IPA Recipients for February 2016

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

Towards an Effective Policy for Forest Management in Asia” in Multi-level Forest Governance in Asia: Concepts, Challenges and the Way Forward. Makoto Inoue and Ganesh P. Shivakoti (editors). New Delhi, India: Sage Publications, 2015

Juancho A. Collera
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
College of Science
UP Baguio

Harvesting in Delayed Food Web Model with Omnivory” in Progress in Applied Mathematics in Science and Engineering Proceedings. Hamzah Asyrani Sulaiman, Mohd Azlishah Othman, Mohd Shakir Md Saat, Abd Majid Darsono, Mohamad Zoinol Abidin Abd. Aziz, Mohamad Harris Misran and Mai Mariam Mohamed Aminuddin (editors). Bali, Indonesia: AIP Publishing, 2016

Mary Jane B. Rodriguez-Tatel
Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature
College of Arts and Letters
UP Diliman

Philippine Studies/Araling Pilipino/ Pilipinolohiya sa Wikang Filipino: Pagpopook at Pagdadalumat sa Loob ng Kapantasang Pilipino. Humanities Diliman, 12 (2): 110-179, July-December 2015.

Isa itong pagmamapa at pagtatasa ng direksyon ng programang Philippine Studies sa UP  (sa antas gradwado at di-gradwado) base sa produksyon ng mga tesis at disertasyon sa wikang Filipino mula 1967 hanggang 2007. Itinahi ito sa konteksto ng kasaysayan ng kilusang Pilipinisasyon sa akademya (partikular sa UP).  Sa kabuuan, nagdudulog ito ng dalawang pangunahing ambag sa programa: (a) pagbuo ng corpus ng mga datos  (i.e., sininop na listahan ng mga tesis at disertasyon sa wikang Filipino  mula sa 3 antas (BA, MA at PhD); at (b) panimulang pagsasakasaysayan ng programa sa UP. Mga pundamental na aspeto ito ng  Philippine Studies hindi lamang  bilang isang programang akademiko sa Pilipinas, kundi bilang isa ring diskursong Pilipino sa mas malawak na siyentipiko/akademikong tradisyon ng mundo. 

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Alfred F. Pawlik
Archaeological Studies Program
UP Diliman

Radiocarbon-Dating Adhesive and Wooden Residues from Stone Tools by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS): Challenges and Insights Encountered in a Case Study. Journal of Archaeological Science, 61: 45–58, September 2015. 

Direct dating of artefact residues has the potential to provide archaeologists with new chronological information. Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon measurements can be made on samples containing as little as 5 mg or less of carbon and in principle this allows very small amounts of residues from stone tools to be radiocarbon dated. In a pilot study, we demonstrated the feasibility of direct residue dating under laboratory conditions with only 10.5 mgC obtained from wooden residues. One of the key limitations, however, was the impact of contamination due to the extremely low mass used for the dating. Fungus and soil components can be easily transferred into archaeological residues during handling and storage. This highlights the need to develop preparation and removal protocols for accurate AMS dating. In our pilot study, we also suggested that a next step after experimental residue dating should be to date well-preserved residues from artefacts that are stratified and well dated, so as to verify the methodology. For this study, we obtained seven stonetools with associated age determinations from three archaeological assemblages. The results show the potential for a direct dating of stone tools through adhering residues. This opens new possibilities for dating archaeological sites and assemblages.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440315001624
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 2.196

Margaret C. De Guzman and Glenn L. Sia Su
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

Isolation and Identification of Heavy Metal-Tolerant Bacteria from an Industrial Site as a Possible Source for Bioremediation of Cadmium, Lead, and Nickel. Advances in Environmental Biology, 10 (1): 10-15, 2016.

This study aimed to isolate and identify cadmium, lead, and nickel metal-resistant bacterial microorganisms from an industrial site. About 600 bacterial isolates were obtained and tested for heavy metal resistance and tolerance to cadmium, lead, and nickel. The maximum tolerance of the heavy metal-tolerant bacteria was determined. Isolates that showed resistance to the heavy metals were characterized morphologically, biochemically, and molecularly. Results showed that six bacterial isolates were resistant to the heavy metals. The isolates Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Chryseobacterium sp., Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus aerius, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus cereus showed varied tolerances to the metals tested. Both Bacillus cereus and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens were able to tolerate up to 2000 μg/ml of Pb, whereas the other metal-resistant microorganisms tolerated up to 1200 μg/ml of Cd and Ni. No microorganism showed metal resistance to two or more metals. Reduced microbial growth was evident to microorganisms grown in media with metal supplementations compared to that of the control. The metal-resistant bacteria isolated and identified could be explored for bioremediation purposes. 

