Supercomputer shows humidity affects aerosol spread of coronavirus

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.

The finding suggests that the use of humidifiers may help limit infections during times when window ventilation is not possible, according to a study released on Tuesday by research giant Riken and Kobe University.

The researchers used the Fugaku supercomputer to model the emission and flow of virus-like particles from infected people in a variety of indoor environments.

Air humidity of lower than 30% resulted in more than double the amount of aerosolised particles compared to levels of 60% or higher, the simulations showed.

The study also indicated that clear face shields are not as effective as masks in preventing the spread of aerosols. Other findings showed that diners are more at risk from people to their side compared to across the table, and the number of singers in choruses should be limited and spaced out.






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)

Oct 14

The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, located in Saitama prefecture of Japan, was built to protect Tokyo from flooding. Constructed in 2016, it measures 30 metres (98ft) in diameter and 70 metres (230ft) in depth. (South China Morning Post)

Oct 10

Japan will consider easing regulations on the sale of emergency contraceptive pills without a prescription, the health minister said Friday, taking a step toward allowing the kind of over-the-counter birth control that is already available in dozens of other countries. (Japan Times)

Oct 09

Three Japanese firms are teaming up to build fully electric tankers with no carbon footprint.
(NHK)

Oct 03

Present-day life has had mixed results on delivering on the predictions past generations made about the future. We still don’t have flying cars, for example, but we do have a real-life giant, moving anime robot (and if we had to pick one of the two, personally, that’s the one we’d pick). (soranews24.com)
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Sep 30

Expectations are high for the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 after the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced earlier this month that an unexplored asteroid will be the new target for the unmanned probe. (Japan Times)

Sep 30

Astronauts staying at the International Space Station are set to get a taste of canned mackerel made by Japanese high school students.
(NHK)

Sep 30

An operator of a bullet-train network in Japan has developed a computer system to keep trains safe from severe flooding. Officials at East Japan Railway say their technology ensures Shinkansen trains can be moved.
(NHK)

Sep 30

The term ‘Robot’ was invented exactly one hundred years ago, in the year 1920, to describe a fictional humanoid in the Czech play R.U.R. Heck, it’s even older than that- there are myths dating back to ancient Greece about Hephaestus creating automatons and such. (newsonjapan.com)

Sep 27

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit Japan’s Pacific Ocean coast off Honshu Island on Sunday, the country’s meteorological agency reported. (aa.com.tr)

Sep 26

Two Japanese researchers are among potential Nobel laureates in a list released by a US scientific information service firm. This year’s winners will be announced starting from October 5. (NHK)

Sep 25

Japan could face a resurgence of coronavirus infections, although the number of cases has been on a downward trend since late July, a group of experts on virus prevention said Thursday. (Kyodo)

Sep 19

An international research team including a Japanese scientist on Thursday won the Ig Nobel Acoustics prize after showing that an alligator’s pitch rises after it inhales helium-enriched air. (Japan Times)

Sep 16

Japan’s Hayabusa2 space explorer will aim to probe the asteroid “1998KY26” located between the orbits of Earth and Mars in 2031 after completing its current mission of collecting samples from another asteroid, the country’s science minister said Tuesday. (Kyodo)

Sep 12

Japan’s health ministry has decided to give seasonal flu shots to elderly people first, from October 1.
(NHK)

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