Total 56Articles
News list
Content Forum List
2017-01 23 Important News

[Academics]How the Spiral of Science Affects Global Opinion (1)

Professor Sohn Dong-young of the Department of Media & Communication is an expert in the field of Computational Social Science, Social Network and Collective Action, Media Psychology, and Persuasive Communication. He also actively introduces his papers in academic journals including the Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Journal of Advertising, and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. This week, News H met with Sohn to discuss about his recent paper, “Collective Dynamics of the Spiral of Silence: the Role of Ego-Network Size”, which explains how the local spiral of silence phenomenon can influence global opinion, and how the social media affect people’s formation of opinion. Sohn is explaining about his paper. In the past when internet connection hadn't been well-established, groups of people with various opinions couldn't be conjoined. However, thanks to the Internet, people can now freely share their opinions with one another through various media platforms like social networking sites (SNS). “This paper mainly explains how more networking formed between individuals increases the possibilities of a phenomenon called ‘the spiral of silence’,” said Sohn. According to 'spiral of silence’ theory, which is used as a major explanatory mechanism in the field of public opinion, an individual is less likely to assert one’s opinion if one is aware of the fact that that opinion is non-mainstream. “To give an example, let’s assume that more people in a certain region think abortion should be deemed illegal, and such opinion is more publicly accepted and widespread. This leads another group of people, who think it should be legal, hesitate to express their thoughts out loud. It is due to the fear that one could be isolated from the rest of the society," said Sohn. What Sohn researched on is how this well-known theory can be proved to exist in a certain environment. Sohn used computer simulations to test and prove his theories. “We made a computer simulation program composed of 1000 people. We set the program on each individual to increase the credibility on others' opinions, and we found out that an individual gives more credit to opinions that are more popular and supported. "On the other hand, opinions from minorities received much less credits from an individual,” Sohn explained. The program also widened the scope of the networking environment for each individual in order to see when one would be more willing to raise their voice. “After the examination, we found that the spiral of silence phenomenon occurs differently according to the size of a network each individual is in." When an individual is within a small-sized network, having a lesser chance to acknowledge others’ opinions, that person cannot tell if his or her opinion is that of the mass or of the minority. Opinions will consequently be polarized. But as the scope of a network grows, the individual has the chance to see and hear opinions of others better, being able to self-check which side they belong to. This directly leads to the spiral of silence phenomenon. “While social science research has a rather big gap formed between theories and practical research, I believe we can develop more sophisticated theories with computer simulations. This will further shorten the distance between speculative research and practical data, allowing research like mine become more useful in our society,” posited Sohn. Sohn said it is more important for students to ask 'why' than merely struggling to obtain an answer. Yun Ji-hyun uni27@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Choi Min-ju

