The biodiversity in Peru is enormous and unique, 3000 to 4000 varieties of potatoes, 52 varieties of corn, 163 varieties of tomatoes, 7590 varieties of flowers that exist only there, 4400 varieties of butterflies, 3 varieties of cocoa, avocados, cotton. We use only a few varieties of each crop in Europe. If these were to get infected with diseases, we would have to return to Peru to use another one.

The Amazon is the largest river in the world, the largest source of plant biodiversity. Most of our medicines come from the Amazon.

But this biodiversity is in danger. To extract gold, all it takes is a bulldozer and mercury to separate the earth from the gold. This mercury is not recovered in containers but is rejected into the Amazon, giving it a gray color. It is a poison that destroys everything. The companies that exploit the gold scrape the land down to the rock, destroying everything with no chance to grow back because the rock is bare, expelling without further ado the inhabitants who are exiled to Lima, a metropolis in the desert with 9 million inhabitants that can not decently accommodate them. 6000 hectares of Amazonia are destroyed every year.

The companies that exploit these resources have more means than the government itself; they use violence and are not held responsible in their countries of origin.

The UN intervenes through an education program and there are draft laws in the countries of origin to hold these companies accountable.

Biodiversidad en el Peru – Lima 2019: https://www.lima2019.pe/biodiversidad-en-el-peru

Catalogo-Papas – Ministerio de la agricultura del Peru: https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/89110/CIP-Catalogo-Papas-Junin-FINAL.pdf?sequence=6&isAllowed=y

Oro y bosques, incompatibles en la Amazonía peruana – El Pais: https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/11/22/planeta_futuro/1511358033_282056.html

Biopirates loot the Amazon – The Irish Times: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/biopirates-loot-the-amazon-1.284575

Owed to Nature: Medicines from Tropical Forests – Rainforest Trust: https://www.rainforesttrust.org/owed-to-nature-medicines-from-tropical-forests/

Peru Scrambles to Drive Out Illegal Gold Mining and Save Precious Land – New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/world/americas/peru-illegal-gold-mining-latin-america.html

Gold mining leaves heart of Peruvian Amazon a wasteland – PBS: https://youtu.be/FrHuqT1zpVM

Why Switzerland stuggles with dirty gold: tales from Peru – swissinfo: https://stories.swissinfo.ch/gold-peru-switzerland-mining-metalor#234887

Pandora or Peru: Resisting the mining multinationals – Aljazeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2012/8/30/pandora-or-peru-resisting-the-mining-multinationals

Mathieu Henderson (@Mat__Henderson) Tweeted: Alors que l’initiative “Entreprises responsables” est rejetée à la maj. des cantons, les sympathisants du texte parlent déjà de nouvelles propositions. Ils comptent aussi “regarder si les multinationales ne commettent pas de violations graves”. Le cons.national PS Baptise Hurnihttps://t.co/KQ2jlkS5ff

May COVID-19 help us make peace with bacteria

May COVID-19 help us make peace with bacteria

Bacteria is the smallest living organism on Earth and it is also the biggest (great corail reef). 

It is also the oldest living organism on Earth. “Let’s collapse the planet’s entire history into a single calendar year. Right now, as you’re reading this page, it is the 31st of December, just before the stroke of midnight (…) Humans have only existed for the 30 minutes or fewer. (…) Flowers and mammals evolved earlier in December. (…) For most of the tale, microbes were the only living things on Earth. From March to October in our imaginary calendar, they had the sole run of the planet.”(..)“As palaeontologist Andrew Knoll once said, “Animals might be evolution’s icing, but bacteria are really the cake.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

There are as many bacteria as there are human cells in the body. 

“When Orson Welles said “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone”, he was mistaken. Even when we are alone, we are never alone. We exist in symbiosis – a wonderful term that refers to different organisms living together. Some animals are colonised by microbes while they are still unfertilized eggs; others pick up their first partners at the moment of birth. We then proceed through our lives in their presence. When we eat, so do they. When we travel, they come along. When we die, they consume us. Every one of us is a zoo in our own right – a colony enclosed within a single body. A mutli-species collective. An entire world.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

How Bacteria Rule Over Your Body – The Microbiome – Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell : https://youtu.be/VzPD009qTN4

The principle of symbiosis is that neither of the two (human & bacteria) can survive alone. Bacteria are integral parts of the human body functions. We all know very well about digestion. We understood recently how they train our immune system and trigger neurotransmitters in our brain through the vagal nerve. They are also necessary to keep our blood vessels (endothelium) healthy and sealed. If bacteria stop doing this, you die within 24 hours.

Circulating Metabolites Originating from Gut Microbiota Control Endothelial Cell Function – PMC: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6864778/

“These changes are all fundamentally Darwinian. This point is worth repeating: taking any fast or instant evolutionary shifts as a refutation of the slow, gradual changes we associate with Darwin’s vision is a fatal mistake because these quick shifts are still powered by gradualism. The woodrats might have been able to resist creosote by picking up the right bacteria, but those strains had to evolve the ability to break the insecticide on their own. Form their perspective, evolution proceeded through the usual stepwise way; from the host’s perspective, everything happened in a flash. That is the power of symbiosis: it allows gradual mutations in microbes to produce instant mutations in hosts. We can let bacteria do the slow work for us, and then quickly change ourselves by associating with them. And if these alliances are beneficial enough, they can spread with blinding speed.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Bacteria can be a powerful ally because they can use Darwinian evolution on the scale of days instead of millions of years for humans. By breeding and hosting them, humans can acquire new abilities like digesting new food or fighting new viruses or breath more CO2.

Endothelial cell infection and endotheliitis in COVID-19 – The Lancet: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30937-5/fulltext

However, bacteria are fragile. They don’t store energy, they don’t have an immune system and are easily wiped by chemicals.

Most of the viruses are deadly to bacteria, not humans. Depending on what you eat, you feed or starve certain bacteria in your body. A diverse diet means a diverse microbiome. If we want to use them as allies we must consider to stop systematic disinfection that mostly kill useful microbes.

“It’s the start of a new era, when people are finally ready to embrace the microbial world.

When I walked through San Diego Zoo with Rob Knight at the start of this book, I was struck by how different everything seemed with microbes in mind. Every visitor, keeper, and animal looked like a world on legs – a mobile ecosystem that interacted with others, largely oblivious to their inner multitudes.

When I drive through Chicago with Jack Gilbert, I experience the same dizzying shift in perspective. I see the city’s microbial underbelly – the rich seam of life that coats it, and moves through it on gusts of wind and currents of water and mobile bags of flesh. I see friends shaking hands, saying’ “how do you do”, and exchanging living organisms. I see people walking down the street, ejecting clouds of themselves in their wake. I see the decisions through which we have inadvertently shaped the microbial world around us: the choice to build with concrete versus brick, the opening of a window, and the daily schedule to which a janitor now mops the floor. And I see, in the driver’s seat, a guy who notices those rivers of microscopic life and is enthralled rather than repelled by them. He knows that microbes are mostly not to be feared or destroyed, but to be cherished, admired, and studied.” ― Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

Ed Yong, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

3 ruches sur 10 disparaissent chaque année, protégeons ceux qui butinent.

3 hives out of 10 disappear every year, protect those who browse.

Netflix – Rotten – Bees – S01 E01

Ernest Thomson Seton, 1860-1946, Le naturaliste qui voyage (4 livres)- Jirô Taniguchi & Yoshiharu Imaizumi : https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/2505004757?ie=UTF8&tag=babelio-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1642&creative=6746&creativeASIN=2505004757