IPA Recipients for September 2018

Marie Chela B. Cenia, Milli-Ann M. Tamayao*, Virginia J. Soriano and Benette P. Custodio
Department of Industrial Engineering
*Environmental Engineering Program
College of  Engineering
UP Diliman

Life Cycle Energy Use and CO2 Emissions of Small-Scale Gold Mining and Refining Processes in the Philippines. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, , 23 (10): 1928–1939, October 2018.

Process-based LCA to estimate the energy use and CO2 emissions of small-scale gold mining (SSGM) in the Philippines per100 g of refined gold. We used observed data from 2010 to 2011 for mining, comminution, recovery, and refining. Four gold production paths were observed in the provinces of Benguet and Camarines Norte, namely, amalgamation, cyanidation with carbon-in-leach (CIL), cyanidation with leaching with zinc, and combination of amalgamation and cyanidation with CIL. It was estimated that 3–18 g of Au was extracted for every ton of ore within 57–159 man-hours from mining to refining. Energy use estimates ranged from 3501 to 67,325 MJ/100 g Au, while CO2 emission estimates ranged from 398 to 5340 kg CO2/100 g Au. The combination of amalgamation and cyanidation with CIL processes was the least energy and carbon intensive, while cyanidation with CIL process was the most intensive. Electricity use accounted for 95-100% of total emissions, except in cyanidation with CIL where kerosene accounts for 77%. Since SSGMs contributed 80% of the 40 tons of Au produced in the Philippines in 2014, the SSGM energy use was estimated to be between 1120 and 21,544 TJ and the CO2 emissions to be between 129 and 1726 ktons CO2. Energy estimates are most sensitive to refining process yield and electrical equipment efficiency. Three recommendations for reduction of energy use and CO2 emissions are proposed: (1) policy for energy-efficient technologies and gold yield maximizing process, (2) effective Minahang Bayan implementation, and (3) use of renewable energy technologies.

Link to the article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11367-017-1425-5
Impact Factor: 2017/2018 4.195


Jose Miguel D. Robes and Gisela P. Concepcion
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Stenotophomonas like Bacteria are Widespread Symbionts in Cone Snail Venom Ducts. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 83 (23): e01418-17, 10 pages, December 2017.

Cone snail species and collection locations in this study. See Tables S1 and S2 in the supplemental material for a complete list of species (including non-cone snail species) and locations of samples sequences in this study. (Photos by My Thi Thao Huynh.)

Stenotrophomonas-like sequences are present in cone snail venom ducts. A maximum likelihood tree of 16S rRNA gene sequences was generated from Illumina-sequenced venom ducts (see Materials and Methods).

Cone snails are biomedically important sources of peptide drugs, but it is not known whether snail- associated bacteria affect venom chemistry. To begin to answer this question, we performed 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing of eight cone snail species, comparing their microbiomes with each other and with those from a variety of other marine invertebrates. We show that the cone snail microbiome is distinct from those in other marine invertebrates and conserved in specimens from around the world, including the Philippines, Guam, California, and Florida. We found that all venom ducts examined contain diverse 16S rRNA gene sequences bearing closest similarity to Stenotrophomonas bacteria. These sequences represent specific symbionts that live in the lumen of the venom duct, where bioactive venom peptides are synthesized.

Link to the article: https://aem.asm.org/content/early/2017/09/25/AEM.01418-17.short
Impact Factor: 2017/2018 3.633


Joey D. Ocon
Department of Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering
UP Diliman

Electrochemically-Synthesized Tungstate Nanocomposites γ-WO3/CuWO4 and γ-WO3/NiWO4 Thin Films with Improved Band Gap and Photoactivity for Solar-driven Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 762: 90-97, 25 September 2018.

Solar-driven photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting process is a potential method to convert solar energy to chemical energy via production of hydrogen. Among many materials being investigated, tungsten oxide (WO3) is a potential photoanode since it can absorb visible light spectrum, and also exhibits high resistance and stability in acidic solution. However, there is a high rate of electrons, that were excited through solar energy, does not proceed in the water-splitting process. In order to resolve the issue, WO3 is coupled with copper tungstate (CuWO4) and nickel tungstate (NiWO4) to improve performance. The combined materials were synthesized using electrodeposition and heated at high temperature which were characterized using various tests. The band gap of WO3/CuWO4 and WO3/NiWO4 combination were lowered which corresponds to wider solar spectrum coverage. Upon testing their water splitting performance, the WO3/NiWO4 combination shows 400 µA/cm2 at 1.5 V (vs. Ag/AgCl (4M KCl)), which is more than three (3) times improved performance as compared to using WO3 only.

Link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925838818318632
Impact Factor: 2017/2018 3.779


Aleyla Escueta-de Cadiz
Department of Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies
College of Science & Mathematics
UP Mindanao

AIG1 Affects In Vitro and In Vivo Virulence in Clinical Isolates of Entamoeba histolica. Plos Pathogen, 14 (3): https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006882, 2018.

Schematic representation of the AIG1 family protein gene-containing region that is missing in strain KU27, and phylogenetic analysis of AIG1 family proteins. (A) Graphical view of the region, containing AIG1 family protein genes, in strains HM-1, KU50, and KU27. Three AIG1 genes in strains HM-1 and KU50, and one recombinant gene in strain KU27, are depicted with blue arrows. (B) A depiction of a recombination event that likely resulted in loss of the EHI_176590 gene in KU27. (C) Phylogenetic tree of AIG1 family proteins in HM-1 and strain KU27. A best maximum likelihood tree was produced using 28 and 27 AIG1 family protein sequences from strain HM-1 and KU27, respectively. Bootstrap values, at each node, with 1000 replicates, are color coded. The scale bar indicates the number of amino acid substitutions per site.

Amoebiasis, caused by Entamoeba histolytica, have varying effects on people, with some appearing healthy and others with bloody-diarrhea and extra-intestinal abscesses. While the virulence of the pathogen and the reaction of the host’s immune system play vital roles to the outcome of the disease, there are no studies to date that looked at the genetic factors. In the study, we used a next-generation sequencing and looked at the genetic sequence from two strains: from a patient with diarrhea (KU50) and a patient without diarrhea (KU27). Using databases and gene sequencing tool, we compared the strains with a reference strain HM-1:IMSS and successfully identified two genes: EHI_089440 and EHI_176590, that were absent in KU27. Further analysis revealed that one family gene code (EHI_176590) was deleted from KU27 which should normally have three sets. The HM-1:IMSS EHI_176590 was also over expressed which results to increased formation of cell-surface protrusions which allowed the pathogen to attach to human red blood cells. This gene was found in 56% of amoebiasis patients but only 15% in healthy patients. Results of the study suggest that presence of EHI_176590 gene is linked to the incidence of the patients showing symptoms of the disease. Furthermore, the data collected strongly indicate that AIG1 family protein, which includes EHI_176590 gene, plays a pivotal role in the virulence of E.histolytica by controlling the pathogen’s ability to attach to the human host cells.

Link to the article: https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1006882
Impact Factor: 2017/2018 6.158


Shelly F. Dela Vega*, Cynthia P. Cordero**, Leah A. Palapar*, Angely P. Garcia* and Josephine D. Agapito***
*Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
**Department of Clinical Epidemiology

College of Medicine
***College of Arts and Sciences
UP Manila

Mixed-Methods Research Revealed the Need for Dementia Services and Human Resource Master Plan in an Aging Philippines. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 102: 115–122, October 2018.

Dementia is not a normal part of aging and is a major cause of disability and dependency among older people, affecting individuals, families, communities and societies. People with dementia show deterioration in cognitive functions as it affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement.
The number of people living with dementia is growing rapidly and nearly 60% of them lived in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including the Philippines. With this, the study sought to determine the status of dementia care services and workforce in selected public and private hospitals and geriatric care facilities in the country. The study utilized a framework analysis of 54 key informant interviews, 4 focus group discussions, and survey of 167 workers in 26 purposively selected facilities.
Three dementia care models emerged: (1) separate unit, seen in 2 facilities, (2) partial dementia services, 9 facilities, and (3) integrated with the general services, 15 facilities. Only 1 of 26 facilities had specific outpatient services; only 1 provided care exclusively to dementia patients. Community day care services were rare. Nutrition and physical therapy services were generally available.
In terms of health workforce, physicians, nurses, and nursing assistants were available in all institutions. There was a scarcity of physician specialists (e.g., geriatrics) and occupational therapists. Half of the workers surveyed rated the quality of their service at 80 or higher, 27% defined dementia correctly. Attitude toward dementia was very positive, in the form of willingness to care for and willingness to learn more.
The research recommended the following: (1) establishment of a case registry and database of dementia cases, (2) further understand the role and needs of informal carers, (3) determine the push-pull factors for allied professionals, and methods and models of enhancing quality care, (4) study the attitude of policymakers, funding agencies, business, and private organizations toward dementia care, and (5) conduct of comparative effectiveness studies and family preferences on the venues of care.

