Science Advances

News

25 Jan 2023
Researchers from Osaka University have identified a protein, FER1L5, that is essential for sperm to acquire fertilizing ability. Sperm from mice lacking this protein were unable to undergo the “acrosome reaction”, which releases molecules that facilitate fertilization, resulting in impaired male fertility. As FER1L5 is also present in human sperm, this work may lead to new diagnostic methods and treatments for male infertility in humans.
The rocket carrying the experiment module being launched to carry out microgravity experiments (Photo: Swedish Space Corporation).
13 Jan 2023
Understanding how dust grains form in interstellar gas could offer significant insights to astronomers and help materials scientists develop useful nanoparticles.
19 Dec 2022
Researchers from Osaka University have developed a culture system using pluripotent cells from southern and northern white rhinos, which was refined to produce primordial germ cell-like cells (PGCLCs). These cells are the equivalent of primordial germ cells, the origin of eggs and sperm. The study marks an important first step in the potential production of northern white rhino gametes, which could be used in breeding programs, and is the first to induce PGCLCs in a wild animal.
30 Nov 2022
Osaka Metropolitan University researchers introduced seven proteins, thought to let bacteria swim by switching the direction that their helical bodies spiral, into a strain of synthetic bacterium with minimal genetic information. As a result, they confirmed that the synthetic bacterium named syn3, which is normally spherical, formed a helix that could swim by spiraling. Further investigation revealed that only two of these newly added proteins were required to make syn3 capable of minimal swimming. This swimming synthetic bacterium can be said to be the smallest mobile lifeform genetically, as it contains the fewest number of genes.
28 Nov 2022
A Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) collaborative research team has synthesised a nanoparticle named TRZD that can perform the dual function of diagnosing and treating glioma in the brain. It emits persistent luminescence for the diagnostic imaging of glioma tissues in vivo and inhibits the growth of tumour cells by aiding the targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs. The nanoparticle offers hope for the early diagnosis and treatment of glioma, especially cerebellar glioma, which is even harder to detect and cure with existing methods.
15 Nov 2022
A multinational team of researchers, co-led by a City University of Hong Kong (CityU) physicist, has found that a novel metallic crystal displays unusual electronic behaviour on its surface, thanks to the crystal’s unique atomic structure. Their findings open up the possibility of using this material to develop faster and smaller microelectronic devices.
15 Nov 2022
A collaborative research team co-led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has developed a wearable tactile rendering system, which can mimic the sensation of touch with high spatial resolution and a rapid response rate. The team demonstrated its application potential in a braille display, adding the sense of touch in the metaverse for functions such as virtual reality shopping and gaming, and potentially facilitating the work of astronauts, deep-sea divers and others who need to wear thick gloves.
26 Oct 2022
Researchers from Osaka University have demonstrated a proof-of-concept for a novel molecular hydrogen production method that bypasses the need for expensive purification steps. They developed a system where hydrogen is separated and stored in liquid organic hydrogen carriers by catalysis of triaryl boranes in one seamless process. The results of this work will help facilitate the transition to a hydrogen-based economy that is necessary for a more sustainable future.
Frazil ice formed below the ocean surface drives the generation of cold dense water
19 Oct 2022
Scientists have uncovered new details of how ice forming below the ocean surface in Antarctica provides cold dense water that sinks to the seabed in an important aspect of global water circulation.
17 Oct 2022
Chemists in Japan, Canada and Europe have uncovered flaws in the surface structure of cellulose nanocrystals—an important step toward deconstructing cellulose to produce renewable nano-materials relevant to biochemical products, energy solutions, and biofuels.
14 Oct 2022
Researchers from Osaka University have found that the Vibrio cholerae colonization factor TcpF forms a flower-shaped trimer to specifically bind to the minor pilus protein TcpB resulting in secretion by the type 4 pilus secretion system into the extracellular space. This finding could help lead to the development of a novel anti-adhesive drug that selectively interrupts the TcpF-TcpB interaction, which may replace antibiotics in the treatment of cholera.
11 Oct 2022
Vaccines have become the most important weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, but antibody levels after vaccination decay quickly over time. Therefore, an accurate and affordable antibody rapid test is urgently needed to adjust the revaccination strategy. A research team led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) recently invented an accurate rapid-testing device that can quantify and display the antibody level as a length of a visual bar, like a mercury thermometer, in as few as 20 minutes, enabling convenient mass screening or individual monitoring of immune protection against COVID-19.
Cancer cell infiltrates the liver through intracellular gaps in LSECs
04 Oct 2022
Metastasis—when cancer spreads to form new tumors—causes approximately 90% of cancer-related deaths. Because metastatic cancer cells circulate in the blood, the liver—which filters the blood—is considered the most vulnerable organ, so treatments that prevent liver metastasis are urgently needed. A team of Osaka Metropolitan University researchers discovered a mechanism that allows metastatic cancer cells to infiltrate the liver, and how that infiltration can be blocked by inhibiting a related protein.
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18 Jun 2022
The molecule is unusual and has ‘great potential’ in catalysis, conduction and other applications.
Silicon nanoparticles stabilized along the quantized vortex cores
12 May 2022
Researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University and Osaka University used numerical simulations to confirm observations of quantized vortices in superfluid helium using silicon nanoparticles, improving understanding of quantum fluids and superconductors.
27 Apr 2022
Hokkaido University researchers have shown how chronic pain leads to maladaptive anxiety in mice, with implications for treatment of chronic pain-related psychiatric disorders in humans.
Experimental approaches
26 Apr 2022
Researchers set out to find new ways to artificially induce mRNA to respond in ways that could eventually lead to therapeutic outcomes, expanding on the success of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines and opening up new possibilities across a host of possible genetic therapies.
Robotic VR system for Covid-19 swab tests
23 Feb 2022
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the use of robots and an urgent need for an advanced human-machine interface (HMI) system that can seamlessly connect users and robots. A research team co-led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and collaborating institution recently developed an innovative HMI system, which consists of flexible, multi-layered electronic skin and provides both visual and haptic feedback to users. The system can teleoperate the robot to imitate the user's actions to perform complicated tasks. It demonstrates the potential for conducting Covid-19 swab tests and nursing patients with infectious diseases.
13 Oct 2021
Direct evidence that microtubules function as mechano-sensors and regulate the intracellular transport of molecules has been reported, leading to new possibilities in the fields of biomechanics, medicine, and biosensors.
11 Oct 2021
A long-standing hypothesis, the dual-structure model, posits that Japanese populations derive dual ancestry from indigenous Jomon hunter-gatherer-fishers and succeeding Yayoi farmers. We conduct paleogenomic analyses of people of the Jomon, Yayoi, and Kofun periods from Japanese archaeological sites. We identify a later influx of East Asian ancestry in the Kofun period and clarify that the genome of the modern Japanese population is composed of three ancestral components, proposing a tripartite model of Japanese origins.
28 Sep 2021
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Science Advances a new method for distinguishing between enantiomers, molecules that are mirror images of each other. The procedure, relevant for the pharmaceutical industry, involves the chemical reaction of target enantiomers with color indicator compounds consisting of one-handed helical polymers, leading to solutions showing different colors in specific solvents between the enantiomers.
06 Aug 2021
Researchers from the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology have developed a faster and more reliable way to print flexible digital devices.
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02 Jun 2021
Scientists have found a way to make hydrogen move faster through a solid material at cooler temperatures, paving the way for more sustainable and practical energy storage devices.
28 Apr 2021
Scientists have recreated the reaction by which carbon isotopes made their way into different organic compounds, challenging the notion that organic compounds, such as amino acids, were formed by isotopically enriched substrates. Their discovery suggests that the building blocks of life in meteorites were derived from widely available substrates in the early solar system.
The optical forces acting on a moving nanodiamond
26 Mar 2021
Scientists have developed a method to use lasers to control the movement of nanodiamonds with fluorescent centers.
10 Mar 2021
Researchers reveal the path of information received by the hippocampus. Using optogenetics during large-scale recordings of rat subiculum, they discovered that the subiculum distributes information from the hippocampus to 4 downstream regions of the brain. They observed that the theta and sharp-wave/ripples in the subiculum controlled information transmission with millisecond precision according to the target region. This provides the foundation for a comprehensive understanding of the hippocampal memory system.
a novel electrode material for ASSBs
18 Feb 2021
Lithium ion batteries use liquid electrolytes that have several drawbacks, which can be overcome by all-solid-state lithium secondary batteries (ASSBs). However, it is important to find efficient electrode materials for ASSBs. A research team from Japan has recently developed a novel electrode material for ASSBs by combining lithium sulfate and lithium ruthenate, which results in improved performance. The scientists hope that their novel approach will guide future research and the eventual commercialization of such high-capacity batteries.
14 Dec 2020
Scientists at The University of Tokyo use computer simulations to model the effects of elemental composition on the glass-forming ability of metallic mixtures, which may lead to tough, electroconductive glasses
11 Dec 2020
A joint research led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has built an ultralow-power consumption artificial visual system to mimic the human brain, which successfully performed data-intensive cognitive tasks. Their experiment results could provide a promising device system for the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
20 Nov 2020
A research team, affiliated with the Korea Genomics Center (KOGIC) at UNIST has released data from the initial phase of the Korean Genome Project (Korea1K), including information describing 1,094 whole genomes, along with 79 quantitative clinical traits.

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