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Researchers Use New Compound In Bio-engineering A Possible Cyborg

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PEDOT is used to make a possible cyborg

The word ‘cyborg’ gradually saturated itself into science fiction over the years. Just the mere mention of the word immediately conjures up images of robot-humans and superhuman comic book characters. However, a team of researchers at the University of Delaware might be close to making this a reality.

Led by Professor David Martin, the study involved connecting devices to neural tissue. The aim was to successfully maintain a strong link between the living tissue and machinery. However, this raised some issues immediately.

The main setback in bio-engineering has been tissue damage

Until now, the biggest obstacle has been tissue damage in the body. Whenever a machine is connected to the tissue, scarring by the body’s immune system can occur. Not surprisingly, this interferes with data transfer from body to machine and renders the attempt nonviable.  This scarring is largely due to reactions with materials like gold and silicon in the machinery. Until the advent of ‘PEDOT‘, that is (more on that shortly!)

Because data transfer and the transmission of electrical signals is vital for the machine, they required a solution. While hooking up a machine to a brain, they realized they needed a protective coating. They decided to experiment with different nonreactive substances to make suitable microelectrodes. The substance would have to be easy to produce, non-toxic and conductive to the electrical signals in the device.

The chosen substance was an organic chemistry goldmine, called ‘PEDOT’

The scientists tried various different alternatives to the gold and silver. Eventually, they settled upon poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), dubbed “PEDOT“. This substance is an organic compound and its properties were exactly what they hoped for.

The PEDOT was made of conjugated polymers, which are large complex molecules. Martin claimed that PEDOT was so unique because of its electrical and ionic desirability. This means that at any given time, the compound has moving ions and electrons within it. When applied to a device, the compound had lower impedance and was quite conductive. And best of all, it greatly prevented scarring.

While PEDOT had already been available in electronic coatings, its use in bio-engineering only begins now. This is because of PEDOT’s flexibility and capacity to have its properties changed. The organic compound can have its functional groups modified. Functional groups are attached chemicals that can alter the way PEDOT reacts.

PEDOT has great implications for the future of other fields of science

Martin claims that by modifying the functional groups, PEDOT can be used in biochemistry too. If it was to be modified with a specific antigen or DNA strand, it would make a specifc biofilm. This biofilm would have countless applications, such as even making vaccines. The possibilities are endless.

To make PEDOT suitable for this bio-engineering study, it was modified accordingly. This involved using an aldehyde and maleimide compound to change the functional group. Martin noted the presence of maleimide made further reactions easier to do.

In addition to this application, Martin’s team has used PEDOT in other biological ways. They have used it to detect excess levels of normal VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and hopefully detect tumors with it. Furthermore, PEDOT has also undergone bonding with dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in addiction. This will allow them to investigate the physiology behind addictive behaviors.

In conclusion, Martin and his team seem to have stumbled upon a miraculous compound. When utilized in advancing biochemistry, biotechnology and bio-engineering, there is no doubt the concept of a ‘cyborg’ will be realized some day!

 

 

 

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Cannabis

Impaired Driving: A Must Consideration for the State’s Cannabis Bill

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impaired driving in New York

Even with the concept of Vision Zero and more raising concerns for the traffic rules, Albany legislators aren’t focused on it, while rushing to legalize the use of cannabis in New York. Silive shares the thoughts of how important it is to slow down the process of legalization and first pass on a bill that would stop impaired driving and hold marijuana-impaired drivers accountable for accidents.

Before the legalization of marijuana, to create a safer environment, it is extremely important to put pressure on the notion that studies categorize all intoxicating substances as unsafe for driving.

Impaired Driving Same as a Speeding Ticket

No consideration against the impaired driving would make people think it unimportant as a speeding ticket. This indirect message by the leaders would eventually lead to a greater number of casualties with each passing day.

It is nothing but a truth that marijuana has the potency to affect concentration, response time, motor function, and movement. Also, the science links a high concentration of THC in the blood due to cannabis intake to impaired driving. Surprisingly, marijuana is a second substance that has a major influence on driving capability after alcohol.

Need to Reinforce the Drug Definition in New York

Apart from considering classifying impaired driving due to marijuana as a minor criminal act, some light should also be shed on revising the term drug as other 45 states have done. Any substance should be called a drug that can compromise the ability to think, focus, and react.

