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

 

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

Der Mann im Mond: Vulkanismus formte diesen wunderbaren Himmelskörper, weiß man jetzt


Mond mit Vulkanspuren (Grafik) © Kopernik Observatory, Nasa, Colorado School of Mines, MIT, JPL, Goddard Space Flight Center Video

Vulkanismus formte diesen wunderbaren Himmelskörper, weiß man jetzt

Kein Kratergesicht

“Mann im Mond” entstand durch Vulkanismus

DIESE WUNDERBARE REPORTAGE STAMMT VON: http://www.3sat.de/page/?source=/nano/weltraum/178823/index.html

Das Gesicht auf der Oberfläche des Mondes ist wahrscheinlich das Ergebnis vulkanischer Prozesse auf dem Erdtrabanten – und nicht durch einen Asteroideneinschlag entstanden.

 Das legt die Entdeckung einer gigantischen rechteckigen Struktur unter er Mondoberfläche nahe. Die Erkenntnisse aus der US-Mondmission “Grail” widerlegen demnach die weit verbreitete Vorstellung, dass der Oceanus Procellarum (“Ozean der Stürme”) durch einen Asteroideneinschlag entstanden ist.

 Der Oceanus Procellarum ist das größte der Maria auf dem Mond. Diese dunklen Basins, die von frühen Beobachtern für Meere (lateinisch maria) gehalten wurden, gelten als magmagefüllte Einschlagkrater. Der Oceanus Procellarum, in dem manche Menschen einen großen Teil eines Mondgesichts erkennen, hat eine Nord-Süd-Ausdehnung von rund 2500 Kilometern.

http://www.3sat.de/page/?source=/nano/weltraum/178823/index.html

Dicke der Mondkruste verrät das Gesicht

© Jay Dickson, Brown-Universät Lupe
Die topographische Darstellung zeigt die Lavaströme

Manche Theorien gehen davon aus, dass es sich beim Oceanus Procellarum um den größten Einschlagkrater auf dem Mond handelt. Andere sehen das große Basin als Ergebnis vulkanischer Prozesse. Mit den “Grail”-Zwillingssonden haben Forscher die Gravitation des Erdtrabanten genau vermessen. Durch Schwerkraftschwankungen lassen sich unterirdische Strukturen aufspüren bei denen sich die Dicke der Mondkruste ändert.

Die Auswertung zeigt ein riesiges Rechteck von 2600 Kilometern Durchmesser, das sich in weiten Teilen mit dem Oceanus Procellarum überlappt. “Dieses rechteckige Muster von Schwerkraftanomalien war völlig unerwartet”, erläutert Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna von der “Colorado School of Mines” in Golden.

Möglicherweise sei die Struktur das Ergebnis einer langsameren Abkühlung als beim Rest des Trabanten, bei der sich das Gestein schneller zusammengezogen habe als in der schon kalten Umgebung. Dadurch könnten Brüche in der Oberfläche entstanden sein, die als Kanäle für geschmolzenes Gestein gedient hätten. Eine Simulation des Schwerkraftmusters in diesem Szenario passe zu den “Grail”-Messungen.

 Unsere Schwerkraftdaten eröffnen ein neues Kapitel der Mondgeschichte, in dem der Mond ein dynamischerer Ort war als die Kraterlandschaft nahelegt, die heute mit bloßem Auge sichtbar ist”, unterstrich Andrews-Hanna. “Um die Ursachen dieses neu entdeckten Musters von Schwerkraftanomalien und seine Bedeutung für die Geschichte des Mondes zu verstehen, sind jedoch weitere Arbeiten nötig.”

The Homeless – 39 Questions For Your Reflection


Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

The Homeless – 39 Questions For Your Reflection

by Mike O’Connor

Homeless 1. When you see a homeless person, do you look the other way and keep on walking?

2. Do you avoid making eye contact?

3. Is there a sudden selective deafness when you ‘hear’, or don’t, their requests for help?

4. If you do ignore a homeless person’s request for help, just how quickly does the incident evaporate from your mind?

5. Seconds? Minutes? Hours?

6. What is your honest opinion of these people who are teetering on the very edges of our society?

7. Do they feel that, possibly, they deserve their predicament?

8. Could it be that they are lazy?

9. If so, should they simply get off their lazy rear-ends and look for a decent job?

10. Is it easy to get a job where you live?

11. Do you think it is any easier to…

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Preference for urban areas may explain spread of bumblebee in UK


FLORA AND FAUNA

Preference for urban areas may explain spread of bumblebee in UK
by Staff Writers
Norwich, UK (SPX) Oct 01, 2014


An association between Tree Bumblebees and human habitation has previously been suspected from natural history observations. Along with an association with trees, it is likely to stem from the Tree Bumblebee’s habit of nesting in cavities above the ground, which is unusual among British bumblebees.

The strikingly rapid spread of the Tree Bumblebee in Britain could be occurring because the bees readily live alongside humans in towns and villages – according to research from the University of East Anglia.

A new study shows that Tree Bumblebees are associated with built-up areas and that these areas form a large part of their habitat use.

These markedly different habitat and foraging preferences set this species apart from other common British bumblebee species – which could explain how Tree Bumblebees have managed to colonise much of the UK while many other bumblebee species have been declining.

The Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) has spread to nearly all of England and Wales since its first appearance in southern England in 2001.

The research team recorded the bumblebee species and the flowering plants visited by the bees at a large number of sites across southern Norfolk, including both urban and rural sites, over a three month period.

When combined with landscape mapping data, these observations revealed that the Tree Bumblebee was much more likely to be found in built-up areas and, to a lesser extent, areas with woodland nearby.

In contrast, none of the other five bumblebee species studied shared the combination of favoured landscape features found in the Tree Bumblebee.

Additionally the Tree Bumblebee preferred to forage on a set of flowering plants different to the sets of plants favoured by the other bumblebee species, being more likely to use some species of flowering trees and thistles but less likely to use some common herbaceous flowers.

The results are the first evidence that, in its new range in the UK, the Tree Bumblebee is associated with built-up areas such as towns and villages and that these areas form a large part of its habitat use.

An association between Tree Bumblebees and human habitation has previously been suspected from natural history observations. Along with an association with trees, it is likely to stem from the Tree Bumblebee’s habit of nesting in cavities above the ground, which is unusual among British bumblebees.

Lead author Liam Crowther, from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “This research implies that the Tree Bumblebee’s remarkable success is due, in part, to favouring a suite of resources different to those used by the bumblebee species that are already widespread in the UK.

“While an association with human habitation has been suspected for some time, this study provides clear evidence of this link and suggests that urban and suburban areas may be facilitating the Tree Bumblebee’s remarkably rapid natural colonisation of the UK.”

The Tree Bumblebee was first recorded in the UK in the New Forest in 2001 and has since expanded its range approximately 600 km northwards through most of England and Wales and into southern Scotland, a rate of expansion of nearly 50 km per year

In continental Europe and Asia, however, its range extends from western France to Japan and as far north as the Kola Peninsula in arctic Russia and as far south as the Himalayas. It is thought to have arrived in the UK naturally from populations in northern France.

Cancers from 1945 atomic bomb test now being studied by National Cancer Institute


Originally posted on nuclear-news:

cancer_cellsNational Cancer Institute to study radiation doses, cancer risks from 1945 atomic bomb test Star Tribune,  SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN , Associated Press   September 29, 2014

They are visiting the state this week and conducting in-depth interviews with several residents to learn more about the lifestyles and diets of people who were living in New Mexico around the time of the atomic detonation at the Trinity Site.

The team is particularly interested in filling in gaps when it comes to Native American and Hispanic populations and any links to fallout radiation exposure and food and water contamination.

Dr. Steven Simon, the project’s lead investigator, said Monday that the information about diet and lifestyle will help his team more accurately project radiation doses from the fallout. “Using those dose estimates, we will then project an estimate of the excess cancers related to Trinity above the number that would have occurred in…

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Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF


curi56:

 

 

Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF

Species across land, rivers and seas decimated as humans kill for food in unsustainable numbers and destroy habitats

See picture gallery of wild animals facing decline

Rubbish dumped on the tundra outside llulissat in Greenland with icebergs behind from the Sermeq Kujullaq or llulissat Ice fjord. The Ilulissat ice fjord is a Unesco world heritage site
Rubbish dumped on the tundra outside llulissat in Greenland stand in stark contrast to icebergs behind from the Sermeq Kujullaq or llulissat Ice fjord – a Unesco world heritage site. Photograph: Global Warming Images/WWF-Canon

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats, the research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found.

