ECUADOR DIGESTEconomist magazine criticizes new Quito airport; dwarfs in Loja may help in fight against cancer and diabetes

Apr 6, 2013

In a post on its “Americas Views” blog, the Economist magazine reports that Quito’s new airport at Tababela "does not make the cut" as an international airport.

Although the blog notes that the airport runway and control tower are among the best in Latin America, it says other facilities fall short. “Discomfort characterizes” the new facility, the blog writer says.

According the post, the new terminal is 27% smaller than Guayaquil’s, Ecuador’s other international airport, even though Quito handles twice as many flights. It also reports that the new terminal has 12 fewer check-in counters than the old airport, 60 compared to 72.

The post also criticized bad traffic planning that has resulted in commutes of as much as two hours from the airport to downtown Quito, even though the airport and city are only 15 miles apart.

Ecuadorians reponding an El Comercio newspaper poll seem to agree with the blog’s assessment, with 82% of respondents saying that service at the new airport is worse than at the old one.

Dwarfs in Loja are subject of cancer, diabetes studies

Although there are only 300 people in the world are known to be afflicted by Laron dwarfism, a third of them live in remote villages in Ecuador's southern Loja province. Remarkably, those afflicted with Laron dwarfism have been found to be free of two of the most debilitating illnesses, diabetes and cancer. Scientists now hope that studies will help determine immunity from both.

Sponsored ad

Researchers are working to develop a drug which they hope will artificially produce the genetic defect in Laron syndrome, which protects against DNA damage that fuels cancer growth.

Those with Laron lack a hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, or IGF-1 and not growth hormone, which stimulate the cell to grow and divide to form new cells.

Too much of this hormone can lead a person to develop breast, prostate or bowel cancers at an early age, according to Discovery Magazine.

Studies of the Laron group showed that while they had high levels of growth hormone, their cells were not generating IGF-1. Dr. Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, a hormone expert from the Ecuadorian Institute of Endocrinology, and Dr. Valter Longo at the University of Southern California has been studying the Laron group for the best part of two decades.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Cuenca High Life offers on-line publications, local translated news, and reports about the expat life and living in Ecuador. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter

CuencaHighLife publishes Ecuador news daily. Subscribing will guarentee that you never miss the most important news.

You have Successfully Subscribed!