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Japanese create teddy bear robot nurse

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Taking up herewith Japanese Science, Technology and Electronics Trend News by Media of last week.
Science, Technology and Electronics Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Aug 29 Japanese create teddy bear robot nurse (CNET)
 Japanese researchers have created a robot nurse that can lift elderly patients from wheelchairs and beds. Naturally, it looks like a giant teddy bear. Riba, short for Robot for Interactive Body Assistance, was developed by the state-run Riken research center. Promoters are calling it the world's first robot to lift people in its arms.
Aug 29 Gov't demonstrations to check practicality of fuel cells (AP)
 The government will conduct demonstration tests in fiscal 2009 to assess the usefulness of fuel cells using airport limousine buses and power generation systems that use the advanced technology, which is regarded as effective in the battle against global climate change, the industry ministry said Friday.
Aug 28 Solar power's bright future in Japan (The Economist)
 Excess supply has forced the prices of solar panels down by more than 40% this year. In Asia factories that recently cropped up are running at 40% of capacity, with a huge shakeout expected. But Japanese makers are protected because they can manufacture cells less expensively than European firms and have better technology than Chinese ones. They are also sheltered in their home market, where customers prefer domestic products.
Aug 26 Researchers develop blood test for mental illnesses, stress levels (Mainichi)
 A team of university researchers has identified proteins in the blood connected with certain types of mental illness, and have developed a blood test-based procedure to diagnose the ailments. The new blood test works not just in identifying mental illness, but can also gauge the recovery of healthy individuals from stress and fatigue.
Aug 26 Most vulnerable to get flu jabs 1st (Yomiuri)
 Pregnant women, babies and people with chronic health problems will be the first to be vaccinated against the new type of influenza, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe said Tuesday. Seventeen million people fall into these categories. Doses of vaccine sufficient to cover such people are nearly equivalent to the total volume of vaccine to be produced by domestic pharmaceutical firms.
Aug 26 Overfishing, global warming behind jellyfish swarm (Yomiuri)
 Nomura's jellyfish, also known as Echizen kurage, pose a serious threat to the domestic fishing industry, and a huge swarm of the creatures is approaching the Sea of Japan. Scientists say the giant jellyfish population explosion in recent years is due to overfishing and the effects of global warming.
Aug 26 Egg tests find space may be tough place for humans to conceive babies (Japan Times)
 Conceiving a child in space may not be as easy as it has long been depicted in science fiction novels and movies, according to a joint study by scientists from Kobe and Hiroshima. In Tuesday's edition of the American science magazine PLos One, the group reported that the growth of fertile eggs slows in a near-zero-gravity environment, lowering the birthrate by half when the eggs are put back into the wombs of mice.
Aug 26 One of two young disabled tigers dies at Hokkaido zoo (AP)
 One of the two 15-month-old siblings of a Siberian tiger with disabilities in their limbs died Tuesday at a zoo in Kushiro, eastern Hokkaido, zoo officials said. The male cub Taiga died apparently after choking on meat, they said.
Aug 25 Meteorological agency incorrectly warns of strong quake (AP)
 The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a false alarm saying a strong earthquake was imminent in Tokyo and surrounding areas early Tuesday, causing subway and other train services to briefly halt shortly before the morning rush hour. The quake warning was issued around 6:37 a.m., but only an imperceptible jolt occurred in the region at around 6:36 a.m.
Aug 25 Govt admits no demand expected for GX rocket (Yomiuri)
 The government has admitted for the first time that it does not foresee any demand for the GX midsize rocket currently being developed as a joint government-private sector project, adding that the project lacks international competitiveness, sources said Monday. The government has decided not to include further development costs into its fiscal 2010 budgetary request.
Aug 24 Iconic bullet train has yet to find its place in global rail industry (Japan Times)
 Without a doubt, one of Japan's most iconic technological achievements of the last century was the bullet train. Ushering in a new era of prosperity and propelling the entire nation to the forefront of modernity, the shinkansen was an unqualified success. It would take several decades for the rest of the world to catch up, with the first foreign high-speed trains hitting the rails of France in 1981 as the famous TGV series.
Aug 23 Noguchi trains for Soyuz space trip (Japan Times)
 Astronaut Soichi Noguchi, gearing up for a record-breaking space mission, said Friday he is honored to have been selected for a crucial role in Russia's space program. A Soyuz space capsule set to be launched in December will ferry Noguchi to the International Space Station, where he would stay for six months, breaking the Japanese space duration record set by Koichi Wakata, who spent 4 1/2 months on the ISS earlier this year.
Aug 23 New-flu vaccine imports may be too late (Yomiuri)
 The government might not be able to import vaccine to combat the new type of influenza before autumn, when an epidemic of the disease is feared to intensify, as experts want preimport confirmation that the vaccine is safe for Japanese patients, sources familiar with the matter said. According to the sources, the three Western pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccine have submitted terms of contract, among which the government is asked to exempt them from liability in the case the vaccine causes side effects.
Aug 27 New attack cracks common Wi-Fi encryption in a minute (PC World)
 Computer scientists in Japan say they've developed a way to break the WPA encryption system used in wireless routers in about one minute. The attack gives hackers a way to read encrypted traffic sent between computers and certain types of routers that use the WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption system.
Aug 27 Sony to launch e-book reader in December (Japan Times)
 Sony Corp. said Tuesday it will market an e-book device called the Reader Daily Edition that offers newspapers, magazines and book titles in time for the Christmas shopping season in the United States. Sony is hoping the upgraded $399 reader will help it catch rival Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle.
Aug 26 Sony Japan announces 5 new Blu-ray recorder/HDD combos (crunchgear.com)
 The flood of video recording devices coming out of Japan doesn't want to end. Today Sony unveiled five Blu-ray recorders with built-in HDDs for the Japanese market, and one of them has a 2 TB HDD. Sony says they tried to focus especially on usability and design with these machines.
Aug 25 Mobile phones are enough for Japan's Net users (CNET)
 It's no secret that Japan has better mobile phones than the rest of the world. The country has also had access to better phone-based Internet services since the launch of NTT DoCoMo's i-mode service all the way back in 1998. Recent data from japan.internet.com (translated by whatjapanthinks.com) suggests that Japan's mobile phones offer users enough functionality that 49 percent of the respondents to a recent survey say a "mobile phone is enough" when asked what kind of mobile device they would most like to carry.
Aug 25 Sony launches digital service in Japan (Variety)
 Sony will launch a new digital projection system lease and support service for digital theaters in Japan on Oct. 1, the company announced on Monday. Sony plans to introduce the digital systems to 500 screens within four years.
Aug 25 Netbook craze sparks rethink by PC makers (Japan Times)
 Smaller and low-cost notebook personal computers with limited functions, now known as netbooks, are fast becoming a favorite among users worldwide who simply want a low-cost lightweight PC to browse the Web and handle e-mail. With Sony Corp. releasing one this month, netbooks have now been embraced by major Japanese PC makers including Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd.
Aug 23 Wii ranks No. 2 in Japan sales (punchjump.com)
 Nintendo Co.'s Wii ranked No. 2 in Japan sales due to continued momentum from Capcom's Monster Hunter 3. Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Wii sold 47,732 units between Aug. 10 and Aug. 16. to rank second in overall sales.
By J.S. on Sep 3, 2009



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