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2019-02 25

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Using Proteogenomic Research to Look into Early Onset Gastric Cancer

Through the proteogenomic research of 80 early onset gastric cancer patients, Professor Paek Eun-ok (Department of Computer Science) and her team have provided a better understanding of cancer biology and patient stratification in diffuse type gastric cancers (GCs). The Research team which professor Paek was mostly responsible for in the interpretation of the collected data using software was recognized by publishing ‘Proteogenomic Characterization of Human Early-Onset Gastric Cancer’ in one of the most significant academic journals in the field of cancer named, Cancer Cell. 15 percent of our country’s gastric cancer patients are young, being 45 years old or younger. This is called Early Onset Gastric Cancer (EOGC). However, many of these types of cancers are diffuse types meaning that they are easy to spread and have shaky prognoses, often resulting in death. The research team collected paired tumors and adjacent normal tissues from 80 Early Onset Gastric Cancer patients under 45. They predicted that the research result, through genes and proteins, would be complementary, which is why they decided to go on with the proteogenomics research, combining both genomic and proteomic analysis. A photo indicating the subtypes of Early Onset Gastric Cancer (EOGC) sorted through proteogenomic analysis (Photo courtesy of Paek) Through integrated analysis of mRNA and proteins, it has shown that the 80 gastric cancer patients can be sorted into four different subtypes, and that each subtype is engaged in different cell signaling pathways. It is becoming more and more possible to precisely sort out the cause of disease in early onset gastric cancer patients through proteogenomics research. Amongst 7,000 somatic variations, they found rogue genes (CDH1, ARID1A, RHOA) which were related to the occurrence of early onset gastric cancer, and they discovered the high interrelationship in their variations and the state of Phosphorylation, proving that these genes are engaged in very important cell signaling pathways related to occurrences of EOGCs. While the research was highly successful in that it brought out the importance of personalized therapy in the future by categorizing patients into four different subtypes and allowing the team to look at a patient with more refinement, there were some difficulties that the team had faced during research. They had to take cancer tissues directly from patients which needs to be frozen within minutes out in the air before any proteomic changes happen. Also, professor Paek construed proteogenomics through an algorithm that she created, but she emphasized the need for advancement in technologies to better interpret proteome data, comparing the lack of available software to research around the genome. Professor Paek Eun-ok (Department of Computer Science) joined NewsH for an interview on February 22, 2018. When asked what professor Paek considers the most important trait in a researcher, she recalled objectivity. “Researchers must always try to be as objective as possible because it is easy to look only at what you want to see,” she advised to her students. She is currently working closely with researchers participating in the CPTAC (Clinical Proteome Tumor Analysis Consortium) program at NIH (National Institute of Health), USA. They are also actively sharing research methods and data with one another to find yet another discovery that could increase understanding of the once unknown diseases in our society. Kim Hyun-soo Photo by Park Geun-hyung

2019-02 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] How to Effectively Create Eco-friendly Energy Using FOG

When we flush the toilet, the waste goes to the sewage treatment plant where the solid waste called sludge is separated from liquid waste. It seems as if this sludge will have no further use, but that turned out to be false. In fact, sludge is a massively important energy source for humans. In ‘Recent trends in anaerobic co-digestion: Fat, oil, and grease (FOG) for enhanced biomethanation,’ Professor Jeon Byong-hun (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering) explains the new trend in anaerobic digestion called, ‘anaerobic co-digestion,’ which is recently receiving a lot of attention. Anaerobic co-digestion yields energy through combusting not only the sewage sludge but also the lipidic waste such as fat, oil, and grease. FOG contains dense carbon and, thus, can largely increase the amount of methane when co-digested, which in turn can increase the amount of energy. Professor Jeon Byong-hun (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering) explains the anaerobic co-digestion, which creates methane from sludge and FOG, which can be combusted to create eco-friendly energy. When sludge gets processed in the sewage treatment plant, this biomass is broken down by micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen. This results in several end products, and one of them is methane. Methane could in turn be combusted to generate energy – a renewable, eco-friendly energy. This process is called anaerobic digestion. The anaerobic digestion is a necessary process used world-wide in order to reduce the amount of sewage sludge as well as to create eco-friendly energy. However, anaerobic digestion with only the sewage sludge as its source yielded an insignificant amount of energy, and there needed to be a way to increase the yielded energy. The diagram explains the ordinary sewage treatment in Phase 1 and the process of anaerobic co-digestion in Phase 3. (Photo courtesy of Jeon) Nonetheless, there have been several drawbacks in this particular process, which Jeon acknowledges and has suggested a new direction for the research. The problem is that long chain fatty acids (LCFA) contained in FOG inhibits the process, creating problems such as sludge floatation, washout, and scum formation. In the paper, Jeon discussed numerous pretreatment approaches and the latest techniques to solve these problems. Finally, based on the laboratory, pilot, and full-scale investigations, he concluded that the co-digestion of sludge and FOG greatly increased biomethane production, and presented several factors (such as concentration of FOG loading, mixing intensity, reactor configuration, and operation conditions) as the influential factor in improving the biomethane production. Jeon highlights the necessity of this particular form of bioenergy. “Most forms of energy can only be electrical energy. Solar, wind, and even atomic energy are all electrical energy only. Electrical energy is important, but it cannot replace everything, especially fossil fuel. Fossil fuel can be converted into electrical energy, but unlike other electrical energy sources, it can also become liquid, as well as gas and a solid energy carrier, and do many things, such as being put into transportation vehicles. The bioenergy coming from sludge and FOG can replace this portable energy source. Basically, this energy can do what any other eco-friendly energy cannot do,” Jeon emphasized. (Front row, middle) Jeon and his students pose for a photo in the laboratory. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2019-01 30

