CAMAGÜEY.- One of the lines of scientific investigation with better results in the history of the University of Camagüey (UC) Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz is the one dedicated to the Biotechnology, however, its contribution to the Cuban and world science could be much bigger if there did not exist the economic, financial and commercial blockade that the Government of the United States imposes to our country for more than half a century.

Dr. C. Luis Ramos, leader of this line and of the group of investigation of the processes in the laboratory of the pilot plant that has the center to investigate on the biomass and the securing of beneficial products for the society, could write a book on the affectations due to this unjust commercial measurement.

“The first big affectation answers to the scarce availability of financial resources for the investigation, which came from the decade of ‘90s when the blockade influenced negatively the fruitful relation that Cuba had with the European Union. At present we have acquired capital in the Old Continent, but, the equipment that we can buy overseas would be less costly if they were allowing us to obtain it in the United States, logically a cheaper and nearby market”.

- Also is the access of the Cuban young people to the international scientific community complicated?

- Yes. We have projects with North American institutions and have done some actions too much restricted due to the blockade. The possibilities of academic exchange were fine in the Obama order and with the new administration the ambience for the cooperation is unfavorable again. For example: to achieve an official invitation of a North American university we have to look for visas for a third country therefore the price is major and more bothersome the steps.

“I add a personal anecdote to the previous thing. In an occasion I sent a work to an International Congress and when I went to pay my participation the place of the event pushed the request back for being a Cuban and the American bank that was sponsoring the contest had it prohibited”.

- Little access to the bibliography also damages the formation of the professional.

- To teachers and students of the UC who investigate the Biotechnology, the blockade prevents them from gaining access to the bibliography and the updated scientific publications and of major level, since in general many of the best have base in the USA and the prohibition, for diverse natures, included that of the commerce, limits the access to these articles.

“At the beginning of the 90s of last century it was published one of the basic books for learning of the subject Engineering of the Chemical Reactions. I wrote to the author of the book so that I should facilitate it to myself and he accepted, but finally he had to send it to me with a friend from Mexico because he could not send it from the United States”.

- In spite of all this hostility, Cuba did not stop its investigations and in case of the University of Camagüey the results are very palpable.

- The main achievement that we have relapses into the determination that we put to the process of education derived from the scientific investigation, from there that at present the career of Chemical Engineering presents its three programs accredited of Excellency: in Pre-grade, Mastery and Doctorate.

“As for the pilot plant, we work in a program related to the securing of products like the ethanol, from the biomass that comes from agro-industrial residues. The investigation cannot go on to the industry yet, but there is an important storage of knowledge on the production of the enzymes and also this year a thesis about the securing of a catalyst that is used in the synthesis of the biodiesel from renewable resources will be defended”.

- Vital in the contributions of this line of investigation it has been likewise the collaboration with other institutions.

- We keep ties with the Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology of Camagüey, in research projects of products that go to the national and international market. For five years we work with the Center of Molecular Immunology of Havana and we present a doctoral thesis directed to intensify the production processes for the making of therapeutic vaccines.

The blockade seems that will survive several years more, but to the Biotechnology in the University of Camagüey it has left great to contribute. Now, teachers as Luis Ramos and his students investigate to intensify the processes of cultivation of the cells of mammals that are those who produce hormonal antibodies and two of his teachers hope to be approved to study a doctorate in Belgium.

Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez