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Scientists, island residents brace for total solar eclipse

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Taking up News of the past by Media in connection with "Science and Technology in Japan" .
Recent Science and Technology Trend will be read via these News.
Jul 26 Robot to pedal the Le Mans circuit (Japan Times)
 A Panasonic Corp. robot powered by two Evolta AA alkaline batteries will attempt to cycle the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit on Aug. 5, according to the electronics giant. The robot - 20 cm high, 30 cm long and 20 cm wide - will pedal a three-wheeled cycle, two in front and one in back, along the historic circuit in the French town of Le Mans that is used annually for the world's oldest sports car race.
Jul 26 Eco-pen made from pesky aosa seaweed (Yomiuri)
 Yatsuhigata Nature Observation Center in Narashino, which manages the Ramsar Convention-designated Yatsu-higata wetland in Tokyo Bay, has developed a ballpoint pen made from bioplastic derived from the pestilential aosa seaweed that grows in the wetland.
Jul 26 Freezing technology makes for cool food products (Yomiuri)
 An association in Tottori Prefecture is adding products made with the Hyo-on freezing-zone preservation technology to Mt. Daisen brand products, such as anko (sweet bean paste), to expand the commercialization of the brand.
Jul 25 Low canine vaccination rate raises fear of rabies outbreak in Japan (Mainichi)
 Only about 40 percent of pet dogs in Japan have received compulsory rabies vaccinations, a survey by the Japan Veterinary Medical Association has found. No rabies infections have been reported in Japan for over 50 years, but there have been many cases of the disease in surrounding countries including China, where the disease kills about 3,000 people a year. Officials in Japan warn that an outbreak could occur here at any time if the rate of vaccination doesn't increase.
Jul 25 Ishikawa analog TV signal cut in tryout for end of service in 2011 (Japan Times)
 The communications ministry briefly suspended analog TV broadcasting service Friday in Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, to prepare for the total shift to terrestrial digital broadcasting scheduled in two years. The test ran for an hour from 10 a.m. to see if any problems might occur as a result of the planned end to analog broadcasting on July 24, 2011.
Jul 25 Japanese professor creates baseball-playing robots (AP)
 Look out Ichiro Suzuki and Daisuke Matsuzaka. A pair of baseball-playing robots that can pitch and hit with incredible results have been developed in Japan. The pitching robot, with its three-fingered hand, can throw 90 percent of its pitches in the strike zone, won't need any relief from the bullpen and never asks for a pay raise.
Jul 24 Dinosaurs to invade the nation (Japan Times)
 Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex in Chiba will be home to a replica of the world's largest dinosaur skeleton until Sept. 27. The Giant Mamenchisaurus, which is an impressive 35 meters long, is one of the main attractions of Dinosaur Expo 2009 - The Miracle of Deserts. While the mammoth size of this prehistoric creature is difficult to top, the expo's own massiveness comes daringly close, offering visitors 450 skeletons and 2,600 specimens to admire.
Jul 23 Japan train workers check grins with smile meter (AP)
 Her uniform looks good, with striped scarf and blue cap in perfect order, but railway employee Mitsue Endo has one thing to do before she faces the masses - pass the smile test. Endo, who works at hectic Shinagawa Station in central Tokyo for Keihin Express Railway Co., sits in front of a laptop computer with a digital camera mounted on top. At first she is a bit grim-faced, and the verdict from the company's smile-rating software is instant and candid. "Smile: 0" pops up on the screen.
Jul 23 On deck at Japan space lab: science (Florida Today)
 The combined crews of shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station will mark a key construction milestone today as the first research and experiment packages are eased into place on the outpost's new "porch." Operating a robot arm from inside the $1 billion Kibo laboratory, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata will do the christening honors.
Jul 22 New Hitachi biometric ID check tech reads blood flow pattern in users' fingers (Mainichi)
 Hitachi Ltd. has announced that it has developed a new payment system based on finger vein authentication technology. Finger vein authentication systems identify individuals based on the unique blood flow patterns in their fingers.