[Academics][Excellent R&D] ACEnano Toolbox for H2020

Whilst the rapid development of technology has made our lives immensely easier, it has also brought unavoidable consequences that have affected our society. It is a double-edged sword with ongoing debates among scholars, civilians, and politicians regarding the extent to which it should be regulated to safeguard our society, resulting in such different standards and regulations imposed onto products. Yoon Tae-hyun (Department of Chemistry), is in the process of developing a toolbox that would allow companies to avoid clashes with these different regulations imposed in each country. H2020 stands for horizon 2020, which marks the project's initial deadline in the year 2020 massively funded by the European Union. (Photo courtesy of NewsH) Yoon’s work in the field of analytical chemistry involves analyzing the influence of each nanoparticle that is also vastly used in our daily products such as makeup and humidifier sterilizers, depending on their size, shape, component, physical or chemical response, and biological influence. His focus is on developing the ACEnano toolbox (Analytical and Characterization Excellence in nanomaterial toolbox), which is an international cooperative research between Korea and the European Union (EU) with the goal of H2020 (Horizon 2020). With the goal of creating a nanomaterial risk assessment tool, he wishes to help companies overcome the different regulatory barriers in each country when exporting their products. “Each country has its own legal and regulatory systems that companies must pass before putting their products out in the market. Most companies do have the capacity to develop high quality and effective products to bring maximum profit, but they don’t have enough capacity nor specialized knowledge in the safety area that ultimately prevents them from entering the market,” said Yoon. ACEnano toolbox development steps (Photo courtesy of Yoon) The project is carried out with ACEnano international consortium, with main members from the EU such as Austria, Germany, and Sweden, as well as partner countries such as Korea, China, and Mexico. The research also involves global equipment and manufacturing companies to add practicality. The developed toolbox will help companies using nanotechnology to minimize any potential harm coming from the nanoparticles on the human body or the environment, hence giving it the name, "safety by design." “The fact that companies will also be able to develop environmentally and physically safe, high quality and effective products and thus have no problems with tough regulations in different countries will allow countries to avoid clashes and lead to continuous exchange,” stated Yoon. According to Yoon, the EU has already started registering all nanomaterials since 2018, and Korea plans to follow its steps in 2023. This creates an opportunity for partial commercialization of the toolbox in just two to three years. He believes that in order to protect the environment from nano-chemical materials and our health from unregulated nano-chemical products, it is definitely crucial for there to be regulations. However, there should also be a global standard that rules out unnecessary and tough regulations that are not based on scientific evidence to also allow companies to be more interactive with their products and their development. “Recently, there have been frequent chemical material accidents that have instigated debate on whether to have tougher regulations or not. However, I don’t think this is a simple black-and-white matter to decide. New technology is always a double-edged sword, and we should look for ways to minimize the negatives and maximize the positives,” said Yoon. Park Joo-hyun

2019-01 14

[Academics][Excellent R&D] GET-Future Lab

Amidst the rising awareness and concerns over climate change, two major events such as the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 and Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal have really started to place countries worldwide under the pressure of stricter environmental regulations. With many countries accelerating their research to overcome the future environmental challenges whilst embracing the oncoming wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Professor Sun Yang-kook (Department of Energy Engineering) has taken up this major mission as a leading research lab in Korea. Sun Yang-kook (Department of Energy Engineering) is explaining how crucial the development of ion battery technology is for Korea. According to the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA), one of the major emitters of greenhouse gas, a vital contributor to climate change, is carbon dioxide (CO2). The primary source of CO2 includes cars and factories where there is a high usage of fossil fuel and industrial processes. That is why countries, especially those who are member-states of the UN and have agreed to the Paris Agreement, are striving to keep low emission levels to mitigate the worsening conditions. The fact that fossil fuel is an exhaustible source only adds to the incentive to develop the appropriate technology that could even further improve living conditions. One of the major examples of ongoing research for this are the battery-run cars. The current commercial batteries on the market are lithium-ion batteries. However, because it is comparatively less abundant, less capacity-efficient, and higher in cost, research for replacements have already long been in place. Now, there are the likes of Li-S batteries, Li-Air batteries, and Na-ion batteries, but they are still in the process of research and are not enough to fully supplement nor replace the lithium-ion batteries. “Especially because Korea does not have abundant natural resources, it is crucial for us to develop our own technology ahead of other countries,” said Sun. The expected battery-run car sales rate per year (Photo courtesy of Sun) The development of the next generation of ion battery technology is vital as it can decide your place in the future market. Developing and securing this environmentally friendly technology is the future, and that is why time is crucial. “In 2017, sales for battery-run and hybrid cars was highest in Japan (1.1 million), and then in China (800,000), Europe and America in that order. For China, its battery-run car sales increased by 38 percent within just a year and is expected to increase up to 1.5 million by 2020. Overall, the market for battery-run cars and the natural demand for car batteries is expected to increase from $15.7 billion (2016) to $67.6 billion (2020, 331 percent increase from 2016),” said Sun. Sun and his GET-Future Lab lab students That is why Sun has taken full responsibility to lead the GET-Future Lab. The GET-Future Lab receives full support from the school and is the only lab where active research on next generation batteries and interactive knowledge sharing with both companies, such as LG Chemical and POSCO, takes place. “This lab was mainly created and run for three things: secure vital battery technology to take the lead in the market, increase the high-skilled workforce in the battery field in Korea, and enhance research exchange with foreign countries. Getting here was a competitive process as well. Luckily, my work and passion were recognized, and I am proud to lead this lab and contribute to our country’s future,” said Sun. Park Joo-hyun Photos by Kang Cho-hyun

