IPA Recipients for November 2015

Leonila Corpuz-Raros
Crop Science Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

A New Species of Notogalumna (Acari, Oribatida, Galaumnidae) from the Oriental Region with a Key to Known Species. Acarologia, 55 (3): 267-276, 2015.

Catchy title of research
: Discovery of two new species of large-winged mites and first records of the genera Mirogalumna and Pergalumnain the Philippines (Acari, Oribatida, Parakalumnidae)

This paper reports the discovery of two new species and the recording of one species of oribatid mites from the Philippines. The new species are Mirogalumnaleytensis from Mt. Pangasugan in Leyte and Mt. Makiling in Luzon, and Pergalumnapanayensisin Panay, Leyte and Luzon. A third species, Pergalumnahastata Aoki, which was previously known only from Japan, was found to occur also in Los Banos, Laguna. The two new species were collected on various types of decomposing organic debris while the third species was found riding on the back of an empidid fly. The two new species are described, illustrated and compared morphologically with their closest relatives. Mirogalumnaleytensis is only the second species of this genus worldwide, the first having been recorded from Rwanda in the Ethiopian Region. The genus Pergalumna has a cosmopolitan distribution but its occurrence in the Philippines, represented by P. panayensis and P. hastata, was previously unknown until the present studyLike other oribatids, these galumnids form part of the soil microfauna that are important in nutrient cyclesin terrestrial ecosystems. As a result of their feeding activities, they physically break down organic debris to sizes suitable for chemical action by microbial agents of decomposition. Because of their mobility they disperse microbes to new sites, thereby facilitating decomposition further. Knowledge on oribatid taxonomy therefore provides part of database needed for managing the soil towards environment-friendly crop production systems. In addition, because of their sensitivity to environmental conditions, they are now increasingly used as biological indicators in evaluating the state of degradation or recovery of terrestrial habitats.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Leonila Corpuz-Raros
Crop Science Cluster
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Additions to the Philippine Oribatid Mite Fauna (Acari,Oribatida), With Description of Two New Species. International Journal of Acarology, 41 (7): 606-616, 2015.

Catchy title of research: Additional records of oribatid mites from the Philippines including a new species from the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary and another new species associated with outbreak populations of the coconut scale insect in Laguna Province, Philippines.

This paper provides a checklist of 15 Philippine oribatid species belonging to 13 genera that were recorded through collaborative research of the authors. It includes two newly discovered species: Hydrozetesmindanaoensis of the family Hydrozetidae, and Dometorinasanpabloensis of the family Scheloribatidae. H. mindanaoensis came from the Agusan Wildlife Sanctuary where it inhabits mixed swamp litter while D. sanpabloensis was collected from coconut trees that were heavily infested with coconut scale insect during the 2014 outbreak of the latter in Laguna and other provinces of CALABARZON. The new species are described fully and illustrations of their distinguishing characteristics are given. Three other species are reported for the first time in the Philippines, namely: Eremobelbaokinawa Aoki, Allogalumnadilatata J. & P. Balogh and Pergalumnabimaculata Hammer that were previously known only from Japan, Australia and Polynesia, respectively. The rich soil oribatid fauna of Mt. Makiling including rare species reported in this paper,demonstrates the value of protecting the mountain from destructive human intervention as it would to other forested areas of the country. Previous ecological studies in Mt. Makiling have identified several oribatid species that occur only in protected sites and can be used as biological indicators for monitoring the state of disturbance of forest stands as it is increasingly being done in other countries. Aside from their role in the decomposition of organic debris,some oribatids have been recently found to prey on small arthropods. The possibility of such predatory habit for Dometorinasanpabloensis merits closer investigation as it was found in abundance amongst colonies of the coconut scale insect and is much larger than the crawlers of said pest.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 0.949

Jerico B. Bacani and Julius Fergy T. Rabago
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
College of Science
UP Baguio

The Complete Set of Solutions of the Diophantine Equation px + qy = z2 for Twin Primes p and q. International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, 104 (4): 517-521, 2015.

