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2017-02 24

[Academics]Research Institute Expands Cooperation With Africa

Hanyang University Institute for Euro-African Studies recently signed an MOU, the first among domestic universities, with government institutions and universities in Tanzania and Morocco. Hanyang University will support the training of experts in Africa and advancement of Korean SMEs. The Institute signed an MOU with major economic ministries, including Tanzania Trade Development Agency, Tourism and Investment Office, University of Dar es Salaam, and Ardhi University, on May 13th. In particular, the Tourism Authority of Tanzania has decided to appoint Hanyang University Institute for Euro-African Studies as the Korean Goodwill Ambassador to Tanzania. Prior to this, the Institute sought to cooperate with the Ministry of Urban Policy and Development in Morocco last December and signed a MOU with Mohamed V. University of Rabat the capital of Morocco. After the agreement, the Institute joined Nanjing University, China and Meiji University, Japan to co-host the Asia-Africa Cooperation International Conference. The two-way agreement with Tanzania and Moroccan agencies and universities signifies the expansion of their foundations for training regional experts on Africa and opens the way into the African market for small-to-medium Korean enterprises as well as academic exchanges. Kim Sung-soo, a professor in the Department of Political Science and International Studies, said on December 22, "The agreement has an economic significance in addition to academic significance." He added, “The entry of Korean SMEs to Africa will also greatly help Korea's economy. " ▲Prof. Kim Sung-soo

2017-02 20 Important News

[Academics]Redefining Warfare for Cyberspace Battle

Professor Eun. (Photo courtesy of Eun) Since the early 2010s, there have been reports in the media about the rising number of cyberattacks. One of the most notable incidents is the US and Israel's joint cyber assaults at Iran's nuclear facilities using the Stuxnet worm virus. The attacks focused on destroying the operation system of the installations instead of military offense. Hearing this, Professor Eun Yong-soo (Department of Political Science & International Studies) started to question the adaptability of the traditional concept of war to modern cyberattacks. The first Asian to become the editor-in-chief of the Routledge series, "International Relations (IR) Theory and Practice in Asia", Eun specializes in IR theory. His paper, "Cyberwar: Taking Stock of Security and Warfare in the Digital Age" discusses the necessity to reformulate the concept of war in the Information Era. This paper was published in International Studies Perspectives, a SSCI indexed and internationally recognized academic journel of the International Studies Association. According to a German war theorist, Karl Clausewitz, a traditional war is caused with violent means such as destruction, by an institutionalized entity, which has a political purpose to acquire certain values like power or money. Although the concept of cyberwar can be applied to this definition, it is insufficient since there are great disparities between the virtual and the physical world. First, in the case of cyberwar, it is difficult to find who is responsible for the war. "In traditional war, we know who began the attack, and who discharged the missiles. But due to the advance of digital technology, stealthy attacks are possible by circumventing Internet Protocol (IP) addresses," explained Eun. In addition, there may be individuals who serve a government or an institutionalized organization to launch a cyberattack. Second, the damage caused by cyberwar is indirect and comprehensive, whereas harm done by traditional wars occurs directly and instantaneously. If blackout occurs in organizations such as banks and digital network, the entire city becomes disordered, negatively influencing the crime rate and crashing the stock market- and in turn, affecting the whole nation's economy to gradually collapse in the long run. Finally, cyber attacks are much easier to launch than physical assaults. Traditional warfare needs money, and much challenging, as armies need maintaining and weapons have to be launched. Moreover, such attacks are spotted on radar and satellites. By comparison, cyberattacks are carried out with ease. By simple access to the Internet, the whole information network can be destroyed. “There is a concept called 'cyberwar asymmetric paradox'. Although a nation, such as the US and South Korea, boasts high information and communication technology (ICT), its proliferation and reliance means reduced cyberwar strength, because the defense ability is decreased,” Eun specified. This means that the ubiquitous Internet may easily turn many into victims of Information War. Cyberwar asymmetric paradox increases third world countries' motivation to trigger cyberwars. Since they are less subject to shutdowns by cyberattacks due to poor infrastructure, they would remain safe from any damages caused by cyberwars compared to other developed countries. A lower mark in cyber dependence makes a country more dependent. Although the US's cyber offence is stronger than North Korea, the total cyber-strength is weaker due to high cyber dependence and low cyber defence. (Photo courtesy of Eun) “Therefore, there is a need for redefining warfare. The imbalance of power is a significant aspect when analyzing causes of war, since balance of strength may restrain the desire for war. So, when analyzing national power, it is important to consider cyber-strength as an important factor of war along with GDP and military power,” Eun concluded. According to Eun, open social consensus on the extent to calling cyberattack a war is also indispensible, because of its broad and comprehensive damage. This is also significant due to possible cases where hyper securitization can be wrongfully used as a means of acquiring political advantage, labeling every major and minor cyberattack a war. In addition, open discussion, research, and creation of a manual for cyberwar is a necessity particularly in South Korea where despite all the cyberattacks caused by North Korea and high cyber-reliance, there is a lack of academic discussion regarding the issue. Eun explains the need for open discussion and academic research on cyberwar in the modern society. Currently, Eun is planning to develop diverse research theories in the field of international politics. "The theories for academics are typically Western-oriented. They don’t depict our world and its reality," Eun argued. His project is to develop non-Western international political theories. Eun is currently writing a book about the subject, which is called "What is at Stake in Building "Non-Western" International Relations Theory?", and is leading a research project about emotions influencing international politics. "There are a lot of emotional battles going on among Korea, Japan and China. I'm interested in how the collective feelings of a group or a nation affect diplomacy," he said. Turning over conventional ideas and mainstream research methods is what interests Eun, and they usually trigger his research. "Difficulties do arise when you don't follow the mainstream. Yet, I believe that thinking differently is necessary for the development of a society. Even though diverse ideas are not easily accepted, there is a need for people to vocalize thoughts that differ from the mainstream." Eun believes that voicing diverse ideas that differ from the mainstream is important for the development of society. Jang Soo-hyun luxkari@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