2018-12 31

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Nonfoamy Macrophages, More Effective in Restraining Arteriosclerosis

Department of Life Science Professor Choi Jae-hoon's thesis: "Transcriptome analysis reveals nonfoamy rather than foamy plaque macrophages are proinflammatory in atherosclerotic murine models" was officially published offline on October 26th of this year through the Circulation Research Journal. The objective of the study was to examine the state of foamy and nonfoamy macrophages to determine which are more likely to drive lesional inflammation. “The single-cell RNA sequencing” technique was selected as the breakthrough of the year by the 2018 science journal. That is, now it was possible to study how and when each cell creates a leg, a foot, or a tail through the single-cell RNA sequencing. Recently, technology has developed to the extent that using this technique has made it possible to catch the change of a gene in a single cell, instead of many cells. According to Professor Choi Jae-hoon (Department of Life Science), newly announcing the traits of macrophages during the process of discovering arteriosclerosis is one step forward for the science community. Inflammation is the reaction of our body in the case of injury or infection. Activating an immunocyte is a process of curing inflammation. Similarly, if lipids (simply known as fat) accumulate in blood vessels and bring infections to the body, the immunocytes that follow the inflammation are a compound of cells including macrophages and a lymphocytes. Among those, macrophages are one of the most important cells, which acts as a cleaner, eating up dead or damaged organic body. These macrophages detect and eliminate lipids effectively at first, but when lipids pile up, it becomes difficult to remove, and the infection tends to grow. The initial state of macrophages before they eat up lipids is called nonfoamy macrophages. Macrophages grows bigger as they consume lipids, and this state is known as foamy macrophages. Initially attacked macrophages actively trigger inflammation, whereas macrophages that consumed many lipids do not contain much genes related to infection and instead work hard to eliminate lipids. In the past, analysis was done on the whole rather than respecting the individual traits of single cells. Through single-cell RNA sequencing, they first discovered that macrophages that came into the blood vessel before the uptake of lipid facilitated inflammatory responses. On the other hand, the macrophages that had become bigger by consuming lipids lacked the ability to be inflamed, effectively eliminating lipids. Nonfoamy macrophages must be restrained. “The fire broke out in the nonfoamy state, so the fire must be put out in such a state,” stated professor Choi. The foamy macrophages take care of infections in the beginning, but when they cannot handle them, they die and the cells burst, creating inflammation all over again. Suppressing nonfoamy macrophages is a much more effective way to restrain arteriosclerosis since nonfoamy macrophages promote inflammation. Professor Choi is posing with his graduate students in the lab at the College of Natural Sciences. The beginning of professor Choi’s research was when one of his graduate students performed an experiment of extracting only the foamy macrophages in order to grasp the traits of them. That was in the year 2012, a year after he first came to Hanyang University. Professor Choi also studied at Washington State University for a year with his studies concluding in January of this year. The single-cell RNA sequencing, an integral part of research needed for his thesis, was conducted in Washington as the same technique was not available at Hanyang University. Professor Choi expressed his hopes to perform similar research in Korea in the future, when Hanyang University is equipped with the available sources. He enthusiastically went on to say that he wanted to further study bioinformatics, which is a technique used to analyze the big data that single-cell RNA sequencing produces. Professor Choi emphasized the need to accurately analyze what is going on in a living body, and advised students to do research that can help many people. “Just like the study of life science, look further into the future rather than seeing short term results and gains.” Kim Hyun-soo Photos by Lee Jin-myung

2018-12 10

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Key to Possibly a New Generation of Batteries

Phones, laptops, cars, and many other daily necessities that we use are run by batteries. Batteries are something we need and can be obtained easily in any stores, but how much do we actually know about the basic principles of batteries, and what goes on behind the doors of the labs that research and experiment these must-haves? After numerous trial and error, Professor Sun Yang-kook (Department of Energy Engineering) and Dr. Hwang Jang-yeon's (Department of Energy Engineering) paper on the “Development of P3-K0.69CrO2 as an Ultra-High-Performance Cathode Material for K-ion Batteries” marks a huge milestone in the research field of batteries. The principle of batteries (Photo courtesy of A battery has three parts with different charges called a cathode (positive terminal) and an anode (negative terminal) on each side of the battery and an electrolyte in the middle. When either end of the battery is hooked up to an electrical circuit and the battery is turned on, the chemical reactions in the battery cause a build-up of electrons at the anode, after which, some of them flow through the electrical circuit into the cathode. Meanwhile, the ions in the anode travel across the electrolyte into the cathode. This process can be reversed, and this is how you charge and recharge your battery. The process of charging something with your battery and then recharging your battery is called a cycle. When cycles repeat, the electrochemical processes change the chemicals in both the cathode and the anode, eventually burning them out. This is why a battery has a limited lifespan. The current commercial rechargeable batteries that one can commonly see in any phones or cars are lithium-ion batteries. According to Sun, there has been a boom in sodium-ion and potassium-ion batteries as a possible substitute for lithium-ion batteries since 2010. “It’s because sodium (Na) and potassium (K) are more abundant, and, therefore, low in cost. The better accessibility and availability make them a better candidate in case lithium-ion batteries need to be replaced in the future,” said Sun. Although the mechanisms of sodium-ion and potassium-ion batteries are similar to that of lithium-ion batteries, there have been major difficulties hindering the commercialization of these batteries. Lithium (Li), sodium (Na) and Potassium (K) are in Group 1 of the periodic table. (Photo courtesy of BBC) Some of the difficulties come from sodium and potassium being highly reactive to oxygen and water. Based on the periodic table, reactivity increases as you go down the group as the size of the ions increase. That is why sodium (Na) is more reactive than lithium (Li), and potassium (K) is more reactive than sodium (Na). Principally, because there was a lack of appropriate equipment that could foster the experiments of such highly reactive materials, it was only last year that research on potassium-ion batteries was revisited. “The size of potassium-ions are very big, so it’s hard for them to slip into the cathode part of the battery that is optimized for lithium-ions as much as they can. This means that this battery will not be efficient enough and die out quicker than lithium-ion-charged batteries,” said Sun. This was the beginning of his research on potassium-ion batteries. According to computer simulations, it seemed theoretically possible to overcome such problems. However, Sun was the first to successfully realize this theory by finding the right balance of electrodes with potassium, chromium (a transition metal that makes the transition of the ions and electrons possible in a battery, also used in lithium-ion batteries), and oxygen. “In the case of lithium-ion batteries, about 100 cycles of charging and recharging was possible, whereas sodium and potassium-ion batteries could produce around 30 cycles. In order to carry out research on potassium-ion batteries, it was important not to have it exposed as it would easily react with air and water, contaminating the experiment. This is why we created a “cell” that created an optimal, no air and no water environment,” said Sun. Sun explaining the findings of the P3-K0.69CrO2 (Photo courtesy of Sun) After numerous trial and error, Sun was able to find the right balance between the amount of potassium (K) and chromium (Cr) needed to become a stable battery. P3-K0.69CrO2 shows that for a potassium-ion battery to be stable and work as a battery, there needs to be a ratio of 0.69 potassium, 1 chromium, and 2 oxygen. In the case of lithium-ion batteries, there needs to be a ratio of 1 lithium and 1 chromium to work as a full battery. “Then we put sodium in the cathode and potassium in the anode. Because sodium is smaller in size than potassium, more of the sodium can be stored into the potassium anode when charging, while the bigger potassium would help keep the battery charged. After 300 cycles of experimenting, we found the optimal balance,” said Sun. With this right balance, Sun was able to create a potassium-ion battery that is usable for 1000 cycles. Sun wishes to continue his study on potassium-ion batteries until he develops an electrode solely for potassium-ions. “Although I was able to get the number of cycles up, it is still less efficient than lithium-ion batteries. I hope that in the future potassium-ion batteries can also become commercialized, as it is a much more affordable and abundant option than lithium.” Park Joo-hyun

2018-12 05

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Promoting the Global Competence of Domestic Businesses

