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Spacewalkers complete Japan's laboratory complex

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Taking up herewith Japanese Science & Technology Trend News of the past week by Media.
Recent Science & Technology Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Aug 01 Majority who register gender change go abroad for the operation (Mainichi)
 Less than 20 percent of those who changed their gender in family registration records are believed to have undergone gender reassignment surgery in Japan, a survey by the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology (JSPN) has found.
Aug 01 Mountain of data mined atop Mt. Fuji (Yomiuri)
 As driving winds and rain on the top of Mt. Fuji began to die down, rays of sunlight from the setting sun emerged through a small window of the weather observation center there.
Jul 31 Sunlight hours among shortest on record in parts of Japan in July (AP)
 Sunlight hours in parts of northern and western Japan were among the shortest in more than half a century for July, reflecting a longer-than-usual rainy season and threatening agricultural production, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Friday. Sunlight hours came to only 54 percent of the annual average in the Sea of Japan areas of the Hokkaido and Tohoku regions for the July 1- 30 period, heading for the shortest for the entire month for the same areas since the agency began tracking records in 1946.
Jul 31 In Japan, getting ready for the Big One (Los Angeles Times)
 Many believe a massive earthquake is due any time in Tokai, an area south of Tokyo that sits atop a precarious confluence of tectonic plates. One worried mom has taken preparations into her own hands. She's built a new "Ninja house" with high-tech gadgets and design improvements that she hopes will withstand the force of the next earthquake for at least long enough for her family to escape.
Jul 31 Dolphin slaughter in Japan subject of new film (Reuters)
 A tense new film shows Japanese fishermen luring thousands of wild dolphins into a hidden secret cove in Japan where activists say they are captured for marine amusement parks or slaughtered for food. "The Cove" follows a team of activists including former dolphin trainer from the "Flipper" television series Ric O'Barry. They battle Japanese police and fisherman to gain access to a cove in Taiji, Japan, where barbed wire blocks people from filming dolphin killings that begin in September each year.
Jul 31 Japanese astronaut tests endurance of his undies (AP)
 In what might embarrass less adventurous souls, astronaut Koichi Wakata is returning to Earth with the underwear he kept on for a solid month during his space station stay and scientists will check them out.
Jul 30 Giant Jellyfish Invasion May Be Imminent in Japan (National Geographic)
  Giant jellyfish seem poised to invade Japan, and experts are warning local fishers to brace themselves for an inundation that could wreak havoc on their industry. Nomura's jellyfish is one of the largest jellyfish species in the world, growing up to 6.5 feet (2m) wide and weighing as much as 440 pounds (200kg).
Jul 29 1st in-hospital new-flu infections confirmed (Yomiuri)
 Two inpatients at Mizuma Hospital in Kaizuka, Osaka Prefecture, were confirmed as having been infected with the new strain of influenza at the facility, the hospital announced Tuesday. It was the first domestic case of a new-flu infection occurring inside a hospital, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Jul 28 Conserving biodiversity (Asahi)
 Little Grebes are water birds that sound like they are laughing when they sing: "Ke le le le." The people around their habitat at Lake Biwako in Shiga Prefecture love the creatures, but the duck's numbers are shrinking. The Shiga Committee for Economic Development, comprising about 300 executives of companies in the Lake Biwako area, is urging a system in which a share of corporate sales would be donated to save and protect endangered species like the Little Grebe.
Jul 28 Metabolic syndrome tied to T cell activity in fat (Yomiuri)
 A team of scientists at Tokyo University has found that a kind of T lymphocyte cell can accumulate, causing body fat tissue to become inflamed, possibly resulting in the onset of metabolic syndrome. The discovery is expected to contribute to the development of medicines that suppress T cell activity to treat metabolic diseases.
Jul 28 Kyushu volcanic deposits bring green splash to streets (Yomiuri)
 In the heart of Kagoshima, "operation green" has been adding a splash of color to the city's streetcar tracks. But the lush carpet of green shoots is extending its roots down into a somewhat unusual base--shirasu, a type of volcanic ash and pumice peculiar to southern Kyushu. The municipal government has been planting grass between and alongside the city's streetcar tracks since fiscal 2006. About 3.8 kilometers of the 8.9-kilometer tramway have gone green, and the government plans to do the same to the remainder.
Jul 28 1 man's 50 supernova finds out of this world (Yomiuri)
 Though the solar eclipse, dubbed the astronomy show of the century, enthralled the nation last Wednesday, a man in Yamagata Prefecture marked his own astronomical milestone by discovering his 50th supernova in just nine years. Koichi Itagaki's discovery of so many stellar explosions makes him the most prolific supernova hunter in the country and the ninth most in the world.
Jul 28 Spacewalkers complete Japan's laboratory complex (Reuters)
 A pair of spacewalking astronauts put the finishing touches on Japan's International Space Station research lab Monday during a fifth and final outing before the visiting shuttle Endeavour departs. Floating 225 miles above Earth, Endeavour astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn outfitted Japan's new outdoor experiments platform with television cameras, completing the $2.4-billion Kibo complex.
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.
By J.S. on Aug 6, 2009



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