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Somerville, MA, United States

Yeakel J.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,Grove Labs
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2013

Twelve cases of suspected impaired driving are discussed in which the drivers who subsequently tested positive for synthetic cannabinoid drugs underwent a psychophysical assessment. The attitude of the drivers was described as cooperative and relaxed, speech was slow and slurred and coordination was poor. Pulse and blood pressure were generally elevated. Horizontal gaze nystagmus was assessed in nine of the subjects, but was present in only two. The most consistent indicator was a marked lack of convergence. In all cases where a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officer evaluated and documented impairment (10 cases), it was attributed to the DRE cannabis category. Performance in field sobriety tests was variable, ranging from poor to minimal observable effect. Synthetic cannabinoid testing was performed by LC-MS-MS. Positive results included: JWH-018 (n = 4), 0.1-1.1 ng/mL; JWH-081 (n = 2) qualitative only; JWH-122 (n = 3), 2.= ng/mL; JWH-210 (n = 4), 0.1 ng/mL; JWH-2=0 (n = 1), 0.38 ng/mL and AM-2201 (n = 6), 0.43-4.0 ng/mL. While there is good evidence of psychophysical impairment in these subjects, further structured data collection is needed to fully assess the relationship between synthetic cannabinoid use and psychomotor and cognitive impairment. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Logan B.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,Grove Labs | Mohr A.L.A.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Talpins S.K.,Institute for Behavior and Health Inc.
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2014

The use of oral fluid (OF) drug testing devices offers the ability to rapidly obtain a drug screening result at the time of a traffic stop. We describe an evaluation of two such devices, the Dräger Drug Test 5000 and the Affiniton DrugWipe, to detect drug use in a cohort of drivers arrested from an investigation of drug impaired driving (n 5 92). Overall, 41% of these drivers were ultimately confirmed positive by mass spectrometry for the presence of one or more drugs. The most frequently detected drugs were cannabinoids (30%), benzodiazepines (11%) and cocaine (10%). Thirty-nine percent of drivers with blood alcohol concentrations >0.08 g/100 mL were found to be drug positive. Field test results obtained from OF samples were compared with collected OF and urine samples subsequently analyzed in the laboratory by gas or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The Dräger Drug Test 5000 (DDT5000) and DrugWipe returned overall sensitivities of 51 and 53%, and positive predictive values of 93 and 63%, respectively. The most notable difference in performance was the DDT5000's better sensitivity in detecting marijuana use. Both devices failed to detect benzodiazepine use. Oral fluid proved to be a more effective confirmatory specimen, with more drugs being confirmed in OF than urine. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

