Medical

Osaka has long been the home to many pharmaceutical companies in japan. The NPO Biogrid Center Kansai, located in Grand Front Osaka (opened in 2013), partners with universities and pharmaceutical companies to lay the groundwork for in silico drug discovery using the K computer. In silico means leveraging new IT-based techniques for drug discovery in addition to traditional experiment-based techniques.

Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo and a Fujitsu research group have developed a simulator of a beating heart based on mathematically modeled operating principles of molecular motors. This research links molecules on the micro-level and the heart on the macro-level, and enables high-level predictions that can be used both for basic medical research and clinical practice.

Taihei Environmental Science Center has developed a system that automatically performs water quality testing, and can detect bacteria such as E. coli. In the past, this work had to be done manually. The system uses three robots to completely automate all stages of the process, from collecting a predetermined amount of the sample, injecting agar, agitating, coagulating and inverting, to the placement and storage of the culture in incubators. This level of automation not only eliminates human error, substantially improving test accuracy, it also increases processing capacity.

At the Matsumoto Lab of the Department of Biosciences and Informatics at Keio University, fundamental research relating to reproduction and the process of ontogeny of living organisms is being conducted.

The lab is focused particularly on a primitive animal called a planarian, which has a particularly high regenerative capability and diverse reproduction modes. Researchers there are trying to shed light on the basic mechanisms of living organisms by learning from planaria.

At the Terakawa Laboratory of Keio University's Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, research is being conducted on technology that explores and utilizes laser-material interaction to contribute to engineering, biotechnology, and medicine.

Here, keywords of the research are laser processing, micro- and nano-structure, and biomedical applications.

In particular, the laboratory is focused on processing with a femtosecond laser that enables them to achieve more precise processing than with lasers currently used broadly in industry.

In July 2013, Meditrek in Yokohama released the Meruru, which enables soft contact lenses to be inserted and removed without touching the fingers.

"Using soft contact lenses requires practice, and even after practicing, quite a lot of people find it difficult to insert and remove soft contact lenses. Some people fail at practicing, and stop using contact lenses, because they think it's too difficult. If there was a way to handle contact lenses easily, without hurting the eyes, it would be a great help to such people."

DIGINFO TV - March 24, 2014

Job in Yokohama offers the PORTA series of portable X-ray units, with five models: Two for human applications and three for animal applications. The company started developing these products in 1997, and released the first one commercially in 2006. These X-ray units are compact, lightweight, and durable; they're sold mainly overseas. Currently, they're manufactured at Job's plant in Yokohama.

Terrie's Take - AkihabaraNews.com

Terrie’s Take is a selection of Japan-centric news collected and collated by long-time resident and media business professional Terrie Lloyd. AkihabaraNews is pleased to present Terrie’s learned perspective; we all could use another take on the news - here’s Terrie’s:

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Researchers have developed a system that can show in 3D the complicated heart structures of babies with congenital heart conditions. The pictures are easy to understand, and can be rendered quickly.

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