March – June 2019
Suita Industry Fair
The BDR participated in 36thAnnual Suita Industry Fair held May 11 and 12 at the Suita Bunkakaikan (May Theater). This was the first year that BDR took part in the fair, which aims to introduce the undertakings by Suita-based companies and organizations, and attracted approximately 60,000 people, young and old, living in Suita City and surrounding areas. At the BDR booth, visitors could receive a badge featuring an image of one of ten different model animals related to BDR research. They could also learn about CUBIC—a method to turn tissues transparent—developed by the Lab for Synthetic Biology and its uses in research by looking at an actual sample of a ‘transparent’ mouse.
Masayo Takahashi (Lab for Retinal Regeneration), Mitsuru Morimoto (Lab for Lung Development and Regeneration) and Minoru Takasato (Lab for Human Organogenesis) took part in the annual 078 event (pronounced in Japanese as zero-nana-hachi) held in Kobe on April 27-29. Named after Kobe’s area code of 078, the large-scale event brings professionals and regular citizens interested in different genres such as music, food, film, fashion, and technology together with the aim to stimulate creative innovation.
Takahashi spoke at an open air venue on April 27 at Kobe’s Harborland area briefly touching on her pioneering work using iPS cells as a source for establishing new treatments for eye diseases, and also shared her views on the future of regenerative medicine, including incorporation of lab automation, robotics and artificial intelligence to increase efficiency while also ensuring quality of routine laboratory tasks. At the KIITO venue on April 28, a full crowd listened with interest to a panel discussion with Morimoto and Takasato, which focused on the theme of organoids and the future of organoid research.
Wako Open Day
The annual RIKEN Wako Open Day was held on Saturday, April 20, which attracted about 8,300 visitors to the Wako Campus. Along with other RIKEN research centers that were not based in Wako, the RIKEN BDR set up a booth to introduce our research activities. We also had a small craft corner for visitors to make their own unique science-themed badges.
BDR Symposium 2019
The first BDR Symposium, titled Control and Design of Biosystems, was held March 25th to 27th at the RIKEN Kobe Campus. More
Kure RIKEN Science School
On March 21, Team Leader Tomonobu Watanabe (center in top image) and research scientist Junya Ichinose of the Lab for Comprehensive Bioimaging, and Unit Leader Atsuko Iwane and technical staff Takako Ichinose of the Lab for Cell Field Structure taught a group of 16 elementary and junior high school students about the wonders of microscopes at a science event organized at the Yamato Museum in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture. The students first learned about the history and basic structure of the microscope so they could grasp how microscopes worked. The BDR scientists then showed the students how to make two types of microscopes; a simple Leeuwenhoek microscope from a five-yen coin or milk carton and a microscope from a plastic drink bottle by drilling and a small hole in the cap and placing a clear gel bead in the hole. Voices of awe echoed around the room as the students excitedly observed different items around the room using their handmade microscopes. The program wrapped up with the students learning how to make a portable black light using the flashlight function of smart phones, and the principles behind why some things appear to glow when viewed under black light.
RIKEN BDR Spring Course
The first BDR Spring Course was held March 4-7 at the RIKEN BDR Osaka campus, in Suita City. The Spring Course allows graduate and undergraduate science students to experience RIKEN life science research firsthand. More