IPA Awardees for April 2013

Louvy Lynn C. Punzalan, Hilbert D.S. Magpantay, Irene M. Villaseñor and Gisela P. Concepcion*
Institute of Chemistry
Marine Science Intitute*
College of Science
UP Diliman

Chemistry of Renieramycins. Part 13: Isolation and Structure of Stabilized Renieramycin Type Derivatives, Renieramycins W-Y, from Philippine Blue Sponge Xestospongia sp., Pretreated with Potassium Cyanide. Tetrahedron, 68 (36): 7422–7428, September 2012.

Renieramycin compounds belong to the same family of ecteinascidin743 which is a clinically approved drug by the European Commission for the treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma.  Renieramycin M has been reported to have high cytotoxity against breast and lung cancer cell line. Although renieramycin compounds provide a promising cytotoxic activity, its isolation is very tedious resulting to a very small amount of isolated compound. This study adapted the extraction procedure performed by Thai researches which resulted to a milligram scale production of renieramycin M from Philippine blue sponge, Xestospongia sp. Newrenieramycin derivatives W, X and Y, wereisolated, though they are present in smaller amounts.The characteristic structure of renieramycin Y suggested that renieramycins and ecteinascidins are linked with the same precursor. Enough amounts of these minor compounds are needed to identify and compare their cytotoxicity and bioactivities with the known renieramycin compounds.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040402012009738
Impact Factor: 3.025

Romell Seronay and Gisela P. Concepcion
Marine Science Intitute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Microbial Distribution and Abundance in the Digestive System of Five Shipworm Species (Bivalvia: Teredinidae). PLoS ONE 7(9): e45309, September 2012.

Marine bivalves of the family Teredinidae (shipworms) are voracious consumers of wood in marine environments. In several shipworm species, dense communities of intracellular bacterial endosymbionts have been observed within specialized cells (bacteriocytes) of the gills (ctenidia). These bacteria are proposed to contribute to digestion of wood by the host. Tthe abundance and distribution of microbes in the digestive system has not been adequately addressed. Here we use Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) and laser scanning confocal microscopy with 16S rRNA directed oligonucleotide probes targeting all domains, domains Bacteria and Archaea, and other taxonomic groups to examine the digestive microbiota of 17 specimens from 5 shipworm species (Bankia setacea, Lyrodus pedicellatus, Lyrodus massa, Lyrodus sp. and Teredo aff. triangularis). These data reveal that the caecum, a large sac-like appendage of the stomach that typically contains large quantities of wood particles and is considered the primary site of wood digestion, harbors only very sparse microbial populations. However, a significant number of bacterial cells were observed in fecal pellets within the intestines. These results suggest that due to low abundance, bacteria in the caecum may contribute little to lignocellulose degradation. In contrast, the comparatively high population density of bacteria in the intestine suggests a possible role for intestinal bacteria in the degradation of lignocellulose.

Link to the article: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0045309#s3
Impact Factor: 4.09

Jo Erika T. Narciso, Iris Diana C. Uy, April B. Cabang, Jenina Faye C. Chavez, Juan Lorenzo B. Pablo and Gisela P. Concepcion
Marine Science Intitute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Anatomy of the Antibody Molecule: A Continuing Analysis Based on High-Resolution Crystallographic Structures. Narciso, J. E. T., Uy, I. D. C., Cabang, A. B., Chavez, J. F. C., Pablo, J. L. B., Concepcion, G. P. and Padlan, E. A. (2012). Philippine Science Letters. 5 (1), 63-89.

