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Friday, June 16, 2017

Aerogas Catalytic Combustor (ACC)

Aerogas Catalytic Combustor (ACC): anti-pollution, eco-friendly Filipino invention 
              Engr. Marino C. Martinez (edited)

Aerogas Catalytic Combustor (ACC) is an anti-pollution, fuel saver and power booster engine device. It has practical application on all types of internal combustion engines like engines of Jeeps, Cars, Trucks, Ships and Motorcycles and even Gas Fired Power Plants at a very economical cost. It was invented by Engr. Marino C. Martinez, a chemical engineer. 

The Aerogas Catalytic Combustor (ACC)
The gadget has been rigidly tested with machines and on the road by government agencies like DENR-EMB, DOST – PICIERD, ITDI, LTO and private users at the onset of legislation of the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999. These are proofs of the effectiveness of the ACC to reduce pollution by as much as 82%, fuel saving by as much as 32%, increase horse power and torque by as much as 7.95%. These figures shows that engine combustion efficiently has significantly improved if not perfected.

The Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 under Section 3 states, 'the state shall pursue a policy of balancing development and environmental protection. To achieve this end, the framework for sustainable development shall be pursued. It shall be the policy of the state to:

C. “Focus primarily on pollution prevention rather than control...” '

Thus, the strongest issue on the climate change are not the results but the cause which comes from emissions; the carbon dioxide (a green house gas) and primarily the largest contributor to global warming. It is normally assumed that the amount of the CO2 given off is directly related to the amount of fuel burnt. However CO2, CO, HC (hydrocarbons) can be significantly reduced by introducing elements to the combustion reaction that dissociates oxygen from the hydrocarbon compounds, separating and increasing individual elements like carbon particles (as soot), oxygen gas and the largest amount which is water vapor in the engine emissions. Thus, largely reducing CO2, HC and even NOx (oxides of nitrogen) which are poisonous and pollutant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 
DENR-EMB Test Results on May 1999 showing 82%
reduction of HSU reading with installed ACC
ACC utilizes this process: the Chemistry of Sublimation – releasing purified gas elements to create high speed flame when ignited simultaneously with hydrocarbon fuels in the internal combustion chamber separating carbon from oxygen to deplete CO2 and poisonous gases. Because of its high speed flame, the elements reaction is compatible to all levels of octane rating for gasoline fuel and cetane for diesel fuel, thus detonation does not occur (detonation creates detrimental effects to the engine.) the high speed flame significantly increases if not inducing complete combustion. In the process, CO2 and other harmful gases are depleted significantly reducing health problems and global greenhouse gas emissions, ultimately mitigating the devastating results of climate change.

Despite ACC's current effectiveness, we continuously do research and development to improve ACC to a much more better product in the future which is more effective in minimizing the hostile effect of global warming and combating the increasing hydrocarbon fuel price.

Paris Agreement is our world's second attempt from the first, the Paris Protocol, to mitigate the effect of climate change. This is our chance to do it the Filipino way!

Source and Photo Credits: 
Engr. M. C. Martinez via e-mail

Friday, December 2, 2016

TBS - Throw Ball Shooter

TBS - Throw Ball Shooter (A New Kind of Basketball Gaming)
                          Clarence Astudillo,

                          Posted: March 18, 2013 | Muntinlupa City, Philippines

Clarence demonstrating his TBS invention
A number of today’s children all over the developed world are involved in gun violence. Automatic rifles are no longer utilized for military purposes but are already available to the public where access to children, adult, and mentally ill people who are suffering from depression, anxiety and autism are unavoidable.

This type of violence can be attributed to the unending manufacturing of real guns, toy guns, war video games, sporting paint guns, and even reality television shows where high powered automatic guns and tanks are highly commercialized to the public. Gun violence and drugs are like cancer living in the houses of our society. It destroys family, it destroys hope.

Shocking news about massacres were no longer new to us. In fact one of the latest gruesome event transpired in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, USA, where authorities said: “A man armed with two automatic pistols kills 20 children at an elementary school in a rampage that left 27 dead and one injured in this sub-urban town before he took his own life.” With these events, gun laws are again widely debated by government officials to private sectors, hoping to find a solution in order to reduce or eradicate this kind of violence.

For me, debating, voting to change laws concerning guns are not the only solution. If we are going back to review our history, many individuals has made their own mark by transforming groups in our society to a peaceful and sports loving community. The likes of James Naismith (inventor of basketball) and Nelson Mandela who says: “Sports has the power to change the world, it has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sports can create hope where once there was only despair.

Mandela used sports to create change by increasing participation in sports among African youth. Mandela’s words inspired me so much, I believed that he envisioned this during his incarceration for almost three decades looking for solutions to end violence and racial discrimination.

