RESEARCH AND CREATIVE WORK

Social learning and not genetic inheritance explains sperm whale groupings

A team of biologists and physicists from universities in Canada, the United States and the Philippines revealed that it is biased social learning and not genetic inheritance or pure social learning that accounts for the groupings of sperm whales.  Their discovery, published recently in the high impact international journal Nature Communications, drew the attention of over 30 news outlets including Time, Washington Post, Newsweek, Nat Geo, Discovery, Smithsonian, BBC News, CBC News, NBC News, Nature, and Science. UP’s own Dr. Reniel Cabral of the National Institute of Physics is part of the team. “I am proud that a Philippine institution is included in a paper published in one […]

In a rural community in Mindoro, ecological problems not only result in poverty but are also triggered by it

“Poverty is both a driver and a result of complex ecological problems.” This was the conclusion derived by Dr. Adrian Wagner of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, Dr. David T. Yap of the School of Urban and Regional Planning of UP Diliman and Dr. Helen T. Yap of The Marine Institute of UP Diliman from examining interrelated socio-ecological variables in the coastal barangay of Udalo in Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro. In the recently published article “Drivers and consequences of land use patterns in a developing country rural community,” the three researchers noted the “gradient of political and economic power […]

UP researchers uncover the roots of the water sector’s sorry state

(This article originally appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on August 12 with the title “Who really owns water? Managing PH water supply better.”) DAYS BEFORE his final State of the Nation Address (Sona), President Aquino revealed something about water governance that should have given Filipinos pause. “The water sector was so complicated when I assumed office. I discovered that no less than 30 agencies take part in regulating the water sector,” Mr. Aquino recounted saying this when he visited Angat Dam in Bulacan on July 22. “What made that situation worse was these institutions acted independently, their respective plans were Made […]

New engineering lab created through Balik PhD grant

New engineering lab created through Balik PhD grant

Within two years, a team of researchers from the UP Diliman College of Engineering was able to build a working research laboratory and produce from it six ISI-listed journal articles and 12 papers for local and international conferences. Within this period, too, nine BS students and four MS students—all of whom were able to graduate this June— benefited from the laboratory for their theses. The success story is one that can make any lead researcher proud. Such is the case of Dr. Rinlee Butch Cervera, head of the project Fabrication and testing of an advanced nanoceramics synthetic apparatus for energy storage and alternative […]

Maiden run of IP clinic eyes collaboration between scientists and technology transfer officers

To accelerate invention disclosure activities and strengthen technology transfer strategies, the UP System Technology Transfer and Business Development Office (TTBDO) conducted a pilot run of the intellectual property (IP) clinic on 15 July 2015 at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in UP Diliman. The clinic served as a venue for researchers and inventors to seek advice from experts on issues related to IP and technology transfer, as well as help in the course of the invention disclosure and patenting process. In turn, the inputs and concerns shared by the researchers are expected to help the TTOs in designing recommendations […]

UP Diliman geologists bring fossil conference to the Philippines

UP Diliman geologists bring fossil conference to the Philippines

Calcareous nannoplankton or nannofossils are part of a group of single-celled plant-like organisms called phytoplankton, which are used to determine the ages of rocks useful in oil and gas exploration, the geologic history of oceans, and in climate change research. Because these planktonic organisms subsist in tropical marine environments, what better way for fossil experts to update themselves on developments in the field than to hold a conference in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world? From 7 to 16 March 2015, seventy-nine scientists from 23 countries gathered at South Palms Resort in the powdery shores of Panglao, Bohol for the 15th Conference of […]

Nine USAID STRIDE awards for education and collaborative research go to UP

Nine USAID STRIDE awards for education and collaborative research go to UP

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) Program handed out 30 awards to 18 universities from the Philippines during the grants reception on 18 June 2015 at the Makati Diamond Residences. Three out of the 16 Professional Science Master’s scholarships were given to students of the University of the Philippines (UP). Christi Florence Calina of (UP Visayas), Givette Kristine Esguerra (UP Diliman) and Julieanne Camille Lacsina (UP Los Baños) will be attending higher studies at Rutgers State University of New Jersey from August 2015 to May 2017. For one […]

For the first time, physicists are using a statistical approach to process complex light patterns

For the first time, physicists are using a statistical approach to process complex light patterns

Everybody uses digital cameras to take a picture of a particular subject or, once in a while, to take a selfie. When we take pictures, we are measuring the intensity of light from the surface of our subject.  There is, however, another property called the phase or wavefront of light which is much more sensitive to the state of the subject we are imaging. Modern technologies are ubiquitous, for example, in the opto-electronic and biomedical research fields. Modern instrumentation systems require faster and more precise evaluation tools. Optical evaluation methods, particularly those that are wavefront-based are in great demand. Developing […]

Philippine folklore takes center stage in UP rendition of Rusalka, a lyric fairy tale opera

Is love ever possible between two completely different beings? In the case of Rusalka, it is possible but not without a tragic ending. Rusalka is a Czeck opera by Antonin Dvořák with libretto by poet Jaroslav Kvapil. This sad, modern fairy tale that has elements of Denmark’s The Little Mermaid and Germany’s Undine was first performed in Prague in 1901. Kvapil wrote the libretto even before he met Dvořák. The composer, upon reading Kvapil’s text, quickly set to work on his opera which he finished in seven months. The universal theme of love, pain and sacrifice has made Rusalka a worldwide favorite in […]

EIDR program on water governance engages stakeholders in multi-sectoral discussions in Luzon and the Visayas

A water resource management plan was successfully outlined at the Training Workshop on Water Management held last 10-22 March 2015 at the University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños. The 12-day workshop involved twenty participants from the local government units of six municipalities in Laguna, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Laguna Lake Development Authority, and LIMAS Marina. But the initiative that resulted in the draft management plan is only among the major offshoots of the program Towards Good Water Governance for Development: A Multi-Case Analysis, which previously led to three similar multi-sector discussions. In […]