How Blue Eyes Originated!


Close-up of a blue-eyed koala

Close-up of a blue-eyed koala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Blue eyes Originated

 

http://aworldchaos.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/how-blue-eyes-originated/#more-19788

PicMonkey Collage

Everyone with blue eyes alive today – from Angelina Jolie to Wayne Rooney – can trace their ancestry back to one person who probably lived about 10,000 years ago in the Black Sea region, a study has found. Scientists studying the genetics of eye colour have discovered that more than 99.5 per cent of blue-eyed people who volunteered to have their DNA analysed have the same tiny mutation in the gene that determines the colour of the iris.

 

This indicates that the mutation originated in just one person who became the ancestor of all subsequent people in the world with blue eyes, according to a study by Professor Hans Eiberg and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen.

The scientists are not sure when the mutation occurred but other evidence suggested it probably arose about 10,000 years ago when there was a rapid expansion of the human population in Europe as a result of the spread of agriculture from the Middle East.

“The mutations responsible for blue eye colour most likely originate from the north-west part of the Black Sea region, where the great agricultural migration of the northern part of Europe took place in the Neolithic periods about 6,000 to 10,000 years ago,” the researchers report in the journal Human Genetics.

Professor Eiberg said that brown is the “default” colour for human eyes which results from a build-up of the dark skin pigment, melanin. However, in northern Europe a mutation arose in a gene known as OCA2 that disrupted melanin production in the iris and caused the eye colour to become blue.

“Originally, we all had brown eyes,” said Professor Eiberg. “But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a ‘switch’ which literally turned off the ability to produce brown eyes.”

Variations in the colour of people’s eyes can be explained by the amount of melanin in the iris, but blue-eyed individuals only have a small degree of variation in the amount of melanin in their eyes, he said.

“From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor. They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA,” said Professor Eiberg.

Men and women with blue eyes have almost exactly the same genetic sequence in the part of the DNA responsible for eye colour. However, brown-eyed people, by contrast, have a considerable amount of individual variation in that area of DNA.

Professor Eiberg said he has analysed the DNA of about 800 people with blue eyes, ranging from fair-skinned, blond-haired Scandinavians to dark-skinned, blue-eyed people living in Turkey and Jordan.

“All of them, apart from possibly one exception, had exactly the same DNA sequence in the region of the OCA2 gene. This to me indicates very strongly that there must have been a single, common ancestor of all these people,” he said.

It is not known why blue eyes spread among the population of northern Europe and southern Russia. Explanations include the suggestions that the blue eye colour either offered some advantage in the long hours of daylight in the summer, or short hours of daylight in winter, or that the trait was deemed attractive and therefore advantageous in terms of sexual selection.

Source The Independent

Mortality Increase From Alzheimer´s Disease in U.S. within last 10 Years


Talesfromthelou’s Blog - copied:

Mortality Increase From Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States within the last 10 Years. Data for 2000 and 2010

Fascinating data from the Center for Disease Control.  A generation ago we could not even spell Alzheimer’s. It now looks like we are facing an avalanche of seniors losing their minds, and their lives, in later years.  You better believe that I will be looking for all preventative methods and cures for this dreaded degeneration of the brain.  I have seen what it does and it has no dignity. Lou

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States

NCHS Data Briefs Update.

In 2010, Alzheimer’s disease was the underlying cause for a total of 83,494 deaths and was classified as a contributing cause for an additional 26,488 deaths. Mortality from Alzheimer’s disease has steadily increased during the last 30 years. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause for people aged 65 years and over. An estimated 5.4 million persons in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease. The cost of health care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia was estimated to be 200 billion dollars in 2012, including 140 billion dollars in costs to Medicare and Medicaid and is expected to reach 1.1 trillion dollars in 2050.

Alzheimer’s disease mortality varies by age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, and geographic area. This report presents mortality data on Alzheimer’s disease based on data from the National Vital Statistics System from 2000 through 2010, the most recent year for which detailed data are available.

