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Department of Life Science and Biotechnology

Realizing a healthy, active, aged society and creating a sustainable society

A society in which people live a long life in good health and at ease, and a sustainable society with reduced environmental load is desired. We are contributing to life innovation by developing new technologies to evaluate health and to promote drug discovery, as well as to maintain, improve, and recover health according to individual conditions. We are also contributing to green innovation by developing technologies to reduce environmental loads using bioprocesses.

 
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New Research Results

Development of Artificial Nucleic Acid Reference Materials for Accuracy Control of Microbiome Analysis

AIST has developed artificial nucleic acid reference materials as internal standards for accuracy control of analysis of microbiomes by next-generation sequencing. The 16S rRNA gene is widely used for the phylogenetic classification of microorganisms. AIST researchers designed artificial 16S rRNA reference materials to be amplified by PCR and to allow the amplified base sequences to be differentiated from natural genes during data analysis, and produced twelve types of the reference materials. When a mixture of the reference materials is used as an internal standard for microbiome analysis, the accuracy of the obtained base sequences can be evaluated and the performance of quantitative analysis can be controlled.

Figure of Developed artificial nucleic acid reference materials and a mixture of the reference materials to be used as an internal standard

Developed artificial nucleic acid reference materials (artificial 16S rRNA genes) and a mixture of the reference materials to be used as an internal standard

Enhancement of Ozone Tolerance by Adjusting Stomatal Aperture on Leaf Surface

AIST discovered that expressing chimeric repressors of the transcription factors that control the development of chloroplasts in plants (transcription factors GLK1 and GLK2) significantly improves resistance to ozone, which is an atmospheric pollutant. In plants which were made to express the chimeric repressors of these transcription factors, the researchers found that stomata close slightly, and the transcription factors GLK1 and GLK2 affect factors relating to the stomatal movements. It is expected that if stomatal aperture can be properly adjusted using these transcription factors, it would contribute to the development of crops that are tolerant to environmental stress, such as atmospheric pollution and drought.

 GLK1SRDX transformed Arabidopsis thaliana is tolerant to high concentrations of ozone. figure

GLK1SRDX transformed Arabidopsis thaliana is tolerant to high concentrations of ozone.


Research Unit

Open Innovation Laboratory

Since FY 2016, as a part of the “Open Innovation Arena concept” promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), AIST has created the concept of “open innovation laboratories” (OILs), collaborative research bases located on university campuses, and has been engaged in their provision. We are planning to establish more than ten OILs by FY 2020.

AIST will merge the basic research carried out at universities, etc. with AISTʼs goal-oriented basic research and applied technology development, and will promote bridging research and evelopment and industry by the establishment of OILs.

  • AIST-Waseda University Computational Bio Big-Data Open Innovation Laboratory (CBBD-OIL)
  • AIST-Osaka University Advanced Photonics and Biosensing Open Innovation Laboratory (PhotoBIO-OIL)

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