The antibody molecule is arguably one of the best inventions of evolution.  It homes in on non-self targets with dead-on specificity, and subsequently initiates a cascade of events that eliminates intruding entities from the body.  Unparalleled as a seek-and-destroy molecule, the antibody is used in various important applications, e.g. in human therapy to target disease agents, and in research to target proteins of interest. In many cases, the antibody molecule has to be structurally engineered to suit the purpose of an application.  Antibody engineering, however, is often tricky and will definitely benefit from more refined knowledge about the antibody structure.
Fortunately, technological advances have allowed science to take ‘snapshots’ of the antibody molecule at very high resolutions–sometimes with details at the scale of a medium-sized atom.  In this review, such high-res ‘snapshots’ were used to evaluate interactions between the different parts of the antibody molecule, between the antibody and its target (ligand), and between the antibody and the surrounding medium.  The analysis identified amino acid residues that are principally responsible for maintaining structural stability, are predominant in ligand recognition, and are prominently displayed to the molecule’s environment.
These details can serve as guide to engineering antibodies more efficiently and exactly to achieve desired properties.  In the case of using animal-derived monoclonal antibodies for human therapy (mAb), results presented here may provide a framework for ‘humanizing’ the structure of an antibody to lengthen its half-life inside a human patient while maintaining or improving upon its original potency.

Link to the article: http://philsciletters.org/pdf/2012n1.7p10.pdf
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Hernando S. Salapare III and Henry J. Ramos
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Superhydrophilic properties of plasma-treated Posidonia oceania. Applied Surface Science 273 (2013) 453-456.

Posidonia oceanica (commonly known as Neptune Grass or Mediterranean tapeweed) is the dominant lignocellulosic seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea. It is widely used as an ideal biological indicator in assessing the quality of water bodies. It is highly important because of its efficiency in removing textile dyes, phenol, methylene blue, ammonium, phosphorus, and copper from aqueous solutions. The primary cause of the removal of these materials from aqueous solutions, (especially for heavy metals) is the presence of oxygen functional groups.  The heavy metal biosorption property of Posidonia oceanica makes it as an efficient and environmental-friendly technology in wastewater treatment. Studies show that the high wetting property of a material favors heavy metal biosorption. In this study, we were able to improve the wettability of the P. oceanica by exposing it to argon and oxygen plasmas.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169433213003784
Impact Factor: 2.103

Hernando S. Salapare III and Henry J. Ramos
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Stability of the hydrophilic and superhydrophobic properties of oxygen plasma-treated poly(tetrafluoroethylene) Surfaces. H.S.Salapare III, F. Guittard, X. Noblin, E. Taffin de Givenchy, F. Celestini, and H.J. Ramos, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 396 (2013) 287-292.

Poly(tetrafluoroethylene), more commonly known by its commercial name Teflon, is a promising candidate for biomedical applications, material science applications and electronics.  However, the surface properties can also be improved by treating the PTFE materials with oxygen plasma. Surface treatment is done specifically to change the chemistry and/or morphology of the material. In this study, we were able to transform surface of PTFE from being hydrophobic to superhydrophobic. The achieved superhydrophobic surfaces are quite stable in air and even in water for a long time. The changes in wettability can be attributed to the changes in surface morphology. This method is indeed simple and PTFE is quite robust. These superhydrophobic surfaces have unique applications as compared to other surfaces.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021979713000350
Impact Factor: 3.070

Rosemary M. Gutierrez
Department of Biology
College of Science
UP Baguio

The use of the Gus-Reporter Gene Technique in the Assessment of the Competitive Ability of Rhizobium etli Nodualting Phaseolus vulgaris L. from the Acidic Soils of La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines. The Philippine Scientist, 49: 17-33, 2012. 

Rhizobia are agriculturally important microbes  that form nodules and fix nitrogen on the roots of legumes. Acid-tolerant (AT) rhizobia can be used as inoculant for legumes in acid soils, therefore this is more environment friendly and economical rather than using  expensive chemical based fertilizers. Greenhouse experiments using sterile sand  were undertaken to test the competitive ability of an acid-tolerant   Rhizobium etli strain with a well studied AT Rhizobium strain using the gus-reporter gene technique. Gus marked derivatives of the strains were obtained but statistical analyses revealed the wild type parent strains gave significantly higher nodule occupancies compared with the gus marked strains that  may suggest that the gus maker gene may not be a suitable marker for the AT strains used in this study. This study is valuable because it provides a preliminary assessment of whether marked microbial strains showed altered competitiveness and altered characteristics before using them in potted soil and field trials.

Link to the article: http://www.philjol.info/philjol/index.php/PSCI/article/view/2813
Impact Factor: Not yet Available

Hannah M. Morillo, Joseph J. Capuno and Amado M. Mendoza Jr.
School of Economics
UP Diliman

Views and Values on Family among Filipinos: An Empirical Exploration. Asian Journal of Social Science, 441 (1): 5-28, 2013.

Applying regression on the data from the World Values Survey for the Philippines in 1996 and 2001, this study aims to explore the correlates of views on family values among Filipinos, specifically those concerning the traditional nuclear family set-up, the woman’s roles within family, and the reciprocal relationship of the parent and child.  While the results show that Filipinos generally share family values, especially on those related to child rearing for both parents, and child-bearing, there are indications that such views also differ across educational attainment, geographic location, social class, and ethnic groups.  Disparities in views could be reflecting shifting family values, which could then help explain current polarizing policy debates on issues on the reproductive health, and migration.


Link to the article: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/10.1163/15685314-12341278;jsessionid=naccr38cqi7m.x-brill-live-01
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Lolita M. Dolores, Medino Gedeun N. Yebron and Antonio C. Laurena
Crop Science Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Molecular and Biological Characterization of Selected Sweet Potato Feathery Mottle Virus (SPFMV) Strains in the Philippines. Philippine Journal of Crop Science 37 (2): 1-7, August 2012.

Three sweetpotato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV) strains were identified from 8 SPFMV virus isolates obtained from different sweetpotato growing areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.The strains were characterized  and differentiated based on symptoms induced in different host plant species and  their coat protein gene sequences. The different virus isolates caused different symptoms of vein clearing, mottling, mosaic, feathering and leaf curling. Six of the 8 isolates caused local lesions to different Chenopodium species while only the Tranca isolate induced lesions to C. amaranticolor host plant species. Sequence homology of the 8 virus isolates were distinguished  based on their amino acid sequences along with the aa sequences of other SPFMV isolates from the GenBank database. Based on these, 3 strains were identified namely: East African strain, Common strain and the Russet Crack strain. Only the Tranca isolate belonged to the East African strain, the Saysain and Binukawan isolates  were identified as Common strain while the five other SPFMV isolates such as Sapang, Nagbunga, Visca, Luksuhin and Dalwangan were determined to be under the Russet Crack strain group, also observed as the predominant strain occurring in the Philippines.  Presence of the different SPFMV strains in the country can have a great impact in the development and deployment of the local sweetpotato varieties with resistance to the virus.

Link to the article: http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20123307086.html
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Dormita R. del Carmen, Elda B. Esguerra, Wella L. Absulio, Matilde V. Maunahan and Gloria D. Masilungan
Crop Science Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Understanding Consumer’s Preference for Fresh Table-Ripe Papaya. Del Carmen DR, Esguerra EB, Absulio WL, Maunahan MV, Masilungan GD. 2012. Philippine Journal of  Crop Science 37(2):75-80.

The demand and consumption of fruits is on the uptrend due to growing consciousness of consumers on their nutritional and health benefits.  Papaya for one, is a popular fruit known as excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, beta carotene, potassium and is usually consumed to aid in digestion.   The market for the fruit looks bright, however, there are lots of other fruits available that compete with papaya.  To remain competitive papaya growers and traders should always aim to satisfy what the consumers look for when buying the fruit or add more value for their money.  Thus, a survey of consumers’ preference for ripe papaya was conducted.  In buying papaya, consumers looked into both the external and internal qualities. For outside appearance, most respondents prefer medium-sized fruit, with full yellow peel color and without blemish or disease. For the internal qualities, consumers prefer a fruit with yellow-orange pulp, with average sweetness and texture.   In general, consumers look for blemish and disease-free papaya, sweet, mature to attain full yellow color and texture and at reasonable price. While majority said that they get the desired qualities they look for in a ripe papaya, there are still about 40% of consumers that are not fully satisfied with current fruit quality. Hence, some improvements specifically on guaranteeing the fruit sweetness, and desirable texture, reducing bitter taste and insuring the supply of blemish and disease-free fruits are the major thrusts of the future activities that growers and traders need to focus on.  After all, the survey had affirmed that there is a market for high quality, locally grown and blemish-free papaya even at higher price.

Link to the article: http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20123307090.html
Impact Factor: No

t yet available

Leonora P. Nudo and Elena S. Catap
Institute of Biology College of Science
UP Diliman

Anti-immunosuppressive Effects of Chromolaena odorata (Lf.) King & Robinson (Asteraceae) Leaf Extract in Cyclophosphamide-injected Balb/C Mice. Philippine Journal of Science, 141 (1): 35-43, June 2012

This study was undertaken to determine the effects of crude leaf extracts from ‘hagonoy’ or Chromolaena odorata, on the immunity of experimental mice (Balb/C) that were immunosuppressed through injection of the drug, cyclophosphamide.  Bioassays were done to measure the immune response of mice against those which were administered the plant extract.  The results from the immune-assays showed that a dose of 5 mg/kg body weight injected daily for 10 days could ameliorate the suppressive effects of cyclophosphamide.  The capability of immune cells to engulf foreign materials (phagocytosis) and antimicrobial production (ROS and plasma lysozyme were enhanced in mice injected with the extract.  Likewise, the plant extract induced the proliferation of immune cells from the spleen (B lymphocytes), which are important components of immunity.  The data clearly showed that the plant extract reversed the suppressive effect of cyclophosphamide on the immunity of the treated mice.  The study provides information on the potential of ‘hagonoy’ to be utilized for drug development against immune-related health problems.

Link to the article: http://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/vol141no1/pdf/Anti%20immunusuppressive%20effects%20of%20Chromolaena%20odorata.pdf
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Gloria D. Masilungan and Wella L. Absulio
Crop Science Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Fruits of Bilimbi (Averrhoa bilimbi L.) as a New Natural Source of Ethylene for Ripening of ‘Saba’ Banana (Musa balbisiana BBB). Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 95 (4): 406-410, December 2012.

The fruit of Averrhoa bilimbi L., popularly known as bilimbi or locally as kamias, is commonly utilized as food, for medicinal purposes, stain remover or cleaning agent. It also has medicinal properties. In this study, another potentially useful property of bilimbi fruit was explored. Bilimbi fruits were used as a ripening agent of ‘Saba’ banana (Musa balbisiana BBB). The experiment was done by sealing in polyethylene bag or wrapping in newspaper mature green ‘Saba’ banana fruits with 5 or 10% (w/w) uninjured or injured bilimbi fruits for 24h. Injury consisted of 5-mm deep thumb-puncture or 4 cm long, 1 cm wide and 0.2 cm deep scrape bruise from a piece of stainless steel. Ripening of control and treated ‘Saba’ banana were monitored daily using a peel color index. Ethylene production of uninjured and injured bilimbi fruits was also monitored using a flame-ionization detector gas chromatograph.Use of 5% uninjured bilimbi fruits hastened ripening of bananas compared with the control. Increasing the concentration to 10% and injuring of bilimbi fruits further hastened ripening of banana, which attained table ripe or ready to eat stage after 5 days, while the control fruits were just beginning to develop color. Based on the results, bilimbi fruit is an effective natural ripening agent due to its production of a relatively high amount of ethylene.

Link to the article: http://www.journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/PAS/article/view/866
Impact Factor: 0.321

Charina Gracia B. Banaay
Institute of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Identity and variability of Pythium species associated with yield decline in aerobic rice cultivation in the Philippines. Plant Pathology, 62(1): 139-153, February 2013.

