The recent approval of the commercial growing of Golden Rice (GR) based on guidelines set by a 5-interdepartmental circular is a most welcome, most awaited development.
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) continues to be one of the leading nutrition and public health problems in the developing world, affecting 190 million worldwide including Filipino children and lactating mothers. The 2019 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) of the Department of Science and technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) shows that 1 in 4 children from the poorest communities continue to suffer from VAD, which can contribute to a weakened immune system, more frequent childhood illnesses, and is the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness.
Despite successes in Vitamin A supplementation and fortification efforts, this public health concern persists due to the chronic insufficiency of key micronutrients in the average Filipino diet. According to 2019 ENNS data, only 2 out of 10 households meet the estimated average requirement (EAR) of Vitamin A in their daily diet. This trend is particularly worrying, given the rising rates of food insecurity that arose as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic: the September 2020 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey records the highest self-reported incidence of hunger in twenty years, at 30.7%. We have yet to experience the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our nutritional status, but to safeguard whatever nutritional gains we have achieved, it is imperative that all potential interventions must be utilized.
Since the beta-carotene is naturally embedded in the Golden Rice grain, the needed nutrient comes at no additional cost and effort to the consumer, a significant benefit to poor households.
Laboratory and human feeding studies suggest that if consumed at usual rates, GR can supply as much as 42% of the EAR for Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is only converted into Vitamin A by the human body as needed, which means that overdosing is not a concern. Moreover, studies show that staple crops and other foods with simple food matrices have a more efficient bioconversion rate than fruit or vegetable sources of beta-carotene. In the case of Golden Rice, its bioconversion rate of 3.8:1 means that the human body only needs 3.8 micrograms (µg) of beta-carotene from Golden Rice to convert into 1 µg RAE (Vitamin A). This is roughly equivalent to one cup of cooked Golden Rice to provide 30-42% EAR of Vitamin A for pre-school children.
Now is the time to demonstrate this benefit on a community scale. DA-PhilRice, the lead proponent of Golden Rice in the Philippines, is working on identifying the appropriate market-based and program-based approaches to ensure that Golden Rice first reaches the communities who need it the most. A nutritional impact study will also be conducted by an external organization with expertise in public health.
The development of Golden Rice took over 20 years because the genes for beta carotene which were obtained from yellow corn had to be bred into popular varieties that are well known to farmers; varieties with acceptable and consistent good agronomic field performance such as high yields, resistance to pests and diseases, and good eating quality. Proponents wanted to ensure that the Golden Rice variety that would be released in the market met farmer and consumer needs.
Now that the biosafety permit for the commercial propagation of Golden Rice has been issued, the next important steps include varietal registration and seed increase. Golden Rice will be initially deployed in selected areas where the need is greatest. These early experiences with Golden Rice will provide important knowledge as we further scale up production.
To ensure the highest quality of seed for farmers and a safe and nutritious food supply for all Filipinos, there will be a comprehensive quality assurance and stewardship program that covers all steps in the chain from seed production, to post-harvest processing, to marketing.
Unlike the regular white well-milled rice, as the name implies, the grains of Golden Rice are golden yellow in color. When cooked, the rice looks very much like the saffron-colored rice in the Spanish paella, which dish many Filipino chefs have adopted as very much part of our cuisine.
The stable beta carotene genes can now be incorporated in a range of rice varieties, and a number of different inbred versions of Golden Rice are expected to be released in the future not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world where Vitamin A deficiency is rife and where rice is the staple food.
With Golden Rice as an additional option to existing programs such as diet diversification, breast feeding, vitamin supplementation, and food fortification efforts, a multi-pronged long term sustainable solution to the scourge of Vitamin A deficiency is in sight.
VISION 2021 is back for its 2nd Series on July 16, 2021, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon!!!
DOST-NRCP's VISION 2 will present the Virology Inst. of the Philippines (VIP) infrastructure, Philippine microbiology education, product development during the pandemic and the international linkages and best practices in the area of virology.
First come, first served
PSBMB invites you to attend their Chapter activities!
