An Asian first, Japanese team gets to name element

January 2, 2016 7:52 am

A Japanese research team has been granted the right to name new
element 113, the first on the periodic table to be named by Asian
scientists, the team’s institute said yesterday.
’s Riken
Institute said a team led by Kosuke Morita was awarded the rights from
global scientific bodies – the International Union of Pure and Applied
Chemistry (IUPAC) and the International Union of Pure and Applied
Physics (IUPAP) – after successfully creating the new synthetic element
three times from 2004 to 2012.

Kosuke Morita said he was “grateful that the name will be included in the table for the first time”. Photo / AP
 
It is the first element on the periodic table to be discovered and named by Asian scientists, Riken said.
Synthetic elements do not occur naturally on Earth and are produced artificially through experiments.
“IUPAC
has announced that Morita’s group will be given priority for the
discovery of the new element, a privilege that includes the right to
propose a name for it,” Riken said.

Morita, a professor at Japan’s Kyushu University, was informed via a letter from IUPAC yesterday, Riken said.
A release on IUPAC’s website confirmed the accomplishment.
“Several studies published from 2004 to 2012 have been construed as sufficient to ratify the discovery and priority,” it said.
The name has yet to be decided, but Riken said that Morita will propose one this year.
“I
feel grateful that the name will be included in the table for the first
time after this recognition,” Morita said at a press conference.
The naming right topped the evening bulletin on public broadcaster NHK television.
Japan
has a proud research tradition and its citizens have won about 20 Nobel
prizes in and medicine, including two in 2015.
The
naming right is good news for Riken, which last year was embroiled in
scandal after it had to withdraw what was once billed as a scientific
breakthrough in stem cell reproduction by a young researcher.
IUPAC
also said that Russian and US scientists working together had won the
naming rights for three other elements – 115, 117 and 118.

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