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New Research Results

Membrane fouling analysis 06/20/2017

A New Method for Analysis of Water Treatment Membrane Fouling by Activated Sludge
– Combination of analyses using a confocal reflection microscope and a next-generation sequencer –

AIST observed the fouling process of water treatment membranes non-destructively. Two types of model wastewater with different concentrations of organic substances (low load and high load) were treated using a membrane bioreactor to identify the substances and microorganisms that cause membrane fouling. Using a confocal reflection microscope, it was found that polysaccharides are the primary component under low loads while lipids are the primary component under high loads. It was also found using a next-generation sequencer that the microorganisms constituting the biofilm are different when the concentrations of organic substances differ. A new model for the fouling process under high loads was proposed.

RNA reference material 5/26/2017

Development of Artificial Nucleic Acid Reference Materials for Accuracy Control of Microbiome Analysis
– Contribution to highly reliable microbiota analysis by next-generation sequencing –

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

Effectiveness of motion-assist devices 06/12/2017

Demonstration of the Effectiveness of Motion-Assist Devices for Sensorimotor Learning Using a Rat Experimental Model
–Expected applications to neurorehabilitation techniques–

AIST has demonstrated that learning effectiveness can be improved by assisting stimulus-response motion in a timely manner. Air-pressure stimuli were applied to one forepaw of a rat. The number of days for the rat to learn the correct forepaw was investigated by varying the timing of intervention and the target forepaw for intervention (on the correct response side or the incorrect response side). The learning time was less when intervention produced an incorrect motion than when intervention produced a correct motion. The intervention was effective when applied just before the rat responded spontaneously.

Siloxane bond synthesis 6/16/2017

Development of Technique for One-Pot Synthesis of Siloxane Bonds
– Key to creation of highly functional, high-performance silicone materials –

AIST has developed a one-pot synthesis technique that selectively forms siloxane bonds which form the main skeleton of organosilicon materials, in order to synthesize structurally well-defined siloxane compounds in one process. With the developed technique, it is possible to synthesize siloxane compounds with a structure corresponding to the order in which dihydrosilanes (or trihydrosilanes) are added to the reactor vessel. Because by-products are not produced or they can be easily separated, it is possible to reduce processes such as isolation and purification of products and washing of reactor vessels after each reaction.

Figure of the developed technique for the precise formation of siloxane bonds
Oxygen vacancies in ReRAM 6/22/2017

Elucidation of the Behavior of a Resistive Random Access Memory by Analyzing Current Noise
– For expanding the application of nonvolatile memories –

AIST has developed a technique to study oxygen vacancy states in a resistive random access memory (ReRAM) without damaging the memory functions. An identical device can be used to investigate both conventional and low-power operation modes, making it possible to compare the oxygen vacancy states under different conditions. Only in a high resistance state during the low-power operation, the frequency dependence of the current noise shows that a small number of oxygen vacancies are present. The researchers have concluded that the reduction of oxygen vacancies which contribute to electrical conduction is required to further reduce the power consumption of ReRAMs.

Figure of Analyzed results of EBAC and the noise measurement data of ReRAM

Geological hazard map 03/09/2017

Completion of the Eastern Asia Earthquake and Volcanic Hazards Information Map
- Information about past disasters displayed on a single geological map -

AIST has created the “Eastern Asia Earthquake and Volcanic Hazards Information Map”. The map summarizes past disaster information on large-scale earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the tsunamis that they triggered. Displaying the disaster scale, and the number and causes of fatalities on the map in icons enable the viewers to have a good grasp of the hazard situation. The map is expected to raise risk management awareness in East Asia. It can be used as basic data for disaster mitigation planning and hazard map creation. The map in image format has been made public on the Geological Survey of Japan website.


Thermometer for high temperature 06/19/2017

Development of a high precision thermometer for the use at around 1000 °C
- Contributing to the improvement of temperature measurement and control at high temperatures -

AIST, in collaboration with Chino Corporation, has developed a platinum resistance thermometer equipped with platinum wire in its sensor that can precisely measure temperature at around 1000 °C. By heat-cycling tests, the platinum wire was examined to find optimum conditions for stabilizing the resistance value. As a result, the resistance value is stable even at high temperatures around 1000 °C. Furthermore, a new sensor structure was devised to reduce thermal strain of the platinum wire at high temperature. The developed platinum resistance thermometer can measure temperatures at the 0.001 °C level of precision even at high temperature.


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