Pieces of a “mokkan” ancient wooden tablet that were recently discovered read “kotaishi” (crown prince). (Provided by the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)
‘Mokkan’ tablet describes 8th century crown prince in Nara
NARA--A “mokkan” wooden tablet unearthed here was marked “kotaishi” (crown prince), an apparent reference to Emperor Shomu (701-756) before he ascended to the throne and commissioned the Great Buddha statue at Todaiji temple, researchers said.
Fossilized fragments of a new type of dinosaur egg have been found in Tanba, Hyogo Prefecture. The egg is characterized by a unique branch-like pattern on the surface. The scale is graduated in millimeters. (Takeshi Ito)
New type of tiny dinosaur egg unearthed in Hyogo
SANDA, Hyogo Prefecture--Fossilized fragments of very small dinosaur eggs dating back about 110 million years have been discovered.
Notebooks detailing Japanese nuclear weapons research conducted during World War II that belonged to Sakae Shimizu, professor emeritus at Kyoto University and now deceased (Keisuke Yamazaki)
Wartime documents shed light on Japan’s secret A-bomb program
Long-forgotten documents on Japan's attempt to build an atomic bomb during World War II have been discovered at Kyoto University, which experts say further confirms the secret program's existence and could reveal the level of the research.
JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui talks about his upcoming mission to the International Space Station during a TV conference from Houston on June 23. (Teru Okumura)
JAXA astronaut remains confident ahead of rescheduled July launch to ISS
Astronaut Kimiya Yui is confident that the delay of his deployment to the International Space Station has given him more time to prepare for the mission, and he is eager to conduct his studies in space.
Newly added young bluefin tuna swim with the last surviving tuna, top right, in a tank exhibiting schooling tuna at Tokyo Sea Life Park in Edogawa Ward on June 22. (Wataru Sekita)
Tokyo aquarium resumes display of schooling tuna despite unsolved mystery of mass deaths
Although still mystified by the mass deaths of its schooling tuna, a Tokyo aquarium resumed its popular exhibition of the fish by adding 77 young specimens to a tank on June 22.
The main shrine of the Prambanan Temple Compounds in Central Java, Indonesia (Provided by Mie University)
Japanese scientists go high-tech to repair ancient Indonesian temple
Japanese researchers using cosmic radiation have helped to restore a ninth-century Hindu temple complex in Indonesia from damage caused by a major earthquake in 2006.
Scientists say they have identified a protein that could lead to the development of obesity-suppressing drugs.
Researchers find protein that could lead to obesity prevention
The absence of a certain protein in mice can prevent weight gain, even if the rodents continue consuming a diet of fatty foods, scientists said.
Dogs relax in a dog run in Aichi Prefecture in 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Researchers: Man's best friend loyal to master even at feeding time
KYOTO--Dogs aren't just in it for the grub. If they don't like the human server, they will refuse to scarf it down.
An artist’s impression of a probe to be sent to land on a Martian moon in the 2020s (Provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
JAXA mulling mission to land on Martian satellite in next decade
Japan’s space agency plans an ambitious mission to collect and return surface samples from a Martian moon to Earth, which may provide clues to the origin of satellites in the solar system.
Volcanic gases spew from Mount Hakoneyama’s Owakudani area in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, on May 10. (Eiji Hori)
Volcanologist puts eruption of Mount Hakoneyama at 4%
Despite continued rumblings, the chance that volcanically active Mount Hakoneyama southwest of Tokyo will blow its top is minimal, according to an expert who took issue with media reports that made the public nervous.
Marks created by an unknown creature have been discovered on the floor at the deepest level of Lake Mashuko in the town of Teshikaga, Hokkaido. A 30-centimeter-long ruler is shown to compare the size of the traces. The picture was taken in August 2014. (Provided by a joint research by The Asahi Shimbun and National Institute for Environmental Studies)
Hunt on for mystery creature after 'footprints' found on bottom of Lake Mashuko
TESHIKAGA, Hokkaido--A mystery creature is lurking at the bottom of Lake Mashuko here and a team of researchers is determined to hunt it down.
Researchers find Japanese macaques can differentiate “zero” from other numbers. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Scientists isolate monkey neurons that react to concept of 'zero'
SENDAI--Researchers here have found neurons in the brains of Japanese macaques that can differentiate “zero” from other numbers, a concept that may explain why humans perceive being naught as special.
Tiny plankton from the Pacific Ocean collected using nets with webbing of 0.1 millimeter (Provided by Christian Sardet of France's CNRS)
Scientists calculate existence of massive trove of plankton species in oceans
The world’s oceans contain a far more extensive diversity of microorganisms than previously thought, a global research team reported on May 22.
The Asahi Shimbun
Scientists say mysterious ancient plate used for Korean board game
NARA--An early eighth-century pottery plate unearthed here 26 years ago was likely used for a traditional Korean board game, indicating close cultural exchanges between ancient Japan and the Korean Peninsula, researchers said.
A Japanese bush warbler (Provided by the National Museum of Nature and Science)
Japanese bush warblers in Hawaii pitching a different tune
Japanese song birds introduced decades ago to Hawaii evolved to chirp simpler tunes than native bush warblers in Japan, possibly because breeding competition there is less fierce, research shows.
View of the Sun Yat-sen Univerisity in Guangzhou city, south Chinas Guangdong Province. (AP file photo)
First experiment 'editing' human embryos ignites ethical furor
NEW YORK--Biologists in China reported carrying out the first experiment to alter the DNA of human embryos, igniting an outcry from scientists who warn against altering the human genome in a way that could last for generations.
A student at Azabu University in Kanagawa Prefecture gazes at a dog during an experiment on the effect of eye-to-eye contact between humans and another species. (Provided by Mikako Mimura)
Love is in the eyes between dogs and owners, say scientists
Making eyes at your dog leads to more than mere puppy love.
A finding in killifish could lead to an explanation on why humans get jealous. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Scientists: Hormone gives killifish that loving feeling
Researchers identified a hormone that gives male killifish the edge needed to vanquish rivals in love, a discovery that could shed light on the neural mechanisms of jealousy and possessiveness in humans.
A fossil of Pakicetus, the whale’s terrestrial ancestor, top, and a fossilized Remingtonocetus, a primitive whale that led a life mainly in the ocean (Provided by Takushi Kishida)
Study: Whales lost ability to sense smells, tastes while shifting from land to sea
KYOTO--The senses of smell and taste of the ancestor of whales took a massive hit when it moved from land to the sea tens of millions of years ago, researchers in Kyoto have found.
Nishinoshima island south of Tokyo on March 4 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Monitoring system to track seismic activity around Ogasawara islet
A research team has installed six measuring devices on the seafloor near the volcanic Nishinoshima island south of Tokyo to monitor earthquakes and tsunami around the islet.

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