Laser acceleration is based on the concept to marshal collective fields that may be induced by laser. In order to exceed the material breakdown field by a large factor, we employ the broken-down matter of plasma. While the generated wakefields resemble with the fields in conventional accelerators in their structure (at least qualitatively), it is their extreme accelerating fields that distinguish the laser wakefield from others, amounting to tiny emittance and compact accelerator. The current research largely falls on how to master the control of acceleration process in spatial and temporal scales several orders of magnitude smaller than the conventional method. The efforts over the last several years have come to a fruition of generating good beam properties with GeV energies on a table top, leading to many applications, such as ultrafast radiolysis, intraoperative radiation therapy, injection to X-ray free electron laser, and a candidate for future high energy accelerators.
Fermions and bosons are quite different kinds of particles, but it is possible to unify them in a supermultiplet, by introducing a new mathematical scheme called superalgebra. In this article we discuss the development of the concept of symmetry, starting from the rotational symmetry and finally arriving at this fermion-boson (FB) symmetry.
Water, the most common and important liquid, has peculiar properties like the density maximum at 4°C. Such properties are thought to stem from complex changes in the bonding-network structure of water molecules. And yet we cannot understand water. The discovery of the high-density amorphous ice (HDA) in 1984 and the discovery of the apparently discontinuous change in volume of amorphous ice in 1985 indicated experimentally clearly the existence of two kinds of disordered structure (polyamorphism) in a one-component condensed-matter system. This fact has changed our viewpoint concerning water and provided a basis for a new explanation; when cooled under pressure, water would separate into two liquids. The peculiar properties of water would be explained by the existence of the separation point: the liquid-liquid critical point (LLCP). Presently, accumulating evidences support this hypothesis. Here, I describe the process of my experimental studies from the discovery of HDA to the search for LLCP together with my thoughts which induced these experiments.
From the sea hares belonging to two genera, Aplysia and Dolabella, a variety of new cytotoxic substances were isolated as minute constituents: their chemical structures were determined and their cytotoxicity was evaluated. Regarding the highly cytotoxic substances, further chemical and biological studies were performed that included their asymmetric chemical synthesis and elucidation of biological characteristics such as antitumor activity.
The discovery of new basic compounds holds the key for advancing material sciences. We have focused on the identification and characterization of natural key compounds that control biologically and physiologically intriguing phenomena. The discovery of new bioactive molecules, facilitated by a deeper understanding of nature, should advance our knowledge of biological processes and lead to new strategies to treat disease. The structure and function of natural compounds are sometimes unexpectedly original. Based on our past experience and results, we have carried out research to find new directions for compound exploration by directly learning from dynamic biological phenomena in the field, and have succeeded in creating a new research field in biological molecular sciences.
Ru complexes with chiral diphosphines and amine-based ligands achieve high catalytic activity and enantioselectivity for the hydrogenation of ketones under neutral to slightly basic conditions. The chiral environment is controllable by changing the combination of these two ligands. A concerted six-membered transition state is proposed to be the origin of the high reactivity. The η6-arene/TsDPEN–Ru and MsDPEN–Cp*Ir catalysts effect the asymmetric reaction under slightly acidic conditions. A variety of chiral secondary alcohols are obtained in high enantiomeric excess.
Our colleagues and we have determined the complete primary structure of a low molecular weight cytoplasmic FABP (also known as z-protein) that binds to LCFAs with high affinities, obtained from rat liver.1) At the same time, we were the first to propose that rat FABP1, bovine FABP8 (MP-2), bovine CRBP and rat CRABP constituted a protein superfamily in 1982.2) Since then, extensive investigation of structures, functions and expressions has been carried out on a whole family of FABPs.3)–5) Analyses of rat heart FABP; FABP1, FABP3 and α2U-globulin expressed in rat kidney; discovery of ileal FABP6 (I-15P); and first application of FABP2 as a diagnostic marker also stand out in particular.
Bacteria-gut epithelial interplay and the mucosal immune response are the most critical issues in determining the fate of bacterial infection and the severity of diseases. Shigella species (abbreviated here as Shigella), the causative agent of bacillary dysentery (shigellosis), are highly adapted human pathogens that are capable of invading and colonizing the intestinal epithelium, which results in severe inflammatory colitis. Shigella secrete a large and diverse number (more then 50) of effectors via the type III secretion system (TTSS) during infection, some of which are delivered into the surrounding bacterial space and some others into the host cell cytoplasm and nucleus. The delivered effectors mimic and usurp the host cellular functions, and modulate host cell signaling and immune response, thus playing pivotal roles in promoting bacterial infection and circumventing host defense systems. This article overviews the pathogenic characteristics of Shigella, and highlights current topics related to the bacterial infectious stratagem executed by the TTSS-secreted effectors. Though bacterial stratagems and the molecular mechanisms of infection vary greatly among pathogens, the current studies of Shigella provide a paradigm shift in bacterial pathogenesis.
Changes in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration regulate numerous cell functions and display diverse spatiotemporal dynamics, which underlie the versatility of Ca2+ in cell signaling. In many cell types, an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration starts locally, propagates within the cell (Ca2+ wave) and makes oscillatory changes (Ca2+ oscillation). Studies of the intracellular Ca2+ release mechanism from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) showed that the Ca2+ release mechanism has inherent regenerative properties, which is essential for the generation of Ca2+ waves and oscillations. Ca2+ may shuttle between the ER and mitochondria, and this appears to be important for pacemaking of Ca2+ oscillations. Importantly, Ca2+ oscillations are an efficient mechanism in regulating cell functions, having effects supra-proportional to the sum of duration of Ca2+ increase. Furthermore, Ca2+ signaling mechanism studies have led to the development of a method for specific inhibition of Ca2+ signaling, which has been used to identify hitherto unrecognized functions of Ca2+ signals.
Although seismic electric signal (SES) has been used for short-term prediction of earthquakes, selectivity of SES still remains as one of the mysterious features. As a case study, we made a numerical simulation based on a 3D finite element method (FEM) on the selectivity of SES observed in the case of the 2000 Izu earthquake swarm. Our numerical results indicated that the existence of conductive channel under Niijima island could explain the reported SES selectivity.
Plant height is one of the most important traits in crop improvement. Therefore revealing the mechanism of plant elongation and controlling plant height in accordance with breeding object is important. In this study we analyzed a novel dwarf mutant, ssd1, of which phenotype is different from typical GA- or BR-related dwarf phenotype. ssd1 exhibits pleiotropic defects in elongation of various organs such as stems, roots, leaves, and flowers. ssd1 also shows abnormal cell files and shapes, which suggests defects of normal cell division in the mutant. Map-based cloning and complementation test demonstrated that the dwarf phenotype in ssd1 mutant was caused by insertion of retrotransposon in a gene, which encodes plant-specific protein with unknown biochemical function. A BLAST search revealed that SSD1-like genes exist in diverse plant species, including monocots and dicots, but not fern and moss. Our results demonstrate that SSD1 controls plant elongation by controlling cell division in higher plants.