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

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Mehr. Schneller. Billiger. “Unser täglich Tier” ZDF 37 Grad


37 Grad  | 21.10.2014  Unser täglich Tier

Mehr. Schneller. Billiger.

Heute laufen in einer einzigen Brüterei 300.000 Küken vom Band. Am Tag. Alles vollautomatisch. Maschinen brüten die Eier aus, Fließbänder transportieren die Küken, sortieren sie in Versandkisten. Es sind Hähnchen des Typs “Fleischansatz”. In nur gut vier Wochen liegen sie bereits auf einem Teller. Die meisten jedenfalls. Denn bis zu 20 Millionen Tiere pro Jahr überleben die kurze Mastzeit nicht.
ALL DIESE LINKS FINDET IHR HIER:
Abrufvideo: Unser täglich Tier
Sehen Sie den Film in der Mediathek.

(21.10.2014)

Mehr als 600 Millionen Hähnchen wurden im vergangenen Jahr in Deutschland verarbeitet. Geflügel liegt noch immer voll im Trend. Allein der Hähnchenkonsum hat sich von 2001 bis 2010 verdoppelt. Längst sind diese Tiere schon genetisch auf schnelles Wachstum “programmiert”. Vor allem die Brust wächst überdimensional, denn sie ist besonders gefragt. Tiere werden heute den Essgewohnheiten angepasst. Immer mehr werden immer schneller produziert, nur deshalb ist ihr Fleisch so billig.

Immer mehr, immer schneller, immer billiger
Vergleich am 18.Tag

Im Vergleich: ein “normales” und ein auf Wachstum gezüchtetes Hähnchen (Quelle: KAG-Freiland)

Megabetriebe für die Produktion von Hähnchen- und Putenbrust oder auch Schnitzel sind entstanden. Eine moderne Fleischfabrik schlachtet heute 22.000 Schweine oder 240.000 Hähnchen am Tag. Der Mensch kommt kaum mehr mit diesen Tieren in Berührung. Schon gar nicht der, der sie letztendlich isst. Oft wissen wir gar nicht, wo unser Essen überhaupt herkommt. Ob Hähnchen, Puten oder Schweine – Tiere scheinen eine anonyme Masse zu sein, die irgendwo lebt und irgendwie auf unseren Teller kommt.

37 Grad durfte hinter die Kulissen schauen und zeigt ungewöhnliche Einblicke in die oft verschlossene Welt der Tierproduktion. Autor Manfred Karremann begegnet dabei Dimensionen der Massenproduktion, die noch vor einigen Jahren Utopie waren. Dabei überrascht, dass sich im Tierschutz trotzdem manches verbessert hat. Nur eine Frage bleibt angesichts der Massenproduktion: Wie viel ist ein Tierleben wert? Thema des Films sind deshalb auch Alternativen. Denn die gibt es. Sie sind besser für die Tiere, aber auch gesünder für uns Menschen.

Drehbericht des 37 Grad-Autoren

Manfred Karremann über seinen Film

Als ich mich 1988 zum ersten Mal mit einem Schlachthof beschäftigt habe, wurden dort vierhundert Schweine am Tag getötet. Im Text hieß es damals: “Etwa eine halbe Minute hat ein Schwein Zeit, um zu sterben.” Das schien wenig, damals. Die Tiere wurden furchtbar getreten, geschlagen, gequält – Schweine wie Rinder. Die Arbeiter waren nicht ausgebildet, viele Tiere waren noch nicht einmal ansatzweise betäubt, wenn sie zerlegt wurden. Solche Quälereien gibt es noch. Ich habe sie immer wieder beobachtet, bis heute. In anderen Ländern ohnehin.
Doch: In Deutschland und Europa ist vieles auch besser geworden. Das Bewusstsein hat sich verändert. Wer heute in Deutschland mit Tieren auf Transporten oder Schlachthöfen arbeitet, muss zumindest “Sachkunde” nachweisen. Und gerade die Annahme, größer sei immer schlechter, trifft oft nicht zu. Tönnies in Rheda-Wiedenbrück schlachtet heute 24.000 Schweine am Tag. Dort werden Tiere getötet – aber wenigstens keine Schweine geprügelt oder gar lebendig verbrüht oder zerlegt. Die Firma bemüht sich seit Jahren, den Tieren den letzten Gang nicht unnötig schwer zu machen. Das sollte alles selbstverständlich sein – ist es aber leider nicht.

Mountaintop Removal Linked to Cancer


Mountaintop Removal Linked to Cancer

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Mountaintop removal is not only environmentally destructive, it is also responsible for lung cancer among coal miners and the loss of may jobs in the coal industry. This is a lot of ammunition for environmentalists to use to help end this landscape devastation.

We know what a mess mountaintop removal makes when the tops of mountains are literally blown off to access the coal inside them. Forests are stripped and debris is dumped into streams and valleys, leaving behind a ravaged landscape. It’s partly responsible for the loss of jobs in the coal industry since it requires only a handful of workers to operate the huge machines involved. Now we’re learning that the process, which has been touted by advocates as cleaner and safer than below-ground coal mining, is the direct cause of a lung cancer epidemic in the Appalachian communities—primarily in West Virginia, Kentucky and southwestern Virginia—where mountaintop removal coal mining is taking place.

A new peer-reviewed study by researchers from West Virginia University’s Mary Babb Cancer Center found that the coal-dust particulates it blows into the atmosphere has fueled an epidemic of lung cancer.

“Epidemiological studies suggest that living near mountaintop coal mining activities is one of the contributing factors for high lung cancer incidence,” the study states unequivocally in its introduction.

“This study shows that dust collected from mountaintop-removal communities promotes lung cancer,” the University of Indiana’s Dr. Michael Hendryx, who published earlier studies showing health problems linked to mountaintop removal, told the Ashland, Kentucky Daily Independent. “Previous studies have shown that people who live in these communities have higher lung cancer rates, not due just to smoking. But with this study we now have solid evidence that dust collected from residential areas near mountaintop-removal sites causes cancerous changes to human lung cells.”

As Dr. Hendryx suggests, the study, Appalachian Mountaintop Mining Particulate Matter Induces Neoplastic Transformation of Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells and Promotes Tumor Formation, moved beyond simply the evidence that lung cancer rates (as well as rates for birth defects and Parkinson’s disease) are greatly elevated in mountaintop removal communities (MTR), studying the cancer-causing potential of the specific particulates in the dust created by such mining.

The study provides more ammunition to those fighting the impacts of MTR on their communities. In August, for instance, a federal judge overruled complaints by environmental groups about the issuing of a MTR permit in West Virginia, saying the evidence they presented of human health impacts was not compelling. The study advises implementing programs to limit exposure to the coal dust particulates.

“The coal industry and its allies in Congress have always been eager to dismiss claims that air and water pollution caused by mountaintop removal mining have any link to the high rates of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and birth defects, or the decrease in life expectancy that counties with heavy mining have experienced over the past two decades,” Thom Kay of Appalachian Voices posted on the environmental group’s blog. “Will this study get them to finally change their tune? It’s almost certain it won’t. It will be up to those of us who care about the health of Appalachian communities to raise our voices and simply drown them out.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/21/mountaintop-removal-linked-cancer/

Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus


Originally posted on My Blog OceansSpirit:

Tree octopus photo
Rare photo of the elusive tree octopus

The Pacific Northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) can be found in the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula on the west coast of North America. Their habitat lies on the Eastern side of the Olympic mountain range, adjacent to Hood Canal. These solitary cephalopods reach an average size (measured from arm-tip to mantle-tip,) of 30-33 cm. Unlike most other cephalopods, tree octopuses are amphibious, spending only their early life and the period of their mating season in their ancestral aquatic environment. Because of the moistness of the rainforests and specialized skin adaptations, they are able to keep from becoming desiccated for prolonged periods of time, but given the chance they would prefer resting in pooled water…read more: http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

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Seeds of Death


Originally posted on Cellular:

seeds-of-death

The leaders of Big Agriculture—Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta—are determined that world’s populations remain ignorant about the serious health and environmental risks of genetically modified crops and industrial agriculture. Deep layers of deception and corruption underlie both the science favoring Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and the corporations and governments supporting them.

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We are about possibilities… perspectives, observations, deductions, reason, and more possibilities. Is it a maze? No, I think not. It is a dream. It is akin to multiple personality disorder (dissociation – dissociative identity disorder). Getting in touch with reality requires spiritual progress. Any information provided here is offered for entertainment purposes only. Discernment is always required.

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BRAVE MAN! DiCaprio Donates $2 Million to Protect the Oceans


DiCaprio Donates $2 Million to Protect the Oceans

OurOceanLeonardoDiCaprio102014

DiCaprio has long supported environmental causes and is now putting his money where his mouth is—Oceans 5, DiCaprio’s grant, will help develop future initiatives for marine conservation.

Oceans 5, which focuses on directing philanthropic money toward marine conservation and ocean protection projects, has announced that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has donated $2 million to be used for a variety of ocean conservation projects. They include stopping overfishing by improving fisheries enforcement in Europe, the U.S. and Central America and establishing marine preserves in the Pacific Islands and the Arctic. It also is earmarked for protecting threatened sharks and furthering Antarctic conservation.

“Oceans 5 is an exciting new platform for marine conservation,” said DiCaprio. “Working together with other philanthropists, we are making smarter, more impactful investments for the future of our planet. The sad truth is that less than two percent of our oceans are fully protected. We need to change that now. My Foundation supports Oceans 5 projects that are directly improving ocean health by stopping overfishing and creating marine reserves.”

DiCaprio has a long history of supporting environmental causes and putting his money where his mouth is. He launched his foundation in 1998 and since then, it has backed efforts to protect tigers in Nepal and elephants in Africa, and donated significant amounts to ocean-related groups. DeCaprio was a featured speaker at the recent UN Climate Summit in New York City and was recently appointed a UN Messenger for Peace by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon who called DiCaprio a “new voice for climate advocacy.”

According to Oceans 5 DiCaprio’s grant will help develop future initiatives as well as directly support a number of beneficiaries including a coalition of four conservation groups working to eradicate illegal fishing in the EU, three organizations working to strengthen fishery enforcement in Central and South America, a local organization working to implement the world’s fourth largest marine reserve in the central Pacific, a group of Cook Islanders working to create a marine park in an area three times larger than California, a group of organizations working on creating marine preserves in Canada, Greenland and Russia, and a coalition working on trade restrictions for endangered shark. …

http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/20/dicaprio-donates-2-million-protect-oceans/

Maui, Hawaii Tries to Oust Monsanto: Vote for GMO Initiative Due Nov. 4


Maui, Hawaii Tries to Oust Monsanto: Vote for GMO Initiative Due Nov. 4

mauimonsantoProtest101814

The proposed amendment is one that would prohibit the cultivation or reproduction of genetically engineered organisms in Maui County. Will Maui’s GMO initiative defeat Monsanto for good?

Approximately 19,000 Maui residents have signed a petition to push Monsanto and biotech interest off of their land for good. The proposed amendment, which could actually send the makers of RoundUp packing, is one that would prohibit the cultivation or reproduction of genetically engineered organisms with Maui County, and requires a 2/3 vote to pass.

Though Monsanto has been up to their usual propagandizing, the proposition would not hurt small farmers, but rather help them, and would prevent further cross-contamination of non-GMO crops. The Big Island Hawaii has already suffered an 80% contamination rate of papaya due to GMO planting.

Monsanto also claims that 600 jobs will be lost, but what is more accurate is that the entire agricultural system won’t collapse due to mono-cropped biotechnology which could wipe out crops as varied as sweet potatoes, greens, soy, corn, sugar beets, etc.

The Hawaiian islands are actually a prime target for biotech companies to grow their GMO poison food because they enjoy a year-round growing season, with perfect weather and frequent rain. The islands are also a prime location because biotech (erroneously) believes that they can maneuver through the political system there with ease. …

http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/18/maui-hawaii-tries-oust-monsanto-vote-gmo-initiative-due-nov-4/

Victory: Judge Deprives Monsanto of GM Planting Permit in Mexico, Protects the Bees


Monday, October 20 2014

Victory: Judge Deprives Monsanto of GM Planting Permit in Mexico, Protects the Bees

Read the full story…http://www.nationofchange.org/2014/10/20/victory-judge-deprives-monsanto-gm-planting-permit-mexico-protects-bees/
ShareBeeKeepingVictoryinMexico102014

A Mexican judge won’t be bought off by the giant biotech company, Monsanto—instead he honored the complaints of small bee-keepers and will stall the growing season for Monsanto’s GM soybeans in Yucatán.

Honoring the complaints of a small group of beekeepers in the state of Yucatán, who complained that Monsanto’s planned planting of thousands of hectares of GM soybeans made to withstand RoundUp would demolish their honey industry by decimating bees – a judge in Mexico has removed Monsanto’s planting permit. Monsanto can install Clarence Thomas on the U.S.00 Federal Judge circuit after working for their corporation, an obvious conflict of interest, but it looks like a Mexican judge won’t be bought off by biotech.

Though Monsanto will surely appeal the ruling, it will at least stall the growing season and give the bee-keepers time to gather additional support for their cause.

A district has overturned a permit issued to Monsanto by Mexico’s agriculture ministry, Sagarpa, and environmental protection agency, Semarnat, back in June 2012 that allowed commercial planting of RoundUp-ready soybeans.

If the permit had been honored, Monsanto would have been able to plant seeds in seven states, covering more than 253,000 hectares of land. (This amounts to almost a million acres.) Mayan farmers, beekeepers, and activist groups like Greenpeace, the Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, and the National Institute of Ecology have been vocally protesting this action.

The judge was apparently convinced that the scientific data showing a link between RoundUp, GMOs, and lowered honey production is very real. The Yucatán peninsula grows vasts amounts of honey, and in fact is the third largest exporter of honey to the world. The area includes Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán states. More than 25,000 families build their livelihoods on honey production. Almost all of the honey grown there is exported to the EU and amounts to over $54 million in Mexican money annually.

The judge ruled that honey production and GM soybeans could not co-exist.

In addition to known health risks posed by GMO crops and the herbicides used to grow them, there is also environmental damage to soil, water, and bee colonies which are dwindling fast. There are also long term changes to the ecosystems where GMOs are grown.

Since a landmark decision in 2011 by the European court of justice banned GM crop imports, GMO honey would likely not be accepted – similar to how Syngenta’s GMO corn strains are now being refused in China when exported from the U.S.

The ruling determined that honey derived from a GM crop would be unapproved for human consumption.

This follows an inaugural study conducted in Campeche, where about 10,000 hectares of GM soybeans were planted after Monsanto’s permit was approved in 2012. GM pollen was found in some honey samples destined for the European market.

Since bees pollinate vast tracts of land and could contaminate other crops besides the GM crops planted, GM soy plantings also have more exponential probability to cause damage.

The Monsanto ruling was commended by the respected national newspaper La Jornada, which accused the Mexican government of ignoring widespread concerns over GMOs and forcing bee keepers to fight it out in court with powerful multinational companies who have deep pockets to make legal battles go on at length.

Central to the ruling was the Mexican constitution, specifically the government’s obligation to fully consult indigenous communities before making any major decision about what happens to their land and food.

It’s too bad our own governments have long overlooked the people’s wishes regarding GM crops in the U.S.

Forward

Death of white rhino in Kenya leaves only six animals alive in the world


Originally posted on spiritandanimal.wordpress.com:

Death of white rhino in Kenya leaves only six animals alive in the world

Fears grow for future of northern white rhino species after loss of 34-year-old Suni, one of last two breeding males in the world

    Sudan northern white rhino
    Sudan, one of the six remaining northern white rhinos, at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy near Nairobi. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

    An endangered northern white rhino has died in Kenya, a wildlife conservancy has said, meaning only six of the animals are left alive in the world.

    Suni, a 34-year-old northern white, and the first of his species to be born in captivity, was found dead on Friday by rangers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy near Nairobi. While there are thousands of southern white rhinos in the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, decades of rampant poaching has meant the northern…

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