IPA Awardees for May 2013

Rosario Cruz-Lucero
Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas
College of Arts and Letters
UP Diliman

Gods, Monsters, Heroes, and Tricksters in Adelina Gurrea’s Cuentos de Juana. Kritika Kultura, 20: 99-128, February 2013.

This article is a study of Adelina Gurrea’s Cuentos de Juana, a short-story collection, in Spanish, replete with supernatural beings well known to Filipinos, particularly the people of Negros Occidental: the tamawo or kapre, tik-tik or aswang, bagat or manananggal, kamâ-kamâ or duwende. The book’s centerpiece is the balete tree in which the tamawo/kapre resides. The author (b. 1894-d.1971), was born and raised in her Spanish family’s sugar hacienda in Negros Occidental but moved to Spain at age 25 with her mother when her father died. Although she wrote Cuentos in Madrid twenty years after she had left Negros, they are vivid depictions of the Negros sugar workers, their culture, and the complex relationship between the Spanish hacendero and the native worker. The first-person narrator is the seven-year-old hacienda daughter, who is Gurrea’s alter ego. However, it is her native nanny who is the storyteller. The article reads these supernatural beings as personifications of the power of Filipino/ Negrense indigenous gods and epic heroes, which the uncomprehending Spanish masters simply dismiss as “superstition.” Their underestimation of this supernatural power causes their defeat, as they are punished one by one by these gods/ monsters. But these supernatural beings also symbolize historical and social forces causing the inevitable comeuppance of the hacenderos because of their greed, cruelty, indifference, or ignorance. This journal article may serve not only as an example of postcolonial criticism but also as a source of ideas for creative writers, including and especially producers and writers of popular culture.

Link to the article: http://journals.ateneo.edu/ojs/index.php/kk/article/view/812
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Ian Kendrich Fontanilla
Institute of Biology
College of Science
UP Diliman

First report of Angiostrongylus cantonensis in the Giant African Land Snail Achatina fulica in French Polynesia detected using the SSU rRNA gene. Tropical Biomedicine 29(4): 642-645, 2012.

Detecting nematode parasites from giant African land snails from French Polynesia using molecular markers.
The roundworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a parasite of rats and uses snails and slugs as intermediate hosts in order to complete their life cycle. However, humans can get infected by these parasites via consumption of raw or undercooked snails or contaminated food crops. Some of these infections are attributed to the spread of the giant African land snail Achatina fulica, which is used by the worm as an intermediate host during its juvenile stage. Identifying these parasites accurately and rapidly could greatly help mitigate their spread. However, identifying them solely on the basis of physical appearance is difficult, particularly at their infective juvenile stage because of the ambiguity of physical features. Hence, identification through DNA sequence of specific genes, such as the small subunit (SSU) rRNA, has been used instead. This study employed this molecular method on Achatina fulica populations found in the French Polynesia (Tahiti and Moorea). The study found that snails from Tahiti harboured the parasite, the first time the worm was reported in the snail from Tahiti. No worms were found in the Moorea populations of the snail. This indicates a viable route of human infection of the A. cantonensis in the area via consumption of the snail or contaminated food crops associated with the snail.

Link to the article: http://www.msptm.org/files/642_-_645_Fontanilla_IKC.pdf
Impact Factor: 0.622

Ma. Nerissa M. Abara
Institute of Mathematics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Number of Solutions of Equations of Weil type on Finite Symmetric Matrices. Linear Algebra and its Applications 438 (11): 4322-4334, June 2013.

A finite field is an algebraic structure that has applications in various fields such as coding theory and computer science. There have been numerous studies of the number of solutions of equations over finite fields. In 1949, Andre Weil published a paper on the number of solutions of a certain equation over finite fields. In subsequent years, matrix equations similar to Weil’s have been considered, with a focus on determining the number of solutions for such equations. In this paper, we consider a matrix equation over finite fields, where the matrices considered are symmetric, that is, a matrix whose transpose is equal to itself. An arithmetic sum called Gauss sums are used in determining the number of solutions to the said equation.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024379513001031
Impact Factor: 0.974

Analinda C. Manila-Fajardo, Cleofas R. Cervancia and Alejandro C. Fajardo Jr.
Institute of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Physico-chemical characteristics of commercial honey in select supermarkets in Metro Manila, Philippines. The Philippine Entomologist. 25(2), 187-198, October 2011.

Honey is commonly used as food and supplement. Buyers put premium in honeys’, nutritional value and spend a great deal trying to verify its authenticity through various means.  However, the only way to determine authenticity in honey is through physico-chemical analysis. Among the 39 commonly sold brands, only six out of 14 local and 18 out of 25 imported honey met all the standards set by the European Honey Commission and Codex Alimentarius. The honeys were evaluated based on their sugar and moisture content, conductivity and pH, to name a few.
This finding is of great concern. Adulteration presents a risk to health of consumers, especially to diabetics. Sucrose and other additives may not directly affect individual well being, but it could aggravate existing medical conditions and possibly create other complications. Tests and proper labeling can better protect the buying public.

 

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

Analinda C. Manila-Fajardo, Cleofas R. Cervancia, Alejandro C. Fajardo Jr. and Noel Sabino
Institute of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Radiation inactivation of Paenibacillus larvae and sterilization of American Foul Brood (AFB) infected hives using Co-60 gamma rays. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 69 (10): 1374–1379, October 2011.

American Foul Brood (AFB) disease, caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, is the scourge of beekeeping with European bees, Apis mellifera. The spores of this bacterium are resistant to antibiotics and can remain viable in the hives for many, years.  Antibiotics use may also contaminate honey and other hive products such as wax, pollen and propolis. Burning infective colonies and associated equipment is expensive and tedious. Irradiation technology has been proven to kill microorganisms in food and may be of use to combat AFB. In this study, Paenibacillus larvae was characterized and subjected to gamma irradiation. It was demonstrated that gamma irradiation to at least 115kG can kill bacterial spores present in AFB-infected hives. This dose is recommended for routine disinfection or sterilization of new and used beekeeping equipment to prevent and control the spread of AFB disease in the country.

Joshua P. Torres, Mary Ann A. Ammon, Malem Flores,Aaron Joseph L. Villaraza and Gisela P. Concepcion

A Bacterial Source for Mollusk Pyrone Polyketides. Chemistry and Biology 20 (1): 73-81, January 2013

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