Key findings

Data from the National Vital Statistics System

  • The age-adjusted death rate from Alzheimer’s disease increased by 39 percent from 2000 through 2010 in the United States.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the fifth leading cause among people aged 65 years and over. People aged 85 years and over have a 5.4 times greater risk of dying from Alzheimer’s disease than people aged 75–84 years.
  • The risk of dying from Alzheimer’s disease is 26 percent higher among the non-Hispanic white population than among the non-Hispanic black population, whereas the Hispanic population has a 30 percent lower risk than the non-Hispanic white population.
  • In 2010, among all states and the District of Columbia, 31 states showed death rates from Alzheimer’s disease that were above the national rate (25.1).

Keywords: dementia, National Vital Statistics System, death rate, aging

Alzheimer’s disease mortality increased compared with selected major causes of death.

Figure 1 is a bar chart showing percent change in age-adjusted death rates for the selected causes of death between 2000 and 2010.

Full article:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db116.htm

Related articles

SayNoToDogMeat! Here: Africa


Originally posted on My Blog Straydogsworldwide:

saynotodogmeat-net-028-1

Africa Is Not Asia, it’s worse

 Posted on February 28, 2014 by sayno2013

 Leave a Comment

SayNoToDogMeat.Net 028 (1)

Africa Is Not Asia, it’s worse

Brand new film footage of African dog meat butchers has been entrusted to SayNoToDogMeat.Net. showing the three main ways dogs are killed in Africa’s dog meat trade. I have watched all three videos and felt quite ill at the end of each video. Eating dogs in Africa is split into two categories: people who ARE starving and people are NOT starving.

The videos were filmed in Nigeria (population 166.2 million), whose native population eats dog meat as part of the traditional diet, by Dr Philip Paul Mshelbwala, Rabies Specialist who conducted the research study published in the Global Alliance for Rabies Control and featured in SayNoToDogMeat.Net’s previous rabies articles, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

The method used to kill the dog in…

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Shelters from inside/ Cainii sunt inca grasuni pentru ca sunt proaspat furati din casele oamenilor sau din locurile in care toti oamenii aveau grija de ei.


Originally posted on My Blog Straydogsworldwide:

http://mapofhope.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/aspa-shelters-from-inside/  video

ASPA Tierheime von innen gefilmt.
Aufnahmen von Daniel Tomescu, die zeigen, wie Menschen darum kämpfen, ihre Hunde zurückzufordern, oder Hunde herauszuholen. Aufnahmen, die die Realität in- und vor den Lagern der ASPA zeigen, wie Rumänen vor Ort sie tagtäglich erleben.

Die Aufnahmen entstanden in den Monaten Januar und Februar. Sie sind allerdings nicht chronologisch oder nach Lagern sortiert.

Originaltext in Rumänisch und Englisch:

In 2013, Romanian Intelligence Service had no other job but to count the dogs from Bucharest. Nobody told us that in fact this number of 65.000 dogs included the dogs with owners. Later, after the prosecution in Ionut case, where not the negligent grandmother was accused, but the owner of the property, where the boy entered illegally because he was not supervised and ASPA’s abuses (dogs catchers paid with lots of money capture dogs from romanians houses) we started to figure out that the authorities…

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Economics For the 99%: This Is What Food and Shelter For All Looks Like


 

Economics For the 99%: This Is What Food and Shelter For All Looks Like

Steve Rushton
Occupy.com / News Report
Published: Sunday 20 April 2014
A recent U.K. Parliamentary report highlights that 15 million tons of food is wasted in Britain every year. Indicative of a broader problem, the same report tells how the European union wastes 89 million tons while rich countries dispose of nearly the same amount that all of sub-Saharan Africa is able to grow.

Article image

“Economics of the majority begins with the most fundamental premise: resources lie idle and economics has the task of explaining that idleness, then proposing public policies to end the waste of human skill and productive wealth,” John Weeks asserts in the conclusion to his recently published book, Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy. His approach comprehensively undermines neoclassical economics, which he terms “fakeconomics” – a pseudo-science based on false assumptions, which hold that markets are efficient and resources are never wasted.

In his sharp final section, Weeks alludes to an incomplete project for the 21st century: economics for the 99%. To explore this, specific necessities of life deserve further focus – especially as society continues to waste resources that could alleviate poverty and stop unnecessary deaths. Among the critical points, shelter and food are two human requirements that have hit headlines recently in Britain for being wasted and rotting beyond use.

Free Market Capitalism and the Scale of Food Waste

A recent U.K. Parliamentary report highlights that 15 million tons of food is wasted in Britain every year. Indicative of a broader problem, the same report tells how the European union wastes 89 million tons while rich countries dispose of nearly the same amount that all of sub-Saharan Africa is able to grow.

The United Nations Environment Program suggests a third of all food globally goes to waste. Globally, more than one in 10 people suffer hunger, meaning the scale of free markets’ food waste is not only causing poverty – it actually kills. A disaster whose largest impact is felt on the majority world, it is nonetheless more and more affecting the minority world as inequality spirals. For instance, in Britain, the food crisis has led to church leaders speaking out on continuing austerity policies.

Why is so Much Food Wasted?

Reading different mainstream news reactions to the report, blame has been apportioned in part to the supermarkets for selling consumers food they do not need with buy-one-get-one-free offers, and for penalizing growers for undersupplying them; this encourages oversupply. Culpability is also pointed at the food industry itself, which spends billions each year persuading people “what food should look like” so that only aesthetically pleasing food reaches the shelves.

Legally Enforcing Waste

Anyone who has ever gone “skipping,” or “dumpster diving,” knows that shops regularly throw out masses of perfectly edible food. For some, this is solely a source of nourishment; for others it is an ethical decision to choose “freeganism”. By stopping so much food heading to landfill, you not only leave more for everyone else – but from a climate perspective, you’re helping prevent more methane from rotting food becoming greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet this ecological and socially beneficial solution is criminalized. Locks and chains “protect” the garbage on our streets. There have even been recent cases of police arresting those who want to use the idle produce. In an instance three years ago, it even led to criminal convictions for theft.

A food waste solution based on freegan principles involves shops giving away food to charity feeding projects. A successful example is the Hare Krishna project Food For All. Using donated food, Food For All feeds over 1,000 people per day across London, including homeless people and students. The food combines with other work that aims to empower homeless people, providing opportunities such as music lessons and volunteering opportunities.

But schemes like these are also under attack from UK authorities. Earlier this year, it took a high court ruling to overturn a decision to ban a soup kitchen from the London borough of Waltham Forest Council. That is why, for an economics of the 99%, we need to understand efficiency as not dumping food – rather than making maximum profits on beautifully shaped cucumbers.

Assets or Homes? Empty Buildings in the Free Market

The inefficiency of the market that wastes food echoes in Britain’s empty buildings. In the UK, 870,000 potential homes lie idle with a further 420,000 potential homes in abandoned commercial buildings that could be converted to housing. The owners, of course, have homes that are called investments. Recent revelations show that a third of mansions lay empty in the second most expensive street in Britain.

Its billion-pound plus properties have been shown to be rotting to decay for years, some for decades. These idle resources contribute greatly to Britain’s housing crisis, where not enough affordable homes are available, leading to a sharp increases in homelessness particularly in the capital.

More broadly across society, the reduction in used homes allows higher prices to be charged for potential first time buyers and those who are renting. But the inflating housing bubble also endangers the economy: the latest IMF report tells how Britain’s recovery is based largely on the housing sector, which has been supported by government incentives like mortgage subsidies that have largely been used to buy expensive homes, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Those buying houses as assets include foreign investors, attracted to put money into housing which is seen as a lucrative investment because of the weak taxation on foreign-owned UK property. The Economist reports London house prices rose 11% last year. The same article shows what Weeks might define as fakeconomics anti-logic: The Economist celebrates that the investment is good for the property market despite that it will adversely affect the majority. It propels the fakeconomics myth: that markets benefit people.

