Lack of oxygen delayed the rise of animals on Earth

Scientists have long speculated as to why animal species didn’t flourish sooner, once sufficient oxygen covered the Earth’s surface. Animals began to prosper at the end of the Proterozoic period — but what about the billion-year stretch before that, when most researchers think there also was plenty of oxygen?Yale University researcher Noah Planavsky and his colleagues found that oxygen levels during the ‘boring billion’ period were only 0.1 percent of what they are today. —> Read More Here

Advance directives can benefit patients, families, and health care system

Nearly one out of four older Americans say that either they or a family member have experienced excessive or unwanted medical treatment, according to the latest issue of The Gerontological Society of America’s Public Policy & Aging Report, which goes on to show that Americans strongly support holding doctors accountable when they fail to honor patients’ end-of-life health care wishes. —> Read More Here

Surviving Ebola May Depend On Your Genes

By: Bahar Gholipour
Published: 10/31/2014 10:41 AM EDT on LiveScience

People infected with Ebola vary greatly in how severe their symptoms are. The majority die, but some develop only very mild symptoms, and it is even possible that some have no symptoms at all. Now, a new study in mice suggests that genetics plays a role in how each body reacts to the same Ebola virus.

To study the relationship between genes and the virus, researchers used a group of mice that were bred to have high genetic diversity, as opposed to the typical laboratory mice, which are produced by many generations of inbreeding and are therefore extremely similar. Normally, classic lab mice don’t develop the symptoms of Ebola that are seen in people, even though the animals do die from a lethal dose of the virus.

In the study, among the genetically diverse mice, the researchers saw a full range of Ebola symptoms when they infected the animals with the virus. Some mice were resistant to infection, some showed symptoms but survived, and some were similar to classical lab mice (they died without showing bleeding symptoms). About 40 percent of the animals developed blood and liver —> Read More Here

Want To Improve Your Health? Believe In Yourself

“I am enough the way I am.”

This popular, self-affirming mantra and others like it grant power to those in need of an extra boost of motivation. A new meta-analysis published on the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s Character & Context’s blog confirms that self-affirmations can help us all achieve higher in many areas our lives — especially when it comes to our health.

Tracy Epton of the University of Manchester collected and analyzed 41 studies involving self-affirmation practices, which include anything that helps people recognize their inherent value as individuals. She and her team found that overall, self-affirmation helped “improve message acceptance, intentions, and behavior.”

Specifically, the self-affirmations had a positive impact on improving health behaviors and lifestyle habits, particularly during a period of illness. “As self-affirmation works by reducing defensive responding when people feel threatened,” wrote Epton. “It could be that self-affirmation is most effective on more proximal health risks as they are perceived as more threatening (e.g., they are perceived as more vivid and relevant) than more distal risks.”

Interestingly, the impact of this self-affirming behavior doesn’t change with the gender or occupation of the person — or even their socioeconomic circumstances: Last year, a study —> Read More Here

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