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New Research Results

10/17/2023

Demonstrating Performance of Organic Liquid Fertilizer Made by Microorganisms in Hydroponic Tomato Cultivation
– Contributing to resource recycling by upcycling nitrogen in waste –

Researchers at AIST, in collaboration with IAI Incorporated, the Industrial Research Institute of Shizuoka Prefecture, Numazu Technical Support Center and Shizuoka University, have demonstrated that organic liquid fertilizer made from food processing wastewater can be used in hydroponic tomato cultivation.
IAI had developed the system for producing organic liquid fertilizer with AIST and the other members. Yet, the performance of the produced organic liquid fertilizer had not been evaluated in detail. For the evaluation, the performance of the organic liquid fertilizer produced was compared with that of a commercially available chemical liquid fertilizer, by hydroponically cultivating tomatoes using them respectively. In general, it is known that chemical fertilizers, whose nutrient content can be easily adjusted, have higher plant growth efficiency than organic fertilizers. However, the organic liquid fertilizer produced in this study showed a fertilization effect equivalent to that of the chemical fertilizer (Using the organic fertilizer resulted in some plant parts growing approximately 10% more than when the chemical fertilizer was used). This organic liquid fertilizer contains microorganisms. It was suggested that some of the microorganisms may settle on tomato roots and form a biofilm, thereby preventing infection by other undesirable microorganisms. This technology contributes to the realization of a sustainable society by promoting nitrogen resource recycling through the use of waste-derived fertilizers.

Figure of new research results Energy and Environment

02/02/2024

Simultaneous decoding of 10,000 cells’ glycan and gene expression in single cells – Promotes the use of glycans for disease detection, prevention, and treatment –

Researchers at AIST, in collaboration with the University of Tsukuba, have developed a droplet-type single-cell glycan-RNA sequencing method (droplet-type scGR-seq method) for simultaneous analysis of glycans and RNAs expressed in each of approximately 10,000 cells isolated from tissues and other sources using a next-generation sequencer. We have developed a droplet-type scGR-seq method.
Cell surface glycans are used as drug targets for various diseases and for quality control of cells for regenerative medicine. In the past, we developed a technique to react multiple cells with lectins (sugar-binding proteins) labeled with DNA barcodes, separate each cell into microcentrifuge tubes, and acquire information on the expression of extracellular glycans and intracellular RNA in each cell using a next-generation sequencer. However, the number of cells that can be analyzed in a single experiment is limited to several hundred by the conventional plate-type method in which one cell is dispensed into a microcentrifuge tube. With the introduction of the droplet technology, approximately 10,000 cells can be analyzed in a single experiment, a 100-fold increase in the number of cells that can be processed compared to the conventional method. This enables more comprehensive analysis of the differences between different cell types and the diversity of cell surface glycans within the same cell type, as well as the rapid acquisition of information on rare cells that contain only a small number of cells.

Figure of new research results Life Science and Biotechnology

Dynamic Sign 11/22/2022

General Requirements for “Dynamic Signs” Published as an ISO Standard
– Japan leads in promoting establishment of international standards for new information presentation technology –

AIST proposed the general requirements of an international standard for dynamic signs with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and the proposal was adopted as ISO 23456-1:2021.
The more effective sign system will be established by developing individual standards under this international standard. We are expecting for the society sharing with various age groups, cultures, and perceptual and physical characteristics, such as the elderly and wheelchair users under the concept of accessibility for all people.

Figure of new research results Information Technology and Human Factors

11/07/2023

Scalable Synthesis of Peptides at Low Cost and with Minimal Waste
– Synthesize peptides with minimal use of protecting groups, as if connecting blocks –

Researchers at AIST, in collaboration with the University of Tokyo, have realized a low-cost, waste-minimized, scalable chemical synthesis of peptides. Complex peptides consisting of nine amino acids can be produced with minimal use of protecting groups.
To produce peptides in large quantities, "chemical synthesis " is required. Conventional methods elongate amino acids one-by-one in a specific order, but the methods are costly due to requiring expensive amino acid starting materials having protective groups and elaborated chemical activators (condensation reagents). In recent years, chemoselective ligations for unprotected peptide chains have been widely used to efficiently produce large peptides, but most of these ligations have limitations in the scope of amino acid sequences. The newly developed peptide synthesis can be applied to any amino acid sequences, and can connect peptide chains in block-by-block style. By using this method, large peptides can be produced in large quantities with minimal use of protecting groups. As a demonstration of this method, we have succeeded in the scalable synthesis of the bioactive peptide consisting of nine amino acids.
This achievement will contribute not only to the development and supply of new pharmaceuticals (middle-sized molecular drugs), but also to pioneer new applications of peptides, such as industrial uses in foods, agrochemicals, cosmetics, and materials. In addition, synthetic methods that reduce production costs and environmental impact will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.

