The ANTENA Consortium, of which UP is a member, held the ANTENA Project’s First National Round Table and Coordination Meeting on July 15 and 16 at De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila.

The ANTENA Project is an initiative on the internationalization of Philippine higher education institutions (HEIs), coordinated by the Oficina de Gestión de Proyectos Internacionales (International Project Management Office) of the Universidad de Alicante (UA), Spain. It is co-funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Program.

While news of giant clam poaching in the disputed Scarborough Shoal drew massive online outrage, it is far from the first wildlife exploitation story in our history. One serious challenge for local law enforcement in these cases has always been visually confirming the presence of our endemic species when specimens have been skinned, ground or similarly processed for the black market.

Luckily a team led by the UP Institute of Biology’s Ian Kendrich Fontanilla and the late Dean Perry Ong have locally pioneered a system called DNA barcoding, which utilizes the molecular fingerprint of genes to assist both scholarship and law enforcement in these tricky cases.