ALSO READ: Marijuana Legalization And Decriminalization Bills Delayed By Murphy 

If this act is not taken, according to the law, they cannot be charged if the alleged impaired drivers refuse to have a chemical test. The dismissal would eventually result in chaos and poor law enforcement. Such impaired drivers could not be held accountable and would be back on the roads again, risking the lives of hundreds of people.

The legislators of Albany must think about the message they are conveying to the younger generation out there. Already, as shown by the personal accounts of many teenagers, marijuana is nothing big for them and seems harmless.

Different treatment for impaired drivers than those drunken drivers would further strengthen this perception among people. Since neighboring states have already legalized marijuana for recreational and other purposes, New York seems to be next.

Strict Laws and More Investment in the Traffic Sector

Along with the modifications in the law to serve a better criminal justice system, there is a need to pass on better provisions to ensure safety on roads. No person should become a target of  people managing a 3,00 pounds vehicle while being impaired by marijuana, asserts the source.

ALSO READ: Denver’s Cannabis Ordinance Will Jeopardize Hard Earned Public Health And Safety

There should be provisions in the law to hold such people against the criminal act. To run a smooth traffic system, it is mandatory to design out complete traffic safety rules. There should be more people, funding, and resources to train the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officers and create awareness of the possible effects of drug abuse, including marijuana. As time has changed, the use of synthetic drugs has made it difficult to articulate a specific one; thus, the need for DRE officers has become as important as the need to include the provisions in the bill.

The legalization in New York for cannabis should be set straight from the start. Before the bill includes and assures safety on roads, the legalization of recreational cannabis is a non-starter. All the roads

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People Of Color Hit With Brunt Of Cannabis Arrests

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Cannabis relating arrests in NYC

Cannabis is an illicit drug but lawmakers’ efforts to legalize and decriminalize marijuana activities. Some states have legalized medical and recreational use of marijuana, but others are discussing making the final decision. 

The situation has produced confusion as some individuals think the possession of marijuana is legal already by law, but it is not, says The City. As a result, large-scale imprisonment occurs in many states.

In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plan to legalize cannabis. However, a final decision has not yet occurred. As a result, many Black New Yorkers are getting arrested. Moreover, people of color in New York receive summonses at vastly disproportionate rates. 

ALSO READ: Hope Wiseman Breaks Barriers In Marijuana Industry

According to Allan Gandelman, the state must legalize cannabis activities and include productive-measures into the legislation for better outputs. So that Blacks and other people in minorities get justice. 

Data Analysis Regarding Cannabis Arrest 

According to an analysis of NYPD data by the Legal Aid Society, 94% of the Black And Latinos in New York face arrest and summons in 2020. Moreover, according to an analysis report, 57% of arrested New Yorkers were Black, and 35.7% were Latino. According to the Census Bureau, concerning the population, the city has 24% Black population and 29% Latino.  

Moreover, the analysis data elaborates that people of color face more imprisonment and summons regarding marijuana activities than any other citizen. Other individuals get free passes while Black and Latino have to pay penalties or go to prison for the same action as done by others. 

According to Anthony Posada, Blacks and Latinos are suffering from injustice in the marijuana business. 

In 2019 the number of arrests and summons was 16411. However, in 2020 the number decreased to 10811, yet the percentage of Black and Latino arrests remained the same through-out the pandemic. 

As a result of disproportionate arrests and summons, the Black and Latinos are suffering immensely. Therefore, members of the Legal Aid Society are requesting to pass the legalization bills as soon as possible. 

Cuomo Response To Legalizing Marijuana Bills

Passing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act on governors’ approval will end the disproportionate arrests and summon cycle. This will put an end to the sufferings of the people of color and provide equal rights to them, resulting in racial justice and equity.

During the 2018 elections, Governor Cuomo promised to legalize marijuana, but he did nothing to bring it to action. Moreover, in the following year, Cuomo showed a lack of support towards the legalization of cannabis. 

In 2020, lawmakers were hopeful that the governor would pass the bill. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the matter remains unsolved. Moreover, the governor is currently trying to pass through the state’s annual budget process legislation regarding marijuana. Furthermore, he designed the marijuana legislation himself. 

ALSO READ: Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs

The governor desires to pass his own designed bill that enables delivery services and provides marijuana equity funds worth $100 million. The funds will also be used to provide substance use disorder treatment, financial literacy help, and jobs. 

Some lawmakers agree with the state’s legislature, but others recommend passing Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act. With both bills, legalization will occur. Moreover, legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana is the need of the hour. However, with the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, the government will collect about 30% to 50% of tax. But with the state’s legislature-plan, only 18% will be the tax rate. 

Allan Gandelman is NY Cannabis Growers and Processors Association President. Gandelman appreciates MRTA-efforts that allow the growth of marijuana, home-delivery, weed microbusinesses, and funding for social-equity applicants. Moreover, he understands the importance of legalizing marijuana bills.

 

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Looking For A Job In Marijuana Business In Michigan

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Marijuana jobs

The marijuana industry is exploring and flourishing day by day. Many states, including Michigan, have legalized and decriminalized cannabis activities. Individuals have lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and need employment with good salaries and incentives. Thus, Michiganders are looking for a job in the marijuana industry.

A year back, Michigan legalized cannabis involving activities. The state this year celebrates successful legal marijuana sales. In Western Michigan, a group is offering free training and advice to individuals who desire to find work in the marijuana business, reports Michigan Radio.

According to Matt Hoffman, like any other industry, the marijuana industry also has the potential of providing jobs to many individuals. Moreover, the jobs that are available in the cannabis industry have great-variations for qualification criteria. There are jobs available for those who love farming, who like transportation or administrational activities. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Greenhouse Effect – Areas With More Emission

Individuals with sufficient knowledge and experience in cultivating, growing, and harvesting cannabis from its fields are suitable for marijuana production. However, individuals with administrative-knowledge, management skills, and good communication skills are for administrative work. Similarly, individuals that can help with product efficiencies, compliance, security, and environmental impact can also get a job in the cannabis industry. 

Moreover, the founder and chairman of Grand Rapids-based nonprofit Our Cannabis suggests that individuals shall similarly think of the marijuana industry as they think of other industries. 

What Hoffman Has To Say About Marijuana Business And Jobs?

Matt Hoffman is the founder and chairman of Grand Rapids-based nonprofit Our Cannabis. He worked for 11 years in the marijuana industry, and with the support of his family, he was able to build a new cannabis business. However, business trends have altered over time. Moreover, government policies also affect the cannabis industry.

Hoffman participated in the marijuana job fair a few years back in Grand Rapids, and there he was able to make reasonable profits. Moreover, the demand for weed products is increasing day by day. 

According to Matt Hoffman, in 2018, Michigan legalized marijuana activities. However, there are still some individuals that are unable to get to participate in the cannabis industry. 

Moreover, some individuals face criminal charges or imprisonment for getting involved in the weed industry, sales, and other activities. Matt Hoffman elaborates that there are individuals that spend their lives in prison despite the legalization of marijuana. Furthermore, their families are also suffering.

Through Our Cannabis, Matt desires to open the marijuana industry to all individuals. Moreover, anyone can get help in getting a job in the cannabis industry, no matter if they are from a minority or a majority. Even those with no job experience can also get jobs in the cannabis industry. 

COVID-19 Crisis And Drug Offenses Imprisonment

According to the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency reports, 80% of the prisoners for drug offenses are Black or Latino at the federal level. Moreover, at the state level, 60% of prisoners for drug offenses are Black or Latino. 

ALSO READ: Hope Wiseman Breaks Barriers In Marijuana Industry

Marijuana business ownership is also another problem as Black is under restrictions by law. Thus, only 3.8% of the cannabis business owners in Michigan are Black or African Americans. Moreover, Latino own 1.5% of the weed business in the state. Analyzing the situation of minorities, the MRA’s Racial Equity Advisory Workgroup recommends new regulations for the state. Furthermore, through these alterations, minorities will be able to get equal rights to business in the marijuana industry. 

Due to COVID-19, many small businesses were unable to continue progression. As a result, many small-scale-businesses are closed, leading to an increase in unemployment. However, the legalization and decriminalization trend in the cannabis industry produces new job opportunities for many unemployed individuals.

According to Hoffman, individuals can gather information regarding the marijuana industry and job opportunities by signing up for free classes at Our Cannabis official website. 

 

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