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2020-05 04 Important News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] From Seawater to Fresh Water

Droughts and water shortages are serious global threats. However, many technical developments are in progress to resolve these problems, and one of them is desalination. Desalination is the process of separating the salt in seawater from the water in order to get usable fresh water. However, the currently available technologies have the problem of sustainability, for they require fossil fuel and costly factories to be constructed. To suggest an alternative, Professor Kwak Rho-kyun (Department of Mechanical Engineering) is researching electro-membrane desalination. Professor Kwak Rho-kyun (Department of Mechanical Engineering) has been working on the topic of electro-membrane desalination for 10 years. Electro-membrane desalination uses the division of positive ion and negative ion when salt dissolves in water. The positive and negative ions are drawn to each pole when voltage is applied. Intersecting the membrane that makes each ion between electrodes pass through, called the exchange membrane of positive and negative ions, salt ions can be collected and removed. What is left is fresh water with the saline ions removed. Kwak has been working on the topic for 10 years, since he was a doctoral student. He said he first began his research inspired by the idea from his Ph.D. advisor that the unusual migration phenomenon of biomaterials such as DNA and ions would also occur in the electric membrane desalination system. His first goal was building a system of electro-membrane desalination to check whether the migration of biomaterials such as DNA and ions appear in the system of electro-membrane desalination, and visualizing the migration of the ions inside. Based on the visualization research, Kwak studied various subjects such as improving the efficiency of existing desalination devices and of treating the produced water. Kwak expressed special gratitude toward his graduate students who have helped him throughout the research process. Kwak said the significance of the study lies in that it developed a promising futuristic desalination technology, enabling Korea to become a global powerhouse to solve the future water shortage problem. Kwak’s innovative research has been highly acknowledged, introduced in journals like PRL and JOFM and others on the topics of desalination and water research. Kwak also expressed gratitude toward his graduate school students who have helped him throughout the research process. “I really want to thank my students. Their hard work was what made it possible to achieve such good research results,” said Kwak. Hwang Hee-won whitewon99@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-05 03

[Academics][Excellent R&D] How Data Science Connects with Society

Data science is the use of the scientific method to obtain useful information from computer data. As it gives new insights into a vast amount of data, there exists an interdisciplinary approach in social science to compensate for what they might have missed through traditional methods with data science. Professor Cha Jae-hyuk (Division of Computer Science and Engineering) developed a platform that accelerates the convergence of the two disciplines. Professor Cha Jaehyuk (Division of Computer Science and Engineering) established a platform that merges data science with social science. Data science is expected to bring about a new horizon in social science as social issues are becoming more complex. “We are now in a hyper-connected society where small changes bring about significant ripple effects,” explained Cha. Traditional social research methods could easily result in biases as they rely on surveys which only take a small amount of data into consideration. Cha expects computational social science to contribute to the analysis of potential risk factors and to establish sustainable policies for vulnerable, multi-dimensional social issues. Cha is currently working to build a platform that integrates data science into social science. The platform consists of three subgroups that make social models through continuous monitoring and data collection. One deals with societal anxiety through analysis of social networking, whereas another group covers disability rights in relation to social mobility. The third digs deeper into public health issues, especially related to infectious disease control. Cha’s role is the general management of the platform. He added that the research is mainly done in association with seven social scientists and nine data scientists. There are the three subgroups which researchers use to create social models through monitoring and data analysis. (Photo courtesy of the Computational Social Science Center) Cha highlighted the importance of the platform as a channel for conversation. “Interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches open the way into problems that are difficult to address through the methods of traditional disciplines,” said Cha. This platform lets researchers from two disciplines share the outcomes and objectives of the study through visualization. Cha also revealed his plans as a director of the Computational Social Science Center. “I have seen researchers struggling due to academic barriers between the two disciplines,” said the director. Cha expects to foster interdisciplinarians who grasps the essentials of both data science and social science and can bridge the gap between the two fields of study. A breakthrough occurs when we bring down boundaries and encourage disciplines to learn from each other. Cha is opening the way to the resolution of social issues through the convergence of data science and social science. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-04 06

