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Jaya.R Simkhada, Seung.S. Cho, Hong.S. Choi, Si.W. Kim, Oh.H. Lee, Jae.K. Sohng, Jin.C. Yoo
Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering, 15(4), 595-602. doi:10.1007/s12257-010-0013-3, 2010.
Abstract A phospholipase D (PLD628), constitutively secreted by Streptomyces sp. CS628, was purified by ion exchange with CM Trisacryl and gel filtration with Sepharose CL-6B. The enzyme production was highest with peptone and starch as nitrogen and carbon sources, and at 30°C with an initial medium pH of 7.5. Molecular weight, optimum pH, optimum temperature, pH stability, and thermostability of the enzyme were 50 kDa, pH 9.6, 30°C, pH 5.7 ∼ 10.6 and ≤30°C, respectively. Detergents and metal ions had varied effects on the enzyme activity. Importantly, PLD628 could not catalyze transphosphatidylation of glycerol, L-serine, myo-inositol or ethanolamine, which are extensively used to assess the activity, suggesting that PLD628 lacks the transphosphatidylation activity. PLD628 could be a novel PLD based on its biochemical characteristics, which are significantly different from previously reported PLDs, such as thermolability, highest activity at alkaline pH, and lack of transphosphatidylation activity.
DRUGS-EDUCATION PREVENTION AND POLICY, 18(1), 53-59. doi:10.3109/09687630903508554, 2010.
Abstract: The Traveller community was traditionally protected from drug use by distinct traditional anti-drug norms and potent family networks within their ‘separateness’ from the ‘settled’ community. Estimations of Traveller substance use remain clouded due to lack of ethnic monitoring in drug reporting systems, and poor service utilization by Travellers. This article draws on a Traveller and substance use regional needs analysis in Ireland, comprising 12 Traveller focus groups and 45 interviews with key stakeholders. Drug activity in terms of both drug dealing and drug use among Travellers is increasing in recent years [Van Hout, M.C. (2009a). Substance misuse in the traveller community: A regional needs assessment. Western Regional Drug Task Force. Series 2. ISBN 978-0-9561479-2-9]. Traditional resiliency factors are dissipating in strength due to increased Traveller housing within marginalized areas experiencing drug activity and increased levels of young Travellers encountering youth drug use within school settings, by way of their attempts ‘to fit in’ and integrate with their ‘settled peers’ [Van Hout, M.C. (2009b). Irish travellers and drug use – An exploratory study. Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, 2(1), 42–49]. Fragmentation of Traveller culture is occurring as Travellers strive to retain their identity within the assimilation process into modern sedentarist Irish society. Treatment and outreach policies need to protect Traveller identity by reducing discriminatory experiences, promoting cultural acceptance with service staff and addressing literacy, implementing peer led approaches and offering flexible therapy modalities.
DRUGS-EDUCATION PREVENTION AND POLICY, 18(2), 124-131. doi:10.3109/09687631003649371, 2010.
Abstract: Prevalence surveys in Ireland indicate an increased trend of youth drug use with rural areas reporting comparable drug availability and prevalence of use in urban settings (Currie, C., Nic Gabhainn, S., Godeau, E., Roberts, C., Smith, R., & Currie, D. (Eds.). (2008). Inequalities in young people's health: HBSC international report from the 2005/2006 survey. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe). Few studies have explored the contexts and meaning of drug use on rural youth transitions in terms of increased drug prevalence, recent influx of rural drug activity, normative tolerance of recreational drug consumption and fragmentation of traditional rural communities. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 220 young people (15–17 years), and 78 service providers in a rural area of Ireland, in order to yield contextualized narratives of their experiences of drug use and achieve a wider exploration of processes, drug transitions and realities of rural youth. The thematic analysis of the research described varied pathways, attitudes and typologies of rural youth drug use, ranging from abstinent, recreational and moderated to maturing out. The research suggests support for a ‘differentiated’ normalization theory (Shildrick, T. (2002). Young people, illicit drug use and the question of normalisation theory. Journal of Youth Studies, 5, 35–48) in terms of consumerist and normative rural youth drug use transitions in their negotiation of risk within integrating rural and urban dichotomies. In conclusion, it is recommended that drug education programmes need to situate localized rural drug taking behaviours within a wider understanding of rural community life.
Dr Caryl Beynon, Jim McVeigh, Ayesha Hurst, Adam Marr
International Journal of Drug Policy. 21 (5), 429-31, 2010.
