IPA Awardees for January 2013

Annabelle U. Novero and Hanna Jean Esteban
College of Science and Mathematics
UP Mindanao

Epigenetic inheritance of spine formation in sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Roettb). Plant Omics Journal, 5 (6): 559-566,  2012

Sago palm has spiny and non-spiny types. Molecular analyses have shown no genetic variation between these types. In plants, differences in morphology may also be attributed to changes not brought about by changes in the genetic composition. This is called epigenetics. Epigenetic changes can be influenced by changes in the environment to which plants respond to. Sometimes, there are differences in DNA methylation at the molecular level. This is the difference in positions to which a methyl group may associate itself with portions of the DNA sequence. Normally, the methyl group is attached to cytosine (C).
High performance liquid chromatography was the method used to distinguish  between dC (nonmethylated)  and 5mdC (methylated) sago palm DNA. There was significant difference in methylation percentage between spiny (21.5%) and non-spiny (11.5%) palms at P ≤ 0.05, indicating that the formation of spine was an epigenetic event. Further, there was an indication that the wet environment may have caused the epigenetic event and that spine formation was also age dependent.

Link to the article: http://www.pomics.com/novero_5_6_2012_559_566.pdf
Impact Factor: 0.426

Windell L. Rivera
Institute of Biology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Two strains of Gordonia terrae isolated from used engine oil-contaminated soil utilize short- to long-chain n-alkanes. Philippine Science Letters, 5 (2): 199-208, 2012

Bioremediation is the management or utilization of organisms such as microbial community (microbial remediation) to remove, detoxify, or mineralize organic contaminants in the ecosystem. The existence of biodegrading microorganisms could significantly improve the bioremediation of polluted areas. In this study, biodegrading indigenous bacteria from used engine oil-contaminated soil were isolated and characterized. Their ability to utilize crude oil, diesel oil, petrol oil, and different HC compounds as the sole source of carbon was assessed. The type of HC fraction being degraded from crude oil was determined. The gene responsible for the HC degrading potential of the isolates was also detected and compared with known biodegraders.

Link to the article: http://www.philsciletters.org/article.2012n2.24p23.htm
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Rona Aldous M. Catanghal and Vachel Gay V. Paller
Animal Biology Division
Institute of Biological Sciences
UP Los Baños

Mite Fauna and Mite Antigen Detection in House Dust Found in Residential Areas in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 43 (5): 1114-1121, 2012.

Dust mites are a medically important group of animals commonly found in carpets and mattresses in houses. Antigens in their feces cause allergic reactions such as asthma and contact dermatitis. Dust samples were vacuum-collected in a special collecting bag from a one square meter area from living room floors of 100 randomly sampled houses in Los Baños, Laguna for one minute. Chromato-immunoassay ELISA (Mitey Checker) was used to detect mite antigenicity. Twenty-three species of mites were identified belonging to seven families. Of these, Blomia tropicalis (265 mites/g. of dust in 87% of households) of Family Glycyphagidae and Dermatophagoides farinae (71 mites/g. of dust in 58% of households) of Family Pyroglyphidae were the most prevalent and abundant species. Forty-eight percent (48%) of households were detected to have low levels of antigen (≤5 μg/m2). There was a weak linear relationship between mean total mite intensity and antigen levels (r= 0.129). Mean Dermatophagoides intensity and antigen levels were also found to have a weak linear relationship. More mites were found in carpeted living rooms (822 mites/g) when compared to non-carpeted living rooms (645 mites/g). Different floor types did not show any difference in mean mite intensity. Likewise, mite intensity did not show correlation with household size.

Link to the article: http://www.tm.mahidol.ac.th/seameo/publication.htm
Impact Factor: 0.6

Junie B. Billones and Catrina Theresa M. Yang
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics
UP Manila

Towards Antituberculosis Drugs: Molecular Docking of Curcumin and its Analogues to Pantothenate Synthetase. Yang, C.T.M.; Billones, J.B. (2012). Philippine Journal of Science, 141 (2): 185-194.

Tuberculosis (TB), a disease caused by the infection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), has infected more than one third of the world’s population. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about 9.4 million TB cases emerged in 2009 including 1.1 million cases among people with HIV. TB caused 0.38 million deaths among HIV-positive people and 1.3 million deaths among those who are negative of HIV. The current treatment of TB involves primarily the use of Isoniazid and Rifampicin and other first-line drugs such as Streptomycin, Pyrazinamide, and Ethambutol. Unfortunately, the use of these drugs also led to an increased number of strains, which are multi-drug resistant (MDR TB) and extensively drug resistant (XDR TB). It is therefore imperative to discover and develop compounds against these drug resistant MTB.
One attractive target for MTB inhibition is an enzyme named pantothenate synthetase (PS), which catalyzes the production of Vitamin B5. Humans, unlike bacteria, do not have the PS enzyme, thus they obtain Vitamin B5 through the diet. Because the enzyme is not present in humans, PS is a good target for drugs against TB. In fact, several studies in recent past are focused on this enzyme as useful drug target. In this study, we performed virtual screening of over 300,000 synthetic and natural compounds based on the three-dimensional structure of PS. We further modified the top hits and obtained several structures with drug-like properties that are better than the natural binder and known active compounds.

Link to the article: http://www.philsciletters.org/article.2012n2.14p15.htm
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Cynthia T. Hedreyda, John Jewish A. Dominguez and Karen G. Rosal
NIMBB
College of Science
UP Diliman

Isolation of thermophilic bacteria (Bacillus AND Ureibacillus) and amplification of genes for selected enzymes. Hedreyda CT, Dominguez JA and Rosal KG. 2012. Philippine Science Letters. 5 (2), 209-215.

Enzyme producing bacteria are used in making useful products, including food, beverage, detergents and medicines. Most of these bacteria-mediated manufacturing processes, however, generate high temperature that kills the bacteria or make them less efficient in producing the products. Samples were taken from different sources in order to isolate bacteria that could still survive at 55°C or higher (considered as moderate thermophiles) and produce industrially important enzymes that are still functional even at high temperature. One bacterium from hot spring of Laguna belongs to species called Bacillus licheniformis, could grow at 60°C, and possesses a gene for an enzyme called alkaline protease (that is used in making detergents).  Another bacterium  from mud spring of Mt. Makiling grows at 55°C, was identified as Bacillus subtilis, and contains the genes neutral protease, xylanase, amylase, and glycosidase enzymes. These are all industrially important enzymes. Three types of bacteria were isolated from oil sludge sample taken from an oil refinery in Manila. One bacterium that could grow at 55°C belongs to Bacillus licheniformis and contains a gene for a protease enzyme called  Bacillopetidase F used in the detergent industry. Two other bacteria that both grow at 60°C belong to relatively new species that are not yet well studied, Ureibacillus suwonensis and Ureibacillus thermosphaericus. These two thermophilic bacteria that could grow at 60°C could be the subject of further studies as potential sources of industrially significant enzymes. The study reveals the ease of isolating thermophiles that could synthesize industrially important enzymes from different samples.

Link to the article: http://www.philsciletters.org/article.2012n2.22p24.htm
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Jay Samuel L. Combinido and May T. Lim
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Crowding Effects in Vehicular Traffic. Combinido JSL, Lim MT (2012) . PLoS ONE 7(11): e48151. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048151.

Crowding is a state wherein a high concentration of particles obstructs the path of diffusing particles, which in turn reduce their mobility and leads to subdiffusive transport. Such reduction in mobility results in a change in the signature relationship between mean-square displacement (MSD) of the particles and time.  Our study looked into the effects of crowding due to car density and driving fluctuations on the transport of vehicles. Using a single-lane traffic model, we found that crowding can push car movement from a superballistic (smoothly flowing traffic) down to a subdiffusive state.
The transition is also associated with a change in the shape of the probability distribution of positions from a negatively-skewed normal to an exponential distribution. Moreover, crowding broadens the distribution of cars’ trap times and cluster sizes. At steady state, the subdiffusive state persists only when there is a large variability in car speeds. We also found analogies in our work to prior findings from random walk models of transport in cellular systems.

Link to the article: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371 %2Fjournal.pone.0048151.
Impact Factor: 4.09

Noli N. Reyes and Louie John D. Vallejo
Institute of Mathematics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Global Growth of Bandlimited Local Approximations. Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications  400(2):418-424, 15 April 2013.

A lot of observed data today can be thought of as erratic signals bounded in time. Finding their approximations using functions with bounded frequencies puts them in known ground, which then makes their understanding and analysis easier and more systematic. It is shown, however, that the energies of the approximating functions tend to blow up as the estimation errors become smaller. We study the compromise between obtaining better estimates and the energy growth of the estimating functions. This would potentially help in knowing how fast a computer program can implement an approximating algorithm.

Link to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmaa.2012.10.006
Impact Factor: 1.001

Orville L. Bondoc
Animal and Dairy Sciences Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

The Use of DNA Barcodes in the Evolutionary Analysis of Domestic reeds and Strains of Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) in the Philippines. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 95(4): 358-369, 2012.

Initially used as a global standard for rapid species identification and taxonomic classification by the Consortium on the Barcode of Life (CBoL), DNA barcodes (i.e. a segment of mitochondrial DNA called cytochrome c oxidase subunit I or COI gene) were found to be an effective basis to identify and differentiate chicken breeds and strains, but not distinguish between commercial hybrid chickens. sampled in the Philippines. Average genetic variation of COI sequences within duck groups was highest among standard breeds, followed by native chickens, fighting cocks, and lowest among commercial hybrid chickens. As a quick and inexpensive way to recognize chicken breeds and strains, DNA barcodes are recommended to compliment phenotypic performance data and history of populations, to determine the degree of genetic diversity in important chicken breeding populations and to identify those needing more detailed phylogenetic analysis.  DNA barcodes should also provide reliable guidelines for conservation decisions and for designing local breeding programs for Philippine native chickens.

Link to the article: http://journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/PAS
2012 Impact Factor: 0.315

Augusto E. Serrano Jr.
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
UP Visayas

Twig extract of the apple mangrove affects the activities of trypsin, chymotrypsin and lipase in postlarval black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon at varying feeding frequencies. Avenido P., Serrano Jr. A. E., 2012. ELBA Bioflux 4(2):56-61.

In the last two papers, there were evidences that the black tiger shrimp was rendered protected by the dietary incorporation of the twig extracts of the apple mangrove.  In general, growth, food conversion ratio did not differ significantly in all treatments while there was increased survival in all shrimp fed the medicated diet.  Amylase activity was highest in shrimp fed 4X daily and the rest exhibited statistically similar activities.  Protease activity, in contrast, those shrimp fed 3X and 4X exhibited higher activities than did the control and 2X groups.  In the present study, the twig extract increased activities of the chymotrypsin and trypsin when fed at least three to four times daily.  Lipase activity was not affected by the extract.  In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the twig extract of the apple mangrove could be used as a prophylactic/therapeutant and was not deleterious to the black tiger shrimp; in fact, it stimulated protein digestion.

Link to the article: http://www.elba.bioflux.com.ro/docs/2012.56-61.pdf.
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Augusto E. Serrano Jr.
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
UP Visayas

In vivo and in vitro digestibility of plant ingredients and diets by Bacillus phytases in tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus. Dechavez R. B., Serrano Jr. A. E., 2012. ELBA Bioflux 4(2):48-55.

The four Bacillus strains used were B. pumilus, B. megaterium, B. coagulans, and B. licheniformis. Phytase activities varied between bacterial sources as well as between feed ingredients. For the cassava leaf meal, digestibility was highest in B. pumilus, B. megaterium and B. licheniformis. For the soybean meal, digestibility was in this decreasing order: B. megaterium > B. pumilus > B. coagulans > B. licheniformis phytase. For the corn meal, addition of B. licheniformis phytase to the reaction mixture resulted in significantly the highest digestibility followed by B. coagulans phytase and B. megaterium phytase. Low digestibility by B. pumilus phytase of corn meal was at the same level with that of B. megaterium phytase. Digestibility of the feed dry matter (DM) when phytase was added to the feed ranged from 86.3 to 88.3% and were statistically the same for all treatments.

Link to the article: http://www.elba.bioflux.com.ro/docs/2012.48-55.pdf.
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Nicolito A. Gianan
Department of Humanities
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Philosophy and Dealienation of Culture: Instantiating the Filipino Experience. Cultura. International Journal of Philosophy of culture and Axiology 9 (2): 195-206, 2012.

The article presents the philosophy and dealienation of culture from the Filipino perspective and Asian philosophy. It asserts that philosophy goes beyond Western cultures and traditions, and that the dealienation of Asian culture, e.g., affirms the emergence and subsistence of a non-Western philosophy, i.e., an Asian philosophy. In particular, it clarifies and supports the Filipino philosophy and culture as an integral part of a Filipino Asian heritage and experience.

Link to the article: http://www.international-journal-of-axiology.net/current-issue.
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Aris A. Reginaldo, Vonette F. Ballesteros, Ma. Princess Alloue V. Gonzales and Celia M. Austria
Department of Biology
College of Science
UP Baguio

Small Non-Volant Mammals in forest patches of Baguio City, Luzon, Philippines. Asia Life Sciences, 22 (1): 131-139, 2013

Baguio City is one of the highly urbanized cities outside Metro Manila but it is unique from other cities because it is located around thick pine forest vegetation. Our research in 2008 that sought to identify the diversity and patterns of occurrence of small non-volant mammals (rats,mouse and shrew) in patches of forest of the city gave interesting
results. Six species of mammals were documented where in one of these is endemic to Luzon (Bullimus luzonicus) and another two (Apomys musculus and Rattus everetti) are endemic to the Philippines. These endemic species however were only found in the relatively less disturbed forest. Based on our findings it appears that the forest plays an important role in supporting the existence of the endemic species in the area, thus efforts of protecting and maintaining the present or good condition of the forest must always be set as a priority in order to protect the animals.

Link to the article: http://www.journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/ALS/article/view/791
Impact Factor: 0.259

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

 A Wittgensteinian Response to the Scope Problem. Φιλοσοφία: International Journal of Philosophy, 44 (1): 27-42, 2013.

If truth is a substantive property of statements as philosophers who subscribe to an inflationary theory of truth take it to be, then it is possible to provide a single explanation for the diversity of statements that most of us are willing to accept as true. The problem makes itself manifest when we try to generalize what the property of truth consists in given the fact that true statements belong to different domains (e.g., science, mathematics, history, law, ethics, etc.) and therefore differ in the relevant criteria of proof and methods of verification. This is what Michael P. Lynch calls the Scope Problem. This paper develops a Wittgensteinian response to the scope problem by employing two of Wittgenstein’s metaphors in the Philosophical Investigations (i.e., handles, tools). By exploring these metaphors and their significance in Wittgenstein’s overall view on language and its functions, the paper provides arguments and an analysis via concrete cases and analogies to show how and why syntax provides us with a misleading account of the truth predicate which ultimately leads to the inflationary theories’ predicament

Link to the article: http://www.ejournals.com.ph/index.php?journal=PIJP&page=article&op=viewArticle&path[]=5754
Impact factor: Not yet available

Maria Ana T. Quimbo, Linda M. Peñalba and Merlyne M. Paunlagui
Institute for Governance and Rural Development
College of Public Affairs and Development
UP Los Baños

 Spill-over Effects of Rural Industrialization on Community Transformation. Silliman Journal, 50 (1): 93-110, January to June 2009.

The dearth of literature in explaining the processes and products of rural industrialization is well recognized in this study. Hence, the study was endeavored to fill-in some gaps in communities in transition research by providing a perspective of how transformation of rural communities has affected the circumstances and lives of people and communities and other social processes that can have an impact on them. This study also focused on the effect of rural industrialization on social, economic, and cultural activities and practices of neighboring communities in which transformation has taken place. The information that emerged is expected to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics of community transformation

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

Inocencio E. Buot Jr.
Institute of Biological Science
College of Arts and Science
UP Los Baños

The Importance of Non-wood Forest Products in the Household Economy of the Direct Users of Aborlan Guba System, Palawan Island, Philippines. Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 14 (2):50-59, December 2011.

The Aborlan Guba System within the Victoria-Anipahan mountain range in southern Palawan (Fig 1) is a watershed and biocultural landscape which is the home of the Tagbanua tribe. They are richly endowed with indigenous knowledge about the rich biodiversity imparted to them through word of mouth. The study focuses on the non-wood forest products as it has been reported to play a critical role in household economy. Questions like sustainability of the practice has to be clarified in order to secure ecosystem health where the social component has been very much dependent upon. Interview of the direct users was conducted and results indicated poor socioeconomic status of the direct users who are mostly of the Tagbanua tribe and some migrants. The Tagbanuas particularly have their lives intimately connected with the Aborlan Guba System. Harvesting was found to be unregulated and non-sustainable. If this will continue, there will come a time that the forest ecosystem will deteriorate and its services to the people will be stopped posing a problem to society as a whole. The local government unit, the local university and non-government organizations should join hands in assisting this group of people toward addressing this concern. Domestication of important species in great demand should be studied. Local biodiversity education should commence as soon as possible.

Link to the article: http://journals.uplb.edu.ph/index.php/JESAM/article/view/675
Impact Factor: 0.182

Rowena T. Baconguis, Josefina T. Dizon and Serlie B. Jamias
Institute for Governance and Rural Development
College of Public Affairs and Development
UP Los Baños

Comparative Analysis of Coffee Farming Practices Introduced by Government and the Private Sectors in Paksong District, Champasak Province, Lao PDR. Silliman Journal, 50 (1): 111-132, January to June 2009.

Given the fiscal difficulties of maintaining a large, government extension service, it is imperative to investigate how private extension providers are reaching the small farmers. Results show comparable  methodologies used and adoption among farmers covered between government and private extension.  Thus, complementation between that two, with the government providing support to private extension providers, may lead to more efficient extension system.

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

Eduardo C. Tadem
Asian Center
UP Diliman

Grassroots democracy, non-state approaches, and popular empowerment in rural Philippines. Philippine Political Science Journal, 33 (2): 161-177, December 2012.

Discussions on grassroots democracy in Asia and elsewhere often focus on local governance issues such as decentralization, devolution, and local autonomy. Among social movements, the issues focus on interventions in the political process through advocacies and campaigns on regime and system change or devising strategies and practices that relate to the state. In all of the above, the governments and government-related institutions are the central concern. There is, however, another dimension that remains relatively unexplored, one where the state recedes in importance and value. This alternative dimension looks at how poor and marginalized communities have been able to occupy spaces and manage their own economic and political lives through mechanisms that lie outside the formal systems of governance and economies.  This non-state sector encompasses political, economic, social and cultural dimensions. Utilizing notions adapted from Scott’s “non-state spaces,” Migdal’s “weak state” paradigm, and the concept of “popular consciousness” and bringing these to bear on Philippine case studies, the paper explores non-state centered approaches and practices in creating and sustaining viable and productive rural communities as models of an alternative grassroots-type democracy.

Link to the article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01154451.2012.734096#.UoaQVCeEZIw
2011 Impact Factor: 0.111

Patrick D. Flores
Department of Arts and Studies
College of Arts and Letters
UP Diliman

Delicacy and Danger. Third Text, 27 (1): 95-107, January 2013.

The article surveys tendencies of practices in contemporary Southeast Asian art relating to ecology.


Link to the article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09528822.2013.752203#.UoajoyeEZIw
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Rowena T. Baconguis
College of Public Affairs and Development
UP Los Baños

The Dynamics of Agricultural Development in a Low Income Municipality: The Case of Magdalena, Laguna, Philippines. American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 12 (7): 872-885, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

The research investigates how a fifth class municipality was able to provide “seed to shelf” support to farmers, dispelling the norm that poor municipalities are unable to provide agricultural support due to lack of resources.

Link to the article: http://www.idosi.org/aejaes/jaes12(7)12/5.pdf
Impact Factor: Not yet available

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