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Into the Unknown through Convergence

For a long time, scientists have wanted to figure out how the elements which constitute the universe were formed. Still, there is not much known about this mechanism. Heavy-ion particle accelerators now provide a clue to the generative processes as they reproduce what the universe has been going through since its creation. Professor Kim Yong-kyun (Department of Nuclear Engineering) contributed to the establishment of a new heavy-ion particle accelerator RAON by building the most powerful and accurate μSR (Muon spin rotation). Professor Kim Yong-Kyun (Department of Nuclear Engineering) is engaging in the domestic heavy-ion particle accelerator project called RAON. RAON is a heavy-ion particle accelerator propelled by the Institute of Basic Science, which is a machine that can be used to find undiscovered elements or reenact the formation process of existing elements. It will be the first heavy-ion particle accelerator that uses both Isotope Separation On-Line and In-flight Fragmentation methods. Because the machine is so complex, researchers are conducting the project in collaboration with many other accelerator research groups including Radiation Instrument and Sensor Engineering Lab (RAISE), a Hanyang University Research Laboratory led by Kim. Kim’s team has been specifically working on μSR. μ (Muon) is an unstable elementary particle similar to the electron which is created by collision between high-energy protons and the atmosphere. Owing to its greater mass, μ accelerates slower than electrons in electromagnetic fields. μ lets scientists probe the properties of novel materials as it penetrates far deeper into the matter than X-rays. μ exist all around the world, but is useless because of its short meantime of 2.2 μs (microseconds). “That is why we use heavy-ion particle accelerators to create μ,” explained Kim. μ helps probe the properties of novel materials as μSR has become a tool of measurement. (Photo Courtesy of Kim) μSR measures the decay and spin information with μ produced by the accelerators, offering new insights into the property of a matter. μSR is a technique based on the implantation of spin-polarized μ in the matter and on the detection of the influence of the atomic, molecular or crystalline surroundings on their spin motion. Kim’s team is now building the most powerful and precise μSR in the world. “Our μSR is expected to further the development of new semiconductors and superconductors as well as shed light on material science,” said Kim. Ten years ago, when the government first launched the project of building the domestic heavy-ion particle accelerator, no one in the field believed that there would be a notable achievement. However, within a decade, RAON is becoming the cutting-edge convergence technology of basic science. Kim attributes its success to Korea’s competitiveness in interdisciplinary education between basic science and practical studies. “STEM education in Korea is top-notch,” said Kim. “The Department of Nuclear Engineering's curriculum contributed to a certain extent.” Kim ascribed its success to the education system that highlights interdisciplinary studies. Kim advised students to find new possibilities and integrate different interests, saying “You should challenge yourself to achieve what you aim for.” With these initiatives in mind, Kim is pioneering his way into science and technology that is yet unknown. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-03 29

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] A Cause of Parkinson’s Disease Recently Discovered

