In a new study, a researcher finds that there are 18 ways to read the common boys’ name “大翔,” and 14 ways to read the common girls’ name “結愛”

Assistant Professor Yuji Ogihara analyzed the readings of the names of infants born recently in Japan. He discovered 18 ways to read the common name “大翔” and 14 ways to read the common name “結愛,” proving that it is difficult even for native Japanese speakers to correctly read the names of newborns. His research contributes to the understanding of naming practices in Japan as well as the entire Sinosphere.

It has…


Scientists engineer a copper-containing polymer that greatly boosts the antimicrobial activity of hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide reacts with copper to produce hydroxyl radicals with strong antibacterial properties. However, this requires high copper concentrations because two copper atoms have to come close together, which occurs by chance. Now, scientists at Tokyo University of Science, Japan, engineered a long polymer with copper-containing side units that create regions with locally high copper density, boosting the antibacterial activity of hydrogen peroxide and paving the way to a new drug design concept.

The discovery of antibiotics was a huge breakthrough in medicine, which helped save…


Scientists design a high-performance, self-powered, UV photodetector using 2D nanosheets that show record photocurrent stability under air exposure

Two-dimensional “nanosheets” made of bonds between metal atoms and organic molecules are attractive candidates for photoelectric conversion, but get corroded easily. In a new study, scientists from Japan and Taiwan present a new nanosheet design using iron and benzene hexathiol that exhibits record stability to air exposure for 60 days, signaling the commercial optoelectronic applications of these 2D materials in the future.

Converting light to electricity effectively has been one of the persistent goals of scientists in the field of optoelectronics. While…


Scientists propose the repurposing of anti-malarial drug Mefloquine to fight the novel coronavirus

In the “war” that the world has been fighting against COVID-19, scientists have been scanning their arsenals of previously used drugs in hopes of finding any that can be used to treat the disease. One of the contenders under scrutiny, an anti-malarial drug called mefloquine shows great promise, according to a new breakthrough study by a team of Japanese scientists, perhaps giving us a better fighting chance.

Early 2020 saw the world break into what has been described as a “war-like situation”: a pandemic, caused by…


Researchers make advances in understanding the role of specific glutamate-induced neurotransmission in anxiety-like behavior in mice

Anxiety is considered a natural response to stress. However, a state of heightened anxiety, called anxiety disorder, prevents thousands of people from living their best lives. While several underlying mechanisms have been therapeutically targeted, much remains to be discovered about this disorder. In an effort to get closer to unravelling the mechanisms that govern this condition, Japanese researchers have identified a drug that reduces glutamate-induced neurotransmission, involved in anxiety-like behavior.

KNT-127 suppresses glutamate release in the PL-PFC, resulting in an anxiolytic effect
KNT-127 suppresses glutamate release in the PL-PFC, resulting in an anxiolytic effect
KNT-127 suppresses glutamate release in the PL-PFC, resulting in an anxiolytic effect

Anxiety, commonly termed as a feeling of fear, dread, and restlessness, is a perfectly…


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…

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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