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News Article | April 21, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts court has ordered thousands of criminal drug convictions dismissed because of misconduct by Annie Dookhan, a chemist who for years tested evidence in a state lab. Lawyers who fought for the cases to be dismissed call the ruling a historic victory for justice and fairness, but they are also seeking to counter fears that dangerous criminals will soon walk free from prisons around the state. Here are some questions and answers about the Massachusetts drug lab scandal: Dookhan was hired by the state in 2003 as a chemist at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory in Boston, which tested drug evidence for criminal cases in eastern Massachusetts. She resigned amid questions about whether she manipulated drug tests and falsified results. She was arrested in 2012 and later sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, perjury and tampering with evidence. She was paroled last year. WHAT DID THE MASSACHUSETTS COURT DECIDE? Dookhan's misconduct led to a five-year legal battle waged by the American Civil Liberties Union and others to dismiss some 24,000 drug convictions — involving about 20,000 individual defendants — that hinged at least in part on testing of drug evidence performed by Dookhan. On Thursday, the Supreme Judicial Court approved of throwing out 21,587 convictions, likely making it the largest single dismissal of criminal cases in U.S. history, according to the ACLU. SO ARE PRISONERS BEING RELEASED? In most cases, no. The majority of defendants had already completed their sentences, and many had not been given prison time to begin with. The ACLU estimates 60 percent of the cases involved possession and not drug dealing, which normally brings stiffer sentences. "The idea that prison doors are swinging open is just not one that meets with reality," said Carl Williams, a staff attorney for the ACLU. Still, the dismissals could indirectly lead to release from prison in certain instances. If, for example, a person had previous convictions and a Dookhan-tainted case was the so-called "third strike" that by law requires a mandatory sentence, erasing that third strike could take away the underpinnings of the sentence and lead to someone being freed. WHAT COMES NEXT? The high court's order requires notices be sent within one month to all the affected Dookhan defendants, including hundreds of people whose cases were not dismissed at the request of prosecutors. Court documents show earlier attempts to reach many of these defendants by mail were unsuccessful. The justices also ordered that electronic criminal history records be updated to reflect the dismissals. This is critical for people even if they already served the sentences, since a prior drug felony can stand in the way of employment and housing opportunities, or even bring deportation. COULD THIS HAPPEN AGAIN? The drug testing scandal led to a shake-up at the Hinton lab and jurisdiction of the facility was moved from the state public health agency to state police. Officials say new testing and reporting protocols are in place to make tampering less likely. Yet Massachusetts is still grappling with thousands of cases potentially affected by the actions of another former drug lab chemist. Sonja Farak was convicted in 2014 of stealing cocaine from a crime lab in Amherst, where investigators said she was high almost every day she worked over eight years.


Dublin, April 19, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Wireless Charging 2016-2026: Phones & Small Electronics, Electric Cars & Other Vehicles" report to their offering. This unique report reflects the new reality that wireless charging is now one subject from phones and medical devices to vehicles. This is because it increasingly involves the same technologies, locations and companies. Why are people so enthusiastic when they experience ubiquitous phone charging? How will the standards battles be resolved? Why will the planned move to hired vehicles and autonomous vehicles drive more demand for wireless charging? Is a compatible set of standards emerging for vehicles? What will sales be from 2016-2026 for mobile device and for vehicle wireless charging? It is all here. Only a global up-to-date view makes sense in this fast-moving subject. Therefore the multilingual PhD level analysts have travelled intensively in 2015 to report the latest research and expert opinions and to analyse how the markets and technologies will move over the coming decade. Original tables and infographics pull together the analysis. Users of mobile phones and the new connected wearables loathe the fact that they need recharging before a recharging point can be found. They urgently seek ubiquitous wireless charging from the car dashboard to the table in the coffee shop: no hassle top up. Progress is now rapid due to easy retrofit and huge numbers of phones fitting it as original equipment. Standards battles are being resolved by market adoption and merger. Electric vehicles, whether plug-in hybrid or pure electric are selling well now. That covers land, water and air, off-road and on-road, on water and underwater. That brings to the fore the problems of dirt, weight, vandalism and safety with plugging in so auto makers, for example, plan wireless charging in many cars and buses from 2017 underwritten by one single set of standards being achieved soon. Key Topics Covered: 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 1.1. Definition and overview 1.2. Wireless charging for portable electronics 1.3. Wireless charging for electric vehicles 1.4. Technology 1.5. Technical options for static WC 1.6. Dynamic charging 1.6.1. Off road trials for electric highways technology 1.7. Forecasts 1.8. NFC model 1.9. Market sweet spot 1.10. Threats 1.11. Market forecasts 1.12. Forecast for high power: electric vehicles 1.13. Market by territory 1.14. Market dynamics 1.15. Other comparisons 1.16. News in 2016 2. WIRELESS CHARGING OF PORTABLE DEVICES: LATEST SITUATION 2.1. Main trends 2.2. Misleading terminology 2.3. Challenges 2.4. Real problems 3. INTRODUCTION 3.1. History 3.2. Wireless power transfer 3.2.1. Adoption - who wins 3.3. Qi the winning specification for personal electronics - so far 3.3.1. Competitor 3.4. Comparisons of Qi with the leading competitor 3.5. Apple and Qi 3.6. Wireless vehicle charging 4. WIRELESS CHARGING FOR VEHICLES WHEN STATIONARY 4.1. Introduction 4.2. Standards for vehicle WC 4.3. Recent activity 4.3.1. BMW, Germany Nanyang Singapore 4.3.2. Fraunhofer wireless discharging, lightweighting, dