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Campus Now

Midsummer Issue (Jul.)


Social contribution through science and technology

Producing steady results from "Waseda of Research"

Development and free availability for the world's first software standard OSCAR API ver.2.0

Through cooperation with 3 universities and 12 companies related to IT, semiconductors and software, a group led by Professor Hironori Kasahara (Faculty of Science and Engineering) has developed the software standard OSCAR API ver.2.0. This software standard is capable of high-speed and low-energy consumption operation of concurrent programs used in devices from embedded devices to super computers. The group made OSCAR API ver.2.0 available for free on the internet.

Simultaneous use of this API and OSCAR complier has made short-term and low-cost development possible for low-energy consumption concurrent programs used in information appliances (smartphones, etc.), automobiles, medicine and scientific technology calculations.

Development of a method for accurately measuring the biological clock of a living mouse

Image showing overview of research

A research group led by Shigenobu Shibata (Faculty of Science and Engineering) has developed the world's first method for measuring the biological clock of a single living mouse. The development was published in the online version of the magazine Current Biology. Additionally, the group has confirmed that the biological clock in a mouse's peripheral tissue is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is a small nerve nucleus located in the brain.

In conjunction with the earth's rotation, clock genes oscillate in cycle of approximately 24 hours. These clock genes are expressed by all cells within the body and support an important system which conveys information on day and night to a variety of physiological phenomena. However, the functional extent of the ability to align time with the clocks of tissue and organs within the body was unclear.

The group's research has produced a great amount of fundamental experimental results and has established a new method for accurate and simple measurement of the biological clocks. There are great expectations for future application and expansion into other fields.

Ultra-conductive acceleration of a high-intensity electron beam

Electron beam accelerator equipped with an advanced optical/high-frequency wave electron gun and an ultra-conductive acceleration cavity

By using an electron beam accelerator equipped with an advanced optical/high-frequency wave electron gun and an ultra-conductive acceleration cavity, a research team has succeeded in accelerating a high-intensity electron beam using a high electrical field of 20MV/m or higher. This joint research was conducted by Waseda University, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, the University of Tokyo, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Hiroshima University and Hitachi High Technologies Corporation. By realizing Japan's first high electrical field ultra-conductive electron beam accelerator, the conventional approximate 50m×50m dimension of the source for high brightness photon beams (X-rays) was reduced to approximately 10m×6m. This development has created expectations for future installation in hospitals, thus enabling usage for high-level medical examinations.

These results were obtained through a project for using ultra-conductive accelerators to develop a next-generation compact high-brightness photon beam source. This research was contracted from the MEXT and seeks to generate and apply high-brightness x-ray beams through the collision of electron beams and laser pulses. Waseda University Professor Masakazu Washio (Faculty of Science and Engineering) is participating in the project.

Discovery of ability to control cell division through external forces

Image of micromanipulation of cells in the cellular division stage. From left, before compression, during compression, after compression.

Through joint research with Professor Yasuhiko Terada (Faculty of Science and Engineering) and Professor Isao Shimoyama at the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo, Assistant Professor Takeshi Itabashi (Faculty of Science and Engineering) and Professor Shinichi Ishiwata (same) have discovered that the progression of cell division in mammalian cells can be controlled through external force. By combining technology from the fields of biophysics and molecular biology and integrating them with micro-machine technology, it is possible to quantitatively perform direct micromanipulation of human cultured cells and to use external force to physically supplement/control the chromosomal division required for cell division.

In addition to contributing to clarification for the motion of chromosomal division and the mechanical mechanism of control, the methods and results of this cell mechanic operation are expected to be applied to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine such as cells and living tissue.

Kawai Laboratory (Faculty of Science and Engineering) and Toppan Printing: Creating a 3D image of Shoyo Tsubouchi's final lecture

A scene from "Shoyo Tsubouchi's Final Lecture," digitally remastered from the original black and white film. Film material provided by the Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum
Produced by Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.

A scene from Katsushika Hokusai's "100 Views of Mt. Fuji," converted into high-resolution digital archiving Original text provided by Uragami Sokyu-do
Produced by Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.

The laboratory of Professor Takashi Kawai (Faculty of Science and Engineering) and Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. conducted joint research on creating 3D versions of video content. The research has proposed methods for unprecedented expression and usage, such as heightening the realism of historical video material and enabling spatial viewing of paintings. 3D content was created as actual examples of such technology.

The joint research investigates the viewer interest which is affected through new methods of expression. Specifically, these methods consist of adding vision difference between the left and right eyes (binocular disparity) to existing video with little depth information, thus creating 3D images. The archived film "Shoyo Tsubouchi's Final Lecture" and the ukiyo-e paintings "100 Views of Mt. Fuji" by Katsushika Hokusai were selected as investigative material. In the future, research results will serve as a basis for creating new valuing and promoting new usage through 3D adaptation of existing video.