IPA Recipients for June 2016

Christian Joseph R. Cumagun
Crop Protection Cluster
College of Agricluture
UP Los Baños

Significance of Biocontrol Agents of Phytonematodes” in Biocontrol Agents of Phytonematodes. Tarique H. Askary and Paulo Roberto P. Martinelli (editors). Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: CAB International, 2015.

Cesar L. Villanoy, Princess Hope T. Bilgera, Olivia C. Cabrera, Fernando P. Siringan, Yvainne Yacat-Sta. Maria and Ian Quino Fernandez
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Repeat Storm Surge Disasters of Typhoon Haiyan and Its 1897 Predecessor in the Philippines. Bulletin of The American Meteorological Society, 97 (1): 31-48, January 2016.

Catchy title of research: Why was typhoon Haiyan so bad and how does it compare with its historic predecessor in 1897?

Storm tracks of three deadly typhoons crossing the central Philippines: Ty 1897, Nov 1991 Tropical Storm Thelma, and Nov 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan. Typhoon track sources: (a) Algué (1898) and (b) International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS) database of Knapp et al. (2010). The inset shows the comparative tracks of Ty 1897 (black dashed line) and Haiyan (colored solid lines) across Leyte Gulf.

Storm tracks of three deadly typhoons crossing the central Philippines: Ty 1897, Nov 1991 Tropical Storm Thelma, and Nov 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan. Typhoon track sources: (a) Algué (1898) and (b) International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS) database of Knapp et al. (2010). The inset shows the comparative tracks of Ty 1897 (black dashed line) and Haiyan (colored solid lines) across Leyte Gulf.

 

Geographical coverage, bathymetry, and tidal conditions of Leyte Gulf used in the model. (a) The model domain is a curvilinear grid with 200-m to 1.2-km resolution. (b) Leyte Gulf bathymetry generated from digitized navigational charts with 100-m to 1-km resolution. (c) Predicted water levels from San Juanico Strait, Tacloban City, and Guiuan, Samar.

Geographical coverage, bathymetry, and tidal conditions of Leyte Gulf used in the model. (a) The model domain is a curvilinear grid with 200-m to 1.2-km resolution. (b) Leyte Gulf bathymetry generated from digitized navigational charts with 100-m to 1-km resolution. (c) Predicted water levels from San Juanico Strait, Tacloban City, and Guiuan, Samar.

In a recent cover story in the January issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), a research team led by Lea Soria, a Filipino PhD student at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) and the Asian School of the Environment (ASE) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), compare and contrast the impacts of Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 with an unnamed typhoon in 1897. This study highlights the importance of looking back to the unnamed typhoon of 1897 to put Typhoon Haiyan in an intelligible historical context, without diminishing Haiyan’s devastating impacts. This study highlights the limited usefulness of the instrumental record and the potential for historical event descriptions like that for the unnamed typhoon of 1897 to actively contribute to improving preparations and storm surge hazard mitigation measures in the Philippines and worldwide.
The study published on February 16 was part of a National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellowship awarded to Dr Adam Switzer of EOS and ASE to investigate coastal hazards in Asia. The Philippine government through PCAARRD, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) provided additional funding. This multinational, multidisciplinary study involved oceanographers and marine geologists including Cesar Villanoy, Princess Bilgera, Olivia Cabrera, Fernando Siringan, Yvainne Maria, and Ian Fernandez of the Marine Science Institute (MSI) at the University of the Philippines (UP), and coastal engineer Hermann Fritz from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Their article is a synthesis of work led by Miss Soria, who headed the first international survey team to arrive in Tacloban, Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.  In the article, the team of researchers characterize the event based on a combination of eyewitness accounts, oceanographic modelling and field surveys, and explain the physics of how this event created 7 m storm surges with abnormal tsunami-like properties. Co-author Cesar Villanoy noted that “the strong onshore winds and fast forward movement of Haiyan combined with the narrow embayment and the shallow bathymetry of San Pedro Bay dramatically changed the storm surge profile, causing rapid and widespread flooding in Tacloban City and nearby coastal towns”. The team then compare Haiyan to a historic predecessor in 1897 whose damage was accurately surveyed by Jesuit priests at the time. The events are almost identical, and cast doubts over declarations that Haiyan is ‘unprecedented’ or ‘a sign of global climate change’. Notably the study also points out that while the warning and evacuation instructions given were adequate and accurate, many people still died. As Dr Switzer points out “this event compels the consideration that accurate warnings of coastal flooding, although important, are not the end game in disaster preparedness”. Perhaps our greatest impedance to action are humankind’s tendency to complacency and our ability to bury the past. That is why the lead author, Lea Soria, reminds us that “our study exemplifies the simple, but extremely important educational message that the historical record holds valuable information for expanding the knowledge base of coastal planners and managers to rare though devastating events” and “the historical record holds a wealth of information applicable to guiding the response to future events”. 

Link to the article: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00245.1
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 11.808

Fredeslinda C. Evangelista and Lilian B. Ungson*
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila
Institute of Biology*
College of Science
UP Diliman

Responses of Rice (Oryza sativa Line LX278) Calli and Seedlings to Salinity Treatment: Towards the Development for Salt Tolerance. Philippine Science Letters, 6 (1): 84-89, 2013.

Catchy title of research: Can rice thrive in salty environment? 

Salt intrusion into agricultural lands resulting from floods, use of sea water for irrigation and input of chemical  fertilizers is one of the factors that affect the yield of rice, the staple food of the Filipinos.  For this reason, there is a need to develop a local variety that can thrive under this condition for sustainable production.  The long term goal of this research is to introduce a salt tolerance gene into rice from a donor organism, as salt tolerance is absent in the gene pool of rice.  Presently, this study aims to obtain baseline information regarding the responses of rice (Oryza sativa line LX278) calli and seedlings to salt prior to genetic transformation so that any improvement in growth performance, after transformation, could be attributed to the introduced salinity tolerance gene. Results showed that increasing salt concentration and length of exposure affect negatively the mean fresh weight of LX278 rice calli compared to the control.  Also, LX278 rice seedlings in salty water (hydroponics) exhibited a salt sensitive response, relative to Pokkali, the tolerant control, and IR 29, the highly susceptible control, 16 days after initial salinizationusing the rating system based on visual symptoms of salt toxicity.  Results of the present study agree with earlier findings that rice tolerates low salinities up to 30mM ~ 3dS m-1  and beyond this, growth is compromised. 

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Joseph Dela Cruz
Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
UP Los Baños

Anticancer Potential of an Ethanol Extract of Saussurea Involucrata against Hepatic Cancer Cells in vitroAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 15 (18): 7527-7532, 2014.

Saussurea involucrata is a Mongolian medicinal plant well known for its effects in promoting blood circulation, and anti-inflammation and analgesic functions. Earlier studies reported that Saussurea involucrata has anticancer activity. The purpose of this study was to confirm the anticancer activity of an ethanol extract of Saussurea involucrata against hepatic cancer and elucidate its mechanisms of action. Hepatocellular carcinoma cells were tested in vitro for cytotoxicity, AO/EB staining for apoptotic cells, apoptotic DNA fragmentation and cell cycle distribution in response to Saussurea involucrata extract (SIE). The mRNA expression of caspase-3,-9 and Cdk2 and protein expression of caspase-3,-9, PARP, XIAP, Cdk2 and p21 were analyzed through real time PCR and Western blotting. Treatment with SIE inhibited HepG2 cell proliferation dose- and time-dependently, but SIE only exerted a modest cytotoxic effect on a viability of Chang human liver cells. Cells exposed to SIE showed typical hallmarks of apoptotic cell death. Cell cycle analysis revealed that SIE caused G1-phase arrest in HepG2 cells. In conclusion, Saussurea involucrata ethanol extract has potential cytotoxic and apoptotic effects on human hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Its mechanism of action might be associated with the inhibition of DNA synthesis, cell cycle (G1) arrest and apoptosis induction through up-regulation of the protein expressions of caspase-3,-9 and p21, degradation of PARP and down-regulation of the protein expression of Cdk2 and XIAP.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: (2014) 2.514

Maria Lourdes San Diego-McGlone
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Phosphorus as a Driver of Nitrogen Limitation and Sustained Eutrophic Conditions in Bolinao and Anda, Philippines, A Mariculture-Impacted Tropical Coastal Area. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 105 (1): 237–248, 15 April 2016. 

Catchy title of research: Elevated phosphorus result to nitrogen limitation and continued eutrophic conditions in a mariculture affected area

This study examined the behavior of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in mariculture areas of Bolinao and Anda, Philippines. The link of eutrophication with recurring algal blooms, hypoxia and fish kills is evident in these areas.  After the massive fish kill in 2002, fish kills continue to occur in Bolinao despite the town’s compliance with the prescribed number of fish farm structures.  Based on spatiotemporal surveys of the area, the coastal waters have remained eutrophic a decade after imposing the regulation.  This is primarily due to decomposition of uneaten and undigested feeds, and fish excretions.  These wasted feeds are more enriched in P compared to N thus resulting in lowN/P ratios (~6.6) of regenerated nutrients.  Dissolved inorganic P (DIP) in the water reached 4 μM during the dry season, likely exacerbated by increase in fish farm structures in Anda.  DIP enrichment created N-limited condition that is highly susceptible to sporadic algal blooms whenever N is supplied from river discharges during the wet season.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X16300893
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 2.991

Francis M. Mulimbayan and Manolo G. Mena*
Department of Engineering Science
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños
Department of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineering*
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Electrochemical Investigation of the Effects of Acid Concentration and Dissolved Oxygen on the Corrosion Behavior of Austenitic Low-Nickel Stainless Steels in Citric Acid. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 835: 115-120, 2016.

Nyquist plots showing the effects of acid concentration on the corrosion resistance of AISI 202 stainless steel in citric acid

Nyquist plots showing the effects of acid concentration on the corrosion resistance of AISI 202 stainless steel in citric acid

 

Nyquist plots showing the effects of dissolved O2 on the corrosion resistance of AISI 202 stainless steel in citric acid

Nyquist plots showing the effects of dissolved O2 on the corrosion resistance of AISI 202 stainless steel in citric acid

All materials which are intended to have in contact with food and other commoditiesproduced or processed for human consumption are called food contact materials (FCM’s). Stainlesssteel (SS) – a widely known metallic FCM is known for having numerous industrial and domestic applications worldwidedue to its special characteristics of having notable corrosion resistance. However, this corrosionresistance is not all-encompassing since SS may still undergo degradation when subjected to aspecific corrosion-inducing environment. SS may be classified according to its microstructure. The alloy is considered austenitic if it has a face-centered cubic structure. This includes the conventional 300-series and the newly-developed200-series. The former has superior corrosion resistance while the latter is far cheaper. In this study,the corrosion behavior of AISI 202 SS in two different levels of dissolved oxygen (O2) and three acidconcentrations was investigated using electrochemical techniques, namely, open-circuit potential (OCP) measurements and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). As the concentration of citric acid is increased, the measured OCP values of the alloy decreased and the polarization resistance (Rp) decreased, indicating decline in alloy stability and corrosion resistance, respectively. With regards to effects of dissolved O2, results revealed that increasing the level of dissolved O2 has consequently increased the polarization resistance and shifted the OCP to more positive values. All the generated Nyquist plots exhibited a depressed capacitive loops indicating that corrosion of the alloy in the designated solutionis predominantly charge-transfer. 

Link to the article: http://www.scientific.net/AMM.835.115
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Francis M. Mulimbayan and Manolo G. Mena*
Department of Engineering Science
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños
Department of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineering*
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Comparative Study of the Corrosion Behavior of Low-Nickel AISI 202 and Conventional AISI 304 Stainless Steels in Citric Acid Using Electrochemical Techniques. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 835: 131-135, 2016.

E vs. t plots of AISI 202 SS (green) and AISI 304 SS (blue) in 100 g/L citric acid at 70°C

E vs. t plots of AISI 202 SS (green) and AISI 304 SS (blue) in 100 g/L citric acid at 70°C

 

Potentiodynamic polarization curves of AISI 202 SS (green) and AISI 304 SS (blue) in 100 g/L concentration citric acid at 70°C

Potentiodynamic polarization curves of AISI 202 SS (green) and AISI 304 SS (blue) in 100 g/L concentration citric acid at 70°C

Stainless steel (SS) is one of the most commonly used metallic food contact materials. Itmay be classified based on its microstructure whether ferritic, austenitic, martensitic, duplex orprecipitation hardened. Austenitic SS, among mentioned grades, has the largest contribution tomarket due to its numerous industrial and domestic applications. In this study, the corrosion behaviorof AISI 202 SS – a cheaper grade of stainless steel, in three different solution temperatures of citricacid was investigated using different electrochemical techniques such as open-circuit potential (OCP)measurements, potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).The results were compared to that obtained from conventional AISI 304 SS. OCP, polarization andimpedance measurements agreed that AISI 202 SS has comparable resistance to that of AISI 304 SSin citric acid at ambient temperature and at 50˚C. At 70˚C, results of OCP measurements suggest thatAISI 304 SS exhibited greater performance as indicated by more positive OCP values in thedesignated solution. EIS results indicate that the two alloys have identical corrosion resistance even at70˚C as indicated by their comparable polarization resistance (Rp). The corrosion mechanism in bothalloys is charge-transfer controlled as indicated by depressed semi-circular appearance of thegenerated Nyquist plots. The values of corrosion current densities (icorr) extracted from polarizationcurves indicate that the initial corrosion rates were higher in AISI 304 than AISI 202 SS suggestingthat formation of more protective film may have occurred on the former alloy.

Link to the article: http://www.scientific.net/AMM.835.131
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Jessa Marie M. Mojica, Mikel Angelo B. Yap, Haerold Dean Layaoen, Rossana Marie C. Amongo*, Angelo C. Ani and Josefa Angelie D. Revilla
Department of Industrial Engineering
Institute of Agricultural Engineering*
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños

Design and Fabrication of an Ergonomic Handlebar Structure of a Hand Tractor for Vibration Suppression. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 99 (1): 58-67, March 2016.

Handlebar designs used in the study: Original handlebar design (A), B-K Design 1 (B), B-K Design 2 (C), and the proposed design (D)

Handlebar designs used in the study: Original handlebar design (A), B-K Design 1 (B), B-K Design 2 (C), and the proposed design (D)

 

The UPLB-AMD ergonomically designed two-wheel tractor

The UPLB-AMD ergonomically designed two-wheel tractor

Hand-tractor operators are exposed to the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome. Most hand-tractor vibration reduction studies focus on the use of additional vibrations dampers. This study evaluated the effectiveness of altering the design of the handlebar structure of the locally made hand tractor in reducing vibration transmitted to tractor operators during idling operation of the tractor. Baseline tri-axial vibration measurements were established using an accelerometer at the metacarpal during idling operation under common operational speeds. Using the results of the study by Bureerat and Kanyakam as basis for the improvement of the handlebar design, the principles set by the Philippine Agricultural Engineering Standards, and the engineering design process, an improved handlebar design was fabricated and evaluated. Results showed a significant reduction in vibration transmitted to the operator during idling operation with a handlebar structure that was lighter and cheaper than the original design. In the new design, the vibration transmitted to the operator was reduced by as much as 55.87% at 2400 rpm, 40.94% at 3000 rpm, and 19.87% at 3600 rpm. Actual field testing, however, is necessary for further validation of the results.

Link to the article: http://www.pas-uplbca.edu.ph/article.php?id=525
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.256

Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan
Department of Behavioral Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

Socio-Structural and Behavioral Risk Factors Associated with Trafficked History of Female Bar/Spa Entertainers in the Sex Trade in the Philippines. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 132 (1): 55–59, January 2016. 

Catchy title of research: Trafficked Women in the Sex Industry in the Philippines

The study looked into the factors which made women who have been deceived and/or forcibly recruited to become bar/spa entertainers enter the sex trade in the Philippines. Out of the 166 bar/spa entertainers who admitted trading sex in the past 6 months, 19 revealed they were deceived/coerced into their first jobs or trafficked. The study results revealed that the frequency of drinking alcoholic beverages and use of illegal drugs were higher among trafficked women. They were less likely to have never taken an HIV test and have undergone STI exams less consistently than non-trafficked women. At the workplace, trafficked women revealed they were able to confide with their peers and managers. They also received support from the bar/spa managers for practicing safer sex. Moreover, trafficked women were found to work in establishments where condom was less available making them highly vulnerable to STIs and HIV. It is recommended that more research be conducted to document the dynamics of sex trafficking entry points, especially in rural areas, and for designing interventions to prevent and target trafficked women in the Philippines who may be more vulnerable to substance use and, potentially, HIV infection.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020729215005937
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 1.537

Jeffrey C. Pagaduan
Department of Sports Science
College of Human Kinetics
UP Diliman

Interrater and Intrarater Reliability of Movement Competency. Silliman Journal, 55 (2): 147-155, July-December 2014.

This study aimed to establish the interrater and intrarater reliability of Movement Competency Screen (MCS). MCS is a screening tool that detects dysfunction using 5 movement tasks. 

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Manuel Victor J. Sapitula
Department of Sociology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

My Letter to Heaven via Email: Translocal Piety and Mediated Selves in Urban Marian Piety in the Philippines” in Asian Perspectives on Digital Culture: Emerging Phenomena, Enduring Concepts. Sun Sun Lim and Cheryll Ruth R. Soriano (editors). New York, USA: Routledge, 2016.

Alice Prieto-Carolino, Hanny John Mediodia, Cherry Pilapil-Anasco* and Rowena Paz Gelvezon**
Division of Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences*
College of Management**
UP Visayas

Gendered Spaces in Abalone Fisheries in the Philippines. Asian Fisheries Science, 29: 1-13, 2016.

Interview with an abalone fisher in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi

Interview with an abalone fisher in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi

 

Abalone gathered from the waters off an island barangay in Concepcion, Iloilo

Abalone gathered from the waters off an island barangay in Concepcion, Iloilo

This paper is about the different roles of men and women in abalone fisheries in the Philippines vis- à-vis their roles in the spheres of production and reproduction. Men dive while women glean for abalone in the intertidal zones of the seven provinces covered by the research. Diving is usually associated with males while gleaning which is done near shore is more accessible to women. Marketing of abalone which is a high value fisheries commodity that requires more capital is done by males and less likely engaged by women due to the primacy of their domestic responsibilities which constrain them to be away from home. Except in marketing and the difference in the method of gathering of abalone, other activities in abalone fisheries production are generally shared by both men and women. Men, however, have greater access and control over abalone fisheries. In terms of the work that they do inside and outside the home these are seen as complementary to each other though they may differ in some traditionally stereotyped roles. Abalone contribute a lot to the household economy and its judicious management would require the collective effort of the male and female abalone fishers, the local government units, non-government organizations and national government agencies that are mandated to promote the management and protection of fisheries resources.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Rex Ferdinand M. Traifalgar, Augusto E. Serrano Jr. and Valeriano L. Corre Jr.
Institute of Aquaculture
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
UP Visayas

​Immunomodulatory and Growth Promoting Effects of Peptidoglycan Supplementation in Black Tiger Shrimp Penaeus monodon Fabricius 1798. Asian Fisheries Science, 28: 60-71, 2015.

Catchy title of research: Immunostimulant Supplementation Increases Muscle  Growth in Shrimp

Shrimp Hotel; experimental tanks where the shrimps are reared

Shrimp Hotel; experimental tanks where the shrimps are reared

Muscle fiber size comparison of the control and treated shrimp

Muscle fiber size comparison of the control and treated shrimp

The present work provides evidence that the growth promoting effects of immune stimulation in shrimp is due to increase in muscle size that is primarily due to enhancement food digestions and nutrient utilization in shrimp. Thus, application of immunostimulant in shrimp culture could enhance resistance against diseases, improve growth and biomass gain. 

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Dianne Melody A. De Roxas and Adelwisa R. Ortega
Department of Medical Microbiology
College of Public Health
UP Manila

Detection of Legionella spp. in Water Samples taken from Cooling Tower and Water Holding Systems in a Hospital in Metro Manila. Acta Medica Philippina, 49 (3): 80-83, 2015.

Catchy title of research: Legionella spp. and its presence in a Hospital’s Cooling Tower, Water Tank and Water Cisterns 

Hospital is the place where people seek treatment of their illnesses and the place which generally provides healthcare. However, hospitals can also be the ideal location for disease transmission since at risk individuals are present in large numbers. One of the known hospital-acquired infections is the Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia transmitted by inhalation of Legionella infected water droplets from cooling towers, respiratory therapy equipment, showers and faucets. The researchers aimed to determine the presence of the organism called Legionella, which causes the Legionnaires’ disease, in water samples from the cooling tower and water holding systems such as water tank and cisterns in the hospital. The preliminary study showed that Legionella spp. is present in the cooling tower of the hospital. This poses a problem regarding hospital acquired Legionnaires’ disease since the cooling tower can potentially be a source of infectious aerosol which can be disseminated in the hospital. The study also established the need to regularly monitor the microbiological condition of water in cooling tower system.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Rizalino N. Malabed
Department of Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

The Sophist of Many Faces: Difference (And Identity) in Theaetetus and the Sophist. Φιλοσοφια : International Journal of Philosophy, 17 (2): 141-154, May 2016.

Catchy title of research: The Sophist of Many Faces

Difference is a concept that, recently, has become transdiciplinary. It has also entered the domain of the practical as a category or standard for justice or fairness –in public policy, for example. But difference is an old notion in philosophy. It is that mark or sign by which a thing is identified. As such , it is closely related and is necessary to the notion of identity. And as such, it can be a basis for what we know. It can be claimed, without overstatement, that the problem posed by difference and, consequently, identity in contemporary society has its roots in the inflexibledemand to be sure about what we know. In the history of philosophy, we find this demand, in one of its earliest form, in two of Plato’s later dialogues: the Theaetetusand the Sophist. We get a sense, in the earlier dialogue, that difference is not a static feature waiting to be recognized and named. It, instead, points towards an act –anactive differentiating. Meanwhile, in thelater dialogue, difference is a componentin the method of dividing and gathering  that is used by the earnestly chatty protagonists to hunt for the elusive “sophist.” Difference is also one of the primarycategories that makes possible the coherent deployment of other categories. In the final unmasking of the sophist, difference is also what enables the sophist’s expertise of appearance-making as he knowingly confuses things with words.

Link to the article: http://www.ejournals.ph/article.php?id=9548
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Catherine Lynn T. Silao, Terence Diane F. Fabella and Sylvia C. Estrada
Institute of Human Genetics
National Institute of Health
UP Manila

Novel Cystathionine β-Synthase Gene Mutations in a Filipino Patient with Classic Homocystinuria. Pediatrics International, 57 (5): 884–887, October 2015.

Catchy title of research: New genetic variants in a Filipino patient with Classic Homocystinuria

The Homocystinuric Filipino patient was found to have new genetic variants and four known single-nucleotide polymorphisms. The patient was heterozygous for all the identified alleles. This is the first genetic analysis of CBS done in a Filipino patient with classic homocystinuria who presented with a new duplication mutation and missense mutation. Homocystinuria due to CBS deficiency is a variable disorder at the molecular level. 

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ped.12666/abstract
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.730

Belen L. Dofitas
Department of Medicine
College of Medicine
UP Manila

Insect Bites and Stings” in Evidence-Based Dermatology 3rd Edition. Hywel C. Williams, Michael Bigby, Adrew Herxheimer, Luigi Naldi, Berthold Rzany, Robert P. Dellavalle, Yuping Ran and Masutaka Furue (editors). Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell , 2014.

Edwino S. Fernando
Department of Forest Biological Sciences
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Marsdenia purpurella (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae), A New Species from the Philippines. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore, 65 (2): 143–148, 2013.

Catchy title of research: New species of Marsdenia discovered in the Philippines

The vine has light green inflorescence and is a promising ornamental plant. We consider this species to be Endangered (EN B12ab(ii,iii,iv)). Its extent of occurrence is estimated to be less than 5000 km2, and thus far, it is known only from two distant locations in the Philippines. A continuing decline is observed, inferred, and projected in its (a) area of occupancy; (b) area, extent and/or quality of habitat, and (c) number of locations or subpopulations. Part of the area of the type locality in Zambales is subject to open pit mining for heavy metals. The other locality in Palawan is now largely degraded habitat and thus far represented only by a single century-old collection.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Marilyn O. Quimado, Edwino S. Fernando and Lorele C. Trinidad*
Department of Forest Biological Sciences
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
BIOTECH*
UP Los Baños

Nickel-Hyperaccumulating Species of Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae) from the Philippines. Australian Journal of Botany, 63: 103-110, 2015.

Catchy title of research: Phyllanthus species from the Philippines with potentials for nickel farming

Photos (left to right). Phyllanthus balgooyi, Phyllanthus securinegoides, Phyllanthus erythrotrichus. Photos by Edwino S. Fernando.

Photos (left to right). Phyllanthus balgooyi, Phyllanthus securinegoides, Phyllanthus erythrotrichus. Photos by Edwino S. Fernando.

Phyllanthus balgooyi, P. erythrotrichus, and P. securinegoides were found growing in soil rich in heavy metals such as nickel and chromium in Palawan, Surigao, and Zambales, respectively. The three species of Phyllanthus native in the Philippines accumulates more than 0.1-1.0% nickel in the leaves.  The ability to absorb this very high amount of nickel already toxic to ordinary plants is very rare. Such kind of plants can be used for cleaning up of nickel contaminated areas such as landfill and planted in mined-out areas for future farming for nickel.

Link to the article: http://www.publish.csiro.au/?paper=BT14284
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Alyssa M. Peleo-Alampay
National Institute of Geological Sciences
College of Science
UP Diliman

Ages and Magnetic Structures of the South China Sea Constrained by Deep Tow Magnetic Surveys and IODP Expedition 349. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 15 (12): 4958–4983, December 2014.

Catchy title of research: The geologic history of the South China Sea revealed by research expedition

This study presents results from a two-month research expedition in the south China Sea involving 33 earth scientists from various universities around the world. The main objective of the research expedition was to gain insights into the plate tectonic history of the South China Sea, specifically on the initiation of spreading and consequent basin formation. The results of the expedition place constraints on the interpretations of the complex tectonic history pf this marginal sea using shipboard age dates and deeps tow magnetic anomalies. The date reveals that the northeastern South China Sea started to form at around 33 million years ago.

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GC005567/abstract
Impact Factor: 2014/2015 2.923

Edwino S. Fernando
Department of Forest Biological Sciences
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Three New Species in Calamus sect. Podocephalus (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Phytotaxa, 166 (1): 069-076, April 2014.

Catchy title of research: New species of rattans discovered in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea

The newly described Calamusdaemonoropoides Fernando in the Mt Makiling Forest Reserve.(Photo by E.S. Fernando)

The newly described Calamusdaemonoropoides Fernando in the Mt Makiling Forest Reserve.(Photo by E.S. Fernando)

Majority of the commercially important and those underexploited rattansbelong to the genus Calamus. All species under this group have been included by the by the International Network on Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) and by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute under the list of highest priority species of rattan for research and development. There are only approximately15 species under this group and the addition of three more species is important as source of genes for future improvement and breeding program for rattan. The new species from the Philippines is endemic The name Calamusparutan comes from the Indonesian word “parutan” or coconut grater whileC. zieckii is named for J.F. Zieck the first collector of this species and several other important species of rattan in Papua Guinea.

Link to the article: http://biotaxa.org/Phytotaxa/article/view/phytotaxa.166.1.4
Impact Factor: 2014/2015 2.923

Edwino S. Fernando
Department of Forest Biological Sciences
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Daemonorops sedisspirituum, a new species of Daemonorops Blume (Arecaceae: Calamoideae) from Java. Kew Bulletin, 69: 9531, 4 pages, 2014.

Catchy title of research: New species of rattan discovered in Java, Indonesia

The newly described Calamusdaemonoropoides Fernando in the Mt Makiling Forest Reserve.(Photo by E.S. Fernando)During a training in monocot taxonomy 2012, new species of rattan was discovered from old collections of rattan lodged at Herbarium Bogerense. The new species was named Daemonoropssedisspirituum and was reported only from two localities on  mossy hill forest on a ridgetop at 1000 masl in Java. One of the reported collection site recently visited by the author was already converted to agricultural land, human settlement, grasslands, and main road.  Thus, the new species qualifies as Critically Endangered based on IUCN guidelines. The epithet means “seat of the Gods” or “where the spirits live” from the old name of the collection place in West Java.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12225-014-9531-z
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Nestor D. Bareza and Nathaniel P. Hermosa II
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Subluminal Group Velocity and Dispersion of Laguerre Gauss Beams in Free Space. Scientific Reports, 6: 26842, 6 pages, May 2016.

Catchy title of research: Slow propagation in free space of twisted light

Figure 1. Helical wavefront of light endowed with orbital angular momentum.

Figure 1. Helical wavefront of light endowed with orbital angular momentum.

 

Figure 2. Colormap illustrating free-space speed variance of   modes with different indices of radial order   and orbital order ℓ.

Figure 2. Colormap illustrating free-space speed variance of modes with different indices of radial order and orbital order ℓ.

Light has always been assumed to be invariantly emanating at exactly speed limit c(3×108 m/s) in free space. This fact has been the fundamental foundation of Einstein’s special relativity and in the formulation of Maxwell’s electromagnetic wave. The speed c of light in free space is always constant for plane wave case whose wavevector points purely along the direction of propagation axis. However, this has to carry infinite energy, thus making plane waves physically unrealizable. Physical light beams always have transverse wavevector components causing a delay in the speed even in free space.
In our recently published paper, we investigate the subluminal speed in free space of Laguerre-Gaussian () beam, a light commonly known to carry orbital angular momentum (OAM). Figure 1 depicts the helical wavefront of OAM-carrying beam. Such beams have transverse wavevector consisting of both radial and azimuthal components. The presence of non-axial wavevector components induces an added path in the propagation of light, hence this results to delay in speed during propagation.
The group velocity of  beam is calculated in paraxial regime. The speed is found to be inversely proportional to beam’s divergence, radial order  and orbital order . Invariant speed of  beams is illustrated in Figure 2. This reveals that  beams are both subluminal and dispersive even in free space. These findings suggest necessary corrections in  beam’s practical uses, especially in its far-travel-range applications such as data transmission in free space and data treatment from astronomical sources.

Link to the article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27231195
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 5.228

Jeffrey D. Tare and Jose Perico H. Esguerra
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Bound States for Multiple Dirac-δ Wells in Space-Fractional Quantum Mechanics. Journal of Mathematical Physics, 55: 012106, 10 pages, 2014.

Catchy title of research: Quantum bound states in space-fractional systems

Plots of the functions in Eq. (49) for R = 2 and some values of α.

Plots of the functions in Eq. (49) for R = 2 and some values of α.

Plots of the wave function ψ/A given by Eq. (54) as a function of x’ for W1 = W2 = 2 and some values of α.

Plots of the wave function ψ/A given by Eq. (54) as a function of x’ for W1 = W2 = 2 and some values of α.

In the standard quantum mechanics, the study of bound state, i.e., a description of system where the particle has a tendency to remain localized in a certain region of space, plays significant roles in describing interactions among atomic and subatomic particles such as protons, electrons, nuclei, quarks, etc. However, in the traditional analysis, homogeneity or uniformity of space or medium involved is assumed to simplify the models. In space-fractional quantum mechanics, we resort to a more general case where changes in space and nonlocality are present in studying, e.g., bound states, which somewhat reflects physical phenomena in the subatomic level more naturally.

Link to the article: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/jmp/55/1/10.1063/1.4861933
Impact Factor: (2014) 1.234

Jeffrey D. Tare and Jose Perico H. Esguerra
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Transmission Through Locally Periodic Potentials in Space-Fractional Quantum Mechanics. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 407: 43–53, 1 August 2014.

Catchy title of research: Quantum tunneling in space-fractional systems

Transmission coefficient T(N) as a function of energy E for N = 2,4,10 Dirac-δ barriers and different values of Lévy index α = 1.8 (first column), α = 1.9 (second column), and α = 2.0 (third column).

Transmission coefficient T(N) as a function of energy E for N = 2,4,10 Dirac-δ barriers and different values of Lévy index α = 1.8 (first column), α = 1.9 (second column), and α = 2.0 (third column).

Transmission coefficient T(N) as a function of energy E for N = 1,4,10 square barriers and different values of Lévy index α = 1.8 (first column), α = 1.9 (second column), and α = 2.0 (third column).

Transmission coefficient T(N) as a function of energy E for N = 1,4,10 square barriers and different values of Lévy index α = 1.8 (first column), α = 1.9 (second column), and α = 2.0 (third column).

The operation of many everyday electronic devices relies on our ability to reliably control the flow of electrons in low-dimensional systems. An important input in these control schemes is a quantity known as the transmission coefficient. In standard quantum mechanics, reliable techniques exist for calculating the transmission coefficient for tunneling through a system with multiple barriers. There have been several attempts to formulate more general versions of quantum mechanics that incorporate fractional derivatives. In this work we calculate transmission coefficients for multiple barrier systems in space-fractional quantum systems.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378437114002957
Impact Factor: (2014) 1.732

Damian N. Dailisan and May T. Lim
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Agent-Based Modeling of Lane Discipline in Heterogeneous Traffic. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 457: 138–147, 1 September 2016.

Catchy title of research: Modeling of lane discipline in heterogeneous traffic

A car in the middle of lane changing blocks off other cars behind it.

A car in the middle of lane changing blocks off other cars behind it.

Lane changing probability reduces the peak throughput for cars (κ=1.00) when lane changing is allowed, compared to raising peak throughput for motorcycles (κ=0.00).

Lane changing probability reduces the peak throughput for cars (κ=1.00) when lane changing is allowed, compared to raising peak throughput for motorcycles (κ=0.00).

While designating lanes for different vehicle types is ideal road safety-wise, practicality dictates that roads are shared by multiple vehicle types such as cars, buses, jeepneys, and motorcycles. Using an agent-based model for two vehicle types (cars and motorcycles), we analyzed the interplay of lane discipline, lane changing, and vehicle density.
We found that in the absence of lane changing, the transition between free flow and congested states occurs at a higher vehicle (road occupation) density when the ratio of cars to motorcycles is increased. When lane changing is allowed, the smaller motorcycles tend to fill in unused spaces improving flow, until the point when the wider cars effectively block their way at high vehicle densities. Lane changing among cars can sometimes improve flow, but more often cars changing lanes block the rest of the road. 

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378437116301029
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 1.785

Alyssa M. Peleo-Alampay
National Institute of Geological Sciences
College of Science
UP Diliman

Seismic Stratigraphy of the Central South China Sea Basin and Implications for Neotectonics. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120 (3): 1377-1399, March 2015.

Catchy title of research: The geologic history of the South China Sea revealed by research expedition

This study presents results from a two-month research expedition in the South China Sea involving 33 earth scientists from various universities around the world. The main objective of the research expedition was to gain insights into the plate tectonic history of the South China Sea, specifically on the initiation of spreading and consequent basin formation. The results of the expedition place constraints on the interpretations of the complex tectonic history of this marginal sea using shipboard age dates and deep tow magnetic anomalies. The date reveals that the northeastern South China Sea started to form at around 33 million years ago.

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JB011686/full
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 3.426

Elizaldy A. Maboloc and Juliana Janet M. Puzon*
Marine Science Institute
Institute of Biology*
College of Science
UP Diliman

Stress Responses of Zooxanthellae in Juvenile Tridacna gigas (Bivalvia, Cardiidae) Exposed to Reduced Salinity. Hydrobiologia, 762 (1): 103–112, December 2015.

Juvenile Tridacna gigas

Juvenile Tridacna gigas

Zooxanthellae cells in the mantle tissue of giant clams exposed to 35‰ (a) with normal cells, 25‰ (b) with enlarged and degenerating cells and 18‰ (c, d) with enlarged and degenerating cells. Z: zooxanthellae, NC: nucleus, PY: pyrenoid, DZ: degenerating zooxanthellae, EZ: enlarged zooxanthellae, AB: accumulation body.

Zooxanthellae cells in the mantle tissue of giant clams exposed to 35‰ (a) with normal cells, 25‰ (b) with enlarged and degenerating cells and 18‰ (c, d) with enlarged and degenerating cells. Z: zooxanthellae, NC: nucleus, PY: pyrenoid, DZ: degenerating zooxanthellae, EZ: enlarged zooxanthellae, AB: accumulation body.

Increasing seawater temperature and ocean acidification are only two of many consequences of global climate changes. However, effects of changing climate do not limit to rising global temperatures but as well as changing weather patterns.Storms and extreme rainfall events are common in tropical regions and predicted to increase in frequency and intensity attributed to climate change. Giant clams thrive in shallow coral reefs and can be exposed to fluctuating salinities during heavy rainfall. Given the limited reports on the effects of low salinity to these iconic organisms, the study investigated the responses of giant clams to osmotic stress. Since giant clams are very much dependent on the photosynthetic products produced by the zooxanthellae, the study focused on the responses of the zooxanthellae. Results showed significant decreased in the pigment concentrations (chlorophyll a, c, carotenoids) at 18‰. This may be caused by marked increased in the number of degenerating zooxanthellae. Cell enlargement was also observed at 18 and 25‰. However, at 25‰, pigment concentrations were not affected. Zooxanthellae density was also reduced but it did not result to bleaching (the expulsion of zooxanthellae which causes the mantle to turns white). The study found out that salinities 18 and 25‰, can affect negatively on the zooxanthellae, however, exposure to 25‰ displayed acclimation responses as indicated by recovery of the various measured parameters. This study suggests that giant clams may be able to survive periodic fluctuating salinity conditions but prolong and extreme changes (e.g. 18‰) could compromise the survival of the organism.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10750-015-2341-y
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 2.051

Marianne G. Camoying and Aletta T. Yñiguez
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

FlowCAM Optimization: Attaining Good Quality Images for Higher Taxonomic Classification Resolution of Natural Phytoplankton Samples. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 14 (5): 305–314, May 2016.

Catchy title of research: Characterization of the base of the marine food web  made easier through the use of an auto-imaging device (FlowCAM)

Images of phytoplankton captured by the FlowCAM

Images of phytoplankton captured by the FlowCAM

Phytoplankton are microscopic plants that thrive in bodies of water. They form the base of the trophic food web, hence serve as food to organisms at higher trophic levels such as juvenile fishes. Studying phytoplankton has always been a challenge due to the overall difficulty in conducting field surveys and the laborious process of phytoplankton sample analysis. This study introduces the pioneering use of an auto-imaging device called FlowCAM for more rapid phytoplankton assessment in Philippine waters. This study provides significant information on the using the FlowCAM in order to attain higher taxonomic classification resolution output of natural phytoplankton samples, hence, will benefit other FlowCAM users around the globe. This study has also led to the first phytoplankton automatic classification capability in the country.

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lom3.10090/full
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 2.008

Joseph Dela Cruz
Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
UP Los Baños

Fabrication and Characterization of Electrospun Curcumin-Loaded Polycaprolactone-Polyethylene Glycol Nanofibers for Enhanced Wound Healing. Macromolecular Research, 22: (12): 1288–1296, December 2014.

In this study, continuous nanofibers of PCL and blends of the polymer with Cur and PEG were successfully fabricated by the electrospinning process. For the first time, the combination of therapeutic Cur with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and high cell affinity, porous surface resulting from addition of PEG exhibited a useful and convenient method for wound dressing application.The addition of the drug Cur reduced the diameter size and distribution of the electrospun fibers and maintained the interconnected porous structure. The addition of PEG into the Cur-loaded PCL nanofibers led to the formation of many pores on the surfaces of the electrospun nanofibers after immersion in PBS pH 7. From the cell culture and cell attachment results, the porous Cur loaded PCL-PEG nanofibers were found to have increased biocompatibility. The Cur-loaded PCL-PEG nanofiber mat showed good anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity toward RAW264.7 mouse macrophages and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. On day 10 of the wound closure assay, a new layer of the skin with little scarring was formed instead of the wound treated with Cur-loaded PCL-PEG nanofiber mat. 

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13233-014-2179-6
Impact Factor: (2014) 1.597

Hernando S. Salapare III, Hannah Shaminah O. Cosiñero* and Julius Andrew P. Nuñez
Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila
National Institute of Physics*
College of Science
UP Diliman

Gas Discharge Plasma Treatment of Poly(Ethylene Glycol-co-1,3/1,4 Cyclohexanedimethanol Terephthalate) for Enhanced Paint Adhesion. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A, 34 (4): 041303, 8 pages, July 2016.

(Color online) (a) Schematic diagram of the over-all gas discharge ion source (GDIS) facility. (b) The schematic diagram of the GDIS.

(Color online) (a) Schematic diagram of the over-all gas discharge ion source (GDIS) facility. (b) The schematic diagram of the GDIS.

 

(Color online) Mass spectra of H2 ion shower obtained in the diagnostic chamber using a cast steel mass spectrometer showing H+ and H2+ ion species.

(Color online) Mass spectra of H2 ion shower obtained in the diagnostic chamber using a cast steel mass spectrometer showing H+ and H2+ ion species.

The gas discharge ion source facility was used to irradiate H, C, and F ions to the surface of the poly(ethylene glycol-co-1,3/1,4 cyclohexanedimethanol terephthalate) (PETG) with the intention to physically and chemically modify the surface properties for enhanced paint adhesion. It was observed that a general increase in paint adhesion ability was exhibited by samples with high wettability and high work of adhesion. The paint adhesion was due to covalent, hydrogen and van der Waals bonding typical for hydrophilic surfaces.

Link to the article: http://scitation.aip.org/content/avs/journal/jvsta/34/4/10.1116/1.4949867
Impact Factor: 

Juvy Lizette M. Gervacio
Faculty of Management and Development Studies
UP Open University

MOOCs in the Philippines” in MOOCs and Educational Challenges Around Asia and Europe. Bowon Kim (editor). Seoul, South Korea: KNOU Press, 2015.

Stephen Jun V. Villejo
School of Statistics
UP Diliman

Modelling Rice Yield in the Philippines using Dynamic Spatio-Temporal Models. Philippine Statistician, 64 (2): 48-58, 2015.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Stephen Jun V. Villejo
School of Statistics
UP Diliman

Classification and Prediction of Suicidal Tendencies of the Youth in the Philippines: An Empirical Study. Philippine Statistician, 64 (1): 31-52, 2015.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

​Jey R S. Ventura
Department of Engineering Science
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños

A novel perchlorate- and nitrate-reducing bacterium, Azospira sp. PMJ. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 100 (3): 6055–6068, July 2016.

Catchy title of research: Perchlorate- and nitrate-reducing bacterium capable of removing perchlorate below drinking water limit

  • Cell growth and consumption of perchlorate and nitrate by Azospira sp. PMJ at pH 7.0 and 30°C.

    Cell growth and consumption of perchlorate and nitrate by Azospira sp. PMJ at pH 7.0 and 30°C.

    Isolation and selection of perchlorate-reducing bacteria from the anaerobic tank of a domestic wastewater treatment plant

    Isolation and selection of perchlorate-reducing bacteria from the anaerobic tank of a domestic wastewater treatment plant

    The isolated strain is well suited to use for a wide variety of anaerobic bioreactors which are presently in use for removing contaminants.

  • The Azospira sp. PMJ is also expected to efficiently treat perchlorate-contaminated bodies of waters.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00253-016-7401-3
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 3.376

Eiza T. Yu
Institute of Chemistry
College of Science
UP Diliman

Longitudinal Analysis of Microbiota in Microalga Nannochloropsis salina Cultures. Microbial Ecology, 72 (1): 14-24, July 2016.

Catchy title of research: Algal Culture-Associated Microbiota Succession and Dynamics During Outdoor Cultivation of Nannochloropsis Salina

Microbial succession in month long outdoor cultivation of algae

Microbial succession in month long outdoor cultivation of algae

 

Clustering of microbial diversity showing distinction between samples from different founder cohorts

Clustering of microbial diversity showing distinction between samples from different founder cohorts

One of the most significant barriers facing commercialization of algal biofuels is maintaining long-term culture stability. Outdoor cultivation is cost-effective, but culture instability (due to biotic and abiotic factors) limits feedstock production. Bacterial communities associated with algae play key roles in the health of algal cultures and a few probiotic microorganisms have been used to increase the stability and production rates of algal cultures. In this study, we seeded pure Nannochloropsis salina with microbial communities from seawater obtained from Santa Cruz and followed both algal biomass production as well as the progression of associated microbial community during a month-long outdoor algae cultivation. While seeded algal cultures gave higher biomass production rates than the pure algal monoculture in the laboratory, we found no significant difference in the biomass production rates outdoors. However, we observed that the N. salina-associated microbial community in open cultures is diverse, resilient, and dynamic in response to environmental perturbations. This knowledge has general implications for developing and testing design principles of cultivated algal systems.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00248-016-0746-4
Impact Factor: 3.232

Alisha Wehnesday B. Reyes
Department of Veterinary Paraclinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
UP Los Baños

Dextran Sulfate Sodium Upregulates MAPK Signaling for the Uptake and Subsequent Intracellular Survival of Brucella abortus in Murine Macrophages. Microbial Pathogenesis, 91: 68–73, February 2016.

 Effect of DSS on the internalization and intracellular growth of B. abortus. A significant increase in bacterial uptake was observed after 0 and 30 min of infection (A), and the number of intracellular bacteria also increased after 2, 24 and 48 h of incubation with DSS (B). Data represent the mean ± SD of triplicate experiments. Statistically significant differences relative to the untreated control are indicated by asterisks (*, P < 0.05; **, P < 0.01).

Effect of DSS on the internalization and intracellular growth of B. abortus. A significant increase in bacterial uptake was observed after 0 and 30 min of infection (A), and the number of intracellular bacteria also increased after 2, 24 and 48 h of incubation with DSS (B). Data represent the mean ± SD of triplicate experiments. Statistically significant differences relative to the untreated control are indicated by asterisks (*, P < 0.05; **, P < 0.01).

 

Effect of DSS on the activation of intracellular signaling pathways. B. abortus infection enhanced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, JNK and p38 at 5, 15 and 30 post-infection which was similar with DSS-treated, infected cells. Enhanced phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 and p38but not JNK in DSS-treated, uninfected cells were observed in a dose-dependent manner compared with untreated, uninfected cells. The images shown are representative of at least three independent experiments.

Effect of DSS on the activation of intracellular signaling pathways. B. abortus infection enhanced phosphorylation of ERK1/2, JNK and p38 at 5, 15 and 30 post-infection which was similar with DSS-treated, infected cells. Enhanced phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 and p38but not JNK in DSS-treated, uninfected cells were observed in a dose-dependent manner compared with untreated, uninfected cells. The images shown are representative of at least three independent experiments.

Brucella has been associated with a worldwide zoonosis of economic and public health importance. This organism binds to distinct phagocytic receptors or to unknown receptors resulting to phagocytosis. Inside host cell, the trafficking and survival strategies of Brucella involve interaction of Brucella-containing vacuoles with early endocytic compartments before acquisition of lysosome-associated membrane proteins.
Dextran is used as a drug especially as a blood plasma volume expander and has several industrial applications in food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. In this study, dextran enhances the phagocytic and intracellular activities of Brucella abortus in macrophages which may reduce host innate immune system and contribute to chronic infection.

Link to the article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26626959
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 1.888

Alisha Wehnesday B. Reyes
Department of Veterinary Paraclinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
UP Los Baños

Molecular Cloning, Purification and Immunogenicity of Recombinant Brucella abortus 544 Malate Dehdrogenase Protein. Journal of Veterinary Science, 17 (1): 119-122, March 2016.

Catchy title of research: Characterization of B. Abortus Malate Dehydrogenase Protein

Amplification of B. abortus mdh gene. PCR products on 1.5% (w/v) agarose gel. Lane 1: DNA Marker. Lane 2: Single expected band of mdh gene (963 bp, arrow).

Amplification of B. abortus mdh gene. PCR products on 1.5% (w/v) agarose gel. Lane 1: DNA Marker. Lane 2: Single expected band of mdh gene (963 bp, arrow).

 

Expression, purification and immunogenicity of B. abortus MDH in pMAL expression system vector. (A) SDS-PAGE profiles of rMDH (approximately 76 kDa) and empty pMAL vector (approximately 43 kDa) separated and stained with Coomassie brilliant blue. Lane M: Protein Marker. Lane 1: empty pMAL vector. Lane 2: purified rMDH. (B) Western blot analysis using Brucella-positive bovine serum at early (Lane 1: empty pMAL vector. Lane 2: purified rMDH), middle (Lane 3: empty pMAL vector. Lane 4: purified rMDH) and late stages of infection (Lane 5: empty pMAL vector. Lane 6: purified rMDH), and Brucella-negative bovine serum (Lane 7: empty pMAL vector; Lane 8: purified rMDH). (C) Western blot analysis using Brucella-positive mouse serum at early (Lane 1: empty pMAL vector. Lane 2: purified rMDH), middle (Lane 3: empty pMAL vector. Lane 4: purified rMDH) and late stages of infection (Lane 5: empty pMAL vector. Lane 6: purified rMDH), and Brucella-negative mouse serum (Lane 7: empty pMAL vector; Lane 8: purified rMDH).

Expression, purification and immunogenicity of B. abortus MDH in pMAL expression system vector. (A) SDS-PAGE profiles of rMDH (approximately 76 kDa) and empty pMAL vector (approximately 43 kDa) separated and stained with Coomassie brilliant blue. Lane M: Protein Marker. Lane 1: empty pMAL vector. Lane 2: purified rMDH. (B) Western blot analysis using Brucella-positive bovine serum at early (Lane 1: empty pMAL vector. Lane 2: purified rMDH), middle (Lane 3: empty pMAL vector. Lane 4: purified rMDH) and late stages of infection (Lane 5: empty pMAL vector. Lane 6: purified rMDH), and Brucella-negative bovine serum (Lane 7: empty pMAL vector; Lane 8: purified rMDH). (C) Western blot analysis using Brucella-positive mouse serum at early (Lane 1: empty pMAL vector. Lane 2: purified rMDH), middle (Lane 3: empty pMAL vector. Lane 4: purified rMDH) and late stages of infection (Lane 5: empty pMAL vector. Lane 6: purified rMDH), and Brucella-negative mouse serum (Lane 7: empty pMAL vector; Lane 8: purified rMDH).

Current serological tests are relatively accessible and cheap, more reliable, generally approved and often the preferred method for diagnosis of brucellosis. Despite the strong immunoreactivity of the antigen used in these classical serological tests which is commonly derived from smooth lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or O-polysaccharide, its specificity is very low and is often misdiagnosed due to cross-reactions with other clinically relevant Gram-negative bacteria. On the other hand, current available animal vaccines against brucellosis were genetically undefined strains which can induce abortion and persistent infection to animals as well as infection to humans. Consequently, there is an increasing interest in finding more specific Brucella antigen to detect brucellosis, and development of safe and effective Brucella vaccines to control and prevent brucellosis. In our previous study, several immunogenic proteins have been identified through two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) followed by immunoblotting reactive to sera from experimentally infected mice at early, middle and late infection periods with the exclusion of cross-reaction with Yersinia enterocolitica O:9-infected and non-infected mice. One of these specific immunogenic proteins is malate dehydrogenase (MDH) which has been detected at middle stage of infection in mice. Consequently, the present work is the first attempt to characterize recombinant B. abortus 544 MDH protein (rMDH) expressed in a pMAL vector focusing on its reactions to hosts at different infection periods.The purified recombinant MDH protein (rMDH) was reactive to Brucella-positive bovine serum at early but not reactive at middle or late stage, and reactive to Brucella-positive mouse serum at late but not reactive at early or middle stage of infection. In addition, rMDH reacted to neither Brucella-negative bovine nor mouse sera. These results suggest that rMDH has the potential to be used as a specific antigen for developing serological diagnosis for early detection of bovine brucellosis and as a subunit vaccine candidate for animal models.

Link to the article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808637/
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 1.076

Alisha Wehnesday B. Reyes
Department of Veterinary Paraclinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
UP Los Baños

Methyl Gallate Limits Infection in Mice Challenged with Brucella abortus While Enhancing the Inflammatory Response. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 120 (3): 552–559, March 2016.

Protection against Br. abortus in mice that were orally treated with PBS or MG. The mice were orally treated with PBS or MG three days prior to the challenge; this treatment continued for 14 days. At 14 days post-infection, the mice were sacrificed, and the spleens were removed, weighed and homogenized in PBS. The homogenates were serially diluted in PBS, and the number of CFUs in each spleen was counted. The unit of protection (U) was obtained by subtracting the mean log10 CFU of the experimental group from the mean log10 CFU of the non-treated positive control group. Statistically significant difference relative to the non-treated control group is indicated by asterisks (**P < 0.01). PBS-treated (open bar); MG-treated (black bar).

Protection against Br. abortus in mice that were orally treated with PBS or MG. The mice were orally treated with PBS or MG three days prior to the challenge; this treatment continued for 14 days. At 14 days post-infection, the mice were sacrificed, and the spleens were removed, weighed and homogenized in PBS. The homogenates were serially diluted in PBS, and the number of CFUs in each spleen was counted. The unit of protection (U) was obtained by subtracting the mean log10 CFU of the experimental group from the mean log10 CFU of the non-treated positive control group. Statistically significant difference relative to the non-treated control group is indicated by asterisks (**P < 0.01). PBS-treated (open bar); MG-treated (black bar).

 

The effect of MG on the production of serum cytokines and a chemokine in Br. abortus-infected mice. Brucella-infected mice were orally treated with PBS or MG. The mice cytokine levels were measured from serum samples collected at 14 days post-infection using a CBA analysis. The data are presented as the means ± SD for each group. Statistically significant differences relative to the non-treated group are indicated by asterisks (*P < 0.05; **P < 0.01; ***P < 0.001). Non-infected PBS-treated (open bar); non-infected MG-treated (gray bar); Brucella-infected PBS-treated (dark gray bar); Brucella-infected MG-treated (black bar).

The effect of MG on the production of serum cytokines and a chemokine in Br. abortus-infected mice. Brucella-infected mice were orally treated with PBS or MG. The mice cytokine levels were measured from serum samples collected at 14 days post-infection using a CBA analysis. The data are presented as the means ± SD for each group. Statistically significant differences relative to the non-treated group are indicated by asterisks (*P < 0.05; **P < 0.01; ***P < 0.001). Non-infected PBS-treated (open bar); non-infected MG-treated (gray bar); Brucella-infected PBS-treated (dark gray bar); Brucella-infected MG-treated (black bar).

Brucellosis induces abortion and sterility in domestic animals, representing significant economic losses and causes chronic infections in humans, increasing the public health burden. The MG oral treatment in mice induced cytokine production which promises its potential as vaccine adjuvant and possibly due to its bactericidal effect, successfully reduced bacterial proliferation in spleens upon B. abortus infection. This highlights the potential of MG to control brucellosis and possibly other diseases caused by intracellular pathogens.

Link the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jam.13019/abstract
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 2.156

Bing Baltazar C. Brillo
Institute for Governance and Rural Development
College of Public Affairs and Development
UP Los Baños

Developing a Small Lake: The Case of Palakpakin Lake, San Pablo City, Philippines. Water Resources, 43 (4): 611-620, 2016.

This study assesses the development issues of Palakpakin Lake. Premised on the scarcity of development studies on lakes (as the field is dominated by limnology and aquaculture studies) and small-lake studies (as the field is heavily concentrated on big-lake studies), the article argues that the lake has long been wanting of development initiatives from its administrative agencies. It further contends that the Laguna Lake Development Authority and the City Government of San Pablo must now act to promote development of the lake; specifically, by modifying their model-template approach, by formulating a zoning- development plan, and by fostering ecotourism. These basic actions are necessary in managing, developing and conserving the natural resource, as well as in preparing, informing and precipitating other actions on the lake.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 0.310

Francis M. Mulimbayan and Manolo G. Mena*
Department of Engineering Science
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños
Department of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineering*
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Electrochemical Investigation of Carbon as Additive to the Negative Electrode of Lead-Acid Battery. MATEC Web of Confrence, 27: 02011, 4 pages, 2015.

100th cyclic voltammograph of Pb and Pb+Carbon electrodes.

100th cyclic voltammograph of Pb and Pb+Carbon electrodes.

 

Nyquist plots of the different Pb+Carbon electrodes.

Nyquist plots of the different Pb+Carbon electrodes.

The increasing demand of cycle life performance of Pb-acid batteries requires the improvement of the negative Pb electrode’s charge capacity. Electrochemical investigations were performed on Pb electrode and Pb+Carbon (Carbon black and Graphite) electrodes to evaluate the ability of the additives to enhance the electrochemical faradaic reactions that occur during the cycle of Pb-acid battery negative electrode. The electrodes were characterized through Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), Potentiodynamic Polarization (PP), and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). CV revealed that the addition of carbon on the Pb electrode increased anodic and cathodic reactions by tenfold. The kinetics of PbSO4 passivation measured through PP revealed that the addition of Carbon on the Pb electrode accelerated the oxide formation by tenfold magnitude. The Nyquist plot measured through EIS suggest that the electrochemical mechanism and reaction kinetics is under charge-transfer. From the equivalent circuit and physical model, Pb+CB1 electrode has the lowest EIS parameters while Pb+G has the highest which is attributed to faster faradaic reaction. The Nyquist plot of the passivated Pb+CB1 electrode showed double semicircular shape. The first layer represents to the bulk passive PbSO4 layer and the second layer represents the Carbon+PbSO4 layer. The enhancements upon addition of carbon on the Pb electrode were attributed to the additive’s electrical conductivity and total surface area. The electrochemical active sites for the PbSO4 to nucleate and spread increases upon addition of electrical conductive and high surface area carbon additives.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Francis M. Mulimbayan and Manolo G. Mena*
Department of Engineering Science
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños
Department of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineering*
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Investigation of the Effects of Solution Temperature on the Corrosion Behavior of Austenitic Low-Nickel Stainless Steels in Citric Acid using Impedance and Polarization Measurements. MATEC Web of Confrence, 27: 02006, 4 pages, 2015.

Potentiodynamic polarization curves of AISI 202 SS in N2-purged citric acid at 100 g/L concentration.

Potentiodynamic polarization curves of AISI 202 SS in N2-purged citric acid at 100 g/L concentration.

 

Nyquist plots showing the effects of temperature on the polarization resistance of AISI 202 SS in citric acid.

Nyquist plots showing the effects of temperature on the polarization resistance of AISI 202 SS in citric acid.

Stainless steels may be classified according to alloy microstructure – ferritic, austenitic, martensitic, duplex,and precipitation hardening grades. Among these, austenitic grade has the largest contribution to market due to thealloy’s numerous industrial and domestic applications. In this study, the corrosion behavior of low-Nickel stainlesssteel in citric acid was investigated using potentiodynamic polarization techniques and Electrochemical ImpedanceSpectroscopy (EIS). The corrosion current density which is directly related to corrosion rate was extracted from thegenerated anodic polarization curve. Increasing the temperature of the citric acid resulted to increased corrosioncurrent densities indicating higher corrosion rates at initial corrosion condition. EIS was performed to generateNyquist plots whose shape and size depicts the corrosion mechanism and corrosion resistance of the alloy in citricacid, respectively. All the generated Nyquist plots have depressed semi-circle shapes implying that corrosion processtakes place with charge-transfer as the rate-determining step. Based from the extracted values of polarizationresistance (Rp), the temperature of the solution has negative correlation with the corrosion resistance of the studiedalloy.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

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

Ways of Approaching Truth: Tracing the Source of Inflationary Theories of Truth’s Predicament. Discusiones Filosoficas, 16 (27): 15-29, July-December 2015.

There are many statements that most of us are willing to accept as true. The problem however is that we find it difficult to identify a single explanation (or theory) which could cover all of these statements without remainder. This is what Michael P. Lynch refers to as the scope problem. It is important to note that this problem poses a serious threat to theories of truth that are usually (or traditionally) classified as inflationary (e.g. correspondence, coherence). This paper traces the source of this predicament to the early beginnings of Western philosophy itself. It will also offer a distinction that can help explain why inflationary theories of truth are prone to the scope problem. Put in quite general terms, it is argued that the very approach (or methodology) that these theories employ makes them prone to the scope problem.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Ireneo B. Pangga, Arnold R. Salvacion and Christian Joseph R. Cumagun
Crop Protection Cluster
College of Agriculture
Department of Community and Environmental Resource Planning*
College of Human Ecology
UP Los Baños

Climate Change and Plant Diseases Caused by Mycotoxigenic Fungi: Implication for Food Security” in Climate Change and Mycotoxins. Luis M. Botana and Maria J. Sainz (editors). Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter, 2015.

Nathaniel De Guzman and Mary Donnabelle L. Balela
Department of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

CuCl2-Mediated Synthesis of Silver Nanowires for Flexible Transparent Conducting Films. MATEC Web of Conferences, 27: 03007, 3 page, 2015.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Michael R. Tan and Mary Donnabelle L. Balela
Department of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Oleylamine Assisted Synthesis of Ultralong Copper Nanowires. MATEC Web of Conferences, 27: 03003, 4 page, 2015.

Very long copper nanowires synthesized after 12 h at 120oC using oleylamine, glucose, and water.

Very long copper nanowires synthesized after 12 h at 120oC using oleylamine, glucose, and water.

 

Increasing the amount of oleic acid smoothened the nanowires and increased its thickness. All  of the nanowires were synthesized at 120oC for 12 h.

Increasing the amount of oleic acid smoothened the nanowires and increased its thickness. All of the nanowires were synthesized at 120oC for 12 h.

Copper wires with an extremely high length-to-width ratio (around 2000) were successfully synthesized in a low temperature, high pressure environment for 12 h using a structure directing agent. The wires had diameters of around 73 nanometers and lengths exceeding 300 micrometers. The thickness of the wires and its phase can be tuned by varying the concentration of oleic acid or the reaction time respectively. Low amounts of oleic acid produced thinner but rougher wires. Increasing the oleic acid resulted to slightly thicker but smoother wires. When the reaction time is increased from 4 to 12 h, the product transforms from copper oxide to metallic copper. The process has potential for inexpensive large scale batch synthesis since water is used instead of organic or inorganic solvent.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Meryl A. Bernardino, Katherine Ann T. Castillo-Israel, Edralina P. Serrano, James Bryan L. Gandia and Wella L. Absulio
Crop Science Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Efficacy of 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) Post-Cutting Treatment on the Storage Quality of Fresh-Cut ‘Queen’ Pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. cv. ‘Queen’). International Food Research Journal, 23 (2): 667-674, 2016.

Accumulation of headspace gases (Ethylene and CO2) in fresh-cut pineapple packages as affected by 1-MCP.

Accumulation of headspace gases (Ethylene and CO2) in fresh-cut pineapple packages as affected by 1-MCP.

Color scores (lightness and hue) of fresh-cut ‘Queen’ pineapple treated with 1-MCP post-cutting

Color scores (lightness and hue) of fresh-cut ‘Queen’ pineapple treated with 1-MCP post-cutting

The ethylene inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) is a postharvest tool being used to extend shelf-life of horticultural crops. Most established applications are  on intact fruits but recently many studies were reported on fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. The study was conducted to determine the efficacy of 1-methylcyclopropene post-cutting treatment on fresh-cut pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. cv. ‘Queen’)  in maintaining its storage quality. 1-MCP gas was introduced post-cutting inside the packaging to a final concentration of 1 uL L-1 by injecting the gas into packed fresh-cut ‘Queen’ pineapples in polypropylene tray overwrapped with LDPE stretchable film. The packed fruits were stored at 5oC and monitored for headspace gas concentrations (ethylene, CO2, O2), visual quality deterioration parameters and microbial deterioration indicators. 1-MCP was found to effectively elicit its ethylene inhibiting action as shown by lowered headspace ethylene by about 40% at day 4 storage. Headspace CO2 levels were likewise lowered by 1-MCP to about 50% at day 2 while higher headspace O2 levels were generally obtained which had the highest increase at day 2. Color differences were observed, with 1-MCP treatments having significantly higher lightness values and higher hue values at day 2. No significant effects on the visual quality were noted throughout storage.   Aerobic bacteria count was slightly lower than the control at day 3. The fresh-cut pineapple packaged in the manner described had a shelf-life of 3 days based on the microbial limits set by EU countries which is log 7 cfu/mL aerobic plate count. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which demonstrated the effects of 1-MCP on fresh-cut pineapple of the ‘Queen’ variety. 

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Yves Y. Palad, Rensyl B. Barquia and Harvey C. Domingo
Department of Physical Therapy
College of Allied Medical Professions
UP Manila

Scoping Review of Instruments Measuring Attitudes Toward Disability. Disability and Health Journal, 9 (3): 354–374, July 2016. 

Catchy title of research: Instruments of good quality are available to measure attitudes that influence PWD quality of life

Negative attitudes toward disability cause difficulties in integrating persons with disabilities (PWDs) into society and limit their access to health care, education, employment, and leisure. Being aware of societal attitudes toward disability may help explain discrimination against PWDs and draw attention to the solutions needed to address these. Good measures of attitudes are vital for this purpose.
There are several instruments designed to measure attitudes of people of different occupations and ages toward different types of disability. There are those that measure attitudes of healthcare practitioners, students of health-related courses, children, and the general adult population. There are also those that measure attitudes toward communication disability, mental illnesses, and disability in general.
While some instruments are already of adequate quality for use in practice, some need further validation to improve its utility. Researchers, community developers, PWD advocates, and other service providers may opt to use these instruments so long as the limitations of each are considered. Some of the instruments will also need some adaptation to suit one’s purpose and context.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1936657416300012
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 1.345

Mark Jun A. Rojo and Menandro N. Acda
Department of Forest Products and Paper Science
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
UP Los Baños

Interspecific Agonistic Behavior of Macrotermes gilvus (Isoptera: Termitidae): Implication on Termite Baiting in the Philippines. Journal of Insect Behavior, 29 (3): 273–282, May 2016.

Catchy title of research: Bully Termites of the Philippines

The highly aggressive and combative behavior of the mound building termite Macrotermes gilvus excludes other species of termite from foraging sites.

The highly aggressive and combative behavior of the mound building termite Macrotermes gilvus excludes other species of termite from foraging sites.

The mound building termite of the Philippines (Macrotermes gilvus) was investigated for their aggressive behavior against other termite species common in the Philippines.  A pairing study showed that both workers and soldiers of M. gilvus were highly aggressive causing severe injury or death to opponent termite species in a short period of time.  It is likely that the combative nature of M. gilvuscontributed to the low success of termite baits containing chitin synthesis inhibitors in the Philippines.

Link to the article: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10905-016-9564-2
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 0.986

Frederick Michael R. Evidor and Windell L. Rivera
Institute of Biology
Natural Sciences Research Institute
College of Science

UP Diliman

Genetic Subtypes of Blastocystis sp. Isolated from Fecal Materials in the Large Intestines of Slaughtered Swine. Philippine Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 53 (1): 59-64, 2016.

Blastocystis sp. is a genetically polymorphic protozoan, comprising several species that are parasites of the gastrointestinal tract of a diverse species of animals, including humans (Tan, 2004; Yoshikawa et al., 2007). Blastocystis sp. in birds and mammals are classified into 17 subtypes (STs) according to the degree of genetic identity of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene sequences (Stevensvold et al., 2007). Some STs have low host-specificity since these can be found in different host species. However, their pathogenicity in humans is yet to be fully understood (Alfellani et al., 2013; Stenvold, 2013). Meanwhile, swine (Sus scrofa) are economically important to many agricultural countries because they serve as the key source of food (Dubey, 2009). Blastocystis is a major swine parasite worldwide with a 70-95% incidence of infection, making them a reservoir for infection. Direct contact between infected swine and their handlers increases the risk of cross-transmission especially in piggeries and slaughtered houses with insufficient hygiene practices (Solaymani-Mohammadi and Petri, 2006). Infection by Blastocystis sp. occurs via the fecal-oral route, wherein resistant cyst forms of the parasite are shed in the feces and are transmitted through ingestion to the next host, in which it changes into alternate morphological forms (Yoshikawa et al., 2004).

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Edsel C. Rubico, Sheryl A. Yap and Jessamyn Adorada
Crop Protection Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Comparison of Wing Interference Patterns of the Males of Armored Scale Insect Species (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Diaspididae) from Coconut and their Undergrowth Plants in Selected Areas of Laguna and Quezon, Philippines. Philippine Entomologist, 29 (2): 114-122, October 2015.

Catchy title of research: Rainbow on the wings: Seeing the unseen

Wings of the adult males of Aspidiotus spp. from the different host plants.

Wings of the adult males of Aspidiotus spp. from the different host plants.

 

Wings of diaspdids (a) Unaspis sp. and (b) Parlatoria sp.

Wings of diaspdids (a) Unaspis sp. and (b) Parlatoria sp.

Imagine you’re a teacher and you just got a job in a new school. You go to the school and there are many classrooms, each class having both boys and girls. However, all the boys look almost the same to you and you can’t tell from which classroom they are unless you ask who their girl classmates are.
This is the case of the armored scale insects, with the classrooms being the different species. Until now, taxonomists and entomologists have been identifying the male counterpart of each species based on the species of the females they were collected with. But a team of entomologists from the University of the Philippines Los Baños sought out to fix this problem.
They found out that by checking the wing interference patterns (WIP) on the winged males, they can determine from which species it belongs to with each species having a particular rainbow pattern on their wings.
Going back to the teacher analogy, it’s like checking the boys’ ID cards, each card having a specific set of patterns to show which class a boy belongs to.
The study to use the WIP to determine an insect’s species is relatively new to the Philippines. The team of entomologists that headed this study highly recommends research on the WIP to be continued. They believe that by uncovering the differences each pattern per species makes may provide an additional set of data for identification regarding other insect groups.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Florencia G. Palis, Zenaida M. Sumalde*, Cleofe S. Torres** and Francisco Datar***
Department of Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Economics*
College of Economics and Management**
Institute of Development Communication
College of Development Communication
UP Los Baños
Department of Anthropology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

Adoption and Impacts of Ecologically-Based Rodent Management in the Mekong Delta Region. Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 18 (1): 11-21, June 2015.

The Ecologically-based rodent management (EBRM), through the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research, was introduced in the Mekong Delta particularly in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam.  EBRM is an alternative approach to the use of chemical rodenticides which are known to be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment.  Rice farmers have adopted EBRM, which takes into account the ecology of pest species and targets community actions at key times of the year in specific habitats. The widespread adoption and significant impacts- economic, environmental, and socio-cultural- of EBRM was only in Vietnam considering the country’s history of collective action. Adoption and impacts were limited in Lao PDR and Cambodia. The interplay of political, socio-cultural, historical, and economic factors is critical in the adoption of EBRM, and therefore, must be considered in promoting EBRM.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 0.146