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2018-02 04

[Academics][Excellent R&D] From Harmful to Useful

It is undoubtable that global warming and air pollution are two of the most serious and urgent problems that countries all over the world need to worry about as members of the planet. However, due to the industrial development and the necessities of life, goals and promises of reducing harmful gas are not successfully being met by the majority of the countries that pledge to do so. Sang Byoung-in (Department of Chemical Engineering), in an attempt to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, has suggested a way to make use of the bountiful resources around us in his research by the name, ‘Power to Gas Technology for Stability of Future Energy Provision.’ "The amount of carbon dioxide can be effectively reduced by capturing it and turning it into a useful gas." Previously, there has been an approach suggested to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It was to capture and store it, then bury it deep underground or under the ocean ground so that it would not cause any pollution in the air. This method is not being pervasively used because of the unfitting geological condition of Korea and its tremendous cost considering the amount of carbon dioxide that needs to be handled. To counteract this complication, Sang researched methods to utilize the captured carbon dioxide. By capturing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and separating hydrogen and methane in it, a new source of energy is created. Since methane gas is used in almost every aspect of our society, Sang’s research could greatly contribute to alleviating the current situation concerning air pollution and energy depletion. “Hydrogen could also be derived, but methane is a better option as it has a much wider range of usage and that it is far easier to store. Hydrogen would require costly equipment to deposit, unlike methane, which could be stored within affordability.” There are several reasons why methane gas is such a good product out of carbon dioxide. Since methane gas is commonly used in our daily life, converting carbon dioxide into methane gas would be both economically and environmentally favorable. It also means this new source of energy will be extremely convenient and effortless to supply. Since 90 to 100 percent of Korea is covered with methane gas pipelines, the newly generated energy will be conveniently supplied through the current infrastructure. Moreover, unlike other gases such as hydrogen, methane gas is easy to store because it does not require a special tank for storage. Hydrogen is difficult to store due to its minuscule molecular size, demanding special tanks of higher price. Most importantly, methane gas is incomparably more widely used—for power, heat, mobility, and more. By turning carbon dioxide into mathane, useful energy can be generated. (Photo courtesy of Sang) Furthermore, Sang’s research also focuses on cultivating the microorganism that produces methane on its own only by feeding on carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Such a microorganism is called hydrogenotrophic methanogen (methane-producing organism that feed on hydrogen), which could be cultivated in water of 55 to 65 degrees Celsius. Inside water, just by absorbing carbon dioxide and hydrogen, the microorganism could produce methane. The problem is, these microorganisms are quite fastidious and challenging to harvest. They are strictly anaerobic, meaning they cannot survive once they encounter oxygen. To overcome this challege, Sang is currently researching to successfully nurture the microorganism. In addition, his further goal of research is to cultivate methanogen that does not require hydrogen. The reason why the microorganism feeds on hydrogen is because they need electrons in it. However, Sang wants to cut down the cost of nurturing these microorganism by removing hydrogen in their production. To provide what they need for survival, Sang will research deeper on feeding the microorganism directly from the electrode so that the process of microorganism producing methane would be more effective in terms of cost and productivity. Sang and his students in his lab are researching to evolve microorganism that feeds on electrons. Jeon Chae-yun chaeyun111@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Jin-myung

2018-01 31 Headline News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Producing Energy by Wearing Clothes

