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Science Diliman
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0115-7809 - ISSN (Online) 2012-0818
Published by U of the Philippines Diliman Homepage  [2 journals]
  • From the Editor

    • Authors: Carlos Primo C. David; Ph.D.
      Abstract: We are finally adapting to the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic, realizing how a global health issue can disrupt every aspect of society. It showed us how scientists can step up and create vaccines in record time to manage a pandemic, when the process could very well have extended beyond two years. A few positives came out of our pandemic experience as reported by both local and international researchers, such as improvements in the natural environment as anthropogenic activities slowed down. This includes a temporary decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, improvement in air and water quality, and the general recovery of natural ecosystems. Though the four articles in this issue—my first as editor-inchief of Science Diliman (SD)—are not directly related to COVID-19, they all connect to health and biodiversity, two human concerns that were greatly affected by the pandemic.
      Two very different ecosystems are highlighted in this SD issue. The first is discussed in the paper by Que et al. about the latest phylogeny research on Philippine cockatoos of the forests of Palawan. This paper places the local species that are most related to Tanimbar corellas of Indonesia and the Western corellas of southwest Australia. The second kind of ecosystem is discussed in the paper by Pasumbal et al. about the latest biodiversity survey of non-avian vertebrates found in the UP Diliman campus. This updates a similar survey in 1998, with the latest survey reporting the presence of additional animals: two amphibians, seven reptiles, and six new mammals. The survey affirms the high species richness found on our campus.
      Tambago and Amor of the UP Institute of Chemistry present their findings on two chalcone derivatives extracted from the leaves of S. samarangense (Blume) Merr. (Java apple) that show anti-inflammatory properties. This could very well lead to the development of a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs. Similarly, the paper authored by Genio and Paderes (also of the UP Diliman Institute of Chemistry) reports the synthesis of white powder precipitates composed of bis-urea compounds. Their anti-microbial properties were tested against different microorganisms with several identified compounds showing promising results.
      As universities go back to a sense of normalcy this year, we hope that local researchers are able to resume the work on projects put on hold as well as jumpstart new research studies. Carlo Primo C. David, Ph.D.
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      Issue No: Vol. 34, No. 1 (2022)
  • Chalcone Derivatives with Cyclooxygenase Inhibiting Activity

    • Authors: Gian Carlo Tambago, Evangeline C. Amor
      Abstract: Dimethylcardamonin (DMC) or (E)-2’,4’-dihydroxy-6’-methoxy-3’,5’-dimethyl chalcone was isolated from Syzygium samarangense (Blume) Merr. leaves using vacuum liquid chromatography and normal phase silica-gel column chromatography. DMC was purified from the fraction that eluted out of 9:1 (v/v) hexane: ethyl acetate to 7:3 (v/v) hexane: ethyl acetate. Using a modified method from Geissman (1948), DMC was derivatized via alkaline peroxidation from which compounds A and B were obtained. Compound A was identified to be (2S)-7- hydroxy-5-methoxy-6,8-dimethyl flavanone (C18H18O4 ) while B had a methoxy group on its 4’ position instead of a hydroxyl group with respect to DMC. The flavanone derivative may have been formed due to substituent effects on the ring. DMC, A, and B were tested for their inhibitory activity against cyclooxygenase enzymes at 10 and 100 ppm. A and B gave at least 50% inhibitory activity at 100 ppm and were found to be COX-2 selective inhibitors. DMC was inactive at both 10 and 100 ppm.
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      Issue No: Vol. 34, No. 1 (2022)
  • An Updated Inventory and Habitat Association Analysis of the Non-avian
           Vertebrates of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman

    • Authors: Romel V. Pasumbal Jr., Jelaine L. Gan, Geoffrey Jules N. Solidum, Nappy L. Navarra
      Abstract: An inventory of the non-avian terrestrial vertebrate species found within the 493-hectare land area of the UP Diliman campus is presented. Visual encounter surveys for amphibians and reptiles, as well as mist-netting and trapping for mammals, were conducted last August 2019 to early February 2020 on selected study grids on campus. To determine habitat associations, the species richness of each vertebrate class (i.e., amphibia, reptilia, and mammalia) was analyzed with habitat characteristics of the grid using regression analysis. Based on the surveys and recent records (2015 onwards) in literature, a total of 33 species were recorded: seven amphibians, 15 reptiles, and 11 mammals. Comparison with historical records from 1998 revealed that an additional two amphibian species, seven reptile species, and six mammalian species have been sighted within the area since 2015. However, a fork-tongued frog, falling under the genus Fejervarya, and four reptilian species that had previously been recorded within the study sites were not observed. Habitat association analysis revealed that building area is correlated with species richness, with reptilian species richness being positively correlated with it. Overall, this study shows that the UP Diliman campus supports considerable urban biodiversity despite recent developments.  
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      Issue No: Vol. 34, No. 1 (2022)
  • Evaluation of Low Molecular Weight Bis-Urea Derivatives as Antimicrobial

    • Authors: Frances Abygail F. Genio, Monissa C. Paderes
      Abstract: Antibiotic resistance against common microbes is an ongoing concern worldwide. This warrants continuous studies that aim to discover new compounds with antimicrobial properties. In this study, sixteen low molecular weight bis-urea derivatives were screened for their in vitro antimicrobial properties using agar well diffusion method. The structure of the bis-urea compounds is comprised of cyclic and aromatic linkers and a variety of symmetric end groups such as aliphatic chains and heteroaromatic groups. Significant antimicrobial activity against strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae was observed for compounds with long aliphatic chains compared to those with benzyl and heteroaromatic end groups. Further studies on the minimum inhibitory concentration and cytotoxicity can aid in the development of these compounds as antimicrobial agents as well as for other possible biomedical and environmental applications.
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      Issue No: Vol. 34, No. 1 (2022)
  • Phylogenetic Placement of the Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia
           (P.L.S. Muller 1776) Based on a Partial Mitochondrial Genome

    • Authors: Gerard Clinton L. Que, Ian Kendrich C. Fontanilla, Peter Widmann, Indira Dayang L. Widmann
      Abstract: An 18,493 base pair mitogenome of the Philippine Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia) is presented, containing 13 complete protein-coding genes, two rRNAs, 24 tRNAs, two control regions, and two partial duplicate copies of cytb and nd6. The mitogenome contains two complete copies of tRNA-Leu, tRNA-Ser, tRNA-Thr, and tRNA-Pro. Phylogenetic analysis places the Philippine Cockatoo within the subgenus Licmetis, with its closest relatives being the Tanimbar Corella (Cacatua goffiniana) and the Western Corella (Cacatua pastinator) and all three species being sisters to other white cockatoos in the subgenus Cacatua. The gene order and content of the mitogenome are most similar to C. pastinator, containing a partial duplication of cytb, and whole duplications of the control region and several tRNA genes. However, the total duplication of nd6 could not be verified. Analysis of the control regions indicates that these are paralogs of each other; both copies contain preserved features such as the Extended Termination Associated Sequences 1 and 2 (ETAS1, ETAS2) and Conserved Sequence Block 1 (CSB1) associated with d-loop or control region replication in mitogenomes. Gene order for the species cannot be verified since the region corresponding to duplicate copies of tRNA-Glu and nd6 in other cockatoos could not be properly sequenced.
      PubDate: 2022-06-28
      Issue No: Vol. 34, No. 1 (2022)
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