IPA Recipients for December 2017

Arlene D. Romano and Menandro N. Acda
Department of Forest and Paper Science
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Feeding Preference of the Drywood Termite Cryptotermes cynocephalus (Kalotermitidae) against Industrial Tree Plantation Species in the Philippines. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, 20 (4): 1161-1164, December 2017.

Fig. 1. Feeding preference of drywood termite(“unos”) to common wood used in he Philippines.

The feeding preference of the drywood termite Cryptotermes cynocephalus (also called “unos”) was investigated against five fast growing industrial tree plantation species commonly used in the Philippines, viz.,Yemane, mangium, Moluccan sau, mahogany and eucalyptus.  No-choice and choice feeding tests were conducted to determine mass loss, wood consumption,level of resistance, and termite survival after 12 weeks of exposure period. Results showed that the order offeeding preference of C. cynocephalus from most to least preferred was Moluccan sau, mangium, Yemane, mahogany and eucalyptus in no-choice and choice feeding tests.  The study hopes to guide wood products manufacturers and end users on the natural durability or susceptibility of these wood species to the attack of drywood termites.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1226861517303461
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 1.046

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Bess G. Singidas and Roland V. Sarmago
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Optical Damage Assessment and Recovery Investigation of Hydrogen-Ion and Deuterium-Ion Plasma-Irradiated Bulk ZnO Single Crystals. Journal of Applied Physics, 121 (17): 175102, 11 pages, 2017.

Streak camera images of UV emissions of bulk ZnO single crystals before (a) and after (b) H-ion plasma irradiation. The UV emission lifetimes of the bulk crystals shorten after ion irradiation.

In realizing zinc oxide (ZnO) scintillator applications, we assess the optical damage and investigate the recovery of hydrogen-ion (H-ion) and deuterium-ion (D-ion) plasma-irradiated bulk ZnO single crystals. Hydrothermal-grown bulk crystals are irradiated with H-ion and D-ion beams. After irradiation, the single crystals exhibit decreased visible transparencies, redshifted ultraviolet (UV) emission peaks, shortened UV emission lifetimes, and suppressed visible emission bands. These changes in the optical transmittances and photoluminescence emissions are attributed to the generation of defects during irradiation and to the interaction of hydrogen with other defects and/or impurities. Although modified by ion irradiation, the optical properties of the ZnO crystals, except for the UV emission lifetimes, recover hours after without any sample treatment and only at room temperature. Compared with the H-ion-irradiated sample, the D-ion-irradiated crystal has a slower recovery which may be related to the ions’ masses, energy losses, and absolute diffusivities. Our results nevertheless show that bulk ZnO single crystals exhibit resistance to and recovery from H-ion and D-ion irradiation and can therefore be used as scintillator materials for radiation detectors inside future fusion reactors.

Link to the article: http://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.4982346?journalCode=jap
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 2.068

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Consuelo Amor S. Estrella
Institute of Animal Science
College of Agriculture and Food Science
UP Los Baños

Remodelling of the Bovine Placenta: Comprehensive Morphological and Histomorphological Characterization at the Late Embryonic and Early Accelerated Fetal Growth Stages. Placenta, 55: 37-46, July 2017

The placenta is a transient organ which provides essential nutrients and oxygen to the fetus.  The strong correlation between placental and birth weight demonstrates that placental function impacts prenatal growth.  Therefore, it is important to understand developmental changes of the placenta. 
Cattle is not only an important agricultural species but has been extensively used in reproductive biotechnology and biomedical research.  It carries a single conceptus with a growth trajectory similar to human for nine months.  Because of this similarity to human, it is a valuable animal model to study placental characteristics at the late embryonic and early accelerated fetal growth stages.
The bovine placenta is organized into button-like formations called placentomes.  The present study showed that the weight and number of placentomes increased from embryonic to fetal stage.  For histomorphology, the placental surface density and area increased while the placental connective tissue and barrier thickness decreased, indicating increased nutrient transfer as gestation progresses.  We describe for the first time, two placentome types, convex and flat, at the embryonic stage. Compared with the flat placentome type, the volume of placental components and surface area are significantly higher in convex type at the fetal stage.  Further, only the number of convex placentome correlates with embryo and fetal weights.  These characteristics show that convex placentome type has a major role in nutrient transfer to support prenatal growth in bovine. 

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014340041730231X
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 2.759

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Leo Mendel D. Rosario, Hernando S. Salapare* and Maricor N. Soriano
National Institute of Physics

College of Science
UP Diliman
Faculty of Education*
UP Open University

Topological Characterization of Plasma-Etched Polymer Surface using Discontinuous Percolation Transition. Materials Chemistry and Physics, 200: 322-330, 1 October 2017.

Roughness Parameters are tradionally obtained for the surface characterization of microfluid devices as these are easily computed from height profiles. However, these provide limited topological information on channel geometry needed for fluid flow or fluid retention optimization. In this study, topological measures from Minkowski functional and cluster analysis were evaluated if these can detect percolating channels or fluid traps in plasma-etched surfaces. Unlike Minkowski functionals, cluster analysis distinguished the onset of microchannel was obtained from percolation order parameter (P). Thus, P may be used as a topological measure for the automatic detection and geometry evaluation of channels and cavities for various microfluidic applications. Besides percolation, Minkowski functionals and cluster analysis may be used to obtain fractal properties of nano-patterns for nanofluidic device design. 

Link to article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S025405841730603X
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 2.084

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Mary Leian M. Pasumbal
SOLAIR
UP Diliman

Services Offshoring and Skill Development in Emerging Economies: Evidence from Metro Manila, Philippines” in Globalization and Services-Driven Economic Growth. Tarique H. Askary and Paulo Roberto P. Martinelli (editors). Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2017.

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Jonathan Anticamara
Institute of Biology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Impacts of Super-Typhoon Yolanda on Philippine Reefs and Communities. Regional Environmental Change, 17 (3): 703–713, March 2017.

Encrusting corals on shallow reefs of Lawaan, Samar that survived Yolanda’s impacts.

Dead branching corals fragments lying on shallow reefs of Lawaan, Samar after super-typhoon Yolanda’s impacts.

Super-typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) was the strongest typhoon to ever made a landfall in the Philippines and in the world. This research paper provides account of the impacts of super-typhoon Yolanda on Samar reefs using underwater surveys before and after super- typhoon Yolanda on several reefs spread across six municipalities in Samar: namely, Guiuan, Salcedo, Quinapondan, Giporlos, Balangiga, and Lawaan. We found that some reefs were completely damaged and wiped-out by Yolanda, especially reefs that are mostly composed of branching corals species on shallow areas. However, some reefs also survived the impacts of Yolanda, especially those reefs that are composed of encrusting or sheet-like coral species that are strongly attached to the ground. The extent of reef damages depend the following: (1) on the species of corals on the reefs, (2) the depth of the reefs, (3) the location of the reefs relative to super-typhoon Yolanda’s path, and (5) the reef condition prior to the Yolanda’s impact. We also found that most reefs in surveyed Samar municipalities had mostly heavily damaged and degraded reefs even before super-typhoon Yolanda’s impacts – due to overfishing, destructive fishing, and heavy siltation from land-use and land conversions in most coastal municipalities. Overall, we conclude, that to ensure reef productivity and continuous provisions of food, livelihood, and income from reefs of Samar to thousands of fishers and families along Samar coasts active coral restoration and effective reef management such as marine reserves (or no-fishing reef areas) should be implemented across Samar municipalities as part of their disaster risk, adaptation, and management practices.

Link to the article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10113-016-1062-8
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 2.919

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Leander P. Marquez
Department of Philosophy
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

Critical Thinking in Philippine Education: What We Have and What We Need. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 15 (2): 272-303, October 2017.

One of the most prominent effects of globalization and the steady advance of capitalism is the increase in demand for skilled human capital. This is especially true in the Philippines, which relies on labor export in order to keep its economy afloat. Nonetheless, despite the demands of the globalized world, the Filipino children and youth should not only be sent to schools to be taught skills that would make them competent laborers for capitalist markets, but more importantly, they should be trained to become critical thinkers so as to be open, sensitive, and understanding of the beliefs and values of others as well as not to be enslaved by their respective belief and value systems. In this light, this paper discusses how critical thinking can be taught more effectively in education institutions in the Philippines through reconsideration of the Taxonomy of Learning Objectives and a push for Critical Pedagogy. The paper argues that the Taxonomy is reductive and lacking in terms of developing critical thinking in students, whereas, critical pedagogy brings the children and the youth to the table of dialogue by teaching them how to raise and accept questions without the attitude of hostility, the latter being a characteristic of an uncritical and enslaved mind.

Link to the article: http://www.jceps.com/archives/3548
Impact Factor: Not yet available

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Carl Abelardo T. Antonio
Department of Health Policy and Administration
College of Public Health
UP Manila

Evolution and Patterns of Global Health Financing 1995–2014: Development Assistance for Health, and Government, Prepaid Private, and Out-of-Pocket Health Spending in 184 Countries. The Lancet, 389 (10083): 1981–2004, 20 May 2017.

