The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) celebrated its 60th founding anniversary with the theme “S&T Journey: 60 years and beyond” at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City on 13 June 2018.

In his opening remarks, PCHRD Director, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, thanked DOST’s partners and stakeholders for their contributions to the success of the Department in the past 60 years. Dr. Montoya emphasized in his speech, “The past six decades paved the way in the major developments in the S& T industry of the country. Through research and development, science, technology, and innovation become a driving force for economic globalization.”

One of the highlights of the event was the opening of exhibit which showcased the Department’s accomplishments and triumphs each decade. It also contained key research priorities of DOST for the past years.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña expressed his gratitude to everyone especially to his predecessor in committing to the mandate of DOST to provide central direction, leadership, and coordination of scientific and technological efforts and ensure that the results therefrom are geared and utilized in areas of maximum economic and social benefits for the people.

Furthermore, Sec. De la Peña awarded the former heads of DOST with a plaque of appreciation for their contributions to the success of the Department. Before commencing to the second part of the program, the Secretary offered a toast and set the S&T initiatives and future directions of DOST.

Competition of performance per cluster was the highlight of the second part of the program. Each cluster was given specific eras as theme of their presentation. The Los Baños cluster won the first prize with the 90’s theme while the Bicutan cluster got the second prize with a modern dance themed performance.

More awards and prizes were given to winners of the cluster presentation towards the end of the program. Prizes were also raffled for everyone who attended. In the end, Sec. De la Peña thanked all who have been part of what DOST has become and for what it will become in the future.

   







The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), together with #HealthXph and Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes (AIHO), will hold the 4th Philippine Healthcare and Social Media Summit on 9 June 2018 at Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City.

Bannered by the theme “Social Media and Health Professions Education: Shaping the Future through Research and Innovation,” the summit will highlight the impact of social media in health professions, education, and research.

Participants from different sectors are expected to take part in the 6 tracks and healthcare social media research podium presentation. The program tracks are Track 1: Use of social media by teachers in health professions education, Track 2: Use of social media by students, Track 3: Establishing personal learning networks on Twitter for medical educators and healthcare professionals, Track 4: Building presence for advocacies on social media, Track 5: Developing policies for social media, and Track 6: Social media for patients and advocates.

Admission to the summit is free. Interested participants may register at www.bit.ly/hcsmph2018


Article by: Lemuel Basierto


According to the Department of Health (DOH), a total of 131 827 dengue cases were reported in 2017 which was 36.9 percent lower than the cases recorded in 2016. Although this is a considerably lower amount, dengue remains as one of the most fatal epidemics in the country.

June was declared Dengue Awareness Month (Proclamation No. 1204) since 1998 to highlight how prevention and control of dengue would require collaborative efforts among national and local government agencies as well as private NGOs.

PCHRD supports dengue research

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development supports studies aiming to improve the current situation of dengue. Some of the Council’s assisted projects have won and been recognized in various R&D invention contests and exhibits. One of them is the OL Trap technology featured at the R&D 100 magazine which chose to honor 100 technologies that are deemed to have great contributions to S&T development. More recently, BIOTEK-M Dengue Aqua Kit was one of the gold awardees during the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland.

OL Trap technology makes use of simple and readily-available materials that attracts female Aedes Aegypti (dengue carrier) to lay eggs on a strip soaked with larvicide solution. The absorbed solution from the lawanit strip eventually kills the egg and larvae preventing the mosquito to reach maturity. OL Trap kits are commercially-available and may be purchased in selected markets nationwide.

BIOTEK-M Dengue Aqua Kit is a commercialized and locally-developed technology designed to accurately detect dengue. It uses isothermal PCR technology, in which the nucleic acid is extracted from the blood and added to a mixture. After an hour, the mixture will change color: green indicates a positive result, orange negative. The kit is very affordable which costs only a third of the usual dengue kit detection used in hospitals. BIOTEK-M is designed to accurately detect dengue.

In the spirit of awareness, the Council encourages everyone to follow simple but effective steps like removing or covering all possible areas with stagnant water, installing screens on window or opening of the house, investing in mosquito repellant, wearing long-sleeved shirts when outdoors, and getting a vaccination to avoid being infected with the disease.

 

Alugbati is one of the widely consumed vegetables in Asia, however it is relatively understudied for its benefits. It is known to exhibit a wide range of biological functions and is traditionally recognized as a medical plant with anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer potential.

Asst. Professor Darcy Garza from the Department of Chemistry at De La Salle University, presented the study entitled “The Genotoxic Potential of Basella alba Linn. Var. rubra on MCF-7 Cells” during the Metro Manila Health Research and Development Consortium’s (MMHRDC) 2nd International Symposium and 9th Annual Scientific Conference Oral Presentation held on 24-25 May 2018 at Pan Pacific Hotel, Manila. The event was bannered by the theme “Food Fortification in Universal Health Care.”  The study was recognized as the best research presented during the conference.

The study was a result of the collaboration of De La Salle University and St. Luke’s Medical Center. The research determined the genotoxicity of alugbati leaf extracts on MCF-7 cells which is the most studied human breast cancer cell line in the world. The researchers found out that alugbati leaves subjected to enzyme-assisted hydrolysis or juice extractions prepared in an organosulfur compound caused considerable damage in MCF-7 cells. This means that alugbati shows promising properties that could fight off breast cancer cell lines.

Three outstanding researches were also recognized during the conference. “Multi-core Microencapsulation of Lactobacillus acidophilus using Lipid-based Material and Carbohydrate-based Matrix for Functional Food Application,” “Characterization of In Vitro Effects of Using Purified Coconut Oil Bodies as Encapsulating Agents for Doxorubicin and Paclitaxel,” and “An Evaluation on Nicotine Absorption and Health Risk Utilizing Human Scum Cotinine and Polycyclic aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Among Filipino Classical Cigarette Users and E-Cigarette Users” won first, second, and third respectively.

To officially close the conference, NIH Executive Director Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-De La Paz delivered the closing remarks. She thanked the organizers and delegates for the hard work and reminded everyone that it is important to remember the role of food fortification in the control of micronutrient deficiency and malnutrition in the country. Finally, she urged everyone to conduct more research that would support food fortification and continue to do good work in promoting a healthier Filipino nation.