Month: January 2020

The father of cannabis research: Q&A with Raphael Mechoulam

∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) David Gorelick: How did it all begin? Raphael Mechoulam: It all started from a fateful bus ride in 1964, when I brought 5 kilo of Lebanese hashish I received from the Israeli Police to my laboratory at the Weitzman Institute in Rehovot. With that material we were able to isolate and identify the psychoactive component in Cannabis, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), that had eluded scientists for decades. The rest, shall we say, is history. DG: What developments in cannabis research do you think are particularly exciting? RM: I think there should be more focus on the acidic precursors of...

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Ivermectin: inhibiting transmission of the malaria parasite beyond insecticidal activity

(Courtesy of Hurd laboratory) Malaria is a parasitic disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to their mammalian hosts by the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Strategies aimed at controlling malaria include efforts towards blocking this crucial step of the parasite’s life cycle. This can be achieved by measures targeting the mosquito through the use of insecticides, or by strategies aimed at preventing the parasite from developing inside its mosquito vector, a multi-step process known as sporogony. But what if both could be done at the same time? Ivermectin is a member of the avermectin family of...

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The aging-simulation experience: an innovative educational training to enhance health professionals’ empathy towards older patients

© gradyreese / Getty Images / iStock Functional and sensory limitations, such as decreased hearing and vision, difficulties with mobility, disturbed balance, and loss of fine sensitivity are very common with advancing age. Indeed, after the age of 80, about 30% of individuals present three or more limitations. Unfortunately, many health professionals working with older patients are not sufficiently aware of the impact of these difficulties on daily living. As a result, they may adopt inappropriate attitudes towards older persons they care for, such as lack of patience or empathy. The aging-simulation experience is a promising method to make...

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Mitigating Violence against Women and Children in East Africa

More than a third of women worldwide – within every culture, race, ethnicity, and throughout every socioeconomic class – have experienced some form of sexual or physical violence or abuse from partners or ex-partners These incidents, referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), severely affect not only the women themselves but also the children and infants within their families. In our new paper in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, our team examined the prevalence of IPV among women and its association with rates of mortality among neonates, infants, and children less than five years of age. We focused on the...

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Looking beyond physical health for World Cancer Day 2020

© / February 4th, 2020 is the midpoint of the Union for International Cancer Control’s (UICC) three-year call-to-action of ‘I Am and I Will’. The theme of World Cancer Day 2020 asks for personal, collective and government pledges to raise awareness, reduce deaths, and improve quality of life for those affected by a cancer diagnosis. The impact of cancer beyond physical health and equity in access to care are key issues named by the UICC, and the focus of many clinical trials registered in the ISRCTN registry. Beyond the physical impact A cancer diagnosis has an effect...

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