UP researchers found bacteria from Mt. Mayon soil to have potential anticancer properties

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 4, 2021   •   391

Researchers from the University of the Philippines (UP) have found that the bacteria from Mt. Mayon have antibiotic and anticancer properties.

According to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), researchers from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) have identified specific bacterial species from the soil of Mt. Mayon.

Kristel Mae P. Oliveros, the project leader and an assistant professor in UPLB Microbiology Divisio, said the specific bacterial isolate, identified as Streptomyces sp. A1-08, has shown antibiotic activity against numerous potentially pathogenic microorganisms and anti-colorectal cancer potential

“We have high hopes of getting new and novel species because this is a less explored environment, a volcano,” she said.

Once the researchers have confirmed that Streptomyces sp. A1-08 is a new species, they will name it “Streptomyces mayonensis A1-08” in honor of the Philippines.

Joining Rosana and Oliveros in their groundbreaking work are Andrew D. Montecillo, Dr. Rina B. Opulencia, Arian J. Jacildo, Dr. Asuncion K. Raymundo, and the late Dr. Teofila O. Zulaybar, who are all from UPLB. AAC

UP, UST place lower in QS world university rankings

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021

The University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) have landed in lower ranks of the 2022 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

Based on the 2022 QS World University Rankings released on Wednesday (June 9), UP dropped to the 399th spot from ranking 396 while UST slid to 1,001-1,200 bracket from the 801-1,000 group. Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University remained in the 601-650 and 801-1,000 brackets, respectively.

Ranking at the top spot are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Standford University, and Harvard University. AAC

12 stray dogs trained to help in search and rescue operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — To become the best doggos, 12 stray dogs are being trained by the University of the Philippines under its K9 program.

Meet several of the soon-to-be rescue dogs: Red Fox, Nano, and Kotton.

According to professor Khrysta Rara, project manager of Sagip K9, these dogs are trained to assist in search and rescue operations.

“Kapag may nangyari, in minutes pwede sila ma-deploy pwede sila kaagad pumunta doon sa lugar na mayroong nawawalang tao at maka-start na sila ng search while waiting for help from outside so iyon ang maganda na mayroon kaming sariling K9 unit dito sa UP campus,” she said.

(In case of emergency, these dogs can be deployed and they can immediately go to the area and begin the search while waiting for help from the outside. We have our own K9 unit here in the UP campus.)

Training usually lasts for four months before the dogs will have their graduation. Aside from the emergency response and rescue operations, the dogs are also trained to provide emergency response which is crucial during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Sila naman ang pinupuntahan ng mga estudyante mga guro at mga empleyado mga staff kapag stress sila sa trabaho. May alam ako sa isang building na kapag ang mga empleyado stressed na stressed sa trabaho lalabas sila ng 10-20 minutes sa opisina pupuntahan nila ito sila Kotton, or ang ibang aso para yakapin lang matanggal stress nila tapos babalik na ulit sa trabaho,” Rara said.

(Students, teachers, and staff visit these dogs when they are stressed. I know there are employees in one building who visit Kotton and the rest when they are really stressed at work. They would hug the dogs then return to work.) AAC (with reports from Marvin Calas)

COVID-19 case rate slowing down after ECQ in NCR Plus — UP OCTA Research

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 5, 2021

MANILA, Phlippines — The country has yet to reach a downward trend in COVID-19 cases within the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus, but recent data have shown a slowdown in the rate of increase, University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research group said.

On Monday (April 5), UP OCTA Research group fellow Dr. Guido David said there is already a decrease in the reproduction rate in the National Capital Region. It improved from 1.9 to 1.6 since the ECQ was implemented.

“The effect of the ECQ will be felt this week and next week. It’s too early to say what will happen by the end of the week but the trends are going down. But it’s too early to say if it’s going down enough to approximate a number of 0 or 1.0,” David said.

“To compare, in the past weeks, the increase was 50% to 60% every week. Now for the past week, the increase was only down to 20%, so iyan ang start ng improvement (that is the start of improvement), we will see a decrease in the upward trend [of cases],” he added.

With the extension of the ECQ, the research group hopes the reproduction rate will decrease to 1 or close to 1. AAC

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