University of Canterbury 6 May 2020Family First Comment: New Zealand based research…“there is already strong evidence that chronic, heavy use of cannabis can increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression and schizophrenia. It is also associated with heart disease. This study shows how cannabis use is linked to changes in gene pathways that may explain the link between heavy cannabis use and those adverse health outcomes.”Heavy cannabis use has an impact on human DNA but the effect is stronger in people who smoke tobacco as well, according to new University of Canterbury (UC) research.The study, recently published in Translational Psychiatry, investigates how heavy cannabis use can lead to alterations in “DNA methylation” – chemical changes in the body that influence how our genes work.UC College of Science lecturer Dr Amy Osborne, lead author of the UC study, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Otago Christchurch, University of Otago, and ESR, says there is already strong evidence that chronic, heavy use of cannabis can increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression and schizophrenia. It is also associated with heart disease.“This study shows how cannabis use is linked to changes in gene pathways that may explain the link between heavy cannabis use and those adverse health outcomes,” she says. “However, in terms of the effect on the genome and DNA methylation, cannabis appears to have a distinct and somewhat more subtle effect than tobacco. It’s not altering gene pathways to the same extent, but it does affect them in very specific ways.”The 48 subjects in the new research – all heavy cannabis users – were members of the Christchurch Health and Development longitudinal study. Blood samples were taken when they were aged 28 and analysed for DNA methylation differences between cannabis users and non-users.The biggest changes were in those who smoked tobacco as well as cannabis, but there was also evidence of distinct and specific DNA alterations in those who smoked only cannabis, compared to non-users.The most affected genes were identified as those involved in brain and heart function.READ MORE: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/news/2020/new-uc-study-finds-heavy-cannabis-use-affects-human-genome.html
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is officially out indefinitely following successful surgery to repair a compound fracture sustained during Monday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania. The team also received some good news: Doctors reportedly found no nerve or muscle damage. Nurkic was injured during the second overtime, fracturing both his tibia and fibula on the left leg.Nurkic was taken to an area hospital immediately after the game. Rip City, as well as the rest of the league, wishes the best for Nurkic, who has had an incredibly productive season up to this point. Our Managing Editor Dave Deckard provided his thoughts about last night’s events earlier today.On Monday morning, the Blazers announced that Nurkic suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula and will be out indefinitely as he works his way back to full health.Nonetheless, the loss is a big one for the Blazers, who are in the midst of a fight for homecourt advantage in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Blazers head coach Terry Stots called the injury – and the resulting loss of Nurkic’s services – “devastating,” while Blazers All-Star guard Dame Lillard felt physically ill for his teammate.“It made me sick to my stomach,” Lillard said on the injury, via ESPN. “I think he tried to tip it in, he crashed the glass and I saw him hit the ground and roll over real quick, and I thought maybe he got hit in the face or something again. As I was walking over there, I saw everybody else turn around real quick and walk away, and then I looked and saw his leg — and you just hate to see that happen to him.
McDonald trailed in seventh (46.79 seconds) in the men’s 400m race won by American class act LaShawn Merritt, who notched a meeting record of 44.66. Second was Belgium’s Kevin Borlee (45.26), while Isaac Makwala of Botswana (45.38) came in third. The Diamond League has grown in importance over the years and Africa hosting an event is confirmation of the League’s growing status. The competition gathers the best athletes from around the world to compete in a series of rounds, from May-September, divided over four continents. Morocco was rewarded for its efforts with a local winner. Abdelaati Iguider won the 3000m to get the crowd to fever pitch, while rising to their feet and applauding the middle-distance runner for a stunning effort. With Africa staging its very first Diamond League meeting, there is scope for other countries from the continent to do the same. The meeting in Morocco also serves notice that the Caribbean, and Jamaica in particular, cannot be too far away themselves from replicating what took place in Africa. STEWART THIRD Thompson’s experienced compatriot Kerron Stewart came home third (11.19). Separating the two Jamaicans was Nigerian Blessing Okagbare-Ighotegu (11.11), who is still in the formative stages of her campaign. The long journey to the continent clearly did Stewart no favours and she said afterwards: “To come over here with jet lag and line up with the girls and compete was OK.” The event was the ninth edition of the Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athletisme, the third leg of the 2016 Diamond League tour. The series provided athletes with the top-level competition required in Olympic year. Making inroads with Diamond points is Jamaican Janieve Russell, who took the 400m hurdles race with ease. The Jamaican saw off the highly regarded American, Cassandra Tate, to well and truly get her season up and running. Russell is clearly an improving athlete. She caught the eye at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow when she claimed 400m hurdles bronze and a 4x400m relay gold. She was to impress again in Rabat. Russell, while not totally happy with her effort, indicated that her win was another useful stepping stone to the Olympic Games to be staged in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “I was not concentrating on running a fast time today (personal-best 54.16). I just wanted to get on top of this race. This didn’t feel like windy conditions at all to me. “This is the kind of weather that we know in Jamaica. I want to continue lowering my times in the next races. ” Rome will be the next occasion to do so. “It’s great to compete with my countrymen, but it’s also hard to try and get on the team for the Olympics,” she confessed. While Thompson, Stewart and Russell all had a reasonably good day, that was not the case for Rusheen McDonald. NOT SO GOOD FOR MCDONALD RABAT, Morocco: It was a highly successful day for Jamaican athletes at Africa’s inaugural Diamond League meeting yesterday. African track and field took a massive step as the Moroccan capital of Rabat hosted some of the world’s best athletes – and there is the rich promise of so much more from the continent in terms of this prestigious invitational series. A three-quarters full Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium was the venue for the occasion and as this historic meeting got under way, there was an unforgettable din that greeted the participants. As ever, Jamaican athletes shone during the increasingly popular Diamond League. Sprint queen-in-waiting Elaine Thompson took the 100m in a meeting best time of 11.02 seconds. The 200m World Championships silver medallist got out of the blocks smartly and dominated her opponents from there. “It’s my first time in Morocco. It feels good to be here. I did my best and it paid off. I broke the meeting record,” Thompson, of whom so much is expected, said after her impressive victory. “I am aspiring to make it to the gold medal at the Olympic Games,” she added. Of the microscope that she is now under, Thompson confessed: “When you are performing and delivering, certainly people will look at you and expect certain things. “But I want to just go out there and do my best to please myself and others.”