This blog had 24,000 views in 2012. That’s an increase from 17,000 last year! However, I find myself writing less. I blame my laziness or I just spread myself thinly this year writing for Rappler, my other blog, my other other blog, the Orpheus blog, and my research group’s blog. That’s a  lot of writing.  :)

Gekko coi, Leonard’s Forest Gecko.  Courtesy: Brown et al, Herpetologica 67 (2012)

Gekko coi, Leonard’s Forest Gecko. Courtesy: Brown et al, Herpetologica 67 (2012)

I started posting new articles only on March.  Two new forest lizards: the little one and Leonard’s is a summary of two articles about what else, two new lizards. One is a forest-flap gecko (Luperosaurus angliit) while the other is a forest gecko (Gekko coi).

The next story I wrote was on distinguishing children with mild autism via EEG tracings. It was an interesting research article because the authors used nonlinear time series analysis –  The Lempel-Ziv complexity, covariance complexity and prediction error, to discriminate between normal children, children with mild autism, and children with severe autism. They said that they can differentiate those with mild autism against the normal children and those children with severe autism, with their analyses. However, the normal children and those with severe autism cannot be differentiated.


Prediction error. Points (circles, diamonds, squares) are calculated values from EEG trace of each cohort in the study. Gaussian curves are centered at the mean values of each group, with waists corresponding to twice their respective variances. Big circles are guide to show that there is clustering between values and groups. Data courtesy of L. Co Ting Keh, A. Chupungco, J. Esguerra

I had three consecutive posts about newly discovered animals for my Earth week series: the rare deep water tilefish, Branchiostegus saito, from Laiya, Batangas; the first species of hymenosomatid formally recorded from an anchialine cave and exhibiting true troglomorphic adaptations, Samarplax principe (It’s colorless!); and scientists expanding/ resurrecting 4 previously recognized genera and suggesting 2 new genera to accommodate the diverse species in the Philippines, one is the genus Pinoyscincus.

I was productive in May with 3 very different posts. The first was about an ancient connection between the Philippines and the Marianas seen in pots. It made the editor’s selection of researchblogging.org. The second was on a collaborative study on inorganic elemental contents in white rice of seven Asian countries. And the last was a WHO study about the economic benefits of breastfeeding.


Similar pottery decorations from: 1) Nagsabaran, northern Philippines; 2) Achugao, Saipan, Mariana Islands; 3) Site 13 at Lapita, New Caledonia (2, courtesy of Brian Butler, see Butler 1994; 3, courtesy of Christophe Sand, see Sand 1999: 46). Courtesy: Hung et al, Antiquity, 85 (329), 909-926.

The geological origin of the island of Mindoro was revisited by scientists who are mostly affiliated with the University of the Philippines.  They concluded that the whole island of Mindoro came from mainland Asia. This was my single post in July.

My first science news which came out of a mainstream (vs blog) media organization was on the gene that can increase rice harvest. I wrote it with Neil, a friend who is doing his PhD in Japan. I have to make kulit to Rappler. But it was all worth it. If I have to judge which science news from the islands is the biggest, it would be that news. Unfortunately, it never gained local traction.

The only post in September was about the relationship of fatherhood with Prolactin levels in males, specifically those who are living in Cebu. The study “hints that the function of the hormone may shift as men move through different life history stages.”

I was also able to write a feature article in Rappler – Sketch me a Pinoy Scientists, also in September. The article was about the tumblr site, pinoyscientists.tumblr.com. The site, moderated by Reina, hopes to “help displace outdated and unrealistic stereotypes of scientists.”

The last science-related article I posted this year was the success of Peter Rodrigo in Denmark.  Peter was the recipient of this year’s Danish optics prize. It made headline because it was a wonderful news and also because it got copied by GMAnewsonline.

It was also the year that I explained why I write about science from the Philippines.

Most of the science news that you read in this blog did not make it to mainstream media. Usually, science news are only fillers in a sea of showbiz and political news.

But as I’ve said, “A good research in the Philippines is also an example of the triumph of the Filipino spirit, of its optimism and its strength.”

I hope that I could write more this year.