The Aerobic Rice System is a new way of cultivating rice without standing water. It enables farmers to save water especially during scarcity. Unfortunately, this system causes yield declines caused by a complex interaction between soil nutrients and root-infecting pathogens and parasites. This study investigated the variations among Pythium species recovered from various aerobic rice fields experiencing yield decline. It was determined that there were three closely related species namely – P. arrhenomanes, P. graminicola, and P. inflatum. Among the three, P. arrhenomanes was the most pathogenic whereas only a few P. graminicola and none of the P. inflatum were pathogenic to aerobic rice variety Apo. There were little genetic variations between isolates of P. arrhenomanes and between isolates of P. graminicola. Higher genetic variations were observed among P. inflatum isolates compared to the other two species. P. arrhenomanes and P. graminicola isolates from other crops such as maize, wheat, and sugarcane, were also tested for pathogenicity on rice. It was determined that some of these isolates were also pathogenic on rice. Two P. arrhenomanes isolates from sugarcane were pathogenic to both rice and maize. Four isolates from maize were likewise pathogenic on rice. An isolate from wheat was pathogenic to both rice and maize. Lastly, P. arrhenomanes isolates from rice were also pathogenic on maize. These tests imply that crop rotation with maize might be a risky strategy to manage yield decline in Philippine aerobic rice fields.

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-3059.2012.02607.x/full
Impact Factor: 2.125

Susan May F. Calumpang and Mario V. Navasero
Crop Science Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Behavioral response of Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis Guenee (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and earwig [Euborelia annulipes Lucas (Dermaptera: Anisolabiidae)] to selected crops and weeds associated with sweet corn. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 96 (1): 48-54, March 2013.

Sweet corn is easily attacked by corn borer. It is important to identify crops or weeds that can repel this pest from attacking corn. This study demonstrated that corn borer females laid the least number of eggs on corn when lemon grass and eggplant were present in cage experiments.  Although there were eggs laid on corn, the corn borer larvae did not survive on eggplant.  Earwigs are used to control corn borer as they consume the larvae. These were not affected by lemon grass, eggplant, oregano and some weeds like makahiya.  Planting of these crops as companion plants of corn in backyard and urban gardens could lead to less corn borer attacking sweet corn.

Link to the article: http://journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/PAS/article/view/877
Impact Factor: 0.321

Faith S. Maranan and Maria Genaleen Q. Diaz
Institute of Biologial Science
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Molecular Diversity and DNA Barcode Identification of Selected Philippine Endemic Hoya Species (Apocynaceae). The Philippine Agricultural Scientist 96 (1): 86-92, March 2013.

A barcode is a standardized code that allows the identification of any product by comparing a specific combination to a huge database. Similar to this is what scientists around the globe are doing to survey the immense diversity of life in our planet. This is done by selecting an appropriate gene, a portion of the organism’s genetic material, that is easy to sequence, can be multiplied easily and can differentiate one species from another.In plants, two genes were recommended to be the potential barcode- maturase K (matK) and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase large sub-unit (rbcL). Researches on plant barcoding are useful not only for identification purposes but may also be beneficial for biodiversity assessment and protection of important species, particularly those with high risks for extinction.This study was conducted to test the two recommended genes in obtaining barcodes for five species of Hoya sp. found only in the Philippines. Barcoding this plant is important since its limited geographical location makes some of these more vulnerable to extinction and some are even difficult to distinguish using only the appearance.Sequence analyses showed that matK can identify the Hoya species better compared to the rbcL gene. There were 21 variable sites in matK and only two for rbcL. Results also showed that the Hoya species were distinguished better when analysis was done by combining the variable sites of the two genes to look for barcoding regions. Results showed that the partial sequences of matK and rbcL were useful in identifying the Hoya species.

Link to the article: http://www.journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/PAS/article/view/882
Impact Factor: 0.321

Avelino D. Raymundo and Ireneo B. Pangga
Crop Protection Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Simulation Modeling of Bunchy Top Epidemics in a Changing Climate. Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 14 (2):13-20, December 2011.

