IPA Recipients for March 2017

Betchaida D. Payot
National Institute of Geological Sciences
College of Science
UP Diliman

Aqueous Fluids and Sedimentary Melts as Agents for Mantle Wedge Metasomatism, as Inferred from Peridotite Xenoliths at Pinatubo and Iraya Volcanoes, Luzon Arc, Philippines. Lithos, 262: 355–368, 1 October 2016.

Tectonic features of the Luzon arc. Open triangles show active volcanoes. Shaded five segments are defined along the arc; 1. Taiwan, 2. Babuyan, 3. northern Luzon, 4. Bataan, and 5. Mindoro (Defant et al., 1989). The Pinatubo and Iraya volcanoes are located in the Bataan and Babuyan segments, respectively. Peridotite xenoliths have been reported from both localities (Kawamoto et al., 2013 and Vidal et al., 1989). The extinct mid-ocean ridge (MOR) of the South China Sea Plate subducts below Luzon (Yang et al., 1996).

Figure 2. Photomicrographs of the coarse grained (C-type; P-3, a, b, and f) and fine grained (F-type; P-1, c, d, and e) harzburgites. Note fine-grained orthopyroxene, amphibole, and phlogopite transformed from primary orthopyroxene and olivine (d), and a fine-grained secondary orthopyroxene veinlet cutting a primary olivine (e). Rectangles in (a) and (d) indicate the areas shown in (f) and (e), respectively. Plane-polarized light (a, c, and f) and crossed-polarized light (e, d, and e). Ol, olivine; Opx, orthopyroxene; Sp, spinel; Amp, amphibole; Phl, phlogopite.

Figure 3. Model of the subducted slab beneath the northern Luzon arc as proposed by Bautista et al. (2001). Schematic positions of the Iraya and Pinatubo volcanoes are also indicated. The present petrological and geochemical features suggest that there are two metasomatic agents from the downgoing oceanic crust: aqueous fluids beneath the
Pinatubo volcano, and aqueous fluids and hydrous silicate melts or supercritical fluids beneath the Iraya volcano.

This study explores the petrologic and geochemical signatures for subsurface processes recorded in the mantle xenoliths from Mt. Pinatubo and Mt. Iraya. Variations in the petrological and geochemical signatures of the xenoliths from Mt. Pinatubo and Mt. Iraya were observed. These indicate that there are two agents involved during metasomatism: aqueous fluids beneath the Mt. Pinatubo, and aqueous fluids and hydrous silicate melts or supercritical fluids beneath Mt. Iraya. The Mt. Iraya xenoliths were largely affected by the sediment-derived melts and fluids derived from the subduction of a buoyant plateau beneath northern Luzon. In contrast, the xenoliths of Mt. Pinatubo which are located further south at 15°N were not affected by such process.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024493716301621
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 3.723


Remil L. Galay
Department of Veterinary Paraclinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
UP Los Baños

Characterization and Antiviral Activity of a Newly Identified Defensin-Like Peptide, HEdefensin, in the Hard Tick Haemaphysalis longicornis. Developmental & Comparative Immunology, 68: 98–107, March 2017.

Catchy title of research: A newly identified immune peptide with antiviral activity from the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis

Ticks are equipped with immune proteins that have antimicrobial properties that protect them from various pathogens. Here, a gene encoding defensin peptide, named HEdefensin, was identified from the hemolymph of the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis. Gene expression analysis through PCR showed that HEdefensin was upregulated during blood feeding. Interestingly, the recombinant HEdefensin showed virucidal activity in vitro against Langat virus, a virus related to the causative agent of Tick-borne Encephalitis.  The result of this study suggested a potential therapeutic agent against tick-borne encephalitis viruses, particularly flaviviruses.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145305X16304220
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 3.620


Eric A. Galapon
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

The Problem of Missing Terms in Term by Term Integration Involving Divergent Integrals. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 473 (2197), 20160567, 18 pages, 1 January 2017. 

Catchy title of research: Integrating convergent integrals with divergent integrals

The operations of integration and summation cannot be interchanged arbitrarily. Some uniformity conditions must be satisfied in order for the interchange to be performed. If the conditions are not satisfied and the interchange is nevertheless carried out, some outrageous things happen. For example, the interchange may lead to an infinite series of divergent integrals; that is, one ends up with summing infinity infinitely many times. And how do we make sense of such result? In the paper, I tackle the problem of making sense of the interchange when the necessary uniformity conditions are not met for the specific case of the Steiltjes transform. Overall the treatment leads to a theory of integration using divergent integrals.

Link to the article: http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/473/2197/20160567
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 1.935


Mary Donnabelle L. Balela and Christian Mark O. Pelicano
Department of Mining Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

In Situ Mixed Potential Study of the Growth of Zinc Oxide Hierarchical Nanostructures by Wet Oxidation of Zinc Foil. Journal of Materials Science, 52 (4): 2319–2328, February 2017.

Catchy title of research: Nano-engineered Zinc Oxide Hierarchical Nanostructures Using Boiling Water

Figure 1
SEM images of the ZnO nanostructures formed at the surface of etched Zn foils after oxidation in water at 90° C for a 0.5, b 1, c 2, d 4, e 8, and f 12 h.

A simple method of growing various zinc oxide nanostructures on surface of zinc foil is proposed using boiling water.  The size and shape of the resulting zinc oxide structures can be nanoengineered by increasing the immersion time in boiling water.  Using this approach, large scale production of zinc oxide nanostructures can be made cheaply and efficiently.

Link to the article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10853-016-0524-1
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 2.302


Stephen Jun V. Villejo, Erniel B. Barrios and Joseph Ryan G. Lansangan
School of Statistics
UP Diliman

Robust Estimation of a Dynamic Spatio-Temporal Model with Structural Change. Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, 87 (3): 505-518, 2017.

Link to the article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00949655.2016.1217536
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 0.749


Jerome C. Taguba, Hannah Rillera-Bardolaza and Roland V. Sarmago
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Effect of PbO2 on the Formation of YBCO Films Fabricated Via Sedimentation Deposition and Partial Melting Technique. Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism, 29 (10): 2515–2518, October 2016.

Catchy title of research: Superconducting YBCO films Produced by a Simple Method of Film Fabrication.

Figure 1 Critical transition of the YBCO films with 8 wt. % PbO2. This film has the height critical transition temperature among the samples prepared by sedimentation deposition.

Figure 2 Distribution of lead in the surface of YBCO film as observed using Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy.

A simple method of film fabrication was used to produce superconducting YBCO films. The method is called sedimentation deposition technique which was developed by the Condensed Matter Physics Laboratory of the National Institute of Physics, UP Diliman and was used first to produce Bismuth based superconductor films. This method allowed the fabrication easier by using a non-vacuum method and only requires mechanical processing. The results of the research show that it is also possible to fabricate YBCO films that are superconducting. The method was also enhanced by using a flux/melt that allows easier matter transport which was observed to improve the surface morphology and superconducting properties of the films. However, the sedimentation method still requires some improvements. If successful, this will revolutionize the way how superconducting films are fabricated.

Link to the article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10948-016-3613-0
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 1.100


Rocel Amor P. Ortega
Department of Biology
College of Science
UP Baguio

The Plant is Crucial: Specifc Composition and Function of the Phyllosphere Microbiome of Indoor Ornamentals. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 92 (12): fiw173, 12 pages, December 2016.

Catchy title of research: The plants have more influence on the population and diversity of bacteria living on its leaf surface than the ambient environment of an indoor space

The microorganisms inhabiting a plant are key determinants of plant health. Less is known about the microorganisms living on the leaf surface of a plant and its driving factors if plants are found living in indoor spaces. To study the changes happening in the population of the microorganisms living on the leaf surface of an indoor plant in relation to the influence of the plant and climate under different controlled conditions, we investigated 14 different plant species grown in the greenhouse of the Botanical Garden in Graz (Austria).
All investigated plants showed specific bacterial abundances of up to 106 CFU cm−2 on their leaves. Bacterial differences were strongly plant species dependent. Statistical analysis showed a significantly higher correlation of community composition to plant genotype in comparison to the ambient climatic variables.
In addition to the structure of microorganisms living on the leaf surface, we studied its antifungal potential towards the leaf pathogen Botrytis cinerea as functional indicator. A high proportion of isolates (up to 58%) were able to inhibit pathogen growth by production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Data of structure and function were linked: frequently isolated VOCs producers (e.g. Bacillus and Stenotrophomonas) were highly present in phyllosphere communities, which were dominated by members of Firmicutes.
This study indicates that plants have a stable bacterial diversity composition regardless of the room climatic condition. Plant species having higher influences on the bacterial community composition of their associated microbes can be beneficial in establishing a healthy indoor environment that is ultimately favourable to human health.

Link to the article: https://academic.oup.com/femsec/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/femsec/fiw173/2570375/The-plant-is-crucial-specific-composition-and
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 3.530


Bryan G. Alamani
Department of Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Engineering Crystal Modifiers: Bridging Classical and Nonclassical Crystallization. Chemistry of Materials, 28 (23): 8453–8465, 13 December 2016.

Catchy title of research: Blueprint in Engineering Crystalline Materials

Design of crystalline materials rely heavily on the approaches that alter crystallization, often, one of the most effective way is by using growth modifiers that alter kinetics and thermodynamics of growth. This perspective offers insight into rethinking the way how modifiers can facilitate the mechanism at which such materials grow. Understanding such processes and their underlying mechanism is helpful in rationally designing new materials with new or improved properties which will have potential applications in energy, environment, health and etc.

Link to the article: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b03550
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 9.407


Carmencita D. Padilla and Eva Maria Cutionco-de la Paz
Institute of Human Genetics
National Institutes of Health
UP Manila

Genetic and Environmental Determinants of Otitis Media in an Indigenous Filipino Population. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 155 (5): 856–862, November 2016. 

Catchy title of research: Factors of high occurrence of otitis media (OM) in a Philippine indigenous island community

Otitis media is the most common ear infection in world, affecting mostly children. In developing countries, this infection and its complications are highly occurring. In fact, indigenous communities of these countries are still at risk even with available vaccines. This paper looked into the factors of high occurrence of otitis media in an indigenous community within the central region of the Philippines. Interestingly, this study was conducted in a highly intermarried community where environmental background is similar among the participants. This allows the study of otitis media according to only few variables. Considered in the study were the community’s clinical history and information on breastfeeding, tobacco smoke exposure, and swimming. The study concluded that genetics and the environment contribute to the high occurrence of otitis media in the sample population. It was also concluded that improved living conditions led to increase rates of healed otitis media within the community.

Link to the article: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0194599816661703
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 2.021


Caryl S. Benjamin, Andalus T. Punongbayan, Dexter W. dela Cruz, Ma. Vanessa B. Baria and Helen T. Yap
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Use of Bayesian Analysis with Individual-Based Modeling to Project Outcomes of Coral Restoration. Restoration Ecology, 25 (1): 112–122, January 2017. 

Catchy title of research: Simulating transplanted coral populations to guide active restoration initiatives

Figure 1: Coral restoration (CORE) model conceptual diagram: processes and scheduling.

Figure 5: Model outcomes after 5 years given different initial transplant densities per species for 10 replicate runs: with anthropogenic disturbance (red), transplantation within a hypothetical protected area (blue). Initial transplant density is the total number of fragments per 16 m2 plot. Box plots indicate median (bar), interquartile range (box), and 95% confidence intervals (whisker). Points have been jittered along the x-axis to resolve replicates.

Coral transplantation is a common approach for initiating recovery in degraded reefs. A transplanted coral colony grows, survives and, if lucky, reproduces. The balance of these processes contributes to the probability that a population or community (if more than 2 species are involved) would persist at a given restoration site. Persistence is a prime consideration due to the relatively high cost of producing each coral fragment – whether taken from natural stocks or reared in a laboratory. This study used the observed performance of Acropora pulchra and A. intermedia transplants in a community-based restoration site (Bolinao, Pangasinan) over an initial 19-month period to develop an individual-based model. Model simulations of 5-year coral cover trajectories showed that the dynamite-blasted, back-reef site could benefit from the intervention. However, environmental conditions seemed to favor A. pulchra more than A. intermedia in both low- and high-density plots (25 and 50 fragments per species per 16m2, respectively). Increasing the initial transplant density (ranging from 10 to 60 fragments per species per 16m2) caused an increase in final total coral cover in the simulations. This association could be modified by protecting the site from pulse anthropogenic disturbances, where benefits from protection were more pronounced at intermediate densities. This study has demonstrated that short-term monitoring data can be modeled to foresee restoration trajectories given actual and hypothetical experimental conditions. The model could assist in determining the suitability of a site, the minimum transplant density, and the species mix that is likely to lead to a persistent coral community.

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/rec.12395/full
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 1.891


Soledad Natalia Dalisay
Department of Anthropology
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

Risk and Culture: The Case of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Disaster Prevention and Management, 25 (5): 701-714, 2016.

Catchy title of research: Understanding culture:  the case of typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines

Typhoon Yolanda is one of the typhoons associated with so much destruction and lives lost in the Philippines.  In spite of repeated warnings from local authorities, people had refused to evacuate to safer grounds.  Such hesitance has been attributed to people’s hardheadedness or ignorance of the risks involved in living in hazard prone areas.  This people who refused to leave their coastal homes and move to evacuation centers had other considerations and priorities that made them decide not to leave their homes.  These involved knowledge about the nature of some hazards like typhoons but not others like storm surges.  Therefore, in the context of their previous experiences with typhoons and disaster evacuation, people had said, “sanay na kami dyan”.  They also valued social relations thereby honoring the decision of an elder regarding evacuation.  Previous experiences in evacuation centers also contributed to their decision making, hence, those with negative experiences had preferred to stay put in their homes. Recommendations included taking into consideration people’s social network in formal DRRM programs as well as sustaining the social memory of Yolanda, particularly, the lessons learned through community rituals and ceremonies.  The construction of a disaster museum cum evacuation center at the local level was also recommended. 

Link to the article: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/DPM-05-2016-0097
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 0.987


Kerby C. Alvarez
Department of History
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

Instrumentation and Institutionalization: Colonial Science and the Observatorio Meteorológico de Manila, 1865–1899. Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, 64 (3-4) 385-416, September-December 2016.

Catchy title of research: Calculating the Sky: A weather institution in the Philippines and its work on natural hazards

The building of the Observatorio Meteorológico de Manila in Ermita, from 1877 to 1945.

The barometer designed by Father Federico Faura, S.J.

In the 19th century, scientific institutions flourished in different territories in the Pacific. With the pioneering work of the Jesuits missionaries, several observatories were established in Africa and Asia; some became popular and well developed that governments absorbed them and became official state agencies.
The return of the Jesuits to the Spanish colonies, and the regeneration of their overseas missions, like in the Philippines and China, arguably, paved the way for waves of enlightenment ideas on science to be felt concretely in the region; sectors such as tertiary education and commercial agriculture became beneficiaries of modern science. Concurring with the need to sustain and enhance economic activities of different states in the Pacific, meteorological observatories were seen as vital in advancing modern and accurate typhoon warning system for merchant vessels, shipping and sea travel in major Asian sea routes and trading coastlines. They became the Pacific watchdogs of several colonial and imperial governments, such as in the Philippines and in China.
The scientific undertakings of the Observatorio Meteorológico de Manila, which as established and supervised by the Jesuit scientists in Manila, brought about major changes on the status and development of meteorology as a science in the Philippines. It was the pioneer institution that undertook modern study of weather, climate and natural hazards through the use of instruments and apparatus they introduced and invented. The presence and development of the observatorio as an institution signaled a new form of public engagement to science.

Link to the article: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/634235
Impact Factor: Not yet available


Jillian Aira S. Gabo-Ratio
National Institute of Geological Sciences
College of Science
UP Diliman

Re–Os and U–Pb Geochronology of the Shazigou Mo Polymetallic Ore Field, Inner Mongolia: Implications for Permian–Triassic Mineralization at the Northern Margin of the North China Craton. Ore Geology Reviews, 83: 287–299, April 2017.

Catchy title of research: Mineralization of the Shazigou polymetallic deposit in Inner Mongolia: When was it formed and what is its role on the regional mineralization?

Regional geology of the northern margin of North China Craton (NCC). (a) Tectonic setting and distribution of Permian-Triassic molybdenum deposits (after Zhou and Wang, 2012); (b) Geological map of the Xilamulun Mo metallogenic belt, illustrating the distribution of deposits from different mineralization episodes and the location of the Shazigou ore field (after Zeng et al., 2012a and Duan et al., 2015).

Mineralization types in the Shazigou ore field. (a) Molybdenite-pyrite-quartz vein in the silicified alteration zone; (b) Pyrite-quartz vein in the mafic host rock, (c) Pb–Zn ore outcrop; (d) Pb–Zn ore in drill core. Mo: molybdenite; Py: pyrite; Gn: galena; Sph: sphalerite.

This study determines the mineralization age as well as the source of the mineralizing fluids responsible for the formation of the recently discovered Shazigou Mo-W-Pb-Zn (molybdenum-tungsten-lead-zinc) polymetallic ore field in the North China Craton. This polymetallic ore field hosts three deposits: the Shazigou Mo-W, Jindouzishan Pb–Zn and Mantougou Pb–Zn. Age dating results reveal that the mineralization took place approximately 245 million years ago and could be linked to the subduction of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. Based on fluid inclusions, mineralizing fluids in the Shazigou Mo-W is magmatic while the Jindouzishan Pb-Zn fluids are related to both metamorphic and meteoric waters. The paper describes the different conditions forming the mineralization in the Shazigou ore field. Results of this study also suggest the potential of an extensive Permian-Triassic mineralization in the vicinity of the ore field and in the North China Craton region.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169136816302840
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 


Arvin I. Mabilangan, Lorenzo P. Lopez Jr., Maria Angela B. Faustino, Joselito E. Muldera, Neil Irvin F. Cabello, Elmer S. Estacio, Arnel A. Salvador and Armando Somintac
National Institute of Physics
College of Science
UP Diliman

Porosity Dependence of Terahertz Emission of Porous Silicon Investigated using Reflection Geometry Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy. Superlattices and Microstructures, 100: 892–899, December 2016. 

Catchy title of research: Generation of Terahertz radiation from porous silicon with different porosities

Cross-sectional SEM images of (a) PSi A, (b) PSi B, and (c) PSi C. All samples have roughly the same pore depth of 1.8 μm. Shown in the insets are the respective top-view SEM images of each sample. All scale bars are 1 μm.

Temporally-resolved THz emission of the three PSi samples having different porosities and bulk Si. A decreasing trend in the THz intensity for increasing porosity is observed. The respective frequency spectrum of each waveform are shown in the insets.

Terahertz radiation received great attention due to its promising properties that can be used for spectroscopy, imaging and biological applications. Hence, search for terahertz emitting materials is an active research topic. Terahertz radiation can be generated via photo excitation of semiconductor surfaces. Porous silicon is a good candidate for THz technology since its porosity (or surface area) can be easily tuned. In addition, porous silicon is  relatively inexpensive and easy to produce.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749603616312629
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 2.117


Mary Mar Noblezada and Wilfredo L. Campos
Division of Biological Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Visayas

Phylogeography of the Planktonic Shrimp Lucifer hanseni Nobili 1905 in the Indo-Malayan Archipelago. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 97 (1): 129-140, February 2017.

Catchy title of research: Phylogeography of the planktonic shrimp in the Indo-Malayan Archipelago

Phylogeographic structure of planktonic shrimp in IMA.

The genetic population structure of the planktonic shrimp Lucifer hansei in the Indo-Malayan Archipelago encompassing Andaman Sea, Malacca Strait, Gulf of Thailand, Borneo Island, Philippines (collectively called TMP) and the waters near islands in the Pacific, including Palau, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands. The most obvious genetic patterns observed were high genetic diversity centered in TMP area suggesting high opportunity of developing a new species of this species, big decrease in the genetic diversity in the Celebes Sea, and distinct or inclusive genetic structure in the Western Pacific area. The observed genetic population structure was in agreement with the events that happened in the especially the lowering of sea level and also by the movement of waters.

Link to the article: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315416000163
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 1.094


Louis Angelo M. Danao
Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Analytical and Numerical Investigation of Unsteady Wind for Enhanced Energy Capture in a Fluctuating Free-Stream. Energy, 121: 854–864, 15 February 2017.

Idealized and noisy wind inflow considered for the study.

VAWT performance at different wind fluctuation frequencies.

Analytical and computational simulations were carried out to investigate the increased energy absorption of wind turbines in fluctuating winds. The results reveal higher energy capture at higher fluctuation frequencies. This study provides understanding on the behavior of vertical axis wind turbines in unsteady wind.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217300415
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 4.292


Aries A. Arugay
Department of Political Science
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
UP Diliman

Civil Liberties and Freedoms as Association Contexts” in The Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations. David Horton Smith, Robert A. Stebbins and Jurgen Grotz (editors). London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.


