We Are Making Ebola Outbreaks Worse By Cutting Down Forests

Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:

Mother Jones

We Are Making Ebola Outbreaks Worse By Cutting Down Forests

Epidemiologists explain how human activity helps spread the deadly virus in West Africa.

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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



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:


Related articles

The FDA Gets Another Pass on Dealing With Antibiotic Use in Livestock

Originally posted on Schwein gehabt?:

The FDA Gets Another Pass on Dealing With Antibiotic Use in Livestock

Thanks to an appeals court ruling, the agency doesn’t have to act on its own science.

(Photo: Ultra/Getty Images

July 25, 2014

The “next pandemic.” That’s what Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden said antibiotic resistance could bring about in an appearance at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

It’s the latest in a string of apocalyptic remarks from CDC folks about the risk presented by the superbugs that are costing an estimated $20 billion in heath care per year. We are, also per the CDC, already living in the post-antibiotic era.

The CDC’s sister agency, the Food and Drug Administration, has for decades said that the subtherapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock animals—which it’s responsible for regulating—is part of that risk. The drugs are mixed into animal feed at low…

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Could This Penalty Spell the End of Killer Whales Swimming With Trainers?

Originally posted on My Blog OceansSpirit:

Could This Penalty Spell the End of Killer Whales Swimming With Trainers?

Miami Seaquarium, the last U.S. aquatic park to let employees work in the water with whales, was hit with a fine for putting workers at risk of death.

(Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

July 25, 2014

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued the Miami Seaquarium a citation for allowing killer whale trainers to come into dangerously close contact with its sole orca, Lolita.

OSHA made a similar move against SeaWorld Florida after the 2010 killing of trainer Dawn Brancheau by the 12,000-pound whale Tilikum.

Though Miami Seaquarium could challenge the violation in court, the penalty could herald the end of trainers performing water shows with killer whales in the U.S.

“The employer did not furnish (a workplace) free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm (from)…

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Warum setzt die EU kein Straydog-Pilotprojekt in Rumänien um?

Originally posted on My Blog Straydogsworldwide:

NAME stopkillingdogs          Tag: 24.07.14
>>Warum setzt die EU kein Straydog-Pilotprojekt in Rumänien um?
     …und interveniert nicht politisch und juristisch 
     gegen die barbarischen Hunde-Massaker-
     gegen eine Politik, die damit gegen sämtliche
     Rechtsgrundlagen- und Rechtswerte in der EU verstößt >>?
Der Angriff auf das Leben von Abertausenden unschuldigen Hunden geht tagtäglich weiter,
Nun auch brutale Gewalt gegen Tierrechtsaktivisten-
Angriff auf unsere Menschenrechte, auf die Empathie von zivilisiert-fühlenden Menschen!
 >>Alle tun etwas – und die EU?
Das Rumänische Appelationsgericht hat das “Hunde-Tötungsgesetz” aufgrund zahlreicher Klagen von Tierschutzorganisationen, ihren Anwälten und 1350 internationalen Nebenklägern am 20.06.14 per Gerichtsbeschluss aufgehoben.
Hätte dies nicht von Anfang an – die EU selbst- erwirken müssen,
unter vielen anderen rechtlichen Schritten und Maßnahmen?
Und jetzt, wo trotz der neuen Rechtsgrundage weiter unzählige  Hunde in RU massakriert werden-
fehlen nach wie vor EU- Sanktionen, die aufgrund der Rechtslage aber möglich und zwingend nötig sind!
So…also auch hier, wenn Tierschützer in…

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Geachte heer Rietkerk, Wilt U aub naar Kiev Zoo gaan TONI naar Duitsland brengen, er zou een plaats voor hem zijn in een Duitse dierentuin! Vreselijk jammer dat direct betrokkenen zich niet bekommerenAn f.rietkerk@apenheul.nl  info@janegoodall.nl

Heute um 2:28 PM

Geachte heer Rietkerk,

Wilt U aub naar Kiev Zoo gaan TONI naar Duitsland brengen, er zou een plaats voor hem zijn in een Duitse dierentuin!

Vreselijk jammer dat direct betrokkenen zich niet bekommeren om Toni’s lot.

… over een maand wordt hij al 40 jaar!

Gelieve hem te helpen!

Vriendelijk Groetend,







10526007_332395036925667_7908860280793716091_n http://www.thepetitionsite.com/755/337/604/help-to-get-tania-out-of-the-tirgu-mares-zoo/

HILFE! Sie ist immer noch in Rumänien!
Sie ist allein und alles, was sie hat ist ein alter Autoreifen!
Sie ist 37 Jahre alt, sie ist seelisch krank und hat eine Infektion
am Fuss, an der sie sterben wird!
TANIA! Seit 1,5 Jahren unterschreibe ich deine Petitionen,
und ich versuche es nochmal!
Bitte hört nicht auf sie zu teilen und unterschreibt, damit sie die Chance auf
ein lebenswertes Leben hat!


