University of Santo Tomas
  • Manila, Philippines
Recent publications
Tuta absoluta is one of the most serious pests of tomatoes worldwide. The current strategies of pest control for T. absoluta include essential oils (EOs) and its formulations. Biological activity of Laureliopsis philippiana essential oil, a tree species native from Chile, has been demonstrated against pests. Hence, the aims of this study were to determine the stability of the L. philippiana oil-based nanoemulsion (NE) and to evaluate the insecticidal effects of pure and NE forms of the essential oil against T. absoluta. Emulsion stability was measured over a 35-day period, with measurements conducted every 7 days, while the efficacy of the NE to control T. absoluta was compared to that of the pure EO. The results indicate that the NE remained stable during the whole evaluation period, averaging at the end of the experiment a particle size of 40.60 nm, zeta potential of-14.54 mV, polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.30 and a pH level of 4.64. The L. philippiana NE after 4 h fumigation showed greater insecticidal activity against T. absoluta than pure EO of, with LC 50 and LC 90 values of 4.6 and 27.8 µL L − 1 , whereas the EO resulted in values of 27.1 and 75.3 µL L − 1 , respectively. These results are the first report of the insecticidal properties of the EO of L. philippiana against T. absoluta. The biological activity exerted by the oil was significantly enhanced when developed as a NE as it remained stable for more than four weeks and was much more efficient in the control of T. absoluta than pure EO, particularly at low concentrations. The use of L. philippiana essential oil for sustainable agriculture presents a promising strategy in the seek of new insecticide products.
Emodin (1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone) is a bioactive compound, a natural anthraquinone aglycone, present mainly in herbaceous species of the families Fabaceae, Polygonaceae and Rhamnaceae, with a physiological role in protection against abiotic stress in vegetative tissues. Emodin is mainly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat sore throats, carbuncles, sores, blood stasis, and damp-heat jaundice. Pharmacological research in the last decade has revealed other potential therapeutic applications such as anticancer, neuroprotective, antidiabetic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The present study aimed to summarize recent studies on bioavailability, preclinical pharmacological effects with evidence of molecular mechanisms, clinical trials and clinical pitfalls, respectively the therapeutic limitations of emodin. For this purpose, extensive searches were performed using the PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Google scholar, TRIP database, Springer link, Wiley and SciFinder databases as a search engines. The in vitro and in vivo studies included in this updated review highlighted the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms of emodin. Because its bioavailability is low, there are limitations in clinical therapeutic use. In conclusion, for an increase in pharmacotherapeutic efficacy, future studies with carrier molecules to the target, thus opening up new therapeutic perspectives.
  • Franz Giuseppe F. CortezFranz Giuseppe F. Cortez
This paper revisits the main thoughts of the Filipino historian and social critic Renato Constantino on the role of education in the formation of a neocolonial and postcolonial consciousness. It suggests that Constantino’s critical stance towards education embodies a type of philosophizing about education that centers on the problematization of the language of instruction, on the rendering of voice to those in the margins of Philippine society, and on taking a critical stance about education itself. It suggests further that this form of philosophizing about education and its instrumentalities is prospective of a Freirean liberating pedagogy that is inherently nonneutral, critical, dialogical, praxical, and transformative.
