According to Russian authorities, in recent weeks the spice epidemic has taken 25 lives and led to 700 people seeking medical attention. Hardly a day goes by without a fresh horror story of adolescents dying from the drug.
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Poison control workers say that as the e-cigarette industry has boomed, the number of children exposed to the liquid nicotine that gives hand-held vaporizing gadgets their kick also has spiked.
Toad licking has long been recognized as a stupid, risky way to try to get high. But do you know the biochemistry that determines how stupid and risky it actually is, and how high you could get?
A new government study found deaths from heroin overdose doubled in just two years in much of the United States. Overdose deaths from powerful painkillers continue to be much more common, but they declined slightly as the heroin deaths increased.
With bath salts being a new product with no exact chemical composition, toxicology companies have struggled to produce a detection technique. As many bath salts are made up of a large drug concoction, with current tests only detecting an individual drug and not a variety of drugs, this also decreases the possibility of detection.
Determination of Blood Alcohol Content has been a standard analytical method in criminal labs for many years. Recently, however, additional compound identification provided by matching the ethanol mass spectrum to a library spectrum, in addition to RT, has proven to offer an additional level of confirmation. This article describes BAC analysis using a GC-FID in parallel with a mass spectrometer for positive compound identification.
The WVSP Forensic Lab, an accredited, full-service laboratory, serves all 55 counties in West Virginia, including all law enforcement agencies from the local to the federal level. The lab has the potential to service over 800 agencies from all across the state.
Despite being outlawed in 2012 in the U.S., the synthetic drugs known as “bath salts” — which really aren’t meant for your daily bath — are still readily available in some retail shops, on the Internet and on the streets. To help law enforcement, scientists are developing a novel method that could be the basis for the first portable, on-site testing device for identifying the drugs.
Vice Squad officers will check stores and ask store owners not to sell synthetic marijuana products after a recently signed state bill made them illegal. But officers are hindered in enforcing the new law. The State Crime Lab is months away from being able to analyze the products.
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have determined that polonium-209, the longest-lived isotope of this radioactive heavy element, has a half-life about 25 percent longer than the previously determined value, which had been in use for decades.
The new TSQ Duo system is based on the Thermo Scientific TRACE 1300 gas chromatograph and TSQ mass spectrometer platform, and is designed to perform both single and triple quadrupole analysis on the same instrument.
Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced the 7200B Quadrupole Time of Flight (Q-TOF) Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) System. The system replaces the company’s GC/QTOF, the 7200A, with new capabilities that will significantly boost laboratory performance.
A recent study by the British Geological Survey, in association with researchers at the University of Leicester, has delved into the bone and tooth chemistry of King Richard III and uncovered fascinating new details about the life and diet of Britain’s last Plantagenet king. The study indicates a change in diet and location in his early childhood, and in later life, a diet filled with expensive, high status food and drink.
Four men have teamed up to empower women to prevent sexual assault by giving them a way to detect date-rape drugs. Students from North Carolina State University's Materials Science and Engineering department created "Undercover Colors" nail polish that changes colors when it comes in contact with the date-rape drugs Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB.
The Columbia Police Department in South Carolina has shut down its drug lab after an investigation found an analyst in the lab was not properly trained and her handling and analysis of drugs seized in criminal investigations were likely flawed.
Diagnosis of death by smothering can be very difficult, in many such cases a forensic fiber examination doesn’t take place. In many cases post-mortem examinations fail to establish precisely how the deceased came to die, and likewise toxicological examinations may fail to illuminate any specific cause from a chemical perspective.
The owner of a now-closed Minnesota head shop has been sentenced to 17½ years in prison for selling synthetic drugs in a case that prosecutors said should remove any doubts that substances sold under such names as "incense," ''spice" and "bath salts" are illegal.
Drugs disappearing in dozens of cases are only one piece of a scandal that could shake South Florida law enforcement to its core. Investigations continue into the full breadth of the problems at the Broward Crime Lab.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas P. Gilson have announced that the complete catalog of the Medical Examiner’s Statistical Report is available online — totaling more than 60 reports.
Rebecca Myers’ toxicology results will be included in her upcoming trial. In a written ruling, Judge James DeWeese denied Myers’ motion to have the toxicology results — which show she was driving with marijuana metabolites in her system — thrown out of the case.
South Korea's forensic agency said on Friday it was impossible to determine the cause of death of a businessman linked to a ferry that sank killing 304 people in April because there was too much tissue damage to his badly decomposed body.
Controlled substances are chemicals that have a legally recognized potential for abuse. They include “street drugs” such as heroin or ecstasy and prescription drugs such as oxycodone. Detecting and identifying controlled substances is a critical step in law enforcement's fight against drug-related crime and violence.
The Society of Forensic Toxicology Continuing Education and Drug-Facilitated Crimes Committees and the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will co-host a two-day workshop on Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA), taking place online and on location in Washington, DC, on August 11-12, 2014.
Synthetic marijuana — different chemical blends first created in the 2000s to mimic the effects of marijuana — is nothing like its namesake anymore. While original versions had effects on users similar to marijuana, these newer forms of synthetic cannabinoids have wildly different, often much more dangerous effects on users.
A Texas actress who sent ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and the New York mayor then tried to blame the crime on her soon-to-be ex-husband was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Wednesday.
Scientific testing has helped investigators in narrow in on the identity of the teenage boy whose skeletal remains were found in 1995. The boy is believed to have died in 1994. The Smithsonian assisted by conducting what’s called stable isotope analysis on a piece of bone fragment from the remains.
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