Clothes that create electricity is not something in a movie anymore. In the midst of searching for various renewable energy, Professor Hong Jin-pyo (Department of Physics) created a new energy source that is created through friction in a single thread, as demonstrated in his research, ‘Hierarchically Nanostructured 1D Conductive Bundle Yarn-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerators.’ Hong conducted his research on energy-producing threads. When designing a wearable device, people generally think of light and slim devices attached on one’s clothes or body, usually charged by a solar heat system. This is referred as a two-dimension technology, as an object is placed upon another object. This does have its own benefits but also contains deficits such as weight and energy sources. Therefore, Hong created a one-dimension energy source – a thread that is used when weaving clothes. “Once a material is attached to clothing, the efficiency lacks uniformity,” explained Hong. He invented a thread that can produce energy itself, without having to attach anything onto a particular piece of clothing. The threads that make up the clothing could create energy itself. This thread, also named as a ‘triboelectric nanogenerator’, is a structure made from the notion of friction that we experience in our daily lives. For example, when we rub a balloon to our hair, friction occurs, resulting in a form of spiky hair. This phenomenon occurs when an electron is moved from one object to another, when these two objects continuously collide with each other. Depending on the characteristics of an object, one object would lose electrons and the other would gain electrons, meaning some sort of slight energy is formed. In this thread, polymer and aluminum are used; the former collects the electrons and the latter releases the electrons. Therefore, once the body wearing the clothing weaved from this thread moves, energy is created. The microscophic strucuture of a thread. (Photo courtesy of Hong) This triboelectric nanogenerator is still in the midst of its research. As this thread is extremely thin, Hong’s research team created a conductive bundle yarn so that they could have more strength. Moreover, he attached polymer-like nanostructures onto a single thread, so that the thread could have an increased surface area of energy production. Once energy is created through a larger surface area, bigger energy could be created within a single thread. This whole process is also known as a tribo electric effect. This one-dimension thread has a bright future in front of them, as technology closer to human are fondly being conducted on. “Once a sensor could be attached onto the thread, even more tasks could be done. This sensor could send whatever information they require to the owner’s smartphone, once the sensor adapts a Bluetooth function,” commented Hong, when asked about the future of this invention. He wished that this function would be able to let citizens to have control of their IoT (Internet of Things, a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, object, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers) through their energy producing clothes. "Keep trying! No matter what!" As Hong has not majored in clothing and textiles, he is not yet an expert of clothing, but has not been afraid of pioneering this area. “I had been proceeding my research in semiconductors at first. As new technologies evolved, I believed it was important to keep up with these changes to improve what I have been initially doing,” reminisced Hong. As he had achieved an unexpected success through his passion, he also gave the same advice to all Hanyangians. “Don’t make excuses. What really matters is whether you tried your best or not. I wish all of you can improve yourself through endless challenges!” On Jung-yun jessica0818@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju and Lee Jin-myung

2018-01 21

[Academics]Combination of Machinery and Medication

Diseases such as myocardial infarction, which are related to the blockage of blood vessels, are threatful diseases to both the suffering patients and the doctors who cure them. As vessels require great sensitivity and attention in the process of treatment, professor Jang Gun-hee (Department of Mechanical Engineering) proposed an alternative way in his article: ‘Magnetic Helical Robot for Targeted Drug-Delivery in Tubular Environments.' Jang has been working on this robot for 9 years. “Once one’s blood vessel is blocked, doctors have to use a thin tube made of medical grade materials, called a catheter,” Jang started off. With the catheter, doctors have to push it through the vessel to find the blocked area, inject a liquid for dissolution, then drill it out. This process itself is indeed difficult as they mostly have to depend on a doctor's experience and skills. However, doctors face another difficulty, with their own health affected during the procedure. "Doctors have to face countless radiation when curing a patient, since they have to keep track of the position of the catheter though x-rays. The doctors even wear clothes made of lead to obstruct the radiation, but still is not enough,” explained Jang. In order to solve this dangerous progress, Jang’s research team created a micro robot. This micro robot is made to swim within a vessel of seven to eight millimeters, to transport and emit the designated drug to the intended spot to dissolute the clot, and to drill itself on the clot, just as the catheter would do. This micro robot is moved by the magnetic field created outside of the body, allowing the doctors to be less exposed to radiation. Jang commented, “Once this method is in commercialization, doctors would be able to remote control the robots outside of the operating room, while having better controls within the surgery.” A picture describing the structure of a micro robot (Photo courtesy of Jang) From the midst of the interview, Jang explained the motivation of his research. “My mother’s coronary artery had been blocked 10 years ago and, doctors, therefore, had to insert a few catheters in her body. As this is a genetic phenomenon, I gave attention to the process and then realized the difficulties of these surgeries,’ reminisced Jang. Studies on magnetic robots have been ongoing since the past, especially in Switzerland and Germany. However, their research was mostly concentrated on the swimming itself, while Jang’s research team had to make the robot in command of various movements, which had to go through various trials and errors. Jang and his students are standing beside the machine they have made by themselves. Jang’s research team had to import pure iron from China, produce the frame in another factory, and transport this four-ton-machinery to school in order to materialize the machine required to magnetically steer the micro robot. Students had to coil the iron by hand, assemble the pieces together, to complete building this two-meter machine. Jang emphasized the importance of the activeness of Hanyangians through this example. “I continuously tell my students ‘no one can achieve anything if we can’t’. I hope students make a higher goal and achieve their dreams even if it takes a long time because they all have the capability do to so.” On Jung-yun jessica0818@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-01 14

