Research Highlights


New Study Discovers Vulture’s Scavenging Secrets

Discovery opens door to new strategy for protecting humans against infection. A recent study revealed that cinereous vultures, also known as Aegypius monachus, have a unique genetic make-up which enable them to thrive on carcasses without being affected by the harmful bacteria living on these remains. The study was jointly conducted by Dr. Jong Hwa Bhak (School of Life Science) of UNIST and Dr. Woon Kee Paek of National Science Museum of Korea. According to Dr. Bhak, a geneticist and lead Read more

Sequencing the Genome of an Ancient African

Mass Eurasian migration back into Africa, revealed by 4500-year-old skeleton Photo Credit: © 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science. An international team of researchers, affiliated with UNIST has recently announced that they have successfully extracted and sequenced DNA from a 4,500 year-old Ethiopian skull found in highlands in Ethiopia. The findings, published in the October 8th issue of journal Science, suggest that there was a huge migratory wave of Eurasians into Read more

Paving the Way for Cost-effective Production of Xylitol

Engineering, super-microbes that is capable of producing xylitol from non-food resources. Due to the current environmental problems, such as depletion of natural resources, much attention has been paid to the use of biomass as an alternative energy source. However, because biomass is biological material derived from living organisms, the conversion of biomass into energy production can be very costly. New research findings announced today offers a more effective, economic, and sustainable Read more

A Molecular View of Sperm Navigation

Among 10 million sperm racing for one egg, only a few sperm cells succeed to arrive at the right place and time for fertilization. What is the mechanism behind this extreme selection of one out of million? Sang-Hee Shim unveiled a molecular weapon of winning sperms in an article published in CELL. Shim and her colleagues at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School resolved three-dimensional (3D) structure of calcium signaling domains on the whole sperm tail. Resolving structures in sperm Read more

New insights into ribosome assembly

The ribosome is the cellular machinery to synthesize proteins. The ribosome itself is a complicated assembly of more than 50 proteins and several long strands of RNA. A recent study by Dr. Hajin Kim, reported in the journal Nature, offers new clues about how the ribosome, the master assembler of all proteins, also assembles itself. “The ribosome has more than 50 different parts and many of them even look similar to others. It is pretty amazing if you imagine how they assemble correctly,” said Read more

A Spinning Disc Spots Spoiled Food

Microfluidics: Researchers developed a lab-on-a-disc that detects Salmonella in milk in about 30 minutes By Erika Gebel Berg (Chemical & Engineering News) To speed up and simplify the identification of foods tainted with Salmonella bacteria, researchers have built a microfluidic disc that can detect the pathogens’ DNA in product samples. As the device spins, it performs DNA extraction, amplification, and detection in less than 30 minutes (Anal. Chem. 2014, DOI: 10.1021/ac403971h). Salmonella Read more

Caffeine “Traffic Light”: Do you want to know how much caffeine is in your drink?

A team of researchers led by Prof. Young-Tae Chang from National University of Singapore and Prof. Yoon-Kyoung Cho from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Korea, developed a fluorescent caffeine detector and a detection kit that lights up like a traffic light when caffeine is present in various drinks and solutions. The research work was published in Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) on July 23, 2013. Caffeine drinks are ubiquitous and it would be unimaginable Read more