News Article | March 23, 2015
Site: agfundernews.com

Editors note: Nicola Kerslake is the founder of Newbean Capital, a registered investment adviser that manages early stage venture capital mandates for institutional investors. The firm also hosts Indoor Ag-Con, an industry event on the future of indoor agriculture. It’s next event is on March 31 and April 1 in Las Vegas, NV. Indoor agriculture is a $500m+ industry in the US, according to market research firm IBISWorld, but we estimate the potential market at more like $9bn. We define indoor agriculture as growing produce and raising fish in warehouses, containers and greenhouses using hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic techniques. In its recently released annual investing report, AgFunder noted that indoor agriculture had a “breakout year” receiving 7% of invested dollars in 2014. This reflects the fact that the industry is changing rapidly – we expect the current 15 US commercial-scale vertical and rooftop greenhouse farms will be joined by 30 new ones this year alone. The growth in this industry is being driven in large part by these six ‘mega-trends’: From automatic seed planters, to harvesting robots, to greenhouse roof washers, indoor agriculture has long relied on automation, and this trend is intensifying as enabling technologies become cheaper and more plentiful. Many technologies are still nascent; a Canadian research organization – Vineland Research and Innovation Centre – is currently trialing a robot that picks mushrooms for example. Others are already commercial, such as Harvest Automation’s nursery robot, which can rearrange plants in a nursery for you. As in many industries, indoor farmers are beginning to develop ways to use big data, the internet of things, and predictive analytics to maximize yields and protect against crop losses.  MIT’s CityFARM is running an open ag project to allow researchers to share data. Others are attempting to make controls more accessible. For example, Bay Area based startup Osmo Systems offers affordable hydroponic and aquaculture monitoring and alert services. It plans to sell a base unit monitor with seven sensors and WiFi connectivity for less than $500, compared to over $3,000 for some existing solutions. Over the next three months it says it intends to ship out 40 beta test units to hobbyists and farms around the globe. Indoor farms have traditionally focused on growing leafy greens, as the likes of spinach, kale, lettuces, and herbs have generally been viewed as the easiest crops to grow in such systems. This approach is changing rapidly as farmers look for higher margin niches, especially ones where indoor farms have a natural advantage such as being able to protect delicate crops or growing off-season. Bright Agrotech – a firm that’s grown from a couple of founders to a decent sized team in the past year – suggests growing everything from strawberries to barley in its popular Zip Towers, vertical growing systems favored for their ease of use and elegant design. Elsewhere, Dutch greenhouse manufacturer Certhon has developed a mobile grow chamber that give freesias – a notoriously delicate flower – the optimal conditions for their growth, so allowing year round growing in any location. As the sector becomes better integrated into the food supply chain, farmers are building larger facilities to meet demand from national grocers and distributors. For instance, Aerofarms recently announced that it will build the world’s largest vertical farm in New Jersey.  Using aeroponic technology, the Company says it will be 75x more productive than a field farm, and repurposes an abandoned steel factory. On the other end of the scale, the products targeted to small farmers and consumers have long been plentiful, but now they’re becoming more sophisticated. TechStars graduate Grove Labs, for instance, is one of several companies piloting hydroponic fridges designed to grow veggies in home or small commercial kitchens. One of the great promises of indoor agriculture is that it will allow chefs to customize produce to meet their needs, whether that means an extra-lemony basil or a peppery microgreen. New Zealand startup Biolumic has figured out a way to use short zaps of UV light to imbue certain flavor profiles in plants shortly before they’re harvested. Note: This article does not constitute either investment or legal advice, which should be sought only from a qualified professional.

News Article | May 30, 2014
Site: www.finsmes.com

According to the company’s blog (read here), Grove Labs, a Somerville, Massachusetts-based provider a platform to power any size indoor farm, from home farming appliances to large greenhouses, raised $2.05m in seed funding. The round led by Upfront Ventures with participation from Felicis Ventures, Gary Vaynerchuk via its Vayner RSE, Galvanize Ventures, and Timothy Ferriss. The company intends to use the funds to continue to grow operations. Founded in 2013 by Gabe Blanchet, CEO, James Byron, CTO, Grove Labs provides Grove OS, a web-connected platform for monitoring, controlling, and optimizing indoor farms from any computer, tablet or phone. This technology has applications for local, healthy food production globally.

News Article | November 3, 2015
Site: www.fastcompany.com

Lettuce is a pretty stupid thing to transport long distance: Ninety-six percent of it is water. From an environmental point of view, it makes more sense to grow lettuce locally, or with the help of a new appliance, even in your own home. Grove Labs, a Somerville, Massachusetts, startup, is set to release its Grove Ecosystem this November. It's an intelligent bookshelf-shaped growing cabinet. It can grow a third of a large lettuce clamshell a day, according to cofounder Gabe Blanchet, plus herbs, greens, and small fruits. The Ecosystem has three layers. On top, there's a growing platform with a horticultural LED that moves up and down, depending on the height of the plant. In the middle is a shelf for seedlings and micro-greens, like wheatgrass. And on the bottom is an aquarium. The three parts work together. "The aquarium's meant to replace people's flat-screen TVs," Blanchet says. "It's an engaging aquatic habitat, as well as the lifeblood of the system. The waste poop and the ammonia becomes nitrate for the plants." The plants return clean water to the tank again, in a continuous loop, and it's not necessary to replace the water at any stage. Gabe Blanchet and Jamie Byron met at MIT before founding the company in 2013. The 20-somethings then raised $2 million to develop their machine, which they've been testing with 50 families in Boston in the last few months. Aside from functional, Blanchet also sees the appliance as educational—a centerpiece for the family to share and communicate around. "The Grove is meant to inspire and educate families, especially children. It's bringing you closer to nature and allowing people who love to garden to garden all year round," he says. The kit comes with starter materials, including Hydroton clay pebbles (the top growing medium), gravel for the aquarium, and a jerry can. The whole thing looks lovely—though it's on the pricey side. The Grove will cost $2,700 during an initial Kickstarter campaign that launches today, and an estimated $4,500 after that.

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