Mandela’s vision towards sports drives me to write even though I am not inclined to writing. It drives me to present my invention, my “magnum opus” that I crafted in prison for almost 18 years.

The invention's certificate isssued by the 
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines
For these reasons, I would like to introduce my invention I called Throw Ball Shooter. This is a kind of sporting goods that offers a unique new basketball game that virtually anyone can play and enjoy. Its special features is an adaptive equipment enabling people with disabilities to participate in a variety of leisure and recreational sports activities. It is a kind of sporting good that can be therapeutic to those who are suffering from autism, mental illness, anxiety and depression and it can be utilized also by the blind and the handicapped. It helps regain or develop fulfilling recreational lifestyle. This I believed is the only kind of sporting equipment where people with disabilities can compete with the physically in tuned athlete.

The Throw Ball Shooter can be a replacement equipment for shooting instead of guns, it helps kids to divert from running to war video games, from playing with toy guns.

To conclude, my invention for me is a craze inducing product, it serves as a trend to increase sports participation. With these reasons, I believe I have contributed something that will help reduce gun violence.

Clarence Astudillo via CNN iReport

Photo credits:
Clarence Astudillo via e-mail

Monday, December 14, 2015

SALt Lamp

Pinay scientist creates lamp that runs on saltwater
                  Rhys Buccat,
                  Posted at 08/02/15 4:43 PM

MANILA – “To light up the rest of the Philippines sustainably” was the vision of Filipina scientist Aisa Mijeno when she made the Sustainable Alternative Lighting (SALt) lamp. The SALt Lamp is an environment-friendly and sustainable alternative light source that runs on saltwater, making it suitable to those who live in coastal areas. It can also function well in remote barrios. With just two table spoons of salt and one glass of tap water, this ecologically designed lamp can run for eight hours.

“It is made of tediously experimented and improved chemical compounds, catalysts, and metal alloys that when submerged in electrolytes will generate electricity,” Mijeno explained in an interview with ABS-CBN.

Aisa holding her SALt Lamp

Because of its inspiring vision and ground-breaking innovation, the SALt lamp has received various awards and recognition from organizations in the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. It has also won in several competitions here and abroad.

Safe alternative to traditional lamps

According to Mijeno, the idea behind the SALt lamp is the chemical conversion of energy. It utilizes the scientific process behind the Galvanic cell, but instead of electrolytes, the SALt lamp uses saline solution, making it harmless and non-toxic.

Compared with kerosene lamp, the SALt lamp is also a lot safer, Mijeno stressed since it does not have components and compounds that may spark fire. Moreover, it does not emit toxic gases and leaves minimal carbon footprint. “This isn’t just a product. It’s a social movement,” she said.

Although the SALt lamp is not yet being mass-produced, Mijeno and her team have been working intensively with non-government organizations (NGOs), local government units (LGUs), and charitable foundations, among others.

These organizations aid in the purchase and distribution of the SALt lamps to remote communities where electricity is scarce, or worse, not available.

A sustainable light for the Philippines

Mijeno said that her experience working with an environmental organization made her realize the need for an alternative source of light, especially in rural areas of the Philippines.

“I used to be part of Greenpeace Philippines and did personal immersions/volunteers across rural communities, and there I learned so many things. Most of these people are so poor and underprivileged that they endure long hours of walking just to get kerosene for their lamps,” Mijeno recalled.

Currently, for every SALt lamp that is bought, one lamp is given to a selected family.

“Our main focus is on the island communities that do not have access to electricity and have no financial capacity for acquiring alternative source of electricity,” Mijeno added.


Photo credits:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

SALAMANDER Amphibious Tricycle

Pinoy-made Salamander amphibious trike can tackle land and water
                         Vernon B. Sarne
                         TopGear, Jan 21, 2015

If you're into car customization, the name Atoy Llave will certainly ring a bell. The man behind A-Toy Bodykits and the company's aftermarket exterior designs is quite popular among Filipino car lovers. The curious thing you see here--the Salamander amphibious trike--is Llave's latest creation. He made this in partnership with a new company called H2O Technologies, developing it in particular with the firm's technical head, Lamberto Armada.

Because it is amphibious, the Salamander can travel both on land and in water. It stemmed from Llave's desire to do something really useful for the benefit of his countrymen. That and his wish to put the Philippines on the global automotive map.

"I want to show the world that the Filipino can," Llave told

As you read this, Llave and his partners are launching the thing somewhere in Mandaluyong (near our office, actually). It's a big night for the group. They have been toiling day and night in order to seamlessly roll out the Salamander before the critical eyes of the motoring press.

Last month, Llave gave us exclusive access to the Salamander. It was for a full-length magazine story that will appear in our February issue. Writer Niky Tamayo was able to test it for himself, and you will read his initial impressions in our next issue.

The Salamander has two powerplant choices: one electric and one internal-combustion. Boasting a six-person seating capacity (four in water), the amphibious tricycle is powered by either a 5kW electric engine or a 250cc gasoline motor. We assume these are the target specs for the production version, because the provisional spec sheet still mentions a 3kW electric engine and a 200cc motor. (Watch the video at the bottom.)

"I've already achieved so much in the car business," Llave shared. "Now, I want to leave behind a legacy. I want to produce something that will help people."

Llave, of course, is referring to our country being flood-prone. Imagine having an amphibious vehicle like this when the water rises. The Salamander will also be practical as a shuttle vehicle in between small islands all around the archipelago.

The only hurdle? As with any brilliant Filipino idea, there is currently a lack of funding, which Llave hopes to get as soon as word spreads about his newest brainchild. We hope a wealthy businessman with patriotic and philanthropic intentions is reading this. The Salamander is waiting to be developed, polished and marketed to the world.

Atoy Llave is right: The Filipino can.

Watch the video here:

For a more comprehensive story on the Salamander, read the February 2015 TopGear issue.


Photo & video credits:

Friday, August 8, 2014

Body-heat powered flashlight

We had featured in our previous blog about a water-powered invention that can generate electricity. Now, we will tackle another record-breaking and world-changing invention - a flashlight than can be powered solely by body’s heat. Imagine that it will produce light by just holding it. No batteries. Not solar-powered. It’s such an incredible invention!

The inventor of this amazing flashlight is a Filipino-Canadian 15-year old student, Ann Makosinsk. Her project was inspired by a friend from Mindanao whose family could not afford to pay for electricity. Without light at night, her friend could not study properly. She failed an entire school year because she could not read her lessons.

After a few prototypes, she unveiled her “hollow flashlight,” so named because it has a hollow aluminum tube at its core that cools the sides of the peltier tiles attached to the flashlight’s cylinder. The other side is warmed by heat from a hand gripping the flashlight. 

Ann Makosinsk holding her invention, the "Hollow Flashlight" 
Ann spent several months designing the flashlight and figuring out its voltage conversion. Much has been written online about powering a flashlight with peltier tiles, but those devices used heat from candles and blow torches. Ann’s patent-pending prototype relies on hand warmth only and required that she make her own transformer, among other difference-making factors. She said that her invention needs at least 3 to 5 degrees Celsius temperature difference to work. She added that the flashlight is ideal for cold temperature because the larger the temperature differential, the greater the light produced. 

Though her invention is not yet ready for commercialization and need to be improved, it was good enough for her to win the 2013 Google Science Fair in the 15-16 years old category beating out thousands of other students from over 120 countries and earned praises by many. Her story has been shared several times in social media and has caught the interest of several people, including American TV host Jimmy Fallon.

Makosinski says her flashlight can produce up to 5-foot “candles of brightness”—below the commercial standard—but she says she is working to make the light brighter. It produced roughly 24 lumens compared to dozens or even hundreds of lumens of light produced by commercial flashlights. She says several companies have voiced interest in her flashlight. But she is adamant that until her flashlight achieves higher brightness at a lower cost, she will not agree to produce it for the public.

Driven by a very noble objective, she said, “I want to make sure my flashlight is available to those who really need it.”


Monday, August 4, 2014

Special Operations Assault Rifle (SOAR): A Filipino innovative assault rifle


Fascination for guns and a dream of once joining the military are what led the Filipino twin brothers (Ferdinand and Francis Sy) to the arms industry. But it was a controversial armed robbery in the Philippines in the 90's wherein robbers outgunned police that made Ferdinand and Francis pursue their passion. They wanted to come up with a modern firearm that is accurate, easy to use and durable.

“The mission of FERFRANS way back in 1994 was to really give an edge to the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force. To give them the edge in combat through weaponry,” said Francis as interviwed by ABS-CBN.

The FERFRANS logo 
FERFRANS started in 1998 developing specialized equipment for law enforcement and military. Although all products were manufactured or sourced in the United States, it was the operational requirements of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and specialized military units in the United States that motivated FERFRANS to design and develop its products.

The challenges of the PNP-SAF during that time and in the present became very complex. They have to deal with multiple threats from, the communist New Peoples Army (NPA), the muslim insurgents (MILF and MNLF), terrorist groups (Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah), and organize crime. Also, in this day and age of terrorism, the line between conventional and unconventional warfare has diminished as well as the grey line between military and law enforcement operations. Special operating units in urban centers today, conducting hostage rescue will be the same troops that will battle insurgents in the jungles tomorrow. Unconventional warfare has evolved to irregular warfare so a new breed of warriors are created and together with it a new weapon system.


