The chia fad Chia is one of the next “superfoods,” high in omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. It’s cultivated in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and Peru. But does it pay off for farmers? According to new research out of Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute, “farmers in Mexico, Peru, … Continue reading Surveying São Paulo’s drought, monarch butterflies in danger, and is the chia fad sustainable?
Brazil A large second-generation biofuel production facility has been opened by GranBio in Northeastern Brazil. Using biomass from sugarcane waste, the facility can produce 82 million liters of ethanol a year. Brazil has released into the wild outside Rio de Janeiro 10,000 mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria. The bacteria helps the mosquito fight off the … Continue reading Latin America’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant built, combating the decline of monarch butterflies, and mosquitoes to fight dengue in Brazil.
Colombia Coffee scientists convened in Armenia, Colombia last week to present new genetic findings to combat leaf rust, a devastating coffee plant disease caused by a fungus. Work was presented on developing new rust-resistant coffee cultivars and characterizing the proteins the fungus secretes. Argentina Latin America’s first positron emission tomography (PET) facility has been designed … Continue reading New coffee science in Colombia, a tower to measure climate change in the Amazon, and transgenic grapes in Chile
Colombia Scientists at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture are working to develop a genetically modified cassava high in pro-vitamin A . This project and others in order to obtain fortified nutrients. Brazil A recent study indicates that if Brazil can utilize its pastures more efficiently, it can provide the food its population needs by … Continue reading Developing a new cassava in Colombia, improving pastures in Brazil, new marine species found in Argentina
Argentina A new dinosaur Dreadnoughtus schrani has been found in Patagonia. It lived 77 million years ago and was 26 meters long. Paper here. Argentine scientists have developed a tool, available online, that allows one to calculate the ecotoxicological risk of using pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides). Chile A group of Chilean students developed “Seeds,” an … Continue reading A gigantic dinosaur discovered in Argentina, contaminating wildfire in the Brazilian Amazon, and ALMA watches the collision of two galaxies
Ecuador The book “Genética Molecular y Citogenética Humana” (Human Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics) compiles 20 years of genetic studies in Ecuador and reveals that the lack of oxygen in the Andean highlands is a dominant environmental factor for Down’s syndrome; inbreeding causes high incidence of genetic disease in several provinces; and problems at birth and … Continue reading The genetics of Ecuadorians, Caribbean reefs under threat, and dinosaur nests in Argentina.
Costa Rica A free mobile phone app helps citizens georeference and warn authorities of potential breeding sites for the mosquito that transmits dengue. The developer joined the Costa Rican Ministry of Health to help prevent the disease. Venezuela The remains of a dinosaur have been found in the Venezuelan Andes. Dubbed Laquintasaura venezuelae , it … Continue reading An app to track mosquitoes that transmit dengue, a Venezuelan dinosaur, and an unstealable bike
Antarctica Researchers digging in Antarctica have found the remains of a sheep-like mammal that inhabited South America 55 million years ago. Ecuador Ecuador’s University of Cuenca is investigating how to produce hydrogen from banana waste. Dominican Republic The analysis of 20 million year-old amber pieces found in the Dominican Republic have yielded, among other things, … Continue reading 55 million-year-old mammal fossils found in Antarctica, making hydrogen from banana waste in Ecuador, and the Caribbean’s tiny grasshopper
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Peru Peru has passed a new law that weakened its environmental protections. The change comes ahead of the climate talks the country is set to host in December. “An embarrassment” is what one politician called the law. Brazil A drought in Brazil’s São Paulo and Minas Gerais states have forced authorities to resort to seeding clouds in an effort … Continue reading Peru weakens environmental protections, Brazil seeds clouds to reverse drought, and “Science does not have a strong voice in Chile.”
Argentina In the northern Argentine province of Salta, at 4825 meters altitude, Argentina and Brazil are set to build a radiotelescope called LLAMA (Long Latin American Millimeter Array) which will allow the study of the evolution of the universe, black holes, and the formation of galaxies and stars. Uruguay 84% of Uruguay’s energy comes from … Continue reading Argentina and Brazil to build LLAMA radiotelescope, Uruguay’s “renewable energy revolution,” and world’s most intense UV radiation measured in Bolivia.
Peru A group of Polish, Peruvian and Colombian archaeologists have discovered in the Atacama desert a previously unknown agricultural culture dating back to the fourth century AD. Objects like camelid headdresses, bows and arrows were found. Nicaragua The Chinese company KHND has unveiled the route for its proposed 278-km canal in Nicaragua. Three times longer than the Panama canal, … Continue reading New ancient civilization discovered in Peru, Nicaragua and China unveil canal route, and study says Amazon could have had a lot more savanna.
Puerto Rico A study conducted at the University of Puerto Rico that looks at producing water and energy from urine was chosen by NASA to be tested in their zero gravity flights. Latin America A 15-year-old Argentine was the winner of the Google Science Fair in his country for inventing a system that allows blind … Continue reading Turning urine into water in space, Latin Americans place in the Google Science Fair, and Argentina displays the “world’s largest dinosaur.”
Central America The chikungunya virus is quickly spreading through Central America and has alerted health authorities in several countries. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause profound fatigue, nausea and rashes. It has no cure and can cause death in the elderly. Chile A group of Chilean, Norwegian and Canadian scientists have cracked … Continue reading Chikungunya spreading through Central America, Chileans help decipher the Atlantic salmon genome, and Cretaceous fossils found in Cuba.
Costa Rica Despite being an area that emits less than 0.5% of the world’s greenhouse gases, Central America is one of the planet’s regions most vulnerable to climate change, according to a study involving four Costa Rican universities. Latin America According to the latest issue of the journal Nature, investment in science and scientific studies … Continue reading Central America’s vulnerability to climate change, Nature magazine highlights South American science, and recreating Alzheimer’s in fruit flies.
Mexico Scientists at the University of Sonora are studying desert plants in order to find active ingredients that could be used for cancer treatments. They have found promising alkaloids and fatty acids in the species Argemone gracilenta and the substance is now being assessed against tumor cells. Chile An ultra-precise atomic clock was built for … Continue reading Studying desert plants in Mexico for cancer treatments, an atomic clock on Chile’s ALMA telescope, and an artificial heart in Argentina.