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Professor Hwang Kyu Young and Professor Yang Dong Yeol Receives Engineer of Korea Award
Emeritus Professor Hwang Kyu Young (Department of Computer Sciences) and Professor Yang Dong Yeol (Department of Mechanical Engineering) were named as the 2012 Engineer of Korea by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology and Korea Science Foundation. The Engineer of Korea Award is awarded biannually to scientists and engineers that have contributed to the development of Korea’s science and technology and national economy. Professor Hwang’s work with DBMS and close coupling architecture of information search and overall new theories and application technology development in the field of database system has aided the opening and expansion of IT software industry development and the advent of internet information culture era. Professor Yang is a word renowned scholar in the field of net shape manufacturing and is considered to have opened a new page in the field of nano-molding technique. In addition, Professor Eum Sang Il (Department of Mathematical Science) has been selected as the 2012 Young Scientist Award.
KAIST Professors win 2012 Korea Engineering Award
Distinguished Professor Hwang Gyu Young (Department of Computer Science) and Professor Yang Dong Yol (Department of Mechanical Engineering) from KAIST received the 2012 ‘Korea Engineering Award’ hosted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Korea Research Foundation. The ‘Korea Engineering Award’ is given biennially to researchers who have accomplished world class research and have contributed greatly to Korea’s development in the field of Science and Technology. The award started in 1994 and a total of 24 recipients were recognized in various fields such as electronics, mechanics, chemistry, construction, etc. The recipients of the award areawarded the Presidential award as well as 50million won as prize money. Professor Hwang was recognized for his research on DBMS close-coupling architecture as well as other new data base system theories, contributing to the development of the IT software industry in Korea. Professor Yang was praised for his work in precision shape creation and manufacturing, especially for his work in the nano-stereolithography process. In addition, Professor Oum Sang-il from the Deparment of Mathematical Science received the 2012 ‘Young Scientist Award’ hosted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. The ceremony for ‘Korea Engineering Award’ and the ‘Young Scientist Award’ was held in Seoul Press Center Press Club on the 21st of December.
Professor Cho Young-ho wins 'E2 Star' award
Professor Cho Young-ho from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering at KAIST was chosen as the ‘E2 Star’ at the ‘2012 Engineering Education Festa’ in academics. The ‘2012 Engineering Education Festa’ hosted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology was held to display outstanding research results and to conceptualize the future of science education. The ‘E2 star’ award is given to renowned figures in industry, academia and society. A total of 35 candidates were recommended for the 3 fields and Professor Cho received the first place in the online voting. Professor Cho received high marks for his work in engineering education, research development and increasing the communication between academia and industry, as well as the commercialization of science and technology. Professor Cho was especially praised for the specialization of engineering education in integrated fields and the joint research with US and Swiss universities. Professor Cho Young-ho(Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, KAIST)
Midam Scholarship Society Receives Minister of Education, Science, and Technology Prize for Education Donation
Midam Scholarship Society, consisting of KAIST students, has been awarded the First Korea Education Donation Grand Prize from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The Education Donation Prize has been created in order to encourage those university clubs that have been increasing awareness of education donation and at the same time donating educational services themselves. Midam Scholarship Society was established by KAIST students in 2009 to provide educational services to those students from low income families. Currently over 200 students from six different universities (KAIST, UNIST, Pusan University, Chonnam University, Kyungpook National University, Kumoh Engineering University) are involved in the Midam Scholarship Society. Approximately 70 students participate in the KAIST Midam Scholarship Society. The classes take place in the classrooms every week for three hours over a period of three months. The classes are offered to over 1,000 high school students in and near DaeJeon.
Jellyfish removal robot developed
Professor Myung Hyun’s research team from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at KAIST has developed a jellyfish removal robot named ‘JEROS’ (JEROS: Jellyfish Elimination RObotic Swarm). With jellyfish attacks around the south-west coast of Korea becoming a serious problem, causing deaths and operational losses (around 3 billion won a year), Professor Myung’s team started the development of this unmanned automatic jellyfish removal system 3 years ago. JEROS floats on the surface of the water using two long cylindrical bodies. Motors are attached to the bodies such that the robot can move back and forth as well as rotate on water. A camera and GPS system allows the JEROS to detect jellyfish swarm as well as plan and calculate its work path relative to its position. The jellyfish are removed by a submerged net that sucks them up using the velocity created by the unmanned sailing. Once caught, the jellyfish are pulverized using a special propeller. JEROS is estimated to be 3 times more economical than manual removal. Upon experimentation, it showed a removal rate of 400kg per hour at 6 knots. To reach similar effectiveness as manual net removal, which removes up to 1 ton per hour, the research team designed the robot such that 3 or more individual robots could be grouped together and controlled as one. The research team has finished conducting removal tests in Gunsan and Masan and plan to commercialize the robot next April after improving the removal technology. JEROS technology can also be used for a wide range of purposes such as patrolling and guarding, preventing oil spills or removing floating waste. This research was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology since 2010.
First Annual CanSat Idea Exhibition held
The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology held the ‘CanSat’ Exhibition in order to increase interest and understanding of satellites in primary, secondary, and high school level students. The exhibition, hosted by KAIST Satellite Research Center and funded by Korea Aerospace Institute, was held in SaeJeong City. 90 primary, secondary school teams, 57 high school teams, and 14 university teams submitted their applications for participation. Of these teams 20 primary, secondary school teams, 5 high school teams, and 5 university teams were selected after thorough document valuation and presentation assessment. The 20 primary, secondary school teams participated in the science camp to gain firsthand experience in the construction and launch of a simple satellite system. The high school and university teams were evaluated by the level of completion of the task given and the level of creativity involved. The CanSat Exhibition has been held in aerospace powerhouses and this was the first time such an exhibition was held in Korea.
Systems biology demystifies the resistance mechanism of targeted cancer medication
Korean researchers have found the fundamental resistance mechanism of the MEK inhibitor, a recently highlighted chemotherapy method, laying the foundation for future research on overcoming cancer drug resistance and improving cancer survival rates. This research is meaningful because it was conducted through systems biology, a fusion of IT and biotechnology. The research was conducted by Professor Gwang hyun Cho’s team from the Department of Biology at KAIST and was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation of Korea. The research was published as the cover paper for the June edition of the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology (Title: The cross regulation between ERK and PI3K signaling pathways determines the tumoricidal efficacy of MEK inhibitor). Targeted anticancer medication targets certain molecules in the signaling pathway of the tumor cell and not only has fewer side effects than pre-existing anticancer medication, but also has high clinical efficacy. The technology also allows the creation of personalized medication and has been widely praised by scientists worldwide. However, resistances to the targeted medication have often been found before or during the clinical stage, eventually causing the medications to fail to reach the drug development stage. Moreover, even if the drug is effective, the survival rate is low and the redevelopment rate is high. An active pathway in most tumor cells is the ERK (Extracellular signal-regulated kinases) signaling pathway. This pathway is especially important in the development of skin cancer or thyroid cancer, which are developed by the mutation of the BRAF gene inside the path. In these cases, the MEK (Extracellular signal-regulated kinases) inhibitor is an effective treatment because it targets the pathway itself. However, the built-up resistance to the inhibitor commonly leads to the redevelopment of cancer. Professor Cho’s research team used large scale computer simulations to analyze the fundamental resistance mechanism of the MEK inhibitor and used molecular cell biological experiments as well as bio-imaging* techniques to verify the results. * Bio-imaging: Checking biological phenomena at the cellular and molecular levels using imagery The research team used different mutational variables, which revealed that the use of the MEK inhibitor reduced the transmission of the ERK signal but led to the activation of another signaling pathway (the PI3K signaling pathway), reducing the effectiveness of the medication. Professor Cho’s team also found that this response originated from the complex interaction between the signaling matter as well as the feedback network structure, suggesting that the mix of the MEK inhibitor with other drugs could improve the effects of the targeted anticancer medication. Professor Cho stated that this research was the first of its kind to examine the drug resistivity against the MEK inhibitor at the systematic dimension and showed how the effects of drugs on the signaling pathways of cells could be predicted using computer simulation. It also showed how basic research on signaling networks can be applied to clinical drug use, successfully suggesting a new research platform on overcoming resistance to targeting medication using its fundamental mechanism.
The hereditary factor of autism revealed
Korean researchers have successfully investigated the causes and hereditary factors for autistic behavior and proposed a new treatment method with fewer side effects. This research was jointly supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation as part of the Leading Researcher and Science Research Center Program The research findings were publishing in the June edition of Nature magazine and will also be introduced in the July edition of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, under the title ‘Autistic-like social behavior in Shank2-mutant mice improved by restoring NMDA receptor function’. The research team found that lack of Shank2 genes in mice, which are responsible for the production of synapse proteins, caused autistic-like behavior. The results strongly suggested that the Shank2 gene was linked to autistic behavior and that Shank2 deficiency induced autistic behaviors. Autism is a neural development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, repetitive behavior, mental retardation, anxiety and hyperactivity. Around 100 million people worldwide display symptoms of autistic behavior. Recent studies conducted by the University of Washington revealed that 1 out of 3 young adults who display autistic behavior do not fit into the workplace or get accepted to college, a much higher rate than any other disorder. However, an effective cure has not yet been developed and current treatments are limited to reducing repetitive behavior. The research team confirmed autistic-like social behavior in mice without the Shank2 genes and that the mice had decreased levels of neurotransmission in the NMDA receptor. The mice also showed damaged synaptic plasticity* in the hippocampus**. * Plasticity: ability of the connectionbetween two neurons to change in strength in response to transmission of information **Hippocampus: part of the brain responsible for short-term and long-term memory as well as spatial navigation. The research team also found out that, to restore the function of the NMDA receptor, the passive stimulation of certain receptors, such as the mGLuR5, yielded better treatment results than the direct stimulation of the NMDA. This greatly reduces the side effects associated with the direct stimulation of receptors, resulting in a more effective treatment method. This research successfully investigated the function of the Shank2 gene in the nerve tissue and showed how the reduced function of the NMDA receptor, due to the lack of the gene, resulted in autistic behavior. It also provided new possibilities for the treatment of autistic behavior and impaired social interaction
Biomimetic reflective display technology developed
Professor Shin Jung Hoon The bright colors of a rainbow or a peacock are produced by the reflection and interference of light in transparent periodic structures, producing what is called a structural color. These colors are very bright and change according to the viewing angle. On the other hand, the wings of a morpho-butterfly also have structural colors but are predominantly blue over a wide range of angles. This is because the unique structure of the morpho-butterfly’s wings contains both order and chaos. Professor Shin Jung Hoon’s team from the Department of Physics and the Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology at KAIST produced a display that mimics the structure of the morpho-butterfly’s wings using glass beads. This research successfully produced a reflective display (one that reflects external light to project images), which could be used to make very bright displays with low energy consumption. This technology can also be used to make anti-counterfeit bills, as well as coating materials for mobile phones and wallets. The structure of the morpho-butterfly’s wings seems to be in periodic order at the 1-micrometer level, but contains disorder at the 100-nanometer level. So far, no one had succeeded in reproducing a structure with both order and disorder at the nanometer level. Professor Shin’s team randomly aligned differently sized glass beads of a few hundred nanometers to create chaos and placed a thin periodic film on top of it using the semiconductor deposition method, thereby creating the morpho-butterfly-like structure over a large area. This new development produced better color and brightness than the morpho-butterfly wing and even exhibited less color change according to angle. The team sealed the film in thin plastic, which helped to maintain the superior properties whilst making it more firm and paper-like. Professor Shin emphasized that the results were an exemplary success in the field of biomimetics and that structural colors could have other applications in sensors and fashion, for example. The results were first introduced on May 3rd in Nature as one of the Research Highlights and will be published in the online version of the material science magazine, Advanced Materials. This research was jointly conducted by Professor Shin Jung Hoon (Department of Physics / Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology at KAIST), Professor Park NamKyoo (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Seoul National University), and Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. The funding was provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as part of the World Class University (WCU) project. Figure 2. The biomimetic film can express many different colors Figure 3. The biomimetic diplay and a morpho-butterfly
Creation of Synthetic Antibodies: Professor Hak Seong Kim
Synthetics antibodies which can replace antibodies from humans used as ingredients of medicines have been developed. It can increase the costs to 1/100 of the current costs and is much easier to develop. It is expected that the development period will be shortened from 10 years to 5. Prof. Hak Seong Kim from the Biology department of KAIST conducted a joint research with Prof. Dong Seob Kim to reconstruct proteins and has succeeded. The synthetic antibody displays much strength in terms of its productivity, structural formation, and bonding capability, and is thus regarded as an ideal protein. It can replace the antigens that are currently in use. It is expected that Korea will therefore be able to lead the world market for protein medicines which is a 192trillion won industry. The original antibody has been used for not only treating diseases, but also for various other applications in the fields of medical sciences and biology. However, it is produced through a very complex process involving the incubation of animal cells, and is therefore very expensive. Also, most antibodies are already patented by more developed countries, so a high royalty fee must be paid. Because of this, many countries including Korea has been concentrating on developing biosimilars copying the antibody medicines for which the patents have already expired. This causes Korea to be behind in the development of antibody protein pharmaceuticals. Prof. Kim’s research team has focused on the face that the protein existing in some eels are not antibodies but functions as one, and has been successful in developing a synthetic antibody. The synthetic antibody can be mass produced from the colon bacillus, which allows it to be produced at 1/100 the original cost. It is in a module structure which allows the structuring of the antibody into the desired structure, enabling it to be developed into a protein-based medicine within 5 years. Together with this, the coherence with the important antigens can be easily controlled, thus allowing for highly effective treatments, less side-effects, high security regarding heat and pH, and the immunogen levels being negligeable. This suggests a very high rate of the antibody being converted into a protein based medication. The synthetic antibody technology has been tested as a sample for the cure for lung diseases and rheumatism and has been proven to be appropriate. Animal testing will be conducted soon. Prof Kim said “The original antibodies had a small area allowing the bonding with antibodies, creating barriers for raising bonding strength and structuring. The newly created antibody carries only the strengths and will become a new protein based medicine purely created by Korean technology to replace the antibodies currently used in medications.” Furthermore, he added that, “The synthesized antibody structuring and designing technology will be widely used in the areas of detecting, diagnosing, and analyzing diseases.” At the same time, this research result has been published in the Feb 10th issue of the PNAS, and has been supported by the future promising pioneer business program held by the Ministry of Education and Technology.
