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2017-11 15

[Academics]Advent of Geometrically Controlled Micro-tissue

When certain parts of a human body are damaged, the only treatment is to take medication to either halt the worsening or alleviating the agony. However, medical technology to fully recover the organs by developing thermally expandable hydrogels (a network of polymer chains that are hydrophilic, often used for the care of wounds) is becoming potential. Professor Shin Heung-soo of the Department of Bioengineering has lighted upon the possibility to control the cell patterns to harvest geometrically regulated micro-tissue through his research “Microcontact printing of polydopamine on thermally expandable hydrogels for controlled cell adhesion and delivery of geometrically defined microtissues.” Shin has been researching in the geometrically controlled micro-tissue field for 20 years, attempting to discover the full recovery of human tissues and organs. The fundamental finding of this research is that human cells can function through metabolism and, thus, can also generate spontaneous curative powers. “The main theme of our research is that we discovered our own method to discharge the damaged cells and entirely recover and replace them back to where they belong,” said Shin. The research team utilized the hydrogels to transfer the cells by patterning the polydopamine. PD (polydopamine) is an important substance in this research which is formed by oxidation of dopamine often used for coating various surfaces. Until now, the medical industry’s best option to treat damaged cells or organs made up of them was to inject cells floating inside a culture fluid (the fluid used as a medium for growing microorganisms). However, Shin’s research is now stepping ahead to actually maintaining the patterns and shapes of actual cell structure and transferring them into the human body. “My research can resemble the method of a paper tattoo. When you get a paper tattoo, you apply a paper with a desired picture, drop water on it, and, after some time, the picture is embedded onto the skin cells. My discovery works the same way in that the paper is hydrogel,” stated Shin. The main focus of this research is that not only is the hydrogel transferring the basic patterns but also shapes. The transfer of shapes in the three-dimensional form, requires a specific code and environment of the cells’ patterns and placement. Through experiments with artificial models and mice, the research was proven to be valid in that micro-tissues were readily translocated in vivo to the subcutaneous tissue of mouse. A diagram of Shin's experiment proves that micro-contact printing of polydopamine on hydrogels has worked out by the successful transfer. (Photo courtesy of Shin) This extensive research took one year to complete by Shin and his two doctoral students. The research began with their considerate worry concerning the aging society. “As the population is aging with a higher average life expectancy, people are constantly suffering from chronic diseases and degenerative conditions. To solve this problem, instead of stopping diseases from worsening, I began this research,” said Shin. Before Shin’s research, the only possible method to entirely cure or recover damaged organs was by internal organ transplant. However, the medical and technological fields can now expect to cure endemic, chronic diseases eternally. “I have researched in this field for about 20 years under the belief that science and medicine will be able to treat humans for good,” revealed Shin. "Discover your own path that nobody has walked on. You will be able to find the light when your ideas are developed with your efforts and concerns!" Shin’s ultimate hope is to furnish his developed micro-tissue technology to easily accessible places like hospitals and pharmacies. “In this Fourth Industrialization era, I can now graft new technologies like 3D printing skills or big data to produce efficient and exquisite results,” emphasized Shin. “Even though South Korean society highlights the importance of living a stable, routinized life, I believe that our Hanyangian students have inexhaustible ideas and potential. I hope our future generation will be able to utilize their ideas and dream bigger!” Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2017-09 27

