In Episode 9 of MEDICUS – the podcast, we’re talking to two scientists about what makes for a perfect collaboration. In modern translational science, new breakthroughs more often that are the product of a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration. And these collaborations are at their most successful when it is not just the expertise that is complementary but when the people within the team gel well. So, in this episode, two researchers who worked on a project that could make a significant impact on the lives of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia, tell us how in this project, everything—even a pandemic lockdown—helped turn this into the perfect collaboration.
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Sharing their story are:
· Dr Vaidehi Krishnan, a principal research scientist with Duke-NUS Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Programme and member of the Ong Sin Tiong laboratory focusing on understanding the basic pathophysiology of human malignancies in order to improve the management and treatment of patients with cancer; and
· Dr Florian Schmidt, then a bioinformatician and post-doctoral fellow with the Laboratory of Systems Biology and Data Analytics at the Genome Institute of Singapore, and now a senior computational biologist at ImmunoScape
Music from: Silent Partner (via YouTube Studio Audio Library)
Produced by: Nicole Lim, Senior Editor
For more stories in this issue of MEDICUS, and others, go to: www.duke-nus.edu.sg/medicus
In the latest episode of MEDICUS – the Podcast, three scientists talk about what art brings to their lives, how the two interplay for them, and whether they really are two sides of the same coin.
In the history of science, Leonardo da Vinci stands out as a giant who mastered both art and science. But there are many more scientists—past and present—who draw on the two, seemingly unrelated, disciplines to help them create something new or express their understanding of the world around us. Albert Einstein painted. Biochemist Linda Long translates protein structures into music. Rock band Queen's guitarist Brian May is a published astrophysicist, while astrophysicist Fiorella Terenzi is best known for converting recordings of radio waves from distant galaxies into music.
Joining us for this jamming session on music, art and science are:
· Madeline Kwek on the asalato
· Excerpts of Autocool written and performed by Blast Crisis // Studio recording – Durham, North Carolina
· Nicole Lim, Senior Editor
In this episode of MEDICUS – the Podcast, we meet two scientists to go fishing. But instead of heading out to sea to cast their lines, their “ocean” is a small tube in which they fish for specific genetic sequences that mark the ends of our chromosomes. Much like the plastic caps at the end of shoelaces, the sequences they hunt for, called telomeres, make sure that our genetic assembly instructions don’t unravel as our cells replicate.
Today, we know that these caps not only hold us together at the genetic seams, but that they erode with time and therefore play a vital role in ageing—their length is an indication of how many times our cells have replicated, and by extension how old we are biologically. But even though we’ve known about these caps for forty years, using them to help us live longer or at least healthier for longer has been an elusive goal.
Joining us on the show to talk about telomeres and their own latest research are:
As part of this issue of MEDICUS’ wider focus on how the environment affects health, the MEDICUS team is taking a deeper look into what’s going on when the body perceives things from the environment as a threat. We’re, of course, talking about allergies. And joining us on this episode are:
This episode was produced by Nicole Lim, senior editor at Duke-NUS for MEDICUS.
“Only sleep when dead.” That’s the rationale that tribes of people, from party animals to early morning exercise devotees, have used to explain their sleep habits. But we may be putting more at stake than we realise when we regularly cut our Zs short because sleep is not just a black hole of downtime. Most adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep a night for optimal performance and health—six if you are among those who really don’t need much shut eye.
So, in this episode of MEDICUS – the Podcast, we explore the science behind good sleep, what goes on when we are sleeping and the hidden cost of cutting corners.
We also get some handy tips and strategies to help improve our sleep routine and deal with jetlag.
We’re discussing all this with:
- Associate Professor Joshua Gooley, who leads the chronobiology and sleep lab at Duke-NUS
- Ms Hana Yabuki, a research assistant in Gooley’s lab who sometimes sacrifices her sleep to study the state we spend a third of our lives in
Liked this episode? Check out our other ones, in which we explore topics including how to die a good death, what mosquitoes have to teach us when it comes to finding effective vaccines and treatments for diseases like dengue and Zika or how we can stay a step ahead of the next deadly virus outbreak. And so much more!
In this episode, we venture into a veritable mosquito haven—the Duke-NUS insectary, where healthy mosquitoes are grown to help researchers shed light on how new vaccines and even treatments impact the dengue virus when the virus is inside the mosquito.
We also find out which common insect repellents work and which ones will leave you scratching countless bites.
Joining us in this episode:
- Dr Milly Choy, Senior Research Fellow, Duke-NUS Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme and head of the insectary core facility at Duke-NUS
- Ms Menchie Manuel, Laboratory Technologist at the insectary at Duke-NUS
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And to read about what else the folks at Duke-NUS are up to, go to: https://www.duke-nus.edu.sg/medicus
In this episode of MEDICUS - the Podcast, we talk about the conversation that we dread having the most, one of society’s biggest taboos: death.
Joining us on this episode are:
Professor Eric Finkelstein, the executive director of the Lien Centre for Palliative Care at Duke-NUS. The Centre’s twin mission focuses on research and education to improve end-of-life care. Beyond publishing research papers on end-of-life care, the Centre’s research faculty ensure that the findings are communicated to the wider community. They also test interventions from medical decision aids to health education strategies so that they can quickly become common practice.
At the same time, the education team, led by Dr Alethea Yee, provides end-of-life care education to a range of health professionals, from pharmacists and nurses to social workers, who are often the ones in touch with those who need palliative care. The Centre aims to train as many individuals as possible to ensure that every patient has access to end-of-life care.
Clinical Professor Lalit Krishna, a senior consultant with the Division of Supportive and Palliative Care at the National Cancer Centre Singapore. He is also a clinical professor at Duke-NUS and teaches medical students how to have difficult conversations. His office is decorated by T-Rex and Raptor, his two boys, and acts as a charging station that empowers him to be there for his patients at their most vulnerable moments.
As well as Duke-NUS medical students, Ms Cheong Jie Qi, Mr Kok Chun Yen and Ms Lim Chu Hsien.
The music in this episode is "Anastasia" (composed by Ailbhe McDonagh for grade-3-level piano) as performed by Juno Young.
Poetry featured in this episode is "Gone from my Sight" by Henry van Dyke and "First Fig" by Edna St Vincent Millay, recited by Juno and Finn Young.
Scientists from Duke-NUS and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) found that 2003 SARS survivors who have been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine produced highly potent functional antibodies that are capable of neutralising not only all known SARS-CoV-2.
In this episode of MEDICUS – the Podcast, we hear from three intrepid virus hunters from Duke-NUS Medical School who travel around the region to study what viruses lurk in bats and small mammals and could just possibly become the next pandemic. You can also read more about their work in MEDICUS 2021 Issue 4.
Subscribe to MEDICUS to never miss another podcast and read our award-winning stories at www.duke-nus.edu.sg/medicus
Additional sounds from: Jim Rogalski https://www.jimrogalski.com/
Music from: Blue Dot Sessions (Track: Fifteenth Street) https://app.sessions.blue/
Cover photo courtesy of: Sophie Borthwick
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