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The cause of PD is still unknown, other than its suggested correlation with genetic and environmental factors. Professor Lee Sang-hun (College of Medicine) has recently come up with a model that supports the hereditary cause of disease. Professor Lee Sang-hun's (College of Medicine) research presents a new clue about the cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). PD is found to be associated with the degeneration of midbrain-type dopamine (mDA) neurons. Lee’s research team found out that the RNA-binding protein Lin28 plays a role in neuronal stem cell development, and that the gene mutation of Lin28 causes the degeneration of mDA neurons. Also, the experiment showed that when the Lin28 mutation was corrected, the symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease disappeared. Lee came up with an in vitro human embryonic stem cell/human induced pluripotent stem cell‐based disease model. The model proposes that the Lin28 R192G mutation leads to developmental defects and modification of Lin28 opens up the possibility of rescuing the patient from the disease. “People normally think that PD is deeply related to one’s age,” said Lee. “This research suggests that it is also highly likely to be a genetic defect. This finding will provide a more accurate diagnosis model.” Lee's team found out that an RNA-binding protein called Lin28 plays a role in the manifestation and treatment of PD. (Photo courtesy of Lee) Researchers spent four years trying to identify the distinct characteristics that two young PD patients shared with each other. The team conducted numerous biological trials to prove their findings. The model was a reward for their ceaseless efforts, taking them a step closer to finally identifying the cause of PD. However, there is still no cure for PD or for many other neurodegenerative diseases. Lee said he intends to develop a practical treatment during his last five years of tenure. “I am now working on projects with bio-venture companies,” explained Lee. “I hope my research enables a more pragmatic approach in overcoming neurodegenerative diseases.” Lee plans to work on pragmatic treatments during his last five years of tenure. Lee asked students to be more ambitious in deciding what they long to achieve. “He who works hard will get the chance to show himself,” advised the professor, leading by example for all young scholars. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-02 25

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Establishing the Basis for Drug Development

Membrane proteins are proteins that function as the gatekeepers of cells, controlling all interactions between cells. Due to its crucial role in cell activity, the protein is often recognized as the factor in many diseases. However, there have been limitations in figuring out the structure of protein due to its vulnerability in modification, without effective amphiphiles that stabilize the protein. Professor Chae Pil Seok (Department of Bionano Engineering, ERICA Campus) recently made progress in facilitating the research on membrane protein by producing a new type of amphiphiles—the TEMs. Professor Chae Pil Seok (Department of Bionano Engineering, ERICA Campus) developed a new type of amphiphiles. Amphiphiles—more commonly, detergents—are necessary tools to isolate membrane proteins from biological membranes for studies. “Amphiphiles with hydrophobic properties were found to have advantages in the stabilization of otherwise vulnerable membrane proteins,” said Chae. For a few decades, a molecule named DDM (dodecylmaltoside) was primarily used in the research as the amphiphiles. Unfortunately, the molecule could not provide the required stability for a large number of protein. Thus, many scholars devoted themselves to inventing the new amphiphilic molecules that could replace DDM. Many scholars, including Chae, are working on to develop new amphiphilic molecules that could replace the conventional amphiphiles. Chae registered success in such a trend, developing 1,3,5-Triazine-Cored Maltoside Amphiphiles, also known as TEMs. Chae’s team, a joint research team from Stanford University, Texas Tech University, Imperial College London, Copenhagen University, and Tsinghua University, introduced variations in the alkyl chain linkage and an amine-functionalized diol linker by designing and synthesizing 1,3,5-triazine-cored dimaltoside amphiphiles derived from cyanuric chloride. “TEMs have significant potential in membrane protein study for their structural diversity and universal stabilization efficacy for several membrane proteins,” said Chae. The professor expects TEMs to play a crucial role in the development of new pharmaceuticals for terminal illnesses. Chae's team will continue their research on membrane protein and amphiphiles. Chae seeks to continue his research on developing a better amphiphile. “I would like to implement a system that can maximize the stability of membrane protein in aqueous solution,” he said. Moreover, Chae is digging deeper into the process of membrane protein modification, especially focusing on post-translational modifications in his current research on native mass spectrometry with Professor Ying Ge of the University of Wisconsin. Chae is building the groundwork for treating incurable diseases through continuous research on figuring out the structure of membrane protein. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-02 16

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Stepping Stone to Overcome Stratospheric Conditions

