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A*STAR Research is a quarterly publication produced by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) — Singapore’s government agency for fostering world-class scientific research. A*STAR Research highlights the diverse research work performed by A*STAR research entities and those in collaboration with local and international scientific communities.

Highlighted Articles of the Month

It’s Not You, It’s Flu

The host immune system has limited impact on the evolution of the influenza virus, according to A*STAR researchers. The aching muscles, nasal congestion and sore throat associated with flu can be prevented by vaccinationbut you must get a new shot every year. The reason for this is the evolution of the influenza virus via a process known as antigenic drift, resulting in the alteration of a key protein called hemagglutinin on the virus’ surface. Public health measures and interventions targeting transmission are crucial to not only limit the viral spread, but also the virus evolution. Read more about it here.

Sydney Brenner’s 10-on-10: A Take on Evolution through the Aeons

Biology is merely “the art of the satisfactory”, said the late Sydney Brenner, Nobel-prize winning biologist and geneticist. For over six decades, Dr Brenner had shaped modern biology and understanding of the genetic code. Evolution is not particularly purposeful, he said, with animals finding niches and adapting by chance, rather than design. But 21st century science could mean that humans could soon manipulate evolution, making it purposeful and directed. Read more about this here.

For Eco-Friendly Foods and Fragrances, Industry is Turning to Microbe Factories

Tiny metabolically engineered organisms could cheaply and sustainably produce ingredients for our natural foods, flavors and fragrances. Demand for organic food and fragrance is growing but harvesting the ingredients used in natural products is putting a strain on limited environmental resources. Read more here.

More A*STAR Research Articles

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