Originally posted on Schwein gehabt?:

 Sickening undercover video by @MFACanada shows terrified cows being tortured at Canada’s largest dairy farm. Watch: http://www.MercyForAnimals.ca/dairy/


A breaking Mercy For Animals Canada undercover investigation reveals sadistic, criminal cruelty to cows at the country’s largest dairy factory farm, leading law enforcement to raid the factory farm and recommend charges against eight workers.

MFA’s investigator documented employees inflicting horrific abuses on cows, including:

  • Using chains, rakes, metal pipes, and canes to viciously whip, punch, kick, hit, and beat cows
  • Hoisting cows into the air by chains around their necks while other workers screamed obscenities at them
  • Sadistically poking at cows’ festering, pus-filled wounds
  • Violently ripping clumps of hair out of cows’ sensitive tails

Unfortunately, the abuses captured on hidden camera at this facility are not limited to factory farms in Canada.

In the last five years, Mercy For Animals has conducted five undercover investigations into the dairy industry, and…

View original 243 more words


Poultry offal piles up during a pump system failure at the 2 Sisters factory in Anglesey. Poultry offal piles up during a pump system failure at the 2 Sisters factory in Anglesey. Guardian

The allegations are that:

Chickens which fall on to the floor have repeatedly been put back on to the production line at two 2 Sisters sites. They company denies this ever happens and says all chicken from the floor is correctly disposed of as waste.

Breakdowns led to high-risk material – feathers, guts and offal – piling up for hours on separate occasions while production continued at a 2 Sisters factory in Wales. The company says they did not stop the line because they had to consider the welfare of chickens waiting in crates to be killed.

Another breakdown led to the water in scald tanks at the same site not being cleaned for three days, so that around 250,000 birds passed through dirty water after slaughter. The company says this was an isolated incident that lasted only one day, bacteria counts were checked and were acceptable.

According to a whistleblower chicken catcher, biosecurity rules to stop the spread of campylobacter in chicken sheds at Faccenda were regularly ignored by workers when he was employed there. Faccenda says this is not true and it has invested heavily in a highly trained and motivated workforce.

Campylobacter contamination has plagued the poultry industry for more than a decade and has got worse in that time.

The FSA ordered new tests for campylobacter amid worries that there had been no improvements in rates. Results were due in June, and as recently as March the FSA’s chief executive, Catherine Brown, publicly vowed to press ahead with “steely determination” despite push-back from industry.

On Wednesday, however, Brown asked the FSA board to reverse the previous decision to publish campylobacter results for named supermarkets and processors every quarter. The board heard that there were now concerns, not raised previously, that the sample size for one quarter’s data was insufficiently large to be statistically robust.

Brown insisted that the threat of exposing campylobacter results had made supermarkets and chicken processors take notice of the FSA’s concerns about contamination for the first time, but said the industry had not so far made the changes in production needed to reduce campylobacter on any scale.

“Time is upon us for everyone to work out how they are going to stump up money to make the interventions on [the production] line,” she told the meeting.

The eight members of the board were divided on the proposals, leaving the chairman and former president of the National Farmers’ Union, Tim Bennett, to use his casting vote to quash the plans to name companies for the moment. They are looking at separate proposals to urgently increase the testing of retail chicken.

Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said ahead of the board meeting: “Other government departments have reflected to us concerns which are the same as those we’ve heard directly from retailers and producers. We’re not letting the industry off the hook. We’ll publish all the names when we’ve completed [the survey] next summer.

“If we publish the results piecemeal, other people might draw unwarranted conclusions from partial data and we don’t want consumers being misled or confused.”

Erik Millstone, a food safety professor at Sussex University, condemned the board’s decision. “In the last few years the Food Standards Agency has been under a great deal of pressure from the government and the food industry to ensure that it only provides reassuring messages, and especially that it should say nothing that could provoke any ‘food scares’,” he said. “But the FSA was created to protect consumers, not to protect the food industry, or to give ministers a quiet time. This decision shows that its independence is entirely illusory.”

The executive director of Which? magazine, Richard Lloyd, said: “The Guardian’s investigation raises serious concerns. Tackling campylobacter has to become a much bigger priority for supermarkets and their suppliers as it is responsible for thousands of cases of food poisoning and the deaths of 100 people every year. It’s therefore disappointing that the FSA has gone back on its commitment to publish in full the quarterly data on the levels of campylobacter in supermarket chickens, when it is clearly in the public interest to do so. The FSA must put consumers first and operate more transparently than this.”

The campylobacter story

Campylobacter Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK. Photograph: Alamy

Although the public are mostly unaware of it, the scale of campylobacter contamination and the number of people it makes ill each year have been well-known among industry bosses, retail directors and government officials for more than a decade. The annual cost to the economy is a staggering £900m, making a significant dent in the £3.3bn the poultry industry claims to contribute to Britain’s GDP. Up to 80% of campylobacter infections are attributable to contaminated poultry….