FFE Magazine

PH scientists find new home

by FFE PH News staff

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) is finally making headways in the local science and technology scene with the launching of the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) Sequencing Core Facility on Tuesday.

PGC executive director Carmencita Padilla has emphasised that “the problems of the country can be solved by genomics.” Genomics is the study of the DNA and how it influences the environment. The new facility is seen as a diving board for improvements in the health sector, agriculture, food quality, forensics, ethnicity and renewable energy.

Science and Technology secretary Mario Montejo said that “the problems of the country [could] be solved by genomes. Transformative technology does changes the way we do things. The country needs this. It (genomics) can benefit the country.”

The executive director also thanked officials for the facility that serves as a home for local scientists, saying “they (researchers) train here but work overseas. We need a home to keep them here.”

The outbreak of the A(H1N1) influenza virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and dengue in 2009 led to the establishment of the PGC in the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, Quezon City. With help from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and other attached agencies, the government initiated investments in local research and innovations.

UP president Alfredo Pascual said that the new facility was also built to help turn the university into a research-intensive institution. He pointed out that “[investing] in science, technology and innovations is important to the country’s development … UP must lead the country toward development through academic excellence and operational excellence.”

In addition, the president said that the PGC will “keep the young researchers in the country to contribute to move the country forward.”

Today, the PGC has been given a P47 million grant by the DOST to work improve sugar cane and coconut hybrids for future generations.

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