There are many measures the government could take to stop homes being used as idle assets. These include a progressive tax on houses or second homes, a mansion tax or a land value tax. Within all these taxes, there is plenty of scope to progressively tax the richest to reduce the inequality in access to housing.

Squatting derelict buildings, like skipping waste food, is one citizen-led solution that immediately utilizes these rotting resources while often providing the homeless a form of shelter, as well as independent community and organizing spaces. Similar to skipping, the UK government has cracked down on the practice; in 2012, it repealed squatters’ rights to recycle residential buildings.

In a report on the impact of the criminalization of squatting in commercial buildings, the campaign group SQUASH presented evidence showing the law to be “undemocratic, unjust, unnecessary and unaffordable.”

Since, there have been moves from other Minsters of Parliament to criminalize all squatting. Interestingly these MPs emerge clearly in the pay of luxury housing developers and property magnets – superrich people who have an interest in keeping buildings empty so as to drive up prices.

Squatting, like skipping, leads toward an economic policy that makes housing for the 99% affordable. Just as society could be directed not to waste food, it makes sense for there to be a maximum time that a property may lay idle before it is given to those in need.

http://www.nationofchange.org/economics-99-what-food-and-shelter-all-looks-1398007030

Bald Eagle Cam: Watch Decorah Eaglets Grow Up Live


National Wildlife Federation

Bald Eagle Cam: Watch Decorah Eaglets Grow Up Live

from Wildlife Promise

60 2/24/2014 // By Dani Tinker http://blog.nwf.org/2014/02/bald-eagle-cam-watch-decorah-eaglets-grow-up-live/

We are gearing up for a third year of bald eagle nest spying. The eagle cam, courtesy of the Raptor Resource Project, is a unique opportunity to witness bald eagle hatchlings grow up.

 

Current Status

Feb. 23, 2014: First egg laid
Feb. 26, 2014: Second egg appears
Mar. 2, 2014: Third egg arrives
Apr. 2, 2014: First eaglet (D18) hatches
Apr. 3, 2014: Second hatchling (D19) arrives
Apr. 7, 2014: Third eaglet (D20) egg-scapes

Learn While You Watch

Not much happening in the nest? Take some time to read more about bald eagles, especially their nesting habits.

1. Bald eagles are solitary, but monogamous animals.

Although they spend winters and migrations alone, bald eagles maintain the same breeding pair year after year. If one dies, the survivor will find a new mate. The Decorah eagle pair has been together since the winter of 2007-08.

This photo of bald eagles was donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Myrna Erler-Bradshaw.

2. Bald eagles hold the Guinness World Record for building the largest bird’s nest.

The record nest measured over 9 feet wide and 20 feet deep, and was estimated to weigh more than 4,000 pounds. The Decorah nest is 5-6 feet across, about the same depth and weighs about 1½ tons. 3.  The nest must be large and sturdy enough to hold the eaglets as they grow, and to handle the commotion as they learn to fly.

Bald Eagle Egg by Dani Tinker

3. There are typically 1-3 eggs in a clutch.

The average clutch size is two, while four is considered rare. Bald eagles lay their eggs on a staggered schedule. As a result, the chicks hatch at different times, sometimes with a few days in between.

The eggs are incubated for about 35 days, a duty shared by both male and female eagles. During incubation, one of the parents is almost always on the nest. They do this to protect the eggs from predators and other threats.

4. Bald eagles clench their toes to avoid stabbing their eggs or eaglets with their sharp talons.

Bald eagles are very careful while moving around their nest, especially around their eggs and eaglets. Their talons are incredibly sharp, and could harm their young by accident. To prevent this, the eagles often clench their toes to hide their talons.

5. Eaglets practice flapping their wings for weeks before trying their first flight.

Bald eagles try their first flight 10-13 after hatching. The eaglets acquire flight feathers (known as fledging), and stay around the nest for an additional few months.

