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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Ex-Monsanto Chief: Faked Data for Govt. Approvals


Originally posted on Political Film Blog:

monsanto3

The former Monsanto boss said government regulatory agencies with which the company used to deal with in the 1980s simply depended on data supplied by the company while giving approvals to herbicides.

Monsanto ‘faked’ data for approvals claims its ex-chief
Monsanto has been committing fraud around the globe, according to former managing director of Monsanto India, Tiruvadi Jagadisan.

“The Central Insecticide Board was supposed to give these approvals based on the location and crop-specific data from India. But it simply accepted foreign data supplied by Monsanto. They did not even have a test tube to validate the data and, at times, the data itself was faked,” Jagadisan said.

“I retired from the company as I felt the management of Monsanto, USA, was exploiting our country,” Jagadisan, 84, said from his home in Bangalore.

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WATCH: Dog fighting for life after icy rescue caught on camera


Originally posted on Global News:

WATCH ABOVE: With her tired paws, the dog lifted her leg to try and get out of the freezing water, but there was just no strength left. And that’s when firefighters stepped in to save the day. Heather Staggers reports.

TORONTO – A dog continues to fight for its life Tuesday after a dramatic rescue from an icy lake was caught on camera.

The frantic unnamed pooch was discovered in the waters of Big Eleven Lake in Kansas City, Kansas, by an anonymous person who failed their own rescue attempt before the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department arrived on scene.

Water Rescue Team members Dave Doherty and his partner suited up and swam over to the frozen pooch – using a lasso to corral her slowly to shore.

“The dog was getting tired,” Doherty said in a KCTV report. “She probably wouldn’t have lasted long.”

Confused and frightened, the dog didn’t…

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Thousands evacuated as Chile volcano spews lava and ash hundreds of metres into the air


Originally posted on National Post:

CARIEL MARINKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images CARIEL MARINKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

ARIEL MARINKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images ARIEL MARINKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

PUCON, Chile — One of South America’s most active volcanoes erupted early Tuesday in southern Chile, spewing heavy smoke into the air as lava surged down its slopes, prompting authorities to evacuate thousands of people.

The Villarrica volcano erupted around 3 a.m. local time, according to the National Emergency Office, which issued a red alert and ordered evacuations. Local media showed images of the volcano bursting at the top, glowing in the dark amid heavy smoke and rivers of lava. Authorities worried that mudslides caused by melting snow could endanger nearby communities.

The 2,847-metre volcano in Chile’s central valley, 670 kilometres south of Santiago, sits above the small city of Pucon, which has a population of about 22,000 people.

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” 29-year-old Australian tourist Travis Armstrong said in a telephone interview from Pucon. “I’ve never seen a…

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Worried you have ‘chronic fatigue’? Here’s what to know


Originally posted on Fusion:

What do Cher, Stevie Nicks, and Flea all have in common? Aside from all earning appearances on my “When Hormones Attack” playlist, they’ve all been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, also known as post-viral fatigue syndrome. Actually, chronic fatigue syndrome has a whole boatload of names, from neurasthenia to yuppie flu disease (not even joking).

Recently, the long-misunderstood condition has grabbed headlines thanks to a comprehensive report by the Institute of Medicine, arguing for the medical community to treat the condition as a physical disease, and not simply psychological one—as well as a new study that points to the illness’ biological roots. If you’ve heard the buzz and thought, Hey! I’m tired all the time! Maybe I have it! we’re here to help.

So wait, what is it?

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is actually a host of…

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Photographer captures incredible photo of a weasel ‘riding’ a woodpecker: ‘This was a struggle for life’


Originally posted on National Post:

On Monday, birder Jason Ward tweeted out this crazy photo by east London hobby photographer Martin Le-May of a weasel “hitching a ride” on what appears to be a European green woodpecker, and the bird doesn’t look too happy about it:

If you’ve heard of the term fight or flight, this is a rare case of fight and flight.

The weasel wasn’t really riding the bird but trying to eat it.

Weasels are notorious nest robbers. And it looks as if Le-May got the perfect shot following a confrontation between a weasel and the woodpecker. Here are some other photo that Le-May took:

Le-May was walking in the Hornchurch Country Park in east London with his wife when they heard an animal in distress.

“The bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly…

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Air Pollution So Bad It’s ‘Linked to Suicide’


Originally posted on wchildblog:

Source: Natural Society, by Robert Harrington

Suicide may be linked to air pollution, according to new research that finds spikes in completed suicides in the days following peak pollution levels.

Concerningly, this finding by scientists in the USA has been duplicated by other studies which have been conducted in South Korea, Taiwan, and Canada. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. This statistic is higher in those states which regularly produce higher amounts of air pollution near populated areas.

Many agree that suicide is to a great extent a product of mental illness. Different types of mental illness can precipitate different kinds of thoughts and feelings which can drive a person to taking their own lives. That air pollution can contribute to various mental disorders is a key link which everyone ought to be aware of.

***

Conclusion

This established link between air pollution and…

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