A computer model of the bunchy top disease of abaca and banana was developed. The bunchy top disease is the most destructive viral disease of abaca and banana in the Philippines that causes stunting and ‘bunched’ appearance of leaves. The disease is transmitted by the banana aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa. The model simulates the life cycle of the banana aphid that is linked to the disease cycle of the bunchy top virus. This model was used to investigate the effects of climate change on the bunchy top disease via the effects of elevated temperature as projected by global warming predictions under a changing climate. This model predicts a lowered risk of bunchy top epidemics under climate change as average monthly temperature increases by 1-2 ⁰C in Davao City, Philippines.

Link to the article: http://journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/JESAM/article/view/669
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Francesca Celine I. Catalan and Percival F. Almoro
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Deterministic phase retrieval interferometry. Optics Communications, 294 (1): 73-77, May 2013.

When light is scattered by a sample, its properties, including its intensity and optical phase, are greatly affected by the sample’s characteristics.  The optical phase is especially sensitive to changes in the state of the sample due to deformation or temperature changes. Reconstruction of the optical phase of light can therefore be used for nondestructive characterization of materials. There are many ways to reconstruct the optical phase, including digital holography and iterative phase retrieval method. In this work, deterministic phase retrieval interferometry (DPRI) is demonstrated numerically and experimentally. Compared to digital holography, DPRI is less sensitive to unwanted disturbances in the set-up. Compared to iterative phase retrieval, DPRI uses less intensity measurements, making the method suitable for testing dynamic samples. Numerical results show that combined with diffuse light, DPRI can effectively retrieve the optical phase of scattered light. Experimental demonstrations show its capability to evaluate changes in material’s index of refraction. Measurements of changes in the index of refraction of a material can be used to study stresses, deformations or changes in temperature of the sample.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0030401813000072
Impact Factor: 1.486

Cristina B. Corcino
Institute of Mathematics
College of Science
UP Diliman

The Hankel Transform of Generalized Bell Numbers and Its q-Analogue. Utilitas Mathematica, 89: 297-309, 2012

Bell numbers have important applications in statistics. One application is that the nth Bell number is nth moment of a Poisson distribution with expected value 1. On the other hand, Hankel transform of a sequence of numbers is the determinant of a Hankel matrix of the sequence. It is known that the Hankel matrix is used to prove the solvability of Hamburger moment problem on the existence of the Borel measure u on the real line. The solvability of Stieltjes, Vorobyev and Hausdorff moment problems can be shown similarly.  In this study, we were able to establish the Hankel transform of the generalized Bell numbers.

Link to the article: Not yet available online
Impact Factor: 0.137

Cristina B. Corcino
Institute of Mathematics
College of Science
UP Diliman

On Generalized Bell Numbers for Complex Argument. Utilitas Mathematica, 88: 267-279, 2012

Stirling and Bell numbers had played important roles in connecting the calculus of finite differences and the infinitesimal calculus. These numbers have wide applications in statistics, life science and physics. Several papers have already been published related to these numbers.  Most of the authors are working on the generalization of these numbers. Due to their popularity in the field of combinatorics, Stirling and Bell numbers are now considered as one area in combinatorics which need to be developed. In this study, we were able to establish a more comprehensive generalization of Stirling and Bell numbers by making all the parameters involved to be complex numbers.

Link to the article: Not yet available
Impact Factor: 0.137

Jeella Z. Acedo, Charisse T. Reyes and Evelyn B. Rodriguez
Institute of Chemistry
College of Arts and Science
UP Los Baños

Chemical Composition of Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of its Lipid Components. Philippine Journal of Crop Science, 37 (2): 13-19, August 2012.

The chemical composition of local purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) also known as olasiman was determined. The edible portion of mature plants was found to have higher mineral, protein, fat, and fiber contents compared to common leafy vegetables like cabbage and lettuce.  The oil extract consisted of 17.00 ± 0.33% and 5.08 ± 0.49% of the omega-3 fatty acids α-linolenic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, respectively.  Phytosterols, a-tocopherol, and squalene were also quantified at 6.52 ± 0.44 mg, 9.05 ± 0.04 mg, and 115.0 ± 2.0 µg per 100 g fresh weight, respectively.  The phytosterols included campesterol, stigmaterol and primarily, β-sitosterol.  An in vivo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay, which utilized the highly vascularized CAM as biological test surface, was done to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of purslane.  Purslane oil and its saponifiable and unsaponifiable fractions exhibited 44 to 99% inhibition of the irritation caused by sodium dodecyl sulfate when applied to CAM at 15 to 150 µg.  Their anti-inflammatory activity can be attributed to the presence of the aforementioned phytochemicals.  This information is vital to promote the plant as a functional food.  As a functional food, it should contain bioactive components that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. The results of this assay imply that purslane oil can be used to combat inflammation.  Since inflammation is one of the underlying causes of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease, purslane oil can be a promising functional food that may aid in alleviating these diseases.

Link to the article: http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20123307084.html;jsessionid=0D184992B77B8F4EC813A7AD933938F4Impact Factor: 0.075

Pamela Ann Jose
Department of Humanities
College of Arts and Science
UP Los Baños

John Greco on the Nature and Value of Knowledge. Φιλοσοφία: International Journal of Philosophy 14 (2): 137-54, May 2013.

The problems of the nature and value of knowledge require us to supply a characterization of knowledge that demonstrates how knowledge is more valuable than true belief. John Greco’s virtue reliabilism, as it is developed in Achieving Knowledge, attempts to solve both problems by characterizing knowledge as a form of success from ability. He maintains that knowledge is “a kind of success from ability” since knowing a proposition p (i.e. Angus is a rabbit) involves our well-motivated and reliable use of our intellectual ability. By maintaining that knowledge involves our well-motivated and reliable use of our intellectual abilities, he shows that knowledge does not merely have instrumental value (i.e. it allows us to gain information) but it also has intrinsic value since it is a manifestation of human excellence. Despite the appeal of Greco’s theory, it is unable to demonstrate the extent through which our ability should be used in order for us to gain credit for knowing p. Until his virtue reliabilist theory specifies this, his solutions to the problems of the nature and value of knowledge are untenable.

Link to the article: http://www.ejournals.ph/index.php?journal=PIJP&page=article&op=viewArticle&path[]=6222
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Daniel Edison M. Husana
Institute of Biology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Groundwater quality in karst regions in the Philippines. Limnology, 14(3):293-299, August 2013.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10201-013-0398-8
Impact Factor: 0.983

Daniel Edison M. Husana
Institute of Biology
College of Science
UP Diliman

New species of false spider crab, Elamena H. Milne Edwards, 1837 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Hymenosomatidae), from Davao Gulf, Philippines. Zootaxa, 3616 (5): 495-600, 22 February 2013.

Link to the article: http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt03109p059.pdf
Impact Factor: 0.927

Juan M. Pulhin
Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Facing the Challenge of Social Forestry in Japan: The Case of Reviving Harmonious Coexistence Between Forest and People in Okayama Prefecture. Small-scale Forestry, 12(2): 257-275, June 2013.

Social forestry as a development strategy has evolved since the 1970s, especially in the tropics, to address forest degradation and promote local community development amidst the burgeoning population in these areas. As a practice, however, social forestry has been in place since ancient times in many parts of the world, including Japanese forest communities. Forest-people relationships in Japan drastically changed through massive afforestation programs after the energy source change and with the industrialization of the forest sector in 1950s. The majority of the planted forests are underutilized today and forest communities are marginalized due to the decline of forestry operations, depopulation, and changes in people’s values. Some communities address this concern by inviting potential urban migrants who may be interested in settling in rural areas. Using the case of the Nishiawakura Village in Okayama Prefecture, this paper explores the recent challenges confronting social forestry in Japan. It is found that under utilization of forest resources can be a cause of serious environmental degradation and marginalization of forest communities, and that Nishiawakura’s journey to renew forest management in partnership with migrants is a process of revisiting and creating the forest-people relationship. This study advances two related arguments, namely (1) the interaction of the local people and the migrants brings new perspectives to forest management, and (2) in a community facing depopulation and under utilization of forest resources, social forestry can be an effective approach to rediscover traditional forest management in a new form and revitalize forests and local communities.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11842-012-9210-6
Impact Factor: 0.726

Juan M. Pulhin and Daylinda B. Cabanilla
Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Indigenous agroforestry in a changing context: The case of the Erumanen ne Menuvu in Southern Philippines. Forest Policy and Economics, 22: 18-27, September 2012.

