A new study suggests the active ingredient in marijuana delays the rejection of incompatible organs in mice. The results were published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
For the study, researchers transplanted the skin from one group of mice to a group of genetically different mice. The incompatible skin was treated with either a placebo or THC, the active compound in cannabis.
Due to the genetically different nature of the transplants, the mice's immune systems should have recognised the tissue as foreign and rejected it. However, the THC-treated transplants delayed rejection of the skin grafts when compared to the placebo group.
"We are excited to demonstrate for the first time that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in the prolongation of rejection of a foreign graft by suppressing immune response in the recipient," said Mitzi Nagarkatti, co-author of the study from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, in a statement.
If the same holds true for humans, THC could be used as an anti-rejection therapy – especially for patients whose transplanted organ is not adapting well to its new host.
"This opens up a new area of research that would lead to better approaches to prevent transplant rejection as well as to treat other inflammatory diseases,” added Nagarkatti.
To delve into this connection further, the researchers examined the possible reason for this delayed rejection. It turns out, the active ingredient in marijuana reduced T-cell proliferation and decreased early stage rejection-indicator cytokines.
"More and more research is identifying potential beneficial effects of substances contained in marijuana, but a major challenge has been identifying the molecular pathways involved," said John Wherry, deputy editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, in the statement. "These new studies point to important roles for the cannabinoid receptors as targets that might be exploited using approaches that refine how we think about substances derived from marijuana."
As this study was only performed on mice, more research is needed to determine if the results can be replicated in humans. Transplant patients should only use marijuana with their physician's consent and in accordance to local laws.
The Canadian Paediatric Society has released an updated statement re-affirming its position against routine circumcision for newborn males.
The society said recent evidence about the potential health benefits associated with circumcision prompted them to undergo a review of the current medical research. Its last position statement on the matter was published in 1996.
While medical literature has pointed to potential health benefits of circumcision, including the prevention of urinary tract infections and some sexually transmitted infections, the benefits generally don't outweigh the risks, the society said.
"While there may be a benefit for some boys in high risk populations and the procedure could be considered as a treatment or to reduce disease, in most cases, the benefits of circumcision do not outweigh the risks," Dr. Thierry Lacaze, chair of the CPS Fetus and Newborn Committee, said in a separate statement released Tuesday.
The updated statement also included the following recommendations:
Circumcision has become a contentious issue in Canada, as it raises ethical and legal considerations, in part "because it has lifelong consequences and is performed on a child who cannot give consent," the statement said.
However, waiting until a child is old enough to give consent can increase risks, as doctors recommend the surgery be performed within the first week of life.
While circumcision used to be quite popular in Canada starting in the 1950s, rates have declined over the past decades to the current average of 32 per cent, CPS said.
Laith Majid and his family have arrived in Berlin, after images of the father tearfully clutching his children sparked awareness of Europe’s refugee crisis
A Syrian man who was pictured weeping as he and his family reached the Greek island of Kos last month has arrived in Berlin, it has been reported.
The family – Laith Majid, his wife, Nada Adel, their sons Moustafa, aged 18, Ahmed, 17, and Taha, nine, along with seven-year-old daughter Nour – travelled for weeks to reach Germany, Bild newspaper said.
The Facebook group Europe says Oxi posted a picture of the family in Berlin, smiling and laughing in sharp contrast to the images that last month prompted awareness of the mounting crisis as refugees headed for Europe’s borders.
The family are reported to be staying in Spandau, in the former Schmidt-Knobelsdorf police barracks, which have been adapted to house hundreds of refugees who have made their way to Germany.
Majid and his family had fled Islamic State in Deir Ezzor, a Syrian city beset by civil war violence since 2011, before boarding a flimsy inflatable raft – built for four people but carrying 12 – to Kos. They paid US$6,500 for the perilous trip across the water.
Daniel Etter, the photographer who took the image for the New York Times, reported: “When the boat landed, a middle-aged man got out. He was visibly shaken, and had a hard time walking. When all his family finally reached the safety of the beach, he and his wife broke down in tears, hugging every single one of their children.”
Etter helped the family to the main city of Kos, where refugees are processed by the Greek authorities, but later lost track of them.
Nada Adel, an English teacher in , said 13 governments had offered to take them but they had decided on Germany. “Angela Merkel is very good,” she said. “She is like a mother for us.”
Merkel, the German chancellor, has said refugees from Syria can apply for asylum in Germany, rather than the first EU country they arrive in.
The family said seven-year-old Nour still has nightmares about their night spent crossing the water. “We’ll never go back to sea,” Majid told Bild.
Enjoy Revolutionary Way of Living in Grand Heights
These minion nail designs are far from despicable. If you're a minion maniac, you'll want to try one of these manis right away. Minion nail designs are simple to do at home yourself and, as you'll see from the designs, are easy to personalize. Customize a minion nail design to match an upcoming holiday that will make all your friends stop and say, "Ooooooo". So grab a banana (hey, everyone needs a little extra potassium, right?) and your best yellow polish to design your own minion nails.
1. The gang's all here!
Kevin, Stuart and Bob are here and ready to eat all the bananas.
Remember to stop and look at the sky tonight to witness one of the biggest and fullest moons of the year -- known as a "supermoon."
A supermoon occurs when a full moon or new moon is closest to Earth and comes within 224,834 miles of us, which will happen six times this year, according to earthsky.org.
Tonight's supermoon will be during a full moon.
But if you miss tonight's supermoon, don't worry. The next one is just one month away, on Sept. 28.