27 May 2004
PRIMER - A New Bio IT Portal by Temasek JC and Bioinformatics Institute
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A first-ever Bio-IT Portal called PRIMER - - is set to spawn a vibrant virtual local community of students, teachers and scientists who will get to interact, collaborate, share and build resources in bioinformatics and molecular biology online. Acting Minister for Education, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam launched the web-based portal, "PRIMER" today in conjunction with the opening of the 27th Singapore Youth Science Festival (SYSF) at Temasek Junior College. SYSF is an annual event coorganised by the Singapore Science Centre, Science Teachers' Association of Singapore and Shell. PRIMER is jointly developed by Temasek Junior College, A*STAR's Bioinformatics Institute and Yang Le, a TJC alumnus, currently a first year student at NUS. It aims to help build up student-created bio-IT resources, promote interaction across levels (secondary to tertiary levels) and facilitate a network for sharing a common pool of knowledge in bioinformatics. Students will also get access to bio-computing tools and learn how to use them to process, interpret and understand biomedical research data such as in three-dimensional protein modeling and analysing of protein structure. All heads of science departments in Singapore schools will be offered accounts for use by their students and teachers. Each participating student or researcher will be given a designated server space. Being a web-based set up, the portal can be accessed anywhere. Participating students or researchers working on a collaborative project can make deposits into the accounts in the form of new computer programmes, research findings, original videos or animation sequences that enhance understanding of specific concepts in biomedical sciences. All deposits are channeled to a central repository from which account holders can make withdrawals.

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