2017-02 06

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Al-FCG Ready for Action

Professor Sun Yang-guk of the Department of Energy Engineering is February’s Researcher of the Month for his active role in exploring the field of energy engineering. In his paper, “Compositionally Graded Cathode Material with Long-Term Cycling Stability for Electric Vehicles Application”, Sun explains how adding aluminum into the cathode makes batteries last longer and become more stable compared to other rates of composition. The Al-FCG61 that Sun has developed has shown a high rate of energy efficiency even at 100% depth of discharge (DOD), which draws attention in the field. Sun explains his research with assisted diagrams. As the supply and demand of the electric vehicle is on the rise, most of the batteries in the market last from 150km to 400km, meaning that once the battery is fully charged, the car would move between the distance within. What accounts for the difference is the capacity as to how much cathode can hold up. In order for cars to go beyond 300km at least, the capacity of the cathode would have to be over 200A/h. The only problem to this is that it gets difficult to make it stable and it could blow up. There are various prototypes ranging from generation 1 to generation 4 and the study carried out in Sun's paper is on generation 3. Gradients of different components from inner to outer parts of nickel particle. (Photo courtesy of Sun) Capacity retention, which is the lifespan of a battery, would rise with 61% of nickel with FCG full concentration gradient, which is what Sun has developed in order to create a more stable and long-lasting battery that would hold a larger capacity. Within the mold, Sun has created a two-way particle that contains a high percentage of nickel inside with lower percentage of nickel on the outside. This concentration gradient is created due to the fact that nickel has its advantage of being able to increase the capacity of the battery while it makes the battery more unstable with exothermic reaction. Along with the nickel, Sun has increased the percentage of the manganese inside the particle since it has the advantage of making the cathode more stable. Depth of discharge (DOD) is the rate at which battery is either charged 60% or 100%, and this is tested before electric vehicles are sold for inspection. The average usage of an electric vehicle is at around 2,500 cycles for 10 years, and the Al-FCG has proven to be more energy efficient even at 100%. Most of the batteries do not last long at DOD100 due to the expansion of volume inside the battery. This means that the battery would lose its efficiency as time goes. Al-FCG has shown its Coulombic efficiency rate of 84.5% even at DOD100, while batteries currently in the market show an average of 50% at 2000 cycles. This new battery devised by Sun is not only more energy efficient, but more cost efficient as well. Sun wishes to make more efficient batteries. Sun is continuously researching to keep the DOD level at 100% even after 2000 cycles. With his findings, the electric vehicle industry would definitely benefit hugely in terms of cost and energy efficiency. With different materials, Sun wishes to develop other types of batteries that would bring more comfort to society. Kim Seung-jun nzdave94@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Youn-soo

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