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

Global groundwater crisis may get worse as the world warms


Scooped by Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
onto Amazing Science
The world is facing an increasingly dire groundwater depletion crisis, according to a NASA researcher. From India to Texas, people are rapidly depleting their valuable stores of groundwater — leading to the possibility that aquifers may be emptied within decades, a NASA researcher has warned.

In a recent commentary in the journal Nature Climate Change, Jay Famiglietti, who has helped lead the use of a NASA satellite system to detect groundwater changes around the world, warned of dramatic consequences to come if changes are not made to the way that societies manage water supplies. “Our overuse of groundwater puts our overall water security at far greater risk than we thought,” Famiglietti says.

Unlike surface water, which is replenished through precipitation, groundwater can take centuries to recharge. Yet humans are depleting groundwater at rates that far exceed the pace at which this water can be replenished.

Think of it this way: groundwater is analogous to a pension, a long-term investment that takes many years to pay off. If you withdraw more than you put in, you’ll go bankrupt in the long run. Dams and reservoirs, meanwhile, are more like a checking account.

“Groundwater is being pumped at far greater rates than it can be naturally replenished, so that many of the largest aquifers on most continents are being mined, their precious contents never to be returned,” Famiglietti, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, wrote.

Famiglietti has used NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite system, which is capable of detecting the most subtle changes in Earth’s gravitational field to spot land elevation changes, and thus water depletion, to publish a number of studies on groundwater in recent years. During the summer, for example, he contributed to a study that revealed that water users throughout the Colorado River Basin are tapping into groundwater supplies to make up for the lack of adequate supplies of surface water.

The study found that more than 75% of the water loss in the Colorado River Basin since 2004 came from groundwater. GRACE showed that between December 2004 and November 2013, the Colorado River basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater, which is double the total volume of the country’s largest reservoir — Lake Mead in Arizona. More than three-quarters of the total — about 41 million acre feet — was from groundwater.

Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice


Originally posted on WebInvestigatorKK:

As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head

New Scientist

TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’sno longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot physically speak communicate with the outside world.

“If you’re reading text in a newspaper or a book, you hear a voice in your own head,” says Brian Pasley at the University of California, Berkeley. “We’re trying to decode the brain activity related to that voice to create a medical prosthesis that can allow someone who is paralysed or locked in to speak.”

When you hear someone speak, sound waves activate sensory neurons in your inner ear. These neurons pass information to areas of the brain where different…

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Dokumentation zum transatlantische Freihandelsabkommen TTIP


Originally posted on Faktensucher:

Gefährliche Geheimnisse – Dokumentation zum transatlantische Freihandelsabkommen TTIP

6.587

Veröffentlicht am 21.03.2014

Siehe auch die anschließende Diskussion bei 3Sat “Scobel” http://youtu.be/YTrM3mt_lBQ

Wie die USA und der Bürokratenbetrieb der EU momentan in geheimen Verhandlungen die Grundrechte der Bürger und Verbraucher zu Grabe tragen.

Mit allem Nachdruck von Präsident Obama verhandeln die USA und die EU hinter verschlossenen Türen über ein die Zulassung von Pestiziden, gentechnisch manipulierten Nahrungsmitteln und kompletter Umgehung des Verbraucherschutzes in bestimmten Ländern.

Unter der recht umspektakulären Bezeichnung “Freihandelsabkommen” sollen die Zulassungsverfahren für Medikamente, Lebensmittel und alle anderen Industriewaren ausgehebelt werden. Zusätzlich sollen den internationalen Konzernen das Recht eingeräumt werden, wenn durch Verbraucherschutzbestimmungen und gültige Gesetze sich ein Unternehmen benachteiligt fühlt, das Unternehmen die dadurch eventuellen Verluste von diesem Land einklagen kann.

Die Verhandlungen finden unter Ausschluss jeglicher Öffentlichkeit und ohne Information der Politiker, Abgeordneten und der Rechtsgewalten der einzelnen Länder und der EU statt.

Es…

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Pope Francis gives evolution the thumbs up, but still avows creationism


Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

A famous anecdote from 19th century New England involves Margaret Fuller, an early feminist and ardent exponent of the spiritual movement of transcendentalism. Besotted by her emotions, she once blurted out, “I accept the universe!”  When he heard of this, the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle remarked dryly, “Gad—she’d better.”

While the story may be apocryphal, if you replace Fuller with Pope Francis and “the universe” with “evolution,” then Carlyle’s feelings are identical to mine. For, according to many media outlets (for example, here, here, and here), Pope Francis has just declared that he accepts the fact of evolution.

Gad, he’d better.  Evolution has been an accepted scientific fact since about 1870, roughly a decade after the theory was proposed by Darwin in 1859. And there are mountains of evidence supporting it, as documented in my book Why Evolution is True, and no evidence for the religious alternative of…

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Video: Quotes from Climate Denial Candidates


Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:

Video: Quotes from Climate Denial Candidates

CLimateChangeDeniers102914

These quotes will make your jaw drop, but the reality is that climate change denial is slowly going extinct as the majority of voters are understanding the problem.

READ MORE & WATCH VIDEO: http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/29/video-quotes-climate-denial-candidates/

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This is true love and dedication. Very Special Italian Churchgoer


This is true love and dedication.
 Very Special Italian Churchgoer
                                   After following his mistress’s coffin up to the church
                                           on the day of her funeral, Tommy has returned daily,
                                   sitting quietly throughout masses, baptisms and funerals,
                                   according to local priest Donato Panna, who now wouldn’t
                                   do without him.

The Peaceful Power of Confidence


Originally posted on My Blog FAITHLIFE:

kingTimesOctober 22, 2014THANK YOU ZEN! http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/10/22/peaceful-power-confidence/

The Peaceful Power of Confidence

Ocean-Wave-SunsetZen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

I’ve often said the awakening is happening at a fantastic rate. This has been met with some skepticism, and understandably so, as evidence of this catalytic process can seem unapparent in the barrage of negative news and the absolute stupor most people are still in. Our outside world only appears to be more insane by the day while the reaction of earth’s inhabitants seems to be minimal, even regarding their own openly threatened freedoms and very survival.

But I affirm otherwise.

I’m simply presenting spiritual realities at work that are actually more evident by the day. It just takes the eyes of consciousness to see it fully – in fact, to feel it. We’re learning to rely on new awakening senses and this is a big part of the process. Allowing…

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