BC Decriminalizes Hard Drugs

beer

British Columbia has learned that punishing drug users doesn’t stop drug use or the negative impact drugs have on our society. The province decided to shift from a punishment approach to drug control to a health focussed approach, as in they will help people get off of drugs instead of incarcerating them. The first step in that process is to decriminalize the drugs in question, note this is not legalization (like alcohol and marijuana).

The goal of decriminalization is to reduce the harms of arrest and drug seizure on individual users, officials said, and to reduce the stigma around substance use that prevents people from seeking health care or accessing adequate housing and employment.

“In the short term, decriminalization will stop seizures and arrests and connect people with services and supports,” said Malcolmson, noting that reducing stigma will be a long-term goal.

Fear of arrest and of losing employment, housing or custody of children often prevents people who use drugs from accessing harm reduction and health supports, or from telling family and friends about their substance use.

Read more.

Canada Implements Handgun Ban

Mass shootings in the USA have tripled in the last few decades with mass shootings becoming an almost daily occurrence. Canadians are no strangers to mass shoutings either, with too many happening within the country. Obviously, that’s not good. The Canadian government has responded to this dangerous increase in firearm usage by banning certain guns, limiting others, eliminating toy guns that look like real ones, and to try and reduce the inflow of guns smuggled into the country from the States.

It’s good to see Canada acting to enforce existing laws while increasing limits on who can legally use a gun. In this case it’s a clear example of policy before police.

Canada’s government introduced legislation Monday to implement a “national freeze” on the sale and purchase of handguns as part of a gun control package that would also limit magazine capacities and ban some toys that look like guns.

Authorities do not expect a run on handguns in anticipation of the freeze, in part because they are so heavily regulated already, an official said in a briefing.

Read more.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions of American Diet Almost Halved

A simple diet change reduced diet-related greenhouse gas emissions of American adults between 2003 and 2018. The carobon footprint of their diets fell from 4 kilograms of CO2 equivalent to 2.45 kg CO2e over the 15 year study period. All it took was a slight reduction in meat consumption.

As an individual one of the biggest things you can do in the face of climate change is to change your diet. It’s easy and saves you money!

The main reason for this decline emerged clearly in the data: over this same period, daily beef consumption plummeted by an average 40% per person, which accounted for nearly half of the diet-related dip in emissions. But it wasn’t just beef: the data showed a slow shift away from all animal-based foods, including dairy, eggs, chicken, and pork—all of which US citizens gradually consumed less of in 2018 than 2003. 

This overall shift away from meat occurred slowly but steadily: on average, the food-related carbon footprint of US consumers declined by 127 grams each year of the study period.

Read more.

Sydney Scientist Sorts SIDS

pollinator

Thanks to the tireless efforts of a scientist in Sydney we now know a key factor that causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The worst thing that can happen to parents is an unexplained passing of their baby, as a result parents are constantly concerned that their child may fall victim to SIDS. Knowing what works to prevent SIDS will bring relief to parents and save infants.

The butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) enzyme is lower in babies who suffered SIDS than other babies. Knowing this connection means infants can be screened for now and a solution will be easier to find in the future.

“Now that we know that BChE is involved, we can begin to change the outcome for these babies and make SIDS a thing of the past.”

It is hoped the finding could lead to the development of a screening test in a few years’ time.

Hailed as a “game-changer” to “every parent’s worst nightmare”, the discovery of BChE also provides answers to parents, like Dr Harrington, whose healthy babies died “on their watch”.

Read more.

How Drones Logistics Redefined Blood Delivery in Rwanda

Delivering good is always a challenge, and it’s a particularly hard challenge in a mountainous country like Rwanda. An ambitious company known as Zipline noticed that drones could solve this geographic challenge by just going over the terrain. And if it works, they should deliver one of the most time sensitive cargo that exists: blood. Now when a rural health clinic needs new blood they call Zipline who dispatch a drone.

Their system is efficient, safe, and is a good model for other countries with similar logistic challenges.

“It’s so good. And it’s not just good for Rwanda,” says Timothy Amukele, a pathologist who is not involved with the research team or Zipline, but who previously ran a medical drone group with projects in Namibia and Uganda. (Amukele is currently the global medical director for ICON Laboratory Services, which helps run clinical trials.) Drone applications for global medicine have been touted for years, but researchers have lacked concrete data to back up that promise, says Amukule: “This is more than just guys playing with toys.”

“Drones are not easy,” he continues. “To actually make this a success, where they’re getting blood and packing it safely and releasing the drones and monitoring the flight and bringing them back—and for five years covering 80 percent of that country—it’s just really impressive.”

Read more.

Scroll To Top
%d bloggers like this: