Project

Completed Research

Selected in Fiscal 2005

Contruction of an artificial photosynthesis system with water as an electron source
[ Research representative : Haruo Inoue ]
Research representative
Haruo Inoue (Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Urban Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University)
Source program
CREST, "Research and Development of System Technologies for Resource Recycling and Minimum Energy Requirement"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher found that visible light irradiation of a special metal complex enables the extraction of electrons from water molecules. He succeeded in constructing a highly efficient chemical conversion system of light energy through photochemical redox reaction and elucidated the molecular mechanism (for how water molecules are activated on a metal complex) mainly by direct detection of key-intermediates. The group also found a reaction system where carbon dioxide is photo-reduced with high efficiency.
This research will consider the water molecule as an ideal electron source in terms of both energy and resource-recycling, and construct a system for artificial photosynthesis type chemical conversion of light-energy sensitized by a molecular metal-complex catalyst using water as a source of both electrons and oxygen.
Nerve reproduction strategy by reactivating endogenous neural stem cells
[ Research representative : Hideyuki Okano ]
Research representative
Hideyuki Okano (Professor, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Keio University)
Source program
CREST, "Development, Differentiation, and Regeneration in Biological Systems"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher demonstrated ahead of other researchers that adult human brains contain a neural stem/progenitor cells, and attempted to elucidate the three steps of neurogenesis in the adult brain: (1) the self-renewal and activation of stem cells, (2) the proliferation of intermediate precursors and regulation of neuroblast migration, and (3) the formation and maturation of synapses for newborn neurons.
This research is intended to promote the regenerative medicine of central nervous systems by the integrated understanding of the above three steps, development of visualization technology for that purpose, and development of a genetic and developmental engineerings of non-human primates models.
A study on the molecular mechanism of sexual plasticity
[ Research representative : Yoshitaka Nagahama ]
Research representative
Yoshitaka Nagahama (Professor, National Institute for Basic Biology, National Institutes of Natural Sciences)
Source program
CREST, "Endocrine disruptors"
Overview
In his studies, since removal of estrogen can result in complete female to male sex reversal of adult gonochoristic fish, sexual plasticity is preserved in the gonochoristic fish even in adulthood. He also succeeded, for the first time in any vertebrates, in inducing sex reversal of gonads (ovary to testis) in vitro.
Using fish (medaka and sex-changing fish) as experimental models, the present study aims to elucidate the molecular mechanism of sexual plasticity which is retained in the gonad and brain of adult gonochoristic fish.
Timing mechanism for a biological clock based on a KaiC phosphorylated cycle
[ Research representative : Takao Kondo ]
Research representative
Takao Kondo (Professor, Department of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University)
Source program
CREST, "Plants Function and Their Control"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher reported that the circadian rhythm of phosphorylation of clock protein KaiC in cyano-bacteria continues even under conditions where both transcription and translation are stopped, and demonstrated that this KaiC phosphorylation cycle is the real pacemaker for the biological clock (circadian clock). This finding has extremely high impact in shattering the previously accepted myth of the circadian clock being based on the transcription and translation of clock genes.
This research elucidates at the molecular level how three Kai proteins generate 24 hours of stable vibration and ticks time in an attempt to obtain a final answer to the enigma of the biological clock.
A study on generic technology for next-generation text mining
[ Research representative : Junichi Tsujii ]
Research representative
Junichi Tsujii (Professor, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, The University of Tokyo)
Source program
CREST, "Advanced Media Technology for Everyday Living"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher attempted to establish technology for effectively collecting, accumulating, retrieving and presenting huge sets of texts accumulated in a dispersive manner on the Web.
This research will develop technology for text understanding that links the meaning of text with the knowledge of a domain. The research aims to develop context-based processing technologies which integrates information beyond the scope of single sentences, thereby establishing a next-generation text mining technology which is based on meaning of text.
Supramolecular nanotube architectonics and nano-bio applications
[ Research representative : Toshimi Shimizu ]
Research representative
Toshimi Shimizu (Research Coordinator, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)
Source program
CREST, "Creation and Functions of New Molecules and Molecular Assemblies"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher achieved the size and morphology control of lipid nanotubes having a one-dimensional hollow cylinder 10- to 100-nm wide, and elucidated the mechanical properties of a single nanotube and the water characteristics confined in a water-phase nano-space.
This research will focus on the characteristics of the hollow cylinder of lipid nanotubes and aim at the encapsulation of such nano-biological structures as proteins, the one-dimensional organization, and the creation of hybrid nanotube parts for realizing nano-biological analysis devices.
Isolation and analysis of disease genes based on chromosome structural abnormalies
[ Research representative : Norio Niikawa ]
Research representative
Norio Niikawa (Professor and Director, Department of Human Genetics, The Research Institute of Personalized Health Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido)
Source program
CREST, "Structure and Function of Genomes"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher isolated the disease genes for Sotos syndrome, Marfan syndrome type 2 and for other syndromes from the translocation breakpoint in patients with the monogenic diseases associated with chromosome translocations.
The researcher will isolate many other disease genes and intends not only to contribute to medicine, but also makes cell biological discoveries based on gene functions.
Origin of body polarity and the mechanism by which symmetry is broken
[ Research representative : Hiroshi Hamada ]
Research representative
Hiroshi Hamada (Professor, Organismal Biosystems Laboratories, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University)
Source program
CREST, "Development, Differentiation, and Regeneration in Biological Systems"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher attempted to elucidate the essential issues regarding the genesis of living things: at which point in time is lateral symmetry broken and how is an asymmetrical shape formed.
This research is based on two body axes-lateral and longitudinal (head and tail)-and verifies how symmetry is broken, and to which early stage the body polarity can be backdated.
Establishing a model system for genetic diseases by elucidating the mechanism of signal transduction regulating development and nervous sytems
[ Research representative : Kunihiro Matsumoto ]
Research representative
Kunihiro Matsumoto (Professor, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University)
Source program
CREST, "Development, Differentiation, and Regeneration in Biological Systems"
Overview
The researcher has elucidated the mechanism of signal transduction pathway mediated by the TAK1 cascade that regulates genesis and differentiation. In the process of the discovery and functional analysis of novel players invovled in the signal transduction, the researcher also found the genes responsible for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other genetic diseases.
This research theme will elucidate the mechanism of signal transduction regulating genesis, differentiation and nervous systems controllled by the players responsible for genetic diseases and then attempt to establish a model system for genetic diseases.
Creating and applying electronic nano-space by molecular programming
[ Research representative : Takuzo Aida ]
Research representative
Takuzo Aida (Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)
Source program
Former ERATO, "AIDA Nanospace Project"
Overview
In the previous research, the Aida Nanospace Project has intensively studied on dendrimers and mesoporous silica to create new functions originating from their particular spaces with a nanoscopic dimension. As represented by supramolecular graphite nanotubes, the project also succeeded in developing new motifs of organic nanostructures, thereby opening up a new way to design of functional soft materials.
In the new research program, by expanding the findings and knowledge obtained from the previous studies, the project is exploring new soft materials that exhibit unique electronic, magnetic, and optical functions. To this goal, the project is focusing on self-assembly of π-electronic molecules and developing new strategies to arrange functional groups site-specifically for achieving desired properties. By taking advantage of "molecular chemistry" and "condensed matter physics", the project is aiming to create next-generation of functional nanomaterials, which are flexible, lightweight, and easy to process, and capable of miniaturization of devices.
Quantum Computation and Information
[ Research representative : Hiroshi Imai ]
Research representative
Hiroshi Imai (Professor, Department of Computer Science, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo)
Source program
Former ERATO, "IMAI Quantum Computation and Information Project"
Overview
In our previous research achievements in the ERATO QCI project, the researcher emphasized the establishment of concepts that form the basis of quantum information technology, as well as methods of development and the constituent technologies involved. By taking different approaches such as from the standpoints of computer science and physics, the researcher conducted theoretic studies while performing experiments related to quantum communications and quantum cryptography.
This research will be pursued through combining theorerical and experimental research in quantum computation and inforamtion, which leads to explore quantum computing algorithms, quantum information and coding theory and quantum protocols, including quantum cryptography and to develop long-distance and fault-tolerant quantum communication technologies for quantum information systems of the future.
Photonics polymer for "Fiber To The Display"
[ Research representative : Yasuhiro Koike ]
Research representative
Yasuhiro Koike (Professor, Department of Applied Physics and Physico-Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University)
Source program
Former ERATO, "KOIKE Photonics Polymer Project"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher studied in detail whether polarized waves or photons of light are related to the chains (of the angstrom order) of various high polymers or their assemblies (hundreds of angstroms), as well as high-level and huge unequal structures. Based on such basic studies, the researcher created photonics polymers having new light functions, though not as an alternative for glass, for use in optical communications and other fields of photonics.
This research will create super-low material dispersion photonics polymers, completely zero birefringence photonics polymers and other polymers. The new functions of these photonics polymers will be used to establish systems for new high-speed communications networks and display technologies.
Calcium Oscillation
[ Research representative : Katsuhiko Mikoshiba ]
Research representative
Katsuhiko Mikoshiba (Team Leader, RIKEN BSI Lab. Developmental Neuroscience)
Source program
Former ICORP, "Calcium Oscillation Project"
Overview
Dr. Mikoshiba discovered the IP3 receptor, determined its entire structure, and he found out that this receptor induces the calcium oscillation in cells.
The goal of a this project is to analyze the nature of the IP3 receptor at the molecular and cellular levels, and elucidate the molecular mechanism of how the IP3 receptor induces calcium oscillation. Dr. Mikoshiba and his fellows will also clarify the mechanism of the functional adjustment of cells, and in the future intends to establish methods of curing and preventing disease, which are caused by the dysregulation of the receptor.
Measurement of the dynamic and electronic properties of single molecules on a surface by using a scanning interactive spectromicroscope
[ Research representative : Toyoko Arai ]
Research representative
Toyoko Arai (Professor, Graduate School of Natural Science & Technology, Kanazawa University)
Source program
PRESTO, Virtual Laboratory in Nanotechnology Areas "Creation of Innovative Technology by Integration of Nanotechnology with Information, Biological and Environmental Technologies"
Overview
In her previous studies, the researcher established a method of surface localized interactive spectroscopy where the level governing chemical couplings localized in surface atoms is analyzed by space resolution at the atomic level, while varying voltage between the probe and specimen, and developed a scanning interactive spectromicroscope that combines a noncontact atom force microscope with the functions of surface localized interactive spectroscopy.
This research will apply and extend surface localized interactive spectroscopy to single molecular systems, and analyze on atomic and molecular scales the structure of single molecules on a solid surface having electronic and photo-device functions, and the coupling and electron properties on a single molecule interface, along with other characteristics, toward application to nano-scale processing technology.
Elucidating the specific immune receptors that control infectious diseases
[ Research representative : Hisashi Arase ]
Research representative
Hisashi Arase (Professor, Department of Immunochemistry, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University)
Source program
PRESTO, "Host and Defense"
Overview
We have demonstrated that various pathogens such as viruses exhibit a mechanism of immune evasion by obtaining the ligands for inhibitory receptors expressed on immune cells.
In this study, we further elucidate a molecular mechanism of immune evasion by pathougens such as viruses. In addition, we will analyze a molecular mechanism of immune evasion by several pathogens such as malaria parasites and staphylococcus aureus as pathogens other than virus. Moreover, we also investigate mechanisms of immune evasion by various pathogens including HIV and HCV in an attempt to devise a new method of preventing infectious diseases and develop new cures.
Technology for manufacturing and using three-dimensional computer graphics for thought support and communications
[ Research representative : Takeo Igarashi ]
Research representative
Takeo Igarashi (Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo)
Source program
PRESTO, "Information Infrastructure and Applications"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher aimed at enabling public use of there-dimensional computer graphics as a tool for daily intellectual production, and developed basic technology for easily preparing and operating three-dimensional expressions.
This advanced study intends to fulfill two long-term goals: developing and integrating these findings, thereby building a practical system, and making three-dimensional CG a more familiar tool. More specifically, the researcher will enhance the various constituent technologies with their applications in perspective, and conduct research and development in specific applications that can be used as a means of communication support in specialized areas needing three-dimensional expression, such as medicine, architecture, education and sports science.
Cognitive Development of Robots based on interaction with People
[ Research representative : Naoyuki Kubota ]
Research representative
Naoyuki Kubota (Associate Professor, Division of Human Mechatronics Systems, Graduate School of System Design, Tokyo Metropolitan University)
Source program
PRESTO, "Interaction and Intelligence"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher developed a partner robot, realized communications based on imitation, and considered the mechanism for acquiring behaviors or gestures based on imitation. However, the discussion on human cognitive development based on the long-term interaction with people is required to understand how robots acquire communication capability.
This research will clarify the mechanism of cognitive development and behavioral learning based on the constructivism through the long-term communication between people and robots, and establish a new interdisciplinary research field on robot partners for the symbiosis with people.
Establishing a basis of information processing by innovating algorithms for singular value decomposition
[ Research representative : Yoshimasa Nakamura ]
Research representative
Yoshimasa Nakamura (Professor, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University)
Source program
PRESTO, "The Innovation of Simulation Technology and the Construction of Foundations for its Practical Use"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher established a new singular value decomposition (SVD) algorithm named the I-SVD for large scaled matrices that guarantees a convergence and numerical stability.
This research will develop an even faster, parallel, singular value decomposition library and then prepare fast, precise and reliable singular value decomposition libraries, thereby paving the way for developing various software for information processing and retrieval, including a realtime highly accurate medical image processing.
Elucidation of the structural basis for the functional integration and functional dispersion of the genetic code translational machinery
[ Research representative : Osamu Nureki ]
Research representative
Osamu Nureki (Professor, Department of Biological Information, Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Source program
PRESTO, "Structure and Function of Biomolecules"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher determined the crystal structures of groups of enzymes that catalyze tRNA maturation (processing, post-transcription modification and aminioacylation), and the structures of complexes with tRNA precursors.
This researcher will elucidate the structural basis on which these groups of enzymes form super-molecular complex and achieve an integrated series of functions. In addition, the research will elucidate the structural basis on which the aminoacyl tRNA synthetases and its cofactors constantly produce proteins, while becoming functionally dispersed and helping to reactivate the programmed death and immune system of abnormal cells, and reconfigure tissues.
Development of new relaxor ferroelectrics by a defect-induced nanodomain
[ Research representative : Yuji Noguchi ]
Individual researcher
Yuji Noguchi (Associate Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo)
Source program
PRESTO, "Structual Ordering and Physical Properties"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher explored new ferroelectric materials by using "defect engineering," where lattice defects are positively introduced and used in layer-structured transition metal oxides, with consideration given to their local structures at the electronic and atomic levels.
This research will propose unprecedented guidelines for materials design that involves introducing two-dimensional layered defects into perovskite ferroelectric substances having a three-dimensional structure, and developing a new dimensional fusion relaxor ferroelectric substance.
Super-distributed micro active sensing
[ Research representative : Koichi Hashimoto ]
Individual researcher
Koichi Hashimoto (Professor, Department of System Information Sciences, Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University)
Source program
PRESTO, "Intelligent Cooperation and Control"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher tracked one individual paramecium, built a model for electric taxis, performed motion control, observed cell status, and conducted other studies on the motion control of paramecia.
Based on the accumulated knowledge and past experience regarding such motion control, this research aims to realize an active sensing system capable of detecting trace-quantity substances and microscopic light beams by using a lot of microorganisms.
Development of a radical gene therapy against spinocerebellar ataxia
[ Research representative : Hirokazu Hirai ]
Research representative
Hirokazu Hirai (Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Neurophysiology)
Source program
PRESTO, "Information and Cell Function"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher developed a method of gene transfer into cerebellar Purkinje cells by using lentiviral vectors, which attained transduction of almost 80% Purkinje cells present in rodent cerebellum. The researcher introduced a gene of a new protein (CRAG) that exists only in the developing brain, and found that expression of CRAG completely degrades polyglutamine aggregates in cultured cells.
