The Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development, and the Philippine Council will jointly hold a forum that highlights potential biotechnology-based health services for Health Research and Development, both are attached agencies of the Department of Science and Technology.

The event is one of a series of fora marking the National Biotechnology Week that adopted the theme “Making Biotechnology Work for You”, which are slated November 24—28 at the University of the Philippines’ Institute of Small-Scale Industries in Diliman, Quezon City.

Biotechnology applications that can improve the lives of Filipinos such as enhancing farm and food productivity, and development of health products and diagnostic tools will be among the highlights in several scientific forum on health, food and agriculture, and industry and energy, respectively.

On November 25, a scientific forum on health will be held 9-12 noon at UP-ISSI featuring the DOST-funded PharmaSeas Drug Discovery Program. Dr. Gisela P. Concepcion, a professor at UP Marine Science Institute will discuss the search for anti-infective agents from marine microorganisms associated with sponges, and anti-pain agents from turrid snails.

Turrid snails are venomous marine snails closely related to Conus. Ziconotide, from which a commercial painkiller more effective than morphine was developed.

There will also be daily film shows and seminars on bio-enterprise opportunities, investors’ forum on agricultural biotechnologies, and educational forum on biotechnology, among others. Other highlights include the Bionet National Congress, and the 6th International Symposium on Biocontrol and Biotechnology.

DOST along with the Department of Agriculture co-chair this year’s National of Biotechnology Week celebration with the cooperation Department of Health, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Education.

Presidential Proclamation 1414 signed last November 9, 2007 institutionalizes the annual observance of the National Biotechnology Week every last week of November. It aims to raise public awareness, education, and understanding of biotechnology for its responsible application and regulation.