[Academics]Cleaning the Air, Even of Weapons

Environmental conservation and weapon disarmament may seem to have no relevancy. However, Professor Kim Ki-hyun of Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, in his long battle against environmental degradation, has found a common ground on which both fields could find a way to advance towards their goals. His recent research paper, “Metal-organic frameworks as media for the catalytic degradation of chemical warfare agents” introduces the utilization of metal-organic frameworks (MOF), previously used to filter pollutants in the air, to purify the air of toxins emitted from chemical weapons. Kim has already published a number of paper regarding the utilization of metal-organic framework. The key technology behind this research is the MOF. It is essentially a collection of multi dimensional sockets created when linking metals through the means of organic compounds. These nano-scaled sockets act as traps that capture undesired materials in the air. Kim explained that a crucial field of focus in creating MOFs is to use the smallest amount of substance possible to create the largest number of sockets. In practice, there are several options through which it could be put to use, one such option is the absorption mechanism, which is collecting as much pollutants as possible and disposing them. Another option is the catalytic treatment, which collects harmful substances and releases them in a safe form. Kim explained that there are two types of research. One involves numerous experiements and analysis, attempting to create or discover something new, and another tests out theories of other researchers and expands existing studies in depth. He explained that this research fell into the latter category, also known as a review research. “In a large frame, it’s part of a global effort to disarm weapons of warfare. This specific research began on the basis of environmental development technology, which expanded to include harmful materials from chemical weapons.” Kim added that the research came to being when several substances included in environmental pollutants were discovered to overlap from those of chemical weapons. Of the hundreds of existing research on environmental development and disarmament of chemical weapons, he took the revelant ones and “reviewed” them on the basis of his research. Kim explained that working to save the environment had been his calling since before becoming a professor. In the big picture, Kim explained that this study is just one of the many existing illustrations of how MOFs could be adapted and utilized. In the process of attempting to make the air free of pollution, a calling that Kim has had for over 30 years, the MOF was a crucial discovery that supported many of his researches. At the most initial stage, the MOF was designed to capture and reduce CO2 emission in the atmosphere. Now it is used in a number of fields, used for transporting medical substances, handling radioactive materials, and of course, to purify the air of certain substances. It is also applied in the actual market, with Kim having worked with industries of automobiles, electric cigarettes, and farms to eliminate undesired scent in their products and facilities. This research was part of a review to assess the potential scale of MOF utilization. "I think that 'boys be ambitious' is the appopriate phrase for students today" At the request for a word of advice for students of Hanyang, he referred to an old quote, “boys be ambitious”. He explained that it was sad for him to see students so desperate to begin a career and find a job right after graduation. In his days as a university student, many people sought admission to graduate school, with a number of people aspiring to become a professor. However, he now feels that most of the graduate school students in his major these days consist of foreigners, and only a handful of Korean students. Kim thinks that many young students today lack a long term planning of their lives. “I would like to see a little more amibiton from my students”. Lee Changhyun pizz1125@hanyang.ac.kr Photo by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-01 08 Headline News

