Five finalists for the National Academy of Science and technology (NAST) Talent Search for Young Scientists presented papers at Hotel Jen Manila on May 19, 2016.

Paper presenters were Ms. Christina J. Cayamanda of De La Salle University on “P-graph approach to optional operational adjustment in poly-generation plants under condition of process inoperability’; Dr. Raly G. Fuentes of UP Visayas Tacloban College on Scopadulciol isolated from scopana dulcis, induces B-catenin degradation and overcome TRIAL resistance in AGS human gastric adenocarcinoma cells”;. Dr. Jose Isagani B. Janairo of De La Salle University “Effects of biominiralization peptide topology on the structure and catalytic activity of Pg nanomaterials”; Dr. Michael R. Mananghaya of De La Salle University on “Hydrogen adsorption of novel, N-doped carbon nanotubes functionalized with Scondium.”; and Mr. Jomar P. Rabajante of De La Salle University on “Equilibrium switching and mathematical properties of nonlinear interaction networks with concurrent antagonism and self-stimulation.”

Christina Cayamanda’s work is relevant in providing solutions for developing sustainable supply chain of energy, goods and services in the presence of climate change-induced disasters such as energy and water shortages, as well as mechanical failures. Integrated systems such as polygeneration provide efficient supply of energy and other products with reduced emissions and wastes compared with stand-alone power plants. Unfortunately, such systems are susceptible to failures due to their interdependencies. By applying P-graph method to the system, she was able to developed systematic techniques to determine the optimal operational adjustments for the polygeneration system. She had also worked with other researchers in order to develop P-graph models in determining the interdependencies of different economic sectors in the Philippines. Currently, she had applied the P-graph method in determining the criticality of each processes in bioenergy park, which will be submitted in an international conference.

The research work of the group of Dr. Fuentes presented the plausible mechanism of the cytotoxicity of the compound scopadulciol againsts AGS cells to tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL)- induced apoptosis.

Scopadulciol was isolated from Scoparia dulcis which was identified as a potent plant source of compounds with Wnt signal inhibitory activity during the screening program of plant crude extracts library. The study considered the Wnt signal pathway because aberrant activation of the pathway is implicated in the occurrences and developments of diseases particularly cancer. The key component of the pathway is the B-catenin because it co-activates TCF-mediated transcription activity. Thus, targeting the Wnt signal offers a promising therapeutic strategy for the management of diseases, and others.

Dr. Isagani B. Janairo in his work highly branched coral-like Pd nanostructures were formed using a biomineralization peptide conjugated to an oligomeric peptide that simultaneously controls the spatial orientation, arrangement and valency. The Pd nanocoral showed very high catalytic activity in the reduction of nitrophenol. The results highlight the importance of topological arrangement in nanostructure formation and catalytic activity.

Metallic nanomaterials have gained increased interest in a wide variety of applications, especially in catalysis due to their enhanced properties over bulk materials. The improvement of the catalytic performance of nanomaterials is attributed to their size-dependent surface and quantum confinement effects. Palladuim is very important in catalysis since it is involved in a wide spectrum of reactions, ranging from C-C cross coupling to functional group reduction. Different bottom-up methods can be used to form metal nanostructures, such as the use of stabilizers, templates and solid supports.

Dr. Micheal R. Mananghaya who works on the “Hydrogen adsorption of novel V-doped carbon nanotubes functionalized with Sconduim said that in developing countries such as the Philippines, In developing countries such, the combination of steady economic progress, population growth and rapid urbanization places increased consumption on Fossil fuels that are being depleted and have caused severe environmental problems, which affects the agricultural, industrial and domestic sector. This increases in fossil fuel – coal, oil and natural gas – use implies bringing the equivalent of a new generally radical acceptable pathway to a safe and sustainable energy for the future in the form of Hydrogen energy. Hydrogen energy seeks to improve the environmental sustainability of industrial systems by reducing fossil fuels inputs and waste outputs. These goals can be realized through efficient hydrogen storage at room temperature. Potential use of hydrogen energy lies in applications to power up zero-emission vehicles thus reducing pollution. When fossil fuels are burnt, they release carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere, which is a major constituent of worldwide pollution eventually leading to climate change. Through the development of onboard hydrogen storage system wherein high and reversible hydrogen storage capacity of carbon nanotubes makes the system very promising.

Dr. Jomar F. Rabajante paper provides mathematical foundations to several researchers in Epignetics (e.g., [1]) paper provides mathematical foundations to several researchers in Epigenetics (e.g.,[1]). The CDM can represent a dynamic Waddington’s epigenetic landscape of cell-fate determination that demonstrate a multi-lineage cell differentiation. The model also describes a repressilator-type system that activates suppressed genes via sustained oscillations providing an alternative scheme for cellular reprogramming. The adjustable parameters in the model suggest regulatory mechanisms of cell differentiation, dedifferentiation and transdifferention. The prediction based on the model unifies the theories of branching and structural oscillation in cell-fate determination which reveals keys temporal patterns of cell differentiation and associated disease, such as cancer. Furthermore, the CDM model can be used to study the connection between the epigenetic landscape and the coevolution in host-parasite interaction (e.g.,[2]). The model is consistent in predicting negative frequency-dependent selection that leads to the Red Queen dynamics describing winnerless cyclic phenotype-switching in host and in pathogens. The Red Queen hypothesis is use to explain evolution of sex, the extinction and diversity of species, and the emergence of antibiotic resistance. It is also used in Social Science to model winnerless social competition and adaptation.