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Should Colleges Consider Making Marijuana Part Of Their Course?

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With around 25 states who have allowed marijuana use, it is safe to say that Marijuana is legal in numerous parts of the United States. The business experts and stakeholders view the cannabis industry as one of the most critical industries on the rise in the U.S. Seeing its potential, a few colleges and universities in America have made this subject as a part of their course. This will enable students to understand and apply their practical knowledge and skills in the ever-emerging industry.

The colleges offering this as a course includes mostly Californian colleges. A few educators are seeking to teach students in the Department of Horticulture about various growth culture techniques in the hydroponic greenhouse area. This is a technique that users employ for growing their marijuana indoors. However, they are not bringing up the subject of the matter, cannabis, as being the model for the controlled study. They use alternative models, such as basil. This is because the federal government has not officially cleared substance use as a legal activity in all aspects.

Drug-free campuses are still hesitating

Moreover, the staff says that since the campuses are drug-free, they can not merely confer for growing a substance on their campus premises as a model, even if it is for teaching purposes. This is the reason why they have not entitled their course description with the substance name. However, they are quite hopeful about the potential the job sector in the marijuana industry the near future holds.

Colleges are aware of the potential

A few colleges have kept this potential in minds and so have entered it in their credit courses with an experimental approach. It will be a permanent and integral part of their class from the following year. The driving force behind this movement is the ethical and cultural shift holing a strong influence on society. These courses teach students the skills and techniques that they require in the growing market.

There is a dire need to incorporate it in the course curriculum

Despite all the potential it holds, the number of accredited institutes offering proper courses is quite less. The Humboldt State website acknowledges the importance of the substance and its strong uphold in the industry. It also highlights the scientific researches of issues concerning cannabis. However, it does not offer any additional training classes as a part of its course for now.

In the areas where there is a growing trend of cultivating the substance, universities such as Sonoma State University or UC Santa Cruz express that they have not employed the credit courses. The reason for that is that they will choose the official money from the Federal Government to conduct proper researches that serve as an integral part of their course. They do not want to risk the studies as they fear to lose the funds once the studies do not get support from the government.

Oaksterdam University, Oakland, has also been providing training of the subject to their students. There has been a proper technique, and skill credit course taught there for more than ten years. Unfortunately, in 2012, law enforcement agencies raided them for practicing the currently illegal activity in their institute. However, the institute has not called it quits, and it highly believes in the importance of this subject.

According to them, all mainstream colleges should feel it essential to include this subject in their higher education courses. Many of the students who are currently learning about the industry are determined to become professional pot farmers. This unleashes new ways of introducing unique aspects of holistic and homeopathic medicine. More students taking an interest in the field will open up new dimensions on the outlook of this ever emerging industry.

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‘Recovered’ Coronavirus Patients Are Being Tested Positive Again

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While the coronavirus is still creating havoc across the world, many authorities are taking active measures to overcome this pandemic. With the rapid spread of the COVID-19, the authorities have no choice but to take harsher measures, in an attempt to reduce the increasing number of COVID-19 infected cases. As the highly infectious disease takes lives of over 23,000 people worldwide with the increasing number of infected cases, the number of recovered cases is another figure that deserves just as much attention.

China has declared the recovery of over 74,000 cases alone that were recovered and virus-free. These patients could help the researchers for the invention of vaccines and treatments that could treat more severe cases. However, the doctors were puzzled as they found out that some of the recovered patients that were discharged from the hospital, were later were tested positive for the COVID-19. Thankfully, there isn’t much to panic about because there seem to be several explanations as to why a patient might test positive for the virus, even after the recovery, according to experts

According to official reports, more than 100 COVID-19 patients in China were called in for testing, after being “recovered” and discharged from the hospital, and were tested positive again. Two such cases were found in Japan and South Korea. One such case in South Korea was a patient who was tested positive after five negative results. This surprising case also occurred in Italy- the second-largest number of confirmed infected cases in the world. Another case was the 40-year old male who was “patient zero” in Turin but is now in isolation after being tested positive for the virus again.

The recovery of the patient was declared by Professor Giovanni Di Perri – the virologist and the person in charge of the infectious disease section of Amedeo Di Savoia. According to Di Perri, an oscillation between positivity and negativity can be expected to be seen in these cases, which happens after other infections. However, doctors will continue testing the patient.

Other professionals who talked to the LA Times, had somewhat shown agreement to Di Perri’s claims, about patients who were tested positive again after recovery. The general agreement was regarding the concept that the body gains immunity after an infection. Hence, an occurrence of reinfection is not the necessary possible meaning of another positive test. According to the director of Hong Kong University’s School of Public Health, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, reinfection is unusual when the patient’s immune system is revved up against a virus that the patient was infected with – unless the patient’s immune system’s functionality was questionable.

Experts say that the detection of the virus during the chemical reaction of the COVID-19 test is the possible presence of dormant fragments of the virus in the recovered patient. A sequence of genomes of both infections would be the best way to prove reinfection – to be able to look for any differences that would support the idea of the mutation of the virus that helped it avoid the immune system’s antibodies, according to Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Clifford Lane.

Potential explanations for the unusual cases could also be human errors and issues with testing. Due to the overwhelming situation in hospitals in China, the possibility of patients being discharged before being fully healed also exists. Based on the statement of Chinese authorities, the general agreement would be that these cases aren’t a source of danger to the general public. However, with the existing ambiguity of the virus, it might be too early to say anything.

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Experts Say Mapping of Cannabis Genome Could Potentially Improve Crops And Health

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Assigning/locating a specific gene to a particular region of a chromosome, along with the determination o the location and relative distances between genes on the chromosome, is what the process of genome mapping is. Researchers are now emphasizing on the importance of cannabis genome mapping in order to improve crops and health.

According to the recently published international study that the researchers of the University of Saskatchewan led, a coordinated scientific effort to assemble and map the cannabis genome, would be required to explore the complete potential of cannabis for agriculture and human health.

Moreover, the Annual Review of Plant Biology published a statistical analysis of existing data and studies, where the authors concluded that there are indeed large gaps in the scientific knowledge of this high-demand, multi-purpose crop. According to the authors, genomics has immense importance in the development of any crop, and the analysis underlines how essential a co-ordinated effort is, in order to quantify the genetic and biochemical diversity of this species.

According to a team of scientists from The Netherlands, Germany, and the U.S., it was estimated that less than 50 percent of the cannabis genome is accurately mapped, while 10 percent of the genome is missing, leaving a further 10 to 25 percent of genome unmapped. Lead author and plant scientist in the USask College of Agriculture and Bioresources, Tim Sharbel, concluded that it shows the lack of foundation we have, to build a molecular breeding program that could be comparable to what exists for other crops.

According to Sharbel, these findings are expected to be the foundation of several types of research that the USask-led Cannabinoid Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (CRIS) will conduct. USask researchers from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, College of Medicine, and the School of Environment and Sustainability, will also be involved in the multi-disciplinary team. The author also stressed on the importance of these data, which was required to be able to set up a core collection of genotypes so that the various cannabis traits can be further studied.

The author has been working on medicinal plants, for 15 years in Europe. He added that the emergence of the cannabis industry is a good sign for the accomplishment of the larger goal- to normalize the use of traditional medicinal plants.

Medicinal Purposes of Cannabis

The author had also talked about the increase in the interest of companies in medical applications of cannabis that the recent societal and governmental acceptance of cannabis spurred. He is currently focusing on his academic research that will map, contrast and make complete use of the closely related genome of cannabis, hemp, and hops, and is consequently on the hunt for collaborators in order to fund this research.

Cannabis as a Food Source

In the light of the limited data that currently exists, the researchers discovered the support for the potential that cannabis could have, to provide health benefits along with treatments for pain, spasticity in multiple sclerosis, and opioid use minimization.

Despite this, the negative short-term effects of THC – the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, cannot be ignored. The short-term effects include decreased cognitive function, increased anxiety and fatigue, addiction, and potential long-term consequences that include permanent loss of memory, intelligence, mental focus, and judgment.

According to the author, like any other investigation of any other novel drug, the recognition of the potential benefits and associated risks, of cannabis and cannabinoids, is essential.

Furthermore, the team had noted the evidence of the possibility of developing hemp-type cannabis, that could be highly digestible as well as a protein-rich food source, and was expected to not be the cause of any allergic reactions.

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COVID-19 Infects Thousands of Health Care Workers

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To battle the COVID-19, the population is majorly relying on the health care workers. Consequently, interacting with patients suffering from a contagious virus, leaves them as the most vulnerable. 20% of the globally infected cases (1,701) during the SARS coronavirus epidemic in 2003, were health care workers.

While age is a focal risk factor for the COVID-19, health workers of any age are extremely vulnerable. Hazardous consequences of the virus do not limit itself to the individuals infected. The capacity of the health care system is incredibly affected after every case of COVID-19 in a healthcare worker.

Health workers consequently risk exposure to viral particles more than the general public, and can possibly result in worse cases. For this reason, a large number of younger Chinese doctors have died.

Moreover, with the number of patients increasing, protective equipments are facing shortage. Meanwhile, less developed parts of the worlds, have fewer and/or inadequate health care facilities, along with overburdened staff that result in exceptionally high risks. The added stress and long duty hours only increases the vulnerability of the immune systems of health workers. Eventually, hospitals turn into a hub for the transmission of COVID-19.

Numerous doctors in Wuhan died due to the COVID-19, but were the first to raise the alarm, despite being silenced by Chinese authorities.

However, many institutions can fail in providing protection to their health care workers. Two nurses IN Dallas, were infected with Ebola in 2014, and while CDC had claimed it to be a result of breach in protocol, the nurses explained how there were no established protocols in the first place. The CDC repeated this with a Californian nurse who requested a test after developing symptoms of COVID-19 after dealing with an infected patient.

China had insisted that 13 was the number of infected doctors, causing everyone to think that the spread within hospitals could be prevented by the standard protocol and was not a concern – for six weeks.

However, on the day of February 14th, the number had jumped to 1,716 and by February 20th, the World Health Organization had reported 2,055 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases among health workers only. The estimated number had come up to 3,200 by March 3rd.

On the contrary, Italy had been reporting high rates of infected health care workers. They reported about 8.5 percent of their total infected cases, to be health workers, which would be 20 percent of their health care workforce. Meanwhile in Spain, over 4,000 infected cases had been found in the health care workforce.

Unfortunately, no matter what circumstances, the risk factor, less or more, will always exist for health care workers due to the nature of their job and workplace environment. Performing certain tasks like CPR, intubation, ventilation, and resuscitation, require the worker to maintain less than a safe distance between them and the patient. Hence, the best of circumstances do not exist.

Even today, there is a shortage of N95 masks, gowns, suits, and goggles, causing an increase in risks and uncertainty for the health care workers.

A shortage of staff (either the infected victims or the ones unwilling to take substantial risks) could cause redundancy of perfect supply chains, with more beds, more hospitals etc. Even If health workers were the only one to receive vaccines, it would still lessen the risk of the collapse of the health systems. However, CEO of a vaccine company has told the financiers that a potential vaccine for the COVID-19 is expected to be available to some health workers.

When there will be no doctors to treat, and no nurses to care, the death rates will increase exponentially – from COVID-19 along with the other usual killers.

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