IPA Recipients for October 2018

Janus Ong
Department of Medicine
College of Medicine
UP Manila

SIRveNIB: Selective Internal Radiation Therapy Versus Sorafenib in Asia-Pacific Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36 (19): 1913-1921, July 1 2018.

The treatment options for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma have been very limited. These patients include those with large or multiple tumors, those whose tumors have involved a major blood vessel, or those with tumors outside of the liver. Majority of these patients have been treated with an oral medication called Sorafenib. Sorafenib has been shown to be effective in prolonging life in these patients but it can be expensive and in some patients, can be associated with side effects. In this study, selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT), a form of treatment that involves the placement of beads that emit radiation into the tumors through a catheter that is inserted through a large artery in the groin (the femoral artery), was found to lead to similar survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma when compared with Sorefenib. Patients who were treated with SIRT did have better tumor response compared to Sorafenib. Side effects appeared to affect those who were treated with Sorafenib more commonly compared to those who were treated with SIRT. SIRT may be offered as a treatment option for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Link to the article: http://ascopubs.org/doi/10.1200/JCO.2017.76.0892
Impact Factor: 2017/2018 26.303


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

Comparative Study of In-Situ Catalytic Pyrolysis of Rice Husk for Syngas Production: Kinetics Modelling and Product Gas Analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 197 (1): 1231-1243, 1 October 2018.

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of pyrolysis process.

Fig. 6. Gas concentration analysis when using different catalysts in pyrolysis process.

Pyrolysis of rice husk (RH) in the presence of three different types of catalysts (nickel, natural zeolite, and coal bottom ash) was investigated for syngas production by TGA-MS. Process parameters such as catalyst to RH ratio, heating rates and temperature was used factors in this study Furthermore, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Brunaur-Emmett-Teller (BET), field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were employed to understand the physiochemical properties and activities of the catalysts before and after pyrolysis. Different types of first order kinetic models viz., Coats-Redfern equation, Friedman, Flynn-Wall-Ozawa (FWO) and Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose (KAS) were used to determine the activation energy (EA). The kinetic analysis revealed that the EA was reduced when catalysts were introduced into the RH pyrolysis process. The lowest EA was attained in catalytic pyrolysis using natural zeolite (51.35- 157.4 kJ/mol), followed by coal bottom ash (53.56-161.4 kJ/mol) and nickel (56.51-162.9 kJ/mol). The data and models could potentially be used in the commercial production of syngas from rice husks.

Link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652618319048
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 5.651


Gideon Lasco
Department of Anthropology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

Kalaban: Young Drug Users’ Engagements with Law Enforcement in the Philippines. International Journal of Drug Policy, 52: 39-44, February 2018.

This paper explore the views and experiences of young drug users with law enforcers. The author ‘hung out’ with marginalized young men throughout a 12-month period from 2011 to 2013. He also conducted interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with them.
The study reveals that the young people make use of various ‘tactics’ to keep using drugs and evade law enforcement. Their peer group (‘barkada’) was central to these tactics, functioning not just a social group but a security brigade. At the same time, drug use itself is a ‘tactic’ in their everyday lives, giving them strength and energy in their various activities.
The young men see police officers – whom they call kalaban (enemy) – as hypocritical and unjust. They feel they are being unfairly targeted, but in their view, this danger is just part of the perils of their everyday lives. If the government is to truly reach out to young people, the challenge is to reframe the relationship between police and young drug users from hostility to trust.

Link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395917303353
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 4.244


Maria Luisa G. Valera
Department of Economics
College of Economics and Management
UP Los Baños

Recent Forest Fires and The Effect of Indonesian Haze in the Philippines” in Pollution Across Borders Transboundary Fire, Smoke and Haze in Southeast Asia. Euston Quah and Tsiat Siong Tan (editors). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2018.


Melvin Matias
Institute of Biology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Revisiting the “Centre Hypotheses” of the Indo‐West Pacific: Idiosyncratic Genetic Diversity of Nine Reef Species Offers Weak Support for the Coral Triangle as a Centre of Genetic Biodiversity. Journal of Biogeography, 45, (8): 1806-1817, August 2018.

Photo 1. Map of the Indo-West Pacific (a) and concept models for the “Centre” hypotheses: (b) Centre of Origin, (c) Centre of Overlap, and (d) Centre of Survival. In the map (a), the Coral Triangle (CT) is the red shaded region. The dashed-line corresponds to the Indo-Pacific Barrier (IPB) during low sea level stands. The region west of the IPB and outside the CT is defined as the Indian Ocean (purple), and the region east of the IPB outside the CT is defined as the Pacific Ocean (orange). For the concept models, the colour of the branches indicates the region (population) and shows where the particular population diverged from. The size of the circles on top of the branches depicts the predicted relative genetic diversity; the arrows and their sizes show the direction and relative magnitude of the predicted gene flow under each hypothesis. For the (d) Centre of Survival, the thickening of branches indicates population expansion. (Figure 1 from Matias and Riginos 2018 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13376)

Photo 2. Measures of genetic diversity: (a) Effective number of haplotypes (Dhap) and (b) Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) for each species in each region. The circles represent the mean (dark shade) and standard deviation (light shade) of genetic diversity (Dhap and PD) in each region (x-axis) for each species (y-axis). Both the mean and standard deviation depicted in the figure are standardised within each species by the highest observed genetic diversity for the species. The colour of the circle corresponds to the region colour in Fig. 1. On the left side of each plot is the average genetic diversity for each species and between the two plots are the sketches of the different study species.

While the Coral Triangle (CT) is widely known as the “center of marine biodiversity, with the Philippines dubbed as “center of fish biodiversity”, the cause for its extreme marine biodiversity still remains a question. Although many classical hypotheses explaining the rich biodiversity of the CT have been proposed and tested, examination of these hypotheses using variation observed within species, intraspecific genetic diversity, is still lacking, which leads to knowledge gaps in conservation planning. However, because the CT is only a part of the broader Indo-West Pacific (IWP) region, generation of genetic data that encompass the whole region adds to the difficulty in addressing these gaps. In this work, we leveraged existing genetic data of nine marine reef species and augmented them with new data from the Philippines to answer the following questions: 1) Does the CT exhibit higher intraspecific genetic diversity similar to species diversity? 2) Is the CT the source or sink of intraspecific genetic diversity? 3) Is the CT marine biodiversity heavily impacted by the past repeated lowering of sea level, which alludes to its role as a refuge? Our results show very variable patterns of intraspecific genetic diversity across our nine-study species, giving no consistent support for the CT as (1) a center of intraspecific genetic diversity in the IWP, (2) a source of genetic diversity, and (3) the only major refugia. Overall, the variable intraspecific genetic diversity patterns from our results highlight the challenges and caution in using single species genetic data in informing conservation planning.

Link to the article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jbi.13376
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 4.154


Karen P. Ardez*, Rita P. Laude*** and Barbara L. Caoili**
National Crop Protection Center*
Institute of Weed Sciences**
College of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Institute of Biological Sciences***
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Genotyping the Susceptibility of Philippine Geographic Populations of the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella Linn. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), to Flubendiamide. Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 101 (2): 128-135, June 2018.

Probit lines for flubendiamide efficacy on Plutella xylostella populations from (A) Buguias, Benguet; (B) Majayjay, Laguna; (C) Calauan, Laguna; (D) Sudlon, Cebu and (E) HS (sensitive strain).

To address the need for efficient insecticide resistance monitoring and formulation of effective insecticide resistance management (IRM) strategy against flubendiamide use on diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella, different DBM Philippine populations were genotyped thru pyrosequencing technology. Flubendiamide targets the ryanodine receptors (RyR) of the insect flight muscle. Five years after its extensive use, resistance was reported in DBM from Sudlon, Cebu, which is due to an irreversible RYR mutation at G4946E. DBM populations from Sudlon, Cebu and other crucifer-growing areas, where evaluated for the presence of this mutation. Our results showed the continuing presence of high-levels of flubendiamide resistance in the DBM Sudlon strain (LC50=270.6 ppm). DBM from Majayjay, Laguna (LC50=218.195 ppm), Calauan, Laguna (LC50=200.3 ppm), and Buguias, Benguet (LC50=135.02 ppm) were also found flubendiamide-resistant. Genotyping results revealed the RyR target-site mutation G4946E in these resistant populations at different levels. Calauan and Cebu strains were 100% homozygous for the resistance allele, Majayjay strain is 90% and 10% homozygous and heterozygous for the resistance allele, respectively, while Buguias strain exhibited 33% homozygosity, 44% heterozygosity for the resistance allele and 22% homozygosity for the susceptible allele. Our data suggest the presence of stable flubendiamide resistance allele for RyR mutation G4946E among DBM populations in a wide geographical range in the Philippines. This calls for the formulation of an efficient IRM program, constant susceptibility monitoring in areas with vast cabbage production and heavy pesticide use, and corrective actions on the farmers’ practices that contribute the increased selection pressure

from insecticide.

Link to the article: https://pas.cafs.uplb.edu.ph/issue.php?id=55
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 0.298


Mark S. Calabon*, Resurreccion B. Sabada** and Wilfredo L. Campos**
Division of Biological Sciences**
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Visayas

Fungal Diversity of Mangrove-Associated Sponges from New Washington, Aklan, Philippines. Mycology, doi.org/10.1080/21501203.2018.1518934, 2018.

Link to the article: 
Impact Factor: Not yet available


Barbara L. Caoili, Romnick A. Latina and Regina Faye C. Sandoval
Institute of Weed Sciences
College of Agriculture and Food Sciences
UP Los Baños

Molecular Identification of Entomopathogenic Nematode Isolates from the Philippines and their Biological Control Potential Against Lepidopteran Pests of Corn. Journal of Nematology, 50 (2): 12 pages, September 2018.

The Philippine map showing the sampling sites for entomopathogenic nematodes. The occurrence and distribution of Heterorhabditis indica (Δ), Steinernema abbasi (■), Steinernema minutum (●), and Steinernema tami (▢). Collection sites where no entomopathogenic nematodes (x) was isolated were also indicated. The figure was created using “maps” (Minka and Deckmyn, 2017) and “GIS tools” (Brunsdon and Chen, 2014) libraries in R software.

In search for local entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) species as a biological control agent of lepidopterous insect pests of corn, a survey for EPN in the major islands in the Philippines was conducted. Seven EPN populations were isolated using Ostrinia furnacalis, the key target insect pest of corn in the country, as bait. Analysis of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 ribosomal DNA sequence revealed the presence of Steinernema abbasi, S. minutum, S. tami, and Heterorhabditis indica. All the EPN isolates were pathogenic to O. furnacalis, Spodoptera litura, and Helicoverpa armigera larvae with, H. indica PBCB and S. abbasi MBLB exhibiting the highest virulence (88% to 99.33% and 90% to 100% mortality, respectively) at 48 hours post infection (HPI). Further studies two EPN showed that the highest penetration rate at 48 HPI was observed in H. armigera infected with S. abbasi MBLB (28.15%), while the lowest was in O. furnacalis infected with H. indica PBCB (14.25%). Based on LC50 at 48 HPI, H. indica PBCB was most virulent to S. litura (8.89 IJ/larva), but not significantly different from O. furnacalis (10.52 IJ/larva). Steinernema abbasi MBLB was most virulent to O. furnacalis (10.98 IJ/ larva), but not significantly different to S. litura (17.08 IJ/ larva). Our results suggest that H. indica PBCB and S. abbasi MBLB are biocontrol agent candidates against these corn insect pests. Moreover, O. furnacalis as alternative bait for EPN was discussed. To date, this is the most extensive research on Philippine EPN, comprised of wide sampling coverage, molecular identification and bioefficacy assays.

Link to the article: https://www.exeley.com/journal_of_nematology/doi/10.21307/jofnem-2018-024
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 1.200


Melvin R. Pacquiao and Mark Daniel G. de Luna
Department of Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Highly Fluorescent Carbon Dots from Enokitake Mushroom as Multi-Faceted Optical Nanomaterials for Cr6+ and VOC Detection and Imaging Applications. Applied Surface Science, 453: 192-203, 30 September 2018.

Schematic representation for the synthesis of carbon dots and their application.

Schematic diagram of optical electronic nose system.

Carbon dots are optically unique materials for sensing applications that can be prepared from various raw natural materials. In this work, highly fluorescent carbon dots were synthesized from enokitake mushroom via a one-step hydrothermal method in the presence of diluted sulfuric acid. The spherical carbon dots, with an average diameter of 4 nm, exhibited blue photoluminescence under UV illumination and a quantum yield of 11%, increasing to 39% upon passivation with tetraethylenepentamine. We employed both photoluminescence and light absorption properties of carbon dots for Cr6+ and volatile organic compound (VOC) sensing. Their fluorescence emission was selectively quenched by Cr6+ with a limit of detection of 0.73 mM. A fluorescent colorimetric paper-based device was fabricated and demonstrated to determine Cr6+ at concentrations as low as 10 mM. The carbon dots were also shown to have sensitivity and selectivity towards VOCs when integrated into an optical electronic nose. They were then used successfully to determine alcohol contents in aqueous solutions and ethanol concentration in a real spirit sample. They were further tested as a fingerprint detection agent and fluorophore for the manufacture of fluorescent plastics. Our results demonstrated that enokitake mushroom can be used to produce multi-faceted carbon dots with
diverse applications.

Link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169433218311723
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 4.439


Pierce S. Docena
Division of Social Sciences

Tacloban College
UP Visayas

Evaluation of a Resilience Intervention for Filipino Displaced Survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 27 (3): 346-359, 2018.

This study evaluated the effect of Katatagan, a community-based resilience intervention for Filipino displaced survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan. We used a quasi-experimental and mixed-method design comparing two groups (those who participated in the Katatagan program vs. those who did not) across three time periods: before, immediately after, and six months after the intervention. Results showed significant improvements in survivors’ anxiety scores and resilience scores compared to those who did not undergo the program. However, although there was an increase in adaptive coping of participants immediately after the program, there was a reduction in adaptive coping behaviors for both groups six months after the program. Focus group discussions revealed this might be due to significant environmental challenges among displaced survivors. Apart from highlighting the positive effects of culturally adapted group interventions, our study suggests the importance of a systemic approach to enabling the recovery of displaced survivors in developing countries.

Link to the article: https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/DPM-01-2018-0001
Impact Factor: (2017/2018) 1.060