Link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0895435617313938
Impact Factor: 2017/2018 4.245


Andrian P. Gajigan, Aletta T. Yñiguez, Cesar L. Villanoy, Maria Lourdes San Diego-McGlone, Gil S. Jacinto and Cecilia Conaco
Marine Science Institute
College of Science
UP Diliman

Diversity and Community Structure of Marine Microbes Around the Benham Rise Underwater Plateau, Northeastern Philippines. PeerJ, 2018: e4781, 17 pages, May 2018.

Benham Rise, Philippines. Benham Rise is an underwater plateau located northeast of the Philippines. Physicochemical parameters were measured at 24 stations (blue dots) while water samples for microbial community analysis were collected from various depths at five stations (red dots). Stations were plotted in Ocean Data View (Schlitzer, R., Ocean Data View, https://odv.awi.de, 2018).

The Benham Rise, also known as Philippine Rise, is an underwater plateau located northeast of the Philippines in the Western Pacific Ocean. This is where a convergence of waters occurs with surface currents coming from the North Pacific subtropical water, North Equatorial current and Kuroshio recirculated waters. Although this area is vital to global ocean circulation, climate, and the fishing industry, few studies have been done to look at the marine microbial taxa in the area. In this study, we describe the microbial community in the waters of the Benham Rise, Philippines using a high-throughput sequencing method. We discovered that Benham Rise exhibits vertical zonation of marine microbes with increasing biodiversity as one goes to deeper depths. The presence of specific microbes correlated with physicochemical properties of the water column. The abundance of specialist microbial taxa suggests that the waters in the Benham Rise are heterogenous and can support a rich diversity of microbes, which in turn may support the diversity of marine life observed in the area. These findings provide foundational information on marine microbes in Philippine waters. However, additional studies are warranted to gain a more complete picture of microbial diversity within the region.

Link to the article: https://peerj.com/articles/4781/?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_campaign=PeerJ_TrendMD_0&utm_medium=TrendMD
Impact Factor: 2017/2018 2.118


Mary Jane B. Rodriguez-Tatel
Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature
College of Arts and Letters
UP Diliman

Pag-Iimahen sa Batang “Katutubo” sa Ilang Piling Kuwentong Pambata: Sipat at Siyasat sa Kolonyal na Diskurso ng “Tribu” (Imaging the “Indigenous” Child in Selected Stories for Children: Revisiting and Revisioning “Tribe” as a Colonial Discourse. Humanities Diliman, 15 (1): 57-84, January-June 2018.

Bakit may mga grupong tinatawag na “tribu”/natibo/katutubo” kung tayong lahat naman ay isinilang sa bansang ito? Bakit sila tinatawag na “minorya” kahit pa sabihing sa kanilang lugar mismo, sila naman ang nakararami? Ano ba ang batayan ng mga nasabing katawagan? Bilang o kung paano sila tinitingnan? Bakit sila tiningnan nang iba o hiwalay sa kapwa-Pilipino? Dadalhin ka ng mga katanungang ito sa isyu ng paggamit ng etnikong kategorya sa pagpapanatili o di kaya nama’y pagbabago ng status quo. Hindi lamang ito simpleng katawagan, bagkus may bitbit din itong motibo o agenda na maaaring para sa o laban sa pagbabago ng mga ugnayan sa ating lipunan batay sa grupong kinabibilangan. Ginamit at pinalaganap ng mga kolonisador ang “tribu” upang pag-iba-ibahin at hatiin tayo, kasama na ang mga negatibong konotasyon nito, gaya ng “di-sibilisado,” “salbahe,” atbp. Subalit nagpatuloy at naging bahagi na ng karaniwang kaalaman ang ganitong katawagan, hanggang sa tanggapin na rin ng mga pinapatungkulang grupo bilang bahagi ng kanilang identidad. Sa pagitan ng agenda ng mga kolonyalista noon hanggang sa asersiyon para sa sariling identidad ng mga nasabing grupo ngayon, masasabing nagkaroon na ng mga panibagong kahulugan ang kataga. Ibig sabihin, sumailalim na ito sa proseso ng reproduksyon, kakabit ng mga bagong imahen bilang grupong naggigiit ng kanilang mga karapatan para sa sariling pagpapasya. Sa nasabing proseso nakibahagi ang labinlimang kuwentong pambatang itinampok sa pag-aaral na ito. Kakabit nito ay ang paglalarawan din sa ating “mayoryang Pilipino” bilang “kababayan,” “kaibigan” at “kapatid” din nila, sabi nga sa mga kuwento.

Link to the article: http://journals.upd.edu.ph/index.php/humanitiesdiliman/article/view/6241/5525
Impact Factor: Not yet available


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

Evaluation of Vaccine Potential of 2-Cys Peroxiredoxin from the Hard Tick Haemaphysalis longicornis. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 74 (1): 73–84, January 2018.

Purifcation of recombinant Haemaphysalis longicornis 2-Cys peroxiredoxin (rHlPrx2). rHlPrx2 was expressed in E. coli and purifed by fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC). The E. coli lysate and purifed rHlPrx2 were analyzed by SDS-PAGE and CBB staining. The molecular weight is shown on the left side of the image. The arrowhead indicates a band of rHlPrx2 protein.

Ticks are parasitic arthropods that feed exclusively on the blood of their host. Their blood meal exposes the ticks to harmful substances like hydrogen peroxide that can induce cellular damage. Ticks have antioxidant enzymes, such as peroxiredoxin, which protect them from the negative effects of hydrogen peroxide. In other parasites, peroxiredoxin has been targeted in vaccine development, but its potential as anti-tick vaccine antigen has not been investigated. In this study, a recombinant peroxiredoxin, rHlPrx2, was prepared from Escherichia coli and was used to immunize mice after purification. The mice were infested with nymphs of Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks after immunization to determine whether immunization with rHlPrx2 will provide protection against tick infestation. rHlPrx2 was able to stimulate the immunity of mice with production of antibodies against it. However, there were no significant differences in the parameters observed from ticks infested in immune mice compared to those of ticks infested in control (non-immune) mice, suggesting absence of effect in tick infestation. Nevertheless, the immunogenicity of rHlPrx2 indicate that it may still have the potential for inclusion in anti-tick vaccine development, together with other antigens

Link to the article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10493-018-0209-3
Impact Factor: 2017/2018 1.9


Virgilio Sison and Gio Carlo Delos Santos
Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics
College of Arts and Sciences
UP Los Baños

Galois Ring Codes and their Images under Various Bases. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1039, (1): 012026, 8 pages, 27 June 2018.

This paper utilizes algebraic methods to construct channel codes from source codes as modules over a certain class of rings, the so-called Galois rings, on which suitable weight functions are defined. Galois rings possess a very good algebraic structure which makes them practically useful in the construction of error- correcting codes. First we consider a linear block code B of length n over the Galois ring GR(p^r,m) seen as a free module of rank m over the residue class ring Z_{p^r}, and obtain its image with respect to various bases of GR(p^r,m). Interesting new examples of dual, normal and self-dual bases of GR(p^r,m) and their relationships are given. It turns out that the image of B is a linear block code over Z_{p^r} of length mn and its generator matrix is formed row-wise in terms of a chosen basis of GR(p^r,m) and the generator matrix of B. Certain conditions in which the image is distance-invariant after a change in basis are investigated. Consequently a new quaternary code endowed with a homogeneous metric that is optimal with respect to certain known bounds is constructed.

Link to the article: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/1039/1/012026
Impact Factor: Not yet available