Liezl M. Atienza
Institute of Human Nutrition and Food 
College of Human Ecology
UP Los Baños

Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) Intake Decreases Oxidative Stress in Obese Diabetic (db/db) Mice. Food Chemistry, 227: 305–314, 15 July 2017.

Raspberry intake induced glutathione peroxidase (GPx) enzyme activity in liver detoxifying cell environment and lessening liver steatosis and fibrosis. (A) GPx activity in liver. (B) PGx/superoxide dismutase (SOD) ratio. Liver tissue homogenates were analyzed for PGx and SOD activities using spectrophotometric methods with commercial assay kits as detailed in Section 2. (C) Liver lipid droplets. Representative photomicrograph of a liver section stained with H&E. White areas represents lipid accumulation. (D) Liver collagen. Representative photomicrograph of a liver section stained Masson’s trichrome. Blue areas represent collagen accumulation. Horizontal lines represent mean and SD, *p < 0.05. (For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)

Nutrigenomics researches are currently focused on health promotion and disease prevention thru development of functional foods, identification of biomarkers at the cellular and molecular levels and determination of their mechanism of actions. In the Philippines, nutrigenomics is still young and studies on nutrigenomics (food/diet-gene studies) are still few. This nutrigenomic research is focused on the role of the bioactive compounds in red raspberries in modulating oxidative stress which is now considered as the unifying mechanism that underlies the development and progression of chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus (DM). Genetically modified diabetic mice (db/db) mice were used in the study. Results showed a significant reduction in the oxidative stress with around 10% red raspberry supplementation as indicated by significantly lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the blood and higher antioxidant enzyme, glutathione peroxidase, in erythrocytes and liver tissues. Red raspberry supplementation also showed to lower the concentrations of glucose and inflammatory marker cytokine IL-6 in the blood but failed to reach significance. This study provided baseline data on the protective roles of red raspberry supplementation in attenuating some biomarkers of oxidative stress in DM. Further in vitro and in vivo studies focused on nutrigenomics using the Philippine Wild Raspberry which is widely known as “Sapinit” are recommended to identify the biological effects that may extend well beyond the modulation of oxidative stress.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814617301085
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 4.052


Mark Daniel G. de Luna and Mary Jane N. Gotostos
Department of Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Effects of Doping Amounts of Potassium Ferricyanide with Titanium Dioxide and Calcination Durations on Visible-Light Degradation of Pharmaceuticals. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23 (22): 22721–22733, November 2016.

Fig. 1
SEM images of a undoped TiO2 and TiO2 doped with b 0.5, c 1.0, d 1.5, e 2.0, and f 3.0 mL of K3[Fe(CN)6] (all calcined at 300 °C for 6 h and taken at magnitude of ×10,000).

Fig. 2
XRD patterns of TiO2 photocatalyst doped with various amounts: (a) 0, (b) 0.2, (c) 0.5, (d) 1.0, (e) 1.5, (f) 2.0, (g) 3.0 mL of 0.2 M K3[Fe(CN)6]. h The corresponding UV–vis diffuse reflectance spectra (all calcined at 300 °C for 6 h).

Acetaminophen (ACT) is one of the most frequently detected pharmaceuticals in aqueous environments, and treatment of ACT were generally carried out by photocatalytic degradations under high energy UV irradiation. In this study, potassium ferricyanide was utilized as a quadruple-elemental dopant in a TiO2 photocatalyst in order to enhance its visible light activity. Two critical parameters (amounts of dopants and durations of calcination) of the synthesis of the photocatalyst by a sol–gel method were systematically evaluated. Crystal structure of the doping TiO2 was examined by X-ray diffraction while the effects of the two parameters on the photocatalytic activity were elucidated by various characterizations. Increasing the amount of dopant or the duration of calcination red-shifted the UV–vis DRS of the doped TiO2. The estimated band gap energy of the doped TiO2 decreased slightly as the amount of dopant increased, but it increased as the duration of calcination increased. The FT-IR yielded characteristic peaks that revealed the effects of the two parameters, whereas the SEM images revealed the morphological evolutions of each effect. The photocatalyst, synthesized at optimum conditions was able to remove 99.1 % acetaminophen with rate constant of 7.9 × 10−3 min−1, which was 4.88 times greater than virgin TiO2. In general, this study not only optimized synthetic conditions of the new visible-light active photocatalyst for ACT degradation but also presented characterizations conducted by SEM, XRD, UV–vis DRS, and FTIR to elucidate the relationship between modified structure and the photocatalytic activity.

Link to the article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-016-7470-y
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 2.760


Mark Pretzel Zumaraga, Juan Miguel Recto and Cynthia P. Palmes-Saloma
National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
College of Science
UP Diliman

Targeted Next Generation Sequencing of the Entire Vitamin D Receptor Gene Reveals Polymorphisms Correlated with Vitamin D Deficiency Among Older Filipino Women with and without Fragility Fracture. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 41: 98–108, March 2017.

Catchy title of research: Discovery of polymorphisms correlated with Vitamin D deficiency among post-menopausal Filipino Women

Shown are Mr. Mark Pretzel Zumaraga, Ms. Marietta Rodriguez from DOST-FNRI and Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma, with Dr. Baukje de Roos, current CEO of the European Nutrigenomics Organization (NuGO) during NuGO Week at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where the Filiipino researchers presented their work on the link between VitD receptor polymorphisms and fragility fracture in adult Filipino women.

Cynthia P. Saloma, and Mark Pretzel P. Zumaraga, both standing at right, pose with Ms. Marietta Rodriguez of DOST-FNRI, in front of the main hall at the Univ of Copenhagen during NuGO week last Sept 2016.

The Philippines, along with nearby countries, experiences sunny weather all-year round. Despite this, however, vitamin D deficiency is still a problem that plagues many people. Hence, something else and not the amount of sunshine could be responsible. The deficiency could be nutritional due to poor intake of Vitamin D-rich foods or could be genetic due to underlying mutations in the Vit D receptor (VDR) itself. The gene coding for the entire Vit D receptor is rather large at 101 Kb or 101, 000 base pairs of nucleic acids in our DNA. So sequencing such a large gene requires some innovative approaches made possible by Next Generation sequencing technology. The present study showcased the efficiency of targeted resequencing approach for interrogation of a specific gene, particularly the VDR gene. Enrichment of the entire 101 Kb of the VDR gene genomic DNA target through Ampliseq™ technology by Life Technologies produced 1,496 unique variants. Novel sequence variations not registered in the dbSNP database were found among cases and controls at a rate of 23.1% and 16.6% of total discovered variants, respectively. Noteworthy is the discovery of one disease-associated known SNP, rs141114959, showed statistically significant association to low serum 25OHD vitamin D levels (Pearson chi square p-value = 0.009). The dramatic discovery of polymorphisms associated with the disease pathology may be attributed to our analysis using patients with fragility fracture, the clinically most relevant endpoint in osteoporosis. Further investigation is needed to verify the authenticity of the variant calls. Taken together, these findings show the power of using Next Gen DNA sequencing in identifying sequence variations in a very large gene and the surprising results obtained in this study greatly expand the catalogue of known VDR sequence variants that may represent an important clue in the emergence of osteoporotic fractures. The SNP information will also provide the additional guidance toward a personalized nutritional advice to reach a sufficient vitamin D status. Furthermore, the study has served as a pilot study designed prior a larger, more rigorous study that shall establish correlation between discovered VDR gene variants and clinical risk factors applied to various population groups.

Link to the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286316303850
Impact Factor: (2015/2016) 4.668


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

Investigation of the Photoheterotrophic Hydrogen Production of Rhodobacter sphaeroides KCTC 1434 using Volatile Fatty Acids under Argon and Nitrogen Headspace. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 12 (6): 358-369, 2016.

Proposed ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway operating in R. sphaeroides sp. (lifted from Kars and Gunduz, 2010).

Hydrogen production by Rhodobacter sphaeroides KCTC 1434 utilizing volatile fatty acids under Ar and Nheadspace.
The H2 production of sphaeroides KCTC 1434 showed the highest SCE and H2 yield in butyrate and propionate under Ar headspace.
A minimal H2 production was observed in acetate under Ar and N2 headspace which is an indicaton of the possible usage of an alternative pathway such as ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway.

Link to the article: http://thescipub.com/abstract/10.3844/ajessp.2016.358.369
Impact Factor: Not yet available