2017-01 16 Important News

[Academics]Regulating Carbon Dioxide Emission from Automobiles

Tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide is released into air everyday, engendering chains of environmental and health problems. Human activities are profoundly culpable for such phenomenon, citing industrial processes, combustion of fossil fuels, and operation of power plants. Among a variety of sources of CO2, automobiles are responsible for 20% of the total emission. Further narrowing down the scope and focusing on light duty vehicles, Professor Park Sung-wook of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has researched and analyzed data about CO2 emissions and predicted possible decrease in the rate. In his paper “Development strategies to satisfy corporate average CO2 emission regulations of light duty vehicles (LDVs) in Korea,” Park elaborated on strategies to abate the enormity of CO2 emissions in the long run. Blueprint of possible consequences An international protocol demands each country to cut down its pollutant emission by a certain percentage, otherwise charging it with a fine. A country then assigns its corporates with a set reduction goal, as an attempt to attain its mission more efficiently. In his paper, Park predicted and analyzed the possible decreases in the rate of CO2 emission in terms of different categories of automobiles: electronic, hybrid, and diesel vehicles. He collected data from each automobile manufacture company about the number of sales of each type and calculated an estimation of how many of each type of vehicle must be sold and what portion of production of each type must be maintained in order to reach a set curtailment target. If the majority of drivers switch their cars to electronic vehicles, the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air will shrink substantially, thereby contributing to the fulfillment of the set goal. As for current situation, however, the supply of electronic cars is scanty. Therefore, aiming to reduce CO2 emission by encouraging the use of electronic cars is virtually futile. On top of this inefficient pace of progress, production of electricity augments the rate of CO2 emission not in the domain of transportation but in industrial manufacturing. Park explains that electric cars are not the ultimate solution in the long run. Consequently, excluding electronic cars, Park was left with diesel and hybrid cars. “There is a general misunderstanding that any type of cars that is not electronic is environmentally-harmful. Of course, when the vehicle is in operation, an electric car emits zero carbon dioxide. Yet, if you take a look at its fuel, electricity, power stations altogether expel about the equal amount of pollutant,” elucidated Park. Taking into consideration that diesel fuels contain more energy per liter than petroleum and hybrid cars burn less gas to cover the same distance than petroleum-run cars, the two models look ideal when it comes to seeing a positive effect in the long run. Shift in the perspective It has always been the politician’s task to place regulations on corporates in regard to cutting down the CO2 emission. Park took this issue and viewed it from the perspective of an engineer. “Environmental problems are not as simple as those with only superficial knowledge think. If one problem is solved, it has got to make another way to reproduce itself through other forms,” stated Park. “For instance, supposing that the world has adopted a policy to supply electronic cars and has stopped using diesel or other fuel-combustion-demanding cars, the situation will beget another problem. Production of electricity to fuel all the electronic cars will require just as much CO2 emission as running fuel cars, not to mention the vast discharge from factories for producing the cars themselves,” elaborated Park. In other words, in lieu of directly belching CO2 from the automobile itself, electric cars will indirectly lead to hatch of another problematic concern, which is the release of massive CO2 from electricity factories. Through his studies, Park realized that electric cars alone cannot solve the CO2 struggle, hinting more efficient engines in the future. Park strongly thinks that engineers, who possess the fundamental and indispensable information about technology and its impact on nature, should hold more influential authority in making environmental laws. “The essential difference between engineering and science is their practicality. Products of engineering could be measured easily with technology but that of science is not. Nevertheless, engineering has not been so influential in areas other than its own. I hope to see the outcomes of engineering research `reflected more in policies,” delivered Park. Park is planning to carry his research onto larger auotomobiles for future solutions. Jeon Chae-yun chaeyun111@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Moon Ha-na