“If half the animals died in London zoo next week it would be front page news,” said Professor Ken Norris, ZSL’s director of science. “But that is happening in the great outdoors. This damage is not inevitable but a consequence of the way we choose to live.” He said nature, which provides food and clean water and air, was essential for human wellbeing.

Originally posted on My Blog OceansSpirit:

Walrus mass in vast numbers on Alaska beach as sea ice retreats

Concern that warming climate is responsible for gathering of about 35,000 walrus in north-west Alaska

  • theguardian.com, Wednesday 1 October 2014 01.26 BST

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/01/walrus-mass-vast-numbers-alaska-beach-sea-ice-retreats?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

The huge gathering of walrus near Point Lay, Alaska.
The huge gathering of walrus near Point Lay, Alaska.Photograph: Corey Accardo/AP

Pacific walrus that can’t find sea ice for resting in Arctic waters are coming ashore in record numbers on a beach in north-west Alaska.

An estimated 35,000 walrus were photographed on Saturday about five miles north of Point Lay, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Point Lay is an Inupiat village 700 miles (1,126 kilometres) north-west of Anchorage.

The enormous gathering was spotted during NOAA’s annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey, spokeswoman Julie Speegle said by email.

The gathering of walrus on shore is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of summer sea ice…

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Hundreds of dogs die at animal shelter after viral disease outbreak


Originally posted on My Blog Straydogsworldwide:

Hundreds of dogs die at animal shelter after viral disease outbreak

by PF Louis

Sick-Old-Dog

(NaturalNews) A Humane Society animal shelter in a New Braunfels, Texas, had to euthanize approximately 75 percent of its animals due to a distemper outbreak in the shelter. Distemper is highly contagious and very little if anything can be done about it, although maybe half of them, usually older dogs, do survive.

The problem is that animal shelters are places where many are picking up a pet to adopt, and taking home a distempered animal will definitely create problems for other animals, but it doesn’t produce symptoms in humans.

Apparently, the source of this outbreak was a dog brought in by an owner who refused to have his distempered dog put down, then brought the animal to the shelter as a stray that he couldn’t care for.

Although the virus is slightly different, there is also…

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A Ranger and two Park Employees in South Africa’s Kruger National Park were arrested on World Rhino Day for poaching the animals they swore to protect.


Rhinos Can’t Catch a Break

Indian Mob Attacks Women Demonstrating Against Animal Cruelty


(Photo: ‘Hindustan Times’/Getty Images)Indian Mob Attacks Women Demonstrating Against Animal Cruelty 

The women were trying to persuade people not to kill goats as part of a religious observance. …

read more: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/09/24/indian-mob-attacks-women-demonstrating-animal-rights

New controversy over Malta’s bird slaughter


 

New controversy over Malta’s bird slaughter

Island MP Karmenu Vella nominated as European commissioner to head green policies, including wildlife protection
Juncker's new European Commission members

Karmenu Vella, who has been nominated to be EU commissioner for the environment, maritime affairs and fisheries. Photograph: Lino Arrigo Azzopardi/EPA

Karmenu Vella has unusual credentials for a man selected to be the next European commissioner for the environment. The 64-year-old politician is a long-serving member of Malta‘s Labour government, which is accused of direct involvement in the widespread slaughter of birdlife on the island – including many endangered species.

Every spring and autumn, thousands of migratory birds – including quails, song thrushes and brood eagles – pass over Malta as they fly between northern Europe and Africa, only to be greeted by thousands of local hunters who gather in trucks bearing slogans like “If it flies it dies”. They duly open fire on the birds.

“Turtle doves have suffered a catastrophic decline in western Europe, including Britain. Yet the Maltese government continues to allow them to be shot in their thousands every year,” said Andre Farrar of the RSPB. “This slaughter has widespread implications and involves dozens of rare species, many of them regular visitors to the British Isles.” …

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/27/birds-slaughter-malta-karmenu-vella-europe-environment-commissioner