The "Learning Lounge" features young scientists who, in 20 minutes deliver a presentation that will persuade any curious listener, even those without a scientific background, why their research area -- not just the personal research of the speaker -- is important to the world.
How does your brain recognize a ﬂy, decide to catch it, and then move your hand? Even a simple activity such as this requires neurons to make many, many precise connections in the brain. Diﬀerent neuronal shapes can control the way connections are made, and studying the rules of how these shapes are formed can help us better understand how the brain works.
Foul Play! Making Self-Cleaning Surfaces
Mr. Andrew Gibbons (iCeMS Easan Sivaniah Lab)
What if we had self-cleaning surfaces? Currently, cleaning of ﬁlters used in industry costs a great deal of time and money. Fouling on medical devices can lead to rejection by the body. In my talk I explain how fouling occurs and how we can develop self-cleaning surfaces.
#10 - November 24, 2016
Catch Me If You Can
Dr. Junjun Li (iCeMS Yong Chen Lab)
Do you care about just "1 error" out of “100,000” normal outcomes? Can you ignore it? NO! You should care! That error will have a huge impact on your health. For safer cell therapy using iPS cells, we need to find every single error; all of the undesired iPS cells from implanted cells or tissues. I will introduce our micro-chip to catch such rare iPS cells.
Gene Switch: Asking cells, “Who Are You?"
Dr. Yoshihiko Fujita (CiRA Hirohide Saito Lab)
The iPS cell is a promising cell resource to cure many patients. We first need to purify only our target cell type from the other unwanted cell types before transplantation. I will introduce our artificial gene switch, which makes only the targeted cells light up.
#9 - September 29, 2016
Nano-Pockets to Trap Carbon Dioxide
Dr. Patrick Larpent (iCeMS Susumu Kitagawa Lab)
The dramatic and continuous increase of carbon dioxide emission responsible of global warming is a major problem for the welfare and future of our planet. The development and easy fabrication of state-of-the-art technologies capable of capturing carbon dioxide efficiently from their emission centers are therefore of crucial needs. Join us to learn about the innovating use of ‘nano-pockets’ towards the realization of such novel molecule capturing systems.
Zoo from Lorises' Point of View
Ms. Wan-Ting Hong (iCeMS Dan Ohtan Wang Lab)
The well-being of zoo animals is now drawing much more attention than before. But how do we know whether animals are satisfied about their environment or not? Let's look at slow lorises as an example of how well-being of zoo animals are measured quantitatively, in an effort to improve the lives of these small primates whose welfare is often overlooked.
#8 - July 28, 2016
Every Little Bit Counts in Human Interaction
Dr. Ayami Joh (iCeMS Sience Communication Group)
Greeting, having meetings, playing with friends, spending good times with family…Everyday, we interact with many people, and such daily communication is made up of a variety of secret factors that influence our thinking and behavior. In our research, we observe people’s daily interactions, and carefully analyze the “factors”. Join our exploration to find what they actually are.
Seeing the Dynamics of Science Convergence
Dr. Alfonso Avila-Robinson (iCeMS Alfonso Avila-Robinson Lab)
Knowledge is rapidly growing and simultaneously fragmenting into numerous disciplines, making it difficult for scientists to see the “bigger pictures” of their science. Here I will show how the three-dimensional networking of meta-knowledge – knowledge about knowledge – can help us to see the continuous breaking down of barriers between disciplines in modern science.
#7 - April 27, 2016
Making Malaria the Last Century’s Problem
Dr. Kouichi Hasegawa (iCeMS NCBS-inStem Satellite Group)
Do you know malaria? Malaria is a big global health issue and has huge economic and social impacts. Many people are suffering malaria in the world. If you are in Japan or western countries, you may think malaria is somebody else’s problem. However, things are not so easy. Malaria is our problem too. We are working hard on overcoming this, and making malaria the last century’s problem!
Nanotechnology by Herding Molecules – Hints from Theory
Dr. Daniel Packwood (iCeMS Daniel Packwood Lab)
Society is demanding smaller and smaller electrical devices. Nanotechnology is an entirely new approach to device manufacturing, in which extremely small objects are created by assembling molecules into patterns and shapes. But can nanotechnology truly be realized? This talk will explain the key role that theoretical science is playing in the development of nanotechnology.
#6 - March 31, 2016
Sticky Moments in Biology
Dr. Akihisa Yamamoto (iCeMS Motomu Tanaka Lab)
Cells are the basic building blocks within our body, and they are bound together with a kind of 'glue'. When this glue disappears, tissue is destroyed, and serious illness, such as cancer metastasis, occurs. Knowing stickiness may help to recognize which cells are most likely to be healthy or not. I will introduce our physical techniques to directly measure 'stickiness' that allows us to characterize them.
Protecting Your DNA Code
Dr. Georgia Kafer (iCeMS Peter Carlton Lab)
The human instruction "manual" is written in a specialized biological code commonly referred to as "DNA". If the DNA is damaged then parts of the code can be lost or misinterpreted which is likely to result in diseases. DNA can be damaged by sources external to the body, but is more commonly damaged by internal "everyday" biological processes. I will discuss our research that investigates how DNA damaged is repaired.
#5 - February 25, 2016
Golden Rods & Guided Robots: Your 'Nano Doctors' Healing from Within
Mr. Hirotaka Nakatsuji (iCeMS Tatsuya Murakami Lab)
Drugs are advancing together with the medical science. Before the advent of modern medicine, we use medical plant and prayers. Nowadays we use chemically synthesized drugs or gene therapy agent. However, some things have not changed. Once the pill is popped, there are nothing we can do. Here, I will introduce our remote-controlled "drugs", which can heal more effectively and properly.
Seeing is Believing; What Happens in the Brain?
Ms. Ikumi Oomoto (iCeMS Dan Ohtan Wang Lab)
When we receive an idea or learn a new song, what needs to happen in our brain? To find the answer, it is best to "see" it. I will talk about a novel technique to "light-up" and "see" the changes in a brain upon learning.
#4 - November 19, 2015
Powering the People with Nano Solar Cells
Dr. Yuta Takano (iCeMS Hiroshi Imahori Lab)
Sunlight is one of the major energy sources on earth, and now we use solar cells to harvest this energy for our daily life. How about for our health? Can we use light to make us more energetic like plants? Here, I will introduce "nano solar cells", which can be harnessed by cells to harvest energy from light. You would be one day vitalized by the electricity generated in your body.
Decoding the Keys of Our Life Cycle
Dr. Yoji Kojima (iCeMS Mitinori Saitou Lab)
Human life starts from a single cell, the fertilized egg, made from a sperm and an egg from the parents. This cell gives rise to all our body parts including the germ cells, from which offspring develop. How is this life cycle maintained? Join us to learn about the key players, the germ cells, and why and how we use the iPS cells to understand their behaviors.
When we generate sperm or eggs, we package only half of our DNA strands into each sperm or egg cell. How are DNA molecules controlled in such a precise manner? I will show how DNA molecules are handled during this cell division, passing your genetic information onto your children.
Human eyes work well in bright sunlight, and they enable us to quickly see tiny dust specks as well as huge mountains in full color. However, under the darkness of night, they hardly help at all. Nonetheless, there exist animals, e.g., snakes, whose "eyes" are sensitive to infrared radiation emitted from their prey, enabling them to hunt in the dark. Here, I will show how humankind has made invisible worlds visible by developing laser radiation devices that go far beyond what sunlight can reveal.
#2 - August 3, 2015
Nature-inspired Cure for the Incurable--Coming Soon?
Dr Ganesh Pandian Namasivayam (iCeMS Hiroshi Sugiyama Lab)
We often see on the daily news that a recent scientific discovery has brought us one step closer to the cure for diseases considered incurable. But how close are we? Join us to have a closer look at the need to develop nature-inspired therapeutic strategies for speeding up the journey toward sustainable cures for complex diseases.
Do you know!? Though heart diseases are one of the most common causes of death worldwide, most people do not know what heart diseases are, or how they are treated. Here I will present what happens to your heart during a heart attack, and how AEDs and implantable cardiac pacemakers help you to stay alive.
Away from the lengthy, costly, and failure-prone animal models, novel ways are needed to study the physiology, the causes of diseases, and the responses to drugs and chemicals of whole living systems. Here I will introduce a potentially disruptive solution for recreating these fundamental phenomena in a single micro-device: the 'Body on a Chip'.
What Did You Eat Yesterday? -- How to Manage Your Cholesterol
What did you eat yesterday? Steak, hamburger, fried chicken, ice cream... Often you are reminded, from the TV or your mother, how bad you are for eating such cholesterol-rich foods. Yet, cholesterol is an indispensable component of your body, whose concentration is elaborately regulated. Here, I will present how 'good' cholesterol (HDL) is invaluable in preventing heart disease and extending your good health.