Regional symposia on biotechnology to last until October, says DA
A series of regional symposia on biotechnology that started in July will extend up to October this year, the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO) said.
It will culminate with the first National Biotechnology Conference for Teachers on November 27, a major gathering during the National Biotechnology Week celebrated on the same month.
The first of eight regional biotechnology symposia on Enhancing Biotechnology Education was held recently in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
It was organized by the DA-BPO and conducted by the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology UP Diliman (NIMBB-UPD) led by Dr. Cynthia T. Hedreyda.
The next symposium will be held on August 17 at the Central Philippine University (CPU) in Iloilo City.
The Batac symposium was hosted by the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) - Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences chaired by Dr. Prima Fe Franco. No less than the MMSU President Dr. Miriam E. Pascua and Dr. Joselito L. Lolinco, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, graced the opening ceremonies and welcomed the participants and guest lecturers.
The objectives of the symposium are to enhance biotechnology education in the country and to provide the participants with science-based information on the processes and products of modern biotechnology, like genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and cloning.
The lectures and interactions between the participants are intended to enable them to make their own informed decisions on the safety and importance of modern biotechnology products. Since the target participants are teachers at the secondary and tertiary levels, they are expected to disseminate biotechnology information to their students.
Among the 70 participants were MMSU undergraduate and graduate students, biology high school and college teachers from Laoag City, Vigan City and Batac. Teachers from the Kalinga Apayao State College also attended the symposium.
Dr. Neil Andrew Bascos introduced basic information on modern biotechnology followed by Dr. Cynthia Hedreyda who discussed the processes involved in developing GM crops. Dr. Vermando Aquino and Dr. Wilberto Monotilla talked on the global trends of modern crop biotechnology and trends in modern aquatic biotechnology, respectively.
Dr. Denise Noelle Bascos discussed the current trends in medical biotechnology and exercises in handling molecular forensics were performed by Ms. Zahara Joy Guiamal.
The active participation of the audience during the open forums was significant. The participants expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to learn and several requests were made for them to talk in future seminars on biotechnology in the region..
A student-reactor was so inspired by what she learned that she is now considering taking advanced studies in the field of molecular biology and biotechnology. The participants received handouts and teaching aid materials.
The venues for the other regional symposia are Central Philippine University, Iloilo City and the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Ateneo de Naga in Bicol, Palawan State University and Cavite State University in Southern Luzon and Xavier University of Cagayan de Oro. Arrangements with a school in Davao City are still being finalized.(biolife news service)