Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The use of forensic DNA evidence in effective governance of the local community

Adapted Article
Written by Ma. Corazon A. de Ungria, PhD
04 October 2012

Photo credits: Philippine Genome Center
Among the forensic sciences, the most recently introduced and among the most powerful means of identification is DNA technology. By taking advantage of one’s genetic code, it has become easier to link suspects to a crime based on biological samples found in crime scenes. By taking advantage of the hereditary nature of DNA, it has also become simpler to resolve issues of filial obligation, particularly in matters pertaining to child support or claims of inheritance. However, in order to successfully implement this technology at the local level, support from government and full cooperation of the community must be obtained.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

GeneSoc holds first Folic Acid Awareness Week

Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH)-Philippines is a network of youth leaders from different youth organizations based in universities and communities throughout the country. The network was formally organized on July 2009 through collaborative efforts of the IHG-NIH, UP Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) and The UPLB Genetics Society.

Three years after the formation of VYLH-Philippines, The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc) continues to show support to the network through its participation in national activities, and incorporation of the network's advocacies: folic acid awareness campaign, newborn screening p promotion, and orphan disorders support, in various activities of the organization. The newest addition to the line-up of activities of the organization to promote VYLH-Philippines and its advocacies is the celebration of the Folic Acid Awareness Week held on 13-16 August, 2012 with the theme, Folic Acid: A Vitamin for Life. The celebration includes a week-long exhibit and series of activities that highlights the importance of folic acid in maternal and child health. 

A Week-long Celebration

The first day of the celebration was marked by a symposium on the importance of folic acid in the prevention of birth defects delivered by Ms. Marian Teresa Cuenca, RN from the Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health (IHG-NIH), UP Manila and secretariat of the VYLH-Philippines NSCR-South Luzon Cluster. The folic acid awareness assessment test was also done before and after the symposium to assess the impact of the talk to the participants.

Also, GENEWS, the official newsletter of the organization, released its comeback issue on the second day of the exhibit. It featured the different activities of the organization which include the latest edition of the Genetics Camp (January 2012) that highlighted the different advocacies of VYLH-Philippines. The event coincided with the opening of the exhibit. 

The organization allotted the third day of the exhibit for the distribution of VYLH-Philippines pamphlets and materials. Members distributed brochures and informational materials about the importance of folic acid, and wore orange ribbons together with a sticker printed with the tag line "I say YES to folic acid." Also the organization took the chance to accommodate questions from people interested about VYLH-Philippines advocacies and campaigns.

Leading the trail since 2008

In 2008, GeneSoc was handpicked by Dr. Carmencita Padilla - then director of IHG-NIH, UP Manila, to be the pioneering student organization to be involved in the conceptualization of an advocacy awareness program regarding folic acid supplementation and its importance in the prevention of birth defects. Since then, the organization has been involved in conducting activities that promote the recruitment of youth leaders particularly from UP Los Banos, and the  preparation of advocacy informational and educational materials. As part of the network's goal to mobilize the youth in promoting its advocacies, the First  National Youth Camp which institutionalized VYLH-Philippines was held on July 2009 in Tagaytay City. The event was co-organized by The UPLB Genetics Society together with the pioneering member organizations from UP Los Banos.# 

Members of the Folic Acid Campaign Committee together with the officers of The UPLB Genetics Society.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GeneSoc alumnus Dr. Mark Magbanua visits IBS

Dr. Mark Jesus Magbanua, Batch Eugenics, an Associate Specialist and former Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF) visited the Institute of Biological Sciences and gave a lecture last August 20, 2012. Dr. Mark Magbanua obtained his Masters and Doctoral degree at the University of California Davis. 

Dr. Magbanua finished his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology major in Genetics in 1993 and awarded top of the class, summa cum laude. He was also the UPLB Student Council Chairperson during his last year in college. He is also a proud alumnus of The UPLB Genetics Society. 

Photo credits: Yna Monte (GeneSoc PRO)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

BioFreshmen Orientation 2012

The UPLB Genetics Society (GENESOC) took initiative in welcoming the newest batch of BS Biology isko't and iska's into one of the most prestigious institutes in UPLB - the Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS). The said event was held last June 13, 2012 at the IBS Lecture Hall Main which led to the formation of seven blocs with nearly 30 members each. The annual activity aims to assist the aspiring biologists in making the most out of their four years of stay in the University.

At first newcomers attended the three-hour program, the IBS Freshmen Orientation, led by another IBS organization. After listening to some speakers and the faculty themselves, the students proceeded to their first bloc meeting. Clustering into groups, they started acquainting with their blocmates. To better aide their adjustment in the University, they were given mini-survival booklets comprising essential tipes on how to be more efficient and prudent college students. After settling down, the seven blocs were then given a tour around some major buildings such as the Institute of Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and CAS Annex 2, where majority of their classes will be held.

After the series of convival action, the Institute and spearheading organizations hoped that students were able to imbibe the essence of being a true Iskolar ng Bayan.