Catchy title of research: Twin Primes in a Diophantine Equation

Most students define a prime number as a positive integer whose factors are 1 and itself, and so they say that 1 is the smallest prime number. This is one of the common errors bacani et alcommitted by students in their Arithmetic or Algebra class. Actually, a prime number is an integer bigger than 1 that can only be divided by 1 and itself. 2 is the smallest prime number and it is the only even number that is prime. Did you know that some of the prime numbers have twins? When we say twin primes, we mean two prime numbers that differ by two. The first twin primes are: 3 and 5; 5 and 7; and 11 and 13. The pair 71 and 73 is an example of twin primes as well. Believe it or not, the largest twin primes discovered (as of 2015) are the numbers .3,756,801,695,685.2666,669 +- 1 Imagine how many digits do these numbers have. In our recent study, we incorporated twin primes in Diophantine equations, or polynomial equations in two or more unknowns wherein integer solutions are only allowed. The most celebrated Diophantine equation is the Pythagorean theorem:  X2+y2=zwhich has infinitely many solutions. The triple (3, 4, 5) is the most popular solution.We challenged ourselves to give a complete solution for the following Diophantine equation: where p and q are the given twin primes, and we did it. px+qy=zThe 5-tuples (p,q,x,y, z) = (17, 19, 1, 1, 6) and (p,q,x,y,z)= (71, 73, 1, 1, 12) are just two of the solutions to this equation. Can you give other solutions to this equation? Can you give other values of x, y, and z if p and q are 17 and 19, respectively?

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Jerico B. Bacani and Julius Fergy T. Rabago
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
College of Science
UP Baguio

On the Zeros of a Family of Polynomials and an Application in Integer Sequences. Global Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, 11 (5): 3229-3239, 2015.

Catchy title of research: On the zeros of a family of polynomials and an application in integer sequences.

A polynomial  is of the form  anxn + an-1xn-1 + . . . + a1x+ awhere  ai  E R (i = 0,1,2,…,n) (are coefficients x and  is the independent variable. If , then we say that the polynomial  is of order . n ≠ 0 Polynomials are studied in various fields of mathematics and lead to interesting questions. For example, if we are given a particular polynomial  having real coefficients, can we find any real zeros? If so, how many and where in the real number line can we locate them? Are they positive or negative? In dealing with problems involving roots of polynomials, we use the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra (FTA). The FTA tells us that any non-constant polynomials with complex coefficients have complex roots. It may be helpful also if we give a bound for the zeros to narrow down our search for zeros. Fortunately, there are many existing methods in the literature to answer this query. Two good examples are the Descartes’ Rule of Signs and the Budan-Fourier Theorem. The complex zeros of any polynomial (), however, usually cannot be avoided in the discussion of polynomials. So the zeros are placed on the complex plane and most of the time we also give a bound to narrow down our search for zeros. One good method for giving bounds is that of Lagrange and MacLaurin. The present paper is concerned with the existence of a unique real zero of certain families of polynomials outside the unit disk ||≤1. This work is an extension of the result of Wu and Zhang in 2013.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Rolly G. Fuentes
Tacloban College
UP Visayas

Scopadulciol, Isolated from Scoparia dulcis, Induces β-Catenin Degradation and Overcomes Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis Ligand Resistance in AGS Human Gastric Adenocarcinoma Cells. Journal of Natural Products, 78 (4): 864-872, 2015.

Catchy title of research: Scopadulciol degrades β-catenin and overcomes TRAIL-resistance in AGS cancer cells

Scopadulciol (1) was isolated from Scoparia dulcis. The study demonstrated that 1 inhibited the Wnt signal by inducing the p53- and proteasome-dependent degradation of β-catenin fuentesin AGS cells. Thisactionmayprobablyexplainits cytotoxicity against AGS human gastric adenocarcinoma cells. AGS cells are resistant to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis. Compound 1 sensitized AGS cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by increasing the levels of the death receptors, DR4 and DR5, and decreasing the level of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2.

Link to the article: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/np500933v
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 3.798

Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

The Politics of “Educating” the Philippine Technocratic Elite. Philippine Political Science Journal, 36 (2): 127-146, 2015.

The literature on technocracy generally highlights the importance of its educational background and the consequent technical expertise it has acquired to serve an expanding and industrializing society. This has enabled it to obtain crucial positions in government and more importantly, it has thrust technocracy into a power bloc of its own in its respective societies. In the Philippine experience, this is also true but only to a certain extent. This article, which uses the Marxist political economy framework, will show that what is more significant is not its educational background per se but the manner in which this has been shaped by the United States (U.S.) in collusion with the country’s politico-economic elites. In particular, its educational expertise was nurtured within the context of U.S. geo-political and economic interests in the region during the Cold War period. Technical expertise was viewed to bring forth a development that would be a bulwark against any form of insurgencies. Thus, technocracy’s educational training would be used for the perpetuation of a capitalist ideology that would liberalize the economy, favor foreign investors and be biased for an export-oriented industrialization policy. This would be in tune with a faction of the country’s elite who were expanding and would service or enter into joint ventures with U.S. multinational corporations. .More importantly, it will ultimately serve the interests of the state which shared this same development perspective. 

Link to the article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01154451.2015.1084748
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

Technocracy and the Politics of Economic Decision Making during the Pre–Martial Law Period (1965–1972). Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, 63 (4): 541-573, December 2015.

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Charisse T. Reyes, Rubielita F. Gata-Parco and Evelyn B. Rodriguez*
Faculty of Education
UP Open University
Institute of Chemistry*
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

A Cognitive Apprenticeship Approach to Teaching Organic Chemistry Online: Challenges and Opportunities” in Studies and Practices for Advancement in Open and Distance Education. Kam Cheong Li and Kin Sun Yuen (editors). Kowloon, Hong Kong: Open University of Hong Kong Press, 2015.

Melinda dP. Bandalaria
Faculty of Information and Communication Studies
UP Open University

MODeling: Reinventing MOOC Through A Learner-centered Approach” in Studies and Practices for Advancement in Open and Distance Education. Kam Cheong Li and Kin Sun Yuen (editors). Kowloon, Hong Kong: Open University of Hong Kong Press2015.

Farisal U. Bagsit and Caridad N. Jimenez
Institute of Fisheries and Development Studies
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
UP Visayas

Aquatic Resource Management Practices and Conservation Measures of the Batangan Tau-Buid Mangyan in the Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park (MIBNP), Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. AACL Bioflux, 8 (3): 282-291, 2015.

This study highlights the aquatic resource management practices, conservation measures and the fishing practices of the Batangan Tau-Buid in theMts. Iglit-Baco National Park (MIBNP), which is popularly known as the home of the Tamaraw.  The IPs activities are generally influenced by the annual season: tag-araw (dry season) and tag-ulan (rainy season).  Fishing activities are done during the dry season when the water levels of the rivers are low, thus providing supplement to their daily diet. When the rainy season starts, the IPs shift to planting and hunting animals.  They strictly follow this ‘activity-season’ practice since during rainy season, even if some members of the tribe step on a fish, they will not collect it. They believe that if they catch fish or any aquatic organism during a period not intended for fishing, they will not be able to catch fishes in the future as these fishes are intended for the future. Similarly, during rainy season, setting of traps for catching wild animals (e.g. deer, wild pig, etc.) is not allowed.  Other fishing methods include Atas, where the river flow is diverted to one side and surrounded by mud and rocks to trap the fishes; the use of rootcrops, like Nami and Anapla, that are pounded and used to stun the fishes in the river; fish nets, traps and other simple gears. Whatever the amount of fish caught, this is shared among the members of a pamayanan, a community of about 15 households with 2-3 families per household. The Batangan Tau-Buid tribe want to maintain their cultural identity and practices but are faced with numerous challenges. Thus, the MIBNP management needs to forge better and stronger ties with the Batangan Tau-Buid tribe.

Link to the article:
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Arthur L. Fajardo and Delfin C. Suministrado
Institute of Agricultural Engineering
College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology
UP Los Baños

Puddling Characteristics of a Single Tilling Wheel of Float-assisted Tillers at Different Blade Shapes and Wheel Slips. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 98 (4): 438-445, December 2015.

Catchy title of research: Blade shape and wheel slip effects on the performance of float-assisted tillers

The float-assisted tiller is equipment being used for land preparation under lowland condition. It has a front-mounted cage wheel (tilling wheel) and a float at the rear on which the engine is mounted. The cage wheel-like configuration of the tilling wheel produces traction and aids in floatation for the tiller.  The fast rotation of a spiked tilling wheel produces similar soil cutting effects as those of other lowland preparation equipment such as rotary tiller. As of this writing, only a few studies have been carried out on the blade parameters of the tilling wheel of a float-assisted tiller. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of blade shape (triangular, rectangular, and no blades) and wheel slip on the performance of the tilling wheel. Wheel slip is a reduction in distance travelled and/or speed that occurs in a rubber tire and tilling wheel. Wheel slip is necessary under lowland preparation to promote puddling. The experiments were conducted in a laboratory soil bin containing Maahas clay using a single tilling wheel. Different sensors were used to measure forces. The highest performance index was obtained with triangular blades at 0.94 wheel slip.  Performance index is affected by the blade shape, wheel slip, and number of pass.  On the other hand, tractive efficiency is not affected by the number of pass. Poor performance was observed with rectangular blades especially at 0.97 wheel slip. The best blade shape for float-assisted tiller would be triangular blades because of high performance index and tractive efficiency. It is recommended to use the triangular blade for the tilling wheel and should be operated at lower wheel slip (0.94 and 0.91).

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

Andrew D. Montecillo, Noel G. Sabino, Alejandro Fajardo Jr., Cleofas R. Cervancia, Kristel Mae D. Perdigon and Nacita B. Lantican
Institute of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Screening of Lactic Acid Bacteria from Apis mellifera L. and Trigona spp. Against Paenibacillus larvae (White) Causing American Foul Brood Disease of Honeybees. Philippine Entomologist, 28 (1): 32-42, April 2014.

American Foul Brood (AFB) disease of honeybees is a major threat to bee populations. Infected colonies fail to recover and the disease is likely to transfer to other bee colonies. Indigenous bees should be protected from diseases in order to conserve them. In the same manner, commercial apiaries should also be spared from the disease in order for the bee industry to take off. In the past, antibiotics were commonly used to control AFB, but with the problems of residues in hive products and predicted development of resistance against the drugs, biological control using probiotics makes sense. In this study, lactic acid bacteria were isolated from honeybees and stingless bees and screened for inhibitory activity against the causal pathogen of AFB, the Paenibacillus larvae. Out of 28 isolates, nine showed inhibitory effect on the pathogen, while two exhibited good antagonistic property. Subsequent studies on the production of promising isolates against AFB pathogens should be conducted.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Ourlad Alzues G. Tantengco and Sonia D. Jacinto
Institute of Biology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Cytotoxic Activity of Crude Extracts and Fractions from Premna odorata (Blanco), Artocarpus camansi (Blanco) and Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Against Selected Human Cancer Cell Lines. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 5 (12): 1037–1041, December 2015.

Catchy title of research: Crude extracts of common endemic plants of the Philippines selectively kill human cancer cells.

This paper demonstrates the activity of common endemic plant extracts especially Premna odorata grown in backyards of Bataan households.  The extracts were demonstrated to kill human colon, breast and lung cancer cell lines. Using a non-cancer hamster cell line, it was observed that some of the extracts selectively kill cancer cells especially seen on the breast cell line. The cancer cells used for testing are cell lines which were donated by cancer patients, submitted to and characterized by internationally recognized cell banks, and were subsequently maintained and grown in laboratories worldwide for experimental purposes. In previous studies, activity shown by cell lines has similarity to activity of cells within the human body. The results point to the possibility of the said plant extracts to also kill other cancer cells making it promising for development of drug against cancer.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115002233
Impact Factor: Not yet available

Allan Abraham B. Padama
Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Quantum States of Hydrogen Atom on Pd(110) Surface. Applied Surface Science, 359: 687–691, 30 December 2015.

Catchy Title of Research: Quantum mechanics of hydrogen atom diffusion on metal surface: The case of H/D–Pd(110) system

The behavior of hydrogen atom on metal surfaces has been widely studied due to the significance of hydrogen as energy carrier. A complete description of this behavior, however, should include the investigation of the quantum properties of hydrogen on metals due to its very light mass. In this work, the quantum states of hydrogen atom diffusing on the surface of Pd(110) is investigated. At the ground state, both protium (H) and deuterium (D) will most likely to stay on three-fold sites. At higher excited states, quantum effect is observed to be more prominent for H than D. This finding is attributed to the difference in their masses with D being the heavier atom. The origin of the vibration of the adsorbed atoms is also clarified based from the calculated wave functions. Experimental works have found that delocalized states of hydrogen exist on the surface. In this computational work, it is observed that these delocalized states are present but at the ground state, localization of hydrogen is preferable. The delocalization at higher excited states signifies the diffusion of the hydrogen atom on the surface. While quantum effect is prominent for H, results show that diffusion barriers for H and D are comparable. Lastly, incorporating quantum effects gives better accuracy with experimental data, in comparison to findings from classical investigations.

Link to the articlehttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169433215025672
Impact Factor: (2014/2015) 2.711

Leah E. Endonela, Maribel L. Dionisio-Sese, Nestor C. Altoveros* and Teresita H. Borromeo*
Institute of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Crop Science Cluster*
College of Agriculture
UP Los Baños

Phenotypic Diversity and Taxonomic Relationship of Rhizophora Species Based on Morphological Markers. Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences, 7 (3): 236-243, 2015.

Catchy title of research: Mangroves Are Not All the Same

Mangroves may all seem to look alike but they are not. This is more so among mangroves in the Philippines that reportedly include 80% to 85% of all mangrove species recorded worldwide. Our country is one of the richest in the world in terms of mangrove genetic resources. The biodiversity of seemingly homogenous mangrove stands was shown In a study of a representative two-hectare area of primary growth mangrove forest in Pagapas Bay, Calatagan, Batangas. The homogenous-looking stands of Pagapas Bay mangroves were found to be composed of four distinct species: (1) Rhizophora apiculata; (2) Rhizophora mucronata; (3) Rhizophora stylosa; and, (4) the natural hybrid Rhizophora x lamarckii. The mangrove population dynamics in Pagapas Bay has been preserved through assisted natural regeneration and conservation approaches, The study was undertaken by a team of researchers from the University of the Philippines Los Baños composed of Leah E. Endonela, Maribel L. Dionisio-Sese, Nestor C. Altoveros and Teresita H. Borromeo. They used 40 morphometric parameters and also distinguished the species at field condition by leaf, floral and hypocotyl attributes. The unmistakable identification of distinct mangrove species in homogenous-looking mangrove stands is important in establishing mangrove identity and biodiversity. This is more so, in the face of large-scale destruction and degradation of our mangrove forests. Much of our original mangrove genetic pool has been lost due to such activities. The indiscriminate harvesting of mangrove and the planting of only selected species have resulted to the dilution and mix-up of our mangrove genetic resources.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available