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KAIST was invited to the World Economic Forum's fourth "Summer Davos."
KAIST attended the World Economic Forum’s “Summer Davos Forum” held from September 13 to 15 in Tianjin, China. The Summer Davos Forum hosted various sessions and meetings with international dignitaries from governments, business and public organizations, and academia on the main theme of “Driving Growth through Sustainability.” On September 14, four subjects including “Electric Vehicles,” “Humanoid Robotics,” “Next Generation of Biomaterials,” and “New Developments in Neuroengineering” were presented by KAIST, followed by discussions with forum participants. Professor Jae-Seung Jeong of the Bio and Brain Engineering Department, Sang-Yup Lee of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, Joon-Ho Oh of the Mechanical Engineering Department, and President Nam-Pyo Suh participated in the forum as presenters of the topic. Of these speakers, Professors Jae-Seung Jeong and Sang-Yup Lee were nominated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as members of the “Young Global Leader” and “Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies,” respectively. President Suh was also invited to the CEO Insight Group and delivered an opening speech on OLEV (Online Electric Vehicle) and the Mobile Harbor. President Suh plans to sign an MOU for research cooperation with Jong-Hoo Kim of Bell Lab and Shirley Jackson of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the near future, respectively. Since 2007, the WEF, in charge of the world’s largest international conference called “Davos Forum” has hosted a “Summer Davos Forum,” also called as the “Annual Meeting of New Champions.” The Summer Davos Forum consists of nations, rising global companies, next generation of global leaders, and cities or nations that lead technological innovations. Unlike the annual Davos Forum held in January, the “Annual Meeting of New Champions” is held in September of each year in Tianjin and Dalian, China. Since 2009, the WEF has added a special session called IdeasLab in the Davos and Summer Davos Forums. Through IdeasLab, prominent universities from all over the world, research organizations, venture businesses, NGOs, and NPOs are invited to exchange and discuss innovative and creative ideas that can contribute to the development of mankind. Until now, universities including INSEAD, EPFL-ETH, MIT, Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tsinghua University, and Keio University have been invited to the IdeasLab. KAIST is the first Korean university to attend this session.
Texas Instruments, Inc. Agreed for Collaborative Research with Professor Hai-Joon Yoo, the Electrical Engineering Department of KAIST
Professor Hai-Joon Yoo from the Electrical Engineering Department of KAIST made a research collaboration agreement with Texas Instruments (TI), Inc. in July 2010 to develop a “Many-core Processor Chip,” a chip that is designed to emulate a human brain. TI, Inc. is an American company based in Dallas, Texas and renowned for developing and commercializing semiconductor and computer technology. The company is the 4th largest manufacturer of semiconductors worldwide, 2nd supplier of chips for cellular handsets, and 1st producer of digital signal processors and analog semiconductors, among a wide range of semiconductor products. TI, Inc. has designated Professor Yoo’s lab as one of its official labs and promised to give financial supports for the lab—it has pledged to donate a total value of 300 million won of research fund and equipment to Professor Yoo. On July 21, 2010, the signboard hanging ceremony for the designation of a TI Lab was held at Professor Yoo’s lab. Professor Yoo developed a neuro-circuit network to emulate a human brain by adopting a mixed mode circuit that has chips for analog and digital circuits. He then has conducted a research to graft the mixed mode circuit onto a Many-core Processor to integrate the human intelligence into a conventional single-core processor that can process one instruction at a time. The Many-core Processor, once developed, can be applied to various kinds of products such as an artificial intelligence surveillance camera, robot, smart car, and the like. Professor Yoo has presented his research results at numerous international meetings and conferences, among other things, the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), a global forum sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for presentation of advances in solid-state circuits and Systems-on-a-Chip. The Conference offers a unique opportunity for engineers working at the cutting edge of IC design to maintain technical currency, and to network with leading experts. Professor Yoo is a senior member of IEEE and Chairman of ISSCC in Asia.
President of Israel visited KAIST on June 9, 2010.
President of Israel, Shimon Peres, visited KAIST today on June 9, 2010 to witness the development of science and technology in Korea and explore ways of establishing collaboration and cooperation with industries and universities between Korea and Israel. President Peres led a delegation consisted of the Israeli Mister of Industry, Trade, and Labor, the Minister of Communication, and 60 business leaders from the top companies in the security, infrastructure, communication, high-tech, and water industries. Upon their arrival to the campus, the Israeli delegation was greeted by KAIST’s humanoid robot, “HUBO,” and then moved to its branch campus, IT Convergence Campus, for a ride of Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) that has been developed by KAIST. The OLEV receives the necessary power through the cable lines buried underground, so it can be provided with a constant and continuous supply of electricity while running or stopping. Between roads and OLEVs is nothing but space. There is no electrical wires intricately crossed underbody of the electric car or above the road. The pick-up equipment installed beneath the body of the electric car collects magnetic fields created around the underground cables, which then converts the filed into electricity. The OLEV’s wireless, non-contact charging system made it possible for a battery currently used for hybrid or pure electric cars on the market to be smaller and cheaper. President Peres expressed a great interest in the technology applied to the OLVE, quoting, “the OLEV system is indeed very impressive.” He talked about efforts being made in Israel with respect to the development of electric cars. The country plans to replace the conventional transportation system with electric cars by constructing a network of battery exchange stations and roadside charge points which allow the cars to be charged whenever they are parked. “Despite the different approach taken by the two nations for the development of electric cars, I believe that transforming the automobile industry from combustion engine to electric system is the right direction we should all follow. Without addressing the current transportation system that heavily dependent on natural resources, we will not be able to promote “green growth on a global scale,” added President Peres. In addition to electric cars, President Peres took up a considerable portion of his time to exchange ideas on how to expand cooperative relations between universities in Korea and Israel, specifically in the area of space, biotechnology, nanotechnology, high-tech, renewable and alternative energy, and the EEWS initiatives that have been implemented by KAIST to find answers to global issues such as climate change and depletion of natural resources. The EEWS stands for energy, environment, water, and sustainability. In response, the president of KAIST pledged to set up a stronger and greater tie with research universities in Israel, particularly called for more collaboration between KAIST and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Also, the Israeli delegation had a tour for several Korean research and development centers in Daedeok Innopolis, located in the City of Daejeon, which is the 2nd largest science and research complex in Korea. Shimon Peres, the 9th president of Israel, held many of important government positions in Israel, among other things, Prime Minster and Minister of Defense. He won Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the conclusion of a peace agreement, Oslo Accords, between Israel and Palestine Liberation Organization.
Interesting research results were published on the use of Twitter.
The number of “followers” on your Twitter account does not necessarily mean that “Your opinions matter much” to other people. A KAIST graduate researcher, Mi-Young Cha, joined an interesting project that studies the influence of a popular social media, Twitter. Most of Twitter users today consider the number of followers as a measurement of their influence on the social sphere. According to the research paper, however, this connection does not seem to standing together. For details, please click the link below for an article published by the New York Times. Dr. Cha received all of her post secondary education degrees in Computer Science, including her Ph.D. in 2008, from KAIST. Since 2008 till now, she has been a post doctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) based in Germany. [New York Times Article, March 19, 2010] http://www.nytimes.com/external/readwriteweb/2010/03/19/19readwriteweb-the-million-follower-fallacy-audience-size-d-3203.html
New drug targeting method for microbial pathogens developed using in silico cell
A ripple effect is expected on the new antibacterial discovery using “in silico” cells Featured as a journal cover paper of Molecular BioSystems A research team of Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee at KAIST recently constructed an in silico cell of a microbial pathogen that is resistant to antibiotics and developed a new drug targeting method that could effectively disrupt the pathogen"s growth using the in silico cell. Hyun Uk Kim, a graduate research assistant at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, KAIST, conducted this study as a part of his thesis research, and the study was featured as a journal cover paper in the February issue of Molecular BioSystems this year, published by The Royal Society of Chemistry based in Europe. It was relatively easy to treat infectious microbes using antibiotics in the past. However, the overdose of antibiotics has caused pathogens to increase their resistance to various antibiotics, and it has become more difficult to cure infectious diseases these days. A representative microbial pathogen is Acinetobacter baumannaii. Originally isolated from soils and water, this microorganism did not have resistance to antibiotics, and hence it was easy to eradicate them if infected. However, within a decade, this miroorganism has transformed into a dreadful super-bacterium resistant to antibiotics and caused many casualties among the U.S. and French soldiers who were injured from the recent Iraqi war and infected with Acinetobacter baumannaii. Professor Lee’s group constructed an in silico cell of this A. baumannii by computationally collecting, integrating, and analyzing the biological information of the bacterium, scattered over various databases and literatures, in order to study this organism"s genomic features and system-wide metabolic characteristics. Furthermore, they employed this in silico cell for integrative approaches, including several network analysis and analysis of essential reactions and metabolites, to predict drug targets that effectively disrupt the pathogen"s growth. Final drug targets are the ones that selectively kill pathogens without harming human body. Here, essential reactions refer to enzymatic reactions required for normal metabolic functioning in organisms, while essential metabolites indicate chemical compounds required in the metabolism for proper functioning, and their removal brings about the effect of simultaneously disrupting their associated enzymes that interact with them. This study attempted to predict highly reliable drug targets by systematically scanning biological components, including metabolic genes, enzymatic reactions, that constitute an in silico cell in a short period of time. This research achievement is highly regarded as it, for the first time, systematically scanned essential metabolites for the effective drug targets using the concept of systems biology, and paved the way for a new antibacterial discovery. This study is also expected to contribute to elucidating the infectious mechanism caused by pathogens. "Although tons of genomic information is poured in at this moment, application research that efficiently converts this preliminary information into actually useful information is still lagged behind. In this regard, this study is meaningful in that medically useful information is generated from the genomic information of Acinetobacter baumannii," says Professor Lee. "In particular, development of this organism"s in silico cell allows generation of new knowledge regarding essential genes and enzymatic reactions under specific conditions," he added. This study was supported by the Korean Systems Biology Project of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and the patent for the development of in silico cells of microbial pathogens and drug targeting methods has been filed. [Picture 1 Cells in silico] [Picture 2 A process of generating drug targets without harming human body while effectively disrupting the growth of a pathogen, after predicting metabolites from in silico cells]
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