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Seung-Han Lee, a doctoral student in electrical engineering, receives the best paper award from ISQED 2014
Seung-Han Lee, a doctoral candidate in the department of electrical engineering at KAIST, received a Best Paper Award from the International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design (ISQED), a high-profile international conference started in 2000 to promote innovation and quality in electronic and engineering designs through inter- and multidisciplinary approaches. The award ceremony will take place at the 2014 ISQED on March 3-5, 2014 at the Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, USA. Professor Chong-Min Kyung, an advisor to Seung-Han, expressed his excitement about his student's achievement. “This is the first time a Korean has ever received the best paper award at this academic conference. It’s great news to our student as well as to KAIST.” The topic of Lee’s research paper was dynamic cache data management for minimizing the energy consumption of three-dimensional multi-processor semiconductor chips.
World's Largest Web Conference To Be Held in Korea
The 2014 International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2014), the world’s most prestigious academic conference in the field of web, will be held for the first time in Korea. The conference is to be last for five days at Seoul COEX, from 7th to 11th April. International World Wide Web Conference covers a wide range of web-related areas, including technologies, research papers, services and more. Since the first conference in 1994 in Switzerland, it has been held in various parts of North America, Europe, South America and Asia, attracting more than 1000 experts in the field. The 23rd International World Wide Web Conference is managed by the International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee (IW3C2) and co-hosted by KAIST and National Agency for Technology and Standards, as well as sponsored by Korea Information Science Society and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Keynote speakers for this year’s conference include inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, senior vice president of Microsoft, Dr. Qi Lu, and Carnegie Mellon University’s Prof. Christos Faloutsos, as well as Samsung Electronic’s vice president Jong-Deok Choi. In addition to WWW 2014, BigData Innovators Gathering (BIG 2014) and Web for Access (W4A 2014) is also to be held in joint. KAIST Computer Sciences Department’s Prof. Jinwan Jeong, in charge of directing this year’s conference, said “From one-sided 1st generation web to two-way 2nd generation web, such as blogs, and then recently to the 3rd generation web, which include social networks and semantic webs, the web technologies has grown vastly over the past 25 years. WWW 2014 will be the opportunity for Korea to discuss with the world about the informatization and future of the web.” Pre-registration for WWW 2014 can be applied at the official webpage for WWW 2014 (http://www2014.kr) before 17th February.
KAIST announced a novel technology to produce gasoline by a metabolically engineered microorganism
A major scientific breakthrough in the development of renewable energy sources and other important chemicals; The research team succeeded in producing 580 mg of gasoline per liter of cultured broth by converting in vivo generated fatty acids For many decades, we have been relying on fossil resources to produce liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and many industrial and consumer chemicals for daily use. However, increasing strains on natural resources as well as environmental issues including global warming have triggered a strong interest in developing sustainable ways to obtain fuels and chemicals. Gasoline, the petroleum-derived product that is most widely used as a fuel for transportation, is a mixture of hydrocarbons, additives, and blending agents. The hydrocarbons, called alkanes, consist only of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Gasoline has a combination of straight-chain and branched-chain alkanes (hydrocarbons) consisted of 4-12 carbon atoms linked by direct carbon-carbon bonds. Previously, through metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli (E. coli), there have been a few research results on the production of long-chain alkanes, which consist of 13-17 carbon atoms, suitable for replacing diesel. However, there has been no report on the microbial production of short-chain alkanes, a possible substitute for gasoline. In the paper (entitled "Microbial Production of Short-chain Alkanes") published online in Nature on September 29, a Korean research team led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) reported, for the first time, the development of a novel strategy for microbial gasoline production through metabolic engineering of E. coli. The research team engineered the fatty acid metabolism to provide the fatty acid derivatives that are shorter than normal intracellular fatty acid metabolites, and introduced a novel synthetic pathway for the biosynthesis of short-chain alkanes. This allowed the development of platform E. coli strain capable of producing gasoline for the first time. Furthermore, this platform strain, if desired, can be modified to produce other products such as short-chain fatty esters and short-chain fatty alcohols. In this paper, the Korean researchers described detailed strategies for 1) screening of enzymes associated with the production of fatty acids, 2) engineering of enzymes and fatty acid biosynthetic pathways to concentrate carbon flux towards the short-chain fatty acid production, and 3) converting short-chain fatty acids to their corresponding alkanes (gasoline) by introducing a novel synthetic pathway and optimization of culture conditions. Furthermore, the research team showed the possibility of producing fatty esters and alcohols by introducing responsible enzymes into the same platform strain. Professor Sang Yup Lee said, "It is only the beginning of the work towards sustainable production of gasoline. The titer is rather low due to the low metabolic flux towards the formation of short-chain fatty acids and their derivatives. We are currently working on increasing the titer, yield and productivity of bio-gasoline. Nonetheless, we are pleased to report, for the first time, the production of gasoline through the metabolic engineering of E. coli, which we hope will serve as a basis for the metabolic engineering of microorganisms to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable resources." This research was supported by the Advanced Biomass Research and Development Center of Korea (ABC-2010-0029799) through the Global Frontier Research Program of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) through the National Research Foundation (NRF), Republic of Korea. Systems metabolic engineering work was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes on Systems Metabolic Engineering for Biorefineries (NRF-2012-C1AAA001-2012M1A2A2026556) by MSIP through NRF. Short-Chain Alkanes Generated from Renewable Biomass This diagram shows the metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of short-chain alkanes (gasoline) from renewable biomass. Nature Cover Page (September 29th, 2013)
Artist in residence program at KAIST
A new and innovative program to support artists’ creative activities was launched by KAIST for the first time in Korean college history. The artist in residence program is an unusual collaboration between engineers and artists. Out of hundreds of applicants for the program, three writers were selected: a novelist, web-based cartoonist, and screen writer. In late October, they became the residents of KAIST. Housing and an office are provided for the writers in addition to a monthly cash stipend of 800,000 won for up to six months. A variety of programs will be available as well including a tour of laboratories to help the writers get ideas and inspiration. KAIST’s Vice President Jun-Ho Oh, the founder of the program, said, “Artists can freshen their imagination, and KAIST members can benefit from them to promote creative and innovative ideas through exchange and collaboration.”
The new era of personalized cancer diagnosis and treatment
Professor Tae-Young Yoon - Succeeded in observing carcinogenic protein at the molecular level - “Paved the way to customized cancer treatment through accurate analysis of carcinogenic protein” The joint KAIST research team of Professor Tae Young Yoon of the Department of Physics and Professor Won Do Huh of the Department of Biological Sciences have developed the technology to monitor characteristics of carcinogenic protein in cancer tissue – for the first time in the world. The technology makes it possible to analyse the mechanism of cancer development through a small amount of carcinogenic protein from a cancer patient. Therefore, a personalised approach to diagnosis and treatment using the knowledge of the specific mechanism of cancer development in the patient may be possible in the future. Until recently, modern medicine could only speculate on the cause of cancer through statistics. Although developed countries, such as the United States, are known to use a large sequencing technology that analyses the patient’s DNA, identification of the interactions between proteins responsible for causing cancer remained an unanswered question for a long time in medicine. Firstly, Professor Yoon’s research team has developed a fluorescent microscope that can observe even a single molecule. Then, the “Immunoprecipitation method”, a technology to extract a specific protein exploiting the high affinity between antigens and antibodies was developed. Using this technology and the microscope, “Real-Time Single Molecule co-Immunoprecipitation Method” was created. In this way, the team succeeded in observing the interactions between carcinogenic and other proteins at a molecular level, in real time. To validate the developed technology, the team investigated Ras, a carcinogenic protein; its mutation statistically is known to cause around 30% of cancers. The experimental results confirmed that 30-50% of Ras protein was expressed in mouse tumour and human cancer cells. In normal cells, less than 5% of Ras protein was expressed. Thus, the experiment showed that unusual increase in activation of Ras protein induces cancer. The increase in the ratio of active Ras protein can be inferred from existing research data but the measurement of specific numerical data has never been done before. The team suggested a new molecular level diagnosis technique of identifying the progress of cancer in patients through measuring the percentage of activated carcinogenic protein in cancer tissue. Professor Yoon Tae-young said, “This newly developed technology does not require a separate procedure of protein expression or refining, hence the existing proteins in real biological tissues or cancer cells can be observed directly.” He also said, “Since carcinogenic protein can be analyzed accurately, it has opened up the path to customized cancer treatment in the future.” “Since the observation is possible on a molecular level, the technology confers the advantage that researchers can carry out various examinations on a small sample of the cancer patient.” He added, “The clinical trial will start in December 2012 and in a few years customized cancer diagnosis and treatment will be possible.” Meanwhile, the research has been published in Nature Communications (February 19). Many researchers from various fields have participated, regardless of the differences in their speciality, and successfully produced interdisciplinary research. Professor Tae Young Yoon of the Department of Physics and Professors Dae Sik Lim and Won Do Huh of Biological Sciences at KAIST, and Professor Chang Bong Hyun of Computational Science of KIAS contributed to developing the technique. Figure 1: Schematic diagram of observed interactions at the molecular level in real time using fluorescent microscope. The carcinogenic protein from a mouse tumour is fixed on the microchip, and its molecular characteristics are observed live. Figure 2: Molecular interaction data using a molecular level fluorescent microscope. A signal in the form of spike is shown when two proteins combine. This is monitored live using an Electron Multiplying Charge Coupled Device (EMCCD). It shows signal results in bright dots. An organism has an immune system as a defence mechanism to foreign intruders. The immune system is activated when unwanted pathogens or foreign protein are in the body. Antibodies form in recognition of the specific antigen to protect itself. Organisms evolved to form antibodies with high specificity to a certain antigen. Antibodies only react to its complementary antigens. The field of molecular biology uses the affinity between antigens and antibodies to extract specific proteins; a technology called immunoprecipitation. Even in a mixture of many proteins, the protein sought can be extracted using antibodies. Thus immunoprecipitation is widely used to detect pathogens or to extract specific proteins. Technology co-IP is a well-known example that uses immunoprecipitation. The research on interactions between proteins uses co-IP in general. The basis of fixing the antigen on the antibody to extract antigen protein is the same as immunoprecipitation. Then, researchers inject and observe its reaction with the partner protein to observe the interactions and precipitate the antibodies. If the reaction occurs, the partner protein will be found with the antibodies in the precipitations. If not, then the partner protein will not be found. This shows that the two proteins interact. However, the traditional co-IP can be used to infer the interactions between the two proteins although the information of the dynamics on how the reaction occurs is lost. To overcome these shortcomings, the Real-Time Single Molecule co-IP Method enables observation on individual protein level in real time. Therefore, the significance of the new technique is in making observation of interactions more direct and quantitative. Additional Figure 1: Comparison between Conventional co-IP and Real-Time Single Molecule co-IP
KAIST Ph.D Mihyun Jang Employed as Professor at Technische Universitat Graz
A Ph.D purely from Korea has been employed as a professor at Technische Universitat Graz. This is the news of Prof.Mihyun Kang (39) who has graduated from KAIST’s mathematics department. Prof.Kang has transferred on January 2012. KAIST explained that “it’s the first time for a mathematics Ph.D from Korea has been employed abroad.” Technische Universitat Graz of Australia is ranked the top third university within the country. It is a global university with 1,700 students from 78 different countries out of its 11,000 students. Prof. Kang researched mainly theories of combination including random graphing theories, analytical combination theories, and probabilistic combination theories. She has been employed as a lifetime professor through open recruitment where she competed with others through academic debates and interviews. Technische Universitat Graz valued Prof. Kang’s research highly made her the department head of the ‘Optimization and Discrete Mathematics department’ to create an environment where she could continuously research. Prof. Kang graduated from Jeju university majoring math educations and did her graduate studies in KAIST. She is a purely ‘Korean’ Ph.D. After her studies, she worked for Germany’s Humboldt University and Freie Universitat Berlin. In 2007, she was able to be employed as a professor in Germany, and in 2008, she was chosen as a Heisenberg fellow. Prof. Kang who had her research achievements recognized in Germany and Austria was also offered seat as professor in Ludwig Masximilan University of Germany and Alpenadria University in Austria, but chose Technische Universitat Graz.
In Demand: Ideas that can change the world in 10 years.
The hot topic of the day was from KOLON group (Chairman Lee Oung Yeol) and its decision to hold a contest exhibition specifically aimed at KAIST students, professors and staff on ideas that could potentially change the everyday lifestyle in the near future. It is the first time a Korean company in the top 30 to hold such a contest aimed at a specific university. The total prize money involved amounts to 50million Korean Won which will be handed out to ten teams. The 1st prize will be given to one team along with 20million Korean Won, the 2nd prize will be given to two teams each receiving 10million Korean Won, and the rest of the teams will be given 1million Korean Won worth in gift certificates. The idea contest is planned by KOLON-KAIST Lifestyle Innovation Center (from here on referred to as KOLON LSI Center). Anyone who is part of the KAIST community can participate by preparing a two A4 page report and sending it to email@example.com until October 31st five o’clock in the afternoon. The results and the awards ceremony will be held on the 23rd of November on ‘KOLON Day’. The Executive Director of KOLON Kim Kyung Yong commented, “The dreams of yesteryears like shrinking a room sized computer to fit in the palm of my hand and being able to communicate to anyone in the world have become reality. The KAIST community is composed of Korea’s finest in the field of Science, and it seemed fitting to search the KAIST community to find ideas that could potentially change the world in ten years’ time.”
Mrs. Kim Sam Yeol donates to KAIST 5 billion Korean Won in real estate following her husband Chairman Kim Byoung Ho's act of generosity.
