This manuscript is dedicated to Prof. Tamio Yamakawa and describes my cooperations on sialic acid-related topics with Japanese scientists during the last 40 years. We studied sialic acids and their O-acetylated derivatives in the sea urchin Pseudocentrotus depressus, in Halocynthia species, and in human and bovine milk. In seafood we mainly searched for N-glycolylneuraminic acid. With synthetic substrates it was shown that sialic acid O-acetylation at C-4 hinders the activity of sialidases, with the exception of viral enzymes. The biosynthesis of Neu5Gc was discussed and the distribution of this sialic acid in dogs followed in modern literature and reviewed regarding their migration. An excellent source of sialic acids is edible bird nest substance (Collocalia mucin) which was used for the synthesis of sialylation inhibitors.
The prevailing view of Nagaoka’s “Saturnian” atom is so misleading that today many people have an erroneous picture of Nagaoka’s vision. They believe it to be a system involving a ‘giant core’ with electrons circulating just outside. Actually, though, in view of the Coulomb potential related to the atomic nucleus, Nagaoka’s model is exactly the same as Rutherford’s. This is true of the Bohr atom, too. To give proper credit, Nagaoka should be remembered together with Rutherford and Bohr in the history of the atomic model. It is also pointed out that Nagaoka was a pioneer of understanding hyperfine interactions in order to study nuclear structure.
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