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Oct. 4, Thu.

Capturing Images from Inside the Cell
J-Innovators:Restoring the Power of Natural Speech

J-Innovator Yasunori Sugai has developed a device that enables people whose vocal cords have been damaged by laryngeal cancer, etc., to speak more naturally

A man using a mechanical larynx

Restoring the Power of Natural Speech

People whose vocal cords have been damaged by laryngeal cancer, for example, find it difficult to speak the way they want to speak. This time, we introduce an innovator who has developed an artificial mechanical larynx to help such people speak more naturally again. The key point is modulation. Previous devices have always sounded artificial because they don't get the inflection right. This innovator came up with a surprising answer. What was his idea? The hint is a bird that everyone knows. We also meet a patient whose life has already been improved by acquiring a special technique using this artificial larynx.

Navigator Rena Yamada with Science Watcher Katsuyuki Sakai

iPS cells made from the cells of a patient with CINCA - Chronic infantile neurological cutaneous and articular syndrome

Science News Watch:
An Immune Disease Reproduced with iPS Cells

Science watcher Katsuyuki Sakai focuses on research efforts to use iPS cells to unravel the mechanisms of an incurable disease. The Kyoto University team has made iPS cells from the skin cells of a patient with an immune disorder whose organs have all been damaged by severe inflammation. They then used the iPS cells to recreate the conditions which triggered the disorder. There are only about 50 patients with this condition in Japan and there is no cure. It is hoped that this study will lead to new ways to treat it. What did the group do to reproduce inflammation of the cells? We report from the front lines of iPS cell research.

Myosin moving over actin

A nanospray emitter

The Leading Edge:
Capturing Images from Inside the Cell

The cell is the smallest unit of life but still many riddles remain about what goes on inside it. We introduce a new technique that observes a single molecule in the cell. A cutting edge microscope uses laser technology to reveal unanticipated molecular movement. What is this amazing activity, which even disproved a theory proposed by a Nobel Prize winner? We also take a look at a needle that works on the micrometer scale to move and remove tiny quantities of matter in the tiny organelles found in cells. Join us for a closer look at these achievements, coming in quick succession from Japan, and the new discoveries these world-class techniques are making about the internal world of the cell.