THOMASIANS continued to turn ideas into innovations in this year’s best scientific theses which presented new discoveries in both technology and health sciences.

Here are some of the few studies recognized inside and outside the University.

Faculty of Engineering: The robot game system

Electronic engineering students Patrick Jonathan Cadeliña, Joseph Vincent Cano, Phoenix John Casanova, Ralph Justine de los Angeles and George Oliver Lopega developed a gaming system similar to the Micro Robot World Soccer Tournament, a soccer game played by robots created by Jong-Hwan Kim of South Korea.

The group’s thesis titled “System design of a machine-vision-aided autonomous tail tagging robot driven using fuzzy logic control” was meant for students to appreciate robotics.

“We would like to promote robotics by encapsulating science behind a game so even non-technical people can appreciate it. Hopefully, through this game, they would become interested in technology,” Cadeliña said.

The game runs with two mobile robots playing tag. They use webcams to see their opponents. A “Bluetooth” connection, a short-range digital transmission technology, connects the host computer and the robot to direct speed.

The study was declared the Most Outstanding Scientific Research in the 3rd Annual Research Awards last March 5 at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, besting 200 other entries.

College of Nursing: Studying conception and care after birth

The College of Nursing declared two best theses this year, both focused on the life of a mother and her child.

Interaction between first-time mothers and their babies was the focus of the study titled “Appreciation of baby language and its effect on maternal stress and mood state among first-time Filipino mothers,” which was named best thesis for quantitative research.

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Nursing seniors Jaqueline Didier Loto, Joyce Anne Marie Lopez, Conrado Lotho III, Marie Stephanie Lozada, Fiona Amara Lua, and Nina Fritz Lumampao believed that babies use a universal language to tell their caregiver what they need, and understanding this language could affect the level of maternal stress and mood of first-time Filipino mothers.

The study was based on the Dunstan baby language system of interpreting the cries of babies 0-3 months. Since, the system was applied only to Western countries, UST Nursing students decided to test it in the country.

Loto said that by understanding baby cries, parents will be able to address their child’s needs correctly, and prevent distress on both the baby and caregiver.

The best qualitative research was from the group of Quinia Jenica Ranjo, Witness editor of the Varsitarian. Ranjo and her group mates John Jeremiah Rapacon, Nicole Gwynne Rapista, Angelo Miguel Realina, Grace Anne Rebebes, and Ruby Ann Rebibis did the study titled “Decision making process of mothers with hemophilia A regarding future conception” to determine the basic social processes of mothers who serve as genetic carriers of hemophilia A, a blood disorder that causes bleeding episodes in boys.

“Our group wanted to know the decision-making process of mothers with hemophilia A children regarding future conception, knowing that being carriers of the disease, there is a great possibility that their next child will also have it,” Ranjo said.

Faculty of Pharmacy: A close look on the tunkin plant

Dominicans had made use of the Ipomeoa muricata (Linn.) Jacq., also known as Lavender Moonvine or tunkin, for medicinal purposes. Chemical, pharmaceutical, and botanical studies have been conducted in the University for other uses. However, a molecular-based study of this Philippine tunkin species has not yet been established.

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Because of this, biochemistry students Delbert Almerick Boncan, April Apolinario, Basil Justin Bote, and Jamie Corpuz thought of investigating the species through their thesis titled “DNA-based authentication of Ipomoea muricata (Linn.) Jacq. seed using Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) marker.”

The group decided to do a preliminary investigation on Ipomoea muricata, a rare plant with unusual aerial rootlets using the ITS marker, a non-functional RNA placed between structural ribosomal RNAs (component of ribosomes). This involved isolation, purification, amplification and sequencing of its region.

“Being the first molecular-based study on local tunkin, the ITS nucleotide sequence may serve as a measurement of identifying local tunkin demarcated on the basis of their species and geographical origin, and it may also serve as reference for future studies,” Boncan said. The plants used in the study came from the Ilocos region where they are locally grown.

It was observed that environmental factors such as soil, climate, and adaptability affect the amount of secondary metabolites, chemicals produced by plants that are disabled with primary functions such as growth and reproduction, which would vary in each plant.

The DNA sequence that determines the exact sequence of nucleotides, meanwhile, resisted these factors and even slight nucleotide base differences could be seen in two similar plants of different regions.

“We were faced by limited information and references on how to go about the experiment,” Boncan said. But despite this, the study was declared the best thesis out of 10 participants from the department of biochemistry under the Faculty of Pharmacy. Camille Anne M. Arcilla

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