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Thermo Fisher, National University of Singapore Collaborate on Metabolomic Environmental Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Thermo Fisher Scientific and National University of Singapore's Environmental Research Institute (NERI) today said they will collaborate to conduct metabolomic research into the water systems around Singapore.

Researchers at NERI and the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) will study "how metabolism in plants and bacteria affects water quality and the ecosystem in and around Singapore."

Goals of the research include improving understanding of the self-purification capacity of urban waterways that use natural processes to reduce or eliminate nutrient and contamination loads in surface water. By doing so, steps can be taken to improve such processes, the partners said.

Another aim is to improve the processes involved in the metabolic basis of wastewater purification by elucidating them.

As part of the deal, Thermo Fisher will enhance NRI's existing liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry systems with the company's latest instruments and technologies. NERI and SCELSE scientists will also have access to Thermo Fisher's range of laboratory solutions as needed. The partners also seek to develop sample preparation methods and innovative applications, as well as collaborate on publications.

NERI and Thermo Fisher will "contribute toward developing manpower" for environmental metabolomics, they said, adding that ideas and expertise may be exchanged to "enhance equipment knowledge and software performance."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"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," Ong Choon Nam, director of NERI, said in a statement.