6. Bald eagles take their prey dead (carrion) or alive.

They feed primarily on fish, which is why their nests are typically near water. Bald eagles catch fish right off the water’s surface. Their food may include fish, birds, invertebrates, amphibians and more. Dead (carrion) or live prey are both acceptable to bald eagles. Occasionally they’ll wait for another eagle to catch a fish, and then try to steal it. Eagles feed their young by tearing food into small pieces, which eaglets take from their mother’s beak. After about five weeks, the eaglet is able to shred food on its own.

7. Approximately 50-70% of eaglets survive the first year of life.

Sometimes the last eaglet to hatch in a clutch is unable to compete with its siblings for food and doesn’t make it.

Bald Eagle Resources

How to Help Bald Eagles

AdoptNow-150x26-GreenYou can help efforts to protect the bald eagle and its habitat by symbolically adopting an eagle.

Adoption packages include a certificate, poster, bald eagle plush and more.

History of the Decorah Eagles

We here at the National Wildlife Federation have been following the Decorah Eagles and their clutches of eaglets since 2011. That year, and in 2012, we featured live footage of the Decorah Eagles in their Iowa nest. The pair of eagles typically lay eggs in February, and the first eaglets usually hatch in late-March or early-April. In 2013, the eagles constructed an alternate nest, and there was no opportunity for the Raptor Resource Project to install live cams. However, the Center did install cams in this second, alternate nest (known as N2) last October.

Honour Your Word: An Intimate Portrait of Life Behind the Barricades for the Algonquins …


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Honour Your Word

Honour Your Word

https://vimeo.com/84324806

Marylynn Poucachiche and Norman Matchewan faced tear gas and police batons when they joined their parents on the barricades to defend the Barriere Lake Algonquins’ traditional territory in the 1980s. Little did Marylynn and Norman realize they would still be on the barricades over 20 years later, this time with their own young children at their sides.

Honour Your Word is an intimate portrait of life behind the barricades for the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, an inspiring First Nation whose dignity and courage contrast sharply with material poverty and political injustice they face.

The title refers to their campaign slogan demanding that Canada and Quebec honour a precedent-setting conservation deal signed in 1991. Director, Martha Stiegman, spent four years shooting this poetic, heartfelt documentary that challenges stereotypes of “angry Indians.” Honour Your Word juxtaposes starkly contrasting landscapes—the majesty of the bush, a dramatic highway stand-off against a riot squad, daily life within the confines of the reserve—to reveal the spirit of a people for whom blockading has become an unfortunate part of their way of life, a life rooted in the piece of Boreal Forest they are defending.

The film draws us into the lives of two young leaders: Marylynn Poucachice, a mother of five, and Norman Matchewan, the soft-spoken son and grandson of traditional chiefs. Both spent their childhoods on the logging blockades their parents set up to win a sustainable development plan protecting their land. But it turns out signing the agreement was the easy part. Now, 20 years later, Norman and Marylynn are taking up the struggle of their youth, to force Canada and Quebec to honour their word.

Their fight seem be an impossible one, but as we spend time with Marylynn, Norman and the community they are so deeply a part of, we grow to identify with the impulse driving a struggle that spans generations. We learn why for people here, standing up is a necessity, not a choice – and what compels them to do so, despite the odds.

Honour Your Word

Official Website: http://honouryourword-film.ca

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Written and Directed by: Martha Stiegman

Produced by: Martha Stiegman (Jack Pine Media); Marlene Edoyan and Malcolm Guy (Productions Multi-Monde)

Director of Photography: Iphigénie Marcoux-Fortier

Sound Recording: Martha Stiegman

Editor: Angela Baker

Original Music: Stephen de Oliveira

The Object of My Affection


curi56:

PICTURES – FULL OF LOVE

Originally posted on Writing Between the Lines:

It will be thirty-one years next month since Thom and I sent out this wedding invitation.

(designed by my sister Constance, poem by Langdon Smith).