2017-01 09

[Academics]Treating Aftereffects of Brain-Related Diseases

Professor Koh Seong-ho of the Department of Neurology is a doctor and a researcher who is interested in treating the aftereffects of Alzheimer's disease and cerebral infarction. He received his doctorate degree from Hanyang University and used to work at Harvard University as a research fellow. Koh is general affairs manager of the Korean Dementia Association, and associate managing editor of the Journal of Clinical Neurology. His recent paper, “Neuroprotective Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine Against Oxygen-Glucose Deprivation-Induced Neural Stem Cell Death”, focuses on acetyl-L-carnitine’s function of protecting and enhancing the regeneration of neural stem cells. Koh explains the neuroprotective function of acetyl-L-carnitine. Acetyl-L-carnitine, or ALCAR for short, is a source of energy. It is an ingredient for mitochondria inside stem cells as well as other cells. When cerebral infarction occurs, which is when arteries in the brain get clogged, oxygen and glucose become deprived as blood circulation is blocked. In this situation, when oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) occurs, mitochondria receive damage as well. The coenzyme inside the mitochondria, which makes energy for the stem cells, is pushed out, resulting in cell death. There are three well-known types of cell death, which are necrosis, apoptosis, and autophagy. Koh’s research is focused on apoptosis where cell death occurs gradually, unlike necrosis. ALCAR can assist apoptosis in preserving and reviving the cells. Koh conducted an experiment using neural stem cells extracted from rats, and exposed the cells to an OGD environment similar to cerebral infarction. By increasing the concentration levels of ALCAR to that of stem cells that died of OGD, Koh found that they could be revived owing to ALCAR. “What we found out from our study is that ALCAR is not only a supporting material for mitochondria’s metabolism, but it also protects and regenerates stem cells,” Koh said. Neural stem cells of rats. Nestin, Ki67, and DAPI are markers that show that these are neural stem cells. (Photo coutesy of Koh) “When a cell dies, free oxygen radicals are created. Free oxygen radicals can be emerged as a response to stress caused by diseases. Too much free oxygen radicals may stop proteins from functioning, induce inflammation, cause even more cell death and increase pathogens,“ described Koh. ALCAR can help reserve some cells to proliferate when cell death occurs. This can be done by passing on energy, and reducing free oxygen radicals and oxidative stress caused by the radicals. “Through the research, we found out that in an OGD environment where the survival rate of the cell was only 40%, the cells regenerated up to 80% with ALCAR- twice as much,” Koh explained. The bar graph shows the cell survival rate and the line graph shows the cell death rate. The black bar shows an OGD state where ALCAR does not exist. From this graph, we can clearly see that ALCAR revives the dead cells. (Photo courtesy of Koh) The distinct contrast between cell population (purple dots) and the second and third petri dishes shows ALCAR'S capacity for regenerating cells. The graph below it shows the population of cells before and after ALCAR exposure. (Photos courtesy of Koh) “What we discovered is ALCAR’s function of manipulating survival-related proteins and death-related proteins, which reduces apoptosis,” Koh reiterated. Cells are immensely complicated systems, and one of those receive various signals sent by proteins with regard to their types and locations in the human body. The study concentrated on the signals that PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) send which are significant to the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of cells. ALCAR activates PI3K, thereby controlling the survival and death of related proteins. “We examined protein levels and then used a blocker that obstruct the signal path of PI3K. We could see that the effects of ALCAR was impeded as well due to the blockage, proving that ALCAR is associated with PI3K and its pathway,” Koh elaborated. "Bad results could turn out to be a trigger for another good research." According to Koh, there isn't much treatment for the aftereffects of brain-related diseases such as cerebral infarction and Alzheimer’s disease, even though a lot of patients suffer from them. However, if Koh’s research continues and neural stem cells can be conserved and recovered, those aftereffects could see improvement. Currently there are many projects in line with his study, funded by Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Koh is also participating in a joint study with Harvard University, which centers on the connection and networks between cells and neural cells in a pathologic condition, and whether that would lead to a recovery or not. “When doing research, it is nice to get the results you desire, but this isn’t easy in most cases. I try to think positively though, because I believe that even bad results could turn out to be a trigger for another good research,” remarked Koh with a smile. The ultimate goal of Koh’s study is developing treatment for patients who are already diagnosed with brain-related diseases, by studying the proliferation and regeneration of neural stem cells. Koh added that he is also interested in researching how to enhance patients' memory and their cognitive functions. “It's regrettably sad how lot of research has been done, but there is no specific treatment for neural diseases. As a doctor responsible for curing patients, I want to try my best to help them by improving their conditions through my research, also contributing to the development of science as I go,” said Koh. Koh continues to seek methods to enhance patients' conditions who are already diagnosed with cerebral infarction and Alzheimer's disease. Jang Soo-hyun luxkari@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Moon Ha-na

