News / Health

Japanese Professor Warns of Cancerous Material

Kevin Ausman, executive director of the Rice University center for biological and environmental nanotechnology holds a bottle of carbon nanotubes.  Nanotechnology is  supposed to make computers small enough to implant into a wrist and supply materials tha
Kevin Ausman, executive director of the Rice University center for biological and environmental nanotechnology holds a bottle of carbon nanotubes. Nanotechnology is supposed to make computers small enough to implant into a wrist and supply materials tha

A Japanese professor says his former university is trying to suppress his research showing that carbon nanotubes, a material used in everything from skis to cables, may cause cancer.

Put simply, carbon nanotubes are carbon atoms rolled into microscopic tubes. The tiny needle-like cylinders have strong electrical properties and they are often used in transistors or copper wire.

But they look much like asbestos fiber, and former Shinshu University Professor Shozo Koyama says carbon nanotubes pose similar health risks. Asbestos are linked to a number of deadly lung diseases.

Koyama says that his research shows that two types of carbon nanotube fibers may cause cancer. He reached that conclusion after mice he injected with those carbon fibers developed cancer.

Studies done in Europe and the United States also have indicated a similar hazard, although the severity of the risk is still being studied.

Koyama says he unveiled his study a few years ago, but Shinshu University refused to acknowledge the findings.

His lawyer, Jiro Yamane told journalists Monday that is in part because the university has close ties with a company that produces carbon nanotubes.

Yamane says public universities in Japan have become increasingly tied to industry, since the Japanese government passed a law six years ago encouraging them schools to become more financially independent.

Yamane says a tight budget cut government funding, and universities have tried to fill that void by forming close ties with various industries.

The carbon nanotubes in question were developed by another Shinshu University professor.

But that professor and the university dismiss Koyama's findings. Last year, the university cut Koyama's access to his research facilities. A few months ago, the university fired the professor, citing issues with "sexual and power harassment."

Yamane says this points to a dangerous trend in Japan. He says universities are too focused on promoting and nurturing industry at all costs.

Koyama says companies that make carbon nanotubes have a responsibility to stop producing what he says are harmful products.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid