IPA Recipients for August 2015

Arvin B. Vista
Department of Agricultural Economics
College of Economics and Management
UP Los Baños

Estimating the Recreational Value of Taal Volcano Protected Landscape, Philippines using Benefit TransferJournal of Environmental Science and Management, 18 (1): 22-32, June 2015.

Catchy title of research: Recreational Value of Taal Volcano Protected Landscape.

Benefit transfer methods are increasing used to aid decision-making, especially when time and resource constraints the conduct of primary study. It has many potential applications in developing country, wherein collecting data is significantly constrained by limited financial resources. This paper provides evidence on the total value of recreation at TVPL for visitors to the site, which are not captured by the current market system. A rough estimate of the monetary value of recreational value of a protected area in an economic analysis context is better than implying a zero value for recreation by leaving recreation out of the economic model. Due to lack of funds and limited time for the Protected Area Superintendent and Protected Area Management Bureau to conduct primary research, a benefit transfer application was employed to providing a first approximation of recreational use value. Take note that the estimated recreational value of TVPL is not equivalent to economic resources that can be generated when visitor use fees or recreational boat licenses are imposed to the users. User fees should be based on a willingness-to-pay study that captures public perceptions and willingness-to-pay fees, among others. To capture part of these estimated recreational values, institutional instrument(s) should be made that specifies user fees. This may be in the form of a PAMB resolution or a Municipal/City Ordinance on User Fees for TVPL Facilities, Goods and Services (applicable within the municipal/city jurisdictions), which may be used to cover for the management, protection and preservation of the natural resources of TVPL.

Link to the article: http://www.journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/JESAM/article/view/1284
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.250

Kryssa D. Balangcod, Freda M. Wong and Teodora D. Balangcod
Department of Biology
College of Science
UP Baguio

Vegetation Analysis of a Four Year Old Landslide Scar in Poblacion Central, Atok, Benguet Province, Philippines. Electronic Journal of Biology, 11 (2): 52-56, 2015. 

Catchy title of research: Plants that naturally colonize a landslide scar: A key to bioengineering eroded areas in Atok, Benguet Province.

The Municipality of Atok is one of the landslide prone areas in Benguet Province, Philippines. This is due to its mountainous terrain and steep slopes. The occurrence of landslides has become more frequent after the large-magnitude earthquake last July 11, 1990. Further, strong rains brought by monsoon and typhoon contribute to erosion. To date, most of the eroded areas are left untouched, which continually pose threat to the community. Although through time, plants naturally grow on the eroded areas that aids in soil stabilization. This process however is slow, thus, revegetation is crucial. In this study, plants that grew on a 4-year old landslide in Poblacion, Atok, Benguet Province were determined. This was conducted to determine plant species that can be used in bioengineering landslide through revegetation.The plants identified on the landslide scar were compared to the adjacent uneroded area. There were 19 species identified on the landslide scar and 21 species on the adjacent uneroded area. Speciesobserved on the landslide scar include moss, lichen, ferns, herbs and grasses. Likewise those on the adjacent uneroded area include ferns, herbs and mostly grasses. Eight species were both observed on the landslide scar and adjacent uneroded area. This similarity indicates the influence of the adjacent vegetation in natural revegetation of landslides. Seeds of plants from the adjacent vegetation can reach the landslide area through dispersal by wind and animals. In addition, this shows that indigenous species can better adapt and grow on landslide scar.

Link to the article: http://www.ejbio.com/pps/2015/52.pdf
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Erwin P. Quilloy and Pepito M. Bato
Institute of Agricultural Engineering
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños

Machine Vision-Based Software for Automating the Grading Process of Philippine Table Eggs. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 98 (2): 148-156, June 2015.

Catchy title of research: Machine vision for sorting Philippine Table Eggs.

Table eggs in the Philippines are graded based on the quality and size. The purpose of grading is to regulate the production of domestic table eggs sold by the wholesalers, retailers, supermarkets and groceries. In this study, machine vision was applied for the development of software for sizing the local table eggs and capable of interfacing with microcontrollers. The effect of aging on the weight of eggs was found to be significant, hence, fresh egg samples were used for the study. The best weight estimate was obtained by evaluating the projected area of the local table eggs compared to the other parameters such as length, width, perimeter, and shape index. It was observed that developed software was able to sort the table eggs in compliance with the local standards. Results of test for parameter extraction showed significant uniformity of values regardless of the table egg orientation with respect to the camera. Furthermore, results of the study revealed that using a monochrome camera instead of a color CCD camera yields faster image processing. The theoretical capacities of the software were computed to be 58,111 and 57,443 table eggs per hour for the monochrome and color CCD cameras, respectively.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.256

Glenn L. Sia Su, Maria Lilibeth L. Sia Su* and Kimberly Beltran-Benjamin
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology*
College of Medicine*
UP Manila

Lead Bioaccumulation and the Imposex Effect of Volema (Pugilina) Cochlidium in Bacoor Bay, Philippines. Journal of FisheriesSciences Com, 9 (3): 1-4, 2015. 

This study assessed the bioaccumulation of total lead and the imposex effect of the Volema (Pugilina) cochlidium gastropods in Bacoor Bay, Philippines. The hepatopancreas was assessed for lead concentrations, and measuring the penis length of the affected female organism assessed the occurrence of the imposex effect of the same organism. Results showed that lead bioaccumulated in the hepatopancreas. The prevalence of imposex in the gastropods in Bacoor Bay is 36.67%. Among the female gastropod examined, about 50% showed the imposex effect. The penis length of the imposex-affected female gastropod increases with the increasing tissue lead concentrations. Likewise, the penis length of normal male gastropods increases with the increasing tissue lead concentrations. However, no significant relationships between the lead concentrations in the tissue to that of the penis length of the normal male gastropods and the penis length of those affected female gastropods with the imposex occurrence were observed. No significant differences were observed on the total lead bioaccumulated in the hepatopancreas of the male, female and imposex-affected females. Continuous biomonitoring must be undertaken to safeguard the aquatic organisms from the deleterious effects it may acquire from its exposure to the harmful heavy metals emanating in the environment. 

Link to the article: http://www.fisheriessciences.com/fisheries-aqua/lead-bioaccumulation-and-the-imposex-effect-of-volemapugilina-cochlidium-in-bacoor-bay-philippines.pdf
Impact Factor: Not yet available

John Ian K. Boongaling
Department of Humanities
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Some (Philosophical) Problems for Consciousness as a Neural Capacity for Objectivity. Organon F, 22 (3): 325-339, 2015

Any philosophy (or theory) of mind worth taking seriously must include two important things: (1) the phenomenon of consciousness and (2) a satisfactory explanation (or solution) to what Chalmers calls “the hard problem of consciousness.” These requirements, I maintain, should not be neglected. To expound on these requirements, it is important to note that (1) entails the recognition that consciousness is to be treated as part of this world and not something outside it. This requirement sits well with science in general. As might be expected, the situation is different with philosophy. I can only hope that people from both science and philosophy can begin to realize that they cannot continue ignoring each other. In addition, (2) entails the recognition that it is the subjectivity of consciousness that is responsible for our current inability to fit consciousness into the natural order. While Dijker’s proposal (i.e. to view consciousness as a neural capacity for objectivity) might not have significant problems with the first requirement, I hope that it is clear from the arguments that have been presented that the proposal suffers from significant problems with the second requirement.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

John Ian K. Boongaling
Department of Humanities
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

The Case Against a Free Market for Human Organs in the Philippines. Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 15 (1): 63-77, 2015

Should the Philippine government create a policy or enact a law which legalizes the buying and selling of human organs—kidneys in particular—for medical transplantation purposes?  In this paper, it has been shown that the arguments used by proponents of the free market proposal are prone to serious objections.  In particular, the argument from personal autonomy employs a very simplistic concept of personal autonomy.  Such being the case, it fails to account for some of the important reasons why we value the concept of personal autonomy in the first place.  The paper has also shown that a very simplistic concept of personal autonomy can lead to exploitative arrangements as might be observed in the case of Filipino kidney vendors from Metro Manila and the CALABARZON.  As opposed to the simplistic concept of personal autonomy, the paper also argued for an enhanced concept of personal autonomy which makes an individual’s decision to sell a kidney amenable to rational scrutiny—whether or not it is, for instance, to use Diokno’s words, makatarungan (just) and nararapat (right).  Moreover, it was also shown that the argument from economic efficiency is prone to a number of serious objections due to its consequentialist framework and its tendency to further proliferate and legitimize already existing social injustices by targeting specific portions of the population as the most likely sources of kidneys for medical transplantation purposes.  

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Teodora D. Balangcod
Department of Biology
College of Science
UP Baguio

Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Studies of Selected Aromatic Plants in the Philippine. Acta Horticulturae, 1023: 143-148, 11 March 2014.

Catchy title of research: Phytochemical and antibacterial screening of selected aromatic plants in the Cordillera

Plants are the main ingredient of medicines in most traditional way of healing and also the source of inspiration for several major pharmaceutical drugs. Aromatic and medicinal plants are a group of plants containing specific chemicals which can have antimicrobial properties. Previously, aromatic plants are mainly used as flavoring because of its aroma and today these aromatic plants are the main source of medicines. Researchers have proven that aromatic plants contain antimicrobial compounds that can heal various diseases. These compounds contain active functional groups which are effective in controlling infectious diseases among living organisms. Among the aromatic plants that of medicinal purposes are Lantana camara, Pandanus amyrrillfolius and Piper betle. These aromatic plants were found to have antimicrobial properties. These aromatic plants have been confirmed to contain compounds like alkaloids, saponin, tannins, carbohydrates, quinine etc. These compounds are believed to be responsible for most of the biological activities of these plants. The value of plants has to do with its active components.  Among the most important bioactive components of plants are flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, tannins and phenolic compounds. Phytochemical screening and antimicrobial research based upon ethno-pharmacological information is generally considered for this study.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Teresa R. Melgar
Department of Sociology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

A Time of Closure? Participatory Budgeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil, after the Workers’ Party Era. Journal of Latin American Studies, 46 (1): 121-149, February 2014.

Participatory budgeting (PB) in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil is one of the most iconic democratic innovations in the developing world. Launched by urban popular movements and the city’s Workers’ Party-led governments in the 1990s, participatory budgeting increasingly enabled marginalized communities to shape public spending priorities and contest the historically clientelist allocation of state resources. But since 2004, the PB process has experienced significant weakening, bringing into question the continued sustainability of this pioneering democratic reform. The article argues that this weakening of participatory budgeting can be explained by the convergence of three politico-economic trends in the city: (1) increased unity of center-right parties against participatory budgeting, capped by these parties’ victory in successive mayoralty elections since 2004; (2) growing influence of neoliberal frameworks for managing the city’s fiscal problems which led to the non-implementation of PB projects; and (3) state support for a new model of participation that deemphasizes claims-making and citizenship rights. Although PB activists continued to fight for the integrity of participatory budgeting, they have met considerable challenges, including the weakening itself of the Workers’ Party and urban popular movements.  In the meantime, a series of center-right city administrations have used the mayor’s considerable authority over municipal state resources and program implementation to great advantage, wielding it to reduce the centrality of participatory budgeting in local policy-making processes while promoting a less politicized model of participatory governance. The article concludes by examining the broader implications of the Porto Alegre experience to the sustainability of democratic reforms.

Link to the article: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9176269&fileId=S0022216X13001582
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.462

Joey D. Ocon
Department of Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Direct Power Generation from Waste Coffee Grounds in a Biomass Fuel Cell. Journal of Power Sources, 296: 433–439, 20 November 2015.

Catchy title of research:: Re-energizing waste-to-energy conversion in direct coffee fuel cells

The worldwide clamor towards less dependence on fossil fuels, due to the emission of greenhouse gases and energy security issues, has led to the strong interest in using biomass energy. As an alternative, renewable energy source, biomass absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) during plant growth, contributing less to global warming. The only remaining issue, however, is how to produce energy from biomass without competing with food supply over the use of arable lands. As such, utilization of waste biomass by-products, especially from the food and beverage industry, is key to solving this problem. Waste coffee grounds (WCG) are an abundant resource for biomass-to-energy conversion technologies. The worldwide coffee consumption has steadily increased over the past decades, reaching an annual consumption of 8.8 million metric tons and leading to enormous amounts of organic wastes. There have been various attempts in using WCG but most of these methods generate by-products that should be discarded in landfills or eventually incinerated. Recently, biodiesel was produced from WCG, with the oil content, saponifiable lipids, and lipid profile varying according to the regional location and brewing technique. In this study, we showed the direct electrochemical oxidation performance of WCG-powered anodes, in comparison with that of carbon black (CB). A detailed analysis on the chemical composition and nature of WCG and carbonized WCG was performed in order to explain its electrochemical behavior

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378775315301063
Impact Factor: 2014/2015 6.217

Rose T. Mueda
Institute of Fish Processing Technology
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
UP Visayas

Physico-chemical and Color Characteristics of Saltfermented Fish Sauce from Anchovy Stolephorus commersonii. AACL Bioflux, 8 (4): 565-572, 2015.

Catchy title of research: High quality salt-fermented fish sauce, patis,from anchovy 

Salt-fermented fish sauce or patis in the Philippines is economically important traditional fishery products in the country. It provides employment and creates enterprise in many provinces. The manufacturing practices in the Philippines and in many Asian countries vary from one processor to the others. The physical, chemical and color characteristics of fish sauce largely depend on the quality of fish and salt, fish species, salt concentration or ratio of salt to fish, processing methods and the duration of fermentation. This study was conducted to measure changes in the physico-chemical and color characteristics of salt-fermented anchovy sauce with 1:3.5 salt to fish ratio and fermented for 270 days at 28-30oC. Fermentation period significantly affect the pH, total volatile base-nitrogen, protein and color characteristics of the products, but no significant effect on salt content. This indicates that the 1:3.5 salt to fish ratio gives a good quality fish sauce products as reflected in various analyses, more importantly based on the amount of TVB-N in the 270-day fish sauce sample. TVB-N is used to measure seafood quality but it reflects later stage of advanced spoilage. In this study, the TVB-N values were within the acceptable limits set at 100-200 mg g-1 for salted and dried fish products though the salt content of fish sauce was at the range of 18.51+0.60% to 19.01+0.04%. While the salt content is lower than the 20-25% standards for fish sauce, the TVB-N values were within the set acceptable limit, the protein content is higher than the 1-8% required minimum amount and the color description of clear liquid with the hues of yellow and red was achieved at 270 days of fermentation.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Rebecca Crozier
Archaeological Studies Program
UP Diliman

Exceptional or Conventional? Social Identity within the Chamber Tomb of Quanterness, Orkney” in Exploring Prehistoric Identity in Europe: Our Construct or Theirs. Victoria Ginn, Rebecca Enlander and Rebecca Crozier (editors). Oxford, U.K and Pennsylvania, USA: Oxbow Books, 2014.

Maria Clarisa R. Sia* and Oscar P. Ferrer
National College of Public Administration and Governance*
College of Social Work and Community Development
UP Diliman

Policy Reform and Governance in Philippine Health Regulatory System” in Developing Country Perspectives on Public Service Delivery. Anjula Gurtoo, Colin Williams (editors). New Delhi, India: Springer, 2015.

Julian V. Advincula
Department of Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

China’s Leadership Transition and the Future of US-China Relations: Insights from the Spratly Islands Case. Journal of Chinese Political Science, 20 (1): 51-65, March 2015.

The turnover of China’s Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee and Leadership in 2012 have raised substantial concerns on the direction of its international relations with many different countries around the world particularly with that of the United States of America (US). Special interest has been put on the overall prognosis of Sino-American relations because of its complex and multi-faceted nature.  The People’s Republic of China (China) and the US are neither enemies nor allies.  While they compete with each other on important areas (economic growth, foreign power, international influence etc.), they also cooperate as partners on major concerns (trade, investment, combating terrorism, nuclear proliferation prevention and the like.  Generally, the international relations between US and China have been stable. However, the general stability of Sino-American relations can be a mirage.  Regional issues especially the Philippine Claim over Spratly (Nansha) Islands in the South China Sea can disturb or even break up the relative balance of diplomacy and defense in the respective national security concerns of China and US. China is a claimant of all of Spratly (Nansha) Islands while the US is a close ally of the Philippines. This paper would identify, discuss and analyze the implications, issues and challenges of such claims within the realm of the overall prognosis of Sino-American relations.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11366-014-9327-x
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Fredegusto Guido David
Institute of Mathematics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Sexuality-based Compartmental Model of Spread of HIV in the Philippines. Philippine Science Letter, 7 (1): 62-66, 2014.

Modeling the spread of HIV in the Philippines is important for monitoring changing trends and lifestyles of Filipinos. The results of the study show that there has been a huge increase in the number of HIV infections among homosexual and bisexuals.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Fredegusto Guido David and Pearl Anne P. Po
Institute of Mathematics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Symmetric Form of the Von Neumann Poker Model. International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, 99 (2): 145-151, 2015.

In this paper, we studied the theoretical optimal way to play a game such as poker, assuming that the first player is allowed to bet or check, and the second player is allowed to call or fold to a bet, or bet after the first player checks. The solutions using game theory give a precise betting strategy with a specified bet amount for each player.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Reginald Christian S. Bernardo and Jose Perico H. Esguerra
Institute of Mathematics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Exactly Solvable Dynamical Models with a Minimal Length Uncertainty. Few-Body Systems, 56 (4): 219-229, May 2015.

Catchy title of research: Minimal Length Uncertainty  Modifies Classical Dynamics!

In classical mechanics, it is possible in principle to simultaneously determine the position and momentum of an object with unlimited accuracy. In quantum mechanics this is no longer possible – Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (HUP) tells us that at any given time, one can determine with arbitrarily high accuracy either the position or the momentum of an object but not both.  At high energies, modern theories of gravity predict that there is a limit to the accuracy of position measurement – Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle must therefore be replaced with a generalized uncertainty principle (GUP). The research article “Exactly Solvable Dynamical Models with a Minimal Length Uncertainty” published in Few-Body Systems investigates how GUP modifies classical dynamics. One of the results for example implies that the magnitude of the acceleration of a freely-falling particle in the earth’s uniform gravitational field is larger in the minimal length case compared to the non-minimal length case. The paper also discusses the free particle, anti-symmetric constant-force oscillator, harmonic oscillator, vertical harmonic oscillator, linear diatomic chain, and linear triatomic chain and suggests that the idea of a minimal length uncertainty can be detected through a table-top experiment.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00601-015-0978-8
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.768

Leonila F. Dans and Francisco E. Anacleto Jr.
Department of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
UP Manila

Isotonic Versus Hypotonic Saline Solution for Maintenance Intravenous Fluid Therapy in Children: A Systematic Review. Pediatric Nephrology, 30 (7): 1163-1172, July 2015.

The administration of hypotonic saline solution for maintenance intravenous fluid (IVF) therapy has been the standard of care, but recent evidence has shown this treatment to be associated with hyponatremia-related complications. The aim of this systematic review was to determine which IVF, i.e., a hypotonic or an isotonic saline solution, poses less risk for the development of hyponatremia among hospitalized children who require maintenance IVF therapy. Methods Medline, Cochrane Library, LILACS, Current Controlled Trials, reference lists, and abstract proceedings were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing hypotonic and isotonic saline solutions for maintenance IVF therapy in hospitalized children. Two reviewers independently assessed all potentially relevant studies and subsequently extracted data and evaluated the methodological quality of the RCTs. Studies were then combined and analyzed using a random effects model.Results Eleven RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Our analysis of these 11 RCTs showed that among hospitalized children receiving maintenance IVF therapy, isotonic solutions significantly decreased the risk of developing hyponatremia [relative risk (RR) 0.50, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.40–0.62] without significantly increasing the risk for hypernatremia (RR 0.83, 95 % CI 0.41–1.67). Conclusions Current evidence does not support the standard practice of prescribing a hypotonic saline solution as  maintenance IVF therapy to hospitalized children. Although there is no single IVF composition ideal for all children, an isotonic saline solution does appear to be the safer choice when maintenance IVF therapy is used in the general pediatric population.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00467-014-3033-y
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 2.856

Francisco E. Anacleto Jr.
Department of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
UP Manila

Profile of Acute Kidney Injury in Pediatric Leptospirosis. Renal Failure, 36 (7): 1090-1094, 2014.

Background/Aim: Leptospirosis is an emerging public health zoonotic disease driven by climate and environment. Reports on leptospirosis-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) in children are scant and lacking in detail. The main objective is to provide an accurate and comprehensive description of AKI in pediatric leptospirosis. Methods: We reviewed records of children _18 years old referred to the Section of Pediatric Nephrology in a tertiary-level government hospital from January 2004 to December 2012. They presented with clinical manifestations of leptospirosis and a microscopic agglutination test (MAT) _1:400. Patients were stratified as oliguric and non-oliguric with the former having a urine output of50.5 mL/kg/h. Results: A total of 86 cases were included with 53 children (62%) presenting with oliguria during their confinement. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) (p¼0.04) and serum creatinine (p¼0.01) levels were significantly more elevated in the oliguric subjects than the non-oliguric children upon hospital admission with a median estimated GFR (eGFR) of 9 and 11 mL/min per 1.73m2, respectively. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) was initiated in 19 (36%) patients in the oliguric group. Death occurred in 2 (4%) subjects with oliguric AKI. The most common pathologic serovars isolated were L. manilae (13%) and L. poi (13%). Conclusion: Anicteric oliguric AKI due to leptospirosis is more frequent and severe than non-oliguric kidney failure in the pediatric population.

Link to the article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/0886022X.2014.917766
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.944

Menandro N. Acda
Department of Forest Products and Paper Sciences
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Physico-Chemical Properties of Wood Pellets from Coppice of Short Rotation Tropical Hardwoods. Fuel, 160: 531-533, 15 November 2015.

Catchy title of research: Fuel pellets from coconut biomass

The study investigated the physical and chemical properties of fuel pellets from downed coconut truck and fronds in super typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013. Coconut trunk and fronds were used as feedstock in this study. Fuel properties of pellets from coconut biomass were within recommended limits. However, pellets showed relatively high levels of ash in comparison with woody biomass which may be problematic during combustion. Calorific values of both coconut stem and fronds were comparable with various wood species and energy crops.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016236115008261
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 3.520

Nelly S. Aggangan*, Nelson M. Pampolina**, Nina M. Cadiz and Asuncion K. Raymundo
BIOTECH*
Department of Forest Biological Sciences**
College of Forestry and Natural Resources**
Institute of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Assesment of Plant Diversity and Associated Mycorrhizal Fungi in the Mined-out Sites of Atlas Mines in Toledo City, Cebu for Bioremediation. Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 18 (1): 71-86, June 2015.

A successful rehabilitation strategy in stressed areas such as those in the mine tailings is to use the dominant plant species and the most prevalent microorganisms such as the mycorrhizal fungi.  The two most common mycorrhizal fungi are the ectomycorrhizal (ECMF) and the endomycorrhizal fungi or commonly called arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Usually, the dominant or prevalent mycorrhizal fungi are the most useful for the production of healthy and stress tolerant plants. Thus, the diversity of plant and mycorrhizal fungi within the 35,000-ha of the Atlas Mines in Toledo, Cebu, was surveyed with the goal of rehabilitating their mined-out area through bioremediation (the use of dominant plants and mycorrhizal fungi present in area to contain/reduce pollutants). Plant composition comprised 69 species belonging to 66 genera and 35 families which include trees, shrubs, herbs, creepers, vines, agricultural or agroforest crops. And for the associated ECMF,  Pisolithus, Scleroderma, Thelephora and Boletellus were found under Acacia auriculiformis, A. mangium, Eucalyptus urophylla and E. camaldulensis. Pisolithus were the most dominant. For the AMF, out of 50 plants collected, 10-100% roots of Lycopodium, Saccharum spontaneum, Nephrolepsis, Acacia mangium and Stachytarpheta jamaicensis were colonized by AMF. All roots of S. jamaicensis were colonized solely by Glomus sp. Pithecellobium dulce harboured the highest spore density (2,575 spores/plant/30g dry soil), consisting of Glomus (42%), Acaulospora (24%) and Entrophospora (37%). Glomus was the most prevalent. The above AMF and ECMF can be mass-produced as biofertilizers for use in bioremediation of mined-out sitesand other areas with similar conditions.

Link to the articlehttp://journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/JESAM/article/view/1289
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.250

Lilibeth A. Salvador-Reyes
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Biological Targets and Mechanisms of Action of Natural Products from Marine Cyanobacteria. Natural Product Reports, 32: 478-503, 2015.

Diversification of the screening platform coupled with innovative adaptation to natural products derived from marine cyanobacteria led to the characterization of intriguing mechanisms of action and a powerful display of potent bioactivities.

Link to the article: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2015/np/c4np00104d/unauth
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 10.107

Joey D. Ocon
Department of Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

An Optimized Mild Reduction Route Towards Excellent Cobalt–graphene Catalysts for Water Oxidation. RSC Advances, 5 (80): 64858-64864, 2015.

Catchy title of research: An Efficient way of splitting water with cobalt and graphene with minimal input energy

Among electrochemical energy storage and conversion technologies, unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs), water electrolyzers, and rechargeable metal-air batteries constitute as cornerstone systems, without which, efficient energy storage and conversion of the energy coming renewable energy sources is difficult. At the heart of these devices is the oxidation of water molecules to generate molecular oxygen, which severely limits the operational efficiency and considerably increases the system cost when noble metal catalysts are used. Inevitably, development of low cost, highly-reactive, and durable oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts represents the foremost challenge if the above technologies are to become energy efficient and economical. This work utilizes non-noble metal elements (e.g. cobalt and carbon) to synthesize a highly active and stable electrocatalyst for splitting water

Link to the article: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2015/ra/c5ra09956k/unauth
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 3.840

Ronald D. Villanueva, Ma. Vanessa Baria and Iris Salud F. Bollozos
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Direct Seeding of Mass-cultured Coral Larvae is not an Effective Option for Reef Rehabilitation. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 525: 105-116, 2015.

Large-scale rearing of coral larvae during mass spawning events and subsequent direct introduction of competent larvae onto denuded reefs (‘larval seeding’) has been proposed as a low-tech and affordable way of enhancing coral settlement and hence recovery of degraded reefs. While some studies have shown positive short-term effects on settlement, to date, none have examined the long-term effects of larval seeding for a broadcast-spawning coral. Here, we test whether larval seeding significantly increases coral recruitment rates both in the short (5 wk) and longer (~6 mo to 1 yr) term. Larvae of Acropora digitifera were reared ex situ, and ~1 million larvae were introduced to 7 artificial reefs (ARs) while 7 others were left unseeded. Settlement tiles deployed on both seeded and control ARs were retrieved for examination 5 and 30 wk after seeding. In addition, the presence of visible coral recruits on the AR surfaces was monitored before and for ~13 mo post-seeding. Density of acroporid spat was significantly higher on seeded tiles than on controls 5 wk after seeding, but this effect had vanished by 30 wk. Comparison of the densities of new visible Acropora recruits between seeded and control ARs showed no significant difference ~13 mo after seeding. Larval seeding therefore had no long-term effect due to high post-settlement mortality (which appeared to be density-related). Results suggest that reef-rehabilitation methods that aim to harness coral sexual reproduction might better focus on rearing juveniles through early post-settlement mortality bottlenecks.

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 2.619

Leee Anthony M. Neri
Archaeological Studies Program
UP Diliman

Obsidian Sourcing at Ulilang Bundok Site and its Implications for Mobility, Exchange, and Social Context in the Philippine Metal Age. Asian Perspectives, 53 (1): 97-115, Spring 2014.

This article discusses the results of chemical analysis to trace the source of the obsidian artifacts from the site of UlilangBundok in Batangas, Philippines. The obsidian artifacts used in this study were excavated from the site of UlilangBundok while samples of obsidian were also collected from known obsidian sources in Nagcarlan, Laguna, and Pagudpod, Ilococs Norte, for comparative purposes. Chemical analysis of the obsidian artifacts and source samples were carried out on a scanning electron microscope using the energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Multi-elemental analysis and statistical procedures performed on elemental data obtained from the obsidian artifacts and soruces provided strong indication that the obsidian artifacts from UlilangBundok were made using obsidian obtained from the Nagcarlan source. This has further implications for understanding how the complexity and spatial extent of trade reflects emerging social complexity in the Philippine Metal Age.

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