Research on indigenous agroforestry, especially its role in enhancing food security among the indigenous peoples confronted with degraded environments and market forces, is of paramount importance. Employing qualitative research methods, this study documents the pengengewiran, a type of indigenous agroforestry system practiced by the Erumanen ne Menuvu, an indigenous group in Southern Philippines. Based on existing form of classification, the study revealed that pengengewiran is an “integral” form of swidden system which is also a type of agroforestry. Further analysis of the data showed that the Erumanens’ adherence to the customary practice of pengengewiran is influenced by existing communal resources, social relations, and high regard for deities. On the other hand, recent changes in their farming practices, including the shortening of fallow period and the incorporation of lowland rice into indigenous farming system, are attributed to the changing ecological condition of the uplands and the socio-economic process upon which they are embedded. The paper contends that socio-economic and environmental factors trigger changes in indigenous agroforestry practices and these dynamics have to be understood and better appreciated if just and effective policies and programs on forest resource management are to be crafted

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389934112000093
Impact Factor: 1.638

Juan M. Pulhin
Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Co-management in Community Forestry:  How the Partial Devolution of Management Rights Creates Challenges for Forest Communities. Conservation and Society, 10 (2): 91-102, April-June 2012.

Forest tenure reform has opened economic and livelihood opportunities for  community forestry management through the devolution of management rights under broader decentralisation reforms.  However, the transfer of rights and associated power to forest communities is usually partial.  The view of property as composed of ‘bundle of rights’ allows for the disintegration of rights held by natural resource stakeholders encompass only part of the rights bundle.  This partial transfer of rights shapes community forestry institutions and manner in which they function.  When communities and state agencies share responsibilities and benefits of forest management, they collaborate within co-management systems.  Co-management systems are attractive to governments because they open avenues for local participation  in resource governance and more equitable benefit-sharing while maintaining some level of state control.  However, co-management systems can place a greater burden on community level actors without providing the corresponding benefits.  As a result, co-management can fail to meet expectations.  In response, the promotion of community forestry may require greater emphasis on adjusting forest regulatory frameworks, institutions, and agencies, to allow more freedom by community-level actors in developing forest management systems.

Link to the article: http://www.conservationandsociety.org/article.asp?issn=0972-4923;year=2012;volume=10;issue=2;spage=91;epage=102;aulast=Cronkleton
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Ann Margaret C. Lico and Barbara L. Caoili
Crop Protection Science
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Preliminary Study on the Mitochondrial DNA Cytochrome C Oxidase Subunit II Gene of the African Armyworm Spodoptera exempta Walker ( Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in the Philippines. The Philippine Entomologist, 26 (2): 120-136, October 2012

Molecular analysis on the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase c subunit II gene (mtDNA COII) of Spodoptera exempta was done to determine any variation within the Sariaya (SRY1, SRY5a, SRY6a and SRY9b) and between the Sariaya and Lipa (LIPA) populations.  The partial COII gene from fifth instar larvae of S. exempta was amplified using COII-specific primers (Hoshizaki et al., 2008). Variations in nucleotide and amino acid sequences of the COII gene were observed amongst the S. exempta samples from the two localities. Multiple sequence alignments of the nucleotide sequences identified the sources of variations, namely: transition, transversion and deletion, between and within samples from the two localities. The phylogram showed genetic distance relationships among S. exempta samples, S. exigua, S. frugiperda, Bombyx mori and Hyphantria cunea. This preliminary study demonstrates the potential of the mtDNA COII gene as a source of biological information, which can be used in phylogeographical studies of not only S. exempta but also other species for monitoring and designing pest control strategies for insect pest species in the Philippines.

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

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