Press Release

July 8, 2015
Visualizing RNAi at work 2015:07:03:9:27:23
University of Tokyo and Kyoto University researchers have revealed the molecular mechanism of RNA interference (RNAi), the phenomenon by which the synthesis of a specific protein is inhibited, by real time observation of target RNA cleavage at the single-molecule level.
July 3, 2015
June 24, 2015
June 24, 2015
Visualizing the bonding properties of liquid boron 2015:05:01:18:03:54
Boron (B) belongs to the group of element situated between metals and insulators in the periodic table. Though the balance between metallic and insulating tendencies could be altered via pressure and temperatures, the question of whether liquid B is metal or not remains controversial and unsolved. We have carried out high resolution Compton scattering measurements on solid and liquid B and interpreted the results in terms of CPMD simulations, and then conclude that semiconducting properties dominates the physical properties of liquid B.
May 1, 2015
Riddle of mimicry of unpalatable butterfly 2015:04:14:9:31:47
Molecular mechanism of Batesian mimicry in Papilio polytesUniversity of Tokyo researchers have revealed the whole genome sequences of two swallowtail butterflies Papilio polytes, the females of which mimic the unpalatable butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae, and Papilio xuthus, wh...
April 14, 2015
Antigen complex single molecule observation with X-rays 2015:02:06:16:59:38
A research group led by Professor Yuji C. Sasaki at the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo, and Associate Professor Haruo Kozono at the Research Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Tokyo University of Science, successfully observed the three-dimensional (3D) dynamic single-molecule internal motions of a peptide bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) for the first time. MHC is an important protein that controls acquired immune response, presenting pathogens that invade the body to immune cells. The group used the SPring-8 BL40XU beamline to discover how MHC binds to pathogen proteins (antigen peptides) and activates the immune system by observing the internal dynamics of single molecules.
February 6, 2015
Key to origin of iron-based superconductors observed 2014:12:12:14:56:27
Unique change of the number of superconducting electrons by electron irradiation The research team of Assistant Professor Yuta Mizukami and Professor Takasada Shibauchi in the Department of Advanced Materials Science at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Frontier Sciences...
December 12, 2014
Mechanisms producing diverse coloration patterns in caterpillars 2014:10:17:11:00:39
Single novel gene apontic-like controls patterns It is known that eye spots on the larvae of butterflies and moths (caterpillars) function as aposematic (warning) signals to predators, and that the complex brown patterns on larvae of the ancestral strain of the silkworm camouflag...
October 17, 2014
Observing intramolecular motion of ligand gated ion channel in real time 2014:09:26:15:28:49
Establishment of X-ray technology for allosteric drug designA research group led by Professor Yuji Sasaki (Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo) has for the first time succeeded in the real-time visual monitoring in three dimensions of intramolecular moti...
September 26, 2014
Successful Biaxial Time-Sharing Mapping of Intramolecular Motion in Single Protein Molecules 2013:11:12:15:45:25
- Diffracted X-ray tracking (DXT) enables monitoring of complicated tilting and twisting motions of single protein molecules – The University of Tokyo Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) Osaka University Key findings  This research group succeeded in ...
November 12, 2013
Intramolecular Motions of Chaperonin Play Important Role in Protein Repair 2013:09:06:13:13:37
Amazing biomolecular mechanism similar to domino effect A research group led by Prof. Yuji Sasaki (Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo), Hiroshi Sekiguchi (Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute), and Prof. Masafumi Yohda (The Tokyo University...
September 6, 2013
Control of terahertz light by spin - A principle of new electromagnetic optical devic- 2012:08:29:17:31:37
In the terahertz frequency range, it is difficult to achieve the control of both light-polarization and intensity by external forces. This difficulty prevents the practical application of future terahertz devices. Here the research team, led by Professor Yoshinori Tokura, demons...
August 29, 2012
Why do we die from infection? Evidence for suicidal defense strategy 2012:01:30:17:31:34
Why do we sometimes die easily from microbial infection? Ichizo Kobayashi’s group at Department of Medical Genome Science in Graduate School of Frontier Sciences examined the following hypothesis.
January 30, 2012
A molecular mechanism for HTLV-1-caused adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) cells. 2012:01:30:17:27:39
Prof. Toshiki Watanabe and his group have published a paper in Cancer Cell. Constitutive NF-kB activation has causative roles in adult T cell leukemia (ATL) caused by HTLV-1 and other cancers.
January 30, 2012
A four-billion-year-old catastrophe: the origin of Titan’s nitrogen atmosphere 2011:05:25:14:33:58
Titan, Saturn's largest satellite, is the only body in the solar system other than Earth with a thick nitrogen atmosphere and liquid (methane) lakes on its surface. However, it remains a mystery how and when Titan's Earth-like surface environment was formed.
May 25, 2011
March 25, 2011
A novel mechanism for birth and death of genes 2011:01:13:15:01:13
The birth and death of genes is central to evolution, yet the underlying genome dynamics remain elusive. A novel mechanism was found by the team of Ichizo Kobayashi through comparison of 10 complete genomes of Helicobacter pylori, bacterium in the stomach associated with ulcer a...
January 13, 2011
Universal Mechanism of Creating Cosmic Magnetic Field 2010:08:31:15:12:25
The universe is filled with "vortexes" (such as galaxies, accretion disks, stars and planetary systems, etc.) that clump and wind-up with magnetic fields. Strikingly absent in this rich narrative of growth and evolution of the cosmic systems, is a satisfactory "universal" mechan...
August 31, 2010
International Joint COE Center for Magnetic Self-Organization 2010:07:09:15:21:39
In April 2010, we started a new international joint COE program: Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas (CMSO) for a new type of interdisciplinary research and education. Its main subject is to activate the international and interdisciplina...
July 9, 2010
A video movie of annual changes in the full bloom date of Prunus Jamasakura (Yamazakura) for these 1 2010:03:15:15:27:42
The University of Tokyo has been continuing recording and analyzing of a forest video data to observe the annual changes in the full bloom date of Prunus Jamasakura (Yamasakura) over 14 years since 1996. Two video recording robot cameras with stereophonic microphones (referred t...
March 15, 2010
Success in Thrust Enhancement of Microwave Rocket 2010:01:15:15:42:03
A Microwave Rocket model was successfully lifted up by microwave power irradiated from a ground-based power source, Gyrotron. By using a repetitively pulsed microwave beam, a metallic model rocket of 126g weight was propelled for 1.2m without any propellant consumption.
January 15, 2010
December 25, 2009
Practical Use of Topological Supramolecule 2009:11:16:16:14:56
Topological supramolecule such as rotaxane and catenane, which has mechanically interlocked molecular system, is one of the most intensive research areas in chemistry from interests of molecular switch and motor. The University of Tokyo, Advanced Softmaterials Inc. and Nissan Mo...
November 16, 2009
Ultra-selfish genes are forever 2009:10:06:16:20:20
Homing endonuclease genes are 'selfish' mobile genetic elements whose endonuclease promotes the spread of its own gene by creating a break at a specific target site and using the host machinery to repair the break by copying and inserting the gene at this site.
October 6, 2009
Anomalous orbital motion of electrons in an iridium oxide discovered by synchrotron x-ray 2009:03:06:16:26:53
Electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom act like waves, rather than particles. Recently, Professor Hidenori Takagi and Dr. B.J.Kim of the department of Advanced Materials, University of Tokyo, in collaboration with Dr. T. Arima and H. Ohsumi of RIKEN, hit on the idea of using ...
March 6, 2009
February 16, 2009
The controlling mechanisms of mimicry 2008:03:03:16:45:12
Insects often mimic to other models to protect them from predators or to prey other insects. The studies of mimicry have been carried out from the view points of ecology or ethology so far, but the controlling mechanisms of mimicry have not been studied well. Young caterpillars ...
March 3, 2008
Watching the synapses form in an intact organism 2007:12:18:16:41:54
Synapses are specialized junctions through which neurons signal to each other and to other target cells such as muscles and are crucial to the functioning of the nervous system. However, the mechanism of how the synapses form during development remains poorly understood. In this...
December 18, 2007
600 million-year-old mystery of vertebrate genome evolution 2007:09:05:16:59:31
Early vertebrate genome evolution has long been in need of clarification, and it is now of particular interest because several distantly related vertebrate genomes have been recently sequenced. We reconstructed the gnathostome (jawed vertebrate), osteichthyan (bony vertebrate), ...
September 5, 2007
Neural wiring by a negative signal 2007:08:31:17:04:42
The proper functioning of the nervous system depends on precise interconnections of distinct types of neurons. Therefore, understanding how neurons specifically find and recognize their target cells is a central question in neuroscience. Involvement of specific molecular cues ex...
August 31, 2007
And finally… Fishy genome swims into view 2007:06:07:17:13:05
The medaka fish (Oryzias latipes), a popular pet in Japan and model organism in the laboratory, has had its genome sequenced. The data, reported in this week’s Nature, offer novel insights into vertebrate genome evolution.
June 7, 2007

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