[Academics]Low Energy Consuming Utilization of Chemical Sensors

When a chemical sensor is embedded into a mobile device, the significant sensing properties are amplified by low costs, high response, great stability, and robustness. However, there is one property of a chemical sensor that hinders technicians from utilizing it with a mobile device--unbearable power consumption. In his paper, “Self-heating effects on the toluene sensing of Pt-functionalized SnO2-ZnO core-shell nanowires,” professor Kim Hyeon-woo of the Division of Material Science and Engineering proposes a self-power sensor that allows low energy consumption of 31 μW at 5 V. Kim is explaining about the novel discovery of his research. In order to apply chemical sensors to mobile devices, the temperature of the sensor should be high enough to be generated. However, in the process of raising the temperature, the magnitude of energy consumption is vast. “Chemical sensors have extreme advantages such as cheap costs, small size, excellent stability, and robustness. However, the high energy consumption prevents scientists to consider them as an option for mobile devices,” said Kim. To reduce the energy consumption, Kim and his fellow researchers have exhibited a self-heated nanowire sensor through this study. “For the reduction of energy usage, we synthesized Pt nanoparticle-functionalized SnO2–ZnO core–shell nanowires. The shells of these wires utilized for the chemical sensor are thicker than usual. This allows a larger self-heating ability and a higher sensor response,” explained Kim. SnO2–ZnO is a synthesis of tin dioxide and zinc oxide that results in a strong core-shell (class of materials which have properties intermediate between those of small, individual molecules and those of bulk, crystalline semiconductors). The total energy required for this chemical sensor to be self-heated was 31 μW at 5 V. “This novel discovery was possible due to the groundbreaking nanowires that allowed the sensor to self-heat even at room temperature,” said Kim. Thus, this research, has ultimately suggested the potential application of chemical sensors into mobile devices, fully utilizing their peculiar sensing properties. “The sensor industry in South Korea will now be able to gain international competitiveness by exporting this novel sensor, which is currently in the process of development,” proposed Kim. Kim is holding a sensor that he's currently developing. The academic life of Kim has been devoted to nanostructure and sensors. His original research area was on nanostructure (a structure, especially a semiconductor device, that has dimensions of only a few nanometers). “I have always studied nanostructure, and I realized that the practical application of this leads to sensors,” explained Kim. Gas and radioactive sensors are Kim’s further research subjects, which he looks forward to utilizing in real life in a few years. “Pragmatic application of dramatic discoveries in research is difficult, but I will try my best to improve this industry,” revealed Kim. Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju

2017-08 08

[Academics]Founding Father of the Pragmatic Application of Stepping Motors

Every moving object needs a power plant. In the industrial world, permanent magnet stepper motors are widely used, which are designed with permanent motor (PM) rotors that are commanded by electrical pulses. In his paper “Nonlinear H2 Control for a Nonlinear System with Bounded Varying Parameters: Application to PM Stepper Motors,” Chung proposes a new nonlinear H2 controller for the PM motors that can increase the efficiency both in its speed and practicality. Chung is the pioneer in South Korea to discover new methods of applying nonlinear H2 control for a nonlinear system. Utilization of the PM motors vary from household purposes such as printers to industrial purposes such as gas systems and cars. Since its earlier usage from the 1970s, these motors have thrown questions to scientists and engineers on its formula. “Despite the fact that these motors are popularized in the industry, there are constraints in the PM motors, such as speed restriction,” said Chung. To solve this problem, engineers have discovered the DQ (direct quadrature) transformation of the motors which is a tensor that rotates the reference frame of a element vector matrix to simplify the analysis of it. “My research team has found that DQ is comparatively inefficient in terms of energy saving and cost control. Thus, we detected a new mathematical method to replace the DQ transformation,” said Chung. Often times, engineers used the linear system to control the PM motors. A linear motor is an electric motor that has its stator and rotor unrolled, so that instead of producing a torque, it produces a linear force along its length. However, linear motors are not necessarily straight, which causes restrictions in speed. “Formula of the linear system consists of homogeneity and additivity, and the main point of our research was to minimize the relationship between them using the H2 control system,” emphasized Chung. This FOC (Field Oriented Control) with the H2 system went through an experiment with other traditional methods for a comparison. “The results were outstanding as more simplified version of mathematical calculation and less usage of sensors beforehand were required, while the tracking errors and energy cost were reduced respectively,” said Chung. The green line of case 3, which uses the FOC (Field Orientation Control) of the H2 control shows the extreme distinction in tracking errors. (Photo courtesy of Chung) The most desired application of this method is on the intelligence vehicle, which is a car that can drive by itself without any interference of a driver. “Learning about the motion control, which is the main issue of my paper, is the most important criteria of designing a self-driving vehicle. This study allowed me to grow this industry rapidly in five years,” astonished Chung. Currently, Chung’s research lab for the intelligence vehicle based on motion control is the best in Korea which acquire all the knowledge on the sensors, actuators, and control algorithms. Chung’s passion for science was conspicuous from the days he used to make a radio on his own. When he started gaining interests in engineering, motion control grabbed his sight. “The stepping motors and their control system are fundamental technologies. I thought that developing them into pragmatic applications would be exciting,” reminisced Chung. Currently, Chung is passionately contributing to the scientific and technological advancement. For the visible result, he had launched the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) ‘s CDC (Conference on Decision and Control) conference at Jeju Island, South Korea. “This is the first time ever that the CDC conference is being held in South Korea and I consider this the greatest achievement of my academic life so far,” smiled Chung. Chung is currently working on developing more advanced intelligence vehicles. Chung’s everlasting hope for his students is that they could study both science and liberal arts. “I wish South Korean educational system could teach students to embrace the joy of learning. This will eventually rear the bright sprouts of Korea,” said Chung. Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju

2017-07 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Ground Breaking Advancement in Medical Magnetic Robot

The era of robots wandering inside a human body for medical treatments is about to face our generation. Though the research is still in the process of developing magnetic fields and improving robots, the actual application of the medical robots is expected to occur in a decade. In his research “Magnetic Navigation System Utilizing Resonant Effect to Enhance Magnetic Field Applied to Magnetic Robots,” professor Jang Gun-hee of the Department of Mechanical Engineering proposes the improvement of the magnetic navigation system (MNS) via RLC (stands for resistor, inductor, and capacitor) circuit in the hope of its medical application. Generation of strong magnetic fields in high frequency When doctors treat for blood vessels related illness like coronary artery diseases or have to execute endoscopic surgeries, they often use catheters (thin tube made from medical grade materials) controlled by their hands and medical, empirical sensations. However, these catheters don’t have the sufficient controllability for the physicians due to their long, flexible wires. “The main point of this research was to minimize the surgical errors that these catheters may incur. So, we decided to make magnetic robots that are microscopic enough to wander inside our vessels,” said Jang. The types of robots currently in technical development are various- fish type robots, wobby-like robots, swimming robots, helical robots, and more. However, the magnetic robots especially intrigue the academia. “Compressed springs inside the robot will spread out, enhancing its drilling capability inside the vessels, which its movements will be guided by the magnetic system. Improvements in this MNS are significantly vital, as every mechanical motion of the magnetic robots is proportional to the external magnetic field,” emphasized Jang. Jang has been working on the magnetic navigation system research for about 12 years, which currently resulted in the torque magnetic field on the right. Through the experiments to unclog the blocked area of tubular environments, Jang and his students researched on a novel MNS with the resonant effect of the RLC circuit. “Simply saying, these robots with the MNS have magnets. When the north pole of the magnet approaches another north pole, it will push, and vice versa in the case of the south pole. This is the simplistic picture of how the magnetic robots and the MNS are working,” said Jang. Advancement to this fundamental phenomenon, Jang refers to the "closed right hand rule" (Ampere Law that relates the net magnetic field along a closed loop to the electric current passing through the loop) to explain his research. “In our newly developed MNS, inside the diameter of 50 centimeters wide spherical environment, we can create and control strong magnetic field in any direction which eventually generates useful various mechanical motions of the magnetic robots,” highlighted Jang. Another unconventional discovery of Jang’s research is the application of resonant frequency in the RLC circuit to amplify the magnetic field of the robot. RLC stands for resistance, inductance, and capacitance which all are in the influential relationships in science. When the alternating voltage is increased, the resistance should be divided to flow the current. However, as the alternating frequency of voltage increases, the current decreases due to the inductance of the coil. “We eliminate the effect of inductance with the application of varying capacitance that leads to maximizing the current and the magnetic field in high frequency,” explained Jang. This phenomenon was able to generate fast drilling motion of the magnetic robot to unclog the blocked area of blood vessels. Furthermore, application of the MNS developed a crawling robot that can also deliver drugs into a human body, which Hanyang University gained its international patent of. (Video courtesy of Jang) Hopes for the scientific improvement It has been a decade since Jang has been working on this magnetic robot research. The beginning of all dates back to when his mother was hospitalized due to her coronary artery disease in the heart. “The doctor told me that the illness is genetic and I may also be in danger. So, I thought that rather than believing in the doctor’s hand and the catheter, I should believe in science to develop this surgical methodology and first test on me,” said Jang. During the several years that Jang has been working with his students, he also began to long for fostering his students and their success. “I was always interested in the concept of a motor since I was young. This academic desire eventually led me to become a scholar, but since I became a professor of many students and a father of two daughters, I began to be intrigued to their life-long academic achievements,” reminisced Jang. Ph.D students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering- Lee Won-seo (left) and Nam Jae-kwang (right), also participated in the research with their professor Jang. It is estimated that after more technical amendments of this mechanical robot, it will be capable of testing on animals, and then applied to human surgeries, which will take about a decade. During this journey to scientific achievements, Jang realized that efforts are what science really value. “Just like my students who endeavored all their desires to science to leap higher, I hope that the South Korean scientific academia will also hope for the brighter future,” reminded Jang. Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-04 17 Important News