“Everything is hard the first time around, but it becomes easier from the second time around. The same goes for donation. I wish my small donation can go a long way in the development of KAIST.” Chairman Kim Byoung Ho donated to KAIST 30 billion Korean Won in real estate in 2009 and on the 19th of September of 2011, his wife Mrs. Kim Sam Yeol visited President Seo Nam Pyo at KAIST Seoul campus to donate 5 billion Korean Won in real estate. It is the first time in KAIST history that the donator of a substantial donation or his/her family member donates once more, an equally substantial donation. Mrs. Kim relayed that, “Seeing the Kim Byoung Ho & Kim Same Yeol IT Fusion Center start construction in May of this year as a result of my husband’s donation made me think how great a contribution we have made in the development of this country” and that “It has been some time since I decided to make additional donation upon the completion of the IT Fusion Center in December.” She explained that the earlier than planned donation reflects her wish that KAIST begin using and investing her donation as quickly as possible. Mrs. Kim stated that, “We planned to build a mansion to live in in commemoration of our 30th wedding anniversary on the real estate property we donated, but it seemed much better and meaningful to take part in the joy of giving and donate to KAIST with the belief that the property will be used in a more meaningful way.” She went on to say that, “It was harder to make the decision to donate the second time around. We felt sorry for our son and his spouse, but our decision was made final when we thought of the professors, students, staff, including President Seo Nam Pyo who spend day and night working to develop science and technology in Korea.” Her husband Chairman Kim Byoung Ho agreed to donate the real estate property to KAIST. President Seo commented, “Mrs. Kim Sam Yeol’s donation will contribute greatly to the spread of the ‘donation virus’ and will be marked as the start of a new chapter. In order to commemorate her goodwill for KAIST, it will be seen to it that the donation will be used in manner that is meaningful and beneficial to the development of KAIST.” The couple, Kim Byoung Ho and Kim Sam Yeol, has donated a sum of 20 million Korean Won since their 2009 donation for the development of KAIST.
Late Dr. Ryu Geun Chul's Achievements and Generous Contributions
First Doctor in the field of Korean Traditional Medicine The late Dr. Ryu was born in 1926 and is the father figure of Korea’s Traditional Medicine and is its First Doctor (1976 Kyung Hee University), and was the vice-professor of Kyung Hee University of Medicine, Vice-Director of Kyung Hee Institute of Korean Traditional Medicine, and was the first chairman of the Association of Korea Oriental Medicine. He developed the painless acupuncture administering device for the first time in Korea in 1962, and succeeded in anesthetizing a patient for cesarean procedure using acupuncture in 1972. He even was the first to receive a medical engineering doctorate degree from the Moscow National Engineering School in April of 1996 and developed a stroke rehabilitation machine. Korea’s Most Generous Donor Dr. Ryu surprised the world by donating 57.8billion Won worth of real estate to KAIST in August of 2008. Dr. Ryu revealed that his reason for donating such a huge sum to KAIST was due to its focused students giving him the belief that the future of Korea is at KAIST and that the development of science and technology is necessary for Korea to develop into a world class nation and KAIST is the institute most suitable to lead Korea in the field. Dr. Ryu lived on KAIST campus after donating his entire fortune and even established ‘KAIST scholars and spacemen health research center’ and ‘Dr. Ryu Health Clinic’ as he also wanted to donate his knowledge. Even when he was a professor at Moscow National Engineering University in the late 1990s he carried out free medical work throughout Korea and in recognition of his devoted work, he was named honorary citizen from Chun Ahn city, San Chung city, and DaeJeon city. In 2007 he donated 450million Won to Cheon Dong Elementary School in Chun Ahn city to build a gymnasium and an indoor golf practice range. Role as Science and Technology Public Relations Officer Dr. Ryu volunteered to numerous lectures and interviews after donation to advertise science and technology. His belief that the development of science and technology is necessary for Korea’s development was the driving force behind his efforts at increasing interest and support for the field of science and technology. In addition, through interviews with MBC, KBS, SBS, KTV, Joong Ang Newspapers, Dong Ah Newspaper and other media mediums, Dr. Ryu improved the public perception on donations whilst increasing the pride of scientists and researchers by highlighting their importance and the importance of science and technology. In recognition of Dr. Ryu’s efforts, he received the 43rd Science Day Science and Technology Creation Award, 2010 MBC Social Service Special Award, and 2010 ‘Proud Chung Cheong Citizen’ Award.
Korea should find niche in space race, Korea Herald, December 20, 2010
A proud alumna of KAIST, Dr. Yi So-Yeon, who went to the International Space Station in the outer space for the first time as a Korean in 2009, had an interview with the Korea Herald. In the interview, she talks about her experience in working at the space station and her personal plans for the future as a researcher and astronaut. For the article, please click the link: http://www.koreaherald.com/lifestyle/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20101220000999
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