Aircraft usually fly at the top of the troposphere or the lower end of the stratosphere. Although there is less turbulence and weather constraints in the stratosphere, launching an aircraft into the stratosphere is difficult because there exists no efficient battery that can stand the harsh conditions of the atmosphere as of now. Here to change this dilemma is Professor Kim Han-su (Department of Energy Engineering) who is working on developing a secondary battery that can withstand the harsh conditions of the stratosphere. Professor Kim Han-su (Department of Energy Engineering) is developing a secondary battery that can withstand the harsh conditions of the stratosphere. In order to survive in the stratosphere, the battery must have high-density (meaning it can store more energy in the given mass) as well as be resistant to low temperatures. Kim’s solution was to use the sulfide electrolyte based all-solid-state secondary battery. The fire-retardant characteristics of the battery ensured the battery’s stability. However, there remained a problem that all-solid-state batteries have relatively lower energy density compared to other secondary batteries on the market. Thus, Kim’s team is currently in the progress of attempting to use high-density lithium in the battery development process to create a battery that has high energy density and is temperature resistant. Kim’s research is especially valuable since the batteries can be used in drones, which are expected to substitute satellites in the future. According to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), it takes about 30 million won per kilogram to launch a satellite. Scientists expect the drones in the stratosphere to perform the same but in a cost-efficient way. “Most of what we anticipate from satellites can be embodied by drones,” said Kim. “Even though we cannot replace the satellites’ roles in observing outer space, drones can be an alternative in a practical sense.” Kim's research is expected to support future military and commercial drones. Kim expressed his goals in creating a battery that can be utilized for both military and commercial purposes. The common facts of today are the products of yesterday’s research. The effort of Kim’s team will be a stepping stone to an unprecedented technology. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-02 11

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] A Suggestion for the Harmonized Standard of Wireless Devices

In order to sell commercial wireless devices in Europe, the products must meet the guidelines of the Radio Equipment Directive (RED), established by the European Commission (EC). However, most of the guidelines are abstract and expansive, and, therefore, regulation was realistically difficult. To complement this, EC consulted European standards institutes to establish a harmonized standard that corresponds to the RED guideline. The new harmonized standard will be chosen by EC in April, and commercialized wireless products will be regulated in the European market accordingly. Thus, manufacturers will need to prove that their products meet the particular harmonized standard to sell them to the European market in the future. Professor Choi Seung-won (Department of Electronic Engineering), with his recent thesis, ‘Market Access for Radio Equipment Directive in Europe Enabled by the Radio Equipment Directive (RED): Status, Next Steps and Implications,’ suggested a thoroughly researched standard that is competent as a new harmonized standard. Professor Choi Seung-won (Department of Electronic Engineering) has proposed a harmonized standard for wireless devices. The Hanyang Mobile Communication research center has been engaged in the standardization action at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's (ETSI) Reconfigurable Radio Systems (RRS) technical committee since 2009. Currently, the center is trying to pass its developed standard as the new harmonized standard of EC. Choi's thesis is a part of this ETSI standardization action, aiming to inform both domestic and foreign institutes about the center’s progressing standardization action and its importance. Choi stated that the center has developed a unique wireless device architecture and interface that makes it possible for software restructuring, and these patented architecture and interfaces were applied in the standard suggested by the center. “If our standard gets selected as the harmonized standard, wireless device manufacturers will have to follow our standard, meaning they will have to manufacture the products using our patented technologies,” said Choi. He added that this means manufacturers will have to pay royalty to the center and that is what makes the research of higher value. "Constant effort will be made in the future for our standard to be chosen as the harmonized standard, as well as to commercialize the RRS techniques," said Choi. Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-01 28