Inexpensive Separation Method of Graphene Developed
The problem with commercializing graphene that is synthesized onto metals over a wide area is that it can not be separated from the metal. However, a groundbreaking separation technology which is both cheap and environment friendly has been developed. Prof. Taek soo Kim and Prof. Byung Jin Cho"s research teams have conducted this research under the support of the Global Frontier program and Researcher Support Program initiated by The Ministry of Education and Science and Korea Research Foundation. The research results have been posted on the online news flash of Nano Letters on februrary 29th. (Thesis title: Direct Measurement of Adhesion Energy of Monolayer Graphene As-Grown on Copper and Its Application to Renewable Transfer Process) The research has generated exact results on the interfacial adhesive energy of graphene and its surface material for the first time. Through this, the catalyst metal are no longer to be used just once, but will be used for an infinite number of times, thereby being ecofriendly and efficient. Wide area graphine synthesized onto the catalyst meatal are used in various ways such as for display and for solar cells. There has been much research going on in this field. However, in order to use this wide area graphene, the graphene must be removed from the catalyst metal without damage. Until now, the metal had been melted away through the use of chemical substances in order to separate the graphene. However, this method has been very problematic. The metal can not be reused, the costs are very high, much harmful wastes were created in the process of melting the metals, and the process was very complicated. The research teams of Professors Taek Su Kim and Byung Jin Cho measured the interfacial adhesive energy of the synthesized graphene and learned that it could be easily removed. Also, the mechanically removed graphene was successfully used in creating molecular electronic devices directly. This has thus innovatively shortened the graphene manufacturing process. Also, it has been confirmed that the metalic board can be reused multiple times after the graphene is removed. A new, ecofriendly and cost friendly method of graphene manufacturing has been paved. Through this discovery, it is expected that graphene will become easier to manufacture and that the period til the commercialization date of graphene will therefore be greatly reduced Prof. Cho stated " This reserach has much academical meaning significance in that it has successfully defined the surfacial adhesive energy between the graphene and its catalyst material and it should receive much attention in that it solved the largest technical problem involved in the production of graphene.
New Era for Measuring Ultra Fast Phenomena: Atto Science Era
Domestic researchers successfully measured the exact status of the rapidly changing Helium atom using an atto second pulse. Thanks to this discovery, many ultrafast phenomena in nature can now be precisely measured. This will lead to an opening of a new "Atto Science" era. Prof. Nam Chang Hee led this research team and Ph.d Kim Kyung Taek and Prof. Choi Nak Ryul also participated in this research. They have conducted the research under the support of the Researcher Support Program initiated by The Ministry of Education and Science and Korea Research Foundation. The research result was published in the prestigious journal "Physical Review Letters" on March 2nd. (Title: Amplitude and Phase Reconstruction of Electron Wave Packets for Probing Ultrafast Photoionization Dynamics) Prof. Nam Chang Hee"s research team used atto second pulse to measure the ultrafast photoionization. His team used atto second X-ray pulse and femto second laser pulse to photoionize Helium atoms, and measure the wave speed of the produced electron to closely investigate the ultrafast photoionization process. Atom"s photoionization measurement using an atto second pulse was possible using the research team"s high-energy femto second laser and high-performance photo ion measurement device. This research team succeeded in producing the shortest 60 atto second pulse in the world using high-harmonic waves. The research team used high-power femto second laser to produce atto second high-harmonic pulse from argon gas, used this to photoionize Helium atoms, and measured the ultrafast photoionization of the atoms. Prof. Nam Chang Hee said, "This research precisely measured the exact status of rapidly changing Helium atoms. I am planning to research on measuring the ultrafast phenomena inside atoms and molecules and controlling the status of the atoms and molecules based on the research result."
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