The lab Haruko Obokata used to try to verify the existence of STAP cells (Provided by Riken)
Scientists question need for Obokata’s verification tests
Embattled scientist Haruko Obokata's failed attempt to replicate supposedly ground-breaking STAP cell research has been called into question by the scientific community, which called the exercise pointless.
Shinichi Aizawa, center, a special adviser in charge of Riken's verification testing, speaks during a news conference in Tokyo on Dec. 19. At right is Hitoshi Niwa, a senior researcher at Riken. (Jun Ueda)
Obokata resigns as Riken reports her failure to re-create STAP cells
Embattled researcher Haruko Obokata and a separate team of independent researchers failed to replicate the creation of stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells, the government-affiliated Riken research institute announced on Dec. 19.
An artist’s rendition of the Venus climate orbiter Akatsuki (Provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Venus probe discovers solar winds speed up after leaving sun
Solar winds suddenly speed up when they reach a certain distance from the sun, according to Japanese researchers, who announced the discovery Dec. 18.
A color photograph of the Earth taken by the Himawari-8 geostationary satellite on Dec. 18 (Provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency)
PHOTO: Himawari-8 satellite snaps photo of Earth in living color
The first color photograph of Earth taken by a geostationary meteorological satellite in orbit was released by the Japan Meteorological Agency on Dec. 18.
Riken researcher Haruko Obokata speaks at a news conference in April in Osaka. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Obokata fails to create STAP cells; Riken ends all verification tests
Disgraced stem cell scientist Haruko Obokata has failed to produce so-called STAP cells, strengthening suspicions that she fabricated her findings that were once lauded as a breakthrough in regenerative medicine, sources said.
From right, Hiroshi Amano, Isamu Akasaki and Shuji Nakamura pose together during a news conference at the Japanese Embassy in Stockholm on Dec. 8. (Yuta Takahashi)
Nobel Prize winners reflect on difficulties faced in developing blue LED
STOCKHOLM--The three Japan-born winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics spoke about the difficulties they faced in developing blue light-emitting diodes on Dec. 8 in lectures held at Stockholm University.
A shot from a camera on board the Hayabusa 2 asteroid explorer shows its "sampler horn" properly deployed. (Provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Hayabusa 2 performing without a glitch, says JAXA
The Hayabusa 2 asteroid explorer has completed a series of post-liftoff operations and is on schedule in its journey to an asteroid in orbit between Earth and Mars, Japan's space agency said Dec. 5.
The Hayabusa 2 asteriod probe lifts off from Tanegashima Space Center on Dec. 3 aboard a H-2A rocket. (Ryo Ikeda)
Weather clears to allow Hayabusa 2 asteroid probe launch on third try
MINAMITANE, Kagoshima Prefecture--After two previous delays due to weather, the Hayabusa 2 probe finally lifted off on Dec. 3 on a round-trip mission to an asteroid that scientists hope will provide clues to the origins of life.
The cluster of sunspots at differing stages around the sun from Oct. 18 to Oct. 28 (Provided by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Japanese space probe, observatory record huge sunspot activity
Images of a sunspot cluster 66 times the size of Earth were released by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Nov. 19.
Scientists determined that this glass dish found in Japan came from ancient Rome. (Provided by the Tokyo National Museum)
Scientists: Glass dish unearthed in Nara came from Roman Empire
KASHIHARA, Nara Prefecture--A glass dish unearthed from a burial mound here is the first of its kind confirmed to have come to Japan from the Roman Empire, a research team said.
A 10-month-old female Japanese monkey suffering from premature aging, left, and her mother (Provided by the Primate Research Institute)
Researchers find monkey with symptoms of premature aging disorder
Scientists have reported finding a monkey suffering from a new type of genetic disorder that causes premature aging, a discovery that could help shed light on the mechanisms of aging in humans.
Kenzo Iwao shows off a mosquito-collecting device he developed at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in Nagoya's Showa Ward. (Naoko Kobayashi)
Popular mosquito catcher uses human odor as bait
A novel mosquito trap that lures its prey using human scent and other smells favored by the critter is creating a buzz as Japan frets about the spread of dengue fever.
The nearly complete body of Hayabusa 2 equipped with an impactor designed to collect samples below the surface of an asteroid. It is shown at the Tanegashima Space Center in Minami-Tane, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Oct. 27. (Masanobu Higashiyama)
JAXA shows off second-generation asteroid explorer
MINAMITANE, Kagoshima Prefecture--Japan's space agency showed off a space probe to be launched next month that it hopes will answer questions about how life seeded Earth.
A child in the research study has drawn in eyes and a mouth on the blank face of a chimpanzee. (Provided by the University of Shiga Prefecture)
Drawing experiment backs argument that chimps have no imagination
Chimpanzees can memorize images and mimic human actions, but they remain primitive when it comes to imagination, according to a recent study.
Nack (Provided by Kamogawa Seaworld)
Researcher says he's closer to having conversation with beluga whale
SHIZUOKA--Tsukasa Murayama feels he has come closer to his dream of holding an actual conversation with a 29-year-old male he has known for two decades.
An X-ray photo taken by the solar observational satellite Hinode two minutes after the start of a partial solar eclipse (coloring added) (Provided by JAXA and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)
PHOTO: Satellite snaps images of gold-ring annular eclipse
The solar observational satellite Hinode captured images of an annular eclipse on Oct. 24 from its orbit 680 kilometers above the North American continent.
The oldest fossilized feces of vertebrate animals ever found in Japan discovered in Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture (From the University of Tokyo website)
Oldest fossilized vertebrate droppings in Japan found in coastal Miyagi
Archaeologists have discovered the oldest fossilized feces of vertebrate animals in Japan, suggesting the marine ecosystem that collapsed about 252 million years ago had fully recovered within 5 million years.
Isamu Akasaki, one of this year's winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics, accepts flowers after a news conference on Oct. 7 at Meijo University in Nagoya. (Yuta Takahashi)
Persistence pays off for three winners of Nobel Prize in Physics
Long after most of the global scientific community had given up, three researchers continued to toil in their laboratories for a discovery that was deemed impossible. Their relentless work initially drew little interest, and at times led to derision.
An artist's rendition of the explosion of a first-generation star born immediately after the Big Bang (Provided by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)
Scientists: 1st stars in universe likely 100 times heavier than sun
Astronomers have discovered that extremely large stars, more than 100 times heavier than our solar system's sun, may have been among those born immediately after the creation of the universe, a finding that could overturn the current mainstream theory.
The International Space Station (Provided by NASA)
Researchers breed mice from sperm stored in space, paving way for galactic livestock
Japanese scientists said they have produced the world’s first baby mice from sperm stored in outer space, a breakthrough that increases the chances of raising animals in space.

More AJW