Retreating glaciers in Colombia, the possible Aztec origin of the Voynich manuscript, and a 65 million year old plesiosaur found in Chile.

BOLIVIA A Bolivian company is offering a certified chia seed for farmers interested in moving into the expanding international chia market. LATIN AMERICA Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to statistics from the Pan American Health Organization. ARGENTINA Scientists at Argentina’s National University of Rosario have … Continue reading Retreating glaciers in Colombia, the possible Aztec origin of the Voynich manuscript, and a 65 million year old plesiosaur found in Chile.

A scientific study of Patagonia’s Beagle Channel, deforestation in the Gran Chaco, and a ‘planetarium on wheels’ in Mexico.

CHILE Scientists from Chile will be traveling to the southernmost part of Patagonia to study the continental tip that Darwin rounded on his voyage on the Beagle. The scientific expedition will study things like biodiversity, effects of climate change and anthropology of the local indigenous tribes. Critics are worried that Chile’s new energy minister will … Continue reading A scientific study of Patagonia’s Beagle Channel, deforestation in the Gran Chaco, and a ‘planetarium on wheels’ in Mexico.

Chile creates science ministry, ancient surgical techniques in Peru, and studying the DNA of the papaya.

ARGENTINA Researchers at the National University of C√≥rdoba developed in rats a method for assessing the exposure of fetuses to moderate consumption of alcohol by their mothers. They found that the fetus familiarizes itself with flavors and odors in the amniotic fluid and that newborns recognize the smell of alcohol, even if the mothers have … Continue reading Chile creates science ministry, ancient surgical techniques in Peru, and studying the DNA of the papaya.

Ethnobiological drug discovery in Latin America

In the 1530s, the French seafaring explorer Jacques Cartier noticed that indigenous slaves did not die from the debilitating disease that was spreading through the ranks of his sailors. Upon inquiry, Cartier learned from Dom Agaya, one of the Huron natives, that the use of decoctions from the ameda tree protected them against scurvy. This … Continue reading Ethnobiological drug discovery in Latin America

New ‘Game of Thrones’ slug found in Brazil, the ‘sponge effect’ of Latin America’s tropical forests, and Peru’s scientific cruise sails for Antarctica.

BRAZIL Brazilian scientists have discovered a slug that lives on the northwest coast of the country which they dubbed Tritonia khaleesi in honor of the character from the renowned television series “Game of Thrones.” The slug can grow up to 12 mm long and has a white stripe along the body that resembles the braid … Continue reading New ‘Game of Thrones’ slug found in Brazil, the ‘sponge effect’ of Latin America’s tropical forests, and Peru’s scientific cruise sails for Antarctica.

Paraguay’s capital still without a wastewater treatment plant, Mexico City’s warmer winters and Latin America’s smartest cities.

PARAGUAY The Paraguay river–which flows through and supplies water to four Latin American countries and is a major commercial waterway–is polluted by millions of liters of wastewater every hour, reports EFE. Paraguay’s capital alone spews 3.2 million liters of untreated residential and commercial sewage each hour, admits Osmar Sarubbi, president of Paraguay’s sanitation services company … Continue reading Paraguay’s capital still without a wastewater treatment plant, Mexico City’s warmer winters and Latin America’s smartest cities.

Weekly digest: An in-depth look at Belo Monte dam, the threat of a fungus on Latin America’s bananas and exporting the Galapagos model to Chile.

BRAZIL In mid-2011, construction started on Brazil’s Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on a southeast tributary of the Amazon started and by early 2015 should supply 18 million people with its 11,200 MW capacity. Of course, that’s when the Xingu river is flowing at full strength. The average capacity will generate 4,500 MW. Folha de Sao … Continue reading Weekly digest: An in-depth look at Belo Monte dam, the threat of a fungus on Latin America’s bananas and exporting the Galapagos model to Chile.

Chile’s weeklong science party

  Chile harbors optimal conditions for scientific research: clear skies for exploring the cosmos, 4,000 km of diverse environments from the Atacama Desert to Antarctica. These “natural laboratories” attracted Charles Darwin and today they attract scientists from around the world. Next week, they will attract more than 200,000 students, teachers, scientists and the general public. … Continue reading Chile’s weeklong science party