Deciding to plunge headlong into science writing, Daphne is currently a professional science communicator who writes about research for a general audience. Daphne is passionate about the applications of microorganisms in areas such as sustainability, the intersection of science and society and how new technologies such as artificial intelligence can revolutionise research. A recovering lab rat, she was formerly a research fellow at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore who investigated the microbiological and physicochemical changes of water stored in underground caverns, a potential solution that ensures the availability of water in land-scarce countries. With a BSc and PhD from the National University of Singapore, Daphne still thinks of herself as a microbiologist although she now spends her days typing in front of computer screens instead of performing microbial screens. When she is not doing any of these, Daphne draws humorous cartoons about science, research and life. She also enjoys reading and is trying her hand at writing book reviews and science fiction.

Articles by Daphne Ng

Culturing the Unculturable: Working with Difficult Bacteria

Culturing the Unculturable: Working with Difficult Bacteria

As the vast majority of bacteria cannot be readily cultured in the laboratory [1], culture-dependent methods to investigate bacteria grossly underestimate the diversity of bacterial communities. To investigate unculturable bacteria without isolating them, culture-independent methods such as sequencing have been used. Unculturable bacteria can be identified by PCR amplification and sequencing of housekeeping genes such…

Emerging Model Microorganisms Take to the Stage

Emerging Model Microorganisms Take to the Stage

Estimates indicate that there may be up to 2 billion living species of organisms, each with conserved and unique biological mechanisms that are vital for survival. How do scientists understand them all? Enter model organisms. Model organisms, as the name implies, are living things which are used as representative models for understanding other organisms. They…

Why Early Career Scientists Should Care about Mentoring Undergraduate Students

Why Early Career Scientists Should Care about Mentoring Undergraduate Students

Let’s be honest: the mentoring of undergraduate students is sometimes the lowest on the list of priorities for a busy postdoctoral research fellow. Amidst experiments, research progress meetings, reviewing of literature, manuscript writing, grant applications, and convincing your PI to let you attend that conference in Hawaii, your undergraduate charges may be just mere afterthoughts….

10 Steps to Enjoying Fieldwork for Sedentary Scientists

10 Steps to Enjoying Fieldwork for Sedentary Scientists

Note: Physically competent field scientists who find fieldwork a breeze may scoff at the suggestions here As a bench scientist whose only form of physical exercise in the laboratory is pipetting, I vividly remember my first fieldtrip to the wilderness. It was a trip to an island off the coast of Singapore to collect water…

Scientific Illustrations Part I: Schematics and Cartoons

Scientific Illustrations Part I: Schematics and Cartoons

Biologists have a long tradition of drawing specimens as a form of data collection before the invention of the camera. The ability to present information in the form of illustrations is an important but often understated skill in a scientist’s toolkit. Scientific illustrations in publications run the gamut from schematics, 3D models, cartoons, and even…

“Viable But Non-Culturable (VBNC)”: Zombies of the Bacterial World

“Viable But Non-Culturable (VBNC)”: Zombies of the Bacterial World

Imagine that you want to test the efficiency of an antimicrobial treatment in inhibiting a certain bacterial pathogen. As part of the experiment, you expose the bacteria to the treatment and monitor the cultivability of the microorganism by counting the number of colony forming units (CFU) formed on culture media. If the microorganism is sensitive…