The weather pattern known as La Nina, blamed for floods in Australia and drought in parts of Latin America, is expected to persist through the first quarter of 2011, the World Meteorological Organization said on Tuesday.

La Nina, which cools the Pacific Ocean, could possibly even continue into April or early May, further affecting weather around the globe, the United Nations agency said in its

The evolution of antibiotic resistance (AR) increases treatment cost and probability of failure, threatening human health worldwide. The relative importance of individual antibiotic use, environmental transmission and rates of introduction of resistant bacteria in explaining community AR patterns is poorly understood. Evaluating their relative importance requires studying a region where they vary.

Over the past decade, biologists working in Ecuador's Yasuni National Park and the adjoining Waorani Ethnic Reserve, a 17,000-kilometer section of the Amazon Basin that was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989, have documented Yasuni's remarkable biodiversity, providing evidence that its forest has the highest number of species on the planet, including an unprecedented core where there are overlapping world richness records for amphibians, reptiles, bats, and trees.

Long-term neurotoxicity risks resulting from prenatal exposures to pesticides are uncertain, but a previous study of Ecuadorian schoolchildren suggested that blood pressure and visuospatial processing may be vulnerable to these exposures. Harari et al. conducted a cross-sectional study of cardiovascular and neurobehavioral functions among 84 Ecuadorian children 6

The Andean country has joined a growing number of developing nations in taking advantage of flexibilities in the WTO

AMPHIBIAN ABUNDANCE: There are more species of frogs and toads within Yasun

The threats facing Ecuador's Yasuní National Park are emblematic of those confronting the greater western Amazon, one of the world's last high-biodiversity wilderness areas. Notably, the country's second largest untapped oil reserves—called “ITT”—lie beneath an intact, remote section of the park. The conservation significance of Yasuní may weigh heavily in upcoming state-level and international decisions, including whether to develop the oil or invest in alternatives.

The present study offers evidence on alternative financing

Ecuador is among the countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change. Preventing oil extraction in the Yasun

The Andes have daily (rather than seasonal) temperature extremes, unpre-
dictable weather from one year to the next, and a myriad of environmental niches scattered across the elevations. To survive in such an adverse environment, highland farming evolved to be robust, with complex