おいしい霜降り!Japan Researchers Develop Scanner to Detect Marbled Meat in Cattle

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Jun Hongo reports: Where’s the marbled beef? Thanks to a new machine created by a government-backed institute in Japan, one might soon be able to find those tender and juicy sections of meat without much difficulty.

Researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology said they have developed a new in vivo scanner to be used for detecting the amount of marbling in The singe-sided nuclear magnetic resonance scanner can determine the amount of marbling of a cattle. National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technologycattle.

“This is the first time such machine was created in the world.”

— Yoshito Nakashima, chief senior researcher

“This is the first time such machine was created in the world,” Yoshito Nakashima, chief senior researcher at the institute, wrote to Japan Real Time in an e-mail. The device uses what is called a single-sided nuclear magnetic resonance scanner, which can detect the amount of muscle and fat noninvasively.

[Read the full text here, at Japan Real Time – WSJ]

The amount of fat streaks within the meat is one of the key criteria that determine its taste. For example, Kobe beef, grown in Hyogo prefecture in western Japan, are highly sought after for its rich, even marbling created through careful breeding.

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Mr. Nakashima is an expert on geophysics research. The technology for the new machine was originally developed for use in his research, such as calculating the amount of oil and water contained inside a rock from an oil field. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] A Nanotech Skylight That Looks Just Like the Sun Shining Overhead

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 reports: As portions of the US are battered by snowstorms and shrouded beneath gray skies, a European startup is developing a light fixture that mimics the sun.

Each CoeLux fixture models the sunlight of a specific locale, be it the cool color and strong shadows of equatorial countries, the even glow of Mediterranean sunlight, or the slightly dimmer and warmer, but more striking patterns found along the Arctic Circle.

CoeLux fixtures use traditional LEDs, calibrated to the same wavelengths as the sun. However, accurately recreating sunlight also requires mimicking subtle variations caused by the atmosphere, which varies in thickness and composition depending upon where you are on earth. CoeLux uses a milimeters-thick layer of plastic, peppered with nanoparticles, that does essentially the same thing in your living room. CoeLux’s inventor, Professor Paolo Di Trapani hasn’t made any disclosures about how the nanotechnology works in practice, but an impressive list of peer-reviewed publications, industry awards, and testimonials from customers provide comfort that these devices actually work as advertised.

Despite the dynamic nature of the light, the fixtures feature no moving parts. Different qualities of light are created by manipulating the size and placement of the LED “hot spot”—the portion of the fixture meant to represent the sun—within the fixture’s two-foot wide and 5-foot long frame. The tropical unit has the largest hot spot, the Nordic unit the smallest. The thickness of the plastic sheet varies as well, thicker for the Nordic light than the equatorial light, to mirror the atmosphere. The light doesn’t emit any ultraviolet rays, so it won’t give you a tan or ease your seasonal affective disorder, but it will make the darkest basement, warehouse, or subterranean dwelling feel like a solarium.

Shining a New Light on an Old Problem

For thousands of years, man has tried to bring sunlight into dark spaces. Egyptians used complex arrays of mirrors to bring natural light deep within the pyramids, but this is labor intensive and difficult to achieve without a huge slave-labor force.

Northern European palaces from the 18th century feature bright Trompe l’oeil frescos of sunny skies, designed to bring cheer during long winters. Las Vegas casinos use similar techniques, augmented with LEDs and other technologies, to make you think you’re outdoors, not frittering away your money in the soulless confines of a casino. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan Has a Plan: Power Plant in Space

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JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, recently announced that it intends to stick a solar-generated power station in orbit for the first time by 2025—just over a decade.

For Vice.com, Meghan Neal writes: Japan, where the disastrous Fukushima meltdown heightened the search for safe, sustainable alternative energy, is answering that need by sending a power plant into space.

“Solar panels in space are up to 10 times more efficient than the ones we’ve got on Earth, so the potential is beyond intriguing.”

Actually, the plan to power the globe with gigantic space-based solar panels has been kicking around since the ’60s. But thanks to a perfect storm of technological advances—strong but lightweight tether materials, swarming worker robots that can self-assemble, more efficient solar panels, and cheaper payload launches—this thing is actually looking feasible.

[Also see: It’s Always Sunny in Space]

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Image: Screenshot from JAXA/YouTube

Picture this: Floating 24,000 miles above the Earth’s surface is a mammoth power plant (power satellite may be more accurate) that stretches several miles long, weighs 10,000 metric tons, and is covered with solar panels basking in the sun and storing up its powerful energy. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama Installs Solar Panels on White House Roof to Power 22 Light Bulbs

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For Breitbart.com, Robert Wilde reports: The White House has 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, 6 levels, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and 3 elevators. What’s more, there is now an arrangement of solar panels resting on its roof that is generating almost 44 kilowatt hours of electricity a day.

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According to the Climate Change Dispatch, the not-so-monumental outflow of solar energy accounts for enough juice to power 22 100-watt light bulbs for 20 hours each day. Ironically, if you have ever viewed just one corridor in the White House, you know they would still need to add a few AAAs to keep the bulbs glowing.

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As you may have suspected, Obama is doing all of this to set a good example for all American families and businesses to reduce our need to use fossil fuels, cut carbon emissions, and save the planet from global warming. Read the rest of this entry »


Nihongo Moon Juice: Japanese Firm Plans 250 Mile-Wide Solar Panel Belt Around Moon

Japan Suggests a Modest Proposal

Innovation: Japan Politely Suggests a Modest Proposal

Lunar Potential: Shimizu Corp announces innovative solution to the nation’s energy problems

A Japanese construction firm is proposing to solve the well-documented energy problems facing Japan – and ultimately the entire planet – by turning the moon into a colossal solar power plant.

Tokyo-based Shimizu Corp. wants to lay a belt of solar panels 250 miles wide around the equator of our orbiting neighbour and then relay the constant supply of energy to “receiving stations” on Earth by way of lasers or microwave transmission.

The “Luna Ring” that is being proposed would be capable of sending 13,000 terawatts of power to Earth. Throughout the whole of 2011, it points out, the United States only generated 4,100 terawatts of power.

Read the rest of this entry »