Mexico: River spill to keep 88 schools closed

August 18, 2014

08/18/14 Bloomberg Businessweek

minaCananeaEighty-eight schools in a northern Mexico state will not open Monday along with the rest of the country because of the danger of water contaminated by the spill of 10 million gallons (40,000 cubic meters) of acids from a copper mine into two rivers this month.

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Ancient Maya Cities Found in Jungle

August 18, 2014

08/15/14 Discovery News

maya figurinesA monster mouth doorway, ruined pyramid temples and palace remains emerged from the Mexican jungle as archaeologists unearthed two ancient Mayan cities.

Found in the southeastern part of the Mexican state of Campeche, in the heart of the Yucatan peninsula, the cities were hidden in thick vegetation and hardly accessible.

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Mexico urged to act and save world’s smallest porpoise – the little sea cow

August 12, 2014

08/12/14 The Guardian

800px-Puerto_ColombiaThe world´s smallest porpoise faces imminent extinction unless the Mexican government eliminates gill-net fishing in its only habitat, the upper Sea of Cortez, scientists have warend.

Recent studies conducted using underwater acoustic technology show since 2012, the population of the vaquita marina – Spanish for little sea cow – has fallen to fewer than 100.

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The United States and Mexico sign statement of intent to strengthen produce safety

July 25, 2014

07/24/14 FDA

LimesThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the government of Mexico’s National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) signed a statement of intent forming a partnership to promote the safety of fresh and minimally processed agricultural products.

On Monday, July 21, 2014, FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., along with other FDA officials, traveled to Mexico to conduct a series of meetings with their Mexican regulatory counterparts from the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), of which SENASICA is a part, and the Ministry of Health, the parent agency of COFEPRIS, as part of their work to strengthen cooperation for produce safety.

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Mexico restricts soft drink TV ads to fight obesity

July 16, 2014

Obese man07/16/14 BBC News,

Mexico is restricting television advertising for high-calorie food and soft drinks, as part of its campaign against obesity, the government says. Such ads will be banned with immediate effect on terrestrial and cable TV between 14:30 and 19:30 on weekdays and between 07:30 and 19:30 at weekends. Restrictions will also be imposed on similar ads shown at the cinema. Seventy percent of adults and 30% of children in Mexico are obese or overweight, official figures suggest.

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Mexican Billionaire Slim Backs Biotech Firm Focused On Cancer and Kidney Disease Treatments

June 24, 2014

Forbes, 06/23/14

medicine science 2Atara Biotherapeutics Inc., which is developing therapies for illnesses such as kidney disease and cancer, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO), The Wall Street Journal  reported on Friday. Through a family trust that owns 9.3% of Atara shares, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú is one of Atara’s key investors, according to the regulatory filing.

In the filings Atara said that the proceeds from the IPO would be used for development and clinical studies of two of its drug candidates and to expand its research for other drug candidates. Asked by email whether Slim plans to increase his participation in Atara, Arturo Elías Ayub, Slim’s spokesperson, declined to comment.

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Mexico’s Natives Didn’t Mix Much, New Study Shows

June 13, 2014

06/12/14 National Geographic

people walking down city street - blurThough one country politically, the genetics of indigenous Mexicans shows that their ancestors were very distinct groups that mixed remarkably little. A study published today in Science found more genetic isolation than expected among these populations.

“You can clearly differentiate each of the native American groups one from the other,” said Carlos Bustamante, a professor of genetics at Stanford who led the research. It was “kind of surprising,” he said, that this “plays out even though there’s been 500 years of admixture, huge amounts of population growth, and lots of migration and movement.”

The study marks the first time that researchers looked at the genetic history of Mexico, taking samples from more than a thousand people representing 20 indigenous and 11 mestizo (a person of combined European and Native American descent) groups. The map they made from that data shows nine distinct groups—including Maya, Lacandon, Tojolabal, and Zapotec—with very little intermingling among them.

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