The main feature of the FERFRANS SOAR is its patented Delayed Sear Activation System. It is a me- chanical device that reduces the cyclic rate of full-auto fire of the M16 / M4A1 type rifles from 850-900 rpm to 550-680 rpm. This system does not only reduce the cyclic rate of fire but also reduces the velocity (Impact Stress) of the bolt carrier assembly as it goes into battery making the rifle very controllable and smooth in full-auto fire. Reliability is increased because impact stress is reduced considerably and heat is reduced. Burst controlled fire can be achieved with just a simple squeeze of the trigger as the time between shots are slower and the tempo is constant. The effect is immediate Controllable Accurate Full Auto Fire. Another advantage of the RRS is for short barreled rifles and the use of suppressors.

  • Reduced Cyclic Rate of Fire
  • Rail Handguard with Rail Covers
  • Removable Carry Handle
  • 6 Position Retractable Stock
  • Machine Gun Chrome Bore Heavy Barrel
  • Slidable Independent Sear Disconnector
  • Muzzle Brake
  • Side Tactical Sling Attachment
  • Aluminum or Stainless Steel Magazine with Non- Tilting Follower

FERFRANS SOAR specs taken from its website


The SOAR P (Piston version of the soar) was developed as early as 2008. This further increase the benefits of the SOAR by changing the gas system with a short stroke piston system with the independent sear disconnector enhancing the capability of the rifle to fire without draining the water in “over the beach” operations.

  • Operates in almost any environment
  • Sustained Full-Auto Fire w/ Low Chamber Heat
  • Full Control of Accurate Full-Auto Fire
  • Reduces Possibility of Cook-Off
  • Increases Parts Longevity
  • “Over the Beach” Operations Capable

FERFRANS SOAR P specs taken from its website
Other FERFRANS products include the SCW (Sub-Compact Weapon), HVLAR (High Volume Light Automatic Rifle, SOACR (Special Operations Adaptable Combat Rifle), and the RMGL 403 (40mm Rail Mounted Grenade Launcher). We will discuss these weapons on the next blog entries.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

FSPMI Light Sport Aircraft (RP-S512): First Filipino-made Operational Aircraft

It has been making headlines in various local publications including internet blogs about what is now considered as the “first Filipino-made aircraft”. It is the two-seater light sport aircraft with tail number RP-S512. However, is it really the “first Filipino-made aircraft”? No, it’s not. We had already built several aircrafts (Defiant 300 is one of them) in the past including a helicopter as what I had discussed in my previous blogs.

Maybe, it’s better to re-brand it as the “first Filipino-made operational aircraft” or “first Filipino-made aircraft in-production”. This aircraft was built by Famous Secret Precision Machining, Inc. (FSPMI) based in Cavite, Philippines. The company is a supplier of aircraft components especially parts of the flight control mechanism of airplanes of various aerospace companies including Boeing and Airbus. 

The RP-S512 Light Sport Aircraft
According to the report by 24 Oras (GMA News), the company had already produced two operational light sport aircrafts. The RP-S512 which was already sold to a costumer in Batangas and the other one which was sold to a customer in Florida, USA and already flying.

Captain Bill Wright, private consultant for the RP-S512 project, said that local use of the aircraft is constrained at present pending clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). Wright said that the plane’s category, which is a light sports aircraft, has yet to be recognized by the CAAP.

The plane costs about $100,000 (approximately P4.4 million) and has reached Cavite or Pangasinan and back on test flights. According to Wright, the plane is mostly used by aviation schools for flight instruction and for recreational purposes.

As reported by News 5, the plane has detachable wings that enables its owner to save a parking space not needing a hangar anymore. It can even be parked in a car garage. It has a safety feature, a sensor found in its control panel that can detect whether the wings are tightly and safely attached before take-off. The plane utilizes an unleaded fuel. (Editor's comment: The term "gasolina" in the report may refer to an unleaded gasoline or a common unleaded kerosene-type jet fuel such as Jet A and Jet A-1. Thus, the editor uses a general term "unleaded fuel".)

In a separate interview by Interaksyon (TV5), Jun Ramos (FSPMI marketing head) is confident and hoping that the Philippines will become the next aerospace manufacturing hub in the region at least in the next two to three years. He added that aside from their company, various big players in the industry have recently formed the Aerospace Association of the Philippines due to the growing potential of the business. For their company alone, Ramos said that they are expecting to grow their manufacturing capacity by 50 percent in the next five years due to high demand.

Until recently, the Philippine aerospace industry was largely limited to maintenance, repair and overhaul operations, which covers assembly and maintenance services of aircraft manufactured in other countries, primarily in the United States.

At present, the DOST – Metals and Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) is providing support to other local aviation manufacturers in achieving quality assurance standards including training program as confirmed by Lina Afable, DOST-MIRDC chief of the technology information section. She also added that the industry has a potential to generate jobs.

The RP-S512 aircraft was displayed during the Department of Science and Technology Science Nation Exhibit last July 24, 2014 and ran until July 28 in Pasay City.

"Everybody will be surprised that we could be a winner. The aerospace industry is, to me, the next big potential export winner," said DOST Secretary Mario Montejo. 


Photo credit:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Philippine-made Concept Supercars

This is what a couple of Philippine-made concept supercars look like
                           Patrick Everett Tadeo
                           TopGear,  23 May 2014

If you're dropping by the 2014 Trans Sport Show this weekend, among the displays you absolutely have to check out are the two cars entered by Factor Aurelio Automobile. Factor Aurelio Automobile is a fledgling car manufacturer based in San Pedro, Laguna. The company takes its name after the surnames of Kevin Factor, an engineering student at Adamson University and the designer of the still-unnamed car, and Brendan Aurelio, the owner of Pacita Fibertech and the vehicles' architect and builder.

 First prototype and is powered by Honda B16A engine
The two cars on display look similar but are slightly different from one another. The yellow one is actually the very first prototype and is powered by a Honda B16A engine. The orange one is supposedly closer to production and has a Mitsubishi 4G63T turbocharged engine. Both vehicles are made of fiberglass and carbon fiber, and utilize VR4 front and rear suspensions and 18-inch Rota wheels.

We asked Factor how close the orange car is to completion, and it's reportedly 80% finished. "We just need to finish the interior and complete some of the exterior items," he pointed out. As to why Factor Aurelio Automobile chose to run an in-line-four engine, it was a matter of cost. "It's easier to fix since there's an abundance of spare parts, but depending on the customer, we can put their choice of engine inside," Factor shared.

A close to production prototype
with Mitsubishi 4G63T turbocharged engine
The company hopes to have a production-model unit ready before the end of the year, with a price tag in the range of P1.5 to P1.6 million. "We only plan to make 10 units; that way, the cars can retain their value," added Factor. "If we make more than that, the cars will lose their value because they won’t be unique anymore." 

So, would you buy a locally manufactured, P1.6-million "supercar" if it went on sale today?


Photo credit

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Air Cleaning Device with Ionizer (Nature's Air Room Ionizer)

A breath of fresh air

Nature's Air air cleaning device with ionizer

Air pollution may well be dubbed as the silent killer for it harms the unsuspecting individual who inhales its harmful micro-components. Through the years, the quality of air in many parts of the world has been deteriorated continuously and beyond acceptable standards. There are several types of air pollutants but the most common are particulate matters, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and total oxidants. Other equally harmful air pollutants are hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. Medical experts discovered 18 species of pathogenic fungi and 20 types of bacteria in the circulating dust.

Metro Manila's surrounding air has no cleaner. A study done by the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) found that pollution level in the metropolis is three times the normal level with particulate matter of nearly 600 exceeding the WHO safe dust level of 120 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

Now, we are introducing our latest technology, an air cleaning device with ionizer that will eventually removes smoke, dust particle, odors and even air-borne micro-organisms that spread diseases inside your room and your office. 

Benefits of Nature's Air
  • It will remove airborne contaminants.
  • Activated carbon filter will remove odors/fumes emitted from closets, household cleaners, paints varnishes, personal care products, cigarettes and cooking smoke.
  • Negative ions revitalized the air just like the natures after the storm, near a waterfall or near the seashore. Studies show that the negative ions beneficially affect human biochemistry both physically and mentally.

Nature's Air, an environmental friendly invention, is a perfect solution for this kind of environment that we suffer from odors and microorganisms. This latest Filipino technology helps eliminate harmful dust particles, smoke and airborne microorganism that spread diseases in children and elderly.

The properly-designed modern ion emitter produces a combination of negative and positive ions in a ratio of 4:3. This ratio helps the dust particles and carbon monoxide settle to the dust collector inside the unit, rather than on other surfaces. The excess of negative ions also helps to restore nature’s ion balance and enhance natural health and well being of the user.

Technical specifications

A new and improved air ionizer, the NATURES AIRE is available for purchase. Go to our online store for contact details.

Rodolfo Biescas Sr.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lunasin’s biological activity and medical importance, discovered by a Filipino

A space-filing model of the Lunasin's structure
Lunasin is a 43-amino acid polypeptide discovered by a team of Japanese scientists in 1987. It was originally isolated, purified, and sequenced from soybean seed. Although no name has been given, it was described as an amino acid sequence of a soybean (Glycine max) seed polypeptide having a poly (L-aspartic acid) structure at the carboxyl terminus by its discoverers. Subsequent research by Dr. Alfredo F. Galvez at the University of California- Berkeley, identified the peptide as a subunit of the cotyledon-specific 2S albumin. Its amino acid sequence is SKWQHQQDSCRKQKQGVNLTPCEKHIMEKIQGRGDDDDDDDDD. Due to the health benefits of soy in which it was extracted, Dr. Galvez and associates named it as Lunasin from the Filipino word “lunas” which means ”cure”. Aside from soy as its main source, it is also found in barley, wheat, amaranth, black nightshade, pinto bean, corn and rye.

Discovery of biological activity

Lunasin’s biological and cancer-preventive activity was discovered by a Filipino doctor during his post-doctoral research --- Dr. Alfredo Galvez in Dr. Benito de Lumen’s (another Filipino doctor) laboratory in the University of California – Berkeley in 1997. This is an excerpt from Dr. de Lumen’s statement on the discovery of Lunasin, “Many years ago, my laboratory initiated a project on enhancing the nutritional of soy protein and other legumes through bioengineering. This requires increasing the level of methionine, the essential amino acid, which is most limiting in soy and other legumes, including mung bean. The strategy is quite straightforward: clone a gene coding for methionine-rich protein (MRP) and over-express the gene in soy or any target legume. We were faced with two choices for the source of the MRP gene – obtain it from other plants or from soy itself. I made the fateful decision to clone the MRP gene from soy itself, which eventually led to the discovery of lunasin as a cancer preventive agent.”

Dr. Alfredo F. Galvez: discoverer of
Lunasin's mitotic activity
“The choice to clone the MRP gene from soy is based on the hypothesis that there must be non-abundant MRPs in soy because most of the proteins in soy seed are notoriously low in methionine and therefore, there must be other MRPs that contribute to the overall methionine content of soy protein but they are non-abundant. The process of cloning the MRP gene turned out to be not easy, taking about four years, two graduate students and a postdoctoral scientist. One of the graduate students is a Filipina (now Dr. Jamie Revilleza from UPLB), and the postdoctoral scientist is another Filipino from UPLB (Dr. Alfredo Galvez). Dr. Revilleza contributed to the purification of the MRP from soy that eventually led to the cloning of the gene, and Dr. Galvez took over the project and discovered the anti-mitotic effect of the lunasin gene when transfected into mammalian cells and the cancer preventive effect of the lunasin peptide. While it was not by design that the major contributors to lunasin discovery were both Filipinos, it is a source of pride to point this out.”

Cancer research

Lunasin has a unique epigenetic mechanism that interferes at the very early stages of the carcinogenic process; Lunasin is non tissue-specific and would be effective against different types of cancer. In addition, Lunasin has no known toxic effects, which is consistent with its presence in soybean that has been consumed in Asia for centuries.

Dr. Galvez was the first to identify the peptide’s ability to prevent the transformation of normal cells into cancerous tumors in cell culture. Animal studies validated the findings when lunasin significantly reduced the tumor incidence in mice skin exposed to chemical carcinogens. In the original 2001 study that discovered and named lunasin, the authors wrote that their results "suggest a mechanism whereby lunasin selectively induces apoptosis, mostly in cells undergoing transformation, by preventing histone acetylation"—the protein could cause cell death in developing cancer cells, while not affecting regular cells, in mice. This led to the speculation that lunasin might explain the numerous epidemiological associations between consumption of soy products and the low cancer incidence observed in Asian populations. In 2003 a study conducted by Bio-Rad Laboratories showed that the protein also did not affect immortalized and established cancer cells.

In 2008 a study performed by Dr. de Lumen found that lunasin was found to help prevent chemical carcinogens and oncogenes from causing cancer in a skin cancer mouse model. The peptide becomes bioavailable in mice through ingestion within a few minutes and reaches the nucleus of cells within eighteen hours. The effectiveness was shown only against non-established cancer cell lines in this study. In 2009 another study was performed at the Andong National University, that found further evidence of the inhibition of histone acetyl transferase. In addition, lunasin has also been shown to bind deacetylated histones, which can also help to prevent cancer. Wayne R. Bidlack and Raymond L. Rodriguez wrote that the inability for lunasin to kill established cancer cells was due to a genetic change in cells when they are first becoming cancerous, which disappears when a cell becomes fully cancerous. They also write that the food has the potential to reduce cancer risk, though not affect existing cancer cells in a patient, and could provide help in explaining an inverse correlation between soy consumption and the risk of some cancers.

Extensive researches on Lunasin's cancer-preventive ability shows that Lunasin internalizes inside the cell and ends up mostly in the nucleus; inhibiting core histone acetylation and activating tumor suppressor genes such as PTEN.

Lunasin selectively inhibits transcription, a dynamic process that occurs at various locations and at different times in the cell and is initiated by unfolding of the chromosomes; a process facilitated by histone acetylation.