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 27 Important News

[Academics]Semi-Conductors for Convenience

Professor Park Jea-gun of the Department of Electronic Engineering is an expert in the field of semi-conductors, having researched it for 31 years now. His paper, “Effect of double MgO tunneling barrier on thermal stability and TMR ratio for perpendicular MTJ spin-valve with tungsten layers“, discusses the magnetic memory, which is a totally different type of memory device in the current market other than the DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) and the NAND (negative-AND) flash memory. As semi-conductors are made into smaller models, it becomes faster as the electric power it needs gets lower, and the cost to produce the model gets lower as well. In the world of IT, the reading and writing of information should get faster as time goes. But since there are limits to the current technology in reducing the size of the semi-conductors smaller than 10 nanometers, there have been attempts to make a different type of model that could replace the DRAM technology. Park explains about the magnetic memory being developed at HYU. Tohoku University (THU) in Japan came up with the idea of magnetic memory from which Hanyang University (HYU), along with Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and the Korean government invested 40 billion won to develop a semi-conductor research facility. There are only two other facilities that are able to produce such novel technology, which are in the United States and Belgium. Since the idea provided by THU was not a fully developed one, Park changed the material needed to produce it into tungsten. The result has been quite successful in that it can now be activated even at 400 degrees while what was proposed at THU could only hold up to 300 degrees. The original memory types used to have what is called a capacitor. By charging electrons in it or discharging it, the digital signal becomes 1 and 0 respectively. As for the magnetic memory, it has two magnetic layers. One has fixed electron while the other has a free one. In between the two layers, there is an insulation layer. The fixed electron always flows in the same direction while the free electron flows in the direction of the electric power. Once the two electrons are flowing in the same direction, more electric power flows and it has lower resistance, which reads data 0 state while the opposite means data 1. In other words, it can be said that the way to produce D0 and D1 is different from the original type in charging the electrons and discharging them, or by letting the electrons flow in either the same or opposite direction. The sizes of DRAM and NAND would be difficult to get smaller than 10 nm. (Photo courtesy of Park) Evidently, there are advantages to the magnetic memory in that the changes in the direction of flow of electrons are very fast. Charging and discharging capacitors take much longer and consumes more electric power as well. In addition, the capacitor needs a certain surface area, while this new form of memory gets faster as the size gets smaller. It can be said that this nano structure element is an absolute must when it comes to scaling down the size of memory storage. It is believed that this technology would be necessary in developing the internet of things, or IOT technology, once it has been stabilized. Magnetic memory has now been successfully installed onto a System on Chip (SoC). This technology is crucial for IOT technology, and it is predicted that the memory technology at this stage will not be in use by 2022 to 2025. Park wishes that his technology would make people's lives more easier. Park believes that by developing the original technology and being credited for the paper would eventually be a huge contribution to the Korean society where the semi-conductor industry accounts for about 5% of Korean GDP. Through his technology, Park aims to make people feel the comfort of advanced technology when it comes to our daily lives and the information-oriented era. Kim Seung-jun nzdave94@hanyang.ac.kr Photo by Kim Youn-soo

2016-12 18 Important News

[Academics]Improving the Bioavailability of Fruit Wastes

Professor Jeon Byong-hun of the Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering has been studying and experimenting with the objective of increasing the bioavailability of food wastes through the process of biomass pretreatment, which is a part of the process of biofuel production. Specifically centralizing on the energy recovery of fruit peels and wastes, Jeon has successfully managed to increase the rate in which he derived the energy recovery from micro-algae to 46%. Considering that the record of deriving energy recovery from any types of biomass was 41%, he regards this result as a significant progress in increasing the bioavailability of biomass. Biomass and pretreatment Humans can take in food freely and absorb the nutrients through digestion, but microorganisms have a different means of doing so. Microorganisms must utilize organic matters and generate energy from them, which corresponds to the process of producing biofuel. In an aqueous solution, microorganisms make contact with organic matters and drag them inwards, meaning that the finer and more dispersed the organic matters are, the easier and more efficient a microorganism can derive energy from them. This gives rise to the concept of bioavailability, which plays an influential role in determining how much biofuel can be converted from organic matter to energy recovery. In other words, the form in which the organic matter is structured determines the bioavailability. In this context, the pretreatment of biomass can be a decisive step. Jeon explains that pretreatment of biomass plays a significant role. The form previously mentioned does not only come in the size of the organic matter but also in the type of the biomass. The three big categories of usable biomass are carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. “Consider this example. When trying to formulate alcohol, which comes from carbohydrates, it would be optimal if the carbohydrate is uncombined with any other biomasses. If it is, then the microorganism will have less convenience in deriving energy from it- thus, decreasing bioavailability. It is only when the biomass is in the desired form that the microorganism will convert the most energy from the organic matter,” explained Jeon. Jeon and his laboratory researchers have been ultimately seeking to turn a variety of different biomass into various forms of bioenergy. “Making use of biomass such as fruit wastes, micro-algae, and food rubbish to extract the maximum amount of bioenergy in forms of bio-gas, bio-alcohol, and biodiesel has been our goal,” remarked Jeon. In a broader sense, his research includes turning the three big categories of biomass—carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins—into the most productive and accessible bioenergy. Jeon hopes to increase the bioavailability of biomass and convert them into sustainable, eco-friendly energy. Bioenergy and its advantages Jeon also shed light on the flexible versatility of bioenergy, putting emphasis on its convenience and portability. Unlike other forms of energy such as solar power, wind power or electricity, bioenergy is portable and storable. In the case of solar or wind power, the energy must be converted into forms of electricity and be put in a battery for storage and transportation. Electricity always necessitates cables, wires, and power transmission systems, whereas bioenergy is free from all these requirements. On the same note, petroleum, gas, and diesel could also be the most convenient forms of energy—satisfying both portability and storability—which is why it is being used worldwide. Nonetheless, the reason Jeon still argues for bioenergy is because of its eco-friendly aspect. “Research and development of bioenergy is an indispensable task for humans. Our perpetual goal is to devise the method of producing bioenergy with stability, drawing the most from the limited, given biomass. We must find a way to obtain bioenergy with sustainability, converting carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins into sustainable biofuels,” concluded Jeon. Microalgae being converted into biofuel in storable form. Jeon Chae-yun chaeyun111@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Moon Ha-na

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

2016-12 05

[Academics]Earthquake Spectra and Sound Structures

Professor Han Sang-whan of Department of Architectural Engineering is an expert in the field of earthquake and structural engineering. “More recently from the earthquake that hit Gyeongju on September 12th this year, there is an increasing awareness regarding the safety of buildings,” said Han. Thus, he has been researching on improving the standards of buildings before and after it is constructed. His recent papers, “Effect of connection rotation capacities on seismic performance of IMF systems” and “Building Height Limits for Steel Intermediate Moment Frames” specifically shed light on enduring an earthquake's seismic power. Accurate prediction of seismic loading and production There are three different steps to the research when it comes to evaluating a building’s performance regarding its safety. “First, it is essential to predict and calculate accurate magnitude of an earthquake force when one is trying to build a building at a specific place,” said Han. The research used the program that predicts possible earthquake activities and its effect on other different regions within Korea. It is able to do so as the program considers all the past earthquakes which occurred in Korea, all differing in location and magnitude. With this program model that shows the scale of magnitude that affects farther locations, it is able to anticipate other possible earthquakes and their effects. An example of a simulated ground motion due to the Gyeongju earthquake. (Photo courtesy of Han) Developing an analysis model to evaluate the safety of a building The next step is also critical, which is to establish a precise analysis model to evaluate a seismic performance of a building. It is important to know whether a structure is capable of enduring the effect of earthquake. “It can be done by an experiment in a lab, but it is hard to do so with large buildings due to its size and financial issues. As an alternative, an analysis model can be used as an alternative to evaluate instead through a computer program,” said Han. It is crucial for the analysis model to be on the point to exactly evaluate other buildings’ performances. “One of the top priorities of a building when an earthquake hits, is to prevent loss of human lives. Thus, the analysis accurately predict responses of buildings structure subjected to not only small earthquake ground motion but also large earthquake ground motion causing the buildings to collapse,” said Han. Such analysis model is based on the conventional mechanics theory. But the theory itself cannot solely explain the rotation capacities of various factors inside a building due to the complexity of the components and their connections of building. It is therefore necessary to conduct experimental tests for the component of building structures to develop and improve analysis models for every parts of the building. Experiments of different parts of components are also combined to make analysis models more accurate. (Photo courtesy of Han) Last but not least, by using the developed analysis model and seismic force, it is able to evaluate the safety of a building towards an earthquake. The method of evaluating the seismic performance of a building has been developed, which can accurately assess the safety of the building both before and after it is constructed. Within the flow of Han’s research, the paper specifically contains an experiment on this level, which is evaluating the seismic performance of IMF (Intermediate Moment Frames) with connections having a rotation capacity of 0.02 radian. To put it easily, as mentioned above, it refers to the moment connections of a building and 0.02 radian is a designated minimum rotation capacity of moment connections that was defined by US seismic design standard AISC 341-10(a model standard of Korean seismic design). Through the research and experiments went on, it was observed that the rotation capacity of 0.02 radian could not successfully guarantee the satisfactory seismic performance of IMFs. Thus, the paper suggested the number of rotation capacity to improve the safety standard. The following research that Han and his co-researchers are committed to is quite promising, as it is currently being introduced to the architectural standards of the US. “We hope our research could later motivate domestic buildings to meet safer standards,” concluded Han. "I hope my research could contribute to the making of a safer world against earthquakes." Yun Ji-hyun uni27@hanyang.ac.kr Photo by Choi Min-ju

2016-11 28 Important News

[Academics]Unified Model of a Minute World

Professor Cho Jun-hyeong of Department of Physics is interested in the study of low-dimension nanomaterial of one and two dimensional nanostructures formed on the surface of solid matters. Working as an editorial staff of Scientific Reports, a sister magazine of Nature, Cho is the member of the Korean Physical Society, American Physical Society, and the Korean Vaccum Society. Cho's paper, completed with a second editor, Lee Se-ho (Physics, Doctoral program), 'Dimensionality and Valency Dependent Quantum Growth of Metallic Nanostructures: A Unified Perspective', suggests a unitary, simple model that explains the preferred length and thickness of nanowires and nanofilms made by various kinds of metals, by using diameter of the nanostructure and the phenomenon called Friedel Oscillations. Cho embodies himself in the field of nanostructures. (Photo courtesy of Cho) The atoms of a solid mass are arranged in a periodical manner. However, there is a phenomenon which breaks this periodicity, called crystallographic defect. For example, if an atom is not present where it should be situated, it is called point defect. In addition, planar defect occurs when many atoms do not exist in a surface form. Nanowires that are covered in Cho’s paper have point defect from a certain place of their infinite length. On the other hand, nanofilms have planar defect from some amount of their infinite width. When defects of a solid mass occur, the electrons of solid matter and the defects interact together, forming a density wave named Friedel Oscillations. Friedel Oscillations are a similar to water waves made when a rock is thrown on the surface of a calm lake. In the study, Cho discovered that nanowires are energetically stable at the length that matches the wavelength of Friedel Oscillations. The period of Friedel Oscillations is determined by the composition and diameter of the nanostructure. Cho found that the preferred length of the nanowire and thickness of nanofilm, called magic length and magic thickness, differentiates depending on the diameter of the nanowire and its metal component. Cho found out that as the diameter of nanowire extended, the period where magic length occurs differs in length in accordance with the type of metal. The period of alkali metals and group IB metals (copper, silver, gold) increased as the diameter of nanowire elongated. In the case of transition metals and groups IIIA to VA metals, the period decreased. The structure of nanomaterials (left) and the magic length of nanowires composed of diverse metals (right). (Photo courtesy of Cho) Cho confirmed the structural stability of nanowires by changing their diameters. When the diameter of a nanowire is more than 10Å [Å: angstrom, unit of length equal to 6990100000000000000♠10−10 m], it can be called a nanoisland. If the diameter of the nanowire becomes infinitely large, it will become a nanofilm. “In this study, we found that when the diameter of the nanowire is increased, the vibration period becomes the same as that of the nanofilm, also being saturated,” Cho said. This means that when the diameter of the nanowire becomes larger, the magic length equals the magic thickness of the nanofilm. The reason for this saturation of the oscillation period is because the Friedel Oscillations are the same in the case of the above two systems. There was a need for a comprehensive theory that encompasses studies on nanowires and nanofilms that have been ensuing for the past 30 years, because there was a lack of unified understanding about different magic lengths, and the thickness of nanowires and nanofilms from diverse substances. “I believe that finding new puzzle pieces has a lot of meaning but putting those piled pieces together into a big picture is also very significant,” Cho emphasized. “This research may spur motivation for other research on new nanostructures, since it explained a preferred length and thickness in a uniform approach when low-dimensional nanostructures are formed,” he added. Currently, Cho is handling a joint study with University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and Zhengzhou University's research teams, as well as continuing theoretical research on different nanostructures. The research plan of Cho’s laboratory is to proceed with a study which combines surface, nano, and topology fields. Not only has Cho achieved great accomplishments in the field of nanostructures, but he is concerned about his students who would lead the scientific domain in the future. “I am trying to offer students a lot of experiences, such as encouraging them to attend academic conferences. I also try to converse with them, because science can advance in that way- through involvement and communication,” he said. Cho thinks what professors, schools, and the government should aim to create suitable atmospheric and foundational provisions for science students for them to focus on their work. Jang Soo-hyun luxkari@hanyang.ac.kr

