PNRI, ITDI sign accord for research dev’t, cooperation
With the aim of developing mutually beneficial and meaningful research, development, and cooperation related to their respective mandates, the DOST - Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) and the Industrial Technology Development Institute, through the Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (Admatel), signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday, August 22, 2022, at the DOST Compound, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig.
The partnership seeks to strengthen collaboration on individual research projects between the two institutions. It also aims to reinforce the exchange of scientific and technical information regarding the agreed research projects.
The MOU was signed by DOST-PNRI Director Dr. Carlo A. Arcilla and DOST-ITDI Director Dr. Annabelle V. Briones. Witnesses include Dr. Vallerie Ann I. Samson, deputy director of PNRI, and Dr. Araceli Monsada, laboratory manager of ADMATEL.
The PNRI’s Nuclear Materials Research Section which will implement the project on PNRI’s side is composed of Dr. Angel T. Bautista VII, Dr. Americus Perez, and Alexandria Tanciongco who presented the annexes of the MOU to further discuss the framework for the collaborative research projects. (By Nuclear Materials Research Section, DOST-PNRI)
The mango pulp weevil
Under a stereomicroscope, a DOST-PNRI researcher separates male and female MPWs for mating and fecundity study
PH nuclear agency sets international standard for mango pest treatment
As a result of a breakthrough study, the standard for the quarantine treatment of a persistent mango pest is finally set by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI). Said development now gives Philippine mangoes a better chance at the global market and a push for the local mango industry as well.
Said treatment involves irradiating mangoes at a certain dose that will make the Sternochetus frigidus (Fabr.), or mango pulp weevil (MPW), sterile.
“This ensures that the weevil will no longer be able to reproduce,” says Glenda Obra of PNRI’s Agriculture Research Section and the leader of the research “Establishment of radiation dose for quarantine treatment of mango pulp weevil (MPW), Sternochetus frigidus Fabr in Philippine Mango.” The study was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Regional Field Unit 4B.
As the PNRI study found, irradiating the pest using 165 Gy dose sterilizes it, and prevents the production of the next generation of MPW. This breakthrough opened US markets for Philippine mango exports.
“Other countries use the generic dose of 400 Gy, but at this dose, the quality of our Philippine Carabao or Philippine Super Mango will be affected,” explains Obra. “Our mango variety is more sensitive because of its thin peel.”
S. frigidus, or bukbok ng mangga in Tagalog, is most destructive during the larval stage as it feeds and develops on the sweet mango pulp. According to literature, S. frigidus was probably introduced in 1987 from Borneo into the southern part of Palawan. Since then, the government put the island group under quarantine to prevent the spread of the pest. This move dropped the overall mango production in Palawan by 30%.
As the pests cannot be easily seen through visual inspection, they can only be controlled through postharvest treatment. The usual procedure is fumigation or cold heat, but this has not been successful when used to treat S. mangiferae, a close relative of the S. frigidus.
The only viable alternative to disinfest S. frigidus, is through irradiation which, according to WHO, does not leave residues and does not make the food harmful to human health.
In 2014, the USDA-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service included the PNRI-set irradiation treatment in the USDA’s Plant Protection Quarantine Treatment Manual. “The dose can also be used to control fruit fly. This provided the scientific basis that eventually led to the USDA Final Rule,” adds Obra.
Eventually, the project team submitted its proposed irradiation treatment of S. frigidus to the FAO-International Plant Protection Convention in 2017 through the Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry’s National Plant Protection Office.
After a series of annual reviews, rigorous evaluations by the Technical Panel of Phytosanitary Treatment, and two public consultations held through the IPPC Online Comment System, the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) finally recommended and publicly endorsed the adoption and inclusion of the treatment in the International Standard of Phytosanitary Measures 28 in April 2022.
The CPM endorsement put DOST-PNRI on the map as a first-mover in the country in establishing a global standard in disinfestation through irradiation. “It is the first time for the Philippines to have a phytosanitary treatment, specifically one involving irradiation, approved and adopted by the FAO-IPPC,” says Obra. (Framelia V. Anonas, DOST-PNRI)
DOST-PNRI researchers dissect mangoes infested by the Mango Pulp Weevil at the Institute’s MPW Holding Laboratory
PNRI wins LIKHA Award First Prize at 2022 NICE
Congratulations to the scientists and researchers of the DOST - Philippine Nuclear Research Institute for another big win during the 2022 National Invention Contest and Exhibits (NICE)!
PNRI Chemistry Research Section's very own Career Scientist I Ms. Charito Aranilla, Science Research Specialists Ms. Bin Jeremiah Barba and Ms. Lorna Relleve and PNRI Atomic Research Division Chief and Career Scientist III Dr. Lucille Abad were awarded the First Prize for the LIKHA Award for Outstanding Creative Research - Government-Funded category.
Their entry entitled "Life-Saving Hemostatic Granules and Dressing for Quick Control of Traumatic Bleeding" pioneered research on hemostatic agents from radiation-processed polymeric materials that can stop traumatic bleeding in emergency situations, which may prove to be an invaluable life-saving material for the health and medical sectors, among others.
Hosted biennially by the Technology Application and Promotion Institute, NICE recognizes the best and the brightest Filipino inventions, innovations, and researches in the Philippines and their contributions to national development.
2022 NICE Winners
NICE 2022 Awarding and Closing Ceremonies
PNRI Nuclear Services Division Chief Dr. Preciosa Corazon Pabroa and Radiation Protection Services Section Head Ms. Kristine Marie Romallosa-Dean (2nd row, 5th and 4th from left, respectively) joins the RPSS staff and other guests at the new Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory inaugurated on June 28, 2022.
PNRI opens new Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory
To better serve the needs of workers occupationally exposed to radiation across the country, the DOST - Philippine Nuclear Research Institute has recently inaugurated its new Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratory (SSDL) on June 28, 2022 at the PNRI compound in Quezon City.
As part of the National Measurement Infrastructure System, the SSDL establishes and maintains the national standards for ionizing radiation measurement in the Philippines
These standards are necessary for the calibration of field instruments used to detect radiation in workplaces such as hospitals or factories.
The new facility will allow for more capabilities and bigger laboratories to help address existing and future customer needs.
Among these customers are professionals in the medical and industrial sectors who are working with facilities involving radioactive materials and radiation-generating equipment, such as x-ray machines, linear accelerators, and density gauges, among others.
The PNRI-SSDL now has four irradiation rooms and has new facilities for various radiation qualities: neutron, beta, photon (Cs-137), narrow spectrum series radiation qualities, and internal dosimetry.
Among the new upgrades include a) an automated and high intensity Cs-137 calibration system, b) constant potential X-ray irradiation system for low energy protection level and diagnostic level calibrations, c) whole body counter for internal dose monitoring and d) beta irradiation system.
The new facility will allow for more capabilities and bigger laboratories to help address existing and future customer needs. The PNRI-SSDL now has four irradiation rooms and has new facilities for various radiation qualities: neutron, beta, photon (Cs-137), narrow spectrum series radiation qualities, and internal dosimetry.