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Professor Hyun Gyu Park Appointed as Associate Editor for Biosensors and Bioelectronics
Professor Hyun Gyu Park from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering was appointed as an associate editor for Biosensors and Bioelectronics, an international journal published by Elsevier. Biosensors and Bioelectronics is one of the top SCI journals in the fields of chemistry and analytical science (IF 9.518 as of 2018). Professor Park was recognized and appointed as the associate editor for this journal due to his outstanding research achievements in the fields of nucleic acid engineering, biosensors, and nanobiotechnology. Professor Park will serve as the associate editor from this October until December 2021. (END)
Affordable Genetic Diagnostic Technique for Target DNA Analysis Developed
Professor Hyun-Gyu Park of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at KAIST has developed a technique to analyze various target DNAs using an aptamer, a DNA fragment that can recognize and bind to a specific protein or enzyme. This technique will allow the development of affordable genetic diagnoses for new bacteria or virus, such as Middle Ease Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The research findings were published in the June issue of Chemical Communications, issued by the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom. The paper was selected as a lead article of the journal. The existing genetic diagnosis technique, based on molecular beacon probes, requires a new beacon probe whenever a target DNA mutates. As a result, it was costly to analyze various target DNA fragments. To address this problem, Professor Park’s team designed an aptamer that binds and deactivates DNA polymerase. The technique was used in reverse, so that the aptemer did not bind to the polymerase, maintaining its activated state, only if the target DNA was present. These probes are called TagMan probes. The controlled activation and deactivation of DNA polymerase enables nucleic acid to elongate or dwindle, making it possible to measure fluorescence signals coming from TaqMan probes. This same probe can be used to detect various target DNAs, leading to the development of a new and sensitive genetic diagnostic technique. Unlike the existing molecular beacon probe technique which requires a new probe for every target DNA, this new technique uses the same fluorescent TaqMan probe, which is cheaper and easier to detect a number of different target nucleic acid fragments. The application of this technique will make the process of identifying and detecting foreign DNAs from pathogens such as virus and bacteria more affordable and simple. Professor Park said, “This technique will enable us to develop simpler diagnostic kits for new pathogens, such as MERS, allowing a faster response to various diseases. Our technology can also be applied widely in the field of genetic diagnostics.” Picture: A schematic image of target nucleic acid extracted through the activation and deactivation of DNA polymerase
New Diagnosis System for Cardiovascular Disease Developed
Professor Park Hyun Kyu of the department of Biological-Chemical Engineering developed a new diagnosis system for diagnosing cardiovascular diseases using E.coli to test the homocysteine concentration in the blood. The research team used the genetic recombination process to produce two different biologically illuminant nutrition cultures and compared the growth rate of the homocysteine between the two cultures by comparing the degree of luminescence. The technology can allow the simultaneous analysis of blood samples en masse and is also economical and thus is being regarded as a major step forward in the field of homocysteine concentration analysis which is a rapidly growing field. The conventional method used high performance liquid chromatography which took a long time to complete and was costly to run. The advantage of the newly developed system is that it gets rid of costly steps as it only needs to grow E.coli and measure the luminescence of the naturally occurring illuminant. The research was published as the cover paper of the April edition of ‘Analytical Chemistry’.
Low Cost and Simple Gene Analysis Technology Developed
Professor Park Hyun Kyu of the Department of Biology and Chemical Engineering has developed a ‘real time CPR’ using Methylene Blue (nucleic acid bonding molecule with Electro-Chemical property). The current gene analysis being used in the field is the real time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) which takes advantage of the luminescent property of the gene and therefore requires expensive machines and chemicals to run. By contrast, the electro-chemical method is easy to use and low cost and, most importantly, it allows the machine to become small and portable. Professor Park’s research team used the decrease in the electro-chemical signal when the Methylene Blue reacts with nucleic acid and applied this to PCR which allowed for the real time analysis of the nucleic acid amplification process. With the result of the experiment as the basis, the team was able to perform a trial with Chlamydia trachomatis, a pathogen that causes sexually transmitted disease. The result showed that the electro-chemical method showed the same performance level as the real time PCR, which proved that the technology can be applied to diagnosing various diseases and gene research.
Explanation for the polymerized nucleic acid enzyme's abnormal activation found
KAIST’s Professor Park Hyun Kyu of the Department of Bio Chemical Engineering revealed on the 23rd of December 2010 that his team had successfully developed the technology that uses the metal ions to control the abnormal activation of nucleic acids’ enzymes and using this, created a logic gate, which is a core technology in the field of future bio electrons. The polymerized nucleic acid enzyme works to increase the synthesis of DNA and kicks into action only when the target DNA and primers form complimentary pairs (A and T, C and G). Professor Park broke the common conception and found that it is possible for none complimentary pairs like T-T and C-C to initiate the activation of the enzyme and thus increase the nucleic acid production, given that there are certain metal ions present. What Professor Park realized is that the enzymes mistake the uncomplimentary T-T and C-C pairs (with stabilized structures due to the bonding with mercury and silver ions) as being complimentary base pairs. Professor Park described this phenomenon as the “illusionary polymerase activity.” The research team developed a logic gate based on the “illusionary polymerase activity’ phenomenon.” The logic gate paves the way to the development of future bio electron needed for bio computers and high performance memories. Professor Park commented, “The research is an advancement of the previous research carried on about metal ions and nucleic acid synthesis. Our research is the first attempt at merging the concepts of the two previously separately carried out researches and can be adapted for testing presence of metal ions and development of a new single nucleotide polymorphic gene analysis technology.” Professor Park added that, “Our research is a great stride in the field of nano scale electron element research as the results made possible the formation of accurate logic gates through relatively cost efficient and simple system designs.” On a side note, the research was funded by Korea Research Foundation (Chairman: Park Chan Mo) and was selected as the cover paper for the December issue of ‘Angewandte Chemie International Edition’.
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