[Academics]Factors that Influence Donation Intentions via SNS

Social Network Service, also called as SNS, is rapidly developing its features to suit the current information-oriented society. In the 21st century, various types of communication do not require individuals to be nearby physical. Keeping pace with the times, the behavior dimension behind donating has also been altered into an online format. With the Internet's prompt speed and secured environment, people can now donate to charity organizations found on SNS pages. Through his paper “Factors Influencing Intention To Donate Via Social Network Site (SNS): From An Asian’s Perspective,” Professor Ahn Jong-chang, Department of Information System, investigates the correlations between people’s intention to donate and online external factors. Ahn is explaing the correlation between four external factors and the donation intention via SNS. Professor Ahn’s study examines whether external factors influence people’s general attitude towards online donation, and their intention to donate via SNS. These four external factors are defined as charity project, charity organization, Internet technology features and SNS features. Professor Ahn conducted an online survey of 258 respondents from South Korea and Malaysia based on the framework of the structural equation modelling- a multivariate statistical analysis technique used to analyze structural relationships. There are preceding researches regarding SNS donation intentions. However, these researches analyzed the correlation between the donation intention and only three external factors- charity project, charity organization, and the Internet technology features. “Since Internet 1.0, which was entirely made up of web pages connected by hyperlinks, has developed into Internet 2.0, the web characterized by change from static to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social media, my research partner and I came surmised that these multilateral interactions between users of SNS will also affect the donation intentions,” said Ahn. After analyzing the responses, Ahn discovered that the Internet technology features significantly influence general attitudes of people towards online donation, and general attitude positively contributes to people’s intention in donating via SNS. “We have found the full mediation effect of the general attitude towards online donation on the relationship between Internet technology features and intention to donate via SNS,” mentioned Ahn. The framework of the structural equation modelling above shows that Internet technology features influence people's donating intention through SNS. (Photo courtesy of Elsvier) However, the rest of the factors- charity project, charity organization, and the SNS features, were found to be ineffective, compared to the Internet technology features. Professor Ahn emphasized the importance to strengthen the Internet’s technological environment. “This consequentially means that if charity organizations long to fundraise significant amount of donations via SNS, they have to strengthen the Internet environment especially in the security field.” Although the research was based on an online survey of 258 people, Ahn says that his results cannot be generalized globally. “The research puts basis on the online survey conducted with Malaysian and South Korean respondents. This particularly limits my conclusion to the Asian areas,” highlighted Ahn. Professor Ahn produced his paper with a graduate student from Hanyang University, and he revealed the arduousness of the small research group. “Unlike a scientific research which can have a definite and distinct cause and effect results, this kind of social science research may incur ambiguity. Thus, clear and logical reasoning and firm data are considerably crucial,” asserted Ahn. The long road to publication taken by Ahn was strenuous. Due to the limited size of his research team, Ahn had to bear significant pressure and duty. Also, the time taken to finalize the paper took longer than other bigger research groups. However, it was Professor Ahn’s perseverance and passion towards academic achievements that produced promising consequences. Professor Ahn Jong-chang is expanding his research area to the West. Currently, Professor Ahn is working on submitting dissertations on the same topic but in the perspective of the West. It is his hope that the research environment of the social science field will be meliorated. “I wish all students of Hanyang University will continue working in their fields with passion. Just like Confucius said, the blissful time will come, if we make efforts not with anguish but with joy.” Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju

2017-03 21 Important News

[Academics]Genetic Architecture of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatology is a rather unexplored branch in the medical field, and its causes and cures have not yet been fully prepared. However, Professor Bae Sang-cheol of the College of Medicine at Hanyang University stands as one of the pioneers to define and research the causal factors of rheumatology and discover better remedies. In his research “Update on the genetic architecture of rheumatoid arthritis”, Bae clearly defines the factors of rheumatoid arthritis with regards to human genetics, and predicts the possibility for precision medicine. Bae is one of the pioneers in Korea to research and advance cures rheumatoid arthritis. In his paper, Bae has organized the causes and possible remedies for rheumatology researched in the last five years- collecting all data with advanced medical technology. Rheumatism hasn't been explored completely yet, so its causes are only speculated to be genetic and environmental factors. “Rheumatism is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the causes tend not to be external factors. It's assumed that 60% of the causes is the immune system attacking upon itself, acting out of misconception,” said Bae. Human genetic studies into rheumatoid arthritis have uncovered more than 100 genetic loci associated with susceptibility to the disease. This means that the majority of factors are highly shared across multiple ancestral populations. Bae and his fellow researchers organized the data on impaired immune processes and disease phenotypes for rheumatism. “The ultimate goal of this research paper was to enhance the possibility of finding the repurposed drug for each rheumatoid arthritis patient,” mentioned Bae. Since 2005, medical technology developed rapidly, especially in the genome field. For about a decade, a significant amount of the data was collected on genome structures that are likely to influence the rheumatoid diseases. “The grand development in this area is that now, technology can examine the whole genetic variants, instead of individual ones, using the whole genome analysis technique,” said Bae. Rheumatology-related genetics directly affect gene expression and protein function, and also influence cell signaling pathways. According to the cumulated data, this process causes the immune function to be disordered, and spawns diseases in patients. “Proteins that are encoded by rheumatoid risk variants have the potential to help the development of targeting drugs,” Bae explained. Two years were spent in total on the production of this paper, and each process was intricate. First, Bae was invited to co-write with rheumatology experts to analyze the causes and possibilities of advancing repositioning drugs. Then, he had to edit and peer review the analysis and consult with graphic designers to obtain desired pictures of rheumatoid figures. “All these processes took a long time, but interacting with peer reviewers was particularly helpful in advancing this article,” said Bae. Bae stresses the importance of enhancing research on drug repositioning. Drug repurposing, also called as drug repositioning, is applying and utilizing existing medicine to develop into rheumatoid remedies. This technique significantly curtails the cost and time to invent new drugs that target rheumatoid diseases, because existing drugs have already been approved for its pharmacodynamics. Also, the development of precision medicine, which therapeutically targets for personalized rheumatoid state, is being accelerated. “Rheumatoid arthritis does not signal the body in a unique way- it feels more like a cold in the beginning. But alerting oneself to get regular health checks may help to prevent the threatening disease." Bae's ultimate goal is to develop and contribute to organic and personalized rheumatoid arthritis drug invention. His efforts to contribute to the field of rheumatology are prominent, just like his favorite poem, 'The Road Not Taken', by Robert Frost. “Reminding yourself of the original attitude and always trying your best will undoubtedly lead you to success,” advised Bae. Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju

2017-02 14

[Academics]Transition of PDA Crystals

In the 21st century, nanoscience is coming into the limelight, as more sophisticated technologies are urgently in need to solve crimes or enhance the quality of life. Here is the leader of the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) of Hanyang University- Kim Jong-man, professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, who is currently leading the field of nanoscience. In the paper “Photoinduced reversible phase transition of azobenzene-containing polydiacetylene crystals,” Kim revealed how an azobenzene-containing supramolecular polydiacetylene (PDA) crystal undergoes a photo-induced reversible red-to-blue phase transition accompanied by crystal tearing. Kim reveals the reversible phase transition that azobenzene-containing PDA crystals undergo. Polydiacetylene, also called as PDA, is an organic polymer that conducts electricity, which is created by the polymerization of substituted diacetylene. PDA is a commonly used compound in the scientific field, considering its multiple applications- from development of organic films to immobilizations of other molecules. Recently, Kim and his research team have found out that when azobenzene, a synthetic crystalline organic compound, is incorporated to PDAs, it showed grand responsiveness to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. “The ultimate goal of this research was to find out what kind of changes the azobenzene-containing PDA crystal undergoes when exposed to UV rays. The result was phenomenal, as crystal tearing was detected in the vulnerable areas of its crystalline structure,” said Kim. Photo-isomerization of azobenzene is a form of light-induced molecular motion, which simply means the compound is capable of absorbing light. When azobenzene is incorporated into PDA crystals, crystal tearing occurred, along with red-to-blue color phase transition between frail crystal structures. These measured up to about 25 degrees in angle. When the UV exposure was removed, the crystalline structure returned to its original state. The video above shows the reversible phase transition of azobenzene-containing PDA crystal, and its crystalline tearing, along with red-blue transition. (Video courtesy of Kim) The graph above shows the angle of crystal tearings when the UV is turned on and off. (Photo courtesy of Kim) “This crystal-tearing phenomenon was a startling finding, because in the beginning, our team only expected color changes, not alternations in the structure. This six month-long experiment proved that light, such as UV rays, can be used as remote controls to regulate nano-compounds,” mentioned Kim. A remote control of nano-particles using lights is called an ‘actuator’, and Kim is hoping to enhance the sophistication of its design based on this experiment. PDA is an intriguing compound, due to its scientifically academic characteristic and practicality. PDAs can bear several colors, mostly red and blue, which is a rare phenomenon found in an organic compound. When certain physical or chemical pressure is applied to PDAs, they usually change their color from red to blue. When the pressure is removed, the color will change back from blue to red, which is called the reversible transition phase. Using this reversibility, Kim discovered various practical applications of PDAs, such as the ‘Forged Gasoline Identification Kit’ or the 'Pore Map', which identifies inherent pore structures. Kim explains various applications of polydiacetylenes. “It is my ultimate goal to develop sensitive sensors using PDAs that can be applied to carbon nanotubes or lung cancer detectors,” added Kim. Carbon nanotubes are allotropes of carbon that are useful in a lot of areas, such as nanotechnology, optics, electronics and material sciences. The lung cancer detector that Kim desires to formulate is designed based on the fact that human breaths consist of about 40 kinds of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Among the VOCs, there is a compound called toluene, which lung cancer patients possess three times more than normal people in their breaths. Based on this, Kim longs to create a kit that can verify whether a test taker is ill or not, just by breathing into the kit. “These practical applications do have restrictions, since the area they are used for are sensitive- economically and security-wise. As a professor, I'm more interested in enhancing the academic foundation of material science, especially PDAs, for the future of nanotechnology,” said Kim. “I want my students and trainees to become scientists, not technicians. While technicians do what they are told to do, scientists ponder upon new ideas and move forward creatively. This approach will allow the futures of our students - including science - to shine.” "Becoming a questioning scientist, instead of a passive technician, is key to the bright future of science." Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-01 02 Important News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Scientific Integration Approach to Programmable Nuclease (1)

