Researchers at the University of Minnesota are getting closer to
clinical trials of a vaccine for opioid addiction.
Three studies published in the past six months show incremental
success, including one in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental
Therapeutics that demonstrated that a vaccine could prevent oxycodone
and heroin opioid molecules from reaching the brain.
"We are getting closer," said Marco Pravetoni, the lead researcher who
has been studying a vaccine to treat addiction for 10 years.
A vaccine to confront addiction might sound unusual, but it would work
like any vaccine by stimulating the immune system to produce
antibodies. Instead of targeting influenza or poliovirus, the
antibodies would be coaxed to bind to opioid molecules and prevent
them from crossing the bloodstream barrier to the brain.
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With decriminalization advancing coast to coast, legalized pot appears
on its way, and Minnesota will light up the debate this year. Change
I don't smoke marijuana. There are secret purchases required, plus the
learning of code, dealer etiquette, dosing expertise, exotic strains,
the latest artisanal delivery systems, and it all sounds way too
Also, because it's easy to forget this detail, pot is illegal.
But even if pot were decriminalized tomorrow - a proposal on the table
at the State Capitol - the chances of my racing out to score some
"Chronicles of Narnia" and then heading home to roll up a fatty are,
well, slim. Unlike Bill Clinton, the one time I did blaze up, over 20
years ago, I inhaled quite deeply enough to find the effect
unpleasant. Some of us have all the feelings of alienation and
existential weirdness you could ask for, thank you very much.
[continues 2267 words]
Latest stops in northwestern Minnesota show surge of drug traffic into
It seemed like an innocuous driving violation: A woman was motoring
through Otter Tail County in northwestern Minnesota with an obstructed
license plate. Then the observant state trooper discovered she was
sitting on packages of marijuana.
Troopers seized more than 300 pounds of the weed during the stop last
Friday, the latest of several large pot busts the State Patrol has
made in the past few weeks and a sign that the surge of large
quantities of pot and illegal drugs into Minnesota is continuing.
[continues 329 words]
There aren't a lot of concrete answers as to why marijuana transactions
are deadlier, but there are theories.
The morning Kim Ambers turned 50, her oldest son, Richard Ambers,
called to wish her a happy birthday. I love you, he told her.
It was a tradition for the Ambers family members to see one another on
birthdays, but Kim Ambers' celebration would have to wait. Richard was
working and had a Halloween party afterward. The whole family would go
out for breakfast the next day, on Oct. 29, 2016.
[continues 1106 words]