Sharp says its air purification technology can reduce airborne coronavirus
Japan Times -- Sep 08
Sharp Corp. said Monday that research by the firm has shown that its air purifying technology is able to reduce airborne coronavirus particles, claiming it as a world first.

The Osaka-based electronics maker said its plasmacluster technology, which emits positive hydrogen ions and negative oxygen ions through plasma discharge, cut coronavirus particles by about 90 percent in an experiment jointly conducted with Nagasaki University and Shimane University.

Since the research was conducted on a small scale and in a controlled environment, it remains unclear how effective the technology would be in a real-life setting.

Researchers conducted an experiment in which they sprayed a solution containing coronavirus in a three-liter apparatus equipped with a plasmacluster device. The aerosolized solution was then retrieved after being exposed to plasmacluster ions for 30 seconds to check the inhibitory effect.

The infectious titer in the retrieved solution was reduced by 91.3 percent compared with the one that was not exposed to plasmacluster ions, Sharp said.

“Based on the result of this experiment, we will consider and provide effective uses of the plasmacluster technology to mitigate the risk of the coronavirus infection,” said Masahiro Okitsu, who heads the smart appliances and solutions division at Sharp.

He said the next step is to conduct a test that more closely simulates a real life environment.

The positive hydrogen ions and negative oxygen ions emitted by plasmacluster devices stick on to the surface of airborne viruses, fungi or other substances. The ions then bond and become OH radicals that can inhibit viruses by taking hydrogen from the protein through their oxidizing power.

News source: Japan Times
Oct 27
The race is on. Japan's pledge to become a zero-emissions society by 2050 will send automakers, steel producers and other big industrial players scrambling to develop green technologies that will help slash their carbon footprints. (Nikkei)
Oct 27
Japanese health officials are urging people in all age groups to get influenza shots amid concerns about simultaneous outbreaks of flu and coronavirus infections. (NHK)
Oct 27
One Japanese airline is taking on additional costs to reduce its carbon footprint, despite the coronavirus crisis. All Nippon Airways is planning to begin flights soon using bio jet fuel derived from animal fat. (NHK)
Oct 24
Japan plans to seek next-generation astronauts to join an international program to explore the moon. (NHK)
Oct 24
A Japanese research team says some survivors of COVID-19 have suffered from shortness of breath, smell disturbance and loss of hair months after leaving hospital. (NHK)
Oct 22
Researchers in Japan say they have confirmed that face masks are effective in both retarding the spread of viruses and reducing the intake of them. (NHK)
Oct 22
The Japanese government will soon pledge to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by 2050, Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Oct 21
Under normal circumstances at this time of year, hundreds of companies would bring to life the Makuhari Messe venue in the city of Chiba with cutting-edge products from robots to cars and AI to internet-connected devices, for the annual event known as CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies). (Japan Times)
Oct 21
Wild deer at Nara Park in western Japan, a major tourist attraction, have often suffered from eating plastic bags discarded by visitors, but local companies have now succeeded in developing paper bags that the animals can digest. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
Central Japan Railway Company unveiled the interior of the latest version of its magnetic-levitation train on Monday. (NHK)
Oct 20
Some Japanese research institutions developing coronavirus vaccines have been hit by cyberattacks, apparently from China, in what are believed to be the first cases of their kind in the country, a U.S. information security firm said Monday. ()
Oct 19
The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
It's been nearly ten years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster and Japan is still struggling to manage its consequences. (aljazeera.com)
Oct 18
Japan's industry ministry says there are technical difficulties with three proposed options for disposing of treated radioactive wastewater stored at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (NHK)
Oct 17
A Japanese hospital said Thursday it has performed the world's first clinical trial of a transplant of visual cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to treat a patient with pigmentary retinal degeneration. (Japan Today)
Oct 16
The Japanese government plans to release into the sea treated radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011 amid concerns over the environmental impact, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Oct 16
A Japanese supercomputer showed that humidity can have a large effect on the dispersion of virus particles, pointing to heightened coronavirus contagion risks in dry, indoor conditions during the winter months. (Japan Today)
Oct 15
Japan, the United States and six other countries have signed an agreement laying out what they say are the guiding principles for space exploration. (NHK)
Oct 14
Covid-related ridership drops and long-term population trends are raising hard questions about the future of the Shinkansen network of high-speed trains in Japan. (Bloomberg)
Oct 14
Japan joined a U.S.-led international agreement Wednesday that outlines the exploration and utilization of resources in space, the government said. (Kyodok)