DOST Opens UPLB Biotechnology Plant
By EDD K. USMAN (Manila Bulletin, November 29, 2012)
MANILA, Philippines --- The Biotech Pilot Plant for the Philippines' involvement in biotechnology (biotech) research for new products, was inaugurated Thursday at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB), Laguna.
The plant has a Fermentation Engineering Service Laboratory (FESL), with its building and old equipment rehabilitated at a cost of P25 million, about a half of the P58 million budget for research and development (R&D) fund of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).
Science Projects of Agusan Sur National High School Conducted at BIOTECH Win Awards
A ‘partnership’ of the Antibiotics Laboratory of BIOTECH-UPLB and the Agusan Sur National High School has been prts that its studeoducing winning science projects. Already, the school has garnered 24 awards from the eight investigatory projecnts have conducted at the Biotech laboratory.
According to BIOTECH’s director, Rey Ebora, these awards were won from various science research competitions from the Division Level, Regional Congress, IntelDepEd National Science Fair, and even international competitions.
From the mentoring of BIOTECH researchers, Ms. Teofila O. Zulaybar and Ms. Irene A. Papa and laboratory technician Mr. Bernardo Mercado, the students develop quality science investigatory projects worthy to be presented even in international scientific conventions.
BIOTECH wins 2012 Likha Award
UPLB BIOTECH’s entry “Microbial Rennet for Cheese Making” won First Place in the Outstanding Creative Research (Likha Award) category of the 2012 National Invention Contest and Exhibits (NICE). Dr. Susana Mercado, the sole inventor of this technology, took home a glass plaque and a P50,000 cash prize during the awarding ceremonies held last July 14, 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.
“Rennet, basically, is a milk coagulant,” Dr. Mercado explained when asked about the science behind her invention. Rennet is a complex of chymosin, proteases and other enzymes that is produced by mammals in their stomachs. The enzymes in the rennet can coagulate milk, separating it to curd and whey, and thus used in cheese making.