Singer George Michael's death in December was due, in part, to a heart condition that can have many causes, including alcohol and drug abuse, and infections.According to a statement from officials in Oxfordshire County, England, Michael died of natural causes, including a condition called "dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis.""As there is a confirmed natural cause of death ... the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further enquiries," Darren Salter, the senior coroner for Oxfordshire, said in the statement.Michael died on Dec. 25, 2016, at age 53, in his home in Oxfordshire County. [10 Celebrities with Chronic Illnesses]Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition that affects the heart muscle, and myocarditis means inflammation of the heart wall.In people with dilated cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle stretches and becomes thinner, according to the American Heart Association. As a result, the heart chamber becomes enlarged, which affects the … [Read more...] about George Michael’s Death: What Causes ‘Dilated Cardiomyopathy’?
Tough move: In the midst of a heated controversy over Hong Kong protests and the buzz of the upcoming BlizzCon event, Mike Ybarra is taking a role as Blizzard's VP and general manager. His name may sound familiar as he worked heading up Xbox Live for 10 years. Maybe new blood is just what Blizzard needs to weather the current firestorm. Former Xbox executive Mike Ybarra will soon be the executive vice president and general manager at Blizzard. Ybarra served nearly 20 years at Microsoft starting as a systems engineer in 2000, In 2009, he was promoted to general manager of Xbox Live. He had since taken over executive responsibilities for Game Pass, and Mixer as well. The VP tweeted on Thursday that he would be stepping into his new position on November 4, right after BlizzCon. I'm very happy to announce I'm joining @Blizzard_Ent as Exec. Vice President and GM starting 11/4 (will be at #blizzcon!). We will work with all our energy to serve gamers with incredible content and experiences. … [Read more...] about Former Xbox boss Mike Ybarra joins Blizzard as new VP and GM
Today's birds evolved from dinosaurs that shrank continuously for 50 million years, researchers say.Dinosaurs first emerged about 245 million years ago, and they came to dominate the planet. They included the largest animals ever to walk across the surface of Earth. Their reign came to an end with a bang — a cosmic impact from an asteroid or comet maybe 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. However, not all of the dinosaurs were killed by this impact — they became the birds that are now found on every continent on Earth."Birds are the only dinosaurs that are still alive today," said lead study author Michael Lee, an evolutionary biologist at the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide in Australia.Birds evolved from carnivorous dinosaurs known as theropods, which included giant predators such as Tyrannosaurus rex and talon-footed raptors such as Deinonychus. Recent studies of theropods keep finding more and more birdlike traits, such as feathers, wishbones, hollow … [Read more...] about Shrinking Dinosaurs Evolved into Flying Birds
New fossils that may be the oldest known remains of snakes are helping researchers to better understand how the slithering beasts evolved, according to a new study.The fossilized remains of four ancient snake species were found in England, Portugal and the United States, and date back to about 143 and 167 million years ago, the researchers said. The fossils could be as much as nearly 70 million years older than the previous oldest-known fossils of snakes, which date back to about 100 million years ago.The new fossils challenge previous theories that suggested that the long, thin skull structure that is characteristic of snakes is a feature that evolved after the animals became legless and developed their elongated bodies.In contrast, the new study suggests that "the skull evolved first, and the legless thing followed," said study author Michael Caldwell, a professor and chair in the department of biological sciences at the University of Alberta in Canada.Caldwell identified the first … [Read more...] about Oldest Known Snake Fossils Identified
How did the largest of all dinosaurs evolve necks longer than any other creature that has ever lived? One secret: mostly hollow neck bones, researchers say.The largest creatures to ever walk the Earth were the long-necked, long-tailed dinosaurs known as the sauropods. These vegetarians had by far the longest necks of any known animal. The dinosaurs' necks reached up to 50 feet (15 meters) in length, six times longer than that of the current world-record holder, the giraffe, and at least five times longer than those of any other animal that has lived on land."They were really stupidly, absurdly oversized," said researcher Michael Taylor, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Bristol in England. "In our feeble, modern world, we're used to thinking of elephants as big, but sauropods reached 10 times the size elephants do. They were the size of walking whales."Amazing necksTo find out how sauropod necks could get so long, scientists analyzed other long-necked creatures and … [Read more...] about How Dinosaurs Grew the World’s Longest Necks