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Saitama, Japan

RIKEN is a large research institute in Japan. Founded in 1917, it now has approximately 3000 scientists on seven campuses across Japan, the main one in Wako, just outside Tokyo. RIKEN is an Independent Administrative Institution whose formal name in Japanese is Rikagaku Kenkyūsho .RIKEN conducts research in many areas of science, including physics, chemistry, biology, medical science, engineering and computational science, and ranging from basic research to practical applications. It is almost entirely funded by the Japanese government, and its annual budget is approximately ¥88 billion . Wikipedia.

Kasukawa T.,RIKEN
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

A convenient way to estimate internal body time (BT) is essential for chronotherapy and time-restricted feeding, both of which use body-time information to maximize potency and minimize toxicity during drug administration and feeding, respectively. Previously, we proposed a molecular timetable based on circadian-oscillating substances in multiple mouse organs or blood to estimate internal body time from samples taken at only a few time points. Here we applied this molecular-timetable concept to estimate and evaluate internal body time in humans. We constructed a 1.5-d reference timetable of oscillating metabolites in human blood samples with 2-h sampling frequency while simultaneously controlling for the confounding effects of activity level, light, temperature, sleep, and food intake. By using this metabolite timetable as a reference, we accurately determined internal body time within 3 h from just two anti-phase blood samples. Our minimally invasive, molecular-timetable method with human blood enables highly optimized and personalized medicine.

Hidaka Y.,RIKEN
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

The counting rule for Nambu-Goldstone modes is discussed using Mori's projection operator method in nonrelativistic systems at zero and finite temperatures. We show that the number of Nambu-Goldstone modes is equal to the number of broken charges, Qa, minus half the rank of the expectation value of [Qa, Qb]. © 2013 American Physical Society.

We report a new web server, aLeaves (http://aleaves.cdb.riken.jp/), for homologue collection from diverse animal genomes. In molecular comparative studies involving multiple species, orthology identification is the basis on which most subsequent biological analyses rely. It can be achieved most accurately by explicit phylogenetic inference. More and more species are subjected to large-scale sequencing, but the resultant resources are scattered in independent project-based, and multi-species, but separate, web sites. This complicates data access and is becoming a serious barrier to the comprehensiveness of molecular phylogenetic analysis. aLeaves, launched to overcome this difficulty, collects sequences similar to an input query sequence from various data sources. The collected sequences can be passed on to the MAFFT sequence alignment server (http://mafft.cbrc.jp/alignment/server/), which has been significantly improved in interactivity. This update enables to switch between (i) sequence selection using the Archaeopteryx tree viewer, (ii) multiple sequence alignment and (iii) tree inference. This can be performed as a loop until one reaches a sensible data set, which minimizes redundancy for better visibility and handling in phylogenetic inference while covering relevant taxa. The work flow achieved by the seamless link between aLeaves and MAFFT provides a convenient online platform to address various questions in zoology and evolutionary biology.

Ogura A.,RIKEN
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) cloning is the sole reproductive engineering technology that endows the somatic cell genome with totipotency. Since the first report on the birth of a cloned sheep from adult somatic cells in 1997, many technical improvements in SCNT have been made by using different epigenetic approaches, including enhancement of the levels of histone acetylation in the chromatin of the reconstructed embryos. Although it will take a considerable time before we fully understand the nature of genomic programming and totipotency, we may expect that somatic cell cloning technology will soon become broadly applicable to practical purposes, including medicine, pharmaceutical manufacturing and agriculture. Here we review recent progress in somatic cell cloning, with a special emphasis on epigenetic studies using the laboratory mouse as a model.

Hirano T.,RIKEN
Genes and Development | Year: 2012

Condensins are multisubunit protein complexes that play a fundamental role in the structural and functional organization of chromosomes in the three domains of life. Most eukaryotic species have two different types of condensin complexes, known as condensins I and II, that fulfill nonoverlapping functions and are subjected to differential regulation during mitosis and meiosis. Recent studies revealed that the two complexes contribute to a wide variety of interphase chromosome functions, such as gene regulation, recombination, and repair. Also emerging are their cell type- and tissue-specific functions and relevance to human disease. Biochemical and structural analyses of eukaryotic and bacterial condensins steadily uncover the mechanisms of action of this class of highly sophisticated molecular machines. Future studies on condensins will not only enhance our understanding of chromosome architecture and dynamics, but also help address a previously underappreciated yet profound set of questions in chromosome biology. © 2012 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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