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iCeMS Learning Lounge #4

November 19, 2015

2nd floor Seminar Room, iCeMS Main Building, Kyoto University

Dr. Yuta Takano
Assistant Professor, iCeMS Hiroshi Imahori Lab
Dr. Yoji Kojima
Assistant Professor, iCeMS Mitinori Saitou Lab

iCeMS page
Video

Course Description

Why Our Science Matters
The "Learning Lounge" features young scientists who, in 20 minutes deliver a presentation that will persuade any curious listener, even those without a scientific background, why their research area -- not just the personal research of the speaker -- is important to the world.


Dr. Yuta Takano
Powering the People with Nano Solar Cells


Sunlight is one of the major energy sources on earth, and now we use solar cells to harvest this energy for our daily life. How about for our health? Can we use light to make us more energetic like plants? Here, I will introduce "nano solar cells", which can be harnessed by cells to harvest energy from light. You would be one day vitalized by the electricity generated in your body.

Here, I introduce the idea of "nano solar cells" and its application to healthcare, but actually our research is still at an early stage and there are a number of hurdles to overcome before this idea is feasible. However, we can always learn lessons from nature, and I hope that our creativity will make them beneficial for innovation of bio-inspired materials to enrich our lives.

Dr. Yoji Kojima
Decoding the Keys of Our Life Cycle


Human life starts from a single cell, the fertilized egg, made from a sperm and an egg from the parents. This cell gives rise to all our body parts including the germ cells, from which offspring develop. How is this life cycle maintained? Join us to learn about the key players, the germ cells, and why and how we use the iPS cells to understand their behaviors.

In Saitou group, we have established a method to differentiate mouse ES cells to Primordial Germ Cell (PGC)-like cells. By applying this to human iPS cells, we are trying to peek inside the tightly locked blackbox— “The mechanisms of birth defects resulting from abnormal germ cells development”. We are striving to understand the molecular mechanisms of the birth defects, and hope someday in the future, we come across the clues to prevent them.