Kao Corp. is looking into algae as a potential source of surfactants for shampoo. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Kao in a lather over algae-based shampoo
Household goods maker Kao Corp. may soon be using algae to produce cleansing agents for its products, specifically shampoo.
A human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell (Provided by Shinya Yamanaka)
Cosmetics maker Kose uses iPS technology to take 30 years off man's skin
Cosmetics maker Kose Corp. has succeeded in taking the equivalent of about 30 years off the life of skin samples from a 67-year-old man using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, the company said Oct. 15.
Murata Manufacturing Co.'s dancing robotic cheerleaders perform with other robots at the company's booth at the CEATEC Japan expo in Chiba on Oct. 7. (Sayaka Yamaguchi)
Robots steal the show at electronics expo in Chiba
CHIBA--Robots, not household electronics, are the main attraction at a key electronics fair now under way at the Makuhari Messe convention complex here.
The H-2A rocket carrying the Himawari-8 weather satellite lifts off from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, at 2:16 p.m. on Oct. 7. (Koichi Ueda)
H-2A puts next-generation weather satellite into orbit
TANEGASHIMA ISLAND, Kagoshima Prefecture--Japan sent a next-generation weather observation satellite into orbit on Oct. 7, just two days after a typhoon threatened to cancel the launch.
A 3-D human face appears on the front side of the ring. (Provided by Omron Corp.)
Omron develops technology to project 3-D images at fraction of normal cost
OSAKA--Electronics equipment maker Omron Corp. has developed a new technology to enable three-dimensional images to appear if a light-emitting diode (LED) is shone on a transparent plastic board.
Japan Airlines Co. conducts a biofuel test flight at Haneda Airport in January 2009. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Biofuels planned for skies over 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Airlines, universities and other organizations have started an initiative to produce and supply biofuels in Japan, with a target of having commercial flights using such fuel by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Murata Cheerleaders team of dancing robots (Provided by Murata Manufacturing Co.)
Robot cheerleaders show off advanced synchronization technology
Despite fumbling a bit on their routine, 10 small “cheerleading” robots received a round of applause after completing a dance using advanced group control technology designed to achieve perfect synchronicity.
Panasonic Corp.’s latest robot is designed to help those in need of personal care get up from bed and use toilet facilities on their own. (Kohei Kondo)
Panasonic robot helps elderly stay mobile
Panasonic Corp. unveiled a robot Sept. 24 that is designed to help ease the burden on caregivers assisting Japan’s growing elderly population.
Ice made of a single crystal (Provided by Seiji Kamimura, a professor at the Nagaoka University of Technology)
Scientist develops method to produce water-like crystal clear ice
A scientist at Nagaoka University of Technology in Niigata Prefecture has developed a method of creating ultra-transparent ice that is nearly indistinguishable from water.
A monitor shows a prototype maglev train reached a top speed of 500 kph during a test run in Yamanashi Prefecture on Sept. 22. (Wataru Sekita)
Maglev train reaches 500 kph without much shaking
TSURU, Yamanashi Prefecture--Two minutes and 50 seconds after the train’s departure, tunnel lights zipped by, water in a glass rippled harder, and a booming sound grew louder.
Roads and railways raised by one millimeter feature on a three-dimensional map created by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan with a 3-D printer. (Susumu Yoshida)
Maps created with 3-D printers to help visually impaired
TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--The nation's central mapping body has developed a software program to create inexpensive three-dimensional road maps for the visually impaired with 3-D printers.
A new smartphone app analyzes a baby's crying patterns and determines that this baby is hungry. (Satoshi Ukai)
Researchers develop app that can tell what babies want when they bawl
TAIPEI--Researchers in Taiwan have developed a smartphone app that can analyze crying patterns of newborn babies and determine what the infants want from their parents.
A map showing the distribution of radioactive substance concentrations in a reservoir prior to decontamination work (Provided by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency)
Atomic Energy Agency finds more effective way to measure radiation in reservoirs
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has developed a new way to measure radiation in agricultural reservoirs that will enable the government to streamline decontamination work.
A German with a spinal cord injury uses a HAL robotic suit to improve mobility functions. (Provided by Cyberdyne)
Impact Journalism Day: Futuristic cyborg-type suit in use in medical, welfare fields in Japan and abroad
A cyborg-type robotic suit designed to assist people with walking difficulties caused by illness or automobile accidents is being increasingly used in the welfare and medical fields in Japan and abroad.
N700A Series Shinkansen (Provided by the Central Japan Railway Co.)
Tokaido Shinkansen Line to raise maximum speed in spring
Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) said it will raise the maximum speed on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line from 270 kph to 285 kph next spring, the first such increase in 23 years.
The Asahi Shimbun
Competition heats up between Japan, China for railway projects in Asia
Japanese and Chinese companies are battling for potentially lucrative railway projects around Asia, as rapid economic growth and expanding populations have led to plans for about 10,000 kilometers in railway networks.
An object being made by a 3-D printer (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japanese 1st to seek patent for 3-D printing back in 1980s, but still lost out
NAGOYA--The lion's share of patents for 3-D printer technology are owned by the United States and nations in Europe, but it was a Japanese researcher who developed the world's first prototype.
A tsunami evacuation guidance sign using phosphorescent materials (Kosuke So)
Emergency signs, products using phosphorescent materials to expand in wake of 2011 disasters
NAGOYA--One of the lessons from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami: more illumination from phosphorescent materials could have greatly helped in guiding evacuees to safety.
The Asahi Shimbun
LED light harnessed to prevent secret snapping of photos
Smartphone users could soon be thwarted from taking secret photos.
AWN-02 Assist Suit (Provided by Panasonic Corp.)
Panasonic subsidiary develops suit device to assist in heavy lifting
Panasonic Corp. said Sept. 11 its Nara-based subsidiary has developed a suit device that helps users lift heavy objects and will have practical applications in cargo handling and product distribution centers.

More AJW