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Legazpi Thomasians display their scientific brilliance in Bali

Once more, Legazpi Thomasians have proven that we are living up to our name. And this time, our senior high students continue the streak at the international stage.

From January 23-28, 2018, Grade 12 students from Blessed Innocent attended and bagged multiple awards at the 4th International Research Conference on Higher Education held in Bali, Indonesia.

Here are the students who went to Bali: Isabelle Louise Arellano, Yalena Mikaela Bergonio, Jespersen Bertillo, Roselle Adel Burce, Airah Pauline Francisco, Meackaella Mae Rasco, Darlyn Pearn Torregoza, Lenar Balaoro, John Joshua Lositańo, Patrick John Ramos, Ryan Caesar Ramos, and Jude Ericsson Regorgo.

Asst. Professor Jet Guerrero, the director of the Office of Research (OR), went with our teenage Einsteins as the research adviser to compete at the conference, but he shares in the awards received since he technically co-authored of all the five research papers.

Here are the awards that the team won collectively at the highly coveted research conference:

Winner, Nemensio E. Prudente Excellence in Research Award- Best Research Paper in Information Technology, Computer and Computing Category

Winner, Nemensio E. Prudente Excellence in Research Award- Best Research Paper in Engineering, Science and Technology Category

Finalist, Nemensio E. Prudente Excellence in Research Award- Natural and Applied Sciences Category

Finalist, Nemensio E. Prudente Excellence in Research Award- Best Research Paper in Information Technology, Computer and Computing Category

Finalist, Nemensio E. Prudente Excellence in Research Award- Best Research Paper in Engineering, Science and Technology Category

Should you be curious enough to know about the award-winning research studies by our brilliant students, here are the five research papers that they presented in Bali. And don’t you worry; we have done the legwork of translating most of the scientific jargon into simpler ones for you.

Biosynthesis of Gold Nanoparticles using Katakataka Leaf Extract as Colorimetric Sensor for Tilapia’s Freshness

You didn’t get it at first either, did you? Let us simplify it for you. In essence, the study is about synthesizing gold nanoparticles through the extracts of Katakataka leaves and using it to test if the tilapia which you’re about to cook is still fresh or not.

The biosynthesized gold nanoparticles are used as a colorimetric sensor to detect the presence of ethylamine gas – the determining factor if a particular fish is still fresh or rotting.

According to John Joshua Lositanio, one of the researchers for the study, ethylamine gas is present in all rotting fishes, so the study can also be adopted to testing the freshness of other species of edible fish in the market. However, they wanted to focus on tilapia since it is a staple food, and is widely cultivated and consumed all over the country.

Antibacterial Activity of Biosynthesized Gold Nanoparticles using Acapulco on E. Coli and Cholera

In a nutshell, the research is about observing how effective is biosynthesized gold nanoparticles in killing the bacteria Escherichia Coli and Cholerum.

The former are resident bacteria in our intestinal tract, and with good intentions. However, the bacteria would become dangerous once we ingest it. On the other hand, the latter is the cause of the notorious disease Cholera. According to Jespersen Bertillo, there were about 32, 600 suspected cases of Cholera from 2008-2013.

The researchers are hoping that they can come up with a new and cheaper antibacterial solution to combat the vast number of disease-causing microbes. Although they will be using gold nanoparticles in the solution, the term nano already suggests the gold that they will be using are only in very small amounts.

Fabrication of Paper-based Colorimetric Sensor for Magnesium and Calcium ions in water using Biosynthesized Gold Nanoparticles using Pilinut Extract

According to Airah Pauline Francisco, one of the researchers for this study, Pilinut extracts are the ones that drove them nuts enough to create a paper-based sensor to see if it can detect the presence of Magnesium and Calcium ions in water.

What for? Airah said high levels of calcium and magnesium in water can be detrimental both to our health and our machinery. For example, dangerous levels of these ions are associated with cardio-vascular diseases. That is why water has to be treated first before it should be utilized or consumed, and the only way to properly do it is to have an easier and readily-available sensor.

Again, the research is promising since it is undoubtedly a cheaper alternative – each paper strip would cost only about 3 pesos.

Alcohol Quantitation in Human Matrices by Biosynthesized Gold Nanoparticles immobilizing a paper-based colorimetric sensor

This study by Ryan Caesar Ramos and his colleagues also uses a similar method like the others, but this rather tests the alcohol content in human matrices like saliva, sweat, and urine. As you might have noticed by now, the researches have a common factor – gold nanoparticles biosynthesized by a certain plant. In this case, it’s Siling Labuyo.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 3.3 million people die around the world every year due to alcohol. This is very alarming since television ads remind people to drink moderately and responsibly, but most of the people who drink alcohol cannot really determine if they have drunk more than they should. We have a lot of paraphernalia to check for alcohol saturation in the blood, but more researches prove that these are inaccurate.

If other people took it upon themselves to empower this study and manufacture the paper-based colorimetric sensor, many would be able to determine when to stop taking in alcohol, thereby sparing them from untoward incidences.

Determination of Hydration Levels of Grade 12 female students of the University of Santo Tomas- Legazpi via Digital Imaging Colorimetry

Among the five research studies which qualified for the research conference, this one is the easiest to comprehend. Basically, the researchers would be able to determine if a person is adequately hydrated or not, by merely taking a picture of the urine sample.

Instead of the usual, inconvenient method of getting a sample and dropping it into a solution, the students take a picture instead, and go straight to a computer to do some magic with the Red-Green-Blue (RGB); Hue, Saturation, and Brightness (HSB); and Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black) [CMYK] values of the sample.

For Isabelle Louise Arellano, one of the researchers, looking for a cheaper and more convenient way of determining a person’s daily water intake is a must since when she personally experienced undergoing more expensive ones.

The Screening Process

This was the team’s first time going to Bali, Indonesia. Prior to the conference, they were asked to submit their entries by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), who were the coordinators for the researches that will qualify to Indonesia, so they did. As the team implied, they didn’t really expect to pass the screening process. “But then, we are elated and fortunate to be chosen, as well as humbled, since we would be listening to those with a doctorate and masterate degrees uncover their studies,” explained Jude Ericsson Regorgo.

“Aside from the conference, we are also looking forward to inhaling the Indonesian air and basking in the rich culture of the archipelago,” said Lenar Balaoro before leaving for Bali.

“Our group extends our thanks to Professor Guerrero for playing a very important role in our studies,” exclaimed Lenar. The team also expressed gratitude to the administrators of UST- Legazpi, as well as to PUP for giving them the opportunity to present their studies in Bali.

Posted on: 01.17.2018

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