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Mary Ann Calleja,  Annaliza Amo, Jessa Jayne Miranda, Floyd Willis Patricio and Wilson Garcia
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Femtosecond Pulsed Laser Deposition of Graphite on Silicon and Copper Foil. Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, 18 (5): 764-768, 2014.

Graphite was deposited on silicon and copper foil by removing graphitic particles from the carbon target and depositing these onto the silicon and copper foil substrates.  Deposition time was varied to investigate its effect on the crystallinity, shape and surface features of the deposited sample.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Rolly G. Fuentes
Tacloban College
UP Visayas

Phenolic Compounds from the Bark of Oroxylum indicum Activate the Ngn2 Promoter. Journal of Natural Medicines, 69 (4): 589-594, October 2015.

Catchy title of research: Ngn2 promoter activated by phenolic compounds

Neural stem cells are pluripotent cells that can differentiate to astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and neurons. Neuronal differentiation is regulated by Ngn2. However, the action of Ngn2 is inhibited by Hes factors. Thus, activating the Ngn2 promoter activity is a good strategy to induce neuronal differentiation. Using our constructed cell-based luciferase reporter assay system, phenolic compounds 1 and 2 were identified to be Ngn2 activators.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11418-015-0919-3
Impact Factor: 2014/2015 1.593

Kevin C. Salamanez, Aurora M. Baltazar*, Evelyn B. Rodriguez and Marivic S. Lacsamana
Institute of Chemistry
College of Arts and Sciences
Crop Protection Cluster*
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Addition of Branched-Chain Amino Acids Can Reverse Propyrisulfuron-Induced Acetolactate Synthase (ALS) and Growth Inhibition in Three Rice Cultivars and Five Weed Species. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 98 (4): 351-361, December 2015.

Propyrisulfuron is a new sulfonylurea herbicide which is used for control of grasses, broadleaf weeds and sedges that infest rice.  Propyrisulfuron inhibits the activity of acetolactate synthase, the key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of branched-chain amino acids.  Because amino acids are needed in cell division and subsequent growth, their absence results in inhibited growth and eventually death of the susceptible plants.  The present study showed that adding branched-chain amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine to the growth medium of propyrisulfuron-treated seedlings reversed the inhibitory effect of the herbicide, and caused recovery of the affected weeds as well as the rice seedlings.  Our results agree with those of previous studies which also observed the alleviating effect and recovery of plants treated with other sulfonylurea herbicides like chlorsulfuron, bensulfuron, and imazosulfuron which are also ALS inhibitors, when supplemented with branched-chain amino acids.  Because propyrisulfuron is also effective against grasses, unlike the older sulfonylureas which are effective only against broadleaves and sedges, it provides additional control options for rice farmers, particularly in situations where there is a need to rotate herbicides in practicing integrated weed management.  

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

Nathaniel P. Hermosa II
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Reflection Beamshifts of Visible Light Due to Graphene. Journal of Optics, 18 (2): 025612, 5 pages, January 2016.

Catchy title of research: A new route to measure graphene’s optical conductivity

Graphene,  an atom-thick sheet of carbon, is the lightest material known and yet it is at least 200 times stronger than steel. It is the best conductor of heat at room temperature and it still maintains good conductivity as it is also known as the best conductor of electricity. It has been hailed as the perfect material for future optoelectronic devices such as wearable technologies, faster touch screens and super capacitors to name a few. This is because its optical and electronic properties are highly flexible and can be changed drastically by putting a voltage across it, doping it with some impurities or by just changing the surface with which it is in contact. One of these properties is its optical conductivity. There are already numerous technique in determining this property. However, most of these destroy the material or need extra processing of data such that the measurement is not direct and automatic. The technique I proposed in the paper is based on the tiny corrections to the law of reflection when light strikes a surface. By measuring the deviation to what is expected from the law of reflection, one can determine the material’s optical conductivity. The technique is nondestructive and because the deviation can instantaneously change with the material properties, the technique is dynamic. This technique can be used to determine the optical conductivity of the family of 2D materials where graphene is the most known.

Link to the article: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2040-8978/18/2/025612/meta
Impact Factor: 2014/2015 2.059

Rebekka Volmer
Archaeological Study Program
UP Diliman

Niche Overlap and Competition Potential among Tigers (Panthera tigris), Sabertoothed Cats (Homotherium ultimum, Hemimachairodus zwierzyckii) and Merriam’s Dog (Megacyon merriami) in the Pleistocene of Java. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 441 (Part 4): 901–911, 1 January 2016.

1.2 million years ago, sabertoothed cats (Homotherium ultimum, Hemimachairodus zwierzyckii) and a giant dog species (Megacyon merriami) inhabitated the Island of Java. This was during the time when tigers (Panthera tigris) expanded from mainland to Island Southeast Asia and had to compete with these species. The study is the first which concentrate on the ecological impact and metrics of sabertoothed cats from Island Southeast Asia. The body mass and range of hunted prey sizes was reconstructed applying new computed regressions terms based on stable reference samples. The study revealed the sabertoothed cats had body masses of 154 kg (Homotherium) and 130 kg (Hemimachairodus) comparable to the European counterparts. The giant dog was of a size of 54 kg, even larger than today’s largest wolves. Competition was measured by calculation of the niche overlap method and revealed, that the strongest niche overlap and competition occurred between the giant dog and the tiger. While sabertoothed cats became extinct in Island Southeast Asia, the giant dog decreased in size. However, tigers succeeded in competition for prey and subsisted in Java until historical times.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003101821500601X
Impact Factor: 2014/2015 2.339

Evelyn B. Rodriguez, Mark Louis P. Vidallon, David Joram R. Mendoza, Kevin Arbine M. Dalisay and Charisse T. Reyes*
Institute of Chemistry
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños
Faculty of Education*
UP Open University

Stabilization of Betalains from the Peel of Red Dragon Fruit [Hylocereus polyrhizus (Weber) Britton & Rose] Through Biopolymeric Encapsulation. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 98 (4): 382-391, December 2015.

The peel of red dragon fruit [Hylocereus polyrhizus (Weber) Britton & Rose] is a potential source of betalains which can be developed as a red-purple natural colorant with added health-promoting benefits. However, the instability of betalains under normal storage and biological conditions, in addition to the limited number of betalain sources, limits their utilization and diminishes their biological properties. This study showed that, through encapsulation using combinations of carbohydrate biopolymers, red-purple color of betalains can be protected and stabilized under various storage conditions: at 4°C and room temperature (27oC) with and without light. Encapsulation is a process where one material or a mixture of materials (core) is coated with or entrapped within another material or system call the wall material. In general, encapsulation can be used to prolong the shelf life, promote stability, preserve or enhance bioactivity, and allow controlled and efficient delivery of bioactive substances. The color of betalains, in the encapsulated form, is preserved even at normal food processing temperatures, various pH levels of food and biological systems and, water activity. Furthermore, the use of encapsulated and non-encapsulated betalains as colorant in a simple model drink system was demonstrated.
Link to the article:
Impact Factor: 2014/2015 0.256

Virginia R. Ocampo and Barbara L. Caoili
Crop Protection Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Role of New Novel Entomopathogenic Fungi Paecilomyces lilacinus to Mortality and Infection Process of Tetranychus kanzawai (Kishida) (Tetranychidae: Acarina). International Journal of Biosciences, 7 (3): 16-23, 2015.

Catchy title of research: Pathogenicity of a novel Paecilomyces lilacinus strain to Tetrancyhus kanzawai (Kishida) (Tetranychidae: Acarina)

The pathogenicity of P. lilacinus, a cosmopolitan and common soil hyphomycete, was examined in the red spider mite, Tetranychus kanzawai. Results showed P. lilacinus could
cause 70.0% to 74.4% mortality to T. kanzawai at concentrations of 107 and 108 conidia per milliliter, respectively. When grown in potato dextrose agar, the colony of P. lilacinus initially exhibited white color that changed to various shades of vinaceous at sporulation stage. P. lilacinus formed a dense mycelium, bore phialides from the ends of which spores were formed in long chains. The reverse side is sun-colored. Conidia were in divergent chains, ellipsoid to fusiform in shape, and smooth-walled to slightly roughened. The infection process showed conidial adhesion to the integument that occurred immediately 12 to 24 hours after inoculation and formed conidial germination. Penetrations forming appressoria were also observed in P. lilacinus, characterized by a thickening of the extremity of the germ-tubes as well as extrusion and conidiogenesis, which were almost similar with M. anisopliae.

