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Japan


— Biology

Scientists grow new implantable teeth for mice

One annoying fact of life is losing teeth. Since humans only get two sets of teeth, losing an adult dinner grinder means either going without or replacing it with a substitute made of something like ceramic or metal. A more natural solution is the subject of a project by a team of scientists in Japan that is working on growing multiple, fully-functional teeth and implanting them in mice.

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— Automotive Review

Small car, big fun – a quick spin in the Honda S660

When people think of Kei-cars, they tend to think of boxy wagons and quirky hatchbacks designed only for the Japanese market. With tiny 660 cc engines that qualify them for cheap tax and insurance, the Kei-car platform doesn't seem like a natural place to start when designing a sports car. That didn't deter Honda from creating a mid-engine, rear-drive sports car to fit the strict yellow-plate rules. Gizmag spent some time behind the wheel of the fantastic Honda S660 during our recent trip to Tokyo.

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— Wearable Electronics

Murata's "Cool Design Smart Glass" concept puts household appliance control in your face

Japanese electronics manufacturer Murata, in conjunction with the city of Sabae, showed its "Cool Design Smart Glass" concept eyewear at CEATEC 2015. The smart augmented reality (AR) glasses incorporate what Murata claims is the world's smallest micro PS switch module and are designed to give the wearer the ability to remotely control domestic appliances without searching down the back of the couch for the remote or making the long trek to the light switch.

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— Children

Takara Tomy's maglev Linear Liner – the fastest toy train in the East (and West)

Japanese toy company Takara Tomy is offering a working scale replica of the record-breaking 603 km/h (375 mph) SC Maglev (Superconducting Magnetic levitation) Train. However, all is not what it seems, as it is more than just a 1/90th scale facsimile of the real thing. The Linear Liner uses an original magnetic propulsion system, and has an intriguing creation story behind it.

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— Good Thinking

Drink coasters morph into portraits of pain to tackle domestic violence in Japan

Despite its reputation as one of the safest countries in the world, Japan isn't immune to the problem of violence towards women. And is so often the case, alcohol is often involved. In an effort to raise awareness and force a shift in the attitudes of boozy bar hounds, the Yaocho Bar Group nightspot chain has designed a series of coasters with portraits of Japanese women that reveal facial injuries in reaction to having cold drinks placed on them.

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— Marine

Submersible photographs WW2 Japanese sub's long-lost airplane hangar

Until the 1960s, Japan's three I-400-class subs were the largest submarines ever built. They were so large, in fact, that they could each carry and launch three Aichi M6A Seiran amphibious aircraft. The idea was that the submarines could stealthily bring the planes to within striking distance of US coastal cities, where they could then take off and conduct bombing runs. Now, for the first time since it was scuttled at the end of World War II, one of the sunken subs' aircraft hangars has been photographed. Read More
— Space

ESA to collaborate with Japan in daring asteroid mission

ESA has announced its intent to aid the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA) with its ambitious Hayabusa-2 mission to retrieve material samples from an asteroid, and return said samples to Earth by the year 2020. Following a successful launch last December atop a H-IIA rocket, the probe will now benefit from 400 hours of tracking and telemetry from ESA's 35 m (115 ft) diameter dish at Malargüe, Argentina. Read More
— Environment

Construction finishes on two floating mega-solar plants in Japan

Construction has been completed on two enormous floating solar power plants located in the Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Japan. According to The Kyocera Corporation and the Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, who partnered up to build the instillations, the combined output of the solar plants will be around 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, and provide electricity to an estimated 920 households. Read More
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