According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese researchers primarily from the Institute of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo (IMSUT) developed a strain of rice with a protein that works as a vaccine to prevent the onset of cholera symptoms, including diarrhea.
Cholera is spread mostly as a result of ingesting water contaminated with the cholera bacillus, although undercooked seafood is also another source.
The disease, which particularly plagues developing nations, affects up to 4 million people each year with up to 140,000 deaths.
Oral cholera vaccines are already available for practical use, but there are obstacles to widespread use, such as the need for refrigeration.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese startup company here developed a 3-D printer that can create chairs, benches and other items measuring up to 3 meters by 3 meters by 3 meters.
Slab Inc.’s printer is called Chashitsu, which means “traditional tea house” in Japanese, and it is among the world’s largest.
The device forms a shape by piling layers of plastic melted at 200 degrees or higher at the print head. Various plastic materials can be applied.
Although it can print out small boats and doors for automobiles, extra reinforcement and treatment processes will be required for their practical use.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, general contractor Taisei Corp. said it has developed a technology that can create “cleaner” sewage disposal plants by converting methane extracted from the waste into electricity and thermal energy.
The technology can help the facilities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and power consumption during the sewage disposal process, Taisei said.
Sewage disposal produces massive amounts of sludge at treatment plants in Japan. When the sludge is incinerated for disposal as industrial waste, it emits a large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and requires a substantial amount of power.
Sewage sludge is also used for biomass power generation, but only 4.5 percent of sewage treatment plants have adopted the method because it is not efficient enough.
The new technology uses a special film and minerals to efficiently extract methane from sewage.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a new vaccine technology that eliminated the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in test monkeys has raised hopes for an end to the AIDS pandemic, a research team said.
Yasuhiro Yasutomi, director of the Tsukuba Primate Research Center under the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, said the team’s goal is to begin clinical testing on humans within five years.
The research team focused on a bacterium that secretes a substance that strengthens an immune response. A vaccine was created by mixing genes of the bacterium with those of a weakened AIDS-causing virus.
When the vaccine was administered on crab-eating macaques, the animals became infected with HIV, but further tests could not detect the virus, the team said.
The vaccinated macaques were then given a stronger virus that always kills the victim. But the virus disappeared in six of the seven subjects.
According to The Nikkei Asia, Japanese cellphone carrier SoftBank Corp. will soon test technology that will charges earbuds, smartwatches and other wearable devices by simply walking near a mobile base station, Nikkei has learned.
The wireless power transmission devices will be installed in 5G base stations being rolled out by SoftBank. The government will soon ease restrictions on wireless technology to allow for the trials
SoftBank is replacing its 200,000 4G base stations across Japan with 5G versions. The wireless charging service will be jointly developed by Kyoto University, the Kanazawa Institute of Technology and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.
An electrical charge will be sent in the 28 gigahertz high frequency band used in 5G communication. Users can automatically charge compatible wearables just by approaching a base station.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Yanmar Holdings Co. completed a hydrogen fuel cell system to enable boats to travel a far longer distance than previously allowed using such technology.
Companies that build ship engines are plowing full steam ahead toward a future where vessels set sail on power sources that emit no carbon dioxide (CO2).
A boat outfitted with the system that utilizes the same technology as Toyota Motor Corp.’s Mirai fuel cell vehicle cut across Osaka Bay during a demonstration the company held the day before.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, cars already know how to park themselves, warn drowsy drivers, steer back into the right lanes and propose map routes to destinations. The cars Mazda has in the works for next year in Japan know when drivers have a stroke or heart attack.
By 2025, the cars will even know when drivers are about to have a sudden health problem and warn them, according to the Japanese automaker.
What’s involved are data from cameras inside the car, without resorting to laser sensors or other more obtrusive technology. And it’s going to be offered in affordable models, not just luxury vehicles. The technology holds promise for one of the most advanced aging societies in the world.
Mazda told reporters recently it has been working with medical experts, including Tsukuba University Hospital, researching the collected image data to figure out what a healthy driver looks like, as opposed to an incapacitated driver, suddenly slumped forward over the steering wheel.
Once recognizing a problem, Co-Pilot Concept, which has yet to have an official name, will bring that car to a stop in a safe spot, such as the curb of the road, as quickly as possible.
According to the announcement, ENEOS Corporation, Chiyoda Corporation, and Queensland University of Technology announced that they had succeeded in expanding the scale of their technological verifications of CO2-free hydrogen to a practical level for the first time in the world. ENEOS commenced technical verifications of the production, transportation, and dehydrogenation of CO2-free hydrogen in 2018.
In March 2019, ENEOS, Chiyoda and QUT succeeded in directly producing MCH from water and toluene derived from Australian renewable energy, transporting this MCH to Japan, and extracting hydrogen from it. This was the first successful verification of such a technology in the world, but produced only a labsized amount of MCH containing 0.2 kilograms of hydrogen. We have expanded the scale of MCH produced to a practical level so that it contains approximately 6 kilograms of hydrogen; they have also extracted hydrogen from this MCH in Japan, and actually used the hydrogen to fill and drive a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV).
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a team of Japanese researchers at Kyoto University has created a material capable of storing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide with one of the main ingredients being carbon dioxide itself.
A major problem with utilizing the heat-trapping gas until now has been that high temperature and pressure was needed to synthesize it.
But the team, led by Satoshi Horike, an associate professor of chemistry, created the new material under normal conditions, which could lead to a reduction of one of the major causes of global warming.
“It was been difficult to utilize carbon dioxide, but we have managed to create a new material under very simple conditions,” Horike said. “We want to pursue our research to develop technology that can contribute to alleviating environmental issues, such as storing large volumes of carbon dioxide.”
The group used an amine, a compound consisting of nitrogen, which is known to react easily with carbon dioxide as the link to create a lattice structure within the porous material. A solution was made by mixing the amine with zinc, a cheap metal that allowed greater stability in the structure of the new material.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., which currently produces only gas-powered motorcycles, announced that all of its main models sold in Japan and Western markets will run on electricity by 2035.
The announcement marked the first time the company has specified a date for making its motorcycles go electric.
The company has not decided on whether it will establish new brands or produce electricity-powered versions of its current models.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries said it will develop electric-powered models and hybrid models powered by electricity and gasoline. It plans to market 10 or more types of such models in developed nations by 2025.
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