Jul 21 Record-length habu snake found on Amami Oshima Island (Mainichi)
 A venomous snake measuring 2.26 meters long has been found on Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, outstripping the previous record for the longest snake to be captured on the island. The snake, a habu weighing 3.15 kilograms, was captured in the mountains of Amami on the evening of July 16, and taken to Amami Kanko Habu Center, center officials said.
Jul 21 Japanese nuke lab erects 200 teraflop super (The Register)
 Server maker Fujitsu has announced that the Japan Atomic Energy Agency will be building a 200 teraflops cluster based on Intel's 'Nehalem EP' Xeon 5500 processors and Fujitsu's blade form factor. JAEA is also buying two Sparc-based clusters, foundations for even larger petaflops-scale supers that Fujitsu plans to build using its future 'Venus' eight-core Sparc64-VIII processors.
Jul 21 Nagoya Univ. produces world's first 'wingless' ladybird beetles (Japan Times)
 A team of researchers in Japan has successfully produced the world's first "wingless" ladybird beetle, paving the way for a new biological control agent, according to Britain's Insect Molecular Biology magazine published online on Tuesday. The new ladybird could be used to efficiently get rid of harmful insects, such as ant cows, as the scope of their activities will be restricted because they are flightless, the researchers said.
Jul 20 Insulin resistance linked to ulcer bacteria (Yomiuri)
 Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which can cause gastric ulcers, have been linked to type B insulin resistance syndrome in diabetics, Prof. Hideki Katagiri of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine's Center for Translational and Advanced Animal Research and others have discovered.
Jul 20 Fujitsu to build Japan's next-generation supercomputer (ptinews.com)
 Japan's next-generation supercomputer will be made by Fujitsu Ltd. after its two partners withdrew from a government-sponsored project to develop the computer which will achieve the world's highest performance of 10 petaflops. Fujitsu will make the supercomputer for the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, an independent administrative institution known as RIKEN.
Jul 19 Japanese science platform attached to space station (CNET)
 Combining robotics with a five-hour 32-minute spacewalk, the Endeavour astronauts accomplished the primary goal of their space station assembly mission Saturday, successfully attaching a sophisticated experiment platform to the Japanese Kibo laboratory module. In the first of five planned spacewalks, astronauts Dave Wolf and Tim Kopra prepped the Japanese Exposed Facility, or JEF, for removal from the shuttle's cargo bay and then went on to other tasks, including the successful deployment of a jammed external storage system.
Jul 19 Scientists, island residents brace for total solar eclipse (AP)
 Scientists from across the country have begun to converge on a quiet southwestern island as residents ready for a deluge of visitors ahead of the first total solar eclipse in 46 years that can be observed from Japanese territory on Wednesday. Researchers from a government-backed aerospace agency and local universities are poised to set out on a sea excursion and overcome shaky waters when the eclipse gives them a rare opportunity to conduct offshore, on-deck astronomical observations.
Jul 19 Boy inventor patents cat repeller (Yomiuri)
 A 14-year-old boy from Toyama has obtained a patent for a cat-repelling device he invented using common items such as plastic bottles and mikan orange juice. Ryota Yamamoto, a third-year student at Municipal Shibazono Middle School in Toyama, recently received certification for his invention from a local patent office in the city. The contraption makes use of PET bottles--whose reflection cats dislike--and the tart smell of mikans, which felines are believed to find disagreeable.
Jul 19 Jellyfish collagen eyed for cosmetics, drugs (Yomiuri)
 A type of jellyfish usually considered a nuisance may become useful in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical fields due to a new technique that extracts collagen from the creature. In a process developed by Fukui Prefectural University and other institutions, collagen has been extracted from mizukurage, or moon jellyfish.
By J.S. on Jul 29, 2009 



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