Quick thinking? It’s all down to timing

Synaptic plasticity, which underlies learning and memory, involves the strengthening and weakening of synapses. This process is affected by the relative timing of spikes in electrical activity in the pre- and postsynaptic neurons. Researchers at NUS Medicine have now found that, when both spikes occur simultaneously (or within tens of milliseconds of each other), the synapses were strengthened for up to 4 hours. These findings could impact research in conditions with impaired learning and memory.

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A ray of hope for organ transplant patients

A collaborative study led by Prof A. Vathsala and Assoc Prof Paul MacAry on organ recipient immune system interaction with transplanted organ offers new insights into chronic organ rejection.

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Early detection of gastric cancer with blood test

Clinicians currently perform diagnosis of gastric cancer by doing an invasive procedure called endoscopy, and it is costly. The Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium led by Assoc Prof Yeoh Khay Guan is now developing a simple blood test that can detect gastric cancer by measuring microRNA levels in blood, without performing endoscopy.

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Leveraging on AI for personalised cancer care

Professor Dean Ho and Assistant Professor Edward Chow, have created an artificial intelligence system which optimises drug selection and dosage to improve treatment of diseases.

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The science behind ageing muscle loss

Muscle loss may seem to be a common sign of ageing, but more can be done to help elderly retain their strength, said Ms Elisa Marie Crombie, graduate student from the Department of Physiology at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. Elisa was awarded a research grant to investigate the role of muscle stem cells in sarcopenia, a condition on the progressive loss of muscle strength and functionality that occurs with increasing age.

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A case against a moratorium on germline gene editing

Following the controversial case of the first gene-edited babies in China late last year, leading scientists and ethicists have called for a global moratorium to impose a temporary halt to the clinical uses of human germline editing. Dr Owen Schaefer from NUS Medicine's Centre for Biomedical Ethics shared the reasons for the call and the implications of the moratorium.

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Drinking water not the best way to cool body

A recent study by Research Associate Professor Jason Lee from NUS Medicine’s Department of Physiology found that drinking water is not the best way to lower body temperature. Instead, cooling before exercise, being heat acclimatised and having good aerobic fitness are all better ways to maximise performance in a hot environment.

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