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Vol. XXVI, 4th Quarter
October – December 2008


PCAMRD, PCHRD hold forum on biotechnology-based health services

THE PHILIPPINE COUNCIL for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development, and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development jointly held a forum on potential biotechnology-based health services, both are attached agencies of the Department of Science and Technology.

The event was one in a series of fora marking the National Biotechnology Week that adopted the theme “Making Biotechnology Work for You” slated November 24-28 at the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Small-Scale Industries in Diliman, Quezon City.

Biotechnology applications that can improve the lives of Filipinos such as enhancing farm and food productivity, and development of health products and diagnostic tools were among the highlights in several scientific forum on health, food and agriculture, and industry and energy, respectively.

A scientific forum on health was held November 25 at UP-ISSI featuring the DOST-funded PharmaSeas Drug Discovery Program. Dr. Gisela P. Concepcion, a professor at UP Marine Science Institute discussed the search for anti-infective agents from marine microorganisms associated with sponges, and anti-pain agents from turrid snails.

Turrid snails are venomous marine snails closely related to Conus. Ziconotide, from which a commercial painkiller more effective than morphine was developed.

There were also daily film shows and seminars on bio-enterprise opportunities, investors’ forum on agricultural biotechnologies, and educational forum on biotechnology, among others. Other highlights included the Bionet National Congress, and the 6th International Symposium on Biocontrol and Biotechnology.


DOST along with the Department of Agriculture co-chaired this year’s National of Biotechnology Week celebration with the cooperation of Department of Health, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Education.

Presidential Proclamation 1414 signed last November 9, 2007 instituted the annual observance of the National Biotechnology Week every last week of November. It aims to raise public awareness, education, and understanding of biotechnology for its responsible application and regulation.