Succeeded in generating human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells
Translational Research for Intractable Immune Disorders and Infectius Diseases (FY2003-2008)
Prof. Yamanaka successfully generated iPS cells with gene expression patterns as well as form and proliferative capacity similar to those of human ES cells by transfecting adult human fibroblasts with four transcription factors using retroviral vectors and by culturing the cells. The human iPS cells generated exhibited the ability to differentiate into various cells, such as nerve / myocardial / cartilage / fat intestine-like endodermal cells. Subsequently, he also successfully generated iPS cells using three of the four factors (due to concern that one of the four might facilitate tumor formation) and plasmid without retroviruses (as the retroviruses initially used also had the potential to cause tumor formation), thereby developing a series of safe, promising iPS-cell creation techniques for clinical application.
High-temperature superconducting wire rods that enable high critical current density
Phenomena of Extreme Conditions (FY1995-2000)
Techniques have been developed to increase the purity and current density of high-temperature cuprate superconductors discovered in Japan, and the basic patent for material development has been obtained.
Motors to power vessels as well as both low- and high-power power lines have been realized as a result
Development of virus synthesis technique
Translational Research for Intractable Immune Disorders and Infectious Diseases (FY2001-2006)
Seasonal influenza viruses threaten the lives of older people and children. The aim of this research is to overcome viral infection by understanding the relationships between viral genes and those of the host to enable the development of antiviral drugs and live vaccines. The original method for artificial synthesis of viruses was used to (1) elucidate the replication mechanism of influenza virus, (2) determine the molecular basis for virulence of highly pathogenic viruses such as Spanish influenza virus, and (3) develop new vaccines.
Development of 4th generation 1.3-terabyte optical disc
New High-Performance Information Processing Technology Supporting Information-Oriented Society (FY2001-2006)
The fourth-generation optical disc that replaces the Blu-ray Disc format will require terabyte-class capacity. Holographic memory was long regarded as a main candidate for this role, but its development has not been realized. Prof. Inoue's research group successfully put a Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) based on the collinear holography technique into practical use. The HDV format is expected to be able to hold over 1.3 terabytes of information on a CD-size disc in the future.
PN Junction Realized With Diamond or Zinc Oxide
Creation of Nanodevices and System Based on New Physical Phenomena and Functional Principles (FY2001-2006)
Development of the Foundation for Nano-Interface Technology (FY2006-2011)
Diamond and zinc oxide had been regarded by researchers around the world as suitable materials for ultraviolet light emittion diodes due to their semiconducting properties. However, they were not put into practical use because p-n junctions could not be realized. The results of studies represent a breakthrough by these two CREST research teams. The realization of p-n junctions has been achieved both in diamond and zinc oxide, allowing light emission by current injection.
Development of 2D nanomaterials with molecular-level thickness
Development of Advanced Nanostructured Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage (FY2002-2007)
A two-dimensional crystal made of titanium oxide or other substances with a thickness of approximately 1 nm has been synthesized through a unique process known as layer exfoliation. A technique to create ultra-thin film has been developed, by which nanosheets are layered one by one in an aqueous solution using wet processes. Its applications are diverse, including photocatalytic self-cleaning coating and dielectric film that functions at nano-level thickness.
Establishment of technology for cell sheet engineering for regenerative medicine
Creation of Bio-Devices and Bio-Systems with Chemical and Biological Molecules for Medical Use (FY2001-2006)
The world's first transplantable cell sheets have been successfully produced on surfaces of polymer whose structure changes with temperature and a thickness is approximately 20nm, representing an advance in tissue regeneration technology (cell sheet engineering). Thus, three-dimensional tissue construction has been achieved by actively controlling nanostructures (cellular nanodomains) such as cell adhesion structures observed in cells and reconstructed tissue.
Discovery of EML4-ALK oncogene
Basic Technology to Establishing Tailor-Made Medicine by Utilizing Genome Information (FY2002-2007)
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths, with an annual incidence of 1.3 millions worldwide, and ~70,000 in Japan. Here, a novel functional screening system for cDNAs in clinical specimens has been developed, and used to discover a novel oncogene EML4-ALK in lung cancer. Based on this finding, both of molecular diagnosis of EML4-ALK?positive lung cancer and a highly effective molecular targeted therapy against this disorder have been achieved.