Comments Off on Heavy rains damaging Cuban tobacco crop, studying brewer’s yeast in Mexico, and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru.

6 March 2014

Heavy rains damaging Cuban tobacco crop, studying brewer’s yeast in Mexico, and the illegal wildlife trade in Peru.

image

Heavy rains are damaging the Cuban tobacco crop. Guillaume Baviere via Flickr.

Cuba

“Tobacco needs sun during the day and cold at night,” says one Cuban farmer about the decrease in tobacco production the island has seen due to heavy rainfall. In 2013, the country pulled in almost US$450 million from the crop.

México

Mexican researchers have created a fungicide from the bacteria Bacillus subtilis to attack a mango plant pest. This biofungicide, called Fugifree AB, was recognized as one of the three most important biotechnological achievements of Latin America in 2012, according to the Organization of American States’ Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura.

An interdisciplinary group of Mexican scientists are working on brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) lookign for genes involved in cellular aging. They found two genetic regulators that influence cellular aging when under conditions of low nutrition.

Mexico has increased by 12% its budget for science and technology.

Colombia

Colombian researchers in Medellin say the country is poised for hydroelectric, thermal and wind power projects to meet its energy needs.

Peru

Peru has over 400 flora and fauna species that are illegally sold on the black market.

Chile

Chilean geologists have found more than 20 new caves in southern Patagonia, one of which descends vertically for 200 meters.