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RIKEN


— Physics

Four new elements confirmed

Chemistry textbooks are in need of a rewrite with the addition of four new elements to the Periodic Table. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has confirmed the existence of four new elements with the atomic numbers 113, 115, 117, and 118, which were discovered by laboratories in Japan, the United States, and Russia. This bumper group of new elements completes the 7th row of the Periodic Table and clears the way for the discoverers to start thinking up names for them.

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— 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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— Materials

Material that could revolutionize memory storage is magnetic, but not as we know it

Using a type of magnetic insulator material that normally doesn’t conduct electricity, scientists working at Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have shown that electric currents can still be made to flow along the borders of the grains within the material. This latest research not only validates a long-held belief that magnetic insulators could be used to conduct electricity, but offers a more tantalizing possibility of creating highly-efficient magnetic memory devices.

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— Space

Lasers could be used to zap orbital debris

Orbital debris is increasingly becoming a hazard to satellites and other spacecraft, which is why various groups have proposed concepts such as gas clouds, nets and sails for collecting it. While those approaches could capture larger objects, the problem of smaller pieces of debris – which whiz around the Earth like bullets – would remain. That's why an international group of scientists is developing a system that could shoot those bits down with a laser. Read More
— Science

Starting with one mouse, scientists create 581 successive clones

Using the technique that created Dolly the sheep, researchers from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, have identified a way to produce healthy mouse clones that live a normal lifespan and can be sequentially cloned indefinitely. In an experiment that started in 2005, the team led by Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama has used a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SNCT) to produce 581 clones of one original "donor" mouse through 25 consecutive rounds of cloning. Read More
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