Figure of new research results

1/17/2024

Elucidating the Switching Characteristics of Transistors Operating at Cryogenic Temperatures
– New insights into semiconductor physics accelerate R&D of control circuits for quantum computers –

Researchers at AIST have elucidated the low-temperature operation mechanism of transistors, which had been a mystery until now.
The performance of transistors, which are building blocks of integrated circuits, change depending on the temperature. Therefore, understanding the transistor characteristics at their operating temperatures is important for designing integrated circuits. Recently, integrated circuits for qubit control operating at temperature as low as 4 Kelvin (-269.15 °C) have been developed for realizing large-scale integrated quantum computers. However, the switching characteristics of transistors at low-temperature such as 4 Kelvin (-269.15 °C) cannot be explained by the conventional semiconductor physics and have remained a mystery. In this research, by measuring the transistor characteristics at deep cryogenic temperature of 0.015 Kelvin (-273.135 °C), which is two orders of magnitude lower than the operating temperature of 4 Kelvin (-269.15 °C), it was revealed that the electron capture at oxide/semiconductor interface trap determines the switching characteristics of transistors. This is a new finding that unravels a remaining mystery in low-temperature semiconductor physics and will contribute to improving the performance of quantum computers.

Figure of new research results Electronics and Manufacturing

10/12/2023

Why Does Asteroid Ryugu Look Different in Space and in the Laboratory?
– Space weathering hides water signs –

Researchers at AIST, in collaboration with Tohoku University, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the University of Tokyo, Kyushu University, and others, conducted a direct comparison of remote-sensed data of the Cb-type asteroid Ryugu’s surface observed by the Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa2 and lab-measured data using Ryugu samples brought back to the Earth by Hayabusa2 spacecraft without exposure to the Earth's atmosphere. The remote-sensed and lab-measured reflectance spectra of Ryugu are quite similar, however, a clear difference is the OH absorption band depth: the OH band of remote-sensed spectra is more than half weaker than that of lab-measured spectra. To clarify what causes that difference, we performed lab experiments and data comparisons using primitive carbonaceous chondrites similar to Ryugu. Then we revealed that the most likely cause is that the surface of Ryugu, about 1/100 mm in depth, has been affected by space weathering, alteration caused by exposure to cosmic rays and cosmic dusts, resulting in partial dehydration and the OH band weakening. Our result has been enabled for the first time by the combination of remote sensing of asteroid Ryugu and laboratory measurements using collected samples by Hayabusa2, and suggests the importance of sample return missions playing an important role in planetary science.

Figure of new research results Geological Survey of Japan

11/01/2023

Developed Evaluation Technology for Radio-frequency Components Used in Quantum Computers
– Measure temperature dependence of reflection and transmission characteristics from cryogenic to room temperature –

AIST researchers have developed a technique to evaluate the reflection and transmission characteristics (S parameters) of radio-frequency (RF) components at arbitrary temperature from 4 K to 300 K (-269 °C to 27 °C).
Quantum computer systems contain many RF components to transmit analog signals between the cryogenic quantum chip and the room-temperature electronics. However, most of them do not have guaranteed characteristics in cryogenic environments. Unexpected malfunctions of even a single RF component in a circuit consisting of many components can hinder the large-scale integration of quantum computers. Therefore, there is a need to establish a low-temperature evaluation method for RF components. This method improves on existing methods for measuring reflection and transmission characteristics to enable evaluation of RF components at arbitrary temperatures from 4 K to 300 K. The temperature-dependent information obtained by this technique is essential for the development process of high-performance RF components and will contribute to the advancement of quantum-related technologies. The technology will be deployed in a quantum hardware testbed at the Global Research Center for Quantum and AI Fusion Technology Business Development, which will begin offering measurement services to industry.

Newly developed radiation dosimeter

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