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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

No More Firing Or Barring of Workers Or Applicants Over Cannabis Screening, Says Amazon

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No More Firing Or Barring of Workers Or Applicants Over Cannabis Screening, Says Amazon

Amazon has been in favor of legalizing and decriminalizing cannabis in all states. The company favors federally altering reforms to make new legislation for legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. It also supports altering employer-employee policy with respect to new legalization rules. 

 

Amazon reestablished its employment eligibility criteria for previous workers or job applicants. Previously, the company used to fire employees with positive cannabis screening results. The same used to happen with job applicants, they were considered ineligible to apply for any job. 

 

Moreover, in June 2021, Amazon changed its policy and ended pre-employment cannabis screening for many applicants for various job posts.

 

Amazon And Cannabis-Employment Policy

 

Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce platforms with millions of clients and workers. The company is planning to further relax its cannabis screening policies to support federal legalization legislation.

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The previous cannabis employment policy contains that individuals, former workers, and applicants, that use cannabis will be fired or will not be selected for any post. However, things change over the last 18 months. Now people with a history of using marijuana and those with positive screening results can continue their jobs and office work freely irrespective of pot usage.

 

The pre-employment test and screening processing adversely affected many people, especially people of color. Minority communities are most affected. According to Beth Galetti, people of color suffer from these policies, and the team of employees and employers in Amazon consider such behavior unacceptable. The people of color had to go through inequitable treatment.

 

Changes In Employment Policy

 

In June this year, the company announced that it no longer screens its workers for cannabis. However, the company’s new employment policy requires employees and applicants for the Department of Transport to pass through a marijuana screening test. Employees such as heavy equipment operators and truck drivers have to clear marijuana screening before beginning their job and can be asked to perform screening whenever necessary.

 

Hiring cannabis consumers was a positive change in the employment policy made by Amazon. Hopefully, many other companies will follow the example and bring an alteration to society. 

 

Yet employees will go through regular tests, including tests for alcohol and other drugs. The company can ask employees to undergo a drug test after any incident. 

 

Why Allow Cannabis users To Apply And DO Jobs?

 

Amazon observed that many states are legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana. After learning the change in perspective of the public and legislators, the company also decided to relax its cannabis standards.

ALSO READ: New York Cannabis Industry And Park Strategies

According to Beth Galetti, allowing former cannabis users to apply for a job will lure more applicants in a tight labor market. It will also reduce the suffering of people of color somehow.

 

Amazon is looking for field experts and enthusiastic employees. According to Galetti, they have discovered that eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis permits the company to expand its applicant pool. 

 

According to Bloomberg, Amazon encourages its delivery firms to advertise that they do not require cannabis screening. Also, the company is lobbying the federal government to legalize pot. Amazon supports the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. The objective of this act is to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. One of the aims is to expunge criminal records. According to the Act, this will bring investments to these communities. 

 

Amazon also recently endorsed a similar bill on Tuesday called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The company is urging congress to expunge federal nonviolent marijuana crimes and legalize pot federally. 

Originally Covered On: CNBC

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Edible Cannabis Items Might Contain Dangerous Delta-8 THC Substances

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Edible Cannabis Items Might Contain Dangerous Substances

Cannabis-infused edibles are known as edible marijuana products. There is a high possibility that these items contain Delta-8 THC which leads to increased side effects and damage to consumers’ health.

 

A health advisory committee will discover more about the subject. An official member of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is joining hands with the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the presence of delt-8 THC in cannabis-infused products.

 

There has been an increase in the demand and supply of marijuana-containing items during the coronavirus pandemic situation. Many such products contain delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and (cannabidiol) CBD. But insufficient labeling of items puts consumers in jeopardy. People unknowingly consume THC and CBD, leading to intoxication. 

 

Delta-8 THC In Cannabis Edibles Intoxication 

 

Intoxication disturbs body functioning, and people, after consuming edible products of pot may develop delta-8 THC toxicity. They experience lethargy, slurred speech, uncoordinated movements, and low blood pressure.

ALSO READ: Former Hudson Valley Prison Transforming Into A New Cannabis Facility

People also develop decreased psychomotor activity, increased heart rate progression to slowed heart rate, and difficulty breathing. In some conditions, some individuals experience sedation and fall into a coma. 

 

According to the advisory, the health impacts of delta-8 THC are not available, due to a lack of research. It is not well-understood whether it is as damaging as delta-9 THC or is different from it. However, it is known that delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound capable of causing similar impairing effects as delta-9. 

 

Presence of Isomeric Compounds In Cannabis

 

Marijuana plants contain multiple isomers that exist in various parts of the plant. Some components have beneficial effects, and others have side effects. Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC are present in the cannabis plant naturally but only in small quantities. 

 

Delta-8 THC is present with 50 percent to 75 percent of the psychoactive punch as delta-9 THC. Various isomers of THC, including delta-8, and delta-9 come from the synthetic conversion of CBD. Cannabidiol is not psychoactive, but THC is. 

 

Delta-8 THC Containing Products Increasing In Marketplaces

 

The number of delta-8 THC-containing products is increasing in the marketplaces of both hemp and marijuana both. In some areas, sales of such items occur legally by following territorial, state, or tribal laws. According to the official CDC Health Advisory, most states and territories allow full or restricted marijuana marketplaces. In these states, hemp and its derived CBD items are undergoing sales process lawfully. 

 

The advisory also says that delta-8 THC-containing cannabis products are purchasable online. Moreover, marketing of these products occurs under the names “weed light” or “diet weed”. 

 

Many marijuana marketplaces contain several delta-8 THC-containing products, but the label mentions delta-9 THC only. The THC content in these products increases. Due to inaccurate labeling, consumers of cannabis edibles with delta-8 THC experience unexpected or increased THC intoxication.

 

CDC Reports And Delta-8 THC Containing Products

 

There is a large variety of delta-8 THC-containing marijuana products in the market. Vapes, smokeable marijuana sprayed with delta-8 THC extract, tinctures, and chocolates containing THC are in abundance in the market. Delta-8 THC contains distillates, gummies, infused beverages, and many more cannabis edible items that are purchasable from marketplaces.

ALSO READ: Cannabis Industry Welcomes Black Americans, But For Many Of Them Entry Price Is Steep

According to the advisory, there is no testing procedure available to determine the presence of delta-8 THC in marijuana edibles. Testing methods are in the development process and require research and time. Moreover, testing to determine the presence of contaminants does not occur due to a lack of advanced testing procedures. These contaminants like heavy metals, solvents, insecticides, or pesticides may cause adverse reactions in consumers. 

 

The CDC report indicates an increase in delta-8 THC intoxication cases. CDC gathers information from emergency departments participating in its National Syndrome Surveillance Program. 

 

Thirty-nine percent of the patients admitted to the emergency department due to delta-8 intoxication are younger than eighteen years of age. Eighteen percent of those taken to the emergency department require hospitalization to recover from in-toxicity of delta-8 THC.

Originally covered on: foodsafetynews

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Former Hudson Valley Prison Transforming Into A New Cannabis Facility

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Former Hudson Valley Prison Transforming Into A New Cannabis Facility

Growing and cultivating cannabis in Warwick is the new trend in the locality. The town is undergoing debating sessions on whether to permit marijuana dispensaries or not. 

 

The existing marijuana industry is looking for new market potentials and trying to get into new markets. Facilitating people legally by providing them high-quality weed products is the goal of many big marijuana companies.  

Cannabis firms are keeping a keen watch over states marijuana policies and legalization trends to expand their businesses. Local businesses are also interested in becoming a part of the quickly growing marijuana industry. 

 

The Green Thumb Industries are setting new marijuana cultivation and production unit at a former prison Hudson Valley in Warwick. The CEO of the Green Thumb Industries is Ben Kovler. On Thursday, September 9, Ben announced that the firm is beginning a production facility in that region. The company already has many cultivation and production facilities in fourteen states. The opening of a cannabis production and cultivation facility in Warwick will be beneficial for locals. Doing so will generate 100 permanent jobs at a minimum. 

 

The Warwick prison once holds 1000 inmates and it was a medium-security prison. By 2023 it will completely operate as a marijuana cultivation site. 

 

Cultivation Of Cannabis And Its Legalization

 

Multiple states including New York legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Marijuana industrialists are moving towards new marketplaces to expand their business. Green Thumb Industries is a Chicago-based cannabis operator. 

ALSO READ: New York Cannabis Industry And Park Strategies

They began construction of their cultivation and production facility on Thursday at the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility site. The site is located on John Hicks Drive, joining Citiva Medical. Moreover, Citiva Medical has already begun its greenhouse and processing unit for cannabis cultivation and processing.

 

The legislators of New York approves of the marijuana legalization bill this year. Adult use of weed items by individuals, above or equivalent to 21 years of age becomes legal. The approval of the legislation encourages manufacturers to start developing sites for cannabis cultivation and production in the area.

 

Employment And Cannabis

 

According to Ben Kovler, marijuana, employment, and the economy is a full-circle moment. Cresco Labs also propose the development of a marijuana cultivation facility. This facility will provide 300 to 400 jobs in 2022 once construction begins. 

 

The expansion of cannabis markets and industries increases the chances of individuals getting jobs. The number of employed individuals gets better with an increase in job opportunities. People begin to make a living as more marijuana firms develop and progress.

 

Kovler does not like that there is still a prison that has imprisoned inmates for marijuana activities. Individuals in the past for cultivating, possessing, or getting involved in marijuana activities were put into jail and are still there. There is also a need to do something about them and resolve the matters as now the nation legalizes cannabis.

 

More About Green Thumb Industries and Their Marijuana Services

 

The Green Thumb Industries has sixteen cultivation and processing facilities and sixty-four retail locations in fourteen different states. According to Ben Kovler, Green Thumb is one of the ten registered organizations permissible to participate in the medical cannabis program. 

 

The firm is investing $150 million to remodel the Orange County site. The construction of a cultivation facility will generate at least a hundred construction jobs. More than 100 permanent jobs creation will occur once they are ready to operate.

ALSO READ: Ban On Cannabis Marketing Via Billboards In Michigan

There is a need for supervisors, operational roles, managers, and general managers in the cannabis processing facility. According to Ben Kovler, it is time for individuals to learn skills with passion, and the firm can create a long-lasting career for them.

 

Recreational cannabis dispensaries will likely open by 2023. At the same time, Green Thumb products will be ready to make a launch on the market. Things are slowly progressing towards a better future for the cannabis industry. 

Originally covered on: timesunion

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