When a baby is identified to have been born with a rare, incurable disease, it would bring about concerns and sorrow to the newborn and the parents. However, with the prospective research on CRISPR Cas-9 system, or a programmable nuclease, a host of diseases will prevented without further ado. Professor Bae Sang-su of the Department of Chemistry explains the mechanism of the CRISPR Cas-9 system through his research “Structural roles of guide RNAs in the nuclease activity of Cas-9 endonuclease”. Also, he reveals the course of his life towards scientific integration that shapes the bright future of scientific studies. Structural properties and significance of CRISPR Cas-9 The significance of this research paper is that it explains the structural mechanisms of the CRISPR Cas-9 system and how it can modify or edit DNAs in cells. CRISPR-Cas 9 stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which relies on a protein named Cas-9. As it is called by the name of 'molecule scissors', it introduces the new spectrum of genome editing technology. Even though there already have been two programmable nuclease systems which are the Zinc Finger Nuclease and the TALENs(Transcriptor Activator Like Effector Nuclease System). The former is the first generation of the genome editing system that is compiled of one zinc finger and three to four nucleases. The title originated from the chemical component zinc, because this DNA contained certain amount of zinc. Then the second generation of genome editing system developed, which was called the TALENs that contained the base named xanthomonas originating from vegetable pathogens. “These two generations were startling contributions to scientific development, but with the advent of the third generation of genome editing, the CRISPR Cas-9 system, the scientific world could not contain its surprise,” said Bae. The CRISPR Cas-9 system was simpler in application to various circumstances and in the modification of DNAs. The significance of the CRISPR Cas-9 system is that it can enhance the welfare of human life in various aspects. “This technology is currently being applied to plants and animals, and also is in process of availing itself to humans by amending laws. Application of the system to humans will take 10 years at the most, since the research is developing at a fast pace,” explained Bae. An example of genome-modified plant through the CRISPR Cas-9 system that Bae provided was a modified mushroom in the United States. Discoloration of mushrooms by time lapse was prevented due to the CRISPR Cas-9 system, and the mushroom could maintain its original color for a long time. Bae explained that “not only does the CRISPR Cas-9 system treat incurable diseases of humans, but it can also modify DNAs in plants and animals to increase marketability.” Bae is explaining the significance of the CRISPR Cas-9 system. However, the genome editing system has been controversial in the scientific academia due to its resemblance to genetically modified organisms, also called GMO. According to Bae, there is a blunt difference between the two because GMO requires DNAs extracted from other organisms to modify the sample, while the CRISPR Cas-9 system modifies DNAs in the sample itself. “Even though some experts call the CRISPR Cas-9 system a part of GMO, the American Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged the genome editing program as a discrete system,” said Bae. Another controversy that the CRISPR Cas-9 system is incurring is the occurrence risk of a tailored baby. Even though there is a low possibility in creation of so called 'monsters', the prospect of the system is inexhaustible that the scientific academia can’t forecast the future application of the CRISPR Cas-9 system. “The application of the system should be discreetly considered and contemplated, in order to prevent any accounts of abuse incurred by a little crack of regulations,” said Bae. Scientific integration approach and its synergy effects One of the reasons why Bae could successfully reveal the mechanism of this newly found technology was due to his academic background. Bae got his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in physics, while pursuing chemical studies in his post-doctoral program. Once he became a professor in the chemistry department, he encountered the Method of the Year- 2013 published by Nature Method, which was introducing the new technology, the CRISPR Cas-9 system. As Bae was carried away by the astonishment, he got involved in the genome engineering research in earnest. “Although there could be some drawbacks for me to research biological technology because I majored in physics and chemistry, I thought that I can sublimate these flaws into advantages through scientific integration,” said Bae. Because he majored in physics, he could access the research in a physician’s perspective of ‘how and why’, instead of a biologist’s perspective of ‘so.’ According to Bae, he demonstrated his full potential and capabilities in this research as both physician and chemist, because he could inquire the structural mechanisms of the system and create programs using various physical means like razors. In his teenage years, Bae was interested in studying science since he was a student of natural sciences and engineering. Moment by moment, Bae immersed himself in scientific research, and in his graduate school years, he spent great energy and time researching for scientific development. Due to his diverse academic background, Bae could successfully pursue his amalgamative research in different scientific fields. Now, another approach to scientific integration is in progress, as the CRISPR Cas-9 system is being applied to different fields. “As a scientist researching the CRISPR Cas-9 system, I have to cooperate with experts from profoundly dissimilar fields. Lack of knowledge between each others’ academic branches and hardship in communication may bring about discord. Thus, efforts to understand and study each others’ academic knowledge through cooperation is the key to successful results,” said Bae. A scientific integration approach has been the key to successful research on the CRISPR Cas-9 system. Bae's ultimate goal is to apply this original research of CRISPR Cas-9 system to different fields through joint research. To the question of how he will encourage and foster junior scholars at Hanyang University, he answered with ‘confidence.’ “I have studied and researched at various universities with different experts, and I have realized that students of Hanyang University are equally capable to these scientists. With confidence and courage to carry on their majors with tenacity, students of Hanyang University can demonstrate their capabilities to the fullest,” said Bae. Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2016-12 11 Important News

