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.
Haruko Obokata, the scientist behind the STAP cell scandal, speaks at a news conference in Tokyo in April. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Riken closes curtain on STAP cell scandal, but mystery lingers
Riken, a leading research institute, wrapped up its investigation into a scandal that cut short the career of a high-flying stem cell scientist without getting to the bottom of the debacle that had promised a breakthrough in regenerative medicine.
The aurora borealis is seen in the northern sky during the early hours of March 18 from the Kita Subaru observatory in Nayoro, Hokkaido. (Provided by the Nayoro city-run Kita Subaru observatory)
1st aurora borealis in Japan in a decade observed from Hokkaido observatory
NAYORO, Hokkaido--A faintly red aurora borealis appeared in the night sky here March 18, the first time in a decade that nature's light show has been observed in Japan.
A Yoshino cherry tree standing next to the statue of Prince Komatsu Akihito in Tokyo's Ueno Park is speculated to be the first of the species that is nowadays seen widely across Japan. (Teruhiko Nose)
Botanists link origin of Yoshino cherry blossoms to Ueno Park tree
The majority of sakura trees that will bloom across Japan in a few weeks may have derived from one standing in Tokyo's Ueno Park, according to scientists at Chiba University.
A female Papilio polytes variety of swallowtail butterfly mimics wing patterns of the harmful Pachliopta aristolochiae variety (Provided by the University of Tokyo)
Japanese team IDs gene behind 'intimidating' mimicry by swallowtail butterflies
Japanese researchers have unscrambled the genetic mechanism behind the mimetic behavior of female swallowtail butterflies, which evolve to resemble harmful varieties to avoid being preyed upon.
The Asahi Shimbun
Is there life on a Saturn moon? Research team says probably
We may not be alone in the universe after all, and our neighbors may be closer than you think.
An illustration of the new species of iguanodontia, named Koshisaurus katsuyama, that was discovered in 2008 in Katsuyama, Fukui Prefecture (Provided by the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum)
Fukui researchers’ discovery recognized as new dinosaur species
KATSUYAMA, Fukui Prefecture--Fossilized remains found here seven years ago have been recognized as a new species of iguanodontia, a herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous Period, the prefectural dinosaur museum reported on March 10.
Kinki University's nuclear reactor in Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, had been used by other universities for practical training. (Tatsuyuki Kobori)
FOUR YEARS AFTER: There's a price to pay for university research reactor shutdowns
University research reactors were not exempt from the shutdowns of nuclear reactors that the central government ordered after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture.
An artist's rendition of the deep-sea manned submersible Shinkai 12000 (Provided by Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology)
Manned submersible being developed that reach deepest point of world's oceans
YOKOSUKA, Kanagawa Prefecture--A deep-sea manned submersible that can reach the deepest ocean depths is being developed in Japan to survey untapped riches of the seafloor.
The lunar rover developed by the Hakuto research team (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japanese team to launch lunar rover in 2016 for Google competition
A Japanese private-sector team plans to launch an unmanned rover to the moon next year in an international competition offering $30 million (3.5 billion yen) in prize money.
A female conger spotted garden eel (Heteroconger hassi) lays her eggs at 12:11 a.m. on April 20, 2014. (Provided by the Sumida Aquarium)
Tokyo aquarium scores a world first with footage of conger species laying eggs
An aquarium in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward captured the first video footage ever of conger eels laying eggs, a feat that expands greatly on the knowledge of the little-understood sand-dwelling species.
Monkeys embrace each other from the front on Kinkasan island in Miyagi Prefecture. (Provided by Naofumi Nakagawa of Kyoto University)
Monkey see, monkey do: Japanese primate embraces differ according to region
KYOTO--While Japan is not known as a touchy-feely society, its monkeys are an exception, although their hugs differ wherever they reside, similar to how humans exhibit cultural differences in greetings, according to researchers.
The fossilized jawbone of a new species of lizard unearthed in Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture (Takeshi Ito)
Fossil offers tantalizing clues to lizard evolution, say researchers
SASAYAMA, Hyogo Prefecture--A fossilized jawbone unearthed here eight years ago turns out to be a new species of lizard from the age of the dinosaurs, paleontologists said Feb. 4.
The Asahi Shimbun
Tectonic stress levels off northeastern Japan back to pre-disaster state
Pressure exerted by tectonic plate movement off Tohoku that triggered the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has returned to pre-disaster levels, seismologists say.
A piece of animal bone used for fortunetelling excavated at the Makimuku ruins in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, is shown on Jan. 26. It has three burn marks in the middle. (Toshiyuki Hayashi)
Ancient animal bone suggests Himiko adopted Chinese fortunetelling method
SAKURAI, Nara Prefecture--An animal bone unearthed from ancient ruins here indicates that a fortunetelling method imported from China was adopted by shaman queen Himiko and leaders of the Yamato State.
The fossilized remains of Penghu Man's lower jawbone in Taipei on Jan. 27 (Satoshi Ukai)
Jawbone found in waters off Taiwan could belong to new species of primitive man
TAIPEI--A fossilized jawbone snagged in a fishing net off western Taiwan may belong to a previously unknown species of early man, according to a study released by a team of Japanese and Taiwanese anthropologists on Jan. 27.
An artist’s rendition of the ancient Adocus sengokuensis turtle (Provided by the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, (c) Mami Osatomi)
Fossil find turns out to be new member of world's oldest soft-shell turtle family
KATSUYAMA, Fukui Prefecture--Seven fossilized shell fragments unearthed in Fukuoka Prefecture more than 20 years ago belong to the world's oldest genus of soft-shell turtle, officials at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum said Jan. 22.

More AJW