This paper explores changes in countries’ heath spending, as well as compares data across income levels in 184 low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Development assistance for health is no longer an expanding cushion for low-income countries’ health budgets. Following a decade of impressive worldwide expansion, that growth in funding has stagnated. From 2000 to 2010, development spending on health grew 11.4% annually, but that since 2010, it has increased only 1.8% per year. Funding for HIV/AIDS, which for many years has been the largest health focus area, has begun to decline. Foreign assistance boosts a country’s health spending and may obscure the amount of the government’s spending, according to the study. In other cases, development assistance may have replaced government spending that would have otherwise existed. At the center of economic development and health financing is the concern regarding rising out-of- pocket costs for people in nations transitioning from low-income to middle-income status. As donor nations reduce their foreign assistance, country governments do not, in many cases, replace assistance with additional spending from their own treasuries. As a result, residents of emerging economies are expected to make up the difference by covering more of their own health care costs, and in some cases, the poorest within those countries are left unable able to afford care. (from the official press release)

Link to the article: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)30874-7/fulltext
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 47.831

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Mark Andre C. Grisola and Rolly Fuentes
Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Tacloban College
UP Visayas

Phenotype-based Screening of Selected Mangrove Methanolic Crude Extracts with Anti-melanogenic Activity using Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a Model. ScienceAsia, 43: 163-168, 2017.

Catchy title of research: Mangrove extracts inhibit melanogenesis in zebrafish

Melanin in our skin is important for protection of our body from the harmful effects of UV radiation and free radicals. However, overproduction of this pigment can result to aesthetic problems. There is a need to discover novel inhibitors because commercially available whitening agents cause undesirable effects. Mangroves are potential sources of these active compounds. Zebrafish was used as the animal model in the screening study. Decrease of dark pigmentation in the zebrafish embryo suggests inhibitory activity. Also, cytotoxicity of the extracts on the fish can also be determined. Using this assay system, Sonneratia alba was identified to have potent activity which supports the finding of a previous study.

Link to the article: http://www.scienceasia.org/2017.43.n3/scias43_163.pdf
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 0.343

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Derick Erl P. Sumalapao
Department of Medical Microbiology
College of Public Health
UP Manila

Bioaccumulation of Cadmium, Copper, Lead, and Zinc in Water Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) Infected With Liver Flukes (Fasciola gigantica). Oriental Journal of Chemistry, 33 (4): 1684-1688, 2017.

Exposure of living organisms to heavy metals can lead to bioaccumulation and can have some detrimental health effects. This study identified the species of liver flukes present in the liver tissues of water buffaloes, determined the concentration and bioconcentration factor of cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc present in both the liver tissues and liver flukes using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Both the liver tissues and F. gigantica were identified to contain varying concentrations of these heavy metals. The presence of these heavy metals in both the liver tissues and F. gigantica suggests heavy metal contamination of the areas where the carabaos graze. The bioconcentration factors for cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc were greater than 1.0 indicating that liver flukes are good bioaccumulators and bioindicators of environmental pollution.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

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Jan Karl P. Binarao, Haerold Dean Z. Layaoen, Josefa Angelie D. Revilla, Angelo C. Ani and Maria Liezel P. Caroche
Department of Industrial Engineering
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños

Effectiveness of Commercially Available Vibration Dampeners in Reducing Hand-Arm Vibrations on Diesel-Powered and Gasoline Powered Hand Tractor. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 100 (2): 133-142, June 2017.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 0.248

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Jefferson F. Paril*, Maria Alma B. Sanchez**, Artemio M. Salazar**, Antonio G. Lalusin**, Pompe Sta Cruz* and Eureka Teresa Ocampo*
Institute of Crop Science*
Institute of Plant Breeding**
College of Agriculture and Food Science
UP Los Baños

Genomic Selection in Maize (Zea mays L.) Population Improvement for Waterlogging Tolerance. Philippine Journal of Crop Science, 42 (1): 15-26, April 2017.

Excess soil moisture stress or waterlogging in maize is increasingly becoming a serious problem in the Philippines as a result of climate change. Waterlogging tolerance is best expressed in terms of yield reduction. Yield is a quantitative and polygenic trait. Genomic selection promises a more efficient way of improving quantitative traits in crop plants. Genomic selection is a type of marker assisted selection which uses all available marker data, phenotype data and statistical models to predict performance. High variability was found in a population of 390 S1 families extracted from 39 Philippine traditional maize varieties in terms of yield under normal and excess soil moisture conditions. Genotyping-by-sequencing was implemented on 92 families sampled from the 390 S1 families tested for waterlogging tolerance. Genotype and phenotype data from the 92 lines were used to gauge the feasibility of using genomic selection in these traditional maize varieties and to perform a preliminary genome-wide association study. The prediction accuracies of the three genomic selection models RR-BLUP, Bayesian RR and Bayesian LASSO were close to zero for crop yield susceptibility index and ranged 0.16-0.44 for yield per se under normal and stressed conditions. Larger population size should be used to improve prediction accuracies in maize genomic selection. Genome-wide association study detected 14 putative QTL for crop yield susceptibility index and two for yield under excess soil moisture stress, with significance level of 9.7×10-5 to 1.4×10-5, and power of 0.71 to 0.92. All the protein coding regions within 15kb upstream and downstream of the QTL are not yet characterized, except for GRMZM2G179270 (putative S-locus receptor-like protein kinase family protein), GRMZM2G071986 (tetratricopeptide repeat-like superfamily) and GRMZM2G093705 (ATPase).

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: (2016/2017) 0.115

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