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Tuesday 23 March 2010

Patricia Covarrubia

Chilean earthquake damaged wine production and science

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Three weeks ago, Chile suffered two incidents - an earthquake followed by a tsunami.The wine production was the most affected in terms of damages. The Chile Wine Association estimates a loss of $250 millions in just spilled wine (does not account for infrastructure damages and the current state of the plantations – approx $600 millions). A study made by the broker BCI believes that ‘Concha y Toro’ winery is the company most affected by the earthquake(newspapers here, here and here).

It has also affected science. Carlos Padilla, vice-chancellor of the University of Talca, explains that many projects and investigations have being affected. For instance, he has being developing research in plant breeding at the Institute of Plant and Biology and Biotechnology. Because genomes are materials that take years to collect they are keep in freezers and with the earthquake they were unfrozen and now unusable. Many others experiments were lost and according to Mr Padilla, this ‘could mean a drop in 5 years of science’.

While the IP blog relates only to news in a particular area of law, I cannot close this article without mentioning the social impact of the earthquake. Our sympathies to the people of Chile.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia