multiple formations of thiophene rings of PAHs substituted with multiple arylethynyl groups could be carried out all at once. Multiple thiophene-fused PAHs were generated from three-fold and five-fold thienannulations, which generated triple thia[5]helicene (containing three thiophenes) and pentathienocorannulene (containing five thiophenes), respectively. The pentathienocorannulene was an unprecedented molecule that was synthesized for the first time. "I was extremely happy when I was able to obtain the propeller-shaped triple thia[5]helicene and hat-shaped pentathienocorannulene, because I have always been aiming to synthesize exciting new molecules since I joined Professor Itami's group," says Lingkui Meng, a postdoctoral researcher who mainly conducted the experiments. "We had some problems in purifying the compounds but we were delighted when we obtained the crystal structures of the thiophene compounds, which proved that the desired reactions had taken place." "The best part of this research for me is to discover that our C-H functionalization strategy on PAHs could be applied to synthesize structurally beautiful molecules with high functionalities," says Segawa. "The successful synthesis of a known high-performance organic semiconductive molecule, (2,6-bis(4-n-octylphenyl)- dithieno[3,2-b:2?,3?-d]thiophene (the lower right of Figure 4), from a relatively cheap substrate opens doors to access useful thiophene compounds in a rapid and cost-effective manner." "We hope that ongoing advances in our method may lead to the development of new organic electronic devices, including semiconductor and luminescent materials," say Segawa and Itami. "We are considering the possibilities to make this reaction applicable for making useful thiophene-fused PAHs, which would lead to the rapid discovery and optimization of key molecules that would advance the field of materials science." About Nagoya University JST-ERATO Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project was launched at Nagoya University in April 2014. This is a 5-year project that seeks to open the new field of nanocarbon science. This project entails the design and synthesis of as-yet largely unexplored nanocarbons as structurally well-defined molecules, and the development of novel, highly functional materials based on these nanocarbons. Researchers combine chemical and physical methods to achieve the controlled synthesis of well-defined uniquely structured nanocarbon materials, and conduct interdisciplinary research encompassing the control of molecular arrangement and orientation, structural and functional analysis, and applications in devices and biology. The goal of this project is to design, synthesize, utilize, and understand nanocarbons as molecules. About WPI-ITbM The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society. About JST-ERATO ERATO (The Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology), one of the Strategic Basic Research Program, aims to form a headstream of science and technology, and ultimately contribute to science, technology, and innovation that will change society and the economy in the future. In ERATO, a Research Director, a principal investigator of ERATO research project, establishes a new research base in Japan and recruits young researchers to implement his or her challenging research project within a limited time frame. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Abstract: Kaho Maeda, Dr. Hideto Ito, Professor Kenichiro Itami of the JST-ERATO Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project and the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, and their colleagues have reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, on the development of a new and simple strategy, "helix-to-tube" to synthesize covalent organic nanotubes. Organic nanotubes (ONTs) are organic molecules with tubular nanostructures. Nanostructures are structures that range between 1 nm and 100 nm, and ONTs have a nanometer-sized cavity. Various applications of ONTs have been reported, including molecular recognition materials, transmembrane ion channel/sensors, electro-conductive materials, and organic photovoltaics. Most ONTs are constructed by a self-assembly process based on weak non-covalent interactions such as hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic interactions and π-π interactions between aromatic rings. Due to these relatively weak interactions, most non-covalent ONTs possess a relatively fragile structure. Covalent ONTs, whose tubular skeletons are cross-linked by covalent bonding (a bond made by sharing of electrons between atoms) could be synthesized from non-covalent ONTs. While covalent ONTs show higher stability and mechanical strength than non-covalent ONTs, the general synthetic strategy for covalent ONTs was yet to be established. A team led by Hideto Ito and Kenichiro Itami has succeeded in developing a simple and effective method for the synthesis of robust covalent ONTs (tube) by an operationally simple light irradiation of a readily accessible helical polymer (helix). This so-called "helix-to-tube" strategy is based on the following steps: 1) polymerization of a small molecule (monomer) to make a helical polymer followed by, 2) light-induced cross-linking at longitudinally repeating pitches across the whole helix to form covalent nanotubes. With their strategy, the team designed and synthesized diacetylene-based helical polymers (acetylenes are molecules that contain carbon-carbon triple bonds), poly(m-phenylene diethynylene)s (poly-PDEs), which has chiral amide side chains that are able to induce a helical folding through hydrogen-bonding interactions. The researchers revealed that light-induced cross-linking at longitudinally aligned 1,3-butadiyne moieties (a group of molecules that contain four carbons with triple bonds at the first and third carbons) could generate the desired covalent ONT. "This is the first time in the world to show that the photochemical polymerization reaction of diynes is applicable to the cross-linking reaction of a helical polymer," says Maeda, a graduate student who mainly conducted the experiments. The "helix-to-tube" method is expected to be able to generate a range of ONT-based materials by simply changing the arene (aromatic ring) unit in the monomer. "One of the most difficult parts of this research was how to obtain scientific evidence on the structures of poly-PDEs and covalent ONTs," says Ito, one of the leaders of this study. "We had little experience with the analysis of polymers and macromolecules such as ONTs. Fortunately, thanks to the support of our collaborators in Nagoya University, who are specialists in these particular research fields, we finally succeeded in characterizing these macromolecules by various techniques including spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and microscopy." "Although it took us about a year to synthesize the covalent ONT, it took another one and a half year to determine the structure of the nanotube," says Maeda. "I was extremely excited when I first saw the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images, which indicated that we had actually made the covalent ONT that we were expecting," she continues. "The best part of the research for me was finding that the photochemical cross-linking had taken place on the helix for the first time," says Maeda. "In addition, photochemical cross-linking is known to usually occur in the solid phase, but we were able to show that the reaction takes place in the solution phase as well. As the reactions have never been carried out before, I was dubious at first, but it was a wonderful feeling to succeed in making the reaction work for the first time in the world. I can say for sure that this was a moment where I really found research interesting." "We were really excited to develop this simple yet powerful method to achieve the synthesis of covalent ONTs," says Itami, the director of the JST-ERATO project and the center director of ITbM. "The "helix-to-tube" method enables molecular level design and will lead to the synthesis of various covalent ONTs with fixed diameters and tube lengths with desirable functionalities." "We envisage that ongoing advances in the "helix-to-tube" method may lead to the development of various ONT-based materials including electro-conductive materials and luminescent materials," says Ito. "We are currently carrying out work on the "helix-to-tube" methodology and we hope to synthesize covalent ONTs with interesting properties for various applications." About Nagoya University JST-ERATO Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project The JST-ERATO Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project was launched at Nagoya University in April 2014. This is a 5-year project that seeks to open the new field of nanocarbon science. This project entails the design and synthesis of as-yet largely unexplored nanocarbons as structurally well-defined molecules, and the development of novel, highly functional materials based on these nanocarbons. Researchers combine chemical and physical methods to achieve the controlled synthesis of well-defined uniquely structured nanocarbon materials, and conduct interdisciplinary research encompassing the control of molecular arrangement and orientation, structural and functional analysis, and applications in devices and biology. The goal of this project is to design, synthesize, utilize, and understand nanocarbons as molecules. About WPI-ITbM The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society. About JST-ERATO ERATO (The Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology), one of the Strategic Basic Research Programs, aims to form a headstream of science and technology, and ultimately contribute to science, technology, and innovation that will change society and the economy in the future. In ERATO, a Research Director, a principal investigator of ERATO research project, establishes a new research base in Japan and recruits young researchers to implement his or her challenging research project within a limited time frame. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A team of organic chemists at ITbM, Nagoya University, has developed a new reaction to directly install amines into carbonyl compounds using their unique phase-transfer catalyst. This unprecedented method leads to the rapid formation of optically active (chiral) α-aminocarbonyls, which are structural moieties found in many biologically active compounds and in therapeutics, such as anti-malarial and anti-HIV agents. Nagoya, Japan - Dr. Kohsuke Ohmatsu, Professor Takashi Ooi of the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University and their colleagues have reported in the journal Chem, on the development of a new chemical transformation that directly introduces amines at the α-carbon position of carbonyl compounds. This new method enables rapid access to chiral α-aminocarbonyls from readily available carbonyl compounds and hydroxylamines. Chiral α-aminocarbonyls are found in many biologically active compounds such as amino acids and proteins, as well as in various pharmaceuticals. Many α-aminocarbonyl compounds have a chiral center, where the α-carbon has 4 different groups attached to it. These α-aminocarbonyl compounds can exist as enantiomers, which are isomers (structures composed of the same elements but are arranged differently in space) that are mirror images of each other and cannot be superimposed on one another. Enantiomers usually have different properties, and intensive studies have been carried out across the world to selectively synthesize a particular enantiomer (enantioselectivity). Although chiral α-aminocarbonyls have been known to be an essential structural moiety in various biological molecules, the direct catalytic asymmetric introduction of amines into carbonyl compounds to access α-aminocarbonyls has been unexplored up to now. This is due to the repulsion of electrons between the carbon atom and the nitrogen atom, on the enolate of the carbonyl compound and amine, respectively. Ooi's group solved this issue by reacting hydroxylamine with trichloroacetonitrile, which lowers the electron density of hydroxylamine, enabling it to react with various carbonyl compounds. "We were able to develop a new catalytic asymmetric reaction to directly synthesize chiral α-aminocarbonyls in high enantioselectivity, from carbonyl compounds in one single step, where we used hydroxylamine as an amine source and our original chiral catalyst," says Kohsuke Ohmatsu, an Associate Professor at ITbM. "Although we had this idea in mind from about 3 years ago, it took us a while to identify the right conditions using the appropriate starting materials," he continues. Yuichiro Ando and Tsubasa Nakashima, who are both graduate students in Ooi's group, took up this work. "The goal of our study was to develop a reaction to make a variety of chiral α-aminocarbonyls from a wide range of carbonyl compounds and hydroxylamines," says Takashi Ooi, a leader of this study. "We tested a variety of carbonyl compounds, but had extreme difficulties at the beginning of our studies to identify the factors that were responsible for enabling the reaction to proceed," he explains. "Indeed, this required a lot of trial and error to figure out what was necessary for the reaction. We challenged ourselves to make difficult situations into opportunities, and kept on analyzing the data objectively to move on to the next step." "I must say that the best moment for us was when we saw the NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectrum to identify the molecular structure of the desired α-aminocarbonyl product for the first time," describes Ohmatsu. "The key for this reaction was to use trichloroacetonitrile to activate the hydroxylamine, along with our chiral catalyst." The Ooi group's unique catalyst consists of a chiral 1,2,3-triazolium ion, which has a high hydrogen-bond-donating ability that can activate carbonyl compounds to react with hydroxylamines, which itself is activated by trichloroacetonitrile. This new reaction enables rapid access to chiral α-aminocarbonyls by the direct introduction of amines into carbonyl compounds, a process that has been quite challenging by previous approaches. "We hope to improve our range of starting materials that we can use in order to access an even wider range of α-aminocarbonyl compounds, which may lead to the rapid generation of molecules with potential therapeutic applications," say Ohmatsu and Ooi. "To do so, we are currently working on elucidating the reaction mechanism as well as improving our catalyst and reaction conditions," they continue. "Since we have already identified that the O-iminohydroxylamine is one of the reaction intermediates, we hope that we can report other new reactions that can lead to the rapid and efficient synthesis of useful compounds." This article "A Modular Strategy for the Direct Catalytic Asymmetric α-Amination of Carbonyl Compounds" by Kohsuke Ohmatsu, Yuichiro Ando, Tsubasa Nakashima, and Takashi Ooi is published online in Chem. DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2016.10.012 The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CYTX) today announced that over half of 45 patients in the ADRESU trial in Japan have been enrolled and treated. ADRESU is a late phase, investigator-initiated Japanese clinical trial to study the efficacy and safety of Cytori Cell TherapyTM in men with stress urinary incontinence after prostatic intervention for prostate cancer or benign prostatic hypertrophy. “The enrollment rate is picking up and we now have all four sites enrolling,” said Dr. Momokazu Gotoh, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Urology at Nagoya University and Principal Investigator on the ADRESU trial. “Thus far the therapy has been well-tolerated by the study patients, and we currently anticipate full enrollment in mid-2017.” ADRESU is a multicenter, 45 patient open label controlled trial of ECCI-50 therapy, comprised of periurethral injection of autologous adipose derived regenerative cells (ADRCs), and a mixture of ADRCs and adipose tissue, and is based on pilot trial data published in the International Journal of Urology in 2014. Details of the ADRESU trial can be found on clinicaltrials.gov and the University Hospital Medical Information Network website. The primary endpoint for the ADRESU trial is the number of patients who experience reduction of urinary leakage by > 50% volume (as measured by the weight of diaper pads for incontinence used over 24 hours) at 52 weeks after treatment.  If the endpoint is successfully achieved, the data will be used to seek approval and reimbursement of ECCI-50 for this indication.  The trial costs are substantially supported by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development with additional support (providing the Celution® system plus all required accessories) by Cytori. The trial is sponsored by Nagoya University. Cytori has been commercially active in the Japanese market since 2008 through its Japanese subsidiary and has had a full-time office and in-country leadership in Japan since 2005.  Over that period of time, Cytori has built a user base of over 50 sites including leading academic institutions throughout Japan, such as Nagoya University, as well as individual clinics. Cytori Therapeutics is a late stage cell therapy company developing autologous cell therapies from adipose tissue to treat a variety of medical conditions.  Data from preclinical studies and clinical trials suggest that Cytori Cell Therapy™ acts principally by improving blood flow, modulating the immune system, and facilitating wound repair.  As a result, Cytori Cell Therapy™ may provide benefits across multiple disease states and can be made available to the physician and patient at the point-of-care through Cytori’s proprietary technologies and products.  For more information visit www.cytori.com. Male stress urinary incontinence is a common side effect of benign prostatic hypertrophy surgeries (BPH) or radical prostatectomy’s with limited treatment options, representing an unmet medical need. In 2015 there were 21,699 BPH procedures and 15,714 radical prostectatomies performed at Diagnoses Procedure Combination (DPC) hospitals in Japan. These DPC hospitals comprise about half of the hospital capacity in Japan. This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding events, trends and business prospects, which may affect our future operating results and financial position. Such statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding completion of ADREU clinical trial enrollment, and possible use of the ADRESU clinical trial data to seek approval and reimbursement of ECCI-50 for men with stress urinary incontinence after prostatic intervention for prostate cancer or benign prostatic hypertrophy, are all subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results and financial position to differ materially. Some of these risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, inherent risk and uncertainty in the protection intellectual property rights, regulatory uncertainties, risks in the conduct of investigator-initiated clinical trials, risks in the collection and results of clinical data, final clinical outcomes, dependence on third party performance, performance and acceptance of our products in the marketplace, as well as other risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in Cytori's Securities and Exchange Commission Filings on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. We assume no responsibility to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events, trends or circumstances after the date they are made.


Yamazaki D.G.,Japan National Astronomical Observatory | Kajino T.,Japan National Astronomical Observatory | Kajino T.,University of Tokyo | Mathews G.J.,University of Notre Dame | Ichiki K.,Nagoya University
Physics Reports | Year: 2012

Magnetic fields appear wherever plasma and currents can be found. As such, they thread through all scales in Nature. It is natural, therefore, to suppose that magnetic fields might have been formed within the high temperature environments of the big bang. Such a primordial magnetic field (PMF) would be expected to arise from and/or influence a variety of cosmological phenomena such as inflation, cosmic phase transitions, big bang nucleosynthesis, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) temperature and polarization anisotropies, the cosmic gravity wave background, and the formation of large-scale structure. In this review, we summarize the development of theoretical models for analyzing the observational consequences of a PMF. We also summarize the current state of the art in the search for observational evidence of a PMF. In particular, we review the framework needed to calculate the effects of a PMF power spectrum on the CMB and the development of large scale structure. We summarize the current constraints on the PMF amplitude . BΛ and the power spectral index . nB and discuss prospects for better determining these quantities in the near future. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Makela J.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Otsuka Y.,Nagoya University
Space Science Reviews | Year: 2012

We present a review of the current state of understanding regarding two classes of irregularities causing mesoscale structuring (hundreds of kilometers) in the nighttime ionosphere at low- and mid-latitudes. Additionally, current state of understanding of equatorial plasma bubbles at low latitudes, and medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbances at mid latitudes and their relationship to possible seeding from lower altitudes are described. In each case, well-developed linear theories exist to explain the general properties of the irregularities. However, these linear theories have growth rates too low to explain the actual observations, giving rise to the need to invoke seeding mechanisms. We describe the observational databases that have been compiled over the decades and discuss possible coupling and seeding mechanisms that would overcome the low growth rate and explain the observed structuring at the mesoscale. Future research directions are also briefly discussed. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Page A.J.,Kyoto University | Ohta Y.,Nara Women's University | Irle S.,Nagoya University | Morokuma K.,Kyoto University | Morokuma K.,Emory University
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2010

Since their discovery in the early 1990s, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have spawned previously unimaginable commercial and industrial technologies. Their versatility stems from their unique electronic, physical/chemical, and mechanical properties, which set them apart from traditional materials. Many researchers have investigated SWNT growth mechanisms in the years since their discovery. The most prevalent of these is the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism, which is based on experimental observations. Within the VLS mechanism, researchers assume that the formation of a SWNT starts with co-condensation of carbon and metal atoms from vapor to form liquid metal carbide. Once the liquid reaches supersaturation, the solid phase nanotubes begin to grow. The growth process is partitioned into three distinct stages: nucleation of a carbon "cap-precursor," "cap-to- tube" transformation, and continued SWNT growth. In recent years, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have come to the fore with respect to SWNT growth. MD simulations lead to spatial and temporal resolutions of these processes that are superior to those possible using current experimental techniques, and so provide valuable information regarding the growth process that researchers cannot obtain experimentally. In this Account, we review our own recent efforts to simulate SWNT nucleation, growth, and healing phenomena on transition-metal catalysts using quantum mechanical molecular dynamics (QM/MD) methods. In particular, we have validated each stage of the SWNT condensation mechanism using a self-consistent-charge density-functional tight-binding (SCC-DFTB) methodology. With respect to the nucleation of a SWNT cap-precursor (stage 1), we have shown that the presence of a transition-metal carbide particle is not a necessary prerequisite for SWNT nucleation, contrary to conventional experimental presumptions. The formation and coalescence of polyyne chains on the metal surface occur first, followed by the formation of the SWNT cap-precursor, "ring condensation", and the creation of an sp 2-hybridized carbon structure. In our simulations, the nucleation process takes approximately 400 ps. This first step occurs over a much longer time scale than the second stage of SWNT condensation (approximately 50 ps). We therefore observe SWNT nucleation to be akin to the rate-limiting step of the SWNT formation process. In addition to the QM/MD simulation of various stages of SWNT nucleation, growth, and healing processes, we have determined the effects of temperature, catalyst composition, and catalyst size on the kinetics and mechanism of SWNT growth. With respect to temperature dependence, we observe a "sweet-spot" with respect to the efficiency of SWNT growth. In addition, Ni-catalyzed SWNT growth is observed to be 70-100% faster compared to Fe-catalyzed SWNT growth, depending on the catalyst particle size. We also observe a noticeable increase in SWNT growth rates using smaller catalyst particles. Finally, we review our recent QM/MD investigation of SWNT healing. In particular, we recount mechanisms by which adatom defects, monovacancy defects, and a "5-7 defect" are removed from a nascent SWNT. The effectiveness of these healing mechanisms depends on the rate at which carbon moieties are incorporated into the growing SWNT. Explicitly, we observe that healing is promoted using a slower carbon supply rate. From this rudimentary control of SWNT healing, we propose a route towards chirality-controlled SWNT growth. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Patent
Nagoya University and Medical & Biological Laboratories Co. | Date: 2015-06-10

A monoclonal antibody, which recognizes at least two amino acids among amino acids located at position 69, position 79, position 81 and position 102 of human midkine, has been found to have excellent reactivity with and excellent neutralizing activity against human midkine. Moreover, the activity of suppressing the proliferation of tumor has been observed in the antibody having excellent neutralizing activity. The use of the antibody of the present invention makes it possible to treat cancer effectively and to detect or purify midkine efficiently.


Patent
Medical & Biological Laboratories Co. and Nagoya University | Date: 2013-07-30

A monoclonal antibody, which recognizes at least two amino acids among amino acids located at position 69, position 79, position 81 and position 102 of human midkine, has been found to have excellent reactivity with and excellent neutralizing activity against human midkine. Moreover, the activity of suppressing the proliferation of tumor has been observed in the antibody having excellent neutralizing activity. The use of the antibody of the present invention makes it possible to treat cancer effectively and to detect or purify midkine efficiently.


Patent
Mitsubishi Group and Nagoya University | Date: 2010-05-03

An infrared detector comprises: a reflection portion which transmits far- and middle-infrared rays and which reflects near-infrared and visible rays; a photo-current generating portion having a plurality of layered quantum dot structures in each of which electrons are excited by the far- and middle-infrared rays having passed through the reflection portion so as to generate photo-current; a light emitting portion having a plurality of layered quantum well structures into each of which electrons of the photo-current generated by the photo-current generating portion are injected and in each of which the electrons thus injected thereinto are recombined with holes so as to emit near-infrared and visible rays; and a photo-detecting portion which detects the near-infrared and visible rays emitted from the light emitting portion and which detects the near-infrared and visible rays emitted from the light emitting portion and then reflected by the reflection portion. The reflection portion, the photo-current generating portion, and the light emitting portion are made of group III-V compound semiconductors that are layered on top of a semiconductor substrate.


Patent
Kowa Co. and Nagoya University | Date: 2010-03-31

The present invention is to provide an inhibitor that inhibits differentiation of T cells into Th1 cells. The inhibitor that inhibits differentiation of T cells into Th1 cells contains, as an active ingredient, pitavastatin or a salt thereof.


The present invention provides a method for testing mesothelioma comprising a step of determining a concentration of a human periostin protein in at least one type of sample of blood or pleural fluid of a subject. In the step of determining the concentration of human periostin protein, an antibody directed against human periostin protein may be used. The present invention further provides a kit for diagnosing mesothelioma, said kit comprising an antibody directed against human periostin protein. In the kit for diagnosing mesothelioma, the antibody directed against a human periostin protein may be an antibody that binds to a polypeptide consisting of an amino acid sequence set out in SE ID NO: 2.


Patent
Mitsubishi Group and Nagoya University | Date: 2011-04-06

Provided is an infrared detector comprising: a reflection portion (1) which transmits far- and middle-infrared rays and which reflects near-infrared and visible rays; a photo-current generating portion (2) having a plurality of layered quantum dot structures in each of which electrons are excited by the far- and middle-infrared rays having passed through the reflection portion (1) so as to generate photo-current; a light emitting portion (3) having a plurality of layered quantum well structures into each of which electrons of the photo-current generated by the photo-current generating portion (2) are injected and in each of which the electrons thus injected thereinto are recombined with holes so as to emit near-infrared and visible rays; and a photo-detecting portion (4) which detects the near-infrared and visible rays emitted from the light emitting portion (3) and which detects the near-infrared and visible rays emitted from the light emitting portion (3) and then reflected by the reflection portion (1). The reflection portion (1), the photo-current generating portion (2), and the light emitting portion (3) are made of group III-V compound semiconductors that are layered on top of a semiconductor substrate.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.2.1-01 | Award Amount: 3.10M | Year: 2013

VIALACTEA will bring to a common forum the major new-generation surveys of the Galactic Plane from 1um to the radio, both in thermal continuum and in atomic and molecular lines, from Europe-funded space missions and ground-based facilities, to engage one of the fundamental challenges in Galactic astronomy: to quantify Galaxy-wide the relationship between the physical agents responsible for the onset and the regulation of star formation in a spiral galaxy and the resulting Rate and Efficiency of star formation, and obtain a star formation recipe that will be a cornerstone to trace the star formation history of galaxies back to their formation. The new state-of-the-art Milky Way paradigm is offering today, for the first time, the possibility to deploy a coherent science analysis methodology that can be uniformly applied from the Galactic Center to the outskirts of the Galaxy. A homogeneous and inter-calibrated evolutionary classification of the cold and dense clumps hosting young forming clusters at a variety of evolutionary stages will allow to deliver a new 3D model of the Galaxy, mapping the essential critical parameters like column density thresholds, rate and efficiency of star formation in the Galaxy To make such an analysis possible in a timely and effective fashion, we will develop a suite of next-generation 3D-visualization tools that will integrate visual analytics, on-the-fly handling of multi-SED radiative transfer modeling and data mining/machine-learning technologies to incorporate the astronomers know-how into a set of supervised workflows with decision making capabilities. The focus on research and analysis of data obtained from European space missions in combination with data from Europe-funded ground facilities, will enable time-effective exploitation of steradiant-scale multi-wavelength Galactic Plane surveys through new 3D-based visual analytics frameworks, making VIALACTEAs objectives timely and totally relevant for FP7-SPACE-2013-1.


Patent
Nippon Oil Corporation and Nagoya University | Date: 2014-01-15

The present invention provides a method for producing a hydrocarbon fuel, comprising a first step of holding a mixture containing an aliphatic compound produced by algae, and a hydrocarbon solvent in which critical temperature is 90C or higher, in a supercritical state, with temperature and pressure adjusted so that a solubility of the aliphatic compound in the hydrocarbon solvent is 15 g or less per 100 g of the hydrocarbon solvent, and then recovering a soluble portion of the aliphatic compound in the hydrocarbon solvent; and a second step of subjecting the soluble portion recovered in the first step to hydrotreatment using a catalyst.


Patent
Nagoya University and Nippon Oil Corporation | Date: 2012-01-19

The present invention provides a method for producing a hydrocarbon fuel, comprising a first step of holding a mixture containing an aliphatic compound produced by algae, and a hydrocarbon solvent in which critical temperature is 90 C. or higher, in a supercritical state, with temperature and pressure adjusted so that a solubility of the aliphatic compound in the hydrocarbon solvent is 15 g or less per 100 g of the hydrocarbon solvent, and then recovering a soluble portion of the aliphatic compound in the hydrocarbon solvent; and a second step of subjecting the soluble portion recovered in the first step to hydrotreatment using a catalyst.


Patent
T Cell Technologies Inc., Nagoya University and Medical & Biological Laboratories Co. | Date: 2013-12-20

The invention is intended to further improve the operability, economic efficiency and safety in the preparation of antigen-specific CTLs. The invention provides a preparation kit used for a method for preparing antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, the method comprising: a first step for inducing antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, wherein the components of the first step include a culture medium contained in an injection vessel, a hermetically scaled culture vessel, and the like; a second step for preparing an activated T cell for antigen presentation, wherein the components of the second step include a culture medium contained in an injection vessel, a hermetically sealed culture vessel, and the like.; and a third step for proliferating antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, wherein the components of the third step include a culture medium contained in an injection vessel, a hermetically sealed separation vessel, a hermetically sealed culture vessel, and the like.


News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: www.newsmaker.com.au

Tsukuba, Japan - Scientists use fragments of RNA and DNA with specific nucleotide sequences to identify others with complementary sequences, indicating, for example, the presence of a specific kind of virus. Researchers in Japan have recently improved the existing probing techniques using a cyanine dye called Cy3. RNA and DNA "probes" are conventionally made using fragments of strands that have nucleotide sequences on either end that complement each other. A fluorescent chemical compound, called a "fluorophore", is added to one end of the probe and a "quencher" is added at the other. In the absence of its complementary "target", the single-stranded probe comes together in a hair-pin-like manner, with the complementary sequences at either end of the strand binding together, bringing the fluorophore and quencher close to each other and turning down, or "quenching", the fluorophore's fluorescence. However, when a probe is present in a sample with its complementary target RNA, the probe strand "opens up" to combine with its target, allowing its detection when light is shone and the fluorophore fluoresces. This method is widely used, but the response of the hair-pin-like probe to its targets is relatively slow. A team of researchers from Nagoya University and the Japan Science and Technology Agency developed a new probe design based on Cy3 as the fluorophore. Cy3 and the quencher (nitro methyl red) were incorporated into either end of a linear strand that lacked the self-complementary sequences found in conventional probes. Even so, Cy3 and the quencher were drawn to each other spontaneously to form a highly stable complex in the absence of a target, quenching Cy3's fluorescence. In the presence of a complementary target, a strong fluorescence response was observed, which was ten times faster compared to conventional techniques. The team optimized its design by incorporating two Cy3 residues separated by two nucleotide bases on one end of the probe strand, and two nitro methyl red residues separated by two nucleotide bases on the other end. This optimized design detected RNA with high efficiency and sensitivity. Because Cy3 and nitro methyl red are able to combine in the probe, quenching fluorescence, without the need for self-complementary pairing, "this strategy will be applicable to the design of peptide-based probes," conclude the researchers in their paper published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. Peptide probes are chains of linked amino acids that can be designed to bind with specific cell receptors, making them useful in tumor receptor imaging, for example. For further information please contact:  Professor Hiromu Kashida, * Professor Hiroyuki Asanuma, Nagoya University - Graduate School of Engineering, * [email protected] Article information  Hiromu Kashida, Kazuhiro Morimoto, Hiroyuki Asanuma, "A stem-less probe using spontaneous pairing between Cy3 and quencher for RNA detection"  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14686996.2016.1182412 Science and Technology of Advanced Materials (STAM, http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tsta20/current) is an international open access journal in materials science. The journal covers a broad spectrum of topics, including synthesis, processing, theoretical analysis and experimental characterization of materials. Emphasis is placed on the interdisciplinary nature of materials science and on issues at the forefront of the field, such as energy and environmental issues, as well as medical and bioengineering applications. For more information about STAM contact Mikiko Tanifuji Publishing Director Science and Technology of Advanced Materials E-mail: [email protected] Press release distributed by ResearchSEA for Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.


News Article | November 7, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Cyanine dyes could improve the efficiency of molecular probes in identifying, for example, the presence of a virus or a tumor receptor. Scientists use fragments of RNA and DNA with specific nucleotide sequences to identify others with complementary sequences, indicating, for example, the presence of a specific kind of virus. Researchers in Japan have recently improved the existing probing techniques using a cyanine dye called Cy3. RNA and DNA "probes" are conventionally made using fragments of strands that have nucleotide sequences on either end that complement each other. A fluorescent chemical compound, called a "fluorophore," is added to one end of the probe and a "quencher" is added at the other. In the absence of its complementary "target," the single-stranded probe comes together in a hair-pin-like manner, with the complementary sequences at either end of the strand binding together, bringing the fluorophore and quencher close to each other and turning down, or "quenching," the fluorophore's fluorescence. However, when a probe is present in a sample with its complementary target RNA, the probe strand "opens up" to combine with its target, allowing its detection when light is shone and the fluorophore fluoresces. This method is widely used, but the response of the hair-pin-like probe to its targets is relatively slow. A team of researchers from Nagoya University and the Japan Science and Technology Agency developed a new probe design based on Cy3 as the fluorophore. Cy3 and the quencher (nitro methyl red) were incorporated into either end of a linear strand that lacked the self-complementary sequences found in conventional probes. Even so, Cy3 and the quencher were drawn to each other spontaneously to form a highly stable complex in the absence of a target, quenching Cy3's fluorescence. In the presence of a complementary target, a strong fluorescence response was observed, which was ten times faster compared to conventional techniques. The team optimized its design by incorporating two Cy3 residues separated by two nucleotide bases on one end of the probe strand, and two nitro methyl red residues separated by two nucleotide bases on the other end. This optimized design detected RNA with high efficiency and sensitivity. Because Cy3 and nitro methyl red are able to combine in the probe, quenching fluorescence, without the need for self-complementary pairing, "this strategy will be applicable to the design of peptide-based probes," conclude the researchers in their paper published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. Peptide probes are chains of linked amino acids that can be designed to bind with specific cell receptors, making them useful in tumor receptor imaging, for example.


ELANORA-GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA, November 22, 2016-- Professor Dr. Henry O Meissner (also known in earlier years of his career under full name Ostrowski-Meissner) has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Professor Dr. Meissner is a three-time graduate of the Agricultural University of Kraków, from which he holds a Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry, a Master of Science in environmental physiology, and a Bachelor of Science in agricultural sciences. For more than five decades, he has utilized his educational foundation in his career as a nutritional biochemist and educator. Professor Dr. Meissner has devoted his work to the prevention and intervention of metabolic and medical conditions through standardized bioavailable herbal therapeutic products, non-invasive therapies and functional health foods, with special consideration to environmental and ecological factors. He is noted for his research in all aspects of nutritional biochemistry and manufacturing technology of herbal extracts, as well as herbal extraction technology and application of standardized herbal extracts in dietary and therapeutic practice. His work has led to the development of production lines and a variety of unique proprietary therapeutic and functional products for different companies in Australia and internationally.Since 1986, Professor Dr. Meissner has served as the executive director of research and development for TTD International. The company, which is primarily concerned with natural health services and food technology, supports his efforts to create preventive and therapeutic programs for specific groups of people, such as diabetics, athletes, the overweight, those with celiac disease and women with pre- & post-menopausal symptoms. Professor Dr. Meissner has developed and introduced to the international market a variety of novel functional foods, therapeutic preparations, raw standardized active herbal ingredients, and ready-to-use dietary supplements and therapeutics derived through non-chemical extraction of freshly-harvested biomass of organically-cultivated medicinal plants.Passionate about environmental pollution caused by plastic waste, Professor Dr. Meissner spent about 10 years on applied research related to biodegradable polymers used as packaging material, including potable water, various liquids, and dried and fresh food. He also involved himself in the study and introduction of electro-chemically activated, non-toxic water sanitizer for use in public and commercial facilities as a non-toxic disinfectant for processing equipment, as well as a preservative for fresh foods and non-chemical sanitizer for pure and contaminant-free communal water supply. Further achievements include designing an environmentally friendly, solar-powered bio-sanitation system for the delivery of potable water through purification using non-chemical disinfecting sanitation of contaminated water sources. The water is delivered in various biodegradable flexible plastic packaging forms to communities in need of pure water and medical intervention in locations worldwide. Additionally, as an extension to his work in therapeutic research, Professor Dr. Meissner has designed and introduced to the market therapeutic devices for personal use, such as a hand-held multi-channel personal pulse magnetic device and personal dual photo-spectral device for dermal regeneration.Professor Dr. Meissner has parlayed his knowledge into a number of research and teaching positions over the years, including at Sydney University, CSIRO-Australia, Nagoya University in Japan, Hubei Agricultural College in China, the Chinese Academy of Science (both Agricultural and then Medical Sciences), Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, NSW, Australia and Research Institute of Medicinal Plants in Poland. He has also held leadership, international research coordinator and consultant roles with a multitude of organizations and institutions nationwide. Professor Dr. Meissner has authored 23 books and contributed more than 300 articles to professional journals. His many accomplishments were taken into consideration when he was chosen to be featured in the 2nd through 8th editions of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, as well as several editions of Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in Science and Engineering.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com


News Article | December 15, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nagoya, Japan - Aromatic molecules consist of planar carbon-based rings with alternating single and double (π) bonds. These molecules contain 4n+2 (n = 0, 1, 2 ...) π electrons--π electrons are those involved in π bonds--which results in high stability because the π electrons delocalize over the ring structure. Aromatic molecules can interact through offset π-π stacking, and the overlap of π orbitals in aromatic structures with π-π stacking can facilitate electron conduction, making such materials attractive for use in electronics. The overlap between π orbitals would be increased if π-π stacking was face-to-face rather than offset. However, face-to-face stacking is energetically unfavorable in aromatic molecules because of the repulsion of π electrons. Theoretical studies have indicated that face-to-face interactions between molecules may be achieved using antiaromatic materials. Antiaromatic molecules contain 4n (n = 1, 2 ...) π electrons, which makes them highly unstable. It has been postulated that the two-dimensional stacking of antiaromatic materials may result in the formation of materials with three-dimensional aromaticity. However, this had not been verified experimentally as antiaromatic materials are difficult to synthesize because of their instability. Recently, an international collaboration led by researchers at Nagoya University achieved a breakthrough in two-dimensional stacking of antiaromatic materials. They synthesized nickel complexes of antiaromatic planar norcorrole macrocycles. The study was reported in Nature Communications. "We synthesized stable antiaromatic nickel norcorroles and then investigated their interactions," first author Ryo Nozawa says. X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the norcorrole complex stacked to form a "triple-decker" structure with the norcorrole planes much closer together than observed for typical π-π stacking interactions. The triple-decker structure displayed aromatic characteristics, unlike its norcorrole subunits. The researchers then fabricated a molecule containing two antiaromatic norcorrole units linked by a flexible bridge. "Our characterization results indicate that the two norcorrole units assume face-to-face interactions to form a molecule with higher aromaticity than that of the norcorrole subunit," coauthor Hiroshi Shinokubo explains. "That is, there is strong three-dimensional electronic communication between the norcorrole subunits." The stacking of antiaromatic units gave closer interactions than that achieved when stacking aromatic units together, corroborating theoretical predictions. The resulting materials had extremely close π-conjugated systems, which should result in large intermolecular orbital interactions. As a result, these materials are interesting for application in optoelectronics. The researchers also found that the stacked antiaromatic materials displayed nonlinear optical properties that were regulated by the formation of supramolecular structures. A material has nonlinear optical properties when it does not respond linearly to the electric field of light. Such materials are attractive for use in nanofabrication and photodynamic therapy, suggesting possible future applications of norcorrole-based compounds. The article "Stacked antiaromatic porphyrins" was published in Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13620).


News Article | August 26, 2016
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Home > Press > A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films Abstract: Researchers discovered a procedure to restore defective graphene oxide structures that cause the material to display low carrier mobility. By applying a high-temperature reduction treatment in an ethanol environment, defective structures were restored, leading to the formation of a highly crystalline graphene film with excellent band-like transport. These findings are expected to come into use in scalable production techniques of highly crystalline graphene films. Graphene is a material with excellent electric conductivity, mechanical strength, chemical stability, and a large surface area. Its structure consists of a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms. Due to its positive attributes, research on its synthesis and application to electronic devices is being conducted around the world. While it is possible to create graphene from graphene oxide (GO), a material produced by chemical exfoliation from graphite through oxidative treatment, this treatment causes defective structures and the existence of oxygen-containing groups, causing GO to display low conducting properties. So far, carrier mobility, the basic indicator with which transistor performance is expressed, remained at a few cm2/Vs at most. A group of researchers led by Ryota Negishi, assistant professor, and Yoshihiro Kobayashi, professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University; Masashi Akabori, associate professor, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; Takahiro Ito, associate professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University; and Yoshio Watanabe, Vice Director, Aichi Synchrotron Radiation Center, have developed a reduction treatment through which the crystallinity of GO was drastically improved. The researchers coated a substrate with 1-3 extremely thin layers of GO and added a small amount of ethanol to the up to 1100°C high temperature reduction process. The addition of the carbon-based ethanol gas led to the effective restoration of the defective graphene structure. For the first time in the world, this group managed to observe a band-like transport reflecting the intrinsic electric transport properties in chemically reduced GO films. Band-like transport is a conduction mechanism in which the carriers use the periodic electric mechanisms in solid crystals as a transmission wave. The observed band transport in this study achieved a carrier mobility of ~210 cm2/Vs, currently the highest level observed in chemically reduced GO films. The successful creation of thin graphene films achieved through the above reduction method has opened up the possibility of their application in a diverse set of electronic devices and sensors. The findings of this research group form a milestone in the development of scalable materials that utilize graphene's excellent physical properties. This research was featured in Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) on July 1, 2016. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Research team develops new approach to strengthen polymer gels by changing the length of polymer 'thread' per molecular 'bead' Nagoya, Japan - A polymer gel consists of a three-dimensional cross-linked polymer network swollen with liquid molecules. However, most conventional polymer gels are brittle because stress concentration readily occurs in their cross-linked polymer network structure. The mechanical properties of polymer gels need to be improved to facilitate their application as, for example, molecular sieves and superabsorbent materials. An international researcher team from Nagoya University and The University of Tokyo have now found a way to increase the fracture resistance of polymer gels using a design based on molecular "beads" and polymer "threads." The molecular beads are modified cyclodextrin rings, which are threaded onto polyethylene glycol (PEG) threads. The cyclodextrin rings contain groups that allow the threaded structures to be cross-linked to form a three-dimensional polymer network that can be used as a polymer gel. The findings were recently published in ChemComm. "We investigated the effect of the molecular weight of PEG per cyclodextrin ring on the strain and rupture strength of the resulting gels," study coauthor Yukikazu Takeoka says. The researchers found that their polymer gels are resistant to fracture because the cyclodextrin beads can slide along the PEG threads when a force is applied, preventing stress concentration. The magnitude of this effect increases with the molecular weight of PEG per cyclodextrin ring, resulting in gels with greater strain and rupture strength. That is, the ability of the cyclodextrin beads to slide along the polymer threads increases with the length of thread between beads. "The ability to improve the fracture resistance of polymer gels by increasing the molecular weight of polymer units for each cross-linking cyclodextrin ring is a convenient solution to overcome the problem of the brittleness of conventional polymer gels," lead author Kana Ohmori explains. This approach to improve strain and rupture strength using mobile cross-linking molecular beads threaded on polymer chains should allow polymer gels with desired mechanical properties to be fabricated. The article "Molecular weight dependency of polyrotaxane-cross-linked polymer gel extensibility" was published in ChemComm at DOI: 10.1039/c6cc07641f


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Scientists in Japan have revealed that if a glassy solid possesses a planar (sheet-like) structure, it can exhibit enhanced thermal vibration motion due to the same mechanism known for the planar crystals (two-dimensional crystals), by using large-scale simulations on supercomputers. "Imagine if we could make a sheet of glass, which has a two-dimensional (2D) planate shape," says Dr. Hayato Shiba, of Tohoku University's Institute for Materials Research (IMR). "In such a confined spatial dimension, a variety of novel phenomena takes place in usual "periodic" systems (crystals, spin systems etc.). This is due to the thermal motion of the constituents taking place on a larger scale because of the limited spatial dimensions." Such enhanced thermal motion is known to induce new physical phenomena which Shiba, and his research team of Yasunori Yamada (IMR), Takeshi Kawasaki (Nagoya University) and Kang Kim (Osaka University), hope will lead the development of new functional materials and devices necessary for the realization of energy-saving societies. However, it is still uncertain whether 2D glass, as an "non-periodic" system, exhibits such enhanced thermal motions. "Our result indicates that 2D glass can become soft, gradually and forever, as we go to the macroscopic scales. Consequently, the vibration amplitude becomes infinite because of the large-scale motions," says Shiba. "In other words, such materials might exhibit strong responses to external fields or deformation. The thermal vibration is perfectly different from that in a 3D glass, and it can even alter the fundamental nature of vitrification and glassy phase transition." In the experiments, 2D glass was experimentally realized using colloidal systems, and can also be realized using other soft and hard materials.


News Article | March 23, 2016
Site: phys.org

In order to adapt to the alternation between day and night caused by the rotation of the earth, many organisms possess a circadian clock (biological clock) that is regulated by their genes. Nevertheless, the interplay of genes that are related to the plant's circadian clock is still not fully understood. In a new study, published online in the journal Plant Cell, a team of biologists led by Norihito Nakamichi at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (WPI-ITbM) in Nagoya University, has uncovered that the clock genes produced during the evening are regulated by clock proteins produced in the morning. The team has also discovered that these evening clock genes are responsible for plants to carry out biological processes to respond to the environment during the evening. In order to prepare for the cold temperature during the evening, plants prepare responses to drought stress, transmit signals from plant hormones, regulate the opening and closing of their stomata, and produce wax to prevent loss of water. Many of the crops that we see nowadays are selected species with optimized properties that are regulated by their circadian clock. For example, in Japan, early flowering wheat cultivars are grown so that it can be harvested before the rainy season arrives. Early flowering cultivars have been generated as a result of modulation of circadian clock-associated genes. Nakamichi and his colleagues' discovery on a set of key clock genes for drought resistance in plants may make it possible to generate optimized plant species to grow in specified environments through modification of the circadian clock. The circadian clock in many organisms consists of an approximately 24-hour cycle. In plants, they use their circadian clock so that the appropriate biological processes occur at the right time of the day. For example, sudden daylight will generate reactive oxygen species that are toxic to plants, so the plants start to synthesize molecules that will remove the reactive oxygen species before sunrise. During the afternoon, plants make themselves ready to deal with the cold temperatures that will follow sunset. In this manner, plants use their biological clock to respond in beforehand to the changes in their surrounding environment that are caused by variation in time. The circadian clock is considered to consist of mutual regulation between multiple genes, but this complicated network of genes and molecules has not been fully clarified. Norihito Nakamichi, an associate professor at ITbM and a leader of this study who has been carrying out plant circadian clock since 2004, decided to look into how various biological events are regulated by the clock. "The reason why I am interested in studying the biological clock is because I really like the logic behind how various biological processes are brought about by the plant's complex clock network," speaks Nakamichi. "Since 2011, we have been trying to find the key factor that regulates the expression of the gene that is transcribed during the afternoon," says Nakamichi. The group used PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR 5 (PRR5), which is a clock gene of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. "We first hypothesized that CCA1, which is a clock protein that is generated during sunrise, binds to a specific DNA sequence that is involved in the expression of the target gene PRR5," describes Nakamichi. "We collected the CCA1 protein bound to DNA by a technique called Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and analyzed the DNA sequence by rapid DNA sequencing." Although rapid DNA sequencing is a well-known technique, comprehensive analysis of the DNA sequences can be a rather complicated process. "We actually had to go back and forth many times until we were able to identify that the PRR5 gene appears at the regulatory region at a high frequency," continues Nakamichi. "I was extremely excited when I saw the data suggesting that the CCA1 protein directly acts towards the regulatory region of the PRR5 gene and has a major effect on it." In addition, the group found in the plant cell's chromosome, the target DNA region of the CCA1 clock protein. "We found many genes that are expressed in the evening nearby the DNA region that CCA1 binds to," explains Nakamichi. Some of these genes are responsible for the plant's responses to drought stress, transmission of the signals from the plant hormone, abscisic acid, regulation of the opening and closing of stomata, and production of wax. "The results of our studies suggests that the CCA1 protein induces these biological processes to occur at a specific time during the evening." "Plants have a sophisticated clock system where the appropriate biological processes occur at the correct time of the day. If the CCA1 protein did not function in the morning, the plant will start preparing for the cold and prevent water loss during the day," says Nakamichi. "By being able to switch on and off the function of the clock proteins at the correct time, this may facilitate growth of plants that are adaptable in different climates," he continues. "The genes related to the circadian clock are common in many plants. Many of the crops that have been selected so far are actually ones that had sudden changes, either naturally or artificially, in the genes that control their circadian clock," says Nakamichi. "We believe that our work has contributed to further understanding of the molecular mechanism of the circadian clock in Arabidopsis thaliana, and we hope that this will help to enable the appropriate tuning of the circadian clock in many other plant species." Explore further: New research alters concept of how circadian clock functions More information: Mari Kamioka et al. Direct repression of evening genes by CIRCADIAN CLOCK-ASSOCIATED 1 in Arabidopsis circadian clock, The Plant Cell (2016). DOI: 10.1105/tpc.15.00737


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nagoya, Japan - Plant growth and development relies on the movement of mineral ions from the soil to the transport system of root cells (xylem tissue) and subsequent transfer to the shoot. Because this process usually occurs against a concentration gradient, passive diffusion is prevented and homeostasis ensured by the presence of a waterproof lignin-rich barrier known as the Casparian strip that surrounds xylem and phloem tissue in a ring. Several proteins were known to be necessary for Casparian strip formation, including the receptor kinase GSO1/SGN3. Now, work at Nagoya University has identified peptide hormone ligands within the center of the root that bind the GSO1/SGN3 receptor and regulate Casparian strip assembly in response to developmental and environmental cues. The study was reported in Science. Genes encoding the precursors of peptide hormones are present in multiple copies in plant genomes, and the pre-peptides carry a conserved domain. Armed with this knowledge, the researchers used a screening process to identify two peptides, which they named Casparian strip integrity factor (CIF)1 and CIF2, from a wider peptide family that were needed for complete Casparian strip formation in the roots of the model plant Arabidopsis. CIF1 and CIF2 expression was limited to the central section of the root (the stele) containing the xylem and phloem. Knockdown of the genes encoding CIF1 and CIF2 resulted in a "leaky" barrier that allowed movement of an experimental dye into the xylem. This phenotype resembled that seen in plants with mutations in the gene encoding the GSO1/SGN3 receptor. "Lignin autofluorescence and live-cell imaging revealed disruption of the barrier in the absence of the peptide ligands or receptor," corresponding author Yoshikatsu Matsubayashi says, "while the addition of synthetic CIF1 to the ligand mutant, but not the receptor mutant, restored barrier integrity as binding of the receptor-ligand encouraged lignin deposition." CIF peptides were also shown to be necessary for maintenance as well as formation of the Casparian strip. The ligand mutant was more sensitive to high iron levels in the soil than wild-type, showing stunted growth and bronzing of the leaves which was overcome by the addition of synthetic CIF1. These growth defects likely reflect the high iron observed in the xylem sap of these mutants, indicative of barrier leakage. "Interestingly, CIF1 and CIF2 gene expression was up-regulated by high iron levels, particularly under high acidity" Matsubayashi says. "This reveals an active strategy by higher plants to overcome adverse growth conditions." The article, "A peptide hormone required for Casparian strip diffusion barrier formation in Arabidopsis roots" was published in Science at DOI: 10.1126/science.aai9057


Researchers discovered a procedure to restore defective graphene oxide structures that cause the material to display low carrier mobility. By applying a high-temperature reduction treatment in an ethanol environment, defective structures were restored, leading to the formation of a highly crystalline graphene film with excellent band-like transport. These findings are expected to come into use in scalable production techniques of highly crystalline graphene films. Graphene is a material with excellent electric conductivity, mechanical strength, chemical stability, and a large surface area. Its structure consists of a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms. Due to its positive attributes, research on its synthesis and application to electronic devices is being conducted around the world. While it is possible to create graphene from graphene oxide (GO), a material produced by chemical exfoliation from graphite through oxidative treatment, this treatment causes defective structures and the existence of oxygen-containing groups, causing GO to display low conducting properties. So far, carrier mobility, the basic indicator with which transistor performance is expressed, remained at a few cm2/Vs at most. A group of researchers led by Ryota Negishi, assistant professor, and Yoshihiro Kobayashi, professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University; Masashi Akabori, associate professor, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; Takahiro Ito, associate professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University; and Yoshio Watanabe, Vice Director, Aichi Synchrotron Radiation Center, have developed a reduction treatment through which the crystallinity of GO was drastically improved. The researchers coated a substrate with 1-3 extremely thin layers of GO and added a small amount of ethanol to the up to 1100°C high temperature reduction process. The addition of the carbon-based ethanol gas led to the effective restoration of the defective graphene structure. For the first time in the world, this group managed to observe a band-like transport reflecting the intrinsic electric transport properties in chemically reduced GO films. Band-like transport is a conduction mechanism in which the carriers use the periodic electric mechanisms in solid crystals as a transmission wave. The observed band transport in this study achieved a carrier mobility of ~210 cm2/Vs, currently the highest level observed in chemically reduced GO films. The successful creation of thin graphene films achieved through the above reduction method has opened up the possibility of their application in a diverse set of electronic devices and sensors. The findings of this research group form a milestone in the development of scalable materials that utilize graphene's excellent physical properties. This research was featured in Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) on July 1, 2016.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nagoya University researchers develop cold plasma-activated Ringer's solution for chemotherapy; the solution has anti-tumor effects in vitro and in vivo that derive from the lactate component Nagoya, Japan - Physical plasma is one of the four fundamental states of matter, together with solid, liquid, and gas, and can be completely or partially ionized (thermal/hot or non-thermal/cold plasma, respectively). Non-thermal plasma has many industrial applications, but plasma medicine is a new field of therapy based on non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma that has been used in cancer treatment, wound healing, and blood coagulation. Plasma is known to react with air to produce highly reactive free radicals, and with liquid to produce long-lived reactive molecules that can be used for chemotherapy. However, the exact components responsible for the anti-tumor effects were unknown. Now, a research team based at Nagoya University used plasma to activate Ringer's solution, a salt solution with existing therapeutic functions, and showed that its lactate component had anti-tumor effects. The study was reported in Scientific Reports. Previous work by the researchers developed plasma-activated cell culture medium as a form of chemotherapy, but selected Ringer's solution in the present work because of its simpler composition and likelihood of forming less complex reaction products. Ringer's lactate solution (Lactec) was irradiated with plasma for 3-5 minutes, after which it demonstrated anti-tumor effects on brain tumor cells. Other plasma-activated solutions have previously been shown to induce reactive oxygen species within cells, but these were not detected in plasma-activated Lactec (PAL)-treated cells, suggesting an alternative mechanism triggered cell death. Analysis of PAL identified high levels of hydrogen peroxide, which is a known anti-tumor factor and the probable cause of cell death. Lactec contains lactate and the salts sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and potassium chloride, in addition to water, so the team systematically analyzed plasma-activated synthetic versions of each component to identify which was responsible for killing cancer cells. "Only lactate demonstrated anti-tumor properties and generated hydrogen peroxide following plasma irradiation," first author Hiromasa Tanaka says. "This indicates that activated lactate increases intracellular hydrogen peroxide levels which cause apoptosis of the tumor cells." Some cell types were not killed by treatment with PAL, suggesting it could be used as a specific tumor therapy. "PAL also appears to be safe for use in vivo," corresponding author Kae Nakamura says, "as we observed no adverse effects when PAL successfully reduced the tumor volume of mice." The article "Non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma activates lactate in Ringer's solution for anti-tumor effects" was published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports at DOI: 10.1038/srep36282


News Article | November 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nagoya, Japan - Prof. Ryotaro Matsuda, the Graduate School of Engineering at Nagoya University, and Prof. Susumu Kitagawa, the Department of Synthetic Chemistry & Biological Chemistry and the Director of the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University, won the contest "Air Liquide Essential Molecules Challenge." For the first edition of the challenge, their research project was selected as one in three from a total of 130 scientific proposals submitted by academic teams, R&D departments, and start-ups from 25 countries. Essential molecules, such as O , N , C H , CO, CO , NO, NO , and/or noble gases, are fundamental resources for our cultural lives. However, as a gas storage and carrier requires a huge energy which may cause even an unexpected risk, innovative new materials are in high demand to handle the gases under a lower pressure and a room temperature. In particular, if pocketable materials are invented to safely carry the gases, for instance in the situation of medical use, this will make our life at home more convenient. Prof. Kitagawa of the research team was the first to discover and to demonstrate "porosity" for metal complexes with gas sorption experiments in 1997, whose materials are called porous coordination polymers (PCPs) or metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Since then working with Prof. Kitagawa, Prof. Matsuda has driven the expansion of the concept to "function integrated nanospace," to develop further practical materials with the functions of molecular adsorption and separation. Their achievements have blazed a trail to a new era for porous materials, vital to addressing energy and environmental issues and contributing to human welfare. In this starting new collaborative project, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, and Air Liquide will reinforce the innovative nanoporous materials, or "sponge materials," to be identified for highly efficient abilities in separation, storage, and release of gas molecules. "Encouraged by this opportunity, we will open up a new research field in gas science and technology," Prof. Matsuda expects. For each subject, the winners will receive a scientific award of 50,000 euros in recognition of the originality of the projects, which offer innovative solutions promoting the energy and environmental transition. Air Liquide will also further fund up to 1.5 million euros in collaborations with the winners to mature their scientific proposals and transform them into innovative market technologies.


Home > Press > Scientists guide gold nanoparticles to form 'diamond' superlattices: DNA scaffolds cage and coax nanoparticles into position to form crystalline arrangements that mimic the atomic structure of diamond Abstract: Using bundled strands of DNA to build Tinkertoy-like tetrahedral cages, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have devised a way to trap and arrange nanoparticles in a way that mimics the crystalline structure of diamond. The achievement of this complex yet elegant arrangement, as described in a paper published February 5, 2016, in Science, may open a path to new materials that take advantage of the optical and mechanical properties of this crystalline structure for applications such as optical transistors, color-changing materials, and lightweight yet tough materials. "We solved a 25-year challenge in building diamond lattices in a rational way via self-assembly," said Oleg Gang, a physicist who led this research at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at Brookhaven Lab in collaboration with scientists from Stony Brook University, Wesleyan University, and Nagoya University in Japan. The scientists employed a technique developed by Gang that uses fabricated DNA as a building material to organize nanoparticles into 3D spatial arrangements. They used ropelike bundles of double-helix DNA to create rigid, three-dimensional frames, and added dangling bits of single-stranded DNA to bind particles coated with complementary DNA strands. "We're using precisely shaped DNA constructs made as a scaffold and single-stranded DNA tethers as a programmable glue that matches up particles according to the pairing mechanism of the genetic code-A binds with T, G binds with C," said Wenyan Liu of the CFN, the lead author on the paper. "These molecular constructs are building blocks for creating crystalline lattices made of nanoparticles." The difficulty of diamond As Liu explained, "Building diamond superlattices from nano- and micro-scale particles by means of self-assembly has proven remarkably difficult. It challenges our ability to manipulate matter on small scales." The reasons for this difficulty include structural features such as a low packing fraction-meaning that in a diamond lattice, in contrast to many other crystalline structures, particles occupy only a small part of the lattice volume-and strong sensitivity to the way bonds between particles are oriented. "Everything must fit together in just such a way without any shift or rotation of the particles' positions," Gang said. "Since the diamond structure is very open, many things can go wrong, leading to disorder." "Even to build such structures one-by-one would be challenging," Liu added, "and we needed to do so by self-assembly because there is no way to manipulate billions of nanoparticles one-by-one." Gang's previous success using DNA to construct a wide range of nanoparticle arrays suggested that a DNA-based approach might work in this instance. DNA guides assembly The team first used the ropelike DNA bundles to build tetrahedral "cages"-a 3D object with four triangular faces. They added single-stranded DNA tethers pointing toward the interior of the cages using T,G,C,A sequences that matched up with complementary tethers attached to gold nanoparticles. When mixed in solution, the complementary tethers paired up to "trap" one gold nanoparticle inside each tetrahedron cage. The arrangement of gold nanoparticles outside the cages was guided by a different set of DNA tethers attached at the vertices of the tetrahedrons. Each set of vertices bound with complementary DNA tethers attached to a second set of gold nanoparticles. When mixed and annealed, the tetrahedral arrays formed superlattices with long-range order where the positions of the gold nanoparticles mimics the arrangement of carbon atoms in a lattice of diamond, but at a scale about 100 times larger. "Although this assembly scenario might seem hopelessly unconstrained, we demonstrate experimentally that our approach leads to the desired diamond lattice, drastically streamlining the assembly of such a complex structure," Gang said. The proof is in the images. The scientists used cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) to verify the formation of tetrahedral frames by reconstructing their 3D shape from multiple images. Then they used in-situ small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS, https://www.bnl.gov/ps/), and cryo scanning transmission electron microscopy (cryo-STEM) at the CFN, to image the arrays of nanoparticles in the fully constructed lattice. "Our approach relies on the self-organization of the triangularly shaped blunt vertices of the tetrahedra (so called 'footprints') on isotropic spherical particles. Those triangular footprints bind to spherical particles coated with complementary DNA, which allows the particles to coordinate their arrangement in space relative to one another. However, the footprints can arrange themselves in a variety of patterns on a sphere. It turns that one particular placement is more favorable, and it corresponds to the unique 3D placement of particles that locks the diamond lattice," Gang said. The team supported their interpretation of the experimental results using theoretical modeling that provided insight about the main factors driving the successful formation of diamond lattices. Sparkling implications "This work brings to the nanoscale the crystallographic complexity seen in atomic systems," said Gang, who noted that the method can readily be expanded to organize particles of different material compositions. The group has demonstrated previously that DNA-assembly methods can be applied to optical, magnetic, and catalytic nanoparticles as well, and will likely yield the long-sought novel optical and mechanical materials scientists have envisioned. "We've demonstrated a new paradigm for creating complex 3D-ordered structures via self-assembly. If you can build this challenging lattice, the thinking is you can build potentially a variety of desired lattices," he said. ### This work was funded by the DOE Office of Science. CFN and NSLS are DOE Office of Science User Facilities. About Brookhaven National Laboratory Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov. One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | February 5, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

Using bundled strands of DNA to build Tinkertoy-like tetrahedral cages, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have devised a way to trap and arrange nanoparticles in a way that mimics the crystalline structure of diamond. The achievement of this complex yet elegant arrangement, as described in a paper published today in Science, may open a path to new materials that take advantage of the optical and mechanical properties of this crystalline structure for applications such as optical transistors, color-changing materials, and lightweight yet tough materials. "We solved a 25-year challenge in building diamond lattices in a rational way via self-assembly," says Oleg Gang, a physicist who led this research at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at Brookhaven Lab in collaboration with scientists from Stony Brook University, Wesleyan University, and Nagoya University in Japan. The scientists employed a technique developed by Gang that uses fabricated DNA as a building material to organize nanoparticles into 3D spatial arrangements. They used ropelike bundles of double-helix DNA to create rigid, three-dimensional frames, and added dangling bits of single-stranded DNA to bind particles coated with complementary DNA strands. "We're using precisely shaped DNA constructs made as a scaffold and single-stranded DNA tethers as a programmable glue that matches up particles according to the pairing mechanism of the genetic code — A binds with T, G binds with C," says Wenyan Liu of the CFN, the lead author on the paper. "These molecular constructs are building blocks for creating crystalline lattices made of nanoparticles." As Liu explains, "Building diamond superlattices from nano- and micro-scale particles by means of self-assembly has proven remarkably difficult. It challenges our ability to manipulate matter on small scales." The reasons for this difficulty include structural features such as a low packing fraction — meaning that in a diamond lattice, in contrast to many other crystalline structures, particles occupy only a small part of the lattice volume — and strong sensitivity to the way bonds between particles are oriented. "Everything must fit together in just such a way without any shift or rotation of the particles' positions," Gang said. "Since the diamond structure is very open, many things can go wrong, leading to disorder." "Even to build such structures one-by-one would be challenging," Liu adds, "and we needed to do so by self-assembly because there is no way to manipulate billions of nanoparticles one-by-one." Gang's previous success using DNA to construct a wide range of nanoparticle arrays suggests that a DNA-based approach might work in this instance. The team first used the ropelike DNA bundles to build tetrahedral "cages" — a 3D object with four triangular faces. They added single-stranded DNA tethers pointing toward the interior of the cages using T,G,C,A sequences that matched up with complementary tethers attached to gold nanoparticles. When mixed in solution, the complementary tethers paired up to "trap" one gold nanoparticle inside each tetrahedron cage. The arrangement of gold nanoparticles outside the cages was guided by a different set of DNA tethers attached at the vertices of the tetrahedrons. Each set of vertices bound with complementary DNA tethers attached to a second set of gold nanoparticles. When mixed and annealed, the tetrahedral arrays formed superlattices with long-range order where the positions of the gold nanoparticles mimics the arrangement of carbon atoms in a lattice of diamond, but at a scale about 100 times larger. "Although this assembly scenario might seem hopelessly unconstrained, we demonstrate experimentally that our approach leads to the desired diamond lattice, drastically streamlining the assembly of such a complex structure," Gang says. The proof is in the images. The scientists used cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) to verify the formation of tetrahedral frames by reconstructing their 3D shape from multiple images. Then they used in-situ small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), and cryo scanning transmission electron microscopy (cryo-STEM) at the CFN, to image the arrays of nanoparticles in the fully constructed lattice. "Our approach relies on the self-organization of the triangularly shaped blunt vertices of the tetrahedra (so called 'footprints') on isotropic spherical particles. Those triangular footprints bind to spherical particles coated with complementary DNA, which allows the particles to coordinate their arrangement in space relative to one another. However, the footprints can arrange themselves in a variety of patterns on a sphere. It turns that one particular placement is more favorable, and it corresponds to the unique 3D placement of particles that locks the diamond lattice," Gang says. The team supported their interpretation of the experimental results using theoretical modeling that provided insight about the main factors driving the successful formation of diamond lattices. "This work brings to the nanoscale the crystallographic complexity seen in atomic systems," says Gang, who noted that the method can readily be expanded to organize particles of different material compositions. The group has demonstrated previously that DNA-assembly methods can be applied to optical, magnetic, and catalytic nanoparticles as well, and will likely yield the long-sought novel optical and mechanical materials scientists have envisioned. "We've demonstrated a new paradigm for creating complex 3D-ordered structures via self-assembly. If you can build this challenging lattice, the thinking is you can build potentially a variety of desired lattices," he says. This work was funded by the DOE Office of Science (BES). CFN and NSLS are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.


Ismail A.,Damanhour University | Takeda S.,Nagoya University | Nick P.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2014

Salinity does not only stress plants but also challenges human life and the economy by posing severe constraints upon agriculture. To understand salt adaptation strategies of plants, it is central to extend agricultural production to salt-affected soils. Despite high impact and intensive research, it has been difficult to dissect the plant responses to salt stress and to define the decisive key factors for the outcome of salinity signalling. To connect the rapidly accumulating data from different systems, treatments, and organization levels (whole-plant, cellular, and molecular), and to identify the appropriate correlations among them, a clear conceptual framework is required. Similar to other stress responses, the molecular nature of the signals evoked after the onset of salt stress seems to be general, as with that observed in response to many other stimuli, and should not be considered to confer specificity per se. The focus of the current review is therefore on the temporal patterns of signals conveyed by molecules such as Ca2+, H+, reactive oxygen species, abscisic acid, and jasmonate. We propose that the outcome of the salinity response (adaptation versus cell death) depends on the timing with which these signals appear and disappear. In this context, the oftenneglected non-selective cation channels are relevant. We also propose that constraining a given signal is as important as its induction, as it is the temporal competence of signalling (signal on demand) that confers specificity. © The Author 2014.


Ogawa-Ohnishi M.,Japan National Institute for Basic Biology | Matsushita W.,Nagoya University | Matsubayashi Y.,Japan National Institute for Basic Biology
Nature Chemical Biology | Year: 2013

Hydroxyproline (Hyp) O-arabinosylation is a post-translational modification that is prominent in extracellular glycoproteins in plants. Hyp O-arabinosylation is generally found in these glycoproteins in the form of linear oligoarabinoside chains and has a key role in their function by contributing to conformational stability. However, Hyp O-arabinosyltransferase (HPAT), a key enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of the L-arabinose to the hydroxyl group of Hyp residues, has remained undiscovered. Here, we purified and identified Arabidopsis HPAT as a Golgi-localized transmembrane protein that is structurally similar to the glycosyltransferase GT8 family. Loss-of-function mutations in HPAT-encoding genes cause pleiotropic phenotypes that include enhanced hypocotyl elongation, defects in cell wall thickening, early flowering, early senescence and impaired pollen tube growth. Our results indicate essential roles of Hyp O-arabinosylation in both vegetative and reproductive growth in plants. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Northoff G.,Ottawa Health Research Institute | Qin P.,Ottawa Health Research Institute | Nakao T.,Ottawa Health Research Institute | Nakao T.,Japan Society for the Promotion of Science | Nakao T.,Nagoya University
Trends in Neurosciences | Year: 2010

Studies in animals and humans have demonstrated intrinsic activity in the brain during the resting state. The concept of the default-mode network (DMN) - a set of brain regions in which resting-state activity (RSA) activity is reduced in response to external stimuli - recently raised much controversy concerning the psychological correlates of RSA. However, it remains unclear how RSA interacts with stimulus-induced activity. Here we review studies in humans and animals that address how RSA interacts with stimulus-induced activity; we also discuss, conversely, how stimulus-induced activity can modulate RSA. Psychologically, the rest-stimulus interaction is relevant to predicting subsequent behavioral and mental states. We conclude that a better understanding of the rest-stimulus interaction is likely to be crucial to the elucidation of the brain's contribution to mental states. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Yoo C.-M.,Nagoya University | Okawa H.,University of Lisbon
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

Time evolution of a black hole lattice universe with a positive cosmological constant Λ is simulated. The vacuum Einstein equations are numerically solved in a cubic box with a black hole in the center. Periodic boundary conditions on all pairs of opposite faces are imposed. Configurations of marginally trapped surfaces are analyzed. We describe the time evolution of not only black hole horizons, but also cosmological horizons. Defining the effective scale factor by using the area of a surface of the cubic box, we compare it with that in the spatially flat dust dominated Friedmann- Lemaître-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) universe with the same value of Λ. It is found that the behavior of the effective scale factor is well approximated by that in the FLRW universe. Our result suggests that local inhomogeneities do not significantly affect the global expansion law of the Universe irrespective of the value of Λ. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Takahashi K.,Nagoya University | Hayashi K.-I.,Okayama University of Science | Kinoshita T.,Nagoya University
Plant Physiology | Year: 2012

The phytohormone auxin is a major regulator of diverse aspects of plant growth and development. The ubiquitin-ligase complex SCFTIR1/AFB (for Skp1-Cul1-F-box protein), which includes the TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE1/AUXIN SIGNALING F-BOX (TIR1/AFB) auxin receptor family, has recently been demonstrated to be critical for auxin-mediated transcriptional regulation. Early-phase auxin-induced hypocotyl elongation, on the other hand, has long been explained by the acid-growth theory, for which proton extrusion by the plasma membrane H+-ATPase is a functional prerequisite. However, the mechanism by which auxin mediates H+-ATPase activation has yet to be elucidated. Here, we present direct evidence for H+- ATPase activation in etiolated hypocotyls of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) by auxin through phosphorylation of the penultimate threonine during early-phase hypocotyl elongation. Application of the natural auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) to endogenous auxin-depleted hypocotyl sections induced phosphorylation of the penultimate threonine of the H+-ATPase and increased H+-ATPase activity without altering the amount of the enzyme. Changes in both the phosphorylation level of H+- ATPase and IAA-induced elongation were similarly concentration dependent. Furthermore, IAA-induced H+-ATPase phosphorylation occurred in a tir1-1 afb2-3 double mutant, which is severely defective in auxin-mediated transcriptional regulation. In addition, α-(phenylethyl-2-one)-IAA, the auxin antagonist specific for the nuclear auxin receptor TIR1/AFBs, had no effect on IAA-induced H+-ATPase phosphorylation. These results suggest that the TIR1/AFB auxin receptor family is not involved in auxin-induced H+-ATPase phosphorylation. Our results define the activation mechanism of H+-ATPase by auxin during early-phase hypocotyl elongation; this is the long-sought-after mechanism that is central to the acid-growth theory. © 2012 American Society of Plant Biologists.


Patent
Nitto Denko Corporation, Institute Of National Colleges Of Technology and Nagoya University | Date: 2013-12-16

The purpose of the present invention is to provide a hydrogen-releasing film and a hydrogen-releasing laminated film which are less susceptible to embrittling at an ambient operating temperature of an electrochemical element. This hydrogen-releasing film comprises a PdAg alloy and is characterized in that the content of Ag in the PdAg alloy is 20 mol % or higher.


Patent
Kaneka Corporation, Nagoya University and Shibaura Institute of Technology | Date: 2013-07-10

To provide an impact-absorbing pad fully satisfying impact absorbability for preventing femoral neck fractures, wearing comfort and breathability not to cause discomfort for all-day use, a small thickness not to impair external appearance, and flexibility in a surface direction not to cause uncomfortable feeling at the time of putting on and taking off, which are required for the impact-absorbing pad used in a hip protector, clothing furnished with the impact-absorbing pad, and a method for preventing femoral fractures. [Solution Means] A pad main body 11 having impact absorbability includes an impact-deflecting part 12 having a through hole or concavity with a maximum length of 80 mm or less and an area of 600 mm^(2) or more and 5,000 mm^(2) or less, and the pad main body 11 is disposed so as to apply the impact-deflecting part 12 onto the greater trochanter 1 of the femur, thereby preventing femoral fractures.


Patent
Kaneka Corporation, Shibaura Institute of Technology and Nagoya University | Date: 2011-09-01

To provide an impact-absorbing pad fully satisfying impact absorbability for preventing femoral neck fractures, wearing comfort and breathability not to cause discomfort for all-day use, a small thickness not to impair external appearance, and flexibility in a surface direction not to cause uncomfortable feeling at the time of putting on and taking off, which are required for the impact-absorbing pad used in a hip protector, clothing furnished with the impact-absorbing pad, and a method for preventing femoral fractures. A pad main body having impact absorbability includes an impact-deflecting part having a through hole or concavity with a maximum length of 80 mm or less and an area of 600 mm^(2 )or more and 5,000 mm^(2 )or less, and the pad main body is disposed so as to apply the impact-deflecting part onto the greater trochanter of the femur, thereby preventing femoral fractures.


Arising from a collaboration between plant and animal biologists, and organic chemists at ITbM, Nagoya University, the group succeeded in developing a new compound, a triarylmethane that can rapidly inhibit cell division in plants. This compound was found to selectively inhibit cell division in plant cells with respect to animal cells. Having a reversible cell inhibiting property, this triarylmethane could be a potential candidate for developing new agrochemicals that can control plant growth. Dr. Minako Ueda, Dr. Masakazu Nambo of the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University and their colleagues have reported in the journal Plant and Cell Physiology, on the development of a series of triarylmethane compounds, which were tested on plant cells to see their effect on cell division. Through live cell imaging, they were able to identify a new triarylmethane compound that can rapidly inhibit cell division in plant cells. They also found that this new compound does not have an effect on the cell division of animal cells, and that cell division restarts in plant cells upon removal of the compound. Being able to control the cell division in plant cells may be effective in controlling plant growth. Thus, the selectivity and reversibility of this new triarylmethane compound on the cell division of plant cells makes it a good candidate for an agrochemical. Plant growth occurs by increasing the number of cells by cell division followed by enlargement of the cells. Thus, it has been considered that if there is a way to control cell division in plants, this will lead to the control of plant growth in a range of plant species. Although various compounds that can control cell division in plants have been explored in the past, they have mainly resulted in damage to the plant shape or irreversible inhibition of cell division despite removal of the compounds. "As part of ITbM's interdisciplinary research initiative, we decided to search for new compounds that can inhibit the cell division in plants without causing damage to them," says Minako Ueda, a plant biologist and a leader of this study. "Being in the Mix Lab (special labs that have researchers from different disciplines mixed together) at ITbM, I was able to talk to an organic chemist, Masakazu Nambo, who suggested the use of triarylmethane compounds for cell division inhibition in plant cells," she continues. "We had reported a new catalytic reaction in December 2013, to rapidly synthesize triarylmethanes in 3 steps from readily available starting materials, using a palladium catalyst," says Masakazu Nambo, an organic chemist and another leader of this study. "Triarylmethanes have not really been used before on plants, but we were able to visualize their effect on Tobacco plant cells using live cell imaging. We started this research about 3 years ago, but we were fortunate to be able to identify a triarylmethane compound that can rapidly inhibit cell division in plants," he continues. Triarylmethanes are a group of compounds that derive from methane (a molecule consisting of carbon with 4 hydrogen atoms attached to it) and consist of a carbon atom center with 3 aryl (aromatic ring) groups and a hydrogen atom. This structure can be found in organic materials, such as dyes and fluorescent probes, as well as in natural products. Some compounds containing the triarylmethane moiety are known to exhibit anticancer properties, and many new compounds have been synthesized to investigate their bioactivities. "Our palladium-catalyzed sequential arylation reaction has been highly useful to rapidly synthesize a variety of triarylmethanes to be used for testing their effect on the cell division in plants," says Nambo. "We used a Tobacco plant cell attached with a fluorescent probe to visualize the cell division process," says Ueda. "We added the triarylmethane compounds to the cultivated cells and investigated whether cell division had occurred or not by realtime live cell imaging." "As a result of screening about 200 compounds, we found that (3-furyl)diphenylmethane (chem7), which is a triarylmethane that contains 2 phenyl groups and a furyl (a 5-membered aromatic ring containing 4 carbons and an oxygen atom in the ring) group, had strong inhibitory activity on plant cell division," says Ueda. When the furyl moiety was replaced with other aromatic groups, or when one of the benzene rings was removed, the cell division inhibitory activity was not observed, suggesting that a triarylmethane structure containing both the benzene and the furan rings are necessary for their bioactivity. "Although I did not have any issues about working with compounds directly synthesized by chemists, I was initially surprised to receive compounds that were not necessarily soluble in the solvents that I was using in my biological experiments," says Ueda. "It was exciting to test new compounds and I was astonished by the speed that the compounds were being synthesized. The speed of compounds being generated was faster than the speed that we could test them on the cells." The group also tested whether chem7 could inhibit cell division in other plants, or in other developing tissues. By applying chem7 to the young seeds and roots of a model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, the group found that rapid inhibition of cell division was observed in both tissues. "We saw that chem7 had hardly any effect on the shapes of the cells and tissues, thus, suggesting that chem7 stops cell division in plant cells, but does not cause any severe damage to the shapes," describes Ueda. "With the help of animal biologists, we found that chem7 had no effect on budding yeasts and human cells, which indicates that chem7 does not inhibit the cell division of animal cells." Cell division consists of several phases, including the M phase where the cells actually divide (M = mitosis), the S phase where the DNA is copied and prepares for division (S = synthesis) and the G1/G2 phase in between (G = gap). These phases (cell cycle) are repeated leading to cell division. In order to figure out which phase that chem7 actually acts upon, Ueda and her team used two fluorescent proteins of different colors to visualize the process of the cell cycles in the root of Arabidopsis thaliana. (Green indicates the M phase and red indicates the S and G2 phases.) "As the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana contain cells at various phases, it was possible to observe different phases, shown in green and red," explains Ueda. "Upon addition of chem7 to the roots, we found that both colors existed but the area that contains fluoresced cells (tissues with high cell division activity) became smaller." This indicates that chem7 does not target a specific plant cell phase, but exhibits cell inhibitory activity regardless of the phase. The group concluded that chem7 causes no severe damage to the shapes of cells and tissues by being able to rapidly stop the cell activity at any cell phase. In addition, when chem7 was washed away from the roots and cultivated cells treated with chem7, cell division was observed again, indicating that the effect of chem7 is not lethal. "Through the collaboration with chemists and biologists, we were fortunate to discover a new compound that can selectively inhibit the cell division of plant cells regardless of the cell phase," says Ueda and Nambo. "chem7 rapidly stops cell division and plant growth without causing drastic damage to the shapes or functions of the cells." "It was nice to be able to come together and discuss research with people from different research fields. We are currently carrying out further studies to generate new compounds that can rapidly and reversibly control plant growth without causing harm to humans and bacteria in the surrounding environment, which can potentially work as agrochemicals," they speak. More information: Masakazu Nambo et al. Combination of Synthetic Chemistry and Live-Cell Imaging Identified a Rapid Cell Division Inhibitor in Tobacco and, Plant and Cell Physiology (2016). DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcw140


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The African clawed frog's ancestor inherited one set of chromosomes each from two different species and doubled its whole genome some 18 million years ago, according to an international research consortium led by Japanese and American scientists who sequenced the entire genome of the Xenopus laevis for the first time. Scientists hope that the finding will help our understanding of vertebrate evolution, as the vertebrate genome doubled twice 500 million years ago. X. laevis is unusual in that it is a tetraploid species that has four sets of chromosomes, while many organisms, including humans, are diploid and have two sets of chromosomes. How and when this came about has been a topic of debate for some time. One hypothesis is that the tetraploid X. laevis inherited one half of its genetic material from each parent when two diploid ancestral species mated, and the genome of this diploid offspring then doubled, giving rise to a tetraploid organism with twice the number of chromosomes as its ancestors. X. laevis is an essential organism for biological and biomedical research, but the sheer size and complexity of its genome made it difficult for scientists to sequence the genome in its entirety. Sequencing the entire genome would not only be valuable for biological and biomedical research but also provide clues as to the origins of tetraploidy. The researchers sequenced the entire genome of the J (Japan) strain of the frog, which was developed by Hokkaido University scientists, who inbred the animal over 20 years. The strain is genetically homogeneous, giving scientists a big advantage in the sequencing. The US team, led by Dan Rokhsar and Richard Harland at the University of California, Berkeley, used the shotgun method to sequence short fragments of DNA and piece them together like a puzzle. The Japanese team, led by Masanori Taira at the University of Tokyo, sequenced very long fragments of DNA and determined the location of the long DNA on the chromosomes. Akimasa Fukui and his colleagues at Hokkaido University contributed particularly to data analysis and chromosome mapping. This extra step helped to distinguish the separate genome sequences inherited from each ancestral species. It was a challenging idea to analyze the "transposable elements" (segments of DNA that move around the genome) that become fixed or inactive over time, but might be one way of tracing the two ancestral genomes, present as subgenomes in X. laevis. Akira Hikosaka at Hiroshima University and Yoshinobu Uno at Nagoya University (the latter an alumnus of Hokkaido University), tested this idea and discovered that indeed two sets of chromosomes originated from different diploid ancestors. Curiously, the scientists also found that the subgenomes evolved separately in the nucleus, giving rise to shorter S- and longer L-types, the first evidence of animal subgenome evolution. The L-type chromosomes preserved most of the ancestral genetic information, while the S-type showed greater gene loss, deletion and rearrangement. Furthermore, it was suggested that any number of genes were just changing their functions. Scientists believe that two rounds of whole genome duplication 500 million years ago contributed to the emergence of the first vertebrate species and an explosion of diversity in this group. The new findings from the X. laevis genome should improve our understanding of this important event in our evolutionary history. "I'm surprised that our results indicate that the subgenomes of X. laevis are just evolving now," said Akimasa Fukui. "I believe that these data will not only help us understand the evolutionary aspect of vertebrates, but through frog research, also lead to applications in regenerative therapy."


Harvey J.A.,Netherlands Institute of Ecology | Poelman E.H.,Wageningen University | Tanaka T.,Nagoya University
Annual Review of Entomology | Year: 2013

Immature development of parasitoid wasps is restricted to resources found in a single host that is often similar in size to the adult parasitoid. When two or more parasitoids of the same or different species attack the same host, there is competition for monopolization of host resources. The success of intrinsic competition differs between parasitoids attacking growing hosts and parasitoids attacking paralyzed hosts. Furthermore, the evolution of gregarious development in parasitoids reflects differences in various developmental and behavioral traits, as these influence antagonistic encounters among immature parasitoids. Fitness-related costs (or benefits) of competition for the winning parasitoid reveal that time lags between successive attacks influence the outcome of competition. Physiological mechanisms used to exclude competitors include physical and biochemical factors that originate with the ovipositing female wasp or her progeny. In a broader multitrophic framework, indirect factors, such as plant quality, may affect parasitoids through effects on immunity and nutrition. © 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Okano K.,Tohoku University | Tokuyama H.,Tohoku University | Fukuyama T.,Nagoya University
Chemical Communications | Year: 2014

Herein, we review copper-mediated aromatic amination reactions including the classical Ullmann coupling and the recently developed mild aryl amination with an effective ligand as well as the C-H amination reaction. Several applications of intramolecular aryl amination to the syntheses of natural products demonstrate the general applicability of the reaction. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.


Kaneda F.,Tohoku University | Baek S.-Y.,Tohoku University | Ozawa M.,Nagoya University | Edamatsu K.,Tohoku University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We experimentally test the error-disturbance uncertainty relation (EDR) in generalized, strength-variable measurement of a single photon polarization qubit, making use of weak measurement that keeps the initial signal state practically unchanged. We demonstrate that the Heisenberg EDR is violated, yet the Ozawa and Branciard EDRs are valid throughout the range of our measurement strength. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Buscemi F.,Nagoya University | Hall M.J.W.,Griffith University | Ozawa M.,Nagoya University | Wilde M.M.,Louisiana State University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We introduce information-theoretic definitions for noise and disturbance in quantum measurements and prove a state-independent noise-disturbance tradeoff relation that these quantities have to satisfy in any conceivable setup. Contrary to previous approaches, the information-theoretic quantities we define are invariant under the relabelling of outcomes and allow for the possibility of using quantum or classical operations to "correct" for the disturbance. We also show how our bound implies strong tradeoff relations for mean square deviations. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Matsuzaki S.,Kyoto Sangyo University | Yamawaki K.,Nagoya University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

Walking technicolor predicts a light composite scalar, techni-dilaton, arising as a pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone boson for the approximate scale symmetry spontaneously broken by techni-fermion condensation. We show that a light techni-dilaton with a mass of around 125 GeV can explain presently observed excesses particularly in the di-photon decay channel at the LHC. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Machida M.N.,Japan National Astronomical Observatory | Inutsuka S.-I.,Nagoya University | Matsumoto T.,Hosei University
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

The formation and evolution of the circumstellar disk in unmagnetized molecular clouds is investigated using three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations from the prestellar core until the end of the main accretion phase. In collapsing cloud cores, the first (adiabatic) core with a size of ≳3 AU forms prior to the formation of the protostar. At its formation, the first core has a thick disk-like structure and is mainly supported by the thermal pressure. After the protostar formation, it decreases the thickness gradually and becomes supported by the centrifugal force. We found that the first core is a precursor of the circumstellar disk with a size of ≥3 AU. This means that unmagnetized protoplanetary disk smaller than <3 AU does not exist. Reflecting the thermodynamics of the collapsing gas, at the protostar formation epoch, the first core (or the circumstellar disk) has a mass of ∼0.005-0.1 M ⊙, while the protostar has a mass of ∼103 M ⊙. Thus, just after the protostar formation, the circumstellar disk is about 10-100 times more massive than the protostar. In the main accretion phase that lasts for ∼ 105 yr, the circumstellar disk mass initially tends to dominate the protostellar mass. Such a massive disk is unstable to gravitational instability and tends to show fragmentation. Our calculations indicate that the low-mass companions may form in the circumstellar disk in the main accretion phase. In addition, the mass accretion rate onto the protostar shows a strong time variability that is caused by the torque from the low-mass companions and/or the spiral arms in the circumstellar disk. Such variability provides an important signature for detecting the substellar mass companion in the circumstellar disk around very young protostars. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society.


Matsuzaki S.,Kyoto Sangyo University | Yamawaki K.,Nagoya University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

The techni-dilaton (TD) is predicted in walking technicolor (WTC) arising as a pseudo-Nambu-Goldstone boson associated with the approximate scale symmetry spontaneously broken by techni-fermion condensation. The TD mass is therefore smaller than those of other techni-hadrons on the order of several TeVs, small enough to be within reach of the current LHC search. We present a new method to derive the TD couplings directly from the Ward-Takahashi identities, which enables us to explicitly calculate the quantities relevant to the TD LHC signatures. To set definite benchmarks, we take one-doublet and one-family models of WTC and discuss the TD signatures at the LHC, in comparison with those of the standard model (SM) Higgs. It is shown that the TD in the one-doublet model is invisible at the LHC, while the TD signals in the one-family model can be found as a large excess relative to the SM Higgs at around 125GeV only in the diphoton channel. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Matsuzaki S.,Kyoto Sangyo University | Yamawaki K.,Nagoya University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

We find that a holographic walking technicolor model has a limit ("conformal limit") where the technidilaton (TD) becomes a massless Nambu-Goldstone boson of the scale symmetry with its nonzero finite decay constant F•0, which naturally realizes a light TD, say at 125 GeV, near the limit. In such a light TD case, we find that F• is uniquely determined by the technipion decay constant Fπ independently of the holographic parameters: F•/F π√2NTF, with NTF being the number of technifermions. We show that the holographic TD is consistent with a new boson at 125 GeV recently discovered at the LHC. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Tamura Y.,Nagoya University | Sesaki H.,Johns Hopkins University | Endo T.,Kyoto Sangyo University
Traffic | Year: 2014

In eukaryotic cells, complex membrane structures called organelles are highly developed to exert specialized functions. Mitochondria are one of such organelles consisting of the outer and inner membranes (OM and IM) with characteristic protein and phospholipid compositions. Maintaining proper phospholipid compositions of the membranes is crucial for mitochondrial integrity, thereby contributing to normal cell activities. As cellular locations for phospholipid synthesis are restricted to specific compartments such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane and the mitochondrial inner membrane, newly synthesized phospholipids have to be transported and distributed properly from the ER or mitochondria to other cellular membranes. Although understanding of molecular mechanisms of phospholipid transport are much behind those of protein transport, recent studies using yeast as a model system began to provide intriguing insights into phospholipid exchange between the ER and mitochondria as well as between the mitochondrial OM and IM. In this review, we summarize the latest findings of phospholipid transport via mitochondria and discuss the implicated molecular mechanisms. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Inutsuka S.I.,Nagoya University | Machida M.N.,Japan National Astronomical Observatory | Matsumoto T.,Hosei University
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2010

We use resistive magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) simulations with the nested grid technique to study the formation of protoplanetary disks around protostars from molecular cloud cores that provide the realistic environments for planet formation. We find that gaseous planetary-mass objects are formed in the early evolutionary phase by gravitational instability in regions that are decoupled from the magnetic field and surrounded by the injection points of the MHD outflows during the formation phase of protoplanetary disks. Magnetic decoupling enables massive disks to form and these are subject to gravitational instability, even at ∼10 AU. The frequent formation of planetary-mass objects in the disk suggests the possibility of constructing a hybrid planet formation scenario, where the rocky planets form later under the influence of the giant planets in the protoplanetary disk. © 2010 The American Astronomical Society.


Matsuzaki S.,Kyoto Sangyo University | Yamawaki K.,Nagoya University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013

A new particle at around 125 GeV has been observed at the LHC, which we show could be identified with the techni-dilaton (TD) predicted in the walking technicolor and thus should be an evidence of walking technicolor. The TD is a pseudo Nambu-Goldstone boson for the approximate scale symmetry spontaneously broken by techni-fermion condensation, with its lightness being ensured by the approximate scale invariance of the walking technicolor. We test the goodness-of-fit of the TD signatures using the presently available LHC data set, and show that the 125 GeV TD is actually favored by the current data to explain the reported signal strengths in the global fit as well as in each channel including the coupling properties, most notably the somewhat large diphoton event rate. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Kohda M.,National Taiwan University | Sugiyama H.,University of Toyama | Tsumura K.,Nagoya University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013

We investigate a model in which tiny neutrino masses are generated at the two-loop level by using scalar leptoquark and diquark multiplets. The diquark can be singly produced at the LHC, and it can decay into a pair of leptoquarks through the lepton number violating interaction. Subsequent decays of the two leptoquarks can provide a clear signature of the lepton number violation, namely two QCD jets and a pair of same-signed charged leptons without missing energy. We show that the signal process is not suppressed while neutrino masses are appropriately suppressed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Matsunami D.,Tohoku University | Fujita A.,Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology | Takenaka K.,Nagoya University | Kano M.,Tohoku University
Nature Materials | Year: 2014

First-order phase transitions are accompanied by a latent heat. Consequently, manipulating them by means of an external field causes a caloric effect. Although transitions from antiferromagnetic to paramagnetic states are not controlled by a magnetic field, a large barocaloric effect is expected when strong cross-correlations between the volume and magnetic order occur. Here we examine how geometric frustration in itinerant antiferromagnetic compounds can enhance the barocaloric effect. We study the thermodynamic behaviour of the frustrated antiferromagnet Mn3GaN, and report an entropy change of 22.3 J kg-1 K-1 that is concomitant with a hydrostatic pressure change of 139 MPa. Furthermore, the calculated value of the adiabatic temperature change reaches 5 K by depressurization of 93 MPa. The giant barocaloric effect in Mn3GaN is caused by a frustration-driven enhancement of the ratio of volume change against the pressure coefficient of the Néel temperature. This mechanism for enhancing the barocaloric effect can form the basis for a new class of materials for solid-state refrigerants. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Hashimoto M.,Kyoto Sangyo University | Yamawaki K.,Nagoya University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

Technidilaton (TD) was proposed long ago in the technicolor near criticality/conformality. To reveal the critical behavior of TD, we explicitly compute the nonperturbative contributions to the scale anomaly and to the technigluon condensate αG2, which are generated by the dynamical mass m of the technifermions. Our computation is based on the (improved) ladder Schwinger-Dyson equation, with the gauge coupling α replaced by the two-loop running coupling α(μ) having the Caswell-Banks-Zaks infrared fixed point αμ α=α* for the infrared region m<μ<ΛTC, where ΛTC is the intrinsic scale (analogue of ΛQCD of QCD) relevant to the perturbative scale anomaly. We find that θμμ/m4→const ≠ 0 and αGμν2/m4→(α/αcr-1)-3/2→ ∞ in the criticality limit m/ΛTCexp(-π/(α/ αcr-1)1/2)→0 (α=α *αcr, or NfNfcr) ("conformal edge"). Our result precisely reproduces the formal identity θμμ=(β(α)/4α2)αGμν2, where β(α)=ΛTC∂α∂ΛTC=- (2αcr/π)•(α/αcr-1)3 /2 is the nonperturbative beta function corresponding to the above essential singularity scaling of m/ΛTC. Accordingly, the partially conserved dilatation current implies (MTD/m)2(F TD/m)2=-4θμμ/m4→const≠ 0 at criticality limit, where MTD is the mass of TD and FTD the decay constant of TD. We thus conclude that at criticality limit the TD could become a "true (massless) Nambu-Goldstone boson" MTD/m→0, only when m/FTD→0, namely, getting decoupled, as was the case of "holographic technidilaton" of Haba-Matsuzaki-Yamawaki. The decoupled TD can be a candidate of dark matter. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Ma Y.-L.,Jilin University | Harada M.,Nagoya University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

The spectrum and dominant strong decay properties of the doubly heavy baryons are revisited by using a chiral effective model with the chiral partner structure. By regarding the doubly heavy baryons in the ground states and light angular momentum, jl=1/2, sector of the first orbitally excited states as chiral partners, we estimate their mass splitting arising from the spontaneous breaking of chiral symmetry to be about 430 MeV for baryons including an unflavored light quark and about 350 MeV for that including a strange quark. We point out that, similar to the heavy-light meson sector, the intermultiplet decay from a baryon with negative parity to its chiral partner and a pion is determined by the mass splitting through the generalized Goldberger-Treiman relation. Furthermore, the isospin-violating decay of the Ωcc baryon, ((1/2)-,(3/2)-)s→((1/2)+,(3/2)+)s+π0, through the η-π0 mixing is the dominant decay channel of the doubly heavy baryons including a strange quark. © 2015 The Authors.


Akamatsu Y.,Nagoya University | Rothkopf A.,Bielefeld University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

We propose an open quantum systems approach to the physics of heavy quarkonia in a thermal medium, based on stochastic quantum evolution. This description emphasizes the importance of collisions with the environment and focuses on the concept of spatial decoherence of the heavy quarkonium wave function. It is shown how to determine the parameters of the dynamical evolution, i.e. the real potential and the noise strength, from a comparison with quantities to be obtained from lattice QCD. Furthermore, the imaginary part of the lattice QCD heavy quark potential is found to be naturally related to the strength of the noise correlations. We discuss the time evolution of QQ̄ analytically in a limiting scenario for the spatial decoherence and provide a qualitative one-dimensional numerical simulation of the real-time dynamics. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Patent
Clio Inc., Tohoku University and Nagoya University | Date: 2016-01-06

The purpose of the present invention is to identify a migratory factor that guides pluripotent stem cells (Muse cells) useful in new medical applications to damage, and to provide a pharmaceutical composition that includes the migratory factor for promoting tissue regeneration in regenerative medicine that makes use of Muse cells. In the present invention, a receptor that is specifically expressed in Muse cells rather than non-Muse cells was identified, and it was confirmed that a ligand for this receptor can function as a migratory factor. In the present invention, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) was identified as a migratory factor, and thus, the present invention pertains to a pharmaceutical composition for guiding pluripotent stem cells to damage, the composition including SIP as an active ingredient.


Patent
Tokuyama Corporation, Tohoku University and Nagoya University | Date: 2013-02-06

Provided is a radiation detector with improved n/ discrimination and usable even under high counting rate conditions with a reduced load on a signal-processing system. The detector capable of distinguishing neutron and gamma-ray events includes: a scintillator; an optical filter; a first photodetector to which a first part of light emitted from the scintillator is introduced via the optical filter; and a second photodetector to which a second part of light emitted from the scintillator is introduced not via the optical filter, wherein, for a set of two wavelengths A and (A+B) nm, the scintillator emits at least a light of A nm and a light of (A+B) nm when irradiated by gamma-ray, and emits a light of A nm and does not emit a light of (A+B) nm when irradiated by neutrons; and the optical filter blocks the light of A nm and transmits the light of (A+B) nm.


Patent
Clio Inc., Tohoku University and Nagoya University | Date: 2014-02-28

The purpose of the present invention is to identify a migratory factor that guides pluripotent stem cells (Muse cells) useful in new medical applications to damage, and to provide a pharmaceutical composition that includes the migratory factor for promoting tissue regeneration in regenerative medicine that makes use of Muse cells. In the present invention, a receptor that is specifically expressed in Muse cells rather than non-Muse cells was identified, and it was confirmed that a ligand for this receptor can function as a migratory factor. In the present invention, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) was identified as a migratory factor, and thus, the present invention pertains to a pharmaceutical composition for guiding pluripotent stem cells to damage, the composition including S1P as an active ingredient.


Patent
Clio Inc., Tohoku University and Nagoya University | Date: 2016-08-16

The purpose of the present invention is to identify a migratory factor that guides pluripotent stem cells (Muse cells) useful in new medical applications to damage, and to provide a pharmaceutical composition that includes the migratory factor for promoting tissue regeneration in regenerative medicine that makes use of Muse cells. In the present invention, a receptor that is specifically expressed in Muse cells rather than non-Muse cells was identified, and it was confirmed that a ligand for this receptor can function as a migratory factor. In the present invention, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) was identified as a migratory factor, and thus, the present invention pertains to a pharmaceutical composition for guiding pluripotent stem cells to damage, the composition including S1P as an active ingredient.


Patent
Tokuyama Corporation, Nagoya University and Tohoku University | Date: 2013-03-27

Disclosed are: a neutron beam detector which comprises a material having low deliquescent properties and can discriminate between a neutron beam and a beam; a neutron beam detection scintillator; and a method for discriminating between a neutron beam and a beam. Specifically disclosed are: a neutron beam detection scintillator for use in the discrimination between a neutron beam and a beam based on the difference in waveforms of light detection signals, and which comprises Ce-containing LiCaAlF6 single crystals; a neutron beam detector which has a function of discriminating between a neutron beam and a beam based on the difference in waveforms of light detection signals from a neutron beam detection scintillator, and which is characterized by using a neutron beam detection scintillator comprising Ce-containing LiCaAlF6 single crystals as a neutron beam detection scintillator; and a method for discriminating between a neutron beam and a beam.


Patent
Murata Manufacturing Co. and Nagoya University | Date: 2010-06-02

A machine tool with a chip processing function which brings a cutting tool (1) into abutting contact with a workpiece (W) for cutting comprises a tensile force applying means (11) provided on or in a vicinity of the cutting tool (1) to apply a tensile force to a chip (10) continuing from the workpiece (W) and flowing from a cutting edge of the cutting tool (1), and a chip guiding means for guiding the chip (W) to the tensile force applying means (11). As the chip guiding means a rake face (4) of the cutting tool (1) is formed as a projecting curved surface such that a cross section of the rake face (4) which is perpendicular to a cutting edge line (5) of the cutting tool (1) is shaped like a projecting curve.


Patent
Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Nagoya University | Date: 2013-04-24

To provide a method capable of producing stereocomplex polylactic acid, the method being capable of using carbon neutral materials that are not competitive from foods, such as saccharides, without the use of a method for designing optical resolution, which requires complicated operations and high cost and is difficult to perform mass production. The production method of the present invention comprises: a step of reacting glycerin with sodium hydroxide in high-temperature and high-pressure water to produce a racemic sodium lactate aqueous solution; a step of separating sodium from the racemic sodium lactate aqueous solution to recover racemic lactic acid; a step of dimerizing the racemic lactic acid to produce a lactide mixture containing meso lactide and racemic lactide; a step of separating meso lactide from the mixture to recover racemic lactide; and a step of polymerizing the racemic lactide with a salen-metal complex as a catalyst to produce stereocomplex polylactic acid.


Patent
Tokuyama Corporation, Tohoku University and Nagoya University | Date: 2013-02-06

Provided is a scintillation neutron detector capable of measuring neutrons with precision even under a high amount of rays as background noise and excellent in neutron counting precision, the scintillation neutron detector comprising a neutron scintillator crystal containing ^(6)Li, and the crystal having a specific surface area of no less than 60 cm^(2)/cm^(3).


Patent
Tokuyama Corporation, Nagoya University and Tohoku University | Date: 2013-08-28

Provided is a radiation detector with improved n/ discrimination and usable even under high counting rate conditions with a reduced load on a signal-processing system. The detector capable of distinguishing neutron and gamma-ray events includes: a scintillator; an optical filter; a first photodetector to which a first part of light emitted from the scintillator is introduced via the optical filter; and a second photodetector to which a second part of light emitted from the scintillator is introduced not via the optical filter, wherein, for a set of two wavelengths A and (A+B) nm, the scintillator emits at least a light of A nm and a light of (A+B) nm when irradiated by gamma-ray, and emits a light of A nm and does not emit a light of (A+B) nm when irradiated by neutrons; and the optical filter blocks the light of A nm and transmits the light of (A+B) nm.


Patent
Hitachi Zosen Corporation, NatureWorks, Nagoya University and Tohoku Electric Power Co. | Date: 2012-09-11

This invention provides a method for synthesizing semi-crystalline polylactides (PLA) even from a lactide mixture including meso-LA and rac-LA. According to the invention, when a mixture of racemic lactide and meso-lactide ispolymerized using a catalyst capable of iso-selectively polymerizing L-lactide and D-lactide, an amorphous poly (meso-lactide) block is formed from meso-lactide and a semi-crystalline poly (racemic lactide) block is formed from racemic lactide by separately polymerizing racemic lactide and meso-lactide by taking advantage of a difference in physicochemical properties between racemic lactide and meso-lactide, whereby polylactide which is semi-crystalline as a whole is produced.


Patent
Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Nagoya University and Tohoku Electric Power Co. | Date: 2011-06-16

To provide a method capable of producing stereocomplex polylactic acid, the method being capable of using carbon neutral materials that are not competitive from foods, such as saccharides, without the use of a method for designing optical resolution, which requires complicated operations and high cost and is difficult to perform mass production. The production method of the present invention comprises: a step of reacting glycerin with sodium hydroxide in high-temperature and high-pressure water to produce a racemic sodium lactate aqueous solution; a step of separating sodium from the racemic sodium lactate aqueous solution to recover racemic lactic acid; a step of dimerizing the racemic lactic acid to produce a lactide mixture containing meso lactide and racemic lactide; a step of separating meso lactide from the mixture to recover racemic lactide; and a step of polymerizing the racemic lactide with a salen-metal complex as a catalyst to produce stereocomplex polylactic acid.


Patent
Tokuyama Corporation, Nagoya University and Tohoku University | Date: 2013-08-28

Provided is a scintillation neutron detector capable of measuring neutrons with precision even under a high amount of rays as background noise and excellent in neutron counting precision, the scintillation neutron detector comprising a neutron scintillator crystal containing ^(6)Li, and the crystal having a specific surface area of no less than 60 cm^(2)/cm^(3).


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 1.30M | Year: 2013

Anthropogenic disturbance and land-use change in the tropics is leading to irrevocable changes in biodiversity and substantial shifts in ecosystem biogeochemistry. Yet, we still have a poor understanding of how human-driven changes in biodiversity feed back to alter biogeochemical processes. This knowledge gap substantially restricts our ability to model and predict the response of tropical ecosystems to current and future environmental change. There are a number of critical challenges to our understanding of how changes in biodiversity may alter ecosystem processes in the tropics; namely: (i) how the high taxonomic diversity of the tropics is linked to ecosystem functioning, (ii) how changes in the interactions among trophic levels and taxonomic groups following disturbance impacts upon functional diversity and biogeochemistry, and (iii) how plot-level measurements can be used to scale to whole landscapes. We have formed a consortium to address these critical challenges to launch a large-scale, replicated, and fully integrated study that brings together a multi-disciplinary team with the skills and expertise to study the necessary taxonomic and trophic groups, different biogeochemical processes, and the complex interactions amongst them. To understand and quantify the effects of land-use change on the activity of focal biodiversity groups and how this impacts biogeochemistry, we will: (i) analyse pre-existing data on distributions of focal biodiversity groups; (ii) sample the landscape-scale treatments at the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project site (treatments include forest degradation, fragmentation, oil palm conversion) and key auxiliary sites (Maliau Basin - old growth on infertile soils, Lambir Hills - old growth on fertile soils, Sabah Biodiversity Experiment - rehabilitated forest, INFAPRO-FACE - rehabilitated forest); and (iii) implement new experiments that manipulate key components of biodiversity and pathways of belowground carbon flux. The manipulations will focus on trees and lianas, mycorrhizal fungi, termites and ants, because these organisms are the likely agents of change for biogeochemical cycling in human-modified tropical forests. We will use a combination of cutting-edge techniques to test how these target groups of organisms interact each other to affect biogeochemical cycling. We will additionally collate and analyse archived data on other taxa, including vertebrates of conservation concern. The key unifying concept is the recognition that so-called functional traits play a key role in linking taxonomic diversity to ecosystem function. We will focus on identifying key functional traits associated with plants, and how they vary in abundance along the disturbance gradient at SAFE. In particular, we propose that leaf functional traits (e.g. physical and chemical recalcitrance, nitrogen content, etc.) play a pivotal role in determining key ecosystem processes and also strongly influence atmospheric composition. Critically, cutting-edge airborne remote sensing techniques suggest it is possible to map leaf functional traits, chemistry and physiology at landscape-scales, and so we will use these novel airborne methods to quantify landscape-scale patterns of forest degradation, canopy structure, biogeochemical cycling and tree distributions. Process-based mathematical models will then be linked to the remote sensing imagery and ground-based measurements of functional diversity and biogeochemical cycling to upscale our findings over disturbance gradients.


News Article | August 30, 2016
Site: phys.org

Kaho Maeda, Dr. Hideto Ito, Professor Kenichiro Itami of the JST-ERATO Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project and the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, and their colleagues have reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, on the development of a new and simple strategy, "helix-to-tube" to synthesize covalent organic nanotubes. Organic nanotubes (ONTs) are organic molecules with tubular nanostructures. Nanostructures are structures that range between 1 nm and 100 nm, and ONTs have a nanometer-sized cavity. Various applications of ONTs have been reported, including molecular recognition materials, transmembrane ion channel/sensors, electro-conductive materials, and organic photovoltaics. Most ONTs are constructed by a self-assembly process based on weak non-covalent interactions such as hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic interactions and π-π interactions between aromatic rings. Due to these relatively weak interactions, most non-covalent ONTs possess a relatively fragile structure (Figure 1). Covalent ONTs, whose tubular skeletons are cross-linked by covalent bonding (a bond made by sharing of electrons between atoms) could be synthesized from non-covalent ONTs. While covalent ONTs show higher stability and mechanical strength than non-covalent ONTs, the general synthetic strategy for covalent ONTs was yet to be established (Figure 2). A team led by Hideto Ito and Kenichiro Itami has succeeded in developing a simple and effective method for the synthesis of robust covalent ONTs (tube) by an operationally simple light irradiation of a readily accessible helical polymer (helix). This so-called "helix-to-tube" strategy is based on the following steps: 1) polymerization of a small molecule (monomer) to make a helical polymer followed by, 2) light-induced cross-linking at longitudinally repeating pitches across the whole helix to form covalent nanotubes (Figure 3). With their strategy, the team designed and synthesized diacetylene-based helical polymers (acetylenes are molecules that contain carbon-carbon triple bonds), poly(m-phenylene diethynylene)s (poly-PDEs), which has chiral amide side chains that are able to induce a helical folding through hydrogen-bonding interactions (Figure 4). The researchers revealed that light-induced cross-linking at longitudinally aligned 1,3-butadiyne moieties (a group of molecules that contain four carbons with triple bonds at the first and third carbons) could generate the desired covalent ONT. "This is the first time in the world to show that the photochemical polymerization reaction of diynes is applicable to the cross-linking reaction of a helical polymer," says Maeda, a graduate student who mainly conducted the experiments. The "helix-to-tube" method is expected to be able to generate a range of ONT-based materials by simply changing the arene (aromatic ring) unit in the monomer. "One of the most difficult parts of this research was how to obtain scientific evidence on the structures of poly-PDEs and covalent ONTs," says Ito, one of the leaders of this study. "We had little experience with the analysis of polymers and macromolecules such as ONTs. Fortunately, thanks to the support of our collaborators in Nagoya University, who are specialists in these particular research fields, we finally succeeded in characterizing these macromolecules by various techniques including spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and microscopy." "Although it took us about a year to synthesize the covalent ONT, it took another one and a half year to determine the structure of the nanotube," says Maeda. "I was extremely excited when I first saw the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images, which indicated that we had actually made the covalent ONT that we were expecting," she continues. "The best part of the research for me was finding that the photochemical cross-linking had taken place on the helix for the first time," says Maeda. "In addition, photochemical cross-linking is known to usually occur in the solid phase, but we were able to show that the reaction takes place in the solution phase as well. As the reactions have never been carried out before, I was dubious at first, but it was a wonderful feeling to succeed in making the reaction work for the first time in the world. I can say for sure that this was a moment where I really found research interesting." "We were really excited to develop this simple yet powerful method to achieve the synthesis of covalent ONTs," says Itami, the director of the JST-ERATO project and the center director of ITbM. "The "helix-to-tube" method enables molecular level design and will lead to the synthesis of various covalent ONTs with fixed diameters and tube lengths with desirable functionalities." "We envisage that ongoing advances in the "helix-to-tube" method may lead to the development of various ONT-based materials including electro-conductive materials and luminescent materials," says Ito. "We are currently carrying out work on the "helix-to-tube" methodology and we hope to synthesize covalent ONTs with interesting properties for various applications."


News Article | December 15, 2016
Site: www.cemag.us

Scientists in Japan have revealed that if a glassy solid possesses a planar (sheet-like) structure, it can exhibit enhanced thermal vibration motion due to the same mechanism known for the planar crystals (two-dimensional crystals), by using large-scale simulations on supercomputers. "Imagine if we could make a sheet of glass, which has a two-dimensional (2D) planate shape," says Dr. Hayato Shiba, of Tohoku University's Institute for Materials Research (IMR). "In such a confined spatial dimension, a variety of novel phenomena takes place in usual "periodic" systems (crystals, spin systems etc.). This is due to the thermal motion of the constituents taking place on a larger scale because of the limited spatial dimensions." Such enhanced thermal motion is known to induce new physical phenomena which Shiba, and his research team of Yasunori Yamada (IMR), Takeshi Kawasaki (Nagoya University) and Kang Kim (Osaka University), hope will lead the development of new functional materials and devices necessary for the realization of energy-saving societies. However, it is still uncertain whether 2D glass, as an "non-periodic" system, exhibits such enhanced thermal motions. "Our result indicates that 2D glass can become soft, gradually and forever, as we go to the macroscopic scales. Consequently, the vibration amplitude becomes infinite because of the large-scale motions," says Shiba. "In other words, such materials might exhibit strong responses to external fields or deformation. The thermal vibration is perfectly different from that in a 3D glass, and it can even alter the fundamental nature of vitrification and glassy phase transition." In the experiments, 2D glass was experimentally realized using colloidal systems, and can also be realized using other soft and hard materials.


William D. Oliver of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Quantum Information and Integrated Nanosystems Group was appointed to Laboratory Fellow at Lincoln Laboratory and associate director of the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE). "I am honored to have been appointed to Lincoln Laboratory Fellow and associate director of the RLE,” Oliver said. "We have built a fantastic team that includes members from Lincoln Laboratory and MIT campus, and I look forward to developing new opportunities and interactions in the field of quantum engineering across the Laboratory, the RLE, and the new MIT.nano fabrication facility.” The Laboratory Fellow position recognizes the laboratory’s strongest technical talent for outstanding contributions to laboratory and national-level programs over many years. Oliver has demonstrated sustained, outstanding technical achievement in quantum information science, superconducting electronics, and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology operated at cryogenic temperatures. Oliver’s primary responsibility within RLE will be to lead a broad range of quantum information science (QIS) research and development activities. He will also serve as the liaison for technical collaboration between RLE and Lincoln Laboratory. Since joining the laboratory in 2003, Oliver has been strongly engaged in research and development both at the laboratory and on the MIT campus. At the laboratory, he has led the development of several quantum and classical information processing technologies. In parallel, he has led collaborative efforts in the Orlando Group at MIT to advance the scientific understanding of superconducting quantum bits (qubits) through widely recognized, seminal experiments that leverage the laboratory’s strong engineering expertise. Together, these projects have resulted in more than 50 scientific papers in high-profile journals and many invited talks at domestic and international conferences. In conjunction with this work, Oliver has cosupervised 9 postdocs and 11 students. Because of these contributions and collaborations, Oliver was appointed a professor of the practice in the MIT Department of Physics in July 2015. Over many years, Oliver has identified key research directions across the full breadth of technology needed to accomplish large-scale QIS demonstrations, and his technical leadership established much of the laboratory’s early QIS research portfolio. Oliver’s primary focus has been in the area of superconducting quantum computing, where he has advanced the state of the art for the design, fabrication, and measurement of qubits in experiments performed at millikelvin temperatures. Oliver was responsible for launching two companion cryogenic electronics program areas important for future QIS demonstrations and for other U.S. Department of Defense advanced computing and imager applications. As part of this work, he laid the foundation for the laboratory to develop the world’s most advanced fabrication process for superconducting circuits. Oliver also performed the early proof-of-concept simulations and demonstrations for developing and optimizing CMOS technology for cryogenic operation. Oliver received a BS degree in electrical engineering (EE) and a BA degree in Japanese from the University of Rochester. He performed thesis work on superconducting circuits at the University of Rochester and during an internship at Nagoya University in Japan. He received his MS degree in EE from MIT, working with Tod Machover at the MIT Media Lab, and a PhD degree in EE from Stanford University for work on quantum noise and electron entanglement with Professor Yoshihisa Yamamoto.


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: phys.org

"Imagine if we could make a sheet of glass, which has a two-dimensional (2D) planate shape," says Dr. Hayato Shiba, of Tohoku University's Institute for Materials Research (IMR). "In such a confined spatial dimension, a variety of novel phenomena takes place in usual "periodic" systems (crystals, spin systems etc.). This is due to the thermal motion of the constituents taking place on a larger scale because of the limited spatial dimensions." Such enhanced thermal motion is known to induce new physical phenomena which Shiba, and his research team of Yasunori Yamada (IMR), Takeshi Kawasaki (Nagoya University) and Kang Kim (Osaka University), hope will lead the development of new functional materials and devices necessary for the realization of energy-saving societies. However, it is still uncertain whether 2D glass, as an "non-periodic" system, exhibits such enhanced thermal motions. "Our result indicates that 2D glass can become soft, gradually and forever, as we go to the macroscopic scales. Consequently, the vibration amplitude becomes infinite because of the large-scale motions," says Shiba. "In other words, such materials might exhibit strong responses to external fields or deformation. The thermal vibration is perfectly different from that in a 3D glass, and it can even alter the fundamental nature of vitrification and glassy phase transition." In the experiments, 2D glass was experimentally realized using colloidal systems, and can also be realized using other soft and hard materials. Explore further: Memories and energy landscapes of magnetic glassy states More information: Hayato Shiba et al, Unveiling Dimensionality Dependence of Glassy Dynamics: 2D Infinite Fluctuation Eclipses Inherent Structural Relaxation, Physical Review Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.245701


Nagoya, Japan – Dr. Hidenori Takeuchi and Professor Tetsuya Higashiyama of the JST-ERATO Higashiyama Live-Holonics Project and the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University have succeeded in discovering a key kinase receptor in the pollen tubes (male) of flowering plants responsible for allowing the pollen tubes to precisely reach the egg cell (female) to enable successful fertilization, without losing its way. Pollen tubes grow inside the pistil and deliver their sperm cell to egg cells, which are located deep inside the pistil, to bring about fertilization. Higashiyama's group has previously discovered a pollen tube attractant peptide, called LURE, which is produced by the ovule to guide the pollen tube toward the egg cell. Studies have shown that the structure of LURE differs for each plant species and is specific for each plant's pollen tube; i.e., each LURE peptide preferentially attracts the pollen tube of the same plant species. However, the exact mechanism on how pollen tubes detect LURE has been unknown up to now. In this study, published online on March 10, 2016 in the journal Nature, Takeuchi and Higashiyama have discovered a receptor that is required for detection of LURE at the tip of the pollen tube for the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress). They also found that this receptor works with multiple receptors that have a similar structure, in order to precisely detect the signals transmitted from the pistil. By accepting the various signals sent from the pistil, the kinase receptors enable the pollen tubes to grow to a position inside the pistil where they can detect LURE. Subsequently, the pollen tubes are guided to reach the egg cell and pass on their sperm cells for fertilization. "We believe that this study advances our understanding on the mechanism of fertilization between plant species," says Takeuchi, a postdoctoral researcher, currently at the Gregor Mendel Institute in Austria, who carried out this study. "Upon investigating the role of this receptor in further detail, we hope that this will lead to the development of techniques to alter the success rate in fertilization and improve the efficiency of seed production, as well as establish methods to enable fertilization between different species," says Higashiyama, project leader of the ERATO project and a Professor/Vice-Director at ITbM, Nagoya University. Rice and soybeans that we eat on a daily basis are the seeds of plants and many vegetables develop from seeds. For plants to grow seeds, it is necessary for the male and female reproductive organs in plants to meet and fertilize. The male organ of flowering plants consists of pollen and the sperm cells within. Pollen develops into a pollen tube, which is a single cell with a tubular structure. The tip of the pollen tube (anther) extends and grows into the pistil. The pollen tube eventually reaches the egg cell deep inside the pistil, and passes the sperm cell to the egg cell to bring about fertilization. The fact that pollen tubes are able to precisely find egg cells without losing its way may be the key element that supports our food supply. The meeting of male and female organs in plants is an extremely mystical and important event, but its exact mechanism is still full of mystery. In 2009, Higashiyama and his colleagues discovered that a synergid cell, which is located next to the egg cell, produces molecules called LUREs that attract pollen tubes in Torenia plants. They also discovered similar LURE peptides in Arabidopsis thaliana in 2012. "We found that the structure of LURE differs according to the plant species, and that LURE of a specific plant attracts pollen tubes of the same species, which preserves fertilization between the same species," describes Higashiyama. "Therefore, LURE has been identified as the key factor produced by the female organ to attract the male organ in plants." Nevertheless, the mechanism on how pollen tubes can detect LURE, how the pollen tubes grow to a position inside the pistil where they can detect LURE, and the factors behind growth and responses of the pollen tubes have been unknown. Higashiyama's team decided to look into these questions by trying to unveil the key factors in pollen tubes that enable it to detect LURE. "By using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model, we hypothesized that the 23 kinase receptors specifically localized on the membrane surface of pollen tubes could be candidates that are necessary to detect LURE," says Takeuchi. "I conducted bioassays of pollen tubes by deactivating the function of each kinase receptor and found that the PRK6 receptor was essential to detect LURE." For PRK6, there are actually multiple families of receptors that have a similar amino acid sequence. Upon deactivating the function of other PRK receptors, Takeuchi and Higashiyama found that the loss of various combinations of PRK receptors led to reductions in responses of the pollen tubes to LURE or hindered pollen tube growth. This coincides with previous reports that the growth of pollen tubes is induced by the PRK receptor responding to the signals sent from the pistil. Hence, the team found that PRK6 and its other PRK receptors work together to detect LURE as well as enable pollen tubes to grow to a position inside a pistil where it can detect LURE. Takeuchi next studied how PRK6 sends signals within the cells of the pollen tube to understand how it responds to LURE. "When the pollen tube is growing in a straight direction, PRK6 is distributed equally across the cell membrane," explains Takeuchi. "I used fluorescently labeled PRK6 and upon addition of LURE to the pollen tube, I observed that PRK6 moves towards the area of cell membrane on the tip of the pollen tube that faces LURE. The pollen tube then changes its direction and starts to grow towards LURE." From these results, the team showed that PRK6 collects the factors necessary for pollen tube growth in the direction of LURE. "Although the attraction of pollen tubes is considered to occur preferentially between the same species, we wanted to see whether if we can make it occur between different species," says Higashiyama. Upon treatment of LURE from Arabidopsis thaliana to a pollen tube of a Capsella rubella (pink shepherd's-purse) plant, which is in the same Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) family as Arabidopsis thaliana, no response to LURE was observed. "Interestingly, when we inserted the PRK6 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana into the pollen tube of Capsella rubella, it responded to the LURE of Arabidopsis thaliana," says Takeuchi. "This data shows that the PRK6 receptor in the pollen tube is surely the key factor to detect LURE of the same species. We were also really excited to see pollen tube attraction occur between a pollen tube and a LURE of a different species," say Takeuchi and Higashiyama. The generation of seeds through the fertilization of the pistil by the stamen has been known for over 2000 years ago and is an extremely important mechanism in agriculture. In addition, the fact that pollen tubes are attracted to the pistil organ has been discovered over 100 years ago. Since the discovery of the attractant molecule LURE, the disclosure of the mechanism of response to the protein has been sought. This study reveals that the PRK6 receptor in pollen tubes is the main factor for detection of and growth towards LURE. "By further investigation on the family of PRK receptors, we hope to unveil the full mechanism of fertilization that occurs through the growth of pollen tubes and the detection of LURE," say Takeuchi and Higashiyama. "We also found in our studies that the insertion of a PRK6 receptor gene allows attraction of the pollen tube of a different species," says Higashiyama. "This may have potential in developing new methods to enable fertilization between different species. By exploring molecules that target PRK receptors, this may lead to the production of agrochemicals that can improve seed production by increasing the fertilization rate. We also envisage that this study will trigger new research to enable fertilization between different species to create new and useful plant species that can contribute towards a sustainable food supply," he continues. More information: Hidenori Takeuchi et al. Tip-localized receptors control pollen tube growth and LURE sensing in Arabidopsis, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature17413


News Article | September 12, 2016
Site: phys.org

Nagoya, Japan - Dr. Lingkui Meng, Dr. Yasutomo Segawa, Professor Kenichiro Itami of the JST-ERATO Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project, Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University and Integrated Research Consortium on Chemical Sciences, and their colleagues have reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, on the development of a simple and effective method for the synthesis of thiophene-fused PAHs. Thiophene-fused PAHs are organic molecules composed of multiple aromatic rings including thiophene. Thiophene is a five-membered aromatic ring containing four carbon atoms and a sulfur atom. Thiophene-fused PAHs are known to be one of the most common organic semiconductors and are used in various electronic materials, such as in transistors, organic thin-film solar cells, organic electro-luminescent diodes and electronic devices. More recently, they have found use in wearable devices due to their lightweight and flexibility. Thienannulation (thiophene-annulation) reactions, a transformation that makes new thiophene rings via cyclization, leads to various thiophene-fused PAHs. Most conventional thienannulation methods require the introduction of two functional groups adjacent to each other to form two reactive sites on PAHs before the cyclization can take place. Thus, multiple steps are required for the preparation of the substrates. As a consequence, a more simple method to access thiophene-fused PAHs is desirable. A team led by Yasutomo Segawa, a group leader of the JST-ERATO project, and Kenichiro Itami, the director of the JST-ERATO project and the center director of ITbM, has succeeded in developing a simple and effective method for the formation of various thiophene-fused PAHs. They have managed to start from PAHs that have only one functional group, which saves the effort of installing another functional group, and have performed the thienannulation reactions using elemental sulfur, a readily available low cost reagent. The reactions can be carried out on a multigram scale and can be conducted in a one-pot two-step reaction sequence starting from an unfunctionalized PAH. This new approach can also generate multiple thiophene moieties in a single reaction. Hence, this method has the advantage of offering a significant reduction in the number of required steps and in the reagent costs for thiophene-fused PAH synthesis compared to conventional methods. The researchers have shown that upon heating and stirring the dimethylformamide solution of arylethynyl group-substituted PAHs and elemental sulfur in air, they were able to obtain the corresponding thiophene-fused PAHs. The arylethynyl group consists of an alkyne (a moiety with a carbon-carbon triple bond) bonded to an aromatic ring. The reaction proceeds via a carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bond cleavage at the position next to the arylethynyl group (called the ortho-position) on PAHs, in the presence of sulfur. As the ortho-C-H bond on the PAH can be cleaved under the reaction conditions, prior functionalization (installation of a functional group) becomes unnecessary. Arylethynyl-substituted PAHs are readily accessible by the Sonogashira coupling, which is a cross-coupling reaction to form carbon-carbon bonds between an alkyne and a halogen-substituted aromatic compound. The synthesis of thiophene-fused PAHs can also be carried out in one-pot, in which PAHs are subjected to a Sonogashira coupling to form arylethynyl-substituted PAHs, followed by direct treatment of the alkyne with elemental sulfur to induce thienannulation. "Actually, we coincidentally discovered this reaction when we were testing different chemical reactions to synthesize a new molecule for the Itami ERATO project," says Yasutomo Segawa, one of the leaders of this study. "At first, most members including myself felt that the reaction may have already been reported because it is indeed a very simple reaction. Therefore, the most difficult part of this research was to clarify the novelty of this reaction. We put in a significant amount of effort to investigate previous reports, including textbooks from more than 50 years ago as well as various Internet sources, to make sure that our reaction conditions had not been disclosed before," he continues. The team succeeded in synthesizing more than 20 thiophene-fused PAHs. They also revealed that multiple formations of thiophene rings of PAHs substituted with multiple arylethynyl groups could be carried out all at once. Multiple thiophene-fused PAHs were generated from three-fold and five-fold thienannulations, which generated triple thia[5]helicene (containing three thiophenes) and pentathienocorannulene (containing five thiophenes), respectively. The pentathienocorannulene was an unprecedented molecule that was synthesized for the first time. "I was extremely happy when I was able to obtain the propeller-shaped triple thia[5]helicene and hat-shaped pentathienocorannulene, because I have always been aiming to synthesize exciting new molecules since I joined Professor Itami's group," says Lingkui Meng, a postdoctoral researcher who mainly conducted the experiments. "We had some problems in purifying the compounds but we were delighted when we obtained the crystal structures of the thiophene compounds, which proved that the desired reactions had taken place." "The best part of this research for me is to discover that our C-H functionalization strategy on PAHs could be applied to synthesize structurally beautiful molecules with high functionalities," says Segawa. "The successful synthesis of a known high-performance organic semiconductive molecule, (2,6-bis(4-n-octylphenyl)- dithieno[3,2-b:2?,3?-d]thiophene (the lower right of Figure 4), from a relatively cheap substrate opens doors to access useful thiophene compounds in a rapid and cost-effective manner." "We hope that ongoing advances in our method may lead to the development of new organic electronic devices, including semiconductor and luminescent materials," say Segawa and Itami. "We are considering the possibilities to make this reaction applicable for making useful thiophene-fused PAHs, which would lead to the rapid discovery and optimization of key molecules that would advance the field of materials science." Explore further: 2D organic materials: World's first synthesis of thiophene nanosheets with 3.5nm thickness More information: Lingkui Meng et al, Thiophene-Fused π-Systems from Diarylacetylenes and Elemental Sulfur, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2016). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b06486


News Article | August 31, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

Kaho Maeda, Dr. Hideto Ito, Professor Kenichiro Itami of the JST-ERATO Itami Molecular Nanocarbon Project and the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, and their colleagues have reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, on the development of a new and simple strategy, "helix-to-tube" to synthesize covalent organic nanotubes. Organic nanotubes (ONTs) are organic molecules with tubular nanostructures. Nanostructures are structures that range between 1 nm and 100 nm, and ONTs have a nanometer-sized cavity. Various applications of ONTs have been reported, including molecular recognition materials, transmembrane ion channel/sensors, electro-conductive materials, and organic photovoltaics. Most ONTs are constructed by a self-assembly process based on weak non-covalent interactions such as hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic interactions and π-π interactions between aromatic rings. Due to these relatively weak interactions, most non-covalent ONTs possess a relatively fragile structure. Covalent ONTs, whose tubular skeletons are cross-linked by covalent bonding (a bond made by sharing of electrons between atoms) could be synthesized from non-covalent ONTs. While covalent ONTs show higher stability and mechanical strength than non-covalent ONTs, the general synthetic strategy for covalent ONTs was yet to be established. A team led by Hideto Ito and Kenichiro Itami has succeeded in developing a simple and effective method for the synthesis of robust covalent ONTs (tube) by an operationally simple light irradiation of a readily accessible helical polymer (helix). This so-called "helix-to-tube" strategy is based on the following steps: 1) polymerization of a small molecule (monomer) to make a helical polymer followed by, 2) light-induced cross-linking at longitudinally repeating pitches across the whole helix to form covalent nanotubes. With their strategy, the team designed and synthesized diacetylene-based helical polymers (acetylenes are molecules that contain carbon-carbon triple bonds), poly(m-phenylene diethynylene)s (poly-PDEs), which has chiral amide side chains that are able to induce a helical folding through hydrogen-bonding interactions. The researchers revealed that light-induced cross-linking at longitudinally aligned 1,3-butadiyne moieties (a group of molecules that contain four carbons with triple bonds at the first and third carbons) could generate the desired covalent ONT. "This is the first time in the world to show that the photochemical polymerization reaction of diynes is applicable to the cross-linking reaction of a helical polymer," says Maeda, a graduate student who mainly conducted the experiments. The "helix-to-tube" method is expected to be able to generate a range of ONT-based materials by simply changing the arene (aromatic ring) unit in the monomer. "One of the most difficult parts of this research was how to obtain scientific evidence on the structures of poly-PDEs and covalent ONTs," says Ito, one of the leaders of this study. "We had little experience with the analysis of polymers and macromolecules such as ONTs. Fortunately, thanks to the support of our collaborators in Nagoya University, who are specialists in these particular research fields, we finally succeeded in characterizing these macromolecules by various techniques including spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and microscopy." "Although it took us about a year to synthesize the covalent ONT, it took another one and a half year to determine the structure of the nanotube," says Maeda. "I was extremely excited when I first saw the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images, which indicated that we had actually made the covalent ONT that we were expecting," she continues. "The best part of the research for me was finding that the photochemical cross-linking had taken place on the helix for the first time," says Maeda. "In addition, photochemical cross-linking is known to usually occur in the solid phase, but we were able to show that the reaction takes place in the solution phase as well. As the reactions have never been carried out before, I was dubious at first, but it was a wonderful feeling to succeed in making the reaction work for the first time in the world. I can say for sure that this was a moment where I really found research interesting." "We were really excited to develop this simple yet powerful method to achieve the synthesis of covalent ONTs," says Itami, the director of the JST-ERATO project and the center director of ITbM. "The "helix-to-tube" method enables molecular level design and will lead to the synthesis of various covalent ONTs with fixed diameters and tube lengths with desirable functionalities." "We envisage that ongoing advances in the "helix-to-tube" method may lead to the development of various ONT-based materials including electro-conductive materials and luminescent materials," says Ito. "We are currently carrying out work on the "helix-to-tube" methodology and we hope to synthesize covalent ONTs with interesting properties for various applications."


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Nagoya University research team uses new image processing tool to confirm human visual system has evolved specifically to detect snakes. Some studies have suggested that the visual systems of humans and other primates are finely tuned to identify dangerous creatures such as snakes and spiders. This is understandable because, among our ancestors, those who were more able to see and avoid these animals would have been more likely to pass on their genes to the next generation. However, it has been difficult to compare the recognition of different animals in an unbiased way because of their different shapes, anatomical features, and levels of camouflage. In a study reported recently in PLOS ONE, a pair of researchers at Nagoya University obtained strong support for the idea that humans have heightened visual awareness of snakes. The researchers applied an image manipulation tool and revealed that subjects could identify snakes in much more blurry images than they could identify other harmless animals in equivalent images. The tool, called Random Image Structure Evolution (RISE), was used to create a series of 20 images of snakes, birds, cats, and fish, ranging from completely blurred to completely clear. The pair then asked subjects to views these images in order of increasing clarity until they could identify the animal in the picture. "Because of the algorithm that it uses, RISE produces images that allow unbiased comparison between the recognition of different animals," first author Nobuyuki Kawai says. "In the images, the animals are 'camouflaged' in a uniform way, representing typical conditions in which animals are encountered in the wild." The snakes were increasingly well-identified in the sixth to eighth of 20 images, while the subjects often needed to see the less blurred ninth or tenth images to identity the other animals. "This suggests that humans are primed to pick out snakes even in dense undergrowth, in a way that isn't activated for other animals that aren't a threat," co-author Hongshen He explains. The findings confirm the Snake Detection Theory; namely, that the visual system of humans and primates has specifically evolved in a way that facilitates picking out of dangerous animals. This work augments understanding of the evolutionary pressures placed on our ancestors.


News Article | April 8, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

A group of scientists at Nagoya University has succeeded in discovering AMOR, a sugar chain molecule that increases the fertilization efficiency in plants. AMOR was found to be responsible for activating pollen tubes to lead to fertilization. Moreover, through the collaboration between biologists and chemists, the group has synthesized a disaccharide, i.e. a double sugar, which exhibits the same properties as AMOR. This discovery is expected to lead to advances in research to improve plant fertilization efficiency as well as carbohydrate chemistry for plants. Nagoya, Japan - Dr. Akane Mizukami and Professor Tetsuya Higashiyama of the JST-ERATO Higashiyama Live-Holonics Project and the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, and their colleagues have reported their new findings on April 8, 2016, in Current Biology, on their success in identifying a sugar chain that activates pollen tubes to respond to attractant molecules that promote fertilization in plants. When pollen grains (male reproductive organ) germinate at the tip of the pistil (female reproductive organ), a pollen tube grows through the pistil. There have been many reports that suggest the presence of a compound that is present inside the pistil, which activates the pollen tube to respond to attractant molecules for fertilization, i.e. like a love potion sent out by the female organ to attract the male organ towards them. However, the actual nature of this substance has been a mystery up to now. Using Torenia fournieri as a model plant, Higashiyama's group and his colleagues have succeeded for the first time in identifying the activator for pollen tubes. This activator consists of arabinogalactan, which is a sugar chain specific for plants. The group named it as Activation Molecule for Response-Capability (AMOR), taken from the Latin word meaning "love" and "cupid", thus illustrating its function to bring female and male organs together, to promote fertilization in plants. In their study, the group also reported that the two sugar units at the terminus of AMOR were the active component responsible for pollen tube activation towards attractant molecules. Thus, through the collaboration with synthetic chemists, Dr. Jiao Jiao and Dr. Junichiro Yamaguchi, the team synthesized a disaccharide that consists of methyl-glucuronic acid and galactose linked together. They found that the newly synthesized molecule activates the pollen tube to respond to attractant molecules, and lead to successful fertilization. "We are excited to demonstrate for the first time, that this terminus disaccharide, which is characteristic to sugar chains in plants, is responsible for the signaling between plant cells," said Higashiyama, project leader of the ERATO project and a Professor/Vice-Director at ITbM, Nagoya University. "This could lead to the development of new methods to improve the plant fertilization efficiency and open a new avenue for carbohydrate research in plant biology using synthetic chemistry approaches." For fertilization to occur in seed plants (angiosperms), it is necessary for pollen grains to pollinate at the pistil, followed by germination and growth of a pollen tube through the pistil, with final delivery of the sperm cells to the ovules that contain the egg cells. Upon passing through the pistil, the pollen tube receives various substances, such as plant hormones and glycoproteins. In mammals, a phenomenon called sperm capacitation, which is where the sperm becomes activated by substances originating from the female organs, has been known for a long time. Thus, there has been much research ongoing to uncover its molecular mechanism. Similarly in plants, there have been reports on a phenomenon where pollen tubes receive attractant molecules that are produced from the two synergid cells located next to the egg cells, in order to grow their tubes towards the egg cells and lead to fertilization. However, the molecular mechanism on how pollen tubes become capable of responding to attractant molecules has not been uncovered. "In this research, I have used Torenia fournieri plants to develop new experiments to test which factors cause the pollen tubes to gain response capability towards attractant molecules," said Akane Mizukami, currently an assistant professor at the Aichi Gakuin University, who mainly conducted the biological assay. Torenia fournieri is unique in that the egg apparatus, containing the egg cell and the two synergid cells, protrudes from the ovule. "By using this method to measure the activities in various parts of the Torenia flower, we found AMOR, the molecule which enabled pollen tubes to gain the ability to respond to attractant molecules produced by the synergid cells," describes Mizukami. Through the purification of AMOR, the group found that AMOR contains a sugar chain called arabinogalactan, which is characteristic for plants. Furthermore, by using a digestive enzyme specific for cutting the arabinogalactan sugar chain at various sections, the group was able to identify that a disaccharide moiety containing a methyl-glucuronic acid unit located at the terminus of arabinogalactan, was essential for AMOR's activity. The organic chemists in the group then synthesized the disaccharide moiety on the terminus of arabinogalactan. "Although I can now say it is easy, at the beginning when I joined this project, I struggled a lot to synthesize and isolate the sugar compounds, because I was not exactly an expert in sugar chemistry, and it was a new research field for me," said Jiao Jiao, a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Kenichiro Itami's lab at ITbM, Nagoya University. "I also find many organic chemists have the same feeling that sugar compounds are difficult to handle, especially when handling them in isolation." "It took me about three months to obtain the desired compound with a confirmed structure and good purity. The synthesis of this small sugar molecule was really like a total synthetic project. My mentor, Junichiro Yamaguchi (Associate Professor at Nagoya University) was an expert for making natural products, and he designed the synthetic route initially," continues Jiao. "We discussed and modified the procedure to make it better and better both in selectivity and yield. I guess the three months for me was really a precious time for studying new chemistry and getting a good experience for my future." Interestingly, when the β-linkage isomer of the synthesized methyl-glucuronosyl galactose disaccharide was added to the culture, the pollen tube was attracted to the attractant molecule. "This shows that this particular disaccharide was the key structure for AMOR activity," explains Mizukami. Other synthesized derivatives of the disaccharide were also added to the culture to see its effect on pollen tube response capability towards attractant molecules. The group also found that the methyl group on the methyl-glucuronic acid unit and the β-linkage between the two sugars was also necessary for attraction of the pollen tube. "This behavior of pollen tubes indicates that they are clearly recognizing the specific structure of the disaccharide." This new study has revealed the presence of AMOR, the sugar molecule responsible for controlling the pollen tube's response capability towards attractant molecules, which is an ability that is essential for plant fertilization to succeed. The arabinogalactan sugar chain is commonly present in the cell wall of plants and is known to be involved in various signaling pathways within the cell. However, effective analytical methods to identify the active sites on the sugar chain have not been well established and the exact role of the sugar chain structure has not been fully clarified up to now. Through the combination of a biological approach using various sugar-digesting enzymes and a chemical approach using synthetic sugars, the group succeeded in uncovering the active functional site on the plant's sugar chain. In addition, it was the first time that a specific sugar chain structure that is part of the extracellular matrix in plants, has been identified as a bioactive species that functions in the signaling pathway between cells. "The interdisciplinary research between biology and chemistry has been absolutely fantastic," speaks Jiao. "I feel super fun to talk and discuss about research with biologists. We share a different knowledge of science, experimental techniques and so on. We never feel shy to ask some "stupid" question because we are not only collaborators but also like friends or teachers to each other. I definitely want to and am looking forward to such kind of collaboration again in the near future," she continues. "This research is an outcome of a fantastic fusion between my colleagues, which include biologists in my lab, chemists in the Itami lab, as well as the Molecular Structure Center at ITbM," said Higashiyama. "I believe that the result of this collaboration not only sheds light on the long sought mystery of arabinogalactan sugar chains but will also advance the understanding of the yet to be resolved signaling pathway between cells involving sugar chains."


Examples of a Random Image Structure Evolution (RISE) sequence for snake pictures. Participants looked at a sequence of 20 pictures with interpolation ration starting from 95 percent to 0 percent with steps of 5 percent. RISE sequence gradually changes from unorganized to well discernible. Credit: Nobuyuki Kawai Some studies have suggested that the visual systems of humans and other primates are finely tuned to identify dangerous creatures such as snakes and spiders. This is understandable because, among our ancestors, those who were more able to see and avoid these animals would have been more likely to pass on their genes to the next generation. However, it has been difficult to compare the recognition of different animals in an unbiased way because of their different shapes, anatomical features, and levels of camouflage. In a study reported recently in PLOS ONE, a pair of researchers at Nagoya University obtained strong support for the idea that humans have heightened visual awareness of snakes. The researchers applied an image manipulation tool and revealed that subjects could identify snakes in much more blurry images than they could identify other harmless animals in equivalent images. The tool, called Random Image Structure Evolution (RISE), was used to create a series of 20 images of snakes, birds, cats, and fish, ranging from completely blurred to completely clear. The pair then asked subjects to views these images in order of increasing clarity until they could identify the animal in the picture. "Because of the algorithm that it uses, RISE produces images that allow unbiased comparison between the recognition of different animals," first author Nobuyuki Kawai says. "In the images, the animals are 'camouflaged' in a uniform way, representing typical conditions in which animals are encountered in the wild." The snakes were increasingly well-identified in the sixth to eighth of 20 images, while the subjects often needed to see the less blurred ninth or tenth images to identity the other animals. "This suggests that humans are primed to pick out snakes even in dense undergrowth, in a way that isn't activated for other animals that aren't a threat," co-author Hongshen He explains. The findings confirm the Snake Detection Theory; namely, that the visual system of humans and primates has specifically evolved in a way that facilitates picking out of dangerous animals. This work augments understanding of the evolutionary pressures placed on our ancestors. Explore further: Snake eyes: New insights into visual adaptations More information: Nobuyuki Kawai et al, Breaking Snake Camouflage: Humans Detect Snakes More Accurately than Other Animals under Less Discernible Visual Conditions, PLOS ONE (2016). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164342


Kobayashi H.,Nagoya University | Lohne T.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

Several hundred stars older than 10 million years have been observed to have infrared excesses. These observations are explained by dust grains formed by the collisional fragmentation of hidden planetesimals. Such dusty planetesimal discs are known as debris discs. In a dynamically cold planetesimal disc, collisional coagulation of planetesimals produces planetary embryos which then stir the surrounding leftover planetesimals. Thus, the collisional fragmentation of planetesimals that results from planet formation forms a debris disc. We aim to determine the properties of the underlying planetesimals in debris discs by numerically modelling the coagulation and fragmentation of planetesimal populations. The brightness and temporal evolution of debris discs depend on the radial distribution of planetesimal discs, the location of their inner and outer edges, their total mass, and the size of planetesimals in the disc. We find that a radially narrow planetesimal disc is most likely to result in a debris disc that can explain the trend of observed infrared excesses of debris discsvvv around G-type stars, for which planet formation occurs only before 100 million years. Early debris disc formation is induced by planet formation, while the later evolution is explained by the collisional decay of leftover planetesimals around planets that have already formed. Planetesimal discs with underlying planetesimals of radii ~100 km at ~30 au most readily explain the Spitzer Space Telescope 24 and 70 μm fluxes from debris discs around G-type stars. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Peters J.-M.,imp Inc | Nishiyama T.,imp Inc | Nishiyama T.,Nagoya University
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology | Year: 2012

During S phase, not only does DNA have to be replicated, but also newly synthesized DNA molecules have to be connected with each other. This sister chromatid cohesion is essential for the biorientation of chromosomes on the mitotic or meiotic spindle, and is thus an essential prerequisite for chromosome segregation. Cohesion is mediated by cohesin complexes that are thought to embrace sister chromatids as large rings. Cohesin binds to DNA dynamically before DNA replication and is converted into a stably DNA-bound form during replication. This conversion requires acetylation of cohesin, which in vertebrates leads to recruitment of sororin. Sororin antagonizes Wapl, a protein that is able to release cohesin from DNA, presumably by opening the cohesin ring. Inhibition ofWapl by sororin therefore "locks" cohesin rings on DNA and allows them to maintain cohesion for long periods of time in mammalian oocytes, possibly for months or even years. © 2012 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.


Patent
Nagoya University and Mitsubishi Rayon Co. | Date: 2013-01-09

A method for producing an -acyloxycarbonyl compound of the present invention includes performing an intermolecular reaction between a carboxylic acid and a carbonyl compound selected from the group consisting of ketones, aldehydes, and esters, which have a hydrogen atom at the -position, using a hydroperoxide as an oxidizer and an iodide salt as a catalyst precursor, thereby introducing an acyloxy group derived from the carboxylic acid into the -position of the carbonyl compound.


Patent
Mitsubishi Rayon Co. and Nagoya University | Date: 2011-03-04

A method for producing an -acyloxycarbonyl compound of the present invention includes performing an intermolecular reaction between a carboxylic acid and a carbonyl compound selected from the group consisting of ketones, aldehydes, and esters, which have a hydrogen atom at the -position, using a hydroperoxide as an oxidizer and an iodide salt as a catalyst precursor, thereby introducing an acyloxy group derived from the carboxylic acid into the -position of the carbonyl compound.


Akamatsu Y.,Nagoya University | Yamamoto N.,Kyoto University | Yamamoto N.,University of Maryland University College
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We study the collective modes in relativistic electromagnetic or quark-gluon plasmas with an asymmetry between left- and right-handed chiral fermions, based on the recently formulated kinetic theory with Berry curvature corrections. We find that there exists an unstable mode, signaling the presence of a plasma instability. We argue the fate of this "chiral plasma instability" including the effect of collisions, and briefly discuss its relevance in heavy ion collisions and compact stars. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Terakawa T.,Nagoya University | Miller S.A.,University of Bonn | Deichmann N.,ETH Zurich
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth | Year: 2012

[1] We analyzed 118 well-constrained focal mechanisms to estimate the pore fluid pressure field of the stimulated region during the fluid injection experiment in Basel, Switzerland. This technique, termed focal mechanism tomography (FMT), uses the orientations of slip planes within the prevailing regional stress field as an indicator of the fluid pressure along the plane at the time of slip. The maximum value and temporal change of excess pore fluid pressures are consistent with the known history of the wellhead pressure applied at the borehole. Elevated pore fluid pressures were concentrated within 500 m of the open hole section, which are consistent with the spatiotemporal evolution of the induced microseismicity. Our results demonstrate that FMT is a robust approach, being validated at the meso-scale of the Basel stimulation experiment. We found average earthquake triggering excess pore fluid pressures of about 10 MPa above hydrostatic. Overpressured fluids induced many small events (M < 3) along faults unfavorably oriented relative to the tectonic stress pattern, while the larger events tended to occur along optimally oriented faults. This suggests that small-scale hydraulic networks, developed from the high pressure stimulation, interact to load (hydraulically isolated) high strength bridges that produce the larger events. The triggering pore fluid pressures are substantially higher than that predicted from a linear pressure diffusion process from the source boundary, and shows that the system is highly permeable along flow paths that allow fast pressure diffusion to the boundaries of the stimulated region. © 2012. American Geophysical Union.


Nojiri S.,Nagoya University | Odintsov S.D.,Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas | Odintsov S.D.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Odintsov S.D.,Eurasian University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2012

We propose a bigravity analogue of the F(R) gravity. Our construction is based on recent ghost-free massive bigravity where additional scalar fields are added and the corresponding conformal transformation is implemented. It turns out that F(R) bigravity is easier to formulate in terms of the auxiliary scalars as the explicit presentation in terms of F(R) is quite cumbersome. The consistent cosmological reconstruction scheme of F(R) bigravity is developed in detail, showing the possibility to realize nearly arbitrary physical universe evolution with consistent solution for second metric. The examples of accelerating universe which includes phantom, quintessence and ΛCDM acceleration are worked out in detail and their physical properties are briefly discussed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Beye F.,Nagoya University | Kobayashi T.,Hokkaido University | Kuwakino S.,Chung Yuan Christian University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We show that non-Abelian discrete symmetries in orbifold string models have a gauge origin. This can be understood when looking at the vicinity of a symmetry enhanced point in moduli space. At such an enhanced point, orbifold fixed points are characterized by an enhanced gauge symmetry. This gauge symmetry can be broken to a discrete subgroup by a nontrivial vacuum expectation value of the Kähler modulus T. Using this mechanism it is shown that the δ(54) non-Abelian discrete symmetry group originates from a SU(3) gauge symmetry, whereas the D4 symmetry group is obtained from a SU(2) gauge symmetry. © 2014 The Authors.


Akamatsu Y.,Nagoya University | Yamamoto N.,University of Maryland University College
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

Charged plasmas with chirality imbalance are unstable and tend to reduce the imbalance. This chiral plasma instability is, however, not captured in (anomalous) hydrodynamics for high-temperature non-Abelian plasmas. We derive a Langevin-type classical effective theory with anomalous parity-violating effects for non-Abelian plasmas that describes the chiral plasma instability at the magnetic scale. We show that the time scale of the instability is of order [g4Tln(1/g)]-1 at weak coupling. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Patent
Sysmex Corporation, Nagoya University and Maruyama | Date: 2016-05-04

The present invention relates to a method for amplifying a nucleic acid. More specifically, the present invention relates to a method for amplifying a nucleic acid in a light irradiation dependent manner under a substantially isothermal condition using a photo-responsive nucleic acid which may contain azobenzene residues and may reversibly change between cis and trans conformation by alternate exposure to visible light and UV light.


Patent
French National Center for Scientific Research, Nagoya University, French Institute of Health, Medical Research, Lille University of Science and Technology | Date: 2013-07-30

Glycan compositions, processes for preparing the same and their uses as a drug.


The present invention relates to a method for controlling dissociation of a double stranded nucleic acid. The present invention also relates to a method for controlling strand exchange reaction of a double stranded nucleic acid. The present invention further relates to a method for amplifying a nucleic acid.


Patent
Nagoya University and Sysmex Corporation | Date: 2015-10-20

The present invention relates to a method for amplifying a nucleic acid. More specifically, the present invention relates to a method for amplifying a nucleic acid in a light irradiation dependent manner under a substantially isothermal condition using a photo-responsive nucleic acid.


Camacho C.,Nagoya University | Niehaus T.A.,University of Regensburg | Itami K.,Nagoya University | Irle S.,Nagoya University
Chemical Science | Year: 2013

Quantum chemical electronic structure calculations were employed to investigate the nature of the low-lying excited states of [n]cycloparaphenylenes ([n]CPPs) and the role of static and dynamic geometrical distortions in the bright states. The lowest-energy bright states involve single-electron excitations from S0 ground state to S2 and S3 states, which are at the Franck-Condon geometry the two components of a twofold degenerate 1E state. They couple to a twofold degenerate e vibration which induces Jahn-Teller (JT) deformation of the CPP geometry from circular to oval shape. Non-radiative decay from the S2/S3 states to the ground S0 and first excited, dark S1 states is suppressed due to symmetry rules. The emission spectral features in CPPs with large number of phenylene units n can therefore largely be attributed to the E⊗e JT system associated with S2 and S3. However, absorption and emission energies computed at the respective S0 and S2/S3 minimum energy geometries are found to be nearly identical, independent of the molecular size n in the CPP molecules. In contrast, molecular dynamics simulations performed on the excited state potential surfaces are able to explain the experimentally observed fluorescence blueshift of the strongest emission peaks with increasing molecular size. This unusual feature turns out to be a consequence of large vibrational amplitudes in small [n]CPPs, causing greater Stokes shifts, while large [n]CPPs are more rigid and therefore feature smaller Stokes shifts ("dynamic blueshift"). For the same reasons, symmetry rules are violated to a greater extent in small [n]CPPs, and it is expected that in their case a "static blueshift" due to emission from S1 contributes in the fluorescence spectra. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Patent
French National Center for Scientific Research and Nagoya University | Date: 2014-02-05

The present invention relates to glycan compositions, processes for preparing the same and their uses as a drug.


News Article | October 13, 2016
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

The most common type of diabetes, type 2, is characterized by insulin resistance and high blood glucose. Many patients are prescribed metformin, an anti-diabetic drug known to decrease hepatic glucose production and increase its uptake by muscle. Metformin also shows positive effects on other diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, nerve disorders, and some cancers. These versatile effects suggest that metformin could target multiple molecules, although details of its targets have remained unclear. A research team led by Nagoya University has now identified a novel potential target, a protein that mediates the exchange of sodium and hydrogen ions, using the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The study was reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. This latest study found that metformin reduces L1 longevity, a survival response to starvation of the first larval stage, in C. elegans. A genetic screen identified a mutant worm resistant to metformin's action. The mutation was mapped to the endosomal sodium/hydrogen exchanger protein NHX-5, suggesting it could be used as a potential target. The fruit fly Drosophila is another model organism that researchers commonly use, and it was previously shown that metformin treatment reduces the lifespan of flies. In this study, the researchers tested mutant flies lacking NHE3, which is the homologous protein (one sharing an evolutionary history) to NHX-5 in Drosophila. They showed that NHE3 mutant flies are completely resistant to metformin. This result suggests that NHE is also the target of metformin in flies and that NHE may be a conserved target of metformin in other species. NHX-5 is expressed in many parts of C. elegans, including the intestine and neurons. In the cell, it exists in the membranes of cellular components known as endosomes. Endosomes transport molecules such as proteins through a pathway that enables the sorted proteins to be secreted, recycled, or degraded. Treatment of C. elegans with metformin was shown to prevent formation of related cellular components known as autophagosomes, which are structures that break down cellular material, particularly during periods of starvation as a means of obtaining energy. Metformin also reduced the oxygen consumption rate of C. elegans, hinting it may inhibit the function of mitochondria (cellular metabolic energy generators), as seen in mammals. "These findings suggest metformin targets NHX-5 to disrupt autophagy and related subcellular processes during L1 starvation in C. elegans, so that less energy is available," corresponding author Young-Jai You says. "This ultimately reduces L1 longevity, and supports a link between mitochondria and the endocytic cycle that is controlled by NHX-5." This work offers new insight into the molecular mechanism of metformin action, which could aid development of new treatments for diabetes.


News Article | September 2, 2016
Site: phys.org

Dr. Toshiaki Tameshige, Associate Professor Naoyuki Uchida and Professor Keiko Torii of the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, and their colleagues at the University of Washington (USA) and Nara Institute of Science and Technology (Japan) have reported their new findings in the journal Current Biology, on how a peptide and its receptors work to regulate auxin response and control leaf tooth growth in plants. The plant hormone auxin has been known to take part in the development of leaf teeth, but the exact mechanism of their formation has been a mystery up till now. In this study, the research group has found that a peptide called EPIDERMAL PATTERNING FACTOR-LIKE 2 (EPFL2) and its receptor protein, ERECTA family receptor kinases, control the amount of auxin during leaf tooth growth. In plant leaves where the EPFL2 peptide is inactive, the leaf becomes round without teeth. Many leaves have small zigzags called leaf teeth on their margin. Examples of plants that contain leaf teeth include cherry blossoms, maples, dandelions and shiso that are used with many Japanese dishes. The leaf teeth of holly and thistle leaves have developed to become hard thorns to protect the plants themselves. Because of the pain that they cause, these leaves have been used as a charm against evil spirits or have appeared in myths to resemble sorrow and pain. Although plant teeth have been known to function for some plants as a means for protection, water drainage, and photosynthesis, the exact reason why they exist and how they are made are yet to be revealed. In this study, the team discovered the main substance that creates the plant teeth and found out how it works. The key substance that they discovered was a peptide called EPFL2. "I first started to wonder about the shape of leaves in 2012," says Uchida, one of the authors of this study. "I originally started this work with Satoshi Okamoto, a student in our group." Toshiaki Tameshige, a postdoctoral researcher at ITbM joined the team in 2013 to take up this work based on his expertise in plant leaves. "My interest in plant leaves dates back to 10 years ago, in 2006," says Tameshige, who conducted the experiments. "I was attracted to leaves because of its beautiful appearance and was fascinated by their various shapes. We decided to look into the function of EPFL2 to see its effect on leaf shapes." EPFL2 is a peptide (a chain of amino acids) that has recently been discovered. Like the plant hormone auxin, EPFL2 is secreted from plants but its function had not been uncovered yet. By using the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, the team studied the function of EPFL2 and found that plants that are unable to synthesize EPFL2 grow with rounded leaves, which do not develop the leaf teeth that are usually present in the wild type. Thus, they found that EPFL2 was essential for the formation of leaves with a zigzag edge. Compounds such as the EPFL2 peptide and auxin, which control plant growth, act as 'keys' to activate specific physiological processes. The keys work by interacting with a 'lock'—in other words, a receptor protein that binds with plant growth substances. In this study, the group succeeded in identifying the EPFL2 receptor along with EPFL2 for the first time. The receptor of the EPFL2 peptide was characterized as a protein, which is part of the ERECTA family (ERf). The group found that the plants, which have lost some of the functions of the ERf receptor have developed leaves without teeth in a similar manner to the plants that are unable to make EPFL2. "The most difficult part of this research was quantifying the degree of zigzags for leaf teeth," says Tameshige. "I have tried several different calculation methods and managed to develop a method for quantifying and comparing leaf teeth. After looking at over 1000 leaves, I was pleased to find evidence that EPFL2 plays an essential role in creating zigzag edges on the leaves." For the leaf to gain its shape, the leaf starts from a small round shape and growth in specific parts of the leaf are controlled as the plant grows. In other words, growth in some parts of the leaf is enhanced whereas growth in other parts is suppressed to create protrusions and dents in leaves, respectively. There have been reports that auxin is responsible for the edges to protrude and grow into leaf teeth. Auxin is known to accumulate at the tips of leaf protrusions for plants under growth, and does not accumulate in the surrounding skirts of the tip. This difference in the concentration of auxin is necessary for the development of leaf protrusions, but the origin of this concentration difference during tooth growth has been unexplained up till now. By studying the relationship between the EPFL2 peptide and auxin, the group found that EPFL2 inhibits the accumulation of auxin at skirts of tooth tips. Since EPFL2 was not synthesized at the tip of the leaf teeth but was only present at the skirts of the teeth, this prevented the accumulation of auxin at the skirts of the tip. In plants that are unable to make EPFL2, auxin spreads across the margin of the leaf and thus, leaf teeth are not generated due to the absence of different auxin concentrations across different regions. The team next studied why the EPFL2 peptide was not made at the tip of the leaf teeth, but was only present at the skirts of the tips. Interestingly, they found evidence indicating that auxin determines the position of EPFL2 generation, i.e. where auxin accumulates, EPFL2 is not synthesized at that position. Therefore, the position where auxin accumulates and the position where EPFL2 is being generated resemble a photographic relationship of positive and negative images. "I was really excited the moment when we saw that EPFL2 and auxin were in an inverse relationship," says Uchida. "It is difficult to say which is first, as it is like the chicken or the egg; whether auxin determines its accumulation position first or EPFL2 determines where it is synthesized first." This type of mutual relationship, where two substances inhibit each other is called feedback control and is a common mechanism found in various processes, such as shaping of the body and the circadian clock. "This mechanism on how the EPFL2 peptide creates leaf teeth was uncovered using Arabidopsis thaliana," explains Tameshige. "We hope to see whether the same mechanism occurs in other plants, but our results suggest that EPFL2 may be responsible for creating leaves that have more zigzag edges or have prickly thorns," he continues. "We are also interested in investigating whether we can synthetically prepare the EPFL2 peptide and use it as an additive to create leaves with unique shapes, for example in foliage plants and in bonsai," says Uchida. "Furthermore, we may be able to change the leaf shape of vegetables, which will change its appearance as well as its food texture," says Tameshige. "If we can change the shape of leaf vegetables such as lettuce and spinach, this may lead to the generation of new species or brand vegetables that have premium value." "My next goal is to be able to predict and reproduce the shape of leaves using computer simulation," says Tameshige. "I hope to make mathematical models to explain the relationship between EPFL2 and zigzag edges of leaves. It would be interesting to be able to design plants at will using computer modeling." Explore further: Scientists present first model of how buds grow into leaves More information: "A secreted peptide and its receptors shape the auxin response pattern and leaf margin morphogenesis"; Toshiaki Tameshige, Satoshi Okamoto, Jin Suk Lee, Mitsuhiro Aida, Masao Tasaka, Keiko U. Torii and Naoyuki Uchida; Current Biology, published September 2 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.014


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nagoya, Japan - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult onset, fetal neurodegenerative disease that selectively affects motor neurons. To date, more than 20 genes are identified as a causative of inherited ALS, and many researchers investigate the pathomechanism of ALS. A research team led by Prof. Koji Yamanaka (Nagoya University) found that collapse of the MAM is a common pathological hallmark to two distinct inherited forms of ALS: SOD1- and SIGMAR1- linked ALS. The research findings were reported in EMBO Molecular Medicine on November 7th, 2016. The researchers focused on the mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM), which is a contacting site of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Recent studies have revealed that the MAM plays a key role in cellular homeostasis, such as lipid synthesis, protein degradation, and energy metabolism. Intriguingly, a recessive mutation in SIGMAR1 gene, which encodes sigma 1 receptor (Sig1R), a chaperone enriched in the MAM, is causative for a juvenile ALS. In this study, the researchers identified a novel ALS-linked SIGMAR1 mutation, c.283dupC/p.L95fs in a juvenile-onset ALS case. Moreover, ALS-linked Sig1R mutant proteins were unstable and non-functional, indicating a loss-of function mechanism in SIGMAR1-linked ALS. A loss of Sig1R function induced MAM disruption in neurons. However, it was still unknown whether the MAM alternation was also involved in the other ALS cases. To address this question, the researchers cross-bred SIGMAR1 deficient mice with the other inherited ALS mice which overexpress a mutant form of SOD1 gene. SIGMAR1 deficiency accelerated disease onset of SOD1-ALS mice by more than 20 %. In those mice, inositol triphosphate receptor type-3 (IP3R3), a MAM-enriched calcium ion (Ca2+) channel on ER, was disappeared from the MAM. The loss of proper localization of IP R3 led to Ca2++ dysregulation to exacerbate the neurodegeneration. The researchers also found that IP R3 was selectively enriched in motor neurons, suggesting that integrity of the MAM is crucial for the selective vulnerability in ALS. These results provide us with new perspectives regarding future therapeutics, especially focused on preventing the MAM disruption for ALS patients. Together with the research from other groups, collapse of the MAM is widely observed in the other genetic causes of ALS, and therefore it may be applicable to sporadic ALS patients. The article, "Collapse of mitochondria-associated membrane is a common pathomechanism in SIGMAR1- and SOD1-linked ALS" was published in EMBO Molecular Medicine at DOI: 10.15252/emmm.201606403


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult onset, fatal neurodegenerative disease that selectively affects motor neurons. To date, more than 20 genes are identified as a causative of inherited ALS, and many researchers investigate the pathomechanism of ALS. A research team led by Prof. Koji Yamanaka (Nagoya University) found that collapse of the MAM is a common pathological hallmark to two distinct inherited forms of ALS: SOD1- and SIGMAR1- linked ALS. The research findings were reported in EMBO Molecular Medicine on November 7th, 2016. The researchers focused on the mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM), which is a contacting site of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Recent studies have revealed that the MAM plays a key role in cellular homeostasis, such as lipid synthesis, protein degradation, and energy metabolism. Intriguingly, a recessive mutation in SIGMAR1 gene, which encodes sigma 1 receptor (Sig1R), a chaperone enriched in the MAM, is causative for a juvenile ALS. In this study, the researchers identified a novel ALS-linked SIGMAR1 mutation, c.283dupC/p.L95fs in a juvenile-onset ALS case. Moreover, ALS-linked Sig1R mutant proteins were unstable and non-functional, indicating a loss-of function mechanism in SIGMAR1-linked ALS. A loss of Sig1R function induced MAM disruption in neurons. However, it was still unknown whether the MAM alternation was also involved in the other ALS cases. To address this question, the researchers cross-bred SIGMAR1 deficient mice with the other inherited ALS mice which overexpress a mutant form of SOD1 gene. SIGMAR1 deficiency accelerated disease onset of SOD1-ALS mice by more than 20 %. In those mice, inositol triphosphate receptor type-3 (IP R3), a MAM-enriched calcium ion (Ca2+) channel on ER, was disappeared from the MAM. The loss of proper localization of IP3R3 led to Ca2+ dysregulation to exacerbate the neurodegeneration. The researchers also found that IP R3 was selectively enriched in motor neurons, suggesting that integrity of the MAM is crucial for the selective vulnerability in ALS. These results provide us with new perspectives regarding future therapeutics, especially focused on preventing the MAM disruption for ALS patients. Together with the research from other groups, collapse of the MAM is widely observed in the other genetic causes of ALS, and therefore it may be applicable to sporadic ALS patients.


Masunaga H.,Nagoya University | L'Ecuyer T.S.,Colorado State University
Journal of Climate | Year: 2010

The east Pacific double intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) in austral fall is investigated with particular focus on the growing processes of its Southern Hemisphere branch. Satellite measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) are analyzed to derive 8-yr climatology from 2000 to 2007. The earliest sign of the south ITCZ emerges in sea surface temperature (SST) by January, followed by the gradual development of surface convergence and water vapor. The shallow cumulus population starts growing to form the south ITCZ in February, a month earlier than vigorous deep convection is organized into the south ITCZ. The key factors that give rise to the initial SST enhancement or the southeast Pacific warm band are diagnosed by simple experiments. The experiments are designed to calculate SST, making use of an ocean mixed layer "model" forced by surface heat fluxes, all of which are derived from satellite observations. It is found that the shortwave flux absorbed into the ocean mixed layer is the primary driver of the southeast Pacific warm band. The warm band does not develop in boreal fall because the shortwave flux is seasonally so small that it is overwhelmed by other negative fluxes, including the latent heat and longwave fluxes. Clouds offset the net radiative flux by 10-15 W m-2, which is large enough for the warm band to develop in boreal fall if it were not for clouds reflecting shortwave radiation. Interannual variability of the double ITCZ is also discussed in brief. © 2010 American Meteorological Society.


Muto K.,Nagoya University | Yamaguchi J.,Nagoya University | Lei A.,Wuhan University | Itami K.,Nagoya University
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

We describe mechanistic studies of a C-H/C-O biaryl coupling of 1,3-azoles and aryl pivalates catalyzed by Ni(cod)2/dcype. This study not only supports a catalytic cycle consisting of C-O oxidative addition, C-H nickelation, and reductive elimination but also provides insight into the dramatic ligand effect in C-H/C-O coupling. We have achieved the first synthesis, isolation and structure elucidation of an arylnickel(II) pivalate, which is an intermediate in the catalytic cycle after oxidative addition of a C-O bond. Furthermore, kinetic studies and kinetic isotope effect investigations reveal that the C-H nickelation is the turnover-limiting step in the catalytic cycle. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Tsuchikawa S.,Nagoya University | Schwanninger M.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Applied Spectroscopy Reviews | Year: 2013

This review article introduces recent technical and scientific reports on near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in the wood and paper industry, which have increased during the last decade. Many researchers have reported that the NIR technique is useful for detection of both chemical and physical properties of wood materials and has been widely used in cases where the characteristic cellular structure of the material is retained. With regard to application of NIR spectroscopy to pulp and paper, many publications have reported its potential as an on-line measurement technique during paper-making process control. NIR spectroscopy is considered fundamental in applied research on wood and paper. Utilization of NIR spectroscopy in the wood and paper industry should take into account its applicability and limitations as a nondestructive technique. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Erhart J.,Vienna University of Technology | Sponar S.,Vienna University of Technology | Sulyok G.,Vienna University of Technology | Badurek G.,Vienna University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Nature Physics | Year: 2012

The uncertainty principle generally prohibits simultaneous measurements of certain pairs of observables and forms the basis of indeterminacy in quantum mechanics 1. Heisenberg's original formulation, illustrated by the famous γ-ray microscope, sets a lower bound for the product of the measurement error and the disturbance 2. Later, the uncertainty relation was reformulated in terms of standard deviations 3-5, where the focus was exclusively on the indeterminacy of predictions, whereas the unavoidable recoil in measuring devices has been ignored 6. A correct formulation of the error-disturbance uncertainty relation, taking recoil into account, is essential for a deeper understanding of the uncertainty principle, as Heisenberg's original relation is valid only under specific circumstances 7-10. A new error-disturbance relation, derived using the theory of general quantum measurements, has been claimed to be universally valid 11-14. Here, we report a neutron-optical experiment that records the error of a spin-component measurement as well as the disturbance caused on another spin-component. The results confirm that both error and disturbance obey the new relation but violate the old one in a wide range of an experimental parameter. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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