Gene editing [Courtesy of KRIBB]
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT on Thursday named the Top 100 National Research and Development Achievements of 2023, including 24 projects in marine and life sciences as well as 21 in information electronics.
Among the achievements in marine and life sciences, a team of researchers led by Dr. Kim Yong-sam at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology (KRIBB) developed a high-performance miniature gene-editing technology capable of gene correction therapy for various tissues.
The team signed a contract with a pharmaceutical company based in Boston, the United States, to jointly develop and license therapeutic treatments using the technology.
The development is expected to contribute to the advancement of therapies for rare genetic disorders for which alternative treatments were previously unavailable.
In the information electronics field, a research team led by Professor Ahn Jong-hyun of Yonsei University developed a high-resolution color micro light-emitting diode (LED) display using two-dimensional semiconductors and quantum dots.
The team is the world’s first to develop semiconductor circuits that drive high-resolution micro-LED displays.
The Science Ministry also named 19 achievements in the field of mechanical materials.
Ko Jeong-hwan, principal researcher at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), demonstrated independent space transportation capabilities by placing a 1.5-ton payload into low Earth orbit via the development of launch vehicle Nuri.
Ha Yoon-cheol, principal researcher at the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, was recognized for developing a low-cost mass production technology for sulfide-based solid electrolytes for non-combustible solid-state secondary batteries.
Among the 17 achievements in the energy environment sector, Cho Hyun-seok, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute of Energy Research, succeeded in domesticating the core technology for green hydrogen production through water electrolysis to realize a carbon-neutral society.
This water electrolysis technology has the world’s highest efficiency, with more than three times the hydrogen production density when compared to existing technologies.
The convergence field includes 11 achievements, including a technology that allows easy visual confirmation of chiral molecules, which make up 60 to 70 percent of the medical field.
In the pure basic infrastructure field, eight achievements were selected, including the elucidation of the operating principles of cupric oxide and the development of a technology for the rust-free growth of ultra-flat copper films.
Meanwhile, the top 100 achievements of 2023 were selected from a total of 854 candidates. The final 100 were chosen after evaluations by a selection evaluation committee composed of 100 experts from academia and industry, as well as public verification.
By Ko Jae-won and Lee Eun-joo
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