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  • Pinoy Public High School Students Show How Nipa Palm Can Help Prevent Cancer

    They wanted to stop cancer at the source.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Pinoy Public High School Students Show How Nipa Palm Can Help Prevent Cancer
PHOTO BY Screenshot from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation video
  • Apart from being best friends, Ray Vincent Pelayo and Gerardo Rafael “Raffy” Tallador of Iloilo National High School are bright, young scientists who wanted to find ways to prevent cancer. Many of Ray’s loved ones died of degenerative diseases, while Raffy comes from a family of doctors.

    The two teamed up to study nipa palm or tuba, extracting lactic acid bacteria from it and researching its potential in preventing degenerative diseases. While most research on cancer is about finding a cure, their study focused on stopping the part where cancer develops.

    “There [are] certain studies that [show] that lactic acid bacteria have antioxidant properties. We wanted to test its DNA protective property in particular,” Ray shared.

    Ray Vincent Pelayo and Rafael Tallador.
    PHOTO BY Screenshot from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation video
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    Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals which is linked to diseases like cancer. Their experiment found that the lactic acid bacteria extracted from nipa palm sap, a plant so abundant in their community that it is usually discarded, can actually produce antioxidants that neutralize free radicals.

    Incorporating these microorganisms into “functional food” and into our daily lives can be a viable preventative method to cancer, according to Ray.

    Ray and Raffy are among the 12 public high school students who were recently declared as the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) Young Scientist Awardees of 2020. Their project also won one of the top awards at the Life Science Team Category of the National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) held last March 2020 by the Department of Education (DepEd).

    Meet the GBF Young Scientist awardees

    This year’s honorees are part of the six research teams who won at the NSTF. They were tasked to come up with innovations that could be of great help to their communities.

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    Their projects were also submitted to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which is considered the “Olympics” of high school science fairs. As GBF Young Scientist Awardees, they will also get full university scholarships.

    Get to know the students and their projects:

    Iloilo National High School’s Marvince Araneta and Lorraine Joy Bales

    Marvince Araneta and Lorraine Joy Bales.
    PHOTO BY Screenshot from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation video
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    Access to clean, potable water in rural communities remains a problem, so Marvince and Lorraine Joy developed an affordable and compact device that can detect the presence of mercury and lead in water. It is an alternative to the high costs of water sample testing.

    The two were able to create their water monitoring kit that makes use of carbon quantum dots with less than Php1,000 and an old smartphone. Because of its success, their prototype won the top award in the Physical Science Team Category.

    Bansud National High School – Regional Science High School for Mimaropa’s Franklin Razon

    Franklin Razon with his prototype.
    PHOTO BY Screenshot from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation video
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    Using dried patola, coconut husk, Arduino modules, PVC pipes, and other repurposed materials, Franklin was able to come up with a device that could help fisherfolk in Oriental Mindoro deal with oil spill cleanup. It is controlled by a smartphone via Bluetooth, and is designed to float and retrieve oil from water. It won the top award in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Individual Category.

    Negros Occidental National Science High School’s Marian Ledesma

    Marian Ledesma of Negros Occidental National Science High School.
     PHOTO BY Screenshot from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation video
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    Marian studied the potential of EDTA-MGO, a magnetic nanoadsorbent from graphite, in removing organic pollutants from water and making the adsorbent easily retrievable after use. Her study, which can positively impact water purification sugar mills in Negros Occidental, won the top ward in the Physical Science Individual Category.

    Caloocan National Science and Technology High School’s Adoniram Balagtas, Chloe Heather Ellano, and Thea Marie Lumabi

    Adoniram Balagtas, Chloe Heather Ellano, and Thea Marie Lumabi.
     PHOTO BY Screenshot from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation video
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    There are at least 7 million registered motorcycles in the Philippines and more than 31,000 motorcycles figured in road incidents in 2019 alone. After one of their teachers passed away in a motorcycle accident, the three students were moved to develop “ABANTE,” an Arduino-based anti-theft engine control and alcohol-sensing, and collision-sensing helmet.

    The engine control is installed in a motorcycle while the helmet equipped with sensors serves as a remote. If the rider is not wearing a helmet, the motorcycle engine won’t start.

    When the sensors detect alcohol or an impact, the system will send an automated text message to the rider’s emergency contact. Their prototype won the top award in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Team Category.

    Juan R. Liwag Memorial High School’s Arabelle Santos, Jesscel Mae Libiran, and Giuliana Anupol

    Arabelle Santos, Jesscel Mae Libiran, and Giuliana Anupol
    PHOTO BY Screenshot from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation video
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    Using fruit flies as their subject, Arabelle, Jesscel, and Giuliana studied the potential of the takip-kuhol plant in possibly reducing alcohol dependency and mitigating the effects of alcoholism. Their study won them the top ward in the Life Science Team Category.

    Meet another student who invented solar windows made from rotten vegetables! Read his story here.


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