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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May)


Contributing to society through science and technology

Steadily conveying results from Waseda's research

Development of a calculation procedure for efficient transmission of electricity
by using a complicated electrical network

Optimal structure for standard analysis model

Professor Yasuhiro Hayashi (Director of the Research Institute for Advanced Network Technology (RIANT) and other researchers cooperated with a group including Professor Shinichi Minato (Hokkaido University Graduate School of Information Science and Technology) in order to develop an ultra high-speed algorithm (calculation procedure) for investigating the enormous switch structure (ON/OFF combination) of an electrical network. Using this technology, the researchers were the first to succeed in obtaining the optimal structure for minimizing transmission loss while maintaining the quality of electricity. Furthermore, the group clarified a portion of the development's usability through application to loss minimization. By using this technology, it is possible to conserve fossil fuels and minimize transmission loss without additional investment for facilities.

These research results are expected to be used as a fundamental technology which will support smart grids in the future.

Development of video decoder LSI for super hi-vision

The developed chip

The laboratory run by Professor Satoshi Goto (Kita-Kyushu City, Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems) succeeded in developing the world's first video decoder LSI for super hi-vision. The LSI realizes ultra high-definition resolution which is 16 times hi-vision.

Unmodified video data is extremely large. Therefore, the data is compressed (encoded) to about 1/10 to 1/20 of the original size. After transmission of the data, the data is restored using extension processing (decoding). The developed video decoder LSI for super hi-vision handles high-definition images with 7,680 × 4,320 pixels, which is 16 times full hi-vision.

This research development was realized within a regional innovation project which was commissioned to Fukuoka Prefecture by the MEXT. In the future, the laboratory plans to transfer the result to corporations for practical application.

World's first measurement of local temperature changes within cells
Development of a nanothermometer which walks within cells

Concept of fluorescent nanothermometer. Fluorescent pigment (red) is wrapped in multiple polymers, thus blocking other environmental factors (pH, ionic strength, etc.)

A research group which includes Professor Shinji Takeoka and Professor Shinichi Ishiwata (Faculty of Science and Engineering; Organization for University Research Initiatives-Waseda BioScience Research Institute in Singapore) developed a "nanothermometer which walks within cells." This thermometer enables the measurement of local and slight temperature changes within the cells of animals and plants.

Through transportation via molecular motors within the cell, it is possible to quickly and accurately measure local temperatures within cells that possess a constantly changing environment.

This is the first time in the world that direct measurement was performed for internal temperature changes in microscopic organelles. The research also demonstrated that the thermometer is able to quickly measure temperature changes and distribution at a world-class level of special resolution. Application of this method is expected to spread throughout fundamental medical fields. For example, the method will enable detailed analysis from the cellular level during research related to cellular metabolism.

First observation of theoretical presence
Discover of a new type of "poisonous spider pulsar"

The poisonous spider pulsar as observed

The laboratory run by Professor Jun Kataoka (Faculty of Science and Engineering) conducted joint research with Assistant Professor Yoichi Yatsu and other faculty from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The research team succeeded in observing a new type of neutron star which is known as a "poisonous spider pulsars" due to how its high temperature melts surrounding stars. They announced the discovery at a meeting of the Astronomical Society of Japan held from March 19th.

At this point, only a very small number of poisonous spider pulsars have been found. All of them emit strong radio waves. The pulsar discovered during the recent research is a completely new type for which no radio waves were detected. It is postulated that the pulsar revolves at a high-speed axial rotation on the level of milliseconds. Although such pulsars were thought to exist in theory, this is the first time that one was actually observed.