What follows is a free translation of a piece written by Noemí Rodríguez González for Conexión Cinvestav. Noemí interviewed me over a Covid 19 project prepared at the invitation of the State of Hidalgo by Nils Schuth, Liliana Quintanar, Erika Garay & myself, which was one amongst five accepted by the Paul Scherrer Institute‘s synchrotron. The poster below was kindly prepared by José Eduardo García Ramírez. Thanks go to Omar Fayad (Hidalgo’s State Governor), Lamán Carranza & Juan García who support the project to build a synchrotron in Mexico.(more…)
Lic. Enrique Peña Nieto, Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Dr. José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Secretario de Hacienda y Crédito Público
Mtro. Aurelio Nuño Mayer, Secretario de Educación Pública
H. Congreso de la Unión
Dr. Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, Director del Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
A la Comunidad Científica
A la Opinión Pública
The eagle and the snake are a symbol on Mexico’s flag, whose origins are unclear (reminding me the origins of “gringo”). They are also the title of a revolutionary novel, written by Martín Luis Guzmán, published in 1928. The Mexican Academy of the Spanish Language asked Susana Quintanilla to compile a critical edition of El áquila y la serpiente. Today, she presented a moving account of the effort involved. During her talk, she showed what looked like a published book, although I couldn’t find evidence of its existence online. I can only recommend, instead, her article in Letras Libres (in Spanish).
I have yet to read Susana Quintanilla’s written account of the Cinvestav’s founding [Recordar hacia el mañana. Creación y primeros años del Cinvestav. 1960-1970], a nice edition published by the Center in 2002 that sits on the pile of books on my desk. So far, I have followed the story through the autobiography of Pablo Rudomín. We initiated, today, festivities for the 55 years from the creation of the Center. I returned to the lab with three thoughts to share.
From a casual conversation with Dr. Carmen Vivar, we were surprised to learn of her observations that wild Drosophila flies were excellent at spotting her glass of red wine; whereas when she would serve white wine, the flies would rarely appear. We were previously under the impression that flies would be attracted to the alcohol vapor, but clearly such a pronouncement was not able to distinguish between the two types of wine. A quick search in the literature revealed studies on the adaptions carried by populations of flies grown near wineries (see a historical view  by the pioneer of these investigations, Stephen W. McKechnie), whose observations were repeated by Spanish colleagues , while more recently attention is on Drosophila suzukii  , a pest of the grapes themselves. But, to our surprise, given the relationship of most Drosophilists we know of, with wine, we could identify no data on whether our (also known as) vinegar flies, had preference between vin rouge ou vin blanc. (more…)