40 Years Ago the World ‘Discovered’ Mexico’s Monarch Habitat — Today Its Survival Is at Stake

January 21, 2015

Huffington Post, 1/20/2015

monarch butterfly photoMEXICO CITY — Forty years ago the winter habitat of the monarch butterfly in Mexico was supposedly discovered. After searching for decades, on January 9, 1975 the Canadian scientist Fred A. Urquhart, an entomologist at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough College, received a phone call from an American living in Mexico City named Kenneth Brugger, married at the time to Mexican-born Cathy Aguado (known today as Catalina Trail), who told him that “We have located the colony. We have found them — millions of monarchs — in evergreens beside a mountain clearing.”

The “discovery” had taken place a week earlier in northern Michoacan, in an oyamel forest on Cerro Pelon, 10,000 feet up in the mountains of Mexico’s Transvolcanic Belt, and a few days later the Bruggers happened upon other monarch roosts at El Rosario and Chincua. The Bruggers were volunteer “research associates” in Urquhart’s longstanding monarch tagging program, in which tiny labels reading “Send to Zoology University Toronto Canada” were stuck onto thousands of southbound migrating butterflies.

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Mexico detects first case of mosquito-borne chikungunya virus

November 18, 2014

11/15/14 Reuters

chiapasMexico has detected its first domestic case of the painful mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya in the southwest of the country, the state government of Chiapas said on Saturday. Chikungunya is spread by two mosquito species, and is typically not fatal. But it can cause debilitating symptoms including fever, headache and severe joint pain lasting months. The government of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, said an 8 year old girl became the first person to contract the disease in Mexico, and that she was treated in hospital in the town of Arriaga. The girl has since been released.

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Mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus likely to reach Mexico- health ministry

October 16, 2014

10/15/14 Reuters

medicine healthcare - stethoscopeMexico is very likely to join the list of countries to register cases of the painful mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya, a senior health ministry official said on Wednesday. Chikungunya is spread by two mosquito species, and is typically not fatal but can cause debilitating symptoms including fever, headache and severe joint pain lasting months. There is no current treatment for the virus, which was detected for the first time in the Americas late last year, and no licensed vaccine to prevent it.

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Survey Shows Mexicans Drinking Less Soda After Tax

October 14, 2014

10/13/14 The Wall Street Journal

Coca Cola Bottles

A majority of Mexicans say they’re drinking less sugary drinks this year, and are also relating soda to health problems after the country introduced a tax on sweet beverages, according to the results of a survey by public health advocates released Monday. Just over half the 1,500 people who participated in the August survey said they have lowered their consumption of sugary drinks versus last year, while 98% said they considered drinking soda raises their risk for developing diabetes and obesity. Nearly a fifth still drink more than three liters of soda a week, although in last year’s survey a quarter of respondents drank that amount.

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Companies in Mexico Find Healthier Packaged Foods a Tough Sell

October 6, 2014

10/02/14 Wall Street Journal

medicine healthcare - stethoscopeMexico is the world’s ninth biggest market for packaged food. But, seven out of 10 adults in the country and a third of children are overweight. Facing daunting public health bills, the Mexican government has undertaken a series of measures this year, ranging from taxes on food it deems unhealthy to restrictions on junk food advertising aimed at young children.

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How Will the Megatrends Play Out in Mexico? Healthcare Challenges and Opportunities in the Mexican Market

September 10, 2014

08/26/14 by Andrew Rudman, Managing Director, ManattJones Global Strategies, LLC

medicine healthcare - stethoscopeAre the five megatrends shaping pharma’s next decade in the United States also key change drivers for Mexico? Certainly, there are some commonalities for companies doing business in both countries—but there are also major variations. To succeed in Mexico, manufacturers can’t just “export” the strategies they adopt in the U.S. They must understand the unique challenges and opportunities that Mexico presents for life sciences firms—and craft plans customized to the demographic, economic, cultural and regulatory environment of the Mexican market.

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Why no one should freak out about the giant crack that opened in the Mexico desert

August 27, 2014

08/26/14 The Washington Post

John Moore - Getty ImagesOn the issue of the huge gaping chasm that opened in the Mexican desert earlier this month, scientists have assured us this does not herald the end of days.

The chair of the geology department at the University of Sonora, in the northern Mexican state where this “topographic accident” emerged, said that the fissure was likely caused by sucking out groundwater for irrigation to the point the surface collapsed.

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