Abstract: Background: The study examines the age at which drug users die and ascertains whether there is a significant difference in the causes of death (‘drug related’ versus ‘non-drug related’) according to age. Methods: Details of people reported to the North West of England's National Drug Treatment Monitoring System as dying (years 2003/2004–2007/2008) were matched by the Office for National Statistics to death notifications to identify the cause and date of death. Spearman's rank correlation was performed on median age at death by year. Mantel–Haenszel statistics tested the association between age and type of death, adjusted for year. Results: Causes of death were ascertained for 504 people. Median age at death increased significantly from 36.46 in 2003/2004 to 41.38 in 2007/2008. The odds of a person aged 40 and over dying from a non-drug related death were 3.27 the odds of a person aged less than 40 dying from a non-drug related death. Conclusion: Current focus on drug related deaths detracts attention from other causes; in particular, the types of death which disproportionately affect older drug users. Ongoing debates about reintegration into society and employment presuppose that drug users are of working age and are healthy enough to work.
International Journal of Drug Policy 21 (2010), 335, 2010.
Abstract: The introduction of needle and syringe programmes (NSPs) during the 1980s is credited with averting an HIV epidemic in the United Kingdom and Australia, but hepatitis C (HCV) incidence continues to rise among injecting drug users (IDUs). NSPs incorporating additional harm reduction strategies have been highlighted as an approach that may impact on HCV incidence. This systematic review sought to determine which approaches to the organisation and delivery of NSPs are effective. Fifteen databases were searched for studies published since 1990. Two reviewers screened all titles and abstracts, and data extraction and quality assessment of individual studies were undertaken independently by one reviewer and checked for accuracy by a second. Sixteen studies met the criteria for inclusion. Based on 11 studies there was no evidence of an impact of different NSP settings or syringe dispensation policies on drug injecting behaviours, but mobile van sites and vending machines appeared to attract younger IDUs and IDUs with higher risk profiles. Two studies of interventions aimed at encouraging IDUs to enter drug treatment reported limited effects, but one study found that the combination of methadone treatment and full participation in NSPs was associated with a lower incidence of HIV and HCV. In addition, one study indicated that hospital-based programmes may improve access to health care services among IDUs. Currently, it is difficult to draw conclusions on 'what works best' within the range of harm reduction services available to IDUs. Further studies are required which have a stated aim of evaluating how different approaches to the organisation and delivery NSPs impact on effectiveness.
Abstract: The Irish Traveller community experiences severe marginalization, poverty, discrimination, and compromised health. Research indicates a distinct lack of structural understanding of Traveller negotiation of conflict within dominant sedentarist societal norms and values. Gender-based focus groups (n = 12) of Travellers (n = 57) were conducted as part of a large scale regional needs analysis for Travellers and substance use in Ireland and analyzed thematically using the social capital framework in terms of Traveller experiences within settled communities, exposure to drugs, and drug using contexts. Discriminatory experiences, low levels of institutional trust, and an influx of drug activity in Traveller communities are contributing to the neutralization of drug taking risk and the development of normative and reciprocal relationships in drug activities. A holistic, inter-governmental approach is needed to address social exclusion factors by reducing marginalization, preserving the Traveller ethnic identity, minimizing racist and discriminatory instances, understanding the Traveller risk environment, and fostering inclusive relationships with settled communities.
Waterford Institute of Technology, 2010.
Abstract: The need for widespread increase of both community and residential detoxification services in Ireland has been clearly articulated at national and local level (Mannix, 2006; Corrigan & O’Gorman, 2007; Dept. Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 2007; Doyle & Ivanovic, 2010). This study explores a central phenomenon of detoxification-seeking among heroin users in the South East of Ireland, through a grounded theory approach. The study conceptualises detoxification-seeking as a help-seeking behaviour, experienced by heroin users, but not all, in response to and as a consequence of the complex experience of being heroin dependent, and wanting to become abstinent. The core category, ‘forging a pathway towards abstinence from heroin’, provides an insight into challenges and tasks that research participants undertook when their aim was abstinence. Pathways towards abstinence involved collaboration with other heroin users, family and/or health and drug service professionals and were heavily influenced by internal factors such as perception of services and perception of need for help. The process of forging a pathway towards abstinence had three stages; recognising, help-seeking, and navigating. The three stages include actions related to information seeking, and treatment (including detoxification) seeking. Not all research participants experienced all of the stages. However, all of the research participants, at some point in their heroin-using careers experienced factors which blocked, or facilitated them, to seek detoxification. Such factors included the presence, or lack of; family support, a therapeutic alliance, personal knowledge (of heroin dependence and drug treatment) and access to treatment services. Such barriers and/or enabling factors, were found in the social and personal contexts of the individual, and were shown to inhibit or facilitate the individual to seek heroin detoxification. The study offers a clear theoretical framework for understanding the contextual factors that can lead heroin users to seek detoxification. The study has implications for development of low threshold services, development of community-based detoxification and facilitation of service user involvement.
Simon Brandt, Professor Harry Sumnall, Fiona Measham, Jon Cole
Drug Testing and Analysis 2(8), 377-82, 2010.
Abstract: In the UK, mephedrone and other so-called 'legal high' derivatives have recently been classified as Class B, Schedule I under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Since then, alternative products have been advertised on a number of websites. In order to obtain an immediate snapshot of the situation, 24 products were purchased online from 18 UK-based websites over a period of 6 weeks following the ban in April 2010. Qualitative analyses were carried out by gas chromatography ion trap mass spectrometry using electron- and chemical ionization modes, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and comparison with reference standards. Overall, the purchased products consisted of single cathinones or cathinone mixtures including mephedrone, butylone, 4-methyl-N-ethylcathinone, flephedrone (4-fluoromethcathinone) and MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone), respectively. Benzocaine, caffeine, lidocaine, and procaine were also detected. The emphasis was placed on 'Energy 1' (NRG-1), a product advertised as a legal replacement for mephedrone-type derivatives usually claiming to contain naphyrone (naphthylpyrovalerone, O-2482). It was found that 70% of NRG-1 and NRG-2 products appeared to contain a mixture of cathinones banned in April 2010 and rebranded as 'new' legal highs, rather than legal chemicals such as naphyrone as claimed by the retailers. Only one out of 13 NRG-1 samples appeared to show analytical data consistent with naphyrone. These findings also suggest that both consumers and online sellers (unlike manufacturers and wholesalers) are, most likely unknowingly, confronted with the risk of criminalization and potential harm.
Dev Raj Acharya, Jacqueline Bell, Professor Padam Simkhada, Edwin van Teijlingen, Pramod Regmi
Reproductive Health, 7 (15), 2010.
Background How socio-demographic factors influence women's autonomy in decision making on health care including purchasing goods and visiting family and relatives are very poorly studied in Nepal. This study aims to explore the links between women's household position and their autonomy in decision making. Methods We used Nepal Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2006, which provided data on ever married women aged 15-49 years (n = 8257). The data consists of women's four types of household decision making; own health care, making major household purchases, making purchase for daily household needs and visits to her family or relatives. A number of socio-demographic variables were used in multivariable logistic regression to examine the relationship of these variables to all four types of decision making. Results Women's autonomy in decision making is positively associated with their age, employment and number of living children. Women from rural area and Terai region have less autonomy in decision making in all four types of outcome measure. There is a mixed variation in women's autonomy in the development region across all outcome measures. Western women are more likely to make decision in own health care (1.2-1.6), while they are less likely to purchase daily household needs (0.6-0.9). Women's increased education is positively associated with autonomy in own health care decision making (p < 0.01), however their more schooling (SLC and above) shows non-significance with other outcome measures. Interestingly, rich women are less likely to have autonomy to make decision in own healthcare. Conclusions Women from rural area and Terai region needs specific empowerment programme to enable them to be more autonomous in the household decision making. Women's autonomy by education, wealth quintile and development region needs a further social science investigation to observe the variations within each stratum. A more comprehensive strategy can enable women to access community resources, to challenge traditional norms and to access economic resources. This will lead the women to be more autonomous in decision making in the due course.
There are too many naked pictures found in papers and on the net: Factors encouraging pre-marital sex among young people of Nepal.
Pramod Regmi, Professor Padam Simkhada, Edwin van Teijlingen
Health Science Journal, 4 (3), 162-174, 2010.
Abstract Background: A conventional Nepalese society still regards sexuality as a taboo and sexual activities outside marriage are rarely accepted. However, attitudes of young Nepalese people towards sexual relationships have steadily changed with the modernization of society and culture. There is also a view that young men and women in Nepal are now more comfortable in each other’s company and also initiate sexual relations before marriage. Aim: To explore factors encouraging premarital sex among young people of Nepal. Methods: Ten focus groups and 31 individual in-depth interviews with rural and urban young people were carried out by same sex researchers. Results: Most participants were aged 18-22 years. Findings indicate that curiosity towards sex and sexuality issues, personal appearance, peer pressures, exposure to print and electronic media and financial motives are key factors in encouraging premarital sexual intercourse. Conclusion: There is a need to disseminate more information on the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, targeting young people which would encourage them to engage in safer sexual behaviour.