In his wedding vows Thom borrowed this passage from Robert Browning, “Grow old along with me!  The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.”   I thought they were sweet words, but I was slender and pretty, with my whole life ahead of me; I could hardly imagine growing old, let alone growing old in concert.   Now I understand their import, and cannot believe my good fortune in having found such a wise old soul in such a young man.

Thom gave me the world.   With him I made my very first trip overseas, back in 1987.  We spent five weeks exploring Britain and Ireland.

We loved traveling so much we went back to Europe…

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Freedom! 130 Bears to Be Rescued From Chinese Bile Farm


Freedom! 130 Bears to Be Rescued From Chinese Bile Farm

The bears spend their lives in cramped cages being tapped for their bile, which is then dried and sold as a traditional medicine.

Bears to Be Rescued From Chinese Bile Farm

(Photo: Reuters)

 

 

 

April 16, 2014

More than 130 bears living in miserable conditions at a Chinese bile-extraction farm will soon get a significant lifestyle upgrade.

After a yearlong negotiation, Animals Asia Foundation has struck a deal to rescue all of the Asiatic black bears living at Flower World, a state-owned horticulture and landscaping company based in Nanning.

Next month the 28 sickest bears will be making a 745-mile journey to the organization’s sanctuary in Chengdu. After that, the foundation plans to convert the Flower World farm into a sanctuary for the remaining bears, a process that will take two years and cost $5 million. That price will also cover the first three years of caring for the bears.

On bile farms, bears, mostly Asiatic brown bears but also sun bears and brown bears, spend most of their lives confined to small, rusty cages where their gall bladders are repeatedly tapped—sometimes up to three times a day—and drained of bile.

The bodily fluid is sold as a component of traditional Asian medicine. The bile doesn’t have any real medicinal qualities, but that hasn’t stopped the vile practice. Up to 10,000 bears live on these farms, which can produce as much as 30 tons of powdered bile every year.

Flower World began breeding bears for the bile trade in 2004 but stopped extraction two years ago. “We now believe the bile-extraction process is very cruel,” said Yan Shaohong, Flower World’s general manager. He said the bears appear healthy, but many of them “have inner damage and inflammation, otherwise why do they require so many antibiotics?”

Jill Robinson, Animals Asia founder, praised Yan for his “moral courage” in standing up to the bear-bile trade. Many of the bears suffer from blindness, tooth problems, and “severe behavior” due to their confinement, she said. The 21 bears that had their bile extracted at Flower World will need surgery to remove their damaged gall bladders.

Public opposition to bear-bile farming is on the rise in China. “We understand through surveys and other feedback that the majority of people here do not want bear-bile farming to continue,” Robinson said. “In that sense we are providing a sustainable model that shows how bile farms can be converted to sanctuaries and that there is true potential for bear farmers to lead by example in now creating peaceful havens for bile-farmed bears.”

Related Stories on TakePart

Harry Reid Calls Bundy Supporters ‘Domestic Terrorists’


Harry Reid Calls Bundy Supporters ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Paul Lawrance
Activist PostDuring the ‘Hashtags & Headlines’ event at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Senator Harry Reid showed his true colors and called those who support Cliven Bundy “domestic terrorists”.“So these people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not…they are nothing more than domestic terrorists,” said Reid. “I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.” 

Reid was referring to the standoff in Bunkerville last week where Bundy supporters, some of whom were wielding firearms, managed to get Bureau of Land Management agents to back down and release the 380 cattle they had corralled.

“They had sniper rifles in the freeway. They had weapons, automatic weapons,” Reid went on. “They had children and women lined up because if anyone got hurt we wanted to make sure they got hurt first.”

http://youtu.be/tq8QAYuKs9E

Though Reid’s harsh label of the supporters and description of the standoff might cause someone ignorant of the issue to come to agreement with his view, it’s important to note that the only violence that occurred during the standoff was perpetrated by the BLM.Ealier in the week Reid publicly stated that the the BLM’s fight with Bundy was “not over”.

“Well, it’s not over,” Reid told NBC’s Nevada affiliate KRNV. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

Reid echoed a similar statement during his speaking time at the Las Vegas event on Thursday.

