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Announcements

IBN Partners with Catholic Junior College to Promote Scientific Research


From left: Ms Nor Azzah Isnin, Ms Noreena AbuBakar and Prof Jackie Y. Ying from IBN, with Ms Phyllis Chua Suan Gek and Mr Eugene Pancratius Yeow from CJC, at the MOU signing ceremony on October 25, 2017.

November 3, 2017 – The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and Catholic Junior College (CJC) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding on October 25 to create awareness among the CJC students about the impact of biomedical research and develop their interest in scientific pursuits.

“We are delighted to have CJC join us in our endeavor to promote scientific research and nurture young research talents. As our partner school, their students can participate in our Youth Research Program, which provides research attachment opportunities, and events such as open houses, career talks and science camps. We look forward to developing a more vibrant youth research culture with CJC,” said Ms Noreena AbuBakar, IBN Director and Chair of the Youth Research Program.

“Our students who attended IBN’s Youth Research Program have gained a better understanding of what scientific research is about. Under the mentorship of IBN scientists, they were exposed to interesting scientific concepts and challenges, experimental procedures as well as equipment. They also learned more about the research conducted by IBN scientists. This has increased their passion towards the sciences, and helped them to make more informed decisions about their choice of future career and further studies. We hope to strengthen our partnership with IBN and provide more of our students with such valuable learning opportunities to stretch their potential and help them achieve their dreams,” said Ms Phyllis Chua Suan Gek, CJC Principal.

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Singapore Researchers Create New ‘Letters’ to Enhance DNA Functions


IBN researchers Dr Ichiro Hirao and Dr Michiko Kimoto holding up a jigsaw puzzle inspired model of their new genetic letters – Ds and Px, which can pair up to form the third DNA base pair.

October 25, 2017 – Just like how letters are strung together to form words, our DNA is also strung together by letters to encode proteins. The genetic alphabet contains only 4 natural letters - A, C, G and T, which hold the blueprint for the production of proteins that make our bodies work. Now, researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have created a DNA technology with two new genetic letters that could better detect infectious diseases, such as dengue and Zika.

Genetic alphabet expansion technology is the introduction of artificial base pairs into DNA. The existing four genetic letters are naturally bound together in base pairs of A-T and G-C. These specific base pair formations are essential in DNA replication, which occurs in all living organisms. It is the process by which a DNA molecule is duplicated to produce two identical molecules.

“The expansion of the genetic alphabet is a significant scientific achievement. It sheds insights into DNA’s natural replication mechanism, which will help us to design unique DNA molecules and technologies. For example, our technology can be used to create novel diagnostics and therapeutic agents with superior efficacy,” said IBN Executive Director Professor Jackie Y. Ying.

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Professor Jackie Y. Ying Receives the IAS-COMSTECH Ibrahim Memorial Award for Her Outstanding Nanotechnology Contributions


Professor Jackie Y. Ying (left) receiving the IAS-COMSTECH Ibrahim Memorial Award from the President of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, Professor Abdel Salam Majali, at the award ceremony held in Turkey on October 8, 2017

October 24, 2017 – IBN Executive Director Professor Jackie Y. Ying has received the IAS-COMSTECH Ibrahim Memorial Award from the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) for her outstanding contributions to the field of nanostructured materials and systems. Presented by IAS and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), the award ceremony was held at the IAS International Scientific Conference in Konya, Turkey on October 8, 2017.

This award recognizes the significant impact of Professor Ying’s research on the field of nanostructured materials through major breakthroughs in the synthesis of nanoparticles, nanocomposites and nanoporous materials. She has created a nano toolbox that has been successfully applied towards drug delivery, cell and tissue engineering, biosensors and diagnostics, pharmaceuticals synthesis, green chemistry and energy. Her award-winning inventions include a glucose-responsive delivery insulin system for diabetic patients, miniaturized portable devices for rapid and accurate detection of infectious diseases, as well as paper-based assays for dengue detection from saliva.

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IBN in the News

Two Letters Added To The Genetic Alphabet
Asian Scientist, 01 Nov 2017

Researchers Create New 'Letters' to Enhance DNA Functions
PhysOrg, 26 Oct 2017

Singapore Researchers Create New ‘Letters’ to Enhance DNA Functions
BiotechinAsia, 25 Oct 2017

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FEATURED PUBLICATIONS

Generation of ‘‘Off-the-Shelf’’ Natural Killer Cells from Peripheral Blood Cell-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Stem Cell Reports, (2017)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.10.020.
(IF: 7.338) article

Aptamer-Based ELISA Assay for Highly Specific and Sensitive Detection of Zika NS1 Protein
Analytical Chemistry, (2017)
DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b02862.
(IF: 6.320) article

Genetic Alphabet Expansion Transcription Generating Functional RNA Molecules Containing a Five-Letter Alphabet Including Modified Unnatural and Natural Base Nucleotides by Thermostable T7 RNA Polymerase Variants
Chemcial Communications, (2017)
DOI: 10.1039/c7cc06661a.
(IF: 6.319) article

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