The Korea Institute of Sustainable Economy (KISE) is one of the 18 surviving teams of the Social Science Korea (SSK) business, supervised by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). Being evaluated on mainly three stages, KISE has managed to surpass the former two evaluation processes by currently focusing its research upon enhancing the global competence of domestic businesses, especially from the viewpoint of distribution systems. The Social Science Korea (SSK) business refers to a research program funded by the NRF, which was first started in 2010 with the purpose of promoting research institutions that conduct research activities in the field of humanities and social science on an international basis. Whereas most research programs of the social science field are funded on a two to three year period, the SSK is a more long-term one which was targeted with ten years of research, developing into three stages: small, medium, and large-sized projects. Only the teams that pass the evaluations of the NRF upon their progress on the former stages are able to move on to the projects of the later phases. With an initial 90 teams being selected out of the 500 that applied for the small-sized studies, only 45 were able to move on to the medium-sized projects. Once again, the number was halved to 20 when advancing on to the final stage, with the current surviving teams counting up to only 18. KISE In this sense, KISE has made great progress on not only the former two phases of research, but also its current large-sized project. Professor Kim Bo-young (School of Business), the director of KISE, explained the progress that KISE has gone through the past eight years of research since 2010. Professor Kim Bo-young (School of Business), the director of the Korea Institute of Sustainable Economy (KISE), is explaining the research progress that KISE has gone through since 2010. Small-sized project When first starting the SSK project, KISE first focused upon an agenda that had both a social impact and practical implications. With a large emphasis being put on the Free Trade Agreements (FTA), especially upon the food industry at the time, KISE targeted their research towards the sustainable growth of ‘Food Security,’ ‘Food Safety,’ and ‘Global Branding Strategies.’ While giving a main focus upon China, as a major trade partner, KISE studied and compared the food safety management system of the two countries. Also giving light to the distributional process of the food industry, KISE conducted research on the strategies of marketing and positioning that the domestic businesses should implement when exporting food. KISE studied the actual products of Korea and China, and the strategies that would help them gain competence in the global market and maintain a global brand image. With the studies mainly focused upon China, during this stage, Kim and her team formed a global network with Chinese research institutions, while holding various symposiums on the subject. Medium-sized project Moving on to the medium-sized project in 2013, KISE targeted their focus more to the open global market in order to meet the goals of sustainable development. During this stage, KISE also collaborated with the Climate Change Center of Konkuk University, in order to study the steady supply and growth of food during extreme weather conditions. The studies also became more diversified with focusing on mainly four points within the global market. With health products gaining more popularity in the global markets and the industry also fiercely enhancing, KISE studied how Korean health products, such as ‘Ginseng,’ should promote themselves within this particular market. Unlike the small-sized stage, the comparatives were extended from China to other countries including the U.S., Europe, and Japan. The international consuming patterns and how Korean industries should position themselves within such global trends was also a main study of this stage. Risk communication models were also researched and compared on a global basis. With various countries all having their own model, the advantages and disadvantages of each model were given a thorough research. Cooperation with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MOFD) was made in order to find the ideal model of handling food-related crisis. The last of the four main points, the actual infrastructure of the distribution process, was not put upon full focus during the medium phase, but was given more light in the later large-sized project. Large-sized project (Current) When entering the large-sized phase in 2016, the distribution system went through a great change under the fourth industrial revolution. For this reason, the infrastructure of the distribution process, from the former stage, became the main research in this large phase. With offline and online channels becoming united, the distribution system is going through an innovative process in which the consuming patterns are also greatly changing. Being in an early stage of adaption of such systems, KISE targeted its research towards how both consumers and industries would react to this major change. Kim is explaining how the use of big-data will be an important aspect in the new distributional system of the fourth industrial revolution. How this innovative change is being accepted in other comparative countries was a start of this particular research. Collaborating with the Japanese company ‘MUJI’ and having access to their big data on consumption patterns, KISE is further targeting their research beyond the food industry into other various consumer goods and how the domestic industries should position themselves in this rapidly changing system. With the access of big data allowing KISE to extend and deepen their research, there are still some remaining goals of the institution. According to Kim, studying the practical implications that the innovative distribution system has upon market competence, the rapidly changing consumer patterns, and the global strategies that domestic businesses should implement within this new system to maintain their global competence and brand image are the main remaining tasks that KISE should conclude during this large stage. With around two years left for the SSK project, Kim asserted that this does not designate an end to the current research that KISE is conducting. Although the SSK project did indicate a start for KISE, it does not necessarily correspond to an end. Kim also added that there will be further tasks and research that she and KISE should conduct in helping promote the global competence of domestic businesses, especially in the forms of sustainable growth. Choi Seo-yong Photos by Park Guen-hyung

2018-10 29

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] New Technology of Patterning the Perovskite

Have you ever seen the integrated circuit in your device? A part of it, which resembles a tiny wafer, is called wafer. Before coming to be a part of our smartphones, laptops, and televisions, the wafer goes under a complex set of procedures, one step of which is lithography, also known as patterning. As the name suggests, lithography is imprinting patterns on a clean film or substrate. The traditional way of doing this is called photolithography, which, simply put, involves placing a photoresist mask with the pattern on top of the wafer and shooting a UV light so that the pattern is etched onto the wafer. However, there exists a problem with this method. In the field of solar cell and Light Emitting Diode (LED), a material that has been under spotlight for many years for its overpowering efficiency is named perovskite. However, this material is extremely unstable when met with water. Thus, in order to use it, it needs to be surrounded by polymer to make a composite. The problem lies in that the composite is almost impossible to stabilize and pattern using the traditional photolithography. Nevertheless, Professor Kang Young-jong (Department of Chemistry) made this possible, inventing a new patterning technique called, Size-exclusion lithography. A diagram of Perovskite and Size-exclusion lithography (Photo courtesy of Kang) What is Size-exclusion lithography? What Kang did was coat the wafer with a mixture of two materials, polymer and perovskite. When the wafer is shot with UV light, polymer as well as perovskite nanoparticles are created. The polymer starts to entangle in a chain shape, called a polymer mesh. It first increases in size but soon starts shrinking – on the other hand, perovskite nanoparticles become larger. Consequently, the nanoparticle escapes the polymer mesh and re-arranges itself, arriving at a phenomena called Size-expansion. Using this phenomena, Kang was able to make the pattern arrange by itself on the wafer, without the need of photolithography. This new technology is significant in many ways. First of all, what was deemed impossible (patterning of perovskite composite) was made possible. Also, since the process of etching is no longer necessary, the wafer-making process will be simpler. Moreover, when it comes to stability, the perovskite composite can edure a full day dipped in boiling water, as it had previously lost its function after only a couple of hours, mid-air. Kang Young-jong (Department of Chemistry) invented a new technology with better stability and a simpler process through this research. The remaining task Although a significant discovery, Kang says there are many more hurdles to jump over for an actual device to be complete. For that reason, there was recently a joining of a professor specializing in such a field, and the team is working together on developing LED using perovskite, ultimately leading to a completion of an actual device. Kang evaluates this finding as “ultimately, a contribution to the development of LED.” Kang gains the energy to keep on researching from his various hobbies. He enjoys the final outcome of a continuation of a hard process, and the future for his research seems bright. Lim Ji-woo Photos by Park Geun-hyung

2018-10 08

[Academics][Excellent R&D] The Korean Imitation Game

Until just several decades ago, warfare was in the form of military, unlike today's contemporary world where the international society puts heavy emphasis on global peace. This, in other words, means the use of military force has become limited and instead, the role of information warfare has now become a crucial factor in defedning a country's existence. Professor Yoon Dong-weon (Department of Electronic Engineering) and the Signal Intelligence Research Center (SIRC) are now in charge of the frontline of signal intelligence alongside the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). The Signal Intelligence Research Center (SIRC) A specialized research center refers to those who have been appointed in grafting the high leveled technology of the private sector into technology that is developed and used for the purpose of national defense. It is DAPA, which designates the specialized research centers, appointing the SIRC as the one responsible for signal intelligence until 2020. Being a six-year project, and being funded with 12.5 billion won in total, the SIRC is the first specialized research center to have a recurring demand troop. (From left) Professor Yoon Dong-weon (Department of Electronic Engineering) and Ahn Seong-jin (Department of Electronic Engineering, Master's Degree) are analyzing the signal codes. The center mainly consists of four laboratories, with each serving its own purpose: signal collection technology, signal processing technology, voice information technology, and code reconstruction technology. With Hanyang University taking the lead in the overall research, 17 schools and 34 professors in total are currently participating. Being a six-year project divided into mainly two stages, the center has successfully completed the first part of research and has moved on to the second stage in 2018. The Importance of Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) According to Yoon, who is the current director of the SIRC, one the most fundamental concepts of information warfare is signal intelligence, which is intelligence-gathering by the interception of signals. National intelligence is mainly divided in to two categories, which are tactical intelligence and strategic intelligence. Tactical intelligence refers to short-term information, whereas strategic intelligence focuses more upon long-term information. From this perspective, strategic intelligence is a comprehensive national intelligence that has to be studied and researched persistently. Consisting of imagery intelligence (IMINT), human intelligence (HUMINT), open-source intelligence (OSINT), and signal intelligence (SIGINT), it is SIGINT that is being mainly focused upon in the contemporary society and has to be studied in order to preserve the existence of a nation from a strategic level. Yoon is explaining the importance of signal intelligence in the contemporary society and how it should be persistently studied in order to defend the nation's existence. “Signal intelligence is once again divided into communication intelligence (COMINT), electronic intelligence (ELINT), and foreign instrumental signal intelligence (FISINT). Out of the three, it is communication intelligence that the research center is mainly focusing upon. It is easier if one thinks of the movie ‘The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum, 2014)’ and how signal intelligence is used in defending the existence of the country,” explained Yoon. Yoon also mentioned that although we currently live in an era of peace, it is important to keep track of potential threats and consistently prepare ourselves, given that we are surrounded by countries that have strong abilities of signal intelligence. “SIRC will always lead an edge in defending national security and signal intelligence,” ended Yoon determinedly. Choi Seo-yong Photos by Lee Jin-myung

2018-10 08

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Increasing Charging Efficiency in Lithium-ion Battery

When a new phone launches, one can visibly notice that one of the main improvements are longer battery life with a faster charging speed. Needless to say, batteries are a crucial part of an electronic device and there are continuous developments made in order to increase their efficiency. Likewise, Professor Park Won-il (Division of Materials Science and Engineering) carried out experiments and research on the negative electrodes of lithium-ion batteries to improve the efficiency of battery charging. Along with various others, Park wrote a thesis with the title “Controlling electric potential to inhibit solid-electrolyte interphase formation on nanowire anodes for ultra fast lithium-ion batteries.” Professor Park Won-il (Division of Materials Science and Engineering) talks about how the experiments were carried out on the lithium-ion batteries. The lithium-ion battery is well-known as it is included in most wireless devices such as electric cars. The lithium-ion battery contains both a cathode, which is the positively charged electrode for batteries and an anode electrolyte, a negatively charged electrode. Park’s research was focused on the materials of the anode electrolyte. When a battery is running, a potential drop occurs between the cathode and electrolyte anode. Due to this drop, a solid-electrolyte interphase layer forms on the active material surface. Park focused on researching the active material that goes in the anode electrolyte in order to increase battery charging efficiency. Originally, the basic material utilized was graphite, which has the capacity of 360 mAh/g (milliampere hours per gram). However, to follow the demand of a higher capacity material, Park decided to implement Nickel Silicide, the capacity of which is 1300 mAh/g, four times that of graphite. Figure C shows how Nickel Silicide (NiSi) was utilized in order to inhibit solid-electrolyte interphase. (Photo Courtesy of Park) In the thesis, a three-dimensional macro graphite nano tube model to control the electric potential and prevent solid-electrolyte interphase utilizing Nickel Silicide was introduced. Solid-electrolyte interphase occurs when the potential drop, established between cathode and anode, drives to decompose the electrolyte and form a solid-electrolyte interphase layer. This enabled the potential drop to take place on the potential sheath instead of the active material surface. After countless experiments, up to two thousand, utilizing Nickel Silicide showed outstanding performance under 20C, taking less than a minute to fully charge. The capacity of a battery is generally rated at 1C, which means that it takes one hour to fully charge. (From left) Chang Won-jun (Division of Materials Science and Engineering, '16) and Professor Park Won-il (Division of Materials Science and Engineering) mentioned that the experiment was carried out more than two thousand times. When asked how long it took to complete the experiments, Chang Won-jun (Division of Materials Science and Engineering, ’16), who led the majority of experiments, said that they began in June of 2017, and their thesis submission and revision started at the end of December that year. Although the repetitive experiment proved that the performance of lithium-ion batteries utilizing Nickel Silicide was outstanding, deriving the precise evidence proving that solid-electrolyte interphase took place outside the surface was the task that took seven to eight months. Park concluded more research is still needed. In the current state, it will take more time for the newly developed structure to work. However, he hopes for the concept to be utilized on the betterment of lithium-ion batteries and become a breakthrough for battery charging in the future. Seok Ga-ram Photos by Park Kuen-hyung

2018-09 07

[Academics]Professor Kim Tae-won (Division of Mechanical Engineering), developed survivability signal information technology

The death rate of firefighters was 38 per 100,000 people in 2017, which was 4.8 times that of the U.S. In the last five years, 438 police officers have died while on duty. As such, a group of job security workers have been exposed to numerous dangers. Those who need to be protected, such as emergency patients or the elderly living alone, are also vulnerable. Kim Tae-won, a professor in the Division of Mechanical Engineering, is studying ways to increase their survivability rate. It was selected by the Convergence Research Center (CRC) of the Ministry of Science and ICT's leading research center, developing 'Survivability Signal Information Technology'. Survivability Signal Information Survivability analysis techniques are based on changes in the state of the body and things caused by an accident. This technique can help save a person from an emergency. Bio-signals tell if a person lying on the road is asleep or physically dangerous. In the case of emergency patients, survivability indicators and information, such as viability, are derived through biological signals. The selected information is sent to the appropriate medical staff during transport to the emergency center. This information allows medical staff to prepare for emergency measures, including surgery. As the bio-signals enable quick judgment and response, the survivability rate of patients can be increased. Kim’s source technology based on survivability signal information is at the world’s highest level, which is expected to produce new concepts of invention. In recognition of the creativity and spirit of the research subjects, the research is being conducted through the support of the Korea Research Foundation, selected as a CRC (fusion field). It formed a business group with a joint research institute, including 10 core researchers, and students with master's and doctorate degrees. The total study period is seven years and consists of two stages. ▲ Professor Kim Tae-won (Division of Mechanical Engineering) explained that the study of survivability signal information involves experts from various fields such as social studies and psychology as well as mechanical engineering. For the past nine years, Kim studied basic technologies such as analysis and model development related to survivability skills at the Defense Specialized University Research Center. Now, beyond the survival of soldiers, his research has extended its coverage to civilian safety. In addition to the already proven track record, they have teamed up with experts in engineering, medicine, medical engineering, and social psychology to add further technologies. It integrates physical signals, body signals, and psychological analysis to enable more accurate index settings. "Reinterpreting physical signals and vital signs into psychological data to obtain the substantial information necessary for survivability." As the scope of application has expanded, it is to prepare for a number of risk factors. First, experts from various fields classified the 'work environment information', 'risk factors' and 'risk levels' to apply survivability information technology. In addition, it will conduct verification and empirical research development technologies through collaborating with relevant institutions, such as hospitals, fire and police departments. It is going to analyze physical and psychological risk factors and protection factors of each occupational group responsible for social safety, which will be linked to biometric recognition systems. The technology also identifies the relationship between vital signs, body and psychological data. This will help develop risk prevention programs and post-treatment programs for each occupational group. ▲ Along with the advancement of survivability signal information platform technology based on biometric measurements and analysis, psychosocial link survivability enhancement programs are also being developed. For more, more precious lives The empirical goal of the research is to build signal information measurement sensors, antennas, and communication systems into wearable forms and attach them to the human body. Through an invention with wearable sensors, it is planning to use it widely, from social safety to life safety. Based on IoT, it can be utilized in all fields such as Smart Home, Smart Car, Distribution Industry, Wearable Mobile, Health Care, and others. In order to effectively apply the survivability signal information technology, legal and institutional issues such as privacy and personal information laws should be solved together. "The technology to be developed through this research will contribute, not only to social safety workers, but also the physical and mental safety and health of the general public, including emergency patients,” said Kim. ▲ Professor Kim Tae-won (Division of Mechanical Engineering) poses with students who have conducted the research together.