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Big Data and the Key to Handling Them

In the society where social networking is becoming more and more inseparable from people, an ever-increasing number of users are getting involved. As a consequence, the ocean of big data in corresponding area is expanding its capacity, and there has been a need to efficiently analyze and organize the data. In his Big Data Science Laboratory, Kim Sang-wook (Department of Computer Science) has been continuously researching the topic. In his recent paper “High-performance graph data processing on a single machine,” Kim has proposed a method to increase the performance of data processing and to efficiently arrange the mass of data. A graph or a network is a complex arrangement of nods and edges, which are the components of an online world such as its users and webpages and the relationships they have, respectively. In a social network, for example, each user will be labeled as a nod and the relationships that users have with other users or webpages will be marked as edges. “Where could this graph be used? Numerous types of data could be modeled in the form of this graph. For example, Facebook users and their friends, bloggers and their neighbors, and the recommender system of search engines such as Youtube, Amazon and more are all related to the graph of nods and edges.” Depending on who views what how many times or which page receives the most views, weights could be added onto the edge between the user and the page, zooming out of which will form a complex web of a graph. Big data is usually calculated in a matrix, the process which is made more efficient by Kim. (Photo courtesy of Kim) How Kim made the graph data processing more efficient is by creating three constructive approaches. First, he made matrix multiplication of data simpler and easier by balancing the load over each thread blocks of the matrix. When there is a poor balancing of load input in each row of the matrix, the multiplication process could take a long time and the performance might not be excellent. With the balanced threads of the matrix, however, even distribution of workloads would resolve this problem and it would be much less time-consuming compared to the previous method. Second, Kim created a graph engine, which is a storing software that handles data in a productive manner. In order to analyze a graph, the data must be saved in a disc first. In doing so, the tool that helps the disc to save the data more efficiently is the graph engine, which Kim proposed in his paper. “The strength of our laboratory is that we research on two aspects of data. By researching the performance-wise aspect of the data and also the analytical aspect, we leave no chance of missing a single detail of matter.” Thirdly, Kim introduced a placement algorithm that could simplify the arrangement of nods in a graph engine. Previously, when a graph undergoes a process of analysis in a graph engine, the data was put in the exact same order as it entered. Clusters of irrelevant nods could cause a delay in the data processing, which Kim solved by discovering that by sorting the nods of similar traits together, the overall performance of graph processing could show a big difference. With the same data, different outcomes could be derived by finding out the advantageous groupings of nods. With his current research of graph engine and graph modeling, he could use them as stepping stones to move onto his next research. Kim’s future research is directed toward community detection and recommender systems. With the modeled graph of data, analysis of the data could easily be made and the members of a social community with similar interests could conveniently be detected. On a similar note, a recommender system could be improved by analyzing what a user likes, clicks, views, buys, or prefers with the graph: a more accurate recommender system could be developed. With the building blocks he has worked on, Kim will be building on more as he carries on his future research. "Characteristics of the data could be figured out by analyzing the graphs." Jeon Chae-yun chaeyun@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-01 03

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Calculating the Effects of the English Rule and American Rule

Have you ever lost a lawsuit? There are two ways to resolve the financial issues concerning legal costs after the resolution. The first method is called the English Rule, where the loser of a lawsuit pays the winner’s legal fees. The other one is the American Rule, where each party handles their own legal cost. Since the 1990s, there has been a general consensus among economists that the former improves the quality of a lawsuit and reduces trial costs. Yoon Jung-mo (Professor, Department of Economics & Finance) was the one to propose the question, ‘is it really?’ in his recent article, ‘Estimating the Effects of the English Rule on Litigation Outcomes.’ When asked if he has anything to tell his pupils, Yoon said, "you are all doing excellent, so I wish you can stop worrying," with a warm smile on his face. Every government aims to reduce the number of lawsuits, especially Korea and the United States. The increased number of court cases lead to increased government and societal spending on legal institutions and its personnel. The key to amend such issues is to reduce the real number of law suits to alleviate the burden of the court and increase the case quality, which is determined by the chance of a plaintiff winning the case and the amount of the settlement. Therefore, according to the long research in the economics field that concluded the English Rule, a lot of people argue for the rule. Currently, Korea is running based on the American Rule, but the law limits the amount of money that can be covered by the loser of the case. The prevalent textbook conclusion is mostly derived from the comparison of the Florida case, where they switched from the American Rule to the English Rule in 1980 and then flipped back in 1985. Because measuring the economic impact of a legal system can sometimes look like comparing apples to oranges, the case of Florida provided the perfect background for legal economists to analyze the impact. Yoon mentioned that there are two main significances that the paper proposes. First is that there are more proofs accumulated after the 1990s when the consensus was initially made. The initial paper studies the cases before 1980 and cases between 1980 to 1985. However, it neglected the cases after the second change of the rule, which could have critical impact to the interpretation. Also, Yoon and his co-author implemented a new way of making a conclusion. Traditionally, the economic impact is measured and reported as a fixed number. However, this cannot entail all the complex probabilities behind the result. Using the bound analysis method, researchers can predict the best and worse case scenarios and give a range of possible influences. The second significance is that Yoon and his co-author took the cases that were settled during the process into account. As only a few litigations continue to the very end of the judicial process, it is very important to consider the changed behavior of people according to the increased or decreased amount of pressure resulting from the verdict. Yoon is enthusiastically giving an explanation about his paper. Yoon’s scrutinized analysis, however, contradicts what has been believed for a long time. When it comes to the trial outcomes, the range derived from the bound analysis does not signify any relevance between the change of legal system and the trial cost. It does increase the amount of settlement, while decreasing the number of settled cases. “The hardest part of continuing such rigorous research was to overcome the constant skepticism,” said Yoon. According to him, it takes a long time for a researcher to complete a paper and for the paper to be accepted in a journal or presented in a conference. Believing in himself and moving forward regardless of the incredulity, Yoon will continue further to conduct research. Kim So-yun dash070@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2017-12 26

[Academics]Insensibility of Hosting the Olympics and Its Hidden Negative Impacts

When the IOC (International Olympic Committee) officially announced Pyeongchang, South Korea as the host of the 23rd Olympic Winter games on July 6 of 2011, the whole nation was overwhelmed with joy. However, where does the joy and glory arise from? Despite all of the positive economic effects that hosting the Olympics produces, there are also negative opportunity costs and hidden expenses. Professor Ahn Yong-do of the Division of International Studies reveals the hidden costs of hosting the Olympics that the national media do not promote through his paper: “The Leontief Matrix, the Keynesian Cross, and Economic Insensibility of Hosting the Olympics: A Survey of the Korean Experience.” Ahn analyzes the hidden opportunity costs of hosting the Olympics through his paper. There are various feasibility studies (an assessment of the practicality of a proposed national plan) to evaluate the benefits and costs of hosting mega-events like the Olympics, Asian Games, and World Cup. For example, state-run research institutes use the Leontief Matrix or Keynesian Cross models to analyze the costs and benefits of hosting such events. Leontief Matrix is an input-output model which predicts the proper level of production of goods and services while the Keynesian Cross describes the relationship between an aggregate demand and the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). However, there are extensive flaws in such research methods, which Ahn depicts. “Such research methods are extremely inappropriate for national research institutes to utilize when predicting the benefits and costs of mega-events like hosting the Olympics. These events are macroeconomic, while the methods mentioned above are a closed-system and microscopic,” explained Ahn. Along with its problems of economic scope, the data accumulated by such research is exceedingly outdated and are also exorbitant to run the test. “The best option is to utilize the holistic cost-benefit analysis as a feasibility test which discovers and calculates all the hidden opportunity costs of hosting such events,” said Ahn. The most important criteria to consider when deciding to host an event in accordance with the national budget is the long-term productivity of the social overhead capital. “Let’s assume that we have a limited budget in our nation and we can either choose to build childcare facilities in a number of companies or to host the Olympics. Unlike what the media promotes, an increase in the GDP and job creation effects are merely similar between those two activities. Then, considering the long-term effects, obviously building childcare centers would be more plausible,” explained Ahn. Hosting mega-events like this year's Olympic games is not practical in the long-run, according to Ahn. Ahn also described another real-life example from the 2002 FIFA World Cup that proves macroeconomic risks in hosting mega-events. “In order to host the World Cup, South Korea constructed 10 stadiums in Sangam-dong that still require the national budget of 5 billion won as a fixed cost annually. However, when citizens use the airport highway, we have to spend our own money at the tollgate to support its construction costs which the government must have secured as its mandate budget. Comparing these two incidents, building an airport highway is more productive than hosting the World Cup in the long-run since we do not utilize the stadium as much as we demand highway usage,” described Ahn. The journey to produce this paper was arduous according to Ahn. Because the contents of the paper criticize the media and the government and their behaviors of covering people’s eyes, the procedure to find data to disprove the governmental decision was difficult. “I had to discover evidence for this paper through sometimes unofficial, desperate ways since the national research institutes would not provide the data passively. Thus, my research began in 2002 and was finally brought to a conclusion, just recently,” reminisced Ahn. Even though Ahn’s major is business management, his passion towards economics is extensive. “I am not an economist, but an economic learner. Economics is the most logical study in political science subjects which maintains my passion to reach forward,” said Ahn. Currently, Ahn’s goal is to produce his own version of books on the principles of economics in a groundbreaking way, similar to Paul Samuelson. “Students of Hanyang University are intelligent and passionate. But, I hope they stay out of the library and experience real life, which is the source of creativity!” Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-hyun

