As part of outreach efforts and mission to provide opportunities for continuous training and development for our Singapore school teachers, the Department of Biological Sciences together with the Academy of Singapore Teachers launched “The Frontiers in Biology Series for Teachers”. Lecture topics lined up under the series will span across a spectrum where teachers can learn about the latest advances from leading scientists of various life sciences disciplines at the Department Biological Sciences (DBS), National University of Singapore (NUS). Invitations were extended to all the school teachers through the Academy of Singapore Teachers. This initiative was welcomed by the teachers which saw the participation of 32 Junior College teachers in the inaugural talk. The response is very encouraging and we are eager to offer the next talk soon.
The first talk of the series – “Genetics – Research and the Real World” was held on 11 April 2018 by Associate Professor Chew Fook Tim where he talked about ‘Genetic strategies for yield improvement in major crops’. He shared how new genetic and genomic tools have allowed scientists to evaluate the underlying mechanisms for disease as well as major phenotypes in agriculture production. In this presentation, the basic tools used by plant breeders and geneticists to identify and thereafter utilize markers linked or associated with key productivity related phenotypes (e.g., fruit size, oil yield, reduced height, disease and stress tolerance, etc. in the case of crop plants) in the breeding programmes were discussed. Network biology tools (transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome analysis) used in tandem with the traditional genetic toolsets (linkage and association studies) and genomic selection models, can yield insights into underlying key processes controlling the complex multi-genic and interactive (gene-gene, gene-environment) nature of oil productivity. These are generic tools which can easily be applied to many other agriculture products or disease discovery processes. The hour long presentation was engaging and provided an insight on application of fundamentals of genetics to application and industrial use. This platform offered an unique opportunity for school teachers to interact with colleagues from other schools as well as directly with our Professors.
For more information on the series, please contact
Reena Devi (Ms)