Monday, December 5, 2011

Celebrating Nobel Laureates in Genetics and Molecular Biology

Last December 2011, The UPLB Genetics Society celebrated its 28th Founding Anniversary through the conduct of the annual Genetics Week. GenWeek 2011 was held under the theme, "Genetics:Grooving through the years" which highlights Nobel laureates who have significantly contributed in the advancement of genetics and molecular biology. Activities that would cater to the members of the organization, the UPLB community and the organization's alumni were also included in the week-long celebration.

Schedule of Activities

12-16 December 2011
12 December  | Opening of the Exhibit (with VYLH-Philippines Side-exhibit)
Institute of Biological Sciences, Wing C Lobby 
13 December | IQlympics Quiz Contest
IBS Lecture Hall Main
14 December | Folic Acid Campaign and NBS Promotion (in partnership with VYLH-Philippines Los Baños)
Student Union Building
15 Decemeber | Open Tambayan
IBS Wing C Lobby
16 December | Alumni Homecoming
IBS Wing C Lobby

What is the Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Prize Medal
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards given by Scandinavian Committees in recognition of significant  cultural and scientific advancements. The awards were named after the Swedish Chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of the dynamite. Nobel included in his will the establishment of the Nobel Prizes, which were funded by the bulk of his estate.

Since 1901, the awards have been awarded annually for achievements in five fields namely (1) Physics,  (2) Chemistry, (3) Physiology or Medicine, (4) Literature, and (5) Peace. 

In the field of genetics and molecular biology, Nobel laureates were recognized either in the field of Medicine and Physiology, or Chemistry. 

Listing of Nobel Prize Laureates in Medicine and Physiology related to Genetics and Molecular Biology

Kossel (1910) 
Work on protein including the nucleic substance 

Morgan (1933) 
Role of chromosomes in heredity 

Muller (1946) 
Production of mutations by X-ray irradiation 

Beadle & Tatum (1958) 
Regulation of definite chemical events (one gene:one protein) 

Lederberg (1958) 
Genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material in bacteria 

Ochoa & Kornberg (1959) 
Mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic and deoxyribonucleic acid 

Crick, Watson & Wilkins (1962) 
Molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material 

Jacob, Lwoff & Monod (1965) 
Genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis 

Holley, Khorana & Nirenberg (1968) 
Genetic code and its function in protein synthesis 

Delbrück, Hershey & Luria (1969) 
The replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses 

Arber, Nathans & Smith (1978) 
Restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics 

McClintock (1983)  
Mobile genetic elements 

Tonegawa (1987)
Genetics of Antibody Formation and Diversity

Bishop and Varmus (1989)
Retroviral Oncogenes

Roberts & Sharp (1993) 
Split genes 

Lewis, Nüsslein-Volhard, Wieschaus (1995)
Genetic control of Early Embryonic Development

Prusiner (1997)
Prions, a new principle of infection 

Brenner, Horvitz and Sulston (2002) 
Genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death 

Fire & Mello (2006) 
RNA interference 

Capechi , Evans & Smithies (2007)
Principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of 
embryonic stem cells 

Blackburn, Greider & Szostak (2008)
Telomeres and Telomerase 

Listing of Nobel Prize Laureates in Chemistry with significant contribution to Molecular Biology

Berg, Gilbert, and Sanger (1980)
Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids and Recombinant DNA
Determination of Base Sequences in Nucleic Acids

Klug (1982)
Structure of Biologically Important Nucleic Acid-Protein Complexes

Altman and Cech (1989)
Discovery of the Catalytic Properties of RNA

Mullis and Smith (1993)
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Oligo-nucleotide Site-directed Mutagenesis

Ciechanover, Hershko and Rose (2004)
Ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation

Kornberg (2006)
Molecular Basis of Eukaryotic Transcription

Ramkrishnan, Steitz, and Yonath (2009)
Structure and Function of the Ribosome


The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1901-2000". 9 Dec 2011

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry: The Development of Modern Chemistry". 9 Dec 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Brave new world of genomics

Written by Paul Icamina
Malaya Business Insight , 02 December 2011

LESS bones in bangus and smaller heads in tilapia to make room for more meat. Fast-growing crops resistant to disseases and adverse environments.

All these and more from an ambitious research venture and the quest to encourage new discoveries and innovations in gene science – from the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) launched by the University of the Philippines (UP) last Monday. The center will be based at the UP-Ayala Land TechnoHub in Quezon City.
"PGC will combine basic and applied research for the development of health diagnostics, therapeutics, DNA forensics and preventive products and improved crop varieties," said Dr. Carmencita David Padilla, PGC Executive Director.

"The PGC will use the knowledge of genomics in revolutionizing agriculture, health, and researches," she said "Research will play a key role in advancing science."

Genomics involve studies on the entire hereditary information of an organism embedded in the genome, encoded either in the DNA or, for many types of virus, in RNA.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Genome center to open at UPLB

Written by Helen Flores 
The Philippine Star, November 11, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - The government is set to launch the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) on Nov. 28 as part of its efforts to boost the country’s agriculture sector.

PGC executive director Carmen Padilla said the PGC, the first of its kind in the country, will work on basic research that has strong applications on Philippine commodities, including traditional crops and biotechnology products, pharmaceuticals, forensics and other issues of social and economic impact.

“The core of the PGC will be plant genetics and breeding laboratories and facilities at the Institute of Plant Breeding of UPLB,” Padilla said in a statement.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Filipino Genome

Written by Michael D. Purugganan
11 August 2011, Philippine Star | Star Science

We are our genomes, or at least a good part of who we are is engraved in our DNA. It was about a decade ago that the sequence of the human genome was released, the completion of a monumental 11-year international effort costing over P130 billion. Knowing the sequence of the human genome — the more than three billion letters that make up our DNA, including our approximately 25,000 genes — has revolutionized biology, and the science of genomics has changed research in medicine, agriculture and the environment.

Today, we roughly know the genome sequences of about 1,000 humans on the planet, part of an international effort to understand how humans differ in their DNA. But as far as I know the genome sequence of a Filipino has never been read completely, and we still remain largely ignorant of what our genes look like. Will we be able to read our genetic past in order to understand our present? Are we able to explain who and what we are based on our DNA?