Today, health buffs are all about living both longer and happier, which is why curry is all the craze. While “healthy mind, healthy body” is the catchphrase of the year, natural cosmetic remedies have yet to surface. Or perhaps we just haven’t noticed them. In perfect cinematic fashion, Japanese scientists revealed that McDonald’s fries may actually cure baldness. Now that’s a thought.
Researchers at Yokohama National University found that when they used the chemical dimethylpolysiloxane — found in silicone, which is added to oil to cook french fries at the fast-food restaurant… — they could mass produce hair follicles that could grow hair when transplanted into mice.
Despite the slew of regenerative products in every department store’s hair aisle, baldness is more troublesome than it seems. However, incorporating the substance into transplant procedures could solve the pesky problem. And no, binging on McDonald’s fries won’t actually help.
“This simple method is very robust and promising,” [professor Junji] Fukuda said. “We hope that this technique will improve human hair regenerative therapy to treat hair loss such as androgenic alopecia.”
If you were picking at your wallet and considering a pit stop at Mickey D’s, you may want to think twice. A splurge on fries was clearly too good to be true.
Now that society is beginning to fully realize the drawbacks of food waste, change is on the horizon. Establishments are not only donating leftover food to the needy — science is playing its part in the whole thing. From apples that don’t brown, Japanese farmers have developed a banana that consumers can eat in its entirety. And yes, that includes the peel.
The [Mongee] bananas are made using a pesticide-free cultivation technique called “freeze thaw awakening”, which involves replicating a process observed in the Ice Age by keeping the fruits in temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.
As a result, the bananas grow in less than half the time they normally would. Also, they taste much sweeter, an added bonus for sugar addicts avoiding health setbacks.
“The motivation for its development was the fact he (developer Setsuzo Tanaka) wanted to eat a banana that was delicious and safe: people can eat the peel because it is cultivated organically without chemicals.”
If you’re keen on munching on a Mongee banana outside of Japan, you’re well out of luck. They’re sold only in the Okayama Prefecture for about a cosmic $6 a piece. Now that’s bananas.
When it comes to cutting-edge technology, leave it to Japan to be ahead of the game. China may hold the record for the world’s fastest railway, but Japan is priding itself on a far more unique type of train. To prevent deer accidents, the Railway Technical Research Institute is installing an unusual barking system.
A three-second blast of the sound of a deer snorting attracts the animals’ attention, and 20 seconds of dog barking is enough to make them take flight.
So far, late-night tests have proved to reduce flockings by half. In 2016 alone, the transport ministry has seen 613 collisions. Hits can delay the punctual Japanese liners by up to 30 minutes. Still, engineers have put forward other possible solutions.
Another plan, which earned a railway employee Japan’s Good Design Award in December, is for deer crossings policed by ultrasonic waves, which allow animals access to the tracks at times when trains aren’t running.
Strangely enough, deer often approach railways due to their dietary needs for iron. Perhaps now they are realizing that licking tracks isn’t the safest way to snack.
Some restaurants give out free meals to the needy. Others make you work for it. At Mirai Shokudo (Future Eatery) in Tokyo, customers either pay for a meal — or work an hour for one. Run single-handedly by Sekai Kobayashi, the unique dining experience teaches individuals the value of diligence.
“It’s an exciting job because I work with a new person every time. It’s interesting to develop a good rapport and work with others,” said [Kobayashi.]
Students are Mirai Shokudo’s most frequent customers — and what better a demographic to learn true independence? Despite the free lunches, Kobayashi’s business remains profitable thanks to open-sourcing. Feedback allows the ambitious entrepreneur to make improvements and remain on top of her game.
“Sharing something with others means supporting those with ambition. That underpins my approach to work,” she said.
In Tokyo without a bill to spare? No problem — just head on over to Mirai Shokudo!
Nowadays, it seems the discoveries of prehistoric remains are all happening by chance. It was a nine-year-old who came upon the skeleton of a Stegomastodon. Now, two brothers have found an impressive water bird fossil while on a hike in northern Japan.
The new species, named Chupkaornis keraorum, belonged to a group of ancient birds, hesperorinthiforms, that were flightless, expert water divers during the Cretaceous [period].
Estimates claim the bird was the size of a healthy duck. With sturdy hind legs and tiny forelimbs, it presumably lived mostly in water. Prior, the bird has never been found in Japan.
“It’s really helping us understand the global distribution of a widespread group of birds. And it helps us understand their early evolution.”
Remains of the diving bird have only been present in North America. Contrary to popular belief, fossil discoveries are often made by common citizens. Significant findings don’t always require an active search. Sometimes, a sense of adventure is all anyone needs.