Is it possible that Reid is just upset that the BLM had to stand down when he was reportedly the one behind the crackdown and has ties to solar farms not to far from the Bundy Ranch?

No matter where you sit on the Bundy issue, it should upset you that such an influential person in the Congress would label Americans as terrorists. Especially in a time where dangerous legislation like the NDAA exists.

Paul Lawrance writes for Eyes Open Report where this first appeared.

Activist Post: New MRSA Superbug Emerges in Brazil #news


Activist Post: New MRSA Superbug Emerges in Brazil #news.

New MRSA Superbug Emerges in Brazil

Activist PostAn international research team led by Cesar A. Arias, M.D., Ph.D., at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has identified a new superbug that caused a bloodstream infection in a Brazilian patient. The report appeared in the April 17 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The new superbug is part of a class of highly-resistant bacteria known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, which is a major cause of hospital and community-associated infections. The superbug has also acquired high levels of resistance to vancomycin, the most common and least expensive antibiotic used to treat severe MRSA infections worldwide.

Most worrisome is that genomic analyses indicated that this novel vancomycin-resistant MRSA superbug belongs to a genetic lineage that is commonly found outside hospitals (designated community-associated MRSA), said Arias, the report’s senior author and an associate professor of medicine, microbiology and molecular genetics at the UTHealth Medical School.

Previous research has suggested that community-associated MRSA can disseminate rapidly among people and is responsible for the majority of skin and soft tissue infections (sores) in patients of all ages. Some of these infections can become serious and even fatal.

Since community-associated MRSA is thought to be transmitted mainly by skin contact, the new superbug may affect not only sick people or those with a weakened immune system but also healthy individuals, according to Arias. Apart from causing localized skin infections, the MRSA superbug has the ability to invade the bloodstream and may become a serious threat.“This is the first-ever reported bloodstream infection caused by a highly vancomycin-resistant MRSA bacteria,” Arias said. “If we lose vancomycin, it would make it very difficult and expensive to treat these infections,” he said.

Arias and his colleagues conducted microbiological and genetic analyses of an MRSA superbug recovered from the blood of a 35-year-old Brazilian man and identified a novel transferable genetic element (plasmid) that carries the genes necessary for vancomycin resistance (vanA gene cluster).

“The presence and dissemination of community-associated MRSA containing vanA could become a serious public health concern,” report the authors in the paper.

However, since this is the only documented case of this type of infection, Arias said, it is too early to tell if this specific superbug will lead to a bigger threat.

Barbara E. Murray, M.D., report co-author and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UTHealth Medical School, said, “The worst resistance possible has now appeared in the community-associated MRSA clone.”

What is the next step?

“There will have to be increased surveillance in South America and worldwide in the future,” said Murray, who is the holder of the J. Ralph Meadows Professorship in Internal Medicine at the UTHealth Medical School and president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

The report, “Transferable Vancomycin Resistance in Community-Associated MRSA Lineage,” received support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (RO1 AI093749) and National Institutes of Health (1U54 HG004968). Release from UT Health Medical School.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

CANADIAN ABORIGINAL ART a private collector wrote:


CANADIAN ABORIGINAL ART

FOR SALE BY PRIVATE COLLECTOR.

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA.


 

The beauty of Canadian Aboriginal art has been widely accepted all over the world. I have a large collection of Canadian Aboriginal limited edition prints and original paintings done on acid free paper. The art work is done by well known Canadian artists, such as Eddie Monroe, Leonard Bighetty, Jeff Monias, Garnet Tobacco, Carl Fontaine, Collins Campbell, Kurt Flett, Robert Kakay Geeseck jr., Robert Kakapetum, Raymond Baptiste, Theo Head, ect. Also have rare paintings from the late Eddie Cobiness and Carl Rey. Each piece of art can be shipped to any part of the world, and will be totally insured.






FOR MORE INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS REGARDING ANY OF THE DISPLAYED PICTURES, PLEASE CONTACT:

AL AT 1-204-228-9865

Thank You.