New artificial skin helps avoid animal testing


A new artificial skin that reproduces proper tension can be used to research skin function and disease while reducing the need to experiment on animals.

Brain clock ticks differently in autism


A new brain imaging study shows that autistic severity is linked to how long certain regions of the brain store information.

Microbial infections are a parasitic plant’s dream


Parasitic plants use quinones produced by their host to attack. Now we know that crops produce quinones as an immune response against microbial infection. How can we protect crops from both kinds of attack?

Understanding non-coding DNA: gene “enhancers”


NETCAGE is a newly developed technique for determining the structure of portions of the non-coding genome called ‘enhancers.’

Introducing Nikola, the emotional android boy


A new android named Nikola will help researchers study facial expressions, emotions, and social interactions.

Plant hormone combats dehydration


Scientists show that CLE25 is a plant hormone that travels from roots to leaves and helps close stomata in times of dehydration stress.

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Centennial RIKEN Research


???This Spring we’ve put together a special centennial issue of RIKEN Research ???

Melatonin in mice, circadian rhythms, and daily torpor


A new breed of lab mouse allows the study of naturally occurring melatonin. These mice will adjust better to jetlag than regular lab mice and experience daily torpor.

Omics Omics Omics: Analysis predicts ovarian cancer-treating drug


Multi-omics analysis prediction: drugs that inhibit Ras signaling will help prevent tumor formation in serous ovarian cancer.

Hibernation-like state can protect kidneys during heart surgery


Activating Q-neurons in the mouse brain led to a hibernation-like state that protected kidneys during heart surgery.

Gene regulator that allows plant rehydration after drought


New genetic insights into the plant rehydration process: this is why your plants don’t die after you forgot to water them.

From evolutionary morphology to Godzilla


I recently spoke with RIKEN scientist Shigeru Kuratani about evolutionary morphology, sci-fi monsters, the genius of Alien, and more.

Science communication symposium


Friday I participated in a small symposium that focused on science communication (for institutions in Japan). We discussed using social media as a means to self-publish wow! and amazing! research findings. Here are some of my thoughts about how useful this plays out in Japan.

Artificial gravity protects the immune system of mice in space


Mice who experienced artificial gravity on the ISS suffered less damage to their immune system (thymus) than weightless mice did.

Introducing Nikola, the emotional android boy


A new android named Nikola will help researchers study facial expressions, emotions, and social interactions.

Opossums are the first genome edited marsupials


A new piezoelectronic microinjection method has allowed the first successful genome editing in marsupials: albino opossums.

H2AK119ub1: How you inherit acquired traits from your mom


H2AK119ub1. Say that three times really fast! But seriously, it allows maternally acquired traits to be inherited.