Tourism officers are in charge of managing destinations and making sure that development plans are implemented in their locality. Their role is to ensure that there is a proper implementation of tourism laws according to the Tourism Act of 2009 and Local Government Code of 1991. The Tourism Act of 2009 is the national policy for developing and promoting tourism in the Philippines, while the Local Government Code of 1991 of the Philippines defines the powers and responsibilities of tourism officers. This study aims to assess the competency level of tourism officers based on the developed Competence Model of Philippine Tourism Officers in accordance to the Tourism Act of 2009 and Local Government Code of 1991. This study adopted a descriptive-correlational design which used 335 survey questionnaires filled out by tourism officers. The study revealed consistencies in competence levels throughout the archipelago, with the average competence level of tourism officers being moderately extensive, except for soft skills which were rated highly extensive. The findings of the study identify the training needs for tourism officers, especially for capability building and assisting the Government in managing tourism destinations.KeywordsTourismDestination managementCompetence modelTourism officersPublic governance
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by a tangle-shaped accumulation of beta-amyloid peptide fragments and Tau protein in brain neurons. The pathophysiological mechanism involves the presence of Aβ-amyloid peptide, Tau protein, oxidative stress, and an exacerbated neuro-inflammatory response. This review aims to offer an updated compendium of the most recent and promising advances in AD treatment through the administration of phytochemicals. The literature survey was carried out by electronic search in the following specialized databases PubMed/Medline, Embase, TRIP database, Google Scholar, Wiley, and Web of Science regarding published works that included molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways targeted by phytochemicals in various experimental models of Alzheimer’s disease in vitro and in vivo. The results of the studies showed that the use of phytochemicals against AD has gained relevance due to their antioxidant, anti-neuroinflammatory, anti-amyloid, and anti-hyperphosphorylation properties of Tau protein. Some bioactive compounds from plants have been shown to have the ability to prevent and stop the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a chronic condition that encompasses widespread pain associated with cognitive impairment and significant emotional distress related to functional disability. This study aimed to obtain evidence of the role of pain in the effect of time since FMS diagnosis and cognitive performance using a novel online protocol of neuropsychological evaluation since the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged traditional neuropsychology testing leading to the need for novel procedures transitioning to tele-neuropsychology. A sample of 70 adult women was evaluated (50 with FMS and 19 controls) using online questionnaires that evaluated pain and executive functioning (impulsivity, inhibition control, monitoring, and planning). Afterward, participants were evaluated by trained neuropsychologists in a 30 min online session using virtually adapted cognitive tests: the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (memory), the Symbol-Digit Modalities Test (attention and speed processing), the F-A-S test (verbal fluency), and Digit Span tests (working memory). We found that the time of FMS diagnosis has an effect on cognitive functioning predominantly mediated by pain. Our results point out the role of pain as a mediator on cognitive performance, specifically in executive functions which are directly affected by the cumulative effect of the time of diagnosis. Furthermore, the importance of considering a broader perspective for assessment and treatment including novel procedures via tele-neuropsychology.
There has not been much study of risk profiles in older people according to different levels of practice in physical activity. For this reason, the aim of this research was to evaluate whether the elements that influence the quality of life and factors such as gender and education can predict the level of physical activity in the physically active elderly population. The Fernández–Ballesteros quality of life questionnaire and the WHO International Physical Activity Questionnaire were applied to a sample of 397 people with a mean age of 69.65 years (SD = 4.71). The results revealed the following predictive factors of practicing a low level of physical activity (p < 0.05): being a woman; having a low educational level; and low scores in activity and leisure and in functional skills. In conclusion, gender, education, functional skills, activity and leisure, and health are elements of quality of life that predict the level of physical activity performed by the elderly, where it is necessary to use leisure activities (visiting friends, playing games, running errands) as an indirect way to increase participation in physical activity.
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are interesting therapeutic targets due to their involvement in the development of different types of diseases. nAChR inhibitory peptides are considered promising drugs due to their high selectivity and activity on these receptors. However, the identification of nAChR inhibitory peptides using conventional in vitro and in vivo assays is time-consuming and expensive. In this sense, machine learning techniques could offer an advantage to deal with these problems. Among machine learning algorithms, the random forest classifier is one of the best performers in classifying peptides with different types of biological activities. Taking into account the aforementioned aspects, in this work we develop a robust bioinformatic tool for the specific prediction of nAChR inhibitory peptides. In this study, three predictive models with good performance measures were generated from the combination of different features selected using the Gini decrease method and the random forest classifier. The best predictive model presented the following performance measures during the fivefold cross-validation on the training data with Accuracy = 0.85, F1-score = 0.87, Precision = 0.85, Specificity = 0.81, Sensitivity = 0.90, Matthew’s correlation coefficient = 0.71; and Accuracy = 0.98, F1-score = 0.98, Precision = 0.95, Specificity = 0.95, Sensitivity = 1.0, Matthew’s correlation coefficient = 0.95 in the testing phase. From the selection of the best predictive model, a bioinformatics tool with a friendly user interface was built, called nAChR-PEP-PRED, which allows the analysis of thousands of amino acid sequences. We believe that this tool can accelerate the discovery of new nAChR inhibitory peptides to reduce the time and costs of conventional experimental assays. Our web tool, nAChR-PEP-PRE, is available at https:// nachr- pep- pred. herok uapp. com/.
The aim of this work was to assess effect of saturated constructed wetland-Microbial fuel cell system on dissolved oxygen gradient, electricity generation and ammonium removal. Two laboratory-scale systems, one planted with Schoenoplectus californicus (SCW1-MFC) and other without plant (SCW2-MFC), were fed discontinuously with synthetic wastewater over 90 days. Both systems were operated at different organic loading rate (12 and 28 g COD/m²d) and ammonium loading rate (1.6 and 3.0 g NH4⁺– N/m² d) under open circuit and close circuit mode. The results indicate that between lower and upper zones of wetlands the average values were in the range of 1.22 ± 0.32 to 1.39 ± 0.27 mg O2/L in SCW1-MFC and 1.28 ± 0.24 to 1.56 ± 0.31 mg O2/L in SCW2-MFC. The effect of operating mode (closed and open circuit) and vegetation on DO was not significant (p > 0.05). Chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiencies, fluctuated between 90 and 95% in the SCW1-MFC and 82 and 94% in the SCW2-MFC system. Regarding NH4⁺- N, removal efficiencies were above 85% in both systems reaching values maximus 98%. The maximum power density generated was 4 and 10 mW/m² in SCW1-MFC, while SCW2-MFC recorded the highest values (12 and 22 mW/m²).
Outness is determined by disclosing one’s sexual orientation and gender identity to people we socially engage in everyday life. For lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth, coming out may have several consequences due to stigma and discrimination toward sexual minorities. Perceived social support, a generalized sense of acceptance, has been associated with greater psychological well-being and sexual identity disclosure. The present study used a sequential explanatory mixed design to investigate perceived social support and its role in the outness of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths in the Philippines. Phase 1 consisted of 239 self-identified LGB Filipinos ages 18 to 24 who completed the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the Outness Inventory. Quantitative results showed a positive relationship between perceived social support and outness, with perceived family support being a significant predictor. Phase 2 involved 11 participants who were randomly selected from the study sample. The substantial interpretations of the qualitative interview supported and validated that perceived social support from family is a determining factor in the participants’ disclosure of sexual orientation. Further analysis revealed that perceived social support from one’s family could be a sequential process influencing the LGB youths’ coming-out decisions. Three key themes emerged in the participants’ experiences of perceived family support that served as the main stages in their coming out process: (1) Initial Reactions, (2) Readiness to Accept the Idea, and (3) Openness and Involvement. Generally, higher overall social support, especially from family members, leads to a higher degree of outness among Filipino LGB youths.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to the intensive use of the internet for educational and recreational purposes, leading adolescents to be more exposed to cyberbullying. Empirical studies indicate that cyberbullying has become a pervasive problem among adolescents causing negative consequences like depression. Moreover, the global pandemic lockdown and quarantine measures gave rise to the demand for telepsychology and teletherapy to virtually address the psychological needs of netizens. Thus, utilizing Conklin’s program development model, we created and experimentally tested an online intervention program to target the depressive symptoms experienced by cyberbullied adolescents. We integrated logotherapy and mindfulness to develop an eight-modular, Online Mindfulness-based Logotherapy Program (OnlineMLP). After being validated by experts in various disciplines, we experimentally pilot tested the efficacy of the OnlineMLP in a 3-h session per module in four weeks to a group (N = 10) of cyberbullied adolescents in Tamilnadu, India. The pilot study showed significantly that the OnlineMLP had a positive effect on the participants reducing their depressive symptoms. Furthermore, it confirmed that the online program’s concepts and structure are reliable, feasible, and efficacious for testing a more extensive base of cyberbullied adolescents experiencing depressive symptoms.
The search for effective and safe therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19 is one of, if not the top most, the top priorities in today’s medicinal and pharmaceutical research. In COVID-19 drug discovery and development, computational methodologies have played a significant role, not only in accelerating and economizing the process but also providing a better mechanistic understanding of a drug candidate’s interactions with specific viral targets. One interesting drug target for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is its spike protein, which plays a crucial role in the virus’s transmissibility and pathogenicity. The SARS-CoV-2 spike is a structural protein crowning the surface of the virus. The spikes are transmembrane glycoproteins primarily involved in the attachment to host cell receptors, initiating viral–host cell fusion and consequently facilitating viral entry. Such phenomenon is the first step in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Each coronavirus species showcases distinct domains, particularly the receptor-binding domain (RBD) located at the S1 subunit, to recognize various host cell receptors. For SARS-CoV-2, these receptors include the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the glucose-regulated protein (GRP78). In the process of viral entry, host cell transmembrane protease serine type 2 (TMPRSS2) is employed to prime the fusion activity of the virus. Furthermore, the resulting fragments from the priming of spike may be recognized by neuropilin-1 (NRP-1), which consequently binds to the spike protein thus enhancing SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. In this chapter, we present virtually screened natural products, such as alkaloids, sterols, peptides, polyphenols, and terpenoids, which showed antagonistic potential to host cell recognition, viral attachment and fusion through binding with various receptor-binding regions of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for ACE2, GRP78, and NRP-1 as well as host cell transmembrane TMPRSS2.