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Richard DV. Espiritu
Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Study on the Effect of the Degree of Grafting on the Performance of Polyethylene-Based Anion Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell Application. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 41 (2): 1120–1133, 12 January 2016.

Catchy title of research: Cheap polymer material as membrane for fuel cells

Electricity cost in the Philippines is said to be the most expensive in Asia and one approach to address this problem is by harnessing our renewable energy resources. Aside from geothermal, wind and solar energy, fuel cell technology is also a promising energy source but is very much in the infancy stage in the Philippines. In the current stage of fuel cell research, the main challenge is to develop fuel cell membranes with high conductivity and current output. The fabricated LDPE-based anion exchange membrane does not only exhibit these desired properties of superb ionic conductivity and high current density output, but were derived from polyethylene, which a very cheap commercial material. This research can therefore pave the way for lowering the cost of the fuel cell module production which thereby effectively cascades to reduce the cost of developing fuel cell infrastructure and make it more lucrative for economies to migrate to this energy source.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319915302603
Impact Factor: 2014/2015 3.313

May Rashiele K. Sueño and Joel M. Addawe
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
College of Science
UP Baguio

Optimizing Genetic Algorithm Parameters for Multiple Sequence Alignment Based on Structural Information. Advanced Studies in Biology, 8 (1): 9-16, 2016.

In this paper, we use genetic algorithm to compute multiple sequence alignment using the structural information as the scoring scheme implemented in the program Multiobjective Optimizer for Sequence Alignments based on Structural Evaluations (MOSAStrE). We performed numerical experiments on datasets obtained from benchmark alignment database (BAliBASE) to solve multiple sequence alignment. Numerical simulations were carried out in deciding the appropriate set of parameter values for the proposed algorithm. The results obtained are reported and discussed in this paper.

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Glenn L. Sia Su and Myra S. Mistica*
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Parasitology*
College of Public Health
UP Manila

Habitat Variation and Larval Mosquito Abundance in San Isidro River, Laguna, Philippines. Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences, 6 (2): 21-25, February 2016. 

This study aims to assess the mosquito abundance i n San Isidro River (Laguna, Philippines) in varying breeding habitat types and water quality conditions. The habitat variation of the mosquitoes was assessed in terms of the water body’s upstream, midstream, and downstream areas. The variations in the habitat were determined by considering the water quality parameters (dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, total dissolved solids, and conductivity) and the breeding habitat conditions(intensity of light, water current, water depth, and vegetation).Mosquito larvae surveys were conducted in all areas of the San Isidro River. Results showed that the Culex annulirostris mosquito larvae inhabited the entire San Isidro River. All water samples obtained were within water quality standards, except total dissolved solids and dissolved oxygen. Results of the multiple regression analysis suggest that temperature and dissolved oxygen are the best predictor variable associated with the abundance of the mosquito larvae (r = 0.709, P = 0.000).Monitoring of freshwater environment is needed to ascertain the possible threats that may affect human health. 

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Priscilla S. Macansantos
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
College of Science
UP Baguio 

A Stability Result for Fixed Point Iteration in Partial Metric Space. International Journal of Mathematical Analysis, 9 (49-52): 2591-2597, 2015.

Fixed points in Mathematics are equilibrium states, which are key features of various physical and natural processes and systems. Fixed Point theorems in metric-like spaces have been the subject of recent work, with partial metric spaces and similar weaker structures providing suitable structures for studies in theoretical computer science. For these spaces, self-distance need not be zero. Approaches to fixed point theory for point-valued functions on complete metric spaces have been generalized to partial metric spaces. In the iteration process that is employed to find the fixed point of a given mapping satisfying certain contraction-like conditions, one must oftentimes deal with approximate sequences due to rounding-off and other errors. This paper proposes an extension of a result due to Rhoades, which establishes numerical stability of the iteration process, despite use of approximate sequences for iteration. Apart from enriching the theory of Fixed Points, the result may be used to better deal with computation of fixed points through iteration, with expected applications to denotational semantics of data flow networks. 

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Edgardo P. Lillo and Inocencio E. Buot Jr.*
Department of Forest Biological Sciences
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
Institute of Biological Sciences*
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Species Composition of Argao Mangrove Forest, Cebu, Philippines. Journal of Wetlands Biodiversity, 6: 37-45, 2016.

Catchy title of research: Getting to know with the mangroves of Argao, southern Cebu

The study is about the remaining intact mangrove forest in Argao. It documented the species composition and how local people utilize the resource.  Results showed that there were 22 species of mangrove trees in Argao belonging to 11 families and 14 genera. The common species are Rhizophora stylosa Griff, Ceriops decandra Ding Hou and Lumnitzera racemosa Willd. The most abundant family is Rhizophoraceae with eight species, followed by Avicenniaceae with three species, while the families of Combretaceae, Myrsinaceae and Sonneratiaceae have two species each, and the families of Bombacaceae, Meliaceae, Myrtaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Arecaceae have one species each. It was also found out that medicinal properties and commercial values may be derived from the resin of some of the mangrove species in the site. The fruits of Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (Busain) can be a substitute medicine for sore eyes and Sonneratia caseolaris (Pedada) for hemorrhage control. The mangrove forest of Argao needs to be protected and conserved because of its diversity and medicinal value and because it represents the remaining intact mangrove forest in the southern part of Cebu province as well.

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

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

Ecological Valuation Tools to Appraise Biomass, Necromass and Soil Organic Matter in a Natural Forest Ecosystem. Journal of Wetlands Biodiversity, 6: 97-108, 2016.

Catchy title of research: New Way of Appraising Biomass, Necromass and Organic Matter in Natural Forests

This study tried to develop formulas to compute for the approximate monetary value of forest biomass, necromass, and soil organic matter in a natural forest ecosystem. Nowadays, people better understand the value of an ecosystem service in monetary terms. Developing these formulas to come up with a monetary value will help them realize the critical importance of a resource. Cost based approach and simple mathematical methods were used in coming up with three equations to compute for the ecological value or ecoval, namely; for biomass, necromass, and soil organic matter (SOM). This value is actually the sum of ecological structure (S) and function (F) values of the natural resource. The prices or costs were taken from the national or international standard price/costs in USD currency. The equations are applicable to appraise the ecological values of any natural ecosystems, be it a forest, grassland or other similar systems. People may obtain information about the worth of the ecoval based on its carbon pool as a reflection of ecosystem structure and function. The information of ecoval can be used as database or ecological consideration to generate policy or make a decision for sustainable natural ecosystems.

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Maria del Rocío O. Casanova
Department of European Languages
College of Arts and Letters
UP Diliman

Espino Licsi vs. Licsi Espino: Cantos a la Cultura Española Desde Filipinas. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 93 (1): 63-80, 2016.

Catchy title: Federico Espino Licsi: Homages to Spanish Culture from a contemporary Filipino poet

Who is Federico Espino? Starting with this question, which should highlight the present lack of knowledge on Philippine writers in Europe, we are going to explain why this writer was writing about Spain and paying homage to Spanish writers. Federico Licsi Espino, who died in 2011, wrote in Spanish, Tagalog, Ilocano, Spanish and other Filipino Languages, all genres, and was awarded with prestigious prizes such as Carlos Palanca Award, Zobel, Ramón de Basterra in Spain, until he had a nervous breakdown and had to be interned in a psychiatric hospital in the late 80s. He signed his books in Spanish as “Federico Espino Licsi”, in the Spanish fashion of writing the father’s surname before the mother’s surname. His poems in Spanish show a deep knowledge of Spanish and Latin American literary tradition, although he had never been there. In order to introduce the European reader into the Philippine literary tradition in Spanish, we outline a brief historical and literary description of the situation in the archipelago at the beginning of 20th century, with a mention to the big names of Literture: Claro Mayo Recto, Manuel Bernabé, Cecilio Apóstol, Guillermo Gómez Windham  and Jesús Balmori. These writers would also write in Spanish about Spain, sometimes opposing the old coloniser to the new one (The United States). Espino would follow to generations later their assimilation of the Spanish canon. Post-Colonial criticism is mentioned –specially Philippine Post-Colonial critics such as Patoja Hidalgo or Neil Garcia-, to explain the reason for both, the old writers at the beginning of 20th century, and the new writer at the end of the same century, writing about Spain. Finally, we focus on the homages that Espino pays to Spanish authors, specially García Lorca, both in Spanish and in English poems. Some biographical coincidences would facilitate the identification with the famous Spanish writer, but also we see an assimilation of an idea of Spain coming from Lorca’s poems, which would lead the Philippine writer to ‘exotize’ Spain in his own poems, against what happens in Edward Said’s account of Orientalism.

Link to the article: http://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/abs/10.3828/bhs.2016.05
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Juan M. Pulhin,  Rose Jane J. Peras and Maricel A. Tapia
Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Philippines: Multi-tiered Forest Governance System on Uneven Playing Field” in Multi-level Forest Governance in Asia: Concepts, Challenges and the Way Forward. Makoto Inoue and Ganesh P. Shivakoti (editors). New Delhi, India: Sage Publications, 2015.

Vera Christine F. Horigue
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Benefits and Challenges of Scaling Up Expansion of Marine Protected Area Networks in the Verde Island Passage, Central Philippines. PLoS ONE, 10 (8): e0135789, 28 pages, August 2015.

Catchy title of research: Why should we coordinate expansion of marine reserve networks in the Philippines?

Local government representatives from Verde Island Passage at a planning and feedback workshop in October 2012. Photo taken by V Horigue.

Selection frequencies of planning units for different MPA expansion scenarios A – uncoordinated community-based MPA establishment, B – partially coordinated expansion facilitated by local government alliances, C – fully coordinated expansion facilitated by provincial networks, D – expansion for the entire region without governance boundaries. Planning units selected more frequently are indicated by warmer colours.

Selection frequencies of planning units for different MPA expansion scenarios A – uncoordinated community-based MPA establishment, B – partially coordinated expansion facilitated by local government alliances, C – fully coordinated expansion facilitated by provincial networks, D – expansion for the entire region without governance boundaries. Planning units selected more frequently are indicated by warmer colours.

Networks of marine reserves are now advocated globally, because they are believed and to some extent have been proven to provide greater social and ecological benefits compared to individual reserves. However, establishing networks in the Philippines can be quite challenging due to various social, economic and political barriers. To overcome these challenges, conservationists and scholars recommended scaling up or coordination of neighbouring local governments to form networks. In this paper, we simulated future expansion scenarios and compared them in terms of achievement of objectives for habitat representation. The scenarios included: uncoordinated community-based establishment, two scenarios reflecting different levels of coordination, and four scenarios guided by systematic conservation planning in different spatial contexts of governance. We found that coordination improved planning through its broader perspective, inclusion of more ecological and social information, and ability to transcend boundaries of smaller governance areas by sharing municipal waters. However, we recognized from these scenarios that coordination also has high transaction costs and requires considerable technical input that is beyond the capacity of most local governments. Moreover, regionally-relevant reserves will not be evenly spread across governance units. Coordination would require local governments and communities to understand and accept that the immediate benefits and costs reserves will not be equitably distributed, and to arrange for these spatially-uneven costs and benefits to be redistributed in some way agreeable to the parties involved.  

Link to the article: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0135789
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 3.234

Maria Eliza R. Aguila
Department of Physical Therapy
College of Allied Medical Professions
UP Manila

Elevated Levels of GABA+ in Migraine Detected using 1H-MRS. NMR in Biomedicine, 28 (7): 890–897, July 2015.

Catchy title of research: Uncovering the mystery of migraine

(From The University of Sydney media release)

Photo 1: Representative spectra of levels of the brain chemical, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain in a person with migraine compared to control.

Photo 1: Representative spectra of levels of the brain chemical, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain in a person with migraine compared to control.

 

Photo 2: Location of measurement of brain chemical

Photo 2: Location of measurement of brain chemical

It’s a disease that has baffled health professionals for years, but researchers at the University of Sydney have taken a significant step forward in understanding migraine. A new study, published in NMR in Biomedicine, reveals higher levels of the chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain of migraine sufferers, supporting the theory that migraines are linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain. (Photo 1).“The finding paves the way for the discovery of new, effective treatments for migraines,” said lead researcher Maria Aguila, PhD candidate in the Faculty of Health Sciences. “For such a debilitating condition, very little is known about migraine so this is a big step forward and could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of the disease in the future,” she said. Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA as it is commonly known, is the most abundant inhibitory brain chemical and has long been suspected to play a role in migraines due to its ability to influence pain. This landmark study is the first to accurately measure GABA levels in the living brain. “We still don’t know what causes migraine, how it starts and ends, or why the triggers appear to differ from one person to the next, but this discovery means that we can now be much more specific with our research going forward,” said Ms Aguila. “For example, GABA could be used to help us identify migraine sufferers and track responses to drug trials, and measuring GABA levels over a period of time could well reveal what’s causing attacks.” The study compared the levels of GABA in twenty chronic migraine sufferers to an age and gender matched control group who did not experience any form of regular headaches. Brain scans were conducted when the participants were not having a migraine. The measurement of GABA levels in the brain (Photo 2) was made possible by a novel spectroscopy technique associated with MRI using MRI developed by researchers at the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre. Associate Professor in Neuroimaging, Jim Lagopoulos said the ability to directly measure these chemicals in the brain would not have been possible several years ago. “These advances not only allow us to study fundamental changes in brain chemistry that are associated with migraine, but they also open a whole new world with respect to monitoring a patient’s response to treatment and compliance,” he said. The researchers were unable to tell if the increase in GABA is related to a recent migraine attack or signalling a new one as the scanning process is currently too complex to carry out during a migraine attack. The study design was conceived by Professor Kathryn Refshauge and executed by a team of researchers from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Brain and Mind Centre, Neuroscience Research Australia, University of the Philippines and University of New South Wales. 

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/nbm.3321/abstract
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 3.044

Porfirio Aliño, Laura David and Samuel Mamauag
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

A Climate-Informed, Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management. Marine Policy, 57: 182–192, July 2015.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15000676
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 2.610

Ronald Macatangay
Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Drivers of Column-average CO2 Variability at Southern Hemispheric Total Carbon Column Observing Network Sites. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14: 9883-9901, 2014.

This study analyzed the total column carbon dioxide (CO2) measured in several monitoring stations or Total Carbon Column Observing Network sites in the Southern Hemisphere. Results showed that patterns in the variation of CO2 in the southern hemisphere was similar to the patterns in the northern hemisphere, although driven only partly by the terrestrial biosphere.  An annual increase was very apparent, with variation between season not so obvious. Biomass burning played an important role in the southern hemisphere, especially at the tropical site Darwin, Australia.  

Link to the article: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/9883/2014/acp-14-9883-2014.html
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 5.053

Ronald Macatangay
Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Determining Relationships and Mechanisms between Tropospheric Ozone Column Concentrations and Tropical Biomass Burning in Thailand and its Surrounding Regions. Environmental Research Letters, 10 (6): 065009, 10 pages, June 2015.

This study analyzed the ozone concentrations in the upper part of the atmosphere (troposphere) in Thailand for the periods 2005 to 2012. Parts of Thailand exhibited ozone concentrations that varied between seasons and years, with the variability associated with biomass burning in the area or in adjacent parts.  The northern part was the most affected, with high trophospheric ozone observed during the burning season occurring from February to April.  The southern part however, was not so affected as burning effects were advected or transported away.  Also, interannual variability of the tropospheric ozone column concentrations was found to be correlated to El Nino-Southern Oscillation, with the Oceanic Nino Index or ONI leading ozone concentrations by 3-4 months.

Link to the article: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/10/6/065009/meta
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 3.906

Olivia C. Cabrera and Cesar L. Villanoy*
Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology
Marine Science Institute*
College of Science
UP Diliman

Shifts in Chlorophyll a off Eastern Luzon, Philippines, Associated with the North Equatorial Current Bifurcation Latitude. Oceanography, 28 (4):46–53, December 2015.

The North Equatorial Current hits the east of the Philippines and forks into two: the northward Kuroshio Current and the southward Mindanao Current.  The latitude where it forks (bifurcation latitude or BL) was found to vary between seasons and between years.  A previous study has shown that the waters off eastern Luzon were supplied with a more tropical source when the BL was to the south and a more subtropical source when the BL was to the north.  In this study, we found that aside from temperature and salinity, the amount of chlorophyll in the eastern Luzon waters also changed.  Cruise data for showed that chlorophyll a was higher in 2011 than in 2012, when BL was more north (13-14°N in 2011 and 10-11°N in 2012.  We attribute this to the change in source waters with eastern Luzon being supplied by oligotrophic or low-chlorophyll tropical waters from the NEC during 2012.  Long-term satellite data of both sea-surface height and chlorophyll confirm this relationship of chlorophyll with NEC source waters and the bifurcation latitude.

Link to the article: http://tos.org/oceanography/article/shifts-in-chlorophylla-off-eastern-luzon-philippines-associated-with-the-no
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 2.935