The RIKEN National Science Institute is Japan’s flagship research institute for basic and applied science, and a world leader in an array of scientific disciplines. Since its foundation in 1917, RIKEN has carried out pioneering and innovative research in fields spanning the entire range of natural sciences, from developmental biology, plant science, and neuroscience to material science, quantum physics, nuclear physics, and computer science.

Today, RIKEN encompasses a network of world-class research centers across Japan, with main campuses in Wako, Tsukuba, Yokohama, Kobe and Harima offering state-of-the-art laboratories and several “big science” facilities, including the K computer in Kobe, which was ranked the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world in 2015. Other facilities include the SPring-8 synchrotron facility and SACLA x-ray free electron laser in Harima, the RI Beam Factory in Wako, and the BioResource Center in Tsukuba, which provide research resources to researchers in Japan and around the world. A high-quality, high-performance research environment, combined with a uniquely bottom-up approach to scientific innovation, has enabled RIKEN to foster an environment in which researchers are able to thrive. RIKEN’s research environment is truly international, with over 600 non-Japanese research personnel who hail from more than 50 different countries and regions.

RIKEN is by no means an ivory tower—its researchers are tackling issues that are critical for the survival of humanity. Global-scale problems — the population explosion, climate change, the depletion of natural resources, and the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases — threaten the very existence of humankind. Nations, societies, and all sectors of human endeavor must join together to find creative solutions that provide high benefits to the public. Underlying RIKEN’s drive to create an international research hub is a pressing need to confront the world’s most urgent problems through global cooperation with universities, research institutes, and the private sector.

RIKEN retains sole responsibility for content © 2016 RIKEN.

1 November 2016 - 31 October 2017

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for RIKEN published between 1 November 2016 - 31 October 2017 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the WFC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

459 122.67 118.48

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Life Sciences 150 42.94 42.94
Physical Sciences 224 51.23 47.04
Chemistry 131 41.14 41.14
Earth & Environmental Sciences 2 0.75 0.75

Highlight of the month

The hidden functions of RNA

© WLADIMIR BULGAR/Science Photo Library/Getty

© WLADIMIR BULGAR/Science Photo Library/Getty

Researchers have identified thousands of ‘non-coding’ RNA genes to compile an online atlas. Their data suggests what the functions of these genes might be and provides a useful resource for further studies.

Piero Carninci and Alistair Forrest, of RIKEN in Japan, and an international team of colleagues identified 27,919 long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) — formed of more than 200 nucleotides — by compiling analyses from published data. Non-coding RNAs, which form 98 per cent of all RNAs, do not code for proteins and their functions are still being discovered.

The team found that more nucleic acid sequences in lncRNAs have been conserved across species than previously thought; meaning they have not changed through evolution. They also found that different lncRNAs were specifically expressed in certain types of cells, which could help explain their functions. For example, lncRNAs specifically expressed in stem cells could play a role in maintaining their pluripotency.

The researchers anticipate their database will be a useful resource for prioritizing which lncRNAs should be further studied for more detailed understanding of their functions.

Supported content

  1. Nature 543, 199–204 (2017). doi: 10.1038/nature21374

View the article on the Nature Index

1 November 2016 - 31 October 2017

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 48.33% Domestic
  • 51.67% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Top 10 domestic collaborators by WFC (211 total)

  • RIKEN, Japan
  • Domestic institution
  1. The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan (91.15)
  2. Osaka University, Japan (24.86)
  3. Department of Applied Physics, UTokyo, Japan (24.24)
  4. Kyoto University, Japan (22.40)
  5. Tohoku University, Japan (14.30)
  6. Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), Japan (11.88)
  7. Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan (8.08)
  8. Nagoya University, Japan (7.50)
  9. Keio University, Japan (4.86)
  10. Hokkaido University (Hokudai), Japan (4.57)

Note: Collaboration is determined by the weighted fractional count (WFC), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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