A study using genetically modified mice shows that a protein called Nrf2 increases the expression of protective genes in the acrylamide-induced toxic response

Acrylamide, which is extensively used in industries, causes peripheral neuropathy or encephalopathy. Now, scientists from Japan examined the response against oxidative stress in acrylamide-induced neurotoxicity and found that nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a master regulator of the immune system and response to oxidative stress, was at the center of this toxicity. They found that Nrf2 plays a protective role by increasing the expression of protective genes and decreasing that of pro-inflammatory genes.

A study using genetically modified mice shows that a protein called Nrf2 increases the expression of protective genes in the acrylamide-induced toxic response
A study using genetically modified mice shows that a protein called Nrf2 increases the expression of protective genes in the acrylamide-induced toxic response
A study using genetically modified mice shows that a protein called Nrf2 increases the expression of protective genes in the acrylamide-induced toxic response | Gaku Ichihara from Tokyo University of Science

Acrylamide is…


Preclinical experiments show that the drugs cepharanthine and nelfinavir may be effective treatments for COVID-19

While preventative care for COVID-19 has made much noise (with vaccines having rolled out in most countries), the soaring infection rates indicate the need for effective treatments. Using cultured cells to study SARS-CoV-2 infections, researchers at the Tokyo University of Science and other institutions have discovered that the drugs cepharanthine and nelfinavir are effective at combating the virus, with the former preventing the virus from entering cells and the latter preventing the virus from replicating.

Researchers screened a panel of drugs that are already approved for clinical use and identified two drugs that provided effective SARS-CoV-2 suppression: cepharanthine and nelfinavir | Photo credit: Louis Reed on Unsplash
Researchers screened a panel of drugs that are already approved for clinical use and identified two drugs that provided effective SARS-CoV-2 suppression: cepharanthine and nelfinavir | Photo credit: Louis Reed on Unsplash
Researchers screened a panel of drugs that are already approved for clinical use and identified two drugs that provided effective SARS-CoV-2 suppression: cepharanthine and nelfinavir | Photo credit: Louis Reed on Unsplash

COVID-19 continues to claim lives across the world and is…


Researchers analyze whether it is possible to simultaneously grow the economy while not producing more pollution

With increasing public awareness of crises associated with degraded environments and mounting pressure to act, governments worldwide have begun to examine environmentally sustainable policies. However, there are many questions about whether enacting these policies will negatively affect economic growth. Now, a model created by researchers in Japan suggests that sustained GDP growth is possible even after spending to clean up pollution as it is created, providing hope that a zero-emission society is an achievable goal.

Reducing manufacturing-related pollution is an urgent need for the international community. But can it be done without severely hampering economic growth? Researchers from Tokyo University of Science and The Shoko Chukin Bank explore this possibility in their recent study
Reducing manufacturing-related pollution is an urgent need for the international community. But can it be done without severely hampering economic growth? Researchers from Tokyo University of Science and The Shoko Chukin Bank explore this possibility in their recent study
Reducing manufacturing-related pollution is an urgent need for the international community. But can it be done without severely hampering economic growth? Researchers from Tokyo University of Science and The Shoko Chukin Bank explore this possibility in their recent study | Photo courtesy: Chris LeBoutillier from Pexels

Pollution from manufacturing is now widespread, affecting all regions…


Scientists confirm that certain insect larvae host bacteria that help shut down plant defense mechanisms

The oral secretions of herbivorous insects can activate plant defense mechanisms that protect plant cells from being digested. However, scientists at the Tokyo University of Science have discovered that some larvae “partner up” with bacteria that help interrupt these plant defense mechanisms. This disrupts the plant’s defenses before the digestive proteins that the larvae smear on them. These findings may help agricultural scientists devise countermeasures that protect important agricultural species from the larvae.

A recent study shows that insect larvae may rely on microscopic partners to help them eat plant leaves | Photo courtesy: Egor Kamelev from Pexels

Although insect larvae may seem harmless to humans, they can be extremely…


New design approach for manufacturing carbon fibers with optimized orientation and thickness achieves weight reduction in fiber reinforced plastics

Carbon fibers, due to their superior strength and lightness, are popular in aerospace engineering applications. While much effort goes into improving the strength of carbon fiber composites, such as fiber-reinforced plastic, only fiber orientation optimization is considered. Now, researchers from Tokyo University of Science have adopted a new design method that optimizes both fiber thickness and orientation, achieving weight reduction in reinforced plastic and opening doors to lighter aircrafts and automobiles.

Carbon is vital to the existence of all living organisms…


Mutations associated with autism can inhibit the release of the bonding hormone oxytocin and cause abnormal social behavior in mice

A rare mutation in the Caps2 gene, which encodes a protein that regulates the release of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, has also been linked with autism spectrum disorders. Now, researchers at the Tokyo University of Science report that Caps2 mutations in mice limit the release of oxytocin (a hormone that regulates social behavior), causing diminished sociality in these animals. These findings may help researchers understand the neurobiology of autism and develop effective treatments for it.

Autism spectrum disorder is a…


The novel screening method can help scientists identify microorganisms that stimulate plant immune mechanisms without harming the plants themselves

Some nonpathogenic microorganisms can stimulate plant immune responses without damaging the plants, which allows them to act like plant vaccines, but screening microorganisms for such properties has traditionally been time-consuming and expensive. Now, a team of scientists from Tokyo University of Science has developed a screening method based on cultured plant cells that makes such testing easier. This may lead to microorganism-based crop protection methods that reduce the need for chemical pesticides.

Plants have evolved unique immunity mechanisms that they…


Researchers develop innovative deblurring method that works even for images with multiple objects moving independently

Single-photon imaging is the future of high-speed digital photography and vastly surpasses conventional cameras in low-light conditions. However, fixing the blurring caused by the motion of independent objects remains challenging. Recently, researchers at Tokyo University of Science developed an innovative deblurring approach that accurately estimates the motion of individual objects and adjusts the final image accordingly. Their strategy produces high-quality images even in complex dynamic scenes and may find applications in medicine, science, and security.

A novel de-blurring method that is effective even for images with multiple moving objects that cause motion blur. | Photo courtesy: Free-Photos from Pixabay

Imaging technology has come a long way since the beginning…


A menthol-like compound was found to boost the expression of genes that protect crop species from pest-related damage

Certain chemicals can activate the innate defense mechanisms of plants, and researchers at the Tokyo University of Science are working on ways to use such chemicals as alternatives to harmful agricultural pesticides. These researchers have found that a compound derived from menthol can boost the expression of defense-related genes in soybeans, corn, peas, and other crop species. This finding may pave the way to green agricultural technologies that shield crops from pests while minimizing damage to the environment.

Travis Colbert on Unsplash

Although plants may look…


Researchers assess whether drones can spray pesticides better than conventional technologies in terms of cost, capacity, and management efficiency

Drones could soon be adopted as essential tools for various agricultural tasks; however, with respect to their use in farm management, research is still lacking. To address this issue, researchers in Japan compared drones to well-established technologies for spraying pesticide over rice paddy fields. Using statistical data, the researchers explore both advantages and limitations of drones and whether they currently offer an edge regarding costs, capacity, and management efficiency.

Can pesticide use in rice paddy fields be made smarter?
Can pesticide use in rice paddy fields be made smarter?
Can unmanned aerial vehicles be used for pesticide use in an efficient manner? In a new study, researchers assessed their use in rice paddy fields, in terms of costs, capacity, and management efficiency

Besides enabling more potent smartphones and higher download speeds while riding the…

Tokyo University of Science

Tokyo University of Science (TUS) is one of the most well-known, respected, and the largest science-specialized private research universities in Japan.

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