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:

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The Object of My Affection



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…

View original 204 more words

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.”

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:





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.


AL AT 1-204-228-9865

Thank You.


Mental health court and assisted outpatient treatment: perceived coercion, procedural justice, and program impact.

Psychiatr Serv. 2014 Mar 1;65(3):352-8. doi: 10.1176/

Mental health court and assisted outpatient treatment: perceived coercion, procedural justice, and program impact.

Munetz MR, Ritter C, Teller JL, Bonfine N.



Mandated community treatment has been proposed as a mechanism to engage people with severe and persistent mental disorders in treatment. Recently, two approaches to mandate treatment through the courts have been highlighted: assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) and mental health court programs. This study examined levels of perceived coercion, procedural justice, and the impact of the program (mental health court or AOT) among participants in a community treatment system.


Data were analyzed from interviews with former AOT participants who were no longer under court supervision (N=17) and with graduates of a mental health court program (N=35). The MacArthur Admission Experience Survey, created to measure perceived coercion, procedural justice, and program impact on hospital admission, was modified to include judges and case managers.


Mental health court graduates perceived significantly less coercion and more procedural justice in their interactions with the judge than did AOT participants. No significant difference was found between mental health court and AOT participants in perceptions of procedural justice in interactions with their case managers. Mental health court participants felt more respected and had more positive feelings about the program than did AOT participants.


Both mental health courts and AOT programs have potentially coercive aspects. Findings suggest that judges and case managers can affect participants’ perceptions of these programs by the degree to which they demonstrate procedural justice, a process that may affect the long-term effects of the programs on individuals.

PMID: 24036617 [PubMed - in process]

Effect of anxiolytic and hypnotic drug prescriptions on mortality hazards: retrospective cohort study BMJ


Effect of anxiolytic and hypnotic drug prescriptions on mortality hazards: retrospective cohort study

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 19 March 2014)
Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1996


Anti-Anxiety Drugs Tied to Higher Mortality

Addiction-Addict-Druggie-Pill-Desperate NYT

A large study has linked several common anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills to an increased risk of death, although it’s not certain the drugs were the cause.

For more than seven years, researchers followed 34,727 people who filled prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax, or sleep aids like Ambien, Sonata and Lunesta, comparing them with 69,418 controls who did not.

After adjusting for a wide variety of factors, the researchers found that people who took the drugs had more than double the risk of death. The study appears online in BMJ.

The researchers tried to account for the use of other prescribed drugs, age, smoking, alcohol use, socioeconomic status, and other health and behavioral characteristics. Most important, the investigators also controlled for sleep disorders, anxiety disorders and other psychiatric illnesses, all of which are risk factors for mortality.

The lead author, Dr. Scott Weich, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Warwick, said that while he and his colleagues were careful to account for as many potential risks as possible, they were not able to control for the severity of the illnesses suffered by the study participants.

Still, he said, the research “adds to an accumulating body of evidence that these drugs are dangerous.” He added: “I prescribe these drugs, and they are difficult to come off. The less time you spend on them the better.”

Eat Your Heart Out, USA! Russia Rejects GMOs!


Eat Your Heart Out, USA—Russia Rejects GMOs!

image source
Catherine J. Frompovich
Activist Post
If ever there were a war on for one’s allegiance about food philosophies, the U.S.’s apparent main political adversary, Russia, probably would win it hands down. Why? Well, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is quoted as saying, “If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food.” [CJF emphasis added]

Hear that Monsanto? Let’s see if one of your employees can get into the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia like with the U.S. FDA (Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner of Foods) [1] and at the U.S. Supreme Court (Justice Clarence Thomas) [2].

Furthermore, Russia is on record as not importing any GMO products, so I guess any agricultural trade sanctions that the West may levy against Russia relative to the Ukraine incident may not affect them as some politicos may think, hope, or intend.

Back in September of 2012, NaturalNews published “Russia’s small-scale organic agriculture model may hold the key to feeding the world” wherein this was pointed out:

Thanks to government policies there that actually encourage autonomous family farming, rather than cater to the greed of chemical and biotechnology companies like they do here in the states, the vast majority of Russians are able and willing to grow their own food on privately-owned family plots known as “dachas.”

In the USA, homeowners have had their food gardens destroyed by local authorities. Here are some examples:
• Homeowners Forced to Uproot 17 Year Old Edible Garden (But Cheap, Plastic Flamingos Approved)
•Woman Sues City of Tulsa For Cutting Down Her Edible Garden
The difference in food policies between the USA and Russia relative to family farms is this: In the USA family farms systematically are being wiped out. Don’t believe that? Well, how about checking out these stories:
•The Family Farm Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence in America
•Monsanto: The Enemy of Family Farmers
•Monsanto takes gloves off in legal fight with the Nelsons
According to The Motley Fool, Monsanto “…has filed 145 lawsuits against farmers who’ve improperly reused its patented seeds, or on average about one lawsuit every three weeks for 16 straight years.” [3] All while the U.S. Supreme Court denies family farmers the right to self-defense from Monsanto lawsuits. (Source)
So what are the GMO labeling laws in Russia? According to Nation of Change blog “Breakdown of GMO Labeling Laws in Each Country”

Russia – Requires mandatory labeling of nearly all GE foods and a labeling threshold of 0.9-1% GMO content. [So what does Russia get about GMOs that the U.S. FDA doesn’t?]
According to GMO’s “Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Laws Map,” 64 countries require it.

Graphic source: GMO

Where is the GMO standoff in the USA going?
What appears to be a stand-off regarding GMOs in the USA has acquired an interesting twist of social consciousness and it relates to what’s known as “socially responsible investing.” Food Democracy Now is mainstreaming what they call “Divest Monsanto Now” or “Tell Wall Street it’s time to dump Monsanto.”

According to information I received from FDN,

For decades millions of American’s have innocently profited from Monsanto’s toxic chemicals, GMOs and corruption of our democracy through investments in major mutual funds like Fidelity, Vanguard and State Street. Combined Fidelity, Vanguard and State Street own 15% of Monsanto’s, totaling $9.6 Billion in stock.
In the past week, since we launched our divest Monsanto campaign, hundreds of Food Democracy Now! members have called their financial advisors to demand that they divest from Monsanto’s stock. We need your help to make sure that it becomes tens of thousands of investors across America.
Power of the Purse
This short YouTube explains what Divest Monsanto Now is about. Also, check with your financial adviser to find out if any of your mutual funds, etc. are invested in Monsanto stock and, if so, FDN suggests you divest Monsanto stock from your portfolio. Such actions taken by consumers employ what’s known as the “power of the purse.”

Holding their feet to the fire.

Then there is accountability due from those who made promises to get votes during presidential elections. In his 2007 stump, Mr. Obama made this very vocal promise:

So what did President Obama do to keep that promise? He signed the Monsanto Protection Act (HR933)!

Have American voters been had? You decide.




Russia Rejects GMOs, Will Grow Organic Food Instead

Food: The Ultimate Secret Exposed

Gary Null Production Movie: Obama Signs the Monsanto Protection Act – Seeds of Death (1 hr 20 mins)


“J´EN VEUX PAS” France Bans All GMO Cultivation: Effective Immediately

France bans gmos

Effective Immediately: France Bans All GMO Cultivation

“I do not want”
Heather Callaghan
Activist Post
The French National Assembly has made a sweeping declaration with a new bill, effective immediately. No more genetically modified crops.

On Tuesday, the French lower house of parliament adopted a law immediately banning cultivation of any GMO corn, due to environmental safety concerns.

Recently, they also made a halt decree to prohibit planting the only GM crop allowed in the EU – Monsanto’s MON810 corn, with built-in insect resistance.

Jean-Marie Le Guen, the minister in charge of relations with parliament, said:

It is essential today to renew a widely shared desire to maintain the French ban. This bill strengthens the decree passed last March by preventing the immediate cultivation of GMO and extending their reach to all transgenic maize varieties.

Farmers and seed companies are challenging the rule, as they have blocked similar decrees before, viewing safety concerns insufficient. But Le Guen bound the rule so that member state decisions could not be litigated against.

The ban heads back to the Senate for final approval – if rejected, the French National Assembly gets to cast the final ruling. Future strains will be banned even if the EU states approve more.

Of course big biotech companies are not satisfied to let bans rest. If companies like Monsanto have any say, they’ll be back. The EU actually wants to give them that final say.
Additionally, DuPont and Dow Chemical are poised to crash the EU again, if allowed. They already jointly developed Pioneer 1507 GM corn and most of the member states did not gather enough votes to block it.

It appears these companies have money, power and persistence on their side to keep pushing despite wide-spread consumer and safety concerns.


Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.