This study examined the prevalence and risk factors associated to victimization by caregivers in a national large sample of Chilean children and adolescents. 19,687 children and adolescents aged 12–17, selected by random probability sampling of 699 public schools in Chile who were surveyed by trained interviewers. Victimization by Caregivers was evaluated through a module of the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ). The prevalence (12 months) for physical abuse were (12.9%), for emotional abuse (27.9%), neglect (5.3%) and parental interference (3.5%). The results suggest as risk factors, sex, age, migration status, disability, geographical location, and type of school. The findings highlight the urgent need to address the issue of child maltreatment and victimization by caregivers in Chilean society and minimize its impact.
Aims and objectives: To explore the relationship between Saudi nurses' professional values and competence. Background: Professionals are bound by ethical standards specific to their profession. Accordingly, the COVID-19 pandemic is the most significant event that has impacted nurses' professional values and competency. Design: A descriptive cross-sectional design adhering to STROBE guidelines. Methods: Clinical nurses from four tertiary government hospitals (n = 659) participated and completed two self-report instruments. Study variables were analysed using the structural equation modelling approach. Results: The emerging model displayed acceptable model fit indices. Professionalism and activism were two dimensions of nurse professional values that significantly impacted professional competency. Professionalism significantly impacted the four other aspects of nurse professional values: caring, activism, trust, and justice. Caring had a significant and direct impact on activism. Activism had a weak, direct effect on trust, whereas justice had a moderate, direct effect on trust. Through the mediation of the dimension of activism, both the dimensions of professionalism and caring had a strong, indirect impact on professional competency. Conclusions: This research presents a structural model of the interrelationship be- tween nurse professional values and competency. Nurse administrators can use the proposed model to develop approaches and policies for assessing, improving and evaluating professional values among nurses. Relevance for Clinical Practice: Nursing professionals are committed to upholding their ethical and moral standards while performing their caregiver roles. Nurse administrators can implement activities and strategies to develop nurses' professional competence further, as professional values represent the ideal values expected of nurses providing patient care.
During the American annexation of the Philippines, a classic English catechism designed in a question-and-answer format known as the Baltimore catechism became popular. Apparently, that said catechism served as the standard Catholic catechetical text (lingua franca) in the country from 1900 to the late 1960s. There is no single best method and approach in the ministry of catechesis. However, cultural appreciation of the people is essential to realize purposeful and meaningful catechesis. In the celebration of the Quincentenario of the arrival of Catholicism in the Philippines, it is a fitting tribute to recognize Fray Juan de Oliver, O.F.M. and revisit his Declaracion de la Doctrina Christian en Idioma Tagalog which he used from 1582 to 1591 when he was tasked to evangelize the locals of Balayan, Batangas during the early stages of the Catholic propagation in Luzon. The 188-page catechism attributed to de Oliver was all written in Tagalog which meant that he persevered in learning the local language to impart the Catholic teachings strikingly to the natives. Through historical and textual analysis, the proponent intends to reconstruct de Oliver’s adaptable and comfortable (gamay) methods and approaches of catechizing in a suitable way (hiyang) to the worldview, language, and culture of the locals. Likewise, de Oliver’s catechetical pedagogy may also serve as a pedagogical paradigm for priests, religious educators, and catechists in conducting contextualized catechesis.
Background Long-term sick leave is a serious concern in developed countries and the cost of sickness absence and disability benefits cause major challenges for both the individual and society as a whole. Despite an increasing body of research reported by existing systematic reviews, there is uncertainty regarding the effect on return to work of workrelated interventions for workers with different diagnoses. The objective of this systematic review was to assess and summarize available research about the effects of work-related interventions for people on long-term sick leave and those at risk of long-term sick leave. Methods We conducted a systematic review in accordance with international guidelines. Campbell Collaboration (Area: Social Welfare), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, Epistemonikos, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Sociological Abstracts were systematically searched in March 2021. Two authors independently screened the studies. We conducted risk of bias assessments and meta-analyses of the available evidence in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The remaining comparisons were synthesized narratively. The certainty of evidence for each outcome was assessed. Results We included 20 RCTs comprising 5753 participants at baseline from 4 different countries. The studies had generally low risk of bias. Our certainty in the effect estimates ranged from very low to moderate. Eight different interventions were identified. Meta-analysis revealed no statistically significant difference between multidisciplinary rehabilitation (MR) and usual care (US) (Risk Ratio [RR] 1.01; Confidence Interval [CI] 95% 0.70-1.48 at 12 months follow-up) and between MR and other active intervention (Risk Ratio [RR] 1.04; Confidence Interval [CI] 95% 0.86-1.25 at 12 months follow-up). Remaining intervention groups revealed marginal, or no effect compared to the control group. The results for the secondary outcomes (self-efficacy, symptom reduction, function, cost-effectiveness) showed varied and small effects in the intervention groups. Conclusion Overall, the present data showed no conclusive evidence of which work-related intervention is most effective for return to work. However, a handful of potential interventions exist, that may contribute to a foundation for future research. Our findings support the need for adequately powered and methodologically strong studies.
Artemisia plants are traditional and ethnopharmacologically used to treat several diseases and in addition in food, spices, and beverages. The genus is widely distributed in all continents except the Antarctica, and traditional medicine has been used as antimalarial, antioxidant, anticancer, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral agents. This review is aimed at systematizing scientific data on the geographical distribution, chemical composition, and pharmacological and toxicological profiles of the Artemisia genus. Data from the literature on Artemisia plants were taken using electronic databases such as PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science. Selected papers for this updated study included data about phytochemicals, preclinical pharmacological experimental studies with molecular mechanisms included, clinical studies, and toxicological and safety data. In addition, ancient texts and books were consulted. The essential oils and phytochemicals of the Artemisia genus have reported important biological activities, among them the artemisinin, a sesquiterpene lactone, with antimalarial activity. Artemisia absinthium L. is one of the most famous Artemisia spp. due to its use in the production of the absinthe drink which is restricted in most countries because of neurotoxicity. The analyzed studies confirmed that Artemisia plants have many traditional and pharmacological applications. However, scientific data are limited to clinical and toxicological research. Therefore, further research is needed on these aspects to understand the full therapeutic potential and molecular pharmacological mechanisms of this medicinal species.
Childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE) is a subset of SLE with onset prior to 16–18 years of age. Around 15% of patients with SLE present in childhood; patients with cSLE have a greater genetic component to their disease, more systemic involvement, and more severe disease course including higher risk for developing nephritis. Patients with cSLE develop loss of tolerance to self at an earlier time than patients with adult-onset SLE, or loss of tolerance progresses sooner to autoantibody production, immune complex deposition, and immune-mediated tissue injury. We review the diagnosis, classification criteria, and management of kidney disease in cSLE, by pediatric nephrologists and rheumatologists. Although the evidence basis for management often primarily relies on adult studies, there is growing literature on cSLE around the world. Fortunately, 5- and 10-year mortality is lower than in adult-onset SLE, and patient and renal survival has improved over the years. However, relapses are common, especially during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Patients with cSLE also accrue organ damage and co-morbid conditions from lupus and their therapies, including cardiovascular, infectious, ocular, skeletal, growth, endocrine, and reproductive complications.
Online child sexual abuse is highly prevalent in current society, in part, due to how technologically advanced children and adults have become. While much of the focus has been on perpetrator intervention, it is prudent to consider responses safeguarding children from potential perpetrators. Therefore, this review aimed to identify all the available empirical research on the prevention methods linked to education and awareness to determine the approaches' effectiveness, successes, and failures to aid future interventions. Databases were systematically searched for studies published between 2000 to 2020. Nine studies providing different prevention methods for online child sexual abuse were selected. A total sample of n = 672 and a descriptive approach was used for this study. While the interventions seemed to improve knowledge retainment of online safety, there was no significant change for risky online behavior. These findings provide specific suggestions for future interventions, particularly those focusing on risky online behaviors.
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Mary Beth Bacano Maningas
  • Department of Biological Sciences
Angelito Silverio
  • Electronics Engineering Department
Rey Donne Papa
  • Department of Biological Sciences
Maribel Nonato
  • Department of Chemistry
Thomas Edison Dela Cruz
  • Department of Biological Sciences
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