Jun. 14, Thu.
Cancer Killing Viruses
J-Innovators:Artificial respirators for premature infants
J-Innovator Kazufuku Nitta explains his artificial respirator to reporter Michelle Yamamoto
The artificial respirator made by J-Innovator Kazufuku Nitta
Artificial respirators for premature infants
By definition, premature infants are those that weigh less than 1000 grams at birth. Today's Takumi, or innovator, has developed an artificial respirator that is helping to save these young, fragile lives. Conventional respirators were designed with adults in mind, so the pressure they use to force oxygen into the lungs often harms infants. But this radical new technology works by vibrating the lungs, rather than sending oxygen to them directly. It's a much gentler approach. This new kind of respirator has helped achieve a significant increase in the survival rates of premature infants. Reporter Michelle Yamamoto also meets twins whose lives were saved by the respirator, and discovers what motivated the Takumi to create it.
Science watcher Katsuyuki Sakai
Rena Yamada and Katsuyuki Sakai chat in the studio
Science News Watch:
A connection between gout and intestines
Science Watcher Katsuyuki Sakai focuses on news about a connection between gout and our intestines. Gout is a condition related to the accumulation of uric acid in the bloodstream, and it frequently causes severe joint pain. But how exactly are gout and the intestines connected? Scientists have known that gout is connected to the kidneys' inability to remove sufficient uric acid from the bloodstream, but now a group made up of scientists from the Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, the National Defense Medical College and the University of Tokyo have shown how the intestines also play an important role in preventing gout. What's the secret? Dr. Sakai covers all the details and discusses his hope that this discovery will lead to new forms of gout treatment.
CG image of DNA
A cell infected by a herpes virus
The Leading Edge:
Cancer Killing Viruses
Cancer is the number one cause of death in Japan. Among the many new cancer treatments currently being researched, a method that uses viruses to kill cancer cells is attracting particular attention. This surprising method, using a pathogen to fight cancer, is made possible by a very common virus: herpes. The genes of the herpes virus are recombined to render it harmless to healthy cells, but deadly to cancer cells. In animal experiments, scientists altered just three of herpes's genes, but this small change created a virus with powerful anti-cancer properties. Human clinical tests are now underway. Will this method become a common form of cancer treatment? Join us as we investigate.
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