2018-09 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Internal Level Interaction Between the Cell and Sensory Organs

The minute you leave out a banana on your desk, fruit flies start to appear out of nowhere. Even when you think you have taken good care of the peel, the little creatures never fail to sniff out its location. While one may think they are simply annoying pests, professor Shim Ji-won (Department of Life Science) uses them as her main test subject for her studies. Shim Ji-won (Department of Life Science) explains that her experiment will surely help future clinical and applied research, August 31st, 2018. Shim recently published her study under the title of “Systemic Control of Immune Cell Development by Integrated Carbon Dioxide and Hypoxia Chemosensation in Drosophila.” Although the title itself may sound complicated, it is based on quite an interesting theory that the hypoxia-sensing neurons (hypoxia: oxygen deficiency in a biotic environment) that detect the level of CO2 and oxygen have a direct influence on the number of expanding blood cells. Shim’s findings indicate the link between environmental gas sensation and myeloid (relating to bone marrow / spinal cord) cell development in Drosophila, which in other words are--fruit flies. According to Shim, a similar relationship exists in humans, but the underlying mechanisms have yet to be established as the human anatomy is way too complex to see the direct interaction between the nerve and the immune system. Before divng into the details of the research, a bit of human anatomy is in order. Blood cells are created in the spinal cord and bone marrow, which also decide each cell’s function after receiving various signals from the brain through the nerve system. Functional cells are created according to the body’s state, fulfilling whatever is needed. This includes immune cells, which are created in response to something in the body that is not balanced or is under stress due to internal or external factors. Within the sensory organs, there also exists various receptors (organs or cells which are able to respond to light, heat, or other external stimuli and transmit a signal to a sensory nerve) that can each sense different things. Each of them would send signals to our nerve system which would then send signals to our spinal cord that creates the functional cells. The bottle where the fruit flies are kept. The bottom paste is the fruit flies' food consisting of sugar, corn, and flour. Regarding this matter, numerous studies on cell interaction with the external environment have already been conducted. The brain to blood cell interaction was an area that many researchers have researched, but there were not many done on the internal interactions such as from cell to cell interaction and its influence on the brain. In this sense, Shim’s study was revolutionary. Shim conducted her experiments by first creating mutated flies that did not have certain receptors. As a result, the ones without receptors that could sense CO2 showed drastic results. Because CO2 and oxygen are the two main conditions to human existence, the balance between the two is crucial. When the balance between the two levels breaks, as can be seen in the test results, it causes an internal change such as the increase in the number of cell expansion and immune reaction. This was quite revolutionary, as it meant that even without the brain’s direct order, the human body starts to create more functional blood cells as a response when the nerve system detects an imbalance in the CO2 and oxygen levels. Shim (in the center) and her students in the lab. “For humans, the nerve system is inside our body and is linked with so many different receptors, so it is too complex to research right away. However, for fruit flies, their nerve system also exists on the exterior, so that they are very much sensitive to external conditions. Also, it is easier to control it as I can simply get rid of a few receptors, and that could shut down one of their sensory organs. Now the interesting thing is, when we release high levels of CO2 near the fruit flies, they fly as far away as they can. Here I suspected that there must be a correlation between the sensory organs and the immune system which keeps the body in check, so I used fruit flies to test out this theory,” said Shim. Currently, various experiments are being carried out by Shim and her students relating to this study. The studies include a blood brain barrier interaction, a brain to blood interaction, a bi-directional interaction, and so on. Shim hopes that the studies conducted on the fruit flies will pave the road. “Our sensory organs and the nerve system greatly affect and are affected by the brain. For example, those with Alzheimer's cannot really smell things. This is because there is a neuro degeneration and incongruity in the immune system. We do not know how directly related the functions of the olfactory nerve and the brain are associated, but that is another research study to be done in the future after the fruit flies experiment,” said Shim. Park Joo-hyun Photos by Kang Cho-hyun