2016-11 20 Important News

[Academics]Institutionalization of the green certification scheme

Professor Kim Hong-bae of the Department of Urban Planning & Engineering is an expert in the field of urban planning. His paper, “A cost-benefit analysis for the institutionalization of the green certification scheme”, discusses about what would be beneficial when it comes to achieving the green certification. Green certification is the standardized certificate used to prove the suitability of Green technology and products. As for other developed countries, there has been green certifications since the 1990s following the concerns of environmental pollution. For instance, Great Britain has the BREEAM, Japan has CASBEE and United States has the LEED. These institutionalized green certificates are competing to become the world standard. Although Korea now has GBCC, it is not institutionally stabilized compared to other countries yet. Other countries provide the green certification in terms of community, rather than single building itself while Korea is on its way to broadening its spectrum towards giving communities the green certification. ▲ Kim explains about the green certification What is so special about Kim’s paper was that it has provided a deep insight into whether green certification was something that really provides people with benefits in life or not. Through the cost benefit analysis, he has provided the guidelines to how the system would be generally constructed. By providing low carbonizing 45 sectors ranging from industry to policies, Kim has divided the qualification standard and it has its meanings in that social costs and benefits are derived. Most of the standards are very straightforward. However, there are some of the ambiguous points to be digitized into measurements which include pride or self-esteem. Most of the measurements are easier to make for instance, the market value of the house that individuals live in. However, it is hard to show the pride in terms of numerical values to be seen. This is where the contingent valuation method (CVM) comes into action. This explains the “willingness to pay” and digitizes the inherent value inside individuals. ▲ Kim expresses that energy should be saved Some of the studies that Kim is engaged in currently is related to energy harvesting. By recycling the energy wasted into creating a new source of energy, it has its huge meanings. Also, Kim has pointed out a special point in that electric cars do not actually lower the carbon dioxide level nationally. “Although in regions where electric cars operate will show lower signs of carbon dioxide level, the regions where electricity is produced will show greater levels of carbon dioxide which means that nationally, it breaks even,” said Kim. The goal of Kim’s studies leads to one simple logic. In order to achieve low carbon, low energy comes first. The responsibility to saving energy would lead to a lower level of carbon dioxide, which is believed to be one of the worst factors that affect global warming. People need to actively engage in actions such as car sharing or even the smallest actions such as saving water, electricity and the environment as a whole. Kim Seung-jun nzdave94@hanyang.ac.kr