March 25, 2020
As the Philippine government placed Luzon on lockdown on Monday, March 16,2020, local government units were tasked to implement strict quarantine for all households and suspend public transportation covering buses, jeepneys, and even tricycles. Social Distancing is highly implemented and home quarantine among the locals. It is among the preventive measures that the government and health experts are suggesting to preclude the spread of the disease.
Medical and non-medical hospital workers, as well as those in the vital services sector, are exempted from the travel restrictions under the enhanced community quarantine but going to work is a challenge as the operations of mass public transportation has been suspended.
In response to this, Department of Science and Technology together with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Cauayan and Isabela State University provided “Free Ride” in Hybrid Electric Road Train going to their work and home in Cauayan City, Isabela.
Today, the Hybrid Train started to accommodate the transportation of Health workers and frontliners in the City until the end of the Enhanced Community Quarantine period.
March 25, 2020 PNG explores possible cooperation with PCAARRD during visit
Papua New Guinea (PNG) officials, headed by its Minister of Parliament (MP), Honorable Ross Seymour, recently visited the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
During the visit, PNG explored possible initiatives with the Council on agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR), and on policy formulation. PNG hopes that the visit will help them in attaining their five-year development plan for 2018-2022 especially on areas related to aquaculture and aquatic resources.
Along with Honorable Seymour were Mr. Moses Wanga, District Administrator; Mr. Yutis Tipeo, District Manager; Mr. Cliff Wimbevong, District Manager; Mr. Virginio Saguimpa, DXN JV Ltd Manager; and Dr. Mirzi Betasolo, Civil Engineering Department Head of the PNG University of Technology.
Aside from marine and aquatic sectors, Honorable Seymour also expressed PNG’s interest in curriculum offerings/development and conduct of benchmarking exploratory visits in the fields of molecular development, agricultural engineering, and biosystems. PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora requested Honorable Seymour to write the concept for their proposed initiatives so that PCAARRD could make the proper representation to concerned agencies/institutions within its Network. Both PCAARRD and PNG Huon District agreed to first identify the specific areas to focus on in order to determine how to proceed with the proposed cooperation.
PCAARRD was represented by Dr. Ebora; Dr. Juanito Batalon, OIC-Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development; Dr. Mari-Ann Acedera, Director of Marine Resources Research Division; Engr. Eduardo Manalili, Officer-in-Charge of the Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division; Ms. Princess Ani, Senior Science Research Specialist, Socio-Economics Research Division; and Dr. Lilian Bondoc, Director, Policy Coordination and Monitoring Division. Dr. Acedera and Engr. Manalili presented PCAARRD’s Industry Strategic S&T Programs for marine and aquatic sectors, respectively.
After the briefing and meeting, the delegates were toured at the S&T Promotion Hub of the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC) and the Seeds and Seedlings Plaza SciCAT Farm Tourism Site, which is a project of PCAARRD with Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Los Baños National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center (BPI-LBNCRDPSC). Technologies and innovations generated from R&D projects implemented by PCAARRD’s partners in the AANR sector were showcased (Cyrill S. Estimado, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services).
March 25, 2020 CLSU Initiates Nano Enhanced Alcohol and Hand Sanitizer Production Amid COVID-19 Threat
As a response to the COVID-19 situation, where it also brought to the dwindling source of ethyl alcohol also known as ethanol in the market due to panic buying, the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) researchers produce local ethanol and hand sanitizer using nanotechnology.
Led by Dr. Juvy Monserate, head of the CLSU Nanotechnology R&D Facility, the research team initiated the production of the nano enhanced alcohol and sanitizer. According to Dr. Monserate, the alcohol and sanitizer that they have produced both contains nanoparticles infused with turmeric extract. According to the study of Ghaffari, et.al., on the use of zinc oxide nanoparticles as nanomedicine, the mixture could kill the H1N1 influenza and the SARS viruses which are both a family of the coronavirus. Thus, applying such to surfaces could be effective in inhibiting the spread of COVID-19.
With regards to the production of the nano enhanced alcohol, the bioethanol produced by the College of Engineering and the Affiliated Renewable Energy Center, led by their Dean, Dr. Victorino Taylan, and their Director, Dr. Marvin Cinense, respectively, was reconstituted to obtain 70% ethyl alcohol. The protocol in producing the ethanol was shared by the Mariano Marcos State University President, Dr. Shriley Agrupis as part of a previous R&D partnership between the two SUCs.
Moreover, to sustain the production of bioethanol as required by the University for the mass production of nano enhanced alcohol, Dr. Cinense shared that the team needed only five to seven days including fermentation weekly. To jumpstart the production, it is good to note the collaboration among the different Centers of the CLSU Research, Extension and Training (RET) Program as they have received molasses and yeast from other centers such as Small Ruminant Center, Philippine Carabao Center at CLSU and the Ramon Magsaysay – Center for Agricultural Resources and Environment Studies.
Aside from the production of alcohol and sanitizer, the research team was also able to fashion a washable mask using nano fiber as a ‘filter’.
“These efforts are really service-oriented where it intends to provide the frontliners – doctors, nurses, military personnel, and anyone providing services in the grounds, with alcohol, sanitizer and mask, to serve as a weapon to fight COVID-19,” Dr. Fe Porciuncula, Vice President for RET expressed. She also said that this is one of the immediate responses of the university to prevent the spread of COVID-19 knowing that CLSU in itself is a big community already
All of the endeavors are being supported by the dynamic CLSU president, Dr. Edgar Orden who emphasizes the very importance of providing solutions to COVID-19 situation through S&T. He also supports the eventual commercialization of the nano enhanced alcohol, sanitizer and washable face mask so that these can be mainstreamed in the market and made available for anyone interested to buy, subject to adherence to standards and requirements, rules and regulations set forth by the Food and Drug Administration.
“To ensure viability, the products will indeed be subjected to third party analysis and confirmation before it will be released for commercialization,” Dr. Monserate said.
For inquiries, you may contact Dr. Juvy Monserate at 0917-148-5214 or email him at email@example.com. // by: Maria Adrielle S. Estigoy
*Dr. Juvy Monserate is a Chemical Engineer and holds a PhD in Material Science and Engineering, with extensive training and experience in Nanotechnology. The nanotech research team is also composed of licensed chemists from the CLSU’s Department of Chemistry.
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