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Turning Waste into Fuel

Coal is an important energy source, providing for over a quarter of the world's primary energy and two-fifths of electricity. Nevertheless, the controversy over it causing air pollution is getting more intense each year. Professor Yang Hyun-ik (Department of Mechanical Engineering), in his recent research titled ‘Development and Demonstration of the Facility to create Green Pellet Using Waste Wood,’ has provided an eco-friendly way to burn coal and further showed the possibility to produce a competent renewable energy source, solely using wastes. The research aims to develop a facility that successfully converts waste wood and sewage sludge into pellets and burn them with coal. Pellets are a type of fuel that is burnt with coal in the process of generating electricity, made by condensing inflammable wood into a pellet shape. This addition is made almost mandatorily because it reduces the exhaust gas and fine dust caused by burning coal. However, Korea has very few facilities that are capable of producing pellets, and using inflammable-quality domestic wood is highly expensive, so currently, reliance on import is inevitable. Yang’s suggestion was to develop a domestic facility that could produce pellets out of waste wood from Korea as well as sewage sludge, thus making competent eco-friendly ‘green’ pellets. Professor Yang Hyun-ik (Department of Mechanical Engineering), in his recent research, designed a facility that successfully converts waste wood and sewage sludge into 'green' pellet. The green pellets are made using the hydrothermal carbonation technology. Much like the process of making charcoal, carbonation technology compresses carbon by heat. Hydrothermal carbonation is one kind of the technology that carries out the process underwater so that it creates no air pollution. Yang says the facility can convert not only specific wastes, like waste wood or sewage sludge, but all kinds of wastes, including food garbage and even human waste into fuel. The completed facility will be installed in the current cooperating company, Korea East-West Power Corporation. The first step is to succeed in a reduced scale production of one ton within two years, and the next three years will be devoted to producing a real-life scale of one-hundred-ton pellets. Once the technology proves successful, Yang anticipates spreading this technology globally. “Everyone says extracting renewable energy from wastes is important, but not many institutions are doing any practical research. In this sense, this technology is extremely important and necessary on a world-wide scale,” said Yang. Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2020-01 26

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Bridging the Educational Gap through Welfare

People refer to education as the passport to the future. Nowadays, education is considered a type of welfare—provided from cradle to grave. However, school education cannot help but be emphasized due to its role in society. Here is Professor Song Ji-hoon (Department of Educational Technology) who is leading the research on the execution of welfare in school education. Professor Song Ji-hoon (Department of Educational Technology) is leading an institution that specializes in educational welfare. Song is the incumbent president of the Institute for Educational Research—a Hanyang-affiliated research institute on educational welfare. Educational welfare not only considers the infrastructure of a classroom but also the affective filter of the students. The institute is currently building a masterplan of school education with its point of reference. “We are surveying all authorities related to educational welfare,” said Song. There exists controversy on welfare catching up with one’s political stance. Educational welfare cannot escape from this dispute as well, especially in terms of providing the educational environment. “There are two types of welfare: universal welfare and selective welfare,” explained Song. The institute aims to verify educational policies from a utility point of view. For instance, people show different opinions on complimentary school uniforms. What the institute does is to make a report that evaluates the policy from both points of view. The goal is to avoid both reckless management and stigmatization—which are the double-edged swords of the two standpoints. Song also seeks to afford the emotional equilibrium to students through educational welfare. “Success in education derives from immersion,” defined the professor. “Students should be interested in what they learn and who they learn from.” Song emphasized the need for the right atmosphere, which is a key in narrowing down the educational gap. “The institute aims to pave the way for better conditions where students enjoy their school life.” Song proposes both physical and psychological welfare in bridging the educational gap. Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Song’s efforts are being carried over to a long-range plan where education serves as a way of resolving the social polarization in substance. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2020-01 21

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Finding the Key to Detailed Information of the Ecosystem

How can we tell a drop of pure honey from sugar-mixed honey? How do we tell which of the pesticide is responsible for the corrupted soil? Or the correct place of origin of beef? All of these are possible by analyzing the ‘stable isotope ratio’ of the compound. Recently, ERICA Campus’s Institute of Ocena and Atmospheric Sciences successfully developed the nitrogen stable isotope analyses technology. It is the first in Korea, and one of the very few world-wide. Professor Shin Kyung-hoon (Department of Marine Science and Convergence Engineering, ERICA Campus) of the laboratory explained that there is a wide possibility of how the technology can be employed in various fields. Professor Shin Kyung-hoon (Department of Marine Science and Convergence Engineering, ERICA Campus) successfully developed the nitrogen stable isotope analyses technology. An isotope of an element is an atom that has a different number of neutrons than the other normal atoms. For instance, almost all carbon has 6 protons and 6 neutrons, but about 1 percent of the carbon on Earth has 6 protons and 7 neutrons. Amongst them, stable isotope is a specific group of isotope that are not radioactive. The aforementioned 'stable isotope ratio' refers to the ratio of the atomic abundances of a specific stable isotopes within an element. So what is the significance of developing the technology that analyzes this stable isotope ratio? According to Shin, the ratio for each atom is generally constant throughout every elements in Earth's biosphere. However, they show slight, but notable, differences between the kinds, and a subtler difference between individual entity. “It is these subtle differences that carry the valuable information,” said Shin. “Take ecology, for example. Although each species has its basic internal isotope ratio, depending on the environment, the exact ratio differs slightly for each organism. In other words, by analyzing the stable isotopes ratio, we can figure out the environment it lived in, such as habitat, food, and trophic position. Ultimately, it gives us a correct and detailed information about the ecosystem,” said Shin. On the surface, what the technology can do is, it can also be applied in many other fields. In forensic science, it could be used to identify the used poison or the used weapon. It can also effectively place the place of origin of food products, and can even be used in archeology to find out what ancient people ate. “The stable isotope ratio analyses technique has endless possibilities of joint study, and a few of them are under way already. We have the machine set and are more than ready to cooperate. I hope more researchers of different fields come up with an interesting idea from their field, and use our machine to find out the answer,” said Shin. Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2020-01 14

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Opening a New Method to Save the Environment through Discovering a Nanocatalyst

The Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering is divided into 5 different sub majors, such as Nano Technology, Bio Technology, Information Technology, and Environment & Energy Technology. Overall, it deals with discovering and creating new materials, which are related to various industries throughout the world. Professor Kim Jong-ho, researching at Hanyang University NanoChemistry Lab at ERICA Campus, has recently discovered a method of substance production and functionalization during his research. Professor Kim uncovered a new method to compose a multifunctional nanocatalyst called PdO@WO₃ and the according substance. PdO@WO₃ has never been reported in the academic world and it also serves a perfect role as both a light photocatalyst and an electrocatalyst. ▲ Professor Kim Jong-ho of the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering of ERICA Campus has recently discovered a method of substance production and functionalization. The material that Professor Kim has discovered is formed through the direct conversion of a PdO nanocluster that has a catalyst function and an ultrathin 2D tungsten oxide (WO₃) nanosheets. This newly found nanosheet serves as a light photocatalyst that converts light energy into chemical energy, while also effectively initiating C-C coupling reactions. PdO@WO₃ can also be used as an electrocatalyst as mentioned above. It is viewed that PdO@WO₃ can be used as a new tool to reduce environmental problems. For example, many medical supplies and medicines such as anticancer drugs go through C-C coupling reactions to be produced. This chain reaction requires a light photocatalyst action of a chemical element called palladium (Pd). The action is usually initiated by mixing palladium into a solution, which makes the material almost impossible to recover after mixing. However, when using the new method created by Professor Kim, the solution becomes a heterogeneous mixture, thus allowing the recovery of the nanomaterial that still maintains the functionality as a catalyst. Palladium is one of the rare-earth materials, known for having a higher price than gold. The ability to use this material again would drop the unit price of the medical supplies and medicines greatly. Moreover, it would also help to improve our natural environment, because the mining of such materials is one of the great factors of environmental destruction. PdO@WO₃ can also be used for creating a next-generation battery to replace the existing lithium-ion battery. The lithium-ion battery has an explosion hazard and low efficiency, which is currently used the most in electronic cars. The demand for the next-generation battery, especially the ones such as the metal-air battery is increasing more than ever. The zinc-air battery that is created through the cathode electrochemical catalyst function of PdO@WO₃ has higher energy density, with no possibility of any explosion hazard. When the zinc-air battery technology becomes commercialized, developing electric cars that can replace cars with an internal combustion engine is expected to become much easier than before. ▲ a) A mimic diagram of C-C coupling reactions conducted using PdO@WO₃ as a light photocatalyst. b) The result of Oxygen Return Reaction conducted using PdO@ WO₃ as the electrocatalyst (Provided by Professor Kim Jong-ho) The discovery of Professor Kim (Thesis title: ‘Ultrathin WO3 Nanosheets Converted from Metallic WS2 Sheets by Spontaneous Formation and Deposition of PdO Nanoclusters for Visible Light-Driven C-C Coupling Reactions') was made possible through the failure of separate research. In the beginning, PdO@WO₃ was simply a byproduct of an experiment with another purpose. However, Professor Kim did not stop after faced with the failure. Instead, he thoroughly analyzed the result and continued various experiments on the newly created material. In the end, Professor Kim redefined the byproduct as a catalyst, after establishing a new method of conversion of the material. Professor Kim stated, “I discovered a new scientific knowledge from the result of an experiment that I thought of as a failure. I also want the students of Hanyang University to not be afraid of the result and to gain new knowledge within it.” The research took a total of two long years; one that ended up with the failed result of the former experiment, the other spent on analyzing and establishing PdO@WO₃. The NanoBio Chemistry Lab of Hanyang University, where Professor Kim's research was done, has continued its studies on creating eco-friendly nanocatalyst material. Professor Kim gained the original patent on the conversion method of PdO@WO₃ and published the work on a scientific journal. He is now considering the publication of how PdO@WO₃ can be applied and used for the metal-air battery. Global News Team global@hanyang.ac.kr

2020-01 06

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] When Exception Becomes a New Finding

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international, collaborative research program that clinched complete mapping and understanding of human genes. HGP offered clues to the resolution of diseases through genetic modifications. The base editors – which inserts, deletes, modifies, and replaces targeted DNA in a genome with engineered nucleases – are technological embodiments that integrate follow-up studies from HGP. Professor Bae Sangsu (Department of Chemistry), who has pointed out unreported issues in Adenine base editors, shared his insights with us. Professor Bae Sangsu (Department of Chemistry) published his new findings of Adenine base editors in Nature Biotechnology. Base editing technology has undergone technological innovations in the last decade. The CRISPR gene editing is the third-generation base editor following zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) gene editing and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) gene editing. The method allows the cell’s genome to be cut at the desired location by using a simplified version of the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 antiviral defense system. The CRISPR gene editing was selected as the 2015 Breakthrough of the Year by Science. The base editing systems are now more influenced by nucleic acid sequences. A nucleic acid sequence is a succession of base-pairs signified by a series of Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, and Thymine, which determines the biological characteristics of a living organism. Cytosine base editors (CBEs) and adenine base editors (ABEs) are the two major base editors that efficiently enable base substitutions. Recently, some researchers have reported their observations of unexpected ABE-induced cytosine conversions in mouse embryos. These conversions were thought to be exceptional cases. However, Bae’s research team found out that ABEs convert cytosine to guanine or thymine in a narrow editing window and a confined TC*N sequence context. These figures present cytosine editing by ABEs. (Photo courtesy of Bae) “What we found is that cytosine conversion in ABE is a systematic consequence in a certain situation,” said Bae. “Our findings are like bugs in smartphone applications.” This research has proven that the ABE cytosine deamination activity is relatively minor compared to the canonical ABE adenine deamination activity, but is an independent one. “It is clear that CRISPR-based base editing technologies have advanced the genome-editing field,” said Bae. The professor is looking forward to making a better tool by overcoming these unexpected results. His research team is working to develop ABE which does not convert Cytosine as an improvement study. At the same time, Bae is also involved in developing a more efficient CBE through his findings. Bae is trying to carry on his research into the advancement of both ABE and CBE base editors. Some say that even a minor error may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement. Bae’s effort to systemize exceptions are set to support the quality of human life by enhancement in base editing technology. Oh Kyu-jin alex684@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun