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Legal Highs

M Hummel, A Stege
The use of high-quality, well-characterized biomaterials and their clinical and demographic information for biomedical research has steadily increased in importance over the last 10 years. There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, several studies have shown that even in high-profile scientific papers the description of the origin and characteristics of the biomaterials used is missing or insufficient. On the other hand, it has become generally accepted that small collections of biomaterials are often created under ethically and legally unclear conditions without quality measures and without sufficient sustainability...
June 19, 2018: Der Pathologe
Judd Jensen, Jan Leonard, Kristin Salottolo, Kathryn McCarthy, Jeffrey Wagner, David Bar-Or
Objective: Vasoactive substances, including marijuana, are known precipitating factors of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS). Our objective was to describe the demographics, suspected etiology, and outcomes of RCVS patients, with specific interest in examining the subset of patients who used marijuana prior to the onset of RCVS. Methods: We identified and described consecutive RCVS cases treated at a regional, high-volume Comprehensive Stroke Center in Colorado (2012-2015)...
June 2018: Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology
Natalie Sherwood, Meiyin Wu, Peddrick Weis
Mercury contamination in consumed foods poses a significant threat to human health globally. The consumption of mercury-contaminated turtle meat is of special concern due to mercury's capability to bioaccumulate and biomagnify in organisms. Turtles are long-lived predators, allowing for a high degree of bioaccumulation and biomagnification of contaminants. In the U.S., diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are legally harvested in several states throughout their range. Harvested turtles are usually sold to both local and global markets mainly for human consumption, which results in a human consumption threat...
June 18, 2018: Environmental Management
Sara Rigon
Gender-based violence is a pervasive public health problem, let alone a violation of human rights. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that, overall, 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or nonpartner sexual violence. In 2016, the author had the privilege to work with an outstanding group of people that helps sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) survivors in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The clinic, run by an international nongovernmental organizations, open walk-in to anyone in need, is functioning to the present day...
January 2018: Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care
Mathias Flume, Marc Bardou, Stefano Capri, Oriol Sola-Morales, David Cunningham, Lars-Ake Levin, Maarten J Postma, Nicolas Touchot
Background:  The launch of hepatitis C (HCV) drugs such as sofosbuvir or ledipasvir has fostered the question of affordability of novel high budget impact therapies even in countries with high domestic product. European countries have developed a variety of mechanisms to improve affordability of such therapies, including 'affordability thresholds', price volume agreements or caps on individual product sales, and special budgets for innovative drugs. While some of these mechanisms may help limit budget impact, there are still significant progresses to be made in the definition and implementation of approaches to ensure affordability, especially in health systems where the growth potential in drug spending and/or in the patient contribution to health insurance are limited...
2018: Journal of Market Access & Health Policy
Naykky Singh Ospina, Ana Castaneda-Guarderas, Russell Ward, Juan P Brito, Spyridoula Maraka, Claudia Zeballos Palacios, Kathleen J Yost, Diana S Dean, Victor M Montori
PURPOSE: Fine-needle aspiration biopsy of the thyroid is an increasingly common outpatient procedure. Patients are counseled about the indications and risks of this procedure and informed consent is obtained. We aimed to assess the extent to which patients acquired necessary knowledge during this process. METHODS: Survey study conducted in a thyroid nodule clinic at a referral center. Adult patients who had just undergone a thyroid biopsy were asked to complete a survey, including eight questions regarding the indications and potential outcomes of thyroid biopsy...
June 16, 2018: Endocrine
Lubertus Bijlsma, Rubén Gil-Solsona, Félix Hernández, Juan Vicente Sancho
Synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) are consumed as legal alternative to cannabis and often allow passing drug-screening tests. Their rapid transience on the drug scene, combined with their mostly unknown metabolic profiles, creates a scenario with constantly moving analytical targets, making their monitoring and identification challenging. The development of fast screening strategies for SCs, not directly focused on their chemical structure, as an alternative to the commonly applied target acquisition methods, would be highly appreciated in forensic and public health laboratories...
June 16, 2018: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Barbara Ströh van Deventer, Lorraine du Toit-Prinsloo, Chantal van Niekerk
To determine variations in the SCN5A gene linked to inherited cardiac arrhythmogenic disorders in sudden, unexplained infant death (SUID) cases examined at the Pretoria Medico-Legal Laboratory, South Africa. A retrospective study was conducted on SUID cases and controls, analyzing DNA extracted from archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) myocardial tissue samples as well as blood samples. A total of 48 FFPE tissue samples (cases), 10 control FFPE tissue samples and nine control blood samples were included...
June 16, 2018: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Woosik Shin, Sungwook Choung, Weon Shik Han, Jeonghwan Hwang, Gyeongmin Kang
Although soil contamination must be remediated by the polluters under current legal frameworks in numerous countries, the allocation of responsibilities for soil clean-up is still challenging in the case of multiple potentially responsible parties (PRPs). This study evaluated the individual contributions of two PRPs (Owners A & B) to heavy metal contamination in the soil environment near an abandoned smelter and compared the results with those from the conventional Gore Factor (GF) method. The soil in the study area was widely contaminated by various heavy metals...
June 12, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Koni Grob
Work on mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) contaminating food is reviewed up to about 2010, when the subject received broad publicity. It covers the period of the main discoveries and elimination or reduction of the dominant sources: release agents used in industrial bakeries, spraying of rice, additions to animal feed, contamination of edible oils from various sources and migration from paperboard packaging. In most cases highly refined ("white") oils were involved, but also technical oils, e.g. from the environment, and more or less crude oil fractions from jute and sisal bags...
June 12, 2018: Food Additives & Contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment
Colin Davidson, Christopher A R Raby, Vincenzo Barrese, John Ramsey
3,4-dichloromethylphenidate (3,4-CTMP) and ethylphenidate are new psychoactive substances and analogs of the attention deficit medication methylphenidate. Both drugs have been reported on online user fora to induce effects similar to cocaine. In the UK, 3,4-CTMP appeared on the drug market in 2013 and ethylphenidate has been sold since 2010. We aimed to explore the neurochemical effects of these drugs on brain dopamine and noradrenaline efflux. 3,4-CTMP and ethylphenidate, purchased from online vendors, were analyzed using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy to confirm their identity...
2018: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Chen-Wei Pan, Rong-Kun Wu, Jun Li, Hua Zhong
BACKGROUND: We aim to assess the prevalence of myopia in Chinese school children with low educational pressure and explore which factors could explain the differences in prevalence between generations. METHODS: A school-based epidemiologic study including 2432 grade 1 and 2346 grade 7 students was conducted from 2016 in rural areas of China. Each participant's refractive status was measured before and after cycloplegia using an autorefractor and axial length (AL) was measured using an IOL Master...
June 11, 2018: BMC Ophthalmology
Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, Jennifer Macfarlane
BACKGROUND: Cannabis cultivation in Morocco's mountainous Rif region is undergoing its most profound development since mass production of hashish began in the early 1980s. The adoption of high-yielding varieties of cannabis, modern agricultural practices, and modern hashish production techniques began in the mid-2000s and accelerated after the mid-2010s, with the result that more potent and varied cannabis derivatives are now being produced and that increased quantities of highly potent hashish are seized in Europe...
June 6, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Amy Schumacher, Miesha Marzell, Angela J Toepp, Marin L Schweizer
OBJECTIVE: With the current public health burden of sexually transmitted infections, it is important to identify factors affecting condom use. The association between marijuana use and condom use is especially important because of the increasing number of U.S. states legalizing marijuana; however, relevant research findings are mixed. The goal of this study was to perform a meta-analysis assessing the relationship between marijuana and condom use at instances of sexual intercourse. METHOD: A systematic search of four databases was performed...
May 2018: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Meredith C Meacham, Michael J Paul, Danielle E Ramo
BACKGROUND: Legalization of medical and recreational cannabis has coincided with an increase in novel forms of cannabis use and a burgeoning cannabis product industry. This research seeks to understand the occurrence of discussions about these emerging and traditional forms of use in an online social media discussion forum. METHODS: We analyzed posts to a cannabis-specific forum on the Reddit social media platform posted from January 2010-December 2016. For each of various keywords describing smoking, vaping, edibles, dabbing, and butane hash oil (BHO) concentrate use, we analyzed (1) relative prevalence of posts mentioning these cannabis forms of use; (2) user-reported subjective ratings of "highness" on a scale of 1-10; (3) the ten most common words mentioned in posts; and (4) the frequency of adverse health effect terms...
July 1, 2018: Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Jo Samanta, Ash Samanta, Omar Madhloom
International migration is an important issue for many high-income countries and is accompanied by opportunities as well as challenges. South Asians are the largest minority ethnic group in the United Kingdom, and this diaspora is reflective of the growing diversity of British society. An empirical study was performed to ascertain the faith-based values, beliefs, views and attitudes of participants in relation to their perception of issues pertaining to end-of-life care. Empirical observations from this study, as well as the extant knowledge-base from the literature, are used to support and contextualise our reflections against a socio-legal backdrop...
June 8, 2018: Bioethics
Irene Mosca, Robert E Wright
This study empirically investigates the relationship between retirement duration and cognition among older Irish women using microdata collected in the third wave of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression estimates indicate that the longer an individual has been retired, the lower the cognitive functioning, with other factors thought to affect cognition held constant (e.g., age, education, and early-life socioeconomic conditions). However, retirement is potentially endogenous with respect to cognition because cognition may affect decisions relating to retiring...
June 7, 2018: Demography
Sabine Bossert, Hannes Kahrass, Daniel Strech
Background: Biobanks have become an increasingly important means of biomedical research and innovation. However, they entail a variety of ethical, social and legal challenges, which need to be publicly discussed and managed collectively. A certain level of public awareness of biobank research is an important prerequisite for the public to form an opinion on the issue at hand and to be willing to participate in public engagement activities. For many countries, including Germany, recent information on the public's awareness of and attitude toward biobanks is scarce...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Lucy V Justice, Harriet M J Smith
In legal settings, jury members, police, and legal professionals often have to make judgements about witnesses' or victims' memories of events. Without a scientific understanding of memory, (often erroneous) beliefs are used to make decisions. Evaluation of the literature identified two prevalent beliefs that could influence judgements: (1) memory operates like a video recorder therefore, accounts that are detailed are more believable than those containing vague descriptions, and (2) memories recalled with congruent emotion are more believable than those recalled with incongruent emotion...
June 6, 2018: Memory
Jennifer M Reingle Gonzalez, Michael S Businelle, Darla Kendzor, Michele Staton, Carol S North, Michael Swartz
BACKGROUND: There is a significant revolving door of incarceration among homeless adults. Homeless adults who receive professional coordination of individualized care (ie, case management) during the period following their release from jail experience fewer mental health and substance use problems, are more likely to obtain stable housing, and are less likely to be reincarcerated. This is because case managers work to meet the various needs of their clients by helping them to overcome barriers to needed services (eg, food, clothing, housing, job training, substance abuse and mental health treatment, medical care, medication, social support, proof of identification, and legal aid)...
June 5, 2018: JMIR Research Protocols
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