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Thermo Fisher Scientific and NUS Form Collaboration

Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013
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Goal to develop mass spectrometry-based techniques to study metabolites.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Environmental Research Institute (NERI) have announced that they have formed a collaboration to study how metabolism in plants and bacteria affects water quality and the ecosystem in and around Singapore.

In the study, researchers from NERI and the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), an interdisciplinary Research Centre of Excellence (RCE), funded by National Research Foundation, Singapore Ministry of Education, NUS and Nanyang Technological University, will examine how metabolomes (all the metabolites present in an organism at a given time) relate to the functioning of microbes in the urban water cycle.

The team will employ a wide range of analytical tools including liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS) systems to identify and measure metabolites in samples.

One of the goals is to better understand and enhance the self-purification capacity of urban waterways that use natural processes to reduce or remove nutrient and contaminant loads in surface water.

Another goal is to understand the metabolic basis of wastewater purification in order to improve the processes involved.

“Safe and sustainable quality water is fundamental to both human and ecosystem health. By understanding better how plants and microbes affect our water quality, we could look into developing improved tools or methods that could significantly increase our ability to identify health and environmental threats more prudently. We are delighted to be partnering with Thermo Fisher Scientific in working towards this endeavor and believe that this collaboration that marries nature and technology will lead us to new findings that would benefit the society,” said Professor Ong Choon Nam, Director of NUS Environmental Research Institute.

“NERI and Thermo Fisher Scientific share the vision of helping to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer, which is why we are so delighted to team up with this group of expert scientists in environmental sciences,” said Bhaskar Narayanaan, Vice President and General Manager, Thermo Fisher Singapore. “This combination of research expertise with Thermo Scientific analytical technology creates tremendous synergy.”

Under this collaboration:
• Thermo Fisher Scientific will enhance NERI’s existing LC-MS systems (Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Velos Pro hybrid LC-MS and the Thermo Scientific Equan MAX turnkey automated, high throughput LC-MS system for water analysis) with the latest instrumentation and technologies including the new Thermo Scientific Exactive Plus high-resolution and accurate mass LC/MS.
• NERI and SCELSE researchers will have special access to the comprehensive range of Thermo Fisher Scientific laboratory solutions as workflow needs dictate.
• An active exchange of ideas and expertise will be promoted to enhance equipment knowledge and software performance.
• Efforts will be made to develop new sample preparation methodologies, innovative applications and publications for the scientific community.
• NERI and Thermo Fisher Scientific will work to expand the workforce in the field of Environmental Metabolomics.

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