It is proposed that during the initiation of the carcinogenic process that involves transcription, the dynamic process of histone acetylation-deacetylation is disrupted. This evidence demonstrates that the molecular mechanism for Lunasin is profound, compared to other cancer preventative agents in that it selectively kills cells that are transforming into cancer cells, without affecting normal cells. 
A graphical representation on Lunasin's mechanism of action as a cancer-preventive peptide

Since Lunasin has a unique epigenetic mechanism that interferes at the very early stages of the carcinogenic process, this suggests that Lunasin is non tissue-specific and would be effective against different types of cancer. In addition, Lunasin has no known toxic effects, which is consistent with its presence in soybean that has been consumed in Asia for centuries.

The novel mechanism of action by Lunasin makes it an important research tool in understanding epigenetic control of gene expression during cancer development. Together with powerful tools in genomics and proteomics, Lunasin can be used to identify potential drug targets and diagnostic biomarkers.

Cardiovascular and cholesterol management research

Lunasin's ability to support cardiovascular health was acknowledged by the American Heart Association at their Annual Scientific Session in November, 2012, and Dr. Alfredo Galvez's presentation abstract was selected for publication in the AHA Journal, Circulation. 

Lunasin works in two ways to lower serum LDL cholesterol levels. First, it selectively disrupts a necessary step in the production of a key enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase. Lunasin reduces the acetylation of the Histone H3 tail by PCAF (lunasin blocks PCAF's specific binding position at K14), thus reducing the level of expression of the HMG-CoA reductase gene. With levels of the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme lowered and available for the liver to carry out cholesterol synthesis, the liver in turn produces less cholesterol.

Secondly, Lunasin upregulates the expression of the LDL-receptor gene. With an increase in the number of receptors available to clear LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, LDL levels also decrease. Studies show that in the presence of Lunasin, the levels of SP1 (the coactivator of SREBP for LDL-receptor production) are two times higher than without Lunasin present. With SP1 more readily available to bind with SREBP, the LDL receptors are produced more efficiently, so more LDL cholesterol is pulled from the bloodstream, thereby reducing the circulating serum LDL levels.

Lunasin's cholesterol-lowering mechanism of action
Since 70-80% of the circulating cholesterol in your body is produced within your liver, it is important to target this process in addition to consuming less saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Lunasin works at an earlier stage in your body’s internal cholesterol production process than prescription statins. Lunasin reduces the amount of HMG-CoA reductase enzyme produced by the HMG-CoA reductase gene. Statin drugs work by blocking the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme after it has been produced when it is on its way to carry out the body’s internal cholesterol production cycle. Statin drugs can oftentimes be too efficient and block too much of the HMG-CoA enzyme. This leads to serious side effects because a minimum level of cholesterol is required in the body for certain necessary cellular functions such as maintaining cell membrane integrity and hormone production.

Anti-inflammatory research

Other studies have shown that lunasin has the ability to inhibit the aberrant inflammation that can occur in chronic diseases, including cancer. This property was also discovered by a team including Benito O. de Lumen, along with Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, Vermont P. Dia, as well as others, as a part of research attempts to create purified lunasin through a more inexpensive means.

Benefits of Lunasin

The following list includes some of the many benefits of Lunasin while on going in-depth research continues to uncover more.
  • Bio-active peptide with an epigenetic mode of action
  • Natural component of soy and other seeds – favorable public perception
  • GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA
  • Ideal chemo-preventative agent to fight skin cancer
  • Extends cell longevity (anti-aging) *Unpublished
  • Anti-oxidant effect: especially protects DNA from oxidation as well lipids
  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Effective dose is minimal
  • Non-invasive treatment
Lunasin’s patents

After its discovery, several researches have been made and patents applied. Patents applied by Dr. Alfredo Galvez and/or Dr. Benito de Lumen are as follows: CA2303061A1, CA2303061C, DE69830066D1, EP1017798A1, EP1017798B1, US6107287, US6544956, US7375092, US20030229038, and WO1999015642A1.

Commercial Lunasin products

Due to the proven studies in various health benefits of Lunasin, several companies commercialize the peptide as food supplements. Dr. Galvez licensed Lunasin worldwide rights to Reliv International, a food science and manufacturing company. Reliv possesses the only proprietary mechanical extracting process that does not use chemicals. They also hold the patent to the peptide, the ability to make it bioactive and any and all future applications of the supplement.

A bottle of LunaRich XTM
Reliv International released its LunaRich® Soy Powder in February 2012 and claim to contain five to ten times more lunasin than ordinary soy powders, and it delivers that elevated lunasin in a more bioavailable way. In addition, LunaRich® soy powder contains other beneficial nutritive components of soy, including protein, isoflavones and more. Another Reliv’s product that was launched in January 2013 is the LunaRich XTM  According to Galvez, LunaRich XTM is a form of Lunasin that is bioactive. It’s a shepherd molecule travels with the lunasin in the body as it remains active after digestion. LunaRich X, the capsule form, is said to have lunasin potency 200 times more than high quality soy protein. One 125mg capsule of LunaRich XTM delivers the same amount of bioactive lunasin found in 25 grams of high-quality soy protein, the daily amount identified by the Food and Drug Administration to help reduce the risk of heart disease. A two-month supply retails at less than $100. Wholesale for the same quantity is less by $20.

Another companies are SoyLabs and FilGen, Inc. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

McJIM Leather Products - truly Filipino

Leather craftsmanship that is distinctly Filipino                                
                                     Tina Arceo-Dumlao
                                     Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aug. 3, 2013

If Jim Cham had his way, he would be singing all the way to the bank. That’s because music has always been his passion. He spent a good part of his youth singing in combos, as they were known then. He gladly sang for a pittance just to be able to share his love for music with his audience.

But family life, which started when he got married at age 19, nipped his singing career in the bud. Realizing he had to find a more stable source of livelihood to feed, clothe and shelter his young family, he set aside his guitar, turned his back on the stage and pursued another passion: leather goods.

McJIM is an expert when 
it comes to accessories for men.
That put Cham on the long road to build McJim Leather Goods to what it is today, one of the biggest local manufacturers of men’s leather accessories that are giving foreign brands a run for their money.

McJim specializes in men’s accessories, with belts and wallets accounting for the bulk of its sales. Founded in the backyard of the family home in 1968 with just three employees—Jim, his wife and a helper from Baguio City where the couple met during his guitar playing days—the company today has over 300 employees.

McJim marketing manager Bernadett Chang says that McJim has been able to grow significantly over the past 45 years because of its unstinting adherence to top quality standards.

Quality, the company says, is the first ingredient of a good product and a philosophy that guides its processes—from selecting materials to product design, the manufacturing methods to selecting the most qualified leather craftsmen to make the products by hand.

This means investing in fine leather from Spain and Italy, sewing machines from Germany, and high level of craftsmanship from the Philippines. While certain phases of the manufacturing process involve machines, it still takes expert human hands to fashion a leather product into something that approaches art.

Based on the company’s experience, machines are an inferior substitute to the work achieved by expert craftsmen. Jim, whose family used to distribute popular watches such as Rado and Longines, learned all about the leather industry through experience—trial and error being a hash taskmaster.

Initially, he ventured into belts. In the early 1970s, he did not put any brand but merely supplied to the department stores and other retailers who put their own brands on his products. But even if he did not have any name, he was already big on quality, and McJim was one of the first local manufacturers of leather accessories to go abroad to hunt for the best materials for its target market.  It went to Japan, for instance, to buy leather as well as buckles for the belts.

Among the first department stores to carry the leather goods was the former Otis Department store, which was partly owned by Jim’s sister. Jim’s wife, a Miss Baguio pageant winner, was instrumental in finding buyers for the fledgling company’s products due to her amiable nature. She could talk to anyone and everyone, and would easily convert cold calls to potential clients into sales, not just in Otis, but in other department stores such as the former Good Earth Emporium.

After a few years of selling unbranded goods, Jim felt it was time to put his own brand on the products. He dared to brand the leather using his own name, an indication of how much he believed in his products.

He was also able to penetrate new distribution channels, such as the SM group. The Gaisano and Robinsons malls likewise carried McJim leather goods, which expanded in range from belts and wallets to bags and other men’s accessories.

“As the malls grew, the company did, too,” says Chang, adding that McJim’s wide range of leather products are now found in all department stores, under the men’s accessories department where it has its own section. From three, McJim now employs 350 people, including a full staff of designers, spread across four factories. Founder Jim, however, remains the driving design force.

The 66 year old frequently goes abroad to update himself on the latest trends and technology. For McJim, there is simply no compromising on quality even if it means pricing the goods above those of its competitors and exerting extra effort to impart on the employees the need to maintain product standards.

Today, McJim’s sales mainly come from the original belts, which account for 40 percent of annual sales, followed by wallets, with up to 35 percent. Bags and small leather goods, such as the occasional suspenders, make up the rest.

Chang says that McJim tried to produce a ladies line. But the company discontinued the line when the founders realized that ladies fashion required a different skills set. Thus it stuck to men’s accessories, which it knew by heart.

Chang explains that, unlike women’s accessories, those of men tend to be more stable and did not require frequent changes. Its market—professionals who have left their trendy days behind, according to the company—wants to be both fashionable and conservative, steering clear of anything flashy.

McJIM goes abroad in search of top quality
leather used to make bags, belts and wallets
After 45 years in the market, its challenge today is to keep up with the times and penetrate the broader market to endear McJim to a new generation of loyal customers. This means possibly coming up with a separate brand that will feature products using other materials such as local leather and polyester.

But the core, however, will still be McJim Classic and all products will conform with the McJim philosophy of style, quality and elegance expressed in products of high quality but within reach of most Filipinos.

“We want everyone to enjoy great products with a great brand that is proudly Filipino,” says Chang.


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