This research is intended to drastically cure the spinocerebellar ataxia by degrading polyglutamine by using this gene transfer method.
Generation and application of boron-tolerant organisms
[ Research representative : Toru Fujiwara ]
Individual researcher
Toru Fujiwara (Associate Professor, Biotechnology Research Center, The University of Tokyo)
Source program
PRESTO, "Conversion and Control by Advanced Chemistry"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher identified new boron transporters and molybdenum transporters, clarified the boron translocation control mechanism of plants by means of multiple transporters, and successfully improved the boron nutritional attributes of a model plant (Arabidopsis thaliana). Moreover, he elucidated the molecular mechanism of boron toxicity and identified many minute life forms (microbes) showing resistance to high concentrations of boron.
This research is a study on improving the boron nutritional characteristics of useful plants and identifying boron conjugates from microbes requiring boron. Identifying the molecular mechanism and conjugates of boron resistance paves the way for removing boron from contaminated water and other resources by using conjugates.
Delivery peptide targeting cells: Functional analysis and control
[ Research representative : Shiro Futaki ]
Research representative
Shiro Futaki (Associate Professor, Biofunctional Design Chemistry, Division of Biochemistry, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University)
Source program
PRESTO, "Synthesis and Control"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher found that the uptake of arginine peptides involve a special endocytosis called macropinocytosis and reorganization of actin (a cytoskeleton protein). The researcher then found that interaction of arginine peptides with cell surfaces can activate cellular signalling pathways.
This research will elucidate the physiological mechanism that enables this efficient intracellular transportation through the synthesis of various arginine peptide analogs, and establish rational and efficient systems for drug delivery to target cells based on the understandings of the mechanisms.
Intracellular clearance mechanism by autophagy
[ Research representative : Noboru Mizushima ]
Research representative
Noboru Mizushima (Vice Councilor and Researcher, Department of Bioregulation and Metabolism, The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Metropolitan Organization for Medical Research)
Source program
PRESTO, "Time's Arrow and Biosignaling"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher found that autophagy (self-digestion) vehemently induced by starvation and birth is important as a nutrition self-supply system. On the other hand, the researcher also found evidence that a low level of autophagy, which constantly occurs, contributes to the quality control of intracellular proteins.
This research aims to elucidate the mechanism where autophagy controls intracellular quality even though non-selective as a rule, and the roles of autophagy in inhibiting the accumulation of intracellular abnormal proteins in degenerative diseases and aging.
Development of high-performance MgO-based magnetic tunnel junction devices and their application to next-generation MRAM
[ Research representative : Shinji Yuasa ]
Research representative
Shinji Yuasa (Group Leader, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Nanoelectronics Research Institute)
Source program
PRESTO, "Nanostructure and Material Property"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher developed novel magnetic tunnel junction devices based on a crystaline magnesium oxide (MgO), which was a novel material for the tunnel barrier, and attained the world's highest magnetoresistance of 230% at room temperature.
This research will attempt to further increase the magnetoresistance of the novel MgO-based magnetic tunnel junction devices to reach at least 500% at room temperature. The research will also study low-resistance magnetic tunnel junction devices for application to next-generation magnetic heads for, ultra-high-density hard disk drives. Moreover, the research will elucidate the physical mechanism for coherent spin-dependent tunneling via an MgO tunnel barrier.
Producing individuals from the spermatogonial stem cells of fish
[ Research representative : Goro Yoshizaki ]
Research representative
Goro Yoshizaki (Associate Professor, Faculty of Marine Science, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology)
Source program
PRESTO, "Recognition and Formation"
Overview
In his previous studies, the researcher clarified that the spermatogonial stem cells contained in the testis of adult fish can be differentiated into functional eggs, that is, they have sexual plasticity.
This research is intended to establish a technology for cultivating these spermatogonial stem cells of fish having sexual plasticity in vitro, transplanting the cultivated cells thus obtained into an individual host, thereby differentiating the cells into eggs and sperm, and eventually establishing technology for transforming the cells into individuals through fertilization.
(Note) The titles, organizations, and overviews described above are as of the time when the projects started.

Back to TOP