Pregnancy Type Test Kit For Dengue Positivity



Various deceases and viruses has become a widespread issue in other nations and also in our country today. It has been categorized unto its levels of effect to the health of the people and the cause of how it is being acquired. Some can be cured through immediate medication and random set of test’s, but some doesn’t have remedies but can be prevented, this is because to its undefined symptoms and effect to the body of a certain person. One of the alarming viruses that has been unto several cases here in the Philippines is the Dengue.


The Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. This can be cause by any one of four closely related dengue viruses. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with dengue virus in their blood. It can’t be spread directly from one person to another person. Symptoms appear in 3–14 days average 4–7 days after the infected bite. Some of this symptoms may include:

Dengue fever is like a normal flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults.There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Severe dengue is a potentially fatal complication, but early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses often save lives. This has been also the cause of the rapid number of children being hospitalized every year.

The Philippine’s exposure to dengue cases has become an alarming situation in the country. According to the National Epidemiology Center of the Philippines’ the Department of Health reports a total of 59,943 dengue cases from January 1 to September 6,2014. This is 59.57% lower compared to last year (148,279). Of the total cases, 10.47% came from Northern Mindanao Region X, 9.6% from CARAGA Region XIII, 9.19% from Davao Region Region 11.from Region IV-A and , Region III, which are 8.93% and 8.01% respectively, to the overall figure.

As an immediate response to the rapid spread of the Dengue virus into the body and to assure the case of the infected person , a product of study was made  by the Research and Biotechnology Division of the St. Luke’s Medical Center with the help of the Department of Science and Technology DOST,  they developed a “point-of-care” test for dengue meant to be simple enough to be done even by people without medical training.



The pregnancy type test kit for dengue is like a pregnancy test kit, but it is just only for dengue. Just place a few drops of blood into a plastic wand, and you can see if you’re positive after 15 minutes. Like in the ordinary off-the-shelf pregnancy test, a strip of specially-treated materials soaks up the fluid and changes color in the presence of specific chemicals.

According to Dr. Mark Pierre Dimamay one of the members of the research team, the problem with dengue is that its most common symptom fever is usually shrugged off by sufferers, delaying medical attention. It’s only when the fever persists for three or four days that people decide to consult a doctor. But by then, the dengue will already have progressed so time is of the essence.Dengue should not be a fatal disease, it only becomes deadly when treated too late or not treated at all.
While it is too early for them to tell how much this device might cost, the  research team is hoping that it is around the cost of a pregnancy test since they are similar in format.

A prototype of the product has already been produced, with field testing scheduled for next year.

How it works

The dengue test prototype is designed to detect dengue even in its earliest stages, well before the breakout of any tell-tale fever. 

The test involves two strips: one that detects the dengue virus itself in the earlier stages of contamination, and another that reacts to the antibodies produced after virus numbers have subsided. 

This is because, once the dengue virus enters a person, it multiplies until it reaches a peak level; this is when the symptoms, like fever, start to manifest. But after the fourth day of contamination, virus numbers drop as the body counterattacks by producing antibodies which determines the number of weeks being infected. 

So the test works by detecting both the virus and the antibodies produced in its wake.

Other existing methods

A similar device called the Rapid Dengue Test is already available in the market. Unlike the point-of-care prototype of the St. Luke’s team, it only detects the antibodies against dengue, which appear in the blood four to five days after the onset of fever.

Yet another device called the Dengue NS1 Ag Strip is being used by some hospitals to test early dengue infection. However, it still won’t fit the ideal point-of-care test, because its end-users are still healthcare professionals: The patients cannot perform this test by themselves.Methods for diagnosing dengue like the Nucleic Acid Amplification, serological methods, and virus isolations require technical expertise and a lot of time, which don’t make them ideal point-of-care screening tools for general feversThese methods need a laboratory and specialized equipment, plus the technical expertise of the people performing the tests. These methods would also take at least half a day to finish, according to Dr. Dimamay.

As the rapid number of people being hospitalized every year due to dengue, the innovation like the pregnancy type test kit for dengue can be an immediate tool in determining the direct case of the symptoms being undergone by the person. This could also determine the antibodies as to how long the body has been infected by the virus. And such, person suffering with such symptoms could immediately know his/her case and that it could be treated as soon as possible by the medical experts, so that the virus could be detected and can somehow be prevented in spreading. This is also a way in preventing sudden deaths of people due to dengue, because in just a number of minutes you could already determine if your positive of dengue or not. Because, in cases like dengue “Early prevention is a must”. 

By: Sarah Mae Arante

References & Sources

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Banana Peels: Use as a Replacement of Traditional Petroleum Based Plastic

By: Nikka Domini P. Pameroyan

Plastics which we are using today are not Eco-friendly and not safe. The government has been implementing laws which states to minimize the use of plastics so that we could restore the cleanliness of our environment as well as to stop the tearing of our ozone layer and to have a fresh atmosphere. Pollution is one of the causes why people get these different diseases. Plastics have a contribution to the Pollution, since the traditional plastics which are petroleum based are non-biodegradable. It is also one of the causes why floods happen because of the clogged drainage systems which are caused by plastics. Although plastics have a great contribution and help to mankind, it also can harm and affect the environment and the health of the people living in it.

Science has made its way to somehow minimize the causes of pollution and to have a Greener and Cleaner environment, introducing the Bio-Plastics which compose of the main ingredient used in the project: Banana Peels.

Banana_Peel_for_Healthy_SkinSince Bananas contains starch, it possesses the characteristic of being able to absorb humidity and it is also used by packaging drug capsules in the pharmaceutical sector. Some bio-plastics are made of other ingredients like vegetable fats, corn, peas and potatoes which also contains starches. Some bio-plastics are designed to be biodegradable.

This Bio-plastic project was made by an 18 year-old teenager, Elif Bilgin from Istanbul Turkey. Winner of the 2013 $50,000 Science in Action award, part of the third annual Google Science Fair.


What drives her in making this project is that “the bio-plastic is such a new concept and its range of use has been widening ever since it has been discovered (especially in the 21st century). The bio-plastic is a material which has the potential of causing a biological reform by means of reducing the amount of pollution caused by other plastic materials which contain petroleum derivatives. The banana peel is something we we throw away every day, but little do we know, it has much more efficient uses. For example, in Thailand, 200 tons of banana peels are thrown away daily and this number increases each year (Pangnakorn, 2006) and in the fruit industry, banana peels make up around 30-40g per 100g of the total revenue. All those peels may be put into much more use. The banana fruit’s peel was selected for this experiment because it is a waste material rich of starch.” (Elif Bilgin)

Since bananas are rich in starch, She explained that the starch and cellulose present in banana peels are a possible replacement for traditional petroleum based plastic. According to The Packaging Bulletin Magazine’s January issue, it is a proven fact that starch and cellulose are important raw materials used in the bioplastic industry (Packaging Bulletin, 2009).

The making: Similarly sized bananas with no bruises on the skin to ensure that the experimental process is fair. She dipped the bananas in a solution and different concentrations to produce banana paste. After dipping in a solution, it was boiled for 30 minutes. Drying the peels she then added again another mixture and placed it in the oven at 130°C. It was baked for half an hour. After 12 attempts and pilot experiments, 2 of these following experiments were selected and repeated for four times.

According to one of her experiments, 4N ( 4 newton) pulling force on the plastic from the opposite sides showed no change in strength and there was no decay in the plastic after 30 days, therefore the making of the bio-plastic is successfully made.

“This project is so easy that you can actually made it yourself right in your homes” says Elif. By using this innovation, we can make a cleaner and greener environment. The advantages of these are: the plastics are renewable, less energy to produce, easier to recycle, non toxic and it is biodegradable.

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Some companies and brands here in the Philippines are using bio-plastics materials in their products example is the Orocan. They are known for the durability of their products. I also found some articles and videos which teaches you how to make your own bio-plastics using different raw materials simply like water, starch, glycerin and vinegar.

Making these bio-plastics can really help minimize the pollution on our environment. Imagine the world replacing all petroleum based plastics to bio-plastics.



Hyaluronic Acid from Silver-Banded Whiting Fish: Anti-Aging and Antioxidant

Most of the people toss away fish heads for many reasons. Some people say that fish heads are inedible or not safe to eat. Others say that they almost choke and they couldn’t breathe due to the obstruction of their esophagus because of the disgusting taste of the fish heads. Some people have no idea about the contents of the fish heads that they insist are for garbage cans.

Bioactive peptides identified in range of foods, which includes fish especially, in the contents of a silver-banded whiting fish or Asuhos. Bioactive peptides like Hyaluronic Acid from food proteins offer major potential in nutraceutical or derived from the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical”.

Asuhos contains Hyaluronic acid which can be applied externally to improve or enhance the pleasing features of skin, hair, lips and eyes. Also it can be used to lessen or even prevent the oxidation of other chemicals in human body.

Dr. Bernadeth Ticar, Western Visayas College of Science and Technology’s  (now ISAT U) pride, entitled her ongoing research (June2015-May 2016): Bioactive Hyaluronic Acid from heads of Silver-Banded Whiting for Nutraceutical Use. The chemicals found on the heads of silver-banded whiting fish can be used in cosmetics as anti-aging and anti-oxidant.

uploaded by WVCST

uploaded by WVCST

With a scientific name of Sillago Argentifasciata, silver-banded whiting fish, one of the 29 species of genus Sillago and one of the three genera in smelt-whiting family Sillaginidae, inhabits the coastline of the Philippines, especially in Palawan.



Its name was taken from the brilliant silvery strip across its elongated and slightly compressed body with two apparent dorsal fins by Martin and Montalban in 1935 from a single physical sample of an organism collected in the waters of Western Central Pacific; Lumbucan Island, Palawan Philippines.  The specie’s head contains Hyaluronic acid which can be mixed in cosmetics.

Hyaluronic Acid, also known as Hyaluronan or Hyaluronate (HA) is a carbohydrate, specifically, a mucopolysaccharide occurring naturally throughout the human body. It can be several thousands of sugars. When not bound to other molecules, it binds to water and gives off a stiff viscous or a  gel-like water holding molecule that is the space filler and cushioning agent in all mammals. HA cushions joints, nerves, hydrates skin and hair, and fills the eye. Although originally discovered in 1934 by Karl Meyer, HA gained momentum only after a visit by a reporter to a Japanese village of Yuzuri Hara to find out why both men and women in their 80’s and 90’s had smooth wrinkle free skin, flexible joints, full heads of hair and activity levels that defied their age.

by: Shabir Daya       Victoria Health

by: Shabir Daya
Victoria Health

Another research discussed when was HA discovered.  It was when first commercially used in 1942 when Endre Balazs applied for a patent to use it as a substitute for egg white in bakery products. No other molecule had ever been discovered that has such unique properties to human body.

Scientific studies have shown that HA improves skin hydration, stimulates production of collagen in skin, works as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, maintains skin’s elasticity, cushions joints and nerve tissues, and protect against numerous possible eye concerns.

Because Ha is one of the most hydrophilic (water-loving) molecules in nature with numerous benefits for the human body, today it can be described as “nature’s moisturizer”.

By: Aspen Dolene C. Martinez