Much of the current opioid crisis is based on people not being fully aware of what they are consuming,” Mr. Gebeyehu says. “We have seen a large amount of heroin being sold that doesn’t contain any heroin at all. What has been sold to users as heroin has in fact been solely fentanyl or a mixture of some sort.”
BaySpec, this cutting-edge device has been set up in a supervised injection site at Ottawa’s Sandy Hill Community Health Centre through a research project between Carleton and the University of Ottawa. When clients come in to use the supervised facilities, they can offer up a trace sample of their drug, then sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the technician as it is scanned.
Clients then must decide what to do with this information, will they continue to inject and use, are they are going to leave the sample with researchers to have it destroyed by the Ottawa police service, or are they going to maybe change the supplier they get their drugs from?
U of Ottawa assistant professor Lynne Leonard is the project lead. She says the service has already met with excellent response. Research gathered from this project will allow them to evaluate if the service is changing people’s behavior. “If they know there is fentanyl in what they thought was heroin, or if the heroin turns out to be cocaine, is this information changing their behavior?” Clients say they will spread the word about this research.
Researchers at MIT have been working on a chip that could one day be offered to patients with suspected gastrointestinal bleeds instead of an endoscopy. The researchers have created a prototype of the chip that can be swallowed like a pill, sampling a patient’s gastrointestinal environment for signs of bleeding as it travels through their digestive system.
The chip doesn’t just rely on electronic components to do its work, however: it has an army of bacterial sentinels too. The chip has four wells filled with genetically-engineered bacteria that are designed to react to haem, a protein found in red blood cells. If the bacteria in the chip encounter any haem, they express a genetic circuit that causes them to bioluminesce — that is, if they see blood, the bacteria light up.
The researchers predict that it could take between five and 10 years before the pill could be used commercially. One of the key challenges that will need to be addressed is the size of the pill, which is currently around 3cm by 1cm. While it can be swallowed at that size, for people with damaged gastrointestinal tracts, there’s a risk that its dimensions could cause complications, so future work will look to shrink the device to more manageable levels. In future, the pill could also potentially be fuelled by a voltaic cell that generates energy from the acid environment of the stomach — a pH that’s so low it’s not found anywhere else in the body.
The breath test takes 4 minutes by sticking a Hound cartridge in the handheld unit and blowing on the tube for 30 seconds. Then removing the cartridge and inserting it into the larger unit called a breath processor. The Hound breathalyzer doesn’t report THC consumption levels, just its presence. Measuring THC is much trickier than alcohol. Alcohol is measured in parts per thousand, but because THC is about a billion times less concentrated than alcohol, the Hound has to measure the psychoactive marijuana component in parts per trillion.
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration(NHTSA)’s Crash Risk Study was inconclusive about whether marijuana impairment “contributes to the occurrence of vehicle crashes.”
A cubicle-free workplace without private offices is supposed to force employees to collaborate however it does not