CENTRAL LUZON CHAPTER
A Webinar on Coping and Overcoming the Stress Brought by COVID19: The Ways Forward
June 30, 2021 | 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Registration is Free!
12 day Special Training on Advanced Techniques in Gene Editing, Fluorescence Bioanalytic, and Quantitative Proteomics
June 21 - July 7, 2021
8:00 AM - 12:00 NN
Registration is free!
Registration link : https://docs.google.com/.../1FAIpQLSc6vJcmdj7s3h.../viewform
The Philippine Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is inviting submissions of original scientific works for publication.
GUIDELINES FOR CONTRIBUTORS
Electronic copy of the manuscript should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief, PJBMB , care of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, U.P. College of Medicine, P.O. Box 593, Manila.
Click here to check the submission guidelines.
Email Address: email@example.com
16th FAOBMB Congress
22–25 November 2021
Christchurch, New Zealand
The 16th FAOBMB Congress will be hosted by five life science societies from New Zealand and Australia.
Reflecting the breadth and depth of the five partner societies, indicative session topics include: computational biology; gene regulation and signal transduction; genetics and genomics; molecular basis of disease; molecular evolution; molecular microbiology; plant biology and biochemistry; and proteins – structure, function and engineering.
The Scieitific Program and many other details can be found on the Congress website at www.faobmb2021.org
The Congress will also be preceded by a Young Scientist Program, to take place 19-21 November 2021
Details of the Young Scientist Program (YSP) and the Application Form can be found here.
Closing date for Applications for the YSP has been extended to 02 July 2021
FAOBMB Education Special Fellowships are available for participation in the Education Symposium at the Congress
More details can be found here at this announcement. Here are links to the Guidelines and the Application Form
Closing date for Applications for the FAOBMB Education Special Fellowships is 18 June 2021
Save the date! A brochure with introductory information about the Congress can be accessed here.
They are also encouraging the delegates to join the scientific e-poster competition to showcase their latest research, on-going projects or innovative work. All this under one digital platform, they may choose to attend any of these CME and CMTE accredited conferences, free of charge.
The enclosed materials provide an overview of the event and the instructions on how to register for the sessions and on how to join the e-poster competition.
PSBMB Members can avail of complimentary attendee pass and gain CME and CMTE while attending their scientific sessions. Contact our secretariat through firstname.lastname@example.org to avail.
Join us in our Online Annual Convention!!!
Links to the online meetings of each Plenary and Parallel Session will be provided soon.
Contributed posters are welcome!
Abstract guidelines, forms, and deadline for submission will be announced soon.
For inquiries: email@example.com
To introduce new and existing QIAGEN product portfolio ranging from sample preparation down to NGS and bioinformatics.
To introduce Golden Bat (Far East) Inc. as QIAGEN’s exclusive distributor for Life Science (LS) and Applied Testing (AT) products in the Philippines.
This will serve as an avenue for professors, students, researchers in the academe, government, and companies to raise their questions about QIAGEN products that they are using or they are interested to utilize in their workflow.
Registration is free. We wish to accept a maximum of 100 participants for this seminar. RSVP is a must on or before Nov. 8, 2019.
Hope to see you on the 12th!
Required Dress Code: Smart Casual
An IUBMB Sponsored Conference, 13‐15th November 2019, Manila, Philippines.
See more: https://iubmb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bmb.21283
Tang Travel Bursaries
GUIDELINES FOR TANG TRAVEL BURSARIES TO ATTEND IUBMB 2019 PHILIPPINES
A certain number of travel bursaries are available for young educator/scientists to enable participation in the IUBMB-PSBMB Education Conference in Manila. These grants cover the registration fee, and support travel and accommodation costs up to a maximum of US$1000. The candidates will be selected on merit, subject to the eligibility criteria below. The applicant
should send their complete applications (see below) together with documented proof of their eligibility and a recommendation letter from the current or previous supervisor to Prof. Gracia Fe B. Yu, (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Prof Janet Macaulay (email@example.com).
The deadline for submitting an application is 23rd September 2019. You may download the Application Form Below.