[Academics]Structural Roles of gRNAs in the CRISPR-Cas9 System

Professor Bae Sang-su of Department of Chemistry is an expert in the field of CRISPR-Cas9 system, which recognizes target DNA with the help of two gRNAs (Guide RNA): tracrRNA (trans-activating CRISPR RNA) and crRNA (CRISPR RNA). DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the carrier of genetic information which is the main constituent of chromosomes, and RNA (ribonucleic acid) is a messenger that carries instructions from DNA for controlling the synthesis of protein. CRISPR-Cas9 stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which relies on the protein named Cas9. Also known by the name of 'molecule scissors' that introduces mutations and changes into DNAs, Bae reveals the mechanism of the CRISPR-Cas9 system through his research paper, "Structural roles of guide RNAs in the nuclease activity of Cas9 endonuclease". Mechanism of the CRISPR-Cas9 system All living things are composed of cells and in them exist DNAs. Thus, if the mechanism of DNAs is feasible to be identified in every sequence, modifications or alternations in mutation become possible. Along with the development of artificial intelligence studies, research on the CRISPR-Cas9 system has recently been nominated as the momentous scientific work of the year by Nature Method, the most authoritative magazine in the chemical field. “This paper reveals the mechanism of how the CRISPR-Cas9 system can detect and modify the faulty areas of a given DNA. The process can be described as a surgical operation which should be performed precisely, since the surgeon has to accurately whittle down morbid parts of organs,” said Bae. Bae also remarked on the importance of research in the single molecule level. According to Bae, in order to utilize and apply the CRISPR-Cas9 system into remedying rare hereditary diseases or creating novel organisms, intricate research and experimentation in the rudimentary levels are crucial. “The process of experimentation took a little more than two years, until this research thesis was produced. I majored in physics, obtained a doctorate degree in chemistry, and this research I am currently working on biology. Convergence in science is needed because the biological application of the research mandates physical methodology and chemical materials,” said Bae. He also accounted for the process minutely that the physical methodology he employed was using razors to inquire into the fundamental states of the CRISPR DNA acting as molecule scissors to amputate the accurate parts of DNA. CRISPR-Cas9 cleavage activity with various mutated targets of DNA. (Photo courtesy of Nature) Legal regulation demands on research Although the research of CRISPR DNA embarked in 2013, the three-year study developed rapidly, that the legal regulations regarding the employment of CRISPR technology are not yet procured. “Now is the time to amend the laws considering the development of CRISPR research and bioethics. Regarding the current pace of research, application of the CRISPR DNA would take effect in 10 years, and if properly used, this technology is practicable to save a host of people, and also improve the quality of life,” added Bae. Referring to Bae, this field of science will change the world, in that the CRISPR molecule scissors can bring out alternations in humans, animals, plants, and even viruses. “The advent of DNA modification in all living things is becoming feasible. In the movie ‘Gattaca,’ the future world discriminates humans born naturally with recessive genes, as the ones with modified genes are considered dominant. As so, concerns regarding negative employments of CRISPR DNA are prevalent, and this adjures the judicial amendments to delicately take account for this technology,” said Bae. There are numerous advantages this technology accompanies: remedying hereditary diseases, protecting endangered animals, and plants, and more. Thus, in order to properly apply the technology to real life, the government should arrange for regulations rightfully, unlike the employment of nuclear power that entailed tragic courses. Professor Bae Sang-su emphasizes the significance of law amendments regarding the CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Promising developments Despite the short time span of research, in the course of three years, the South Korean research team is in the lead in CRISPR experiments and applications, along with the top five groups of the world, including Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley and more. “The ultimate goal of my research team is to create ingenious and distinctive technology that is distinguished from other countries’ research teams,” said Bae. According to him, the South Korean research team is ahead of others in areas of CRISPR DNA investigation and application. In 2017, rice rectified through CRISPR modification will be made public, along with CRISPR DNA-rectified pigs. This will incite further developments in remedying diseases like cancer and other incurable diseases. In order to increase the spectrum of research applications, the South Korean government and experts from the fields of law and science are gathering to amend laws. There are advancements in the judicial and scientific joint consultations that will be initiated on December 21st, 2016, by the Korean Genome Editing Society. Kim Ju-hyun kimster9421@hanyang.ac.kr Photo by Moon Ha-na