2017-12 12

[Academics]A World Without Heart Attacks

Cardiovascular disorder is one of the world’s most prominent causes of death. In Korea, it is only second in line to the most lethal disease, cancer. Naturally, its treatment has been a target of research for a wide scope of experts. To this pursuit, a proud achievement was made by Professor Yoo Hong-ki (Division of Electrical & Bioengineering), who worked with a group of researchers from related fields to devise a new method for treating a major, pervasive threat to human lives. Yoo explained the concepts of his research with great enthusiasm. Key concept: Theranostics A crucial terminology that effectively grasps the concept of this research is “theranostics”. This is a combination of two words: therapy and diagnostics. It refers to the simultaneous process of diagnosis and therapy. Despite the complicated terminology used in the title of the research, it can be simply explained as a new method of treating vascular disorders. An effective illustration could be made by looking at how this applies to heart attacks--the most representative case of cardiovascular disorders. A heart attack is caused by plaques in the coronary arteries or blood vessels around the heart. When solid substances, such as cholesterol, pile up in the vessels, they trigger inflammations that eventually create a tear. Through this rupture, external substances flow in in the blood vessels, creating blood clots that prevent the supply of air. Consequently, the heart muscles die of suffocation. The aim of this research is to locate dangerous inflammations in the overall blood vessels, and treat them at the same time. An illustration on inflammation of the tissues The means to visualize and treat inflammation in blood vessels started from the development of a bio-compatible nanocarrier. These nanoscale agents, equipped with inflammation-fighting drugs and fluorescent matter, were created to carry out two tasks: highlight inflamed areas and deliver the drug. The results were promising, as the carriers effectively produced accurate images of vascular inflammation. Furthermore, they could be maneuvered to target specific areas of inflammation, which minimized any undesired systemic effects of the drug. The success of the experiments showed a big progess in humanity’s efforts to visualize and treat vascular diseases. So far, the subjects of the experiments were laboratory mice, but when this could be applied to humans, it could finally mean the overcoming of one of the deadliest disorders on earth. The beginning and end This research first began as a joint study with a cardiologist from a fellow prestigious university, who also happened to be a close acquaintance of Yoo. In the initial stages, the target of the research was the accurate diagnosis of vascular disorders through the use of molecular imaging, which expanded to include treatment as well. The two brilliant minds saw the possibility for targeted treatment in the same manner of the diagnosis. Afterwards, more experts from a number of fields, from nanotechnology, imaging, to biochemistry, became a part of the research team. Yoo explained that good research requires expertise from a wide scope of related fields. Based on the published research, Yoo hopes to continue the study into clinical experiments, ultimately making it compatible to humans. In this pursuit, there are countless obstacles, with even the approval for experimentation on slightly larger animals requiring strict demands. Yoo looks forward to the application of his findings into clinical trials His personal journey throughout the research The presented research took approximately four years to conduct, and with so many members from different areas of expertise as well as interests, the research was a constant process of discussion and debate, as much as the study itself. Yoo recalled that it was like each person basically speaking different languages. Although this process of synchronizing a common goal was difficult, Yoo answered that it was also fulfilling and exciting, largely due to the expectation of what it could do for humanity in the future. His main priority throughout the research was to help people. What he did wasn’t for the purpose of making people’s lives more entertaining or comfortable; it was rather, about actually keeping them alive. Yoo’s reply for a word of advice for students of Hanyang was largely an extension of his attitude towards his research--to find an underlying passion. For the students insecure about their abilities and decisions regarding career and life, he would like to remind them that being a student of Hanyang itself is an indicator of their great potential. He feared to sound too cliché when he added, “Find what you want to do, and believe in yourself.” Lee Chang-hyunn pizz1125@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju

2017-12 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Obesity, Everyone’s Enemy

Regardless of gender, age, and nationality, obesity is a health problem that is affecting an increasing number of people. While most people think obesity merely has to do with dietary habit, it shows close relations with metabolic diseases and cancer. In other words, obesity is not just caused by the consumption of large calories, but there are other possible factors to it. Kim Yong-hee (Department of Bio-Engineering), whose interest lies in obesity and the ways to prevent and cure it, discovered an innovative way to counteract obesity in his paper “Visceral adipose tissue macrophage-targeted TACE silencing to treat obesity-induced type 2 diabetes,” which was coauthored by two of the graduate school students of the department: Song Yoon-sung (2nd year) and Yong Seok-beom (3rd year). Kim explained that by targeting the inflammation caused by the excess fats, obesity can be treated. The existing method used to treat obesity was to suppress appetite by touching the nerve system, for it was mainly believed that the root cause of obesity was excessive-consumption. However, Kim discovered in his laboratory that obesity has to do with inflammation within fat-storing tissues, which are called adipose tissues. Inside a patient’s body, the excess fat that cannot be stored in the adipose tissue spreads to its surroundings, which then causes inflammation when in contact with other types of cells. A type of white blood cell that engulfs and digests foreign cellular debris called macrophage are largely responsible for obesity-induced adipose tissue inflammation. A breakthrough in Kim’s research is that obesity can be treated by preventing the accumulation of fat within the body, by controlling the inflammation through gene delivery, not by suppressing appetite. In such a scenario, the gene delivery system Kim and his students have invented in the laboratory refers to the targeted gene delivery system that is capable of selectively targeting the visceral (relating to the intestines) adipose tissue macrophages, which are the major cause of inflammation because they produce a type of protein called cytokine. The excess fats that cannot be stored in the adipose tissue spread to their surroundings, and when they come in contact with cytokines, that is when the inflammation springs. By targeting the inflammation, which is the root cause of obesity, the treatment for obesity is made possible. There have been several clinical studies that have highlighted the significance of inflammation regarding obesity, but few therapeutic approaches have been suggested. Through his research, Kim and his students have proposed a therapeutic strategy of targeted gene delivery that could safely treat the disease without any side effects. This strategy is also favorable in treating type 2 diabetes, which primarily occurs as a result of obesity. It is preventable by staying at a normal weight through regular exercise or dietary changes. This could also be the way to prevent obesity as well, which, in other words, means that the cause of the two diseases have the same outset, which is the inflammation within the tissues due to being overweight. Therefore, Kim’s proposal of therapeutic approach for obesity can also treat type 2 diabetes. Targeted gene delivery strategy could kill two birds with one stone. Building on his current studies, Kim’s future research aims to create more formulas for drugs that could treat obesity. “Liposuction is an extremely dangerous surgery because it sucks the good fats as well. Obesity is surely preventable or even cured for those who are not severely obese. However, those who are super-obese, their genes could transform into obese genes and this can affect their children. So, the targeted gene delivery approach can optimally be used in the future.” Kim specifically chose the topic of inflammation of obesity because he wanted to find a narrow gate and open it wide. Since not many solutions for obesity inflammation have been discovered, he wanted to delve into the studies of this topic and create a cure for the countless people waiting for treatment. Kim always aspires to study and research on topics that is subject to a breakthrough outcome. "I am interested in finding cures for diseases that do not have many treatments." Jeon Chae-yun chaeyun111@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kabg Cho-hyun

2017-11 28

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Inventing Eyes for Robots

Augmented Reality, self-driving cars, and facial recognition are no longer a technology of future. Such advanced technologies are deep in our daily lives. In order for machines to properly function as they are meant to, they need something called ‘machine vision’. Machine vision (MV) is the technology and method used to provide imaging-based automatic inspection and analysis for such applications as automatic inspection, process control, and robot guidance, usually in industry. And the field that encompasses the subject is Computer Vision, which Lim majors. For December’s Researcher of the Month, News H interviewed Lim Jong-woo (Professor, Department of Computer Science) who recently won a major government project to acquire the source technology for such field. Lim is enthusiastically explaining how the technology can be applied in real lives. For example, with the structure modeling, calculating the altitude of a person's eye level (when wearing an AR/VR glasses) would be possble. The final goal of this four-year project is to develop a high-level video situation recognition technology based on structural modeling and geometrical analysis of images acquired in extremely congested situations such as the real environment. Structural modeling of a video means to draw lines and actually structure the surrounding environment within the video, either in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional form. Up to current technology, a system can process a single object in the video or occasionally multiple objects. However, it is not yet developed for computers to recognize and analyze a ‘congested’ video with dozens of moving objects, which is often the case in real life footage. “If developed further enough, a computer would be able to track irregular paths taken by a suspect from CCTV video and alert us,” mentioned Lim. (Left) Estimation of the structure of a space through existing technology (Right) Provisioned result of structure estimation (Photo courtesy of Lim) One of the ultimate goals of the project is to also integrate multi-object detection and tracking with the environment. “There are a lot of people trying to integrate detection and tracking technology,” said Lim. Because it is highly improbable for researchers to set a model human face for the computer to detect all human faces, integrating such technology with tracking a moving person is even more intricate and difficult. Nevertheless, if it does become reality, computers will be able to read the context of a specific video. For instance, because they can recognize each person, it would be able to write a storyline and understand relationships between characters in a show or a movie. As mentioned in the earlier part of the article, computer vision is a crucial part of augmented reality and autonomous cars. In the case of AR, the computer must be able to structure its environment to decide where to put the virtual object. Also, by such mapping, the machine can change its perspective in accordance with the user’s change of perspective. Furthermore, autonomous cars require even higher accuracy of computer vision in order to detect obstacles and prevent unwanted accidents. Unlike the facial detection of a camera app on our cellphone which is not really a matter of life and death, technology related to transportation has higher standards for that reason. "I aim to research for use, rather than a reasearch for research." Another surprising aspect of this research project plan is that the team will upload their findings on the web, free of charge as an open-source. When asked why not commercialize it, Lim answered “It is mutually beneficial for us to have the crowd test our algorithm and give feedback to us, as we cannot test it in every environment. Also, it is a trend to release algorithms open-source, because most of them fall short to be commercialized yet.” The research has begun this August and will be continued until the end of 2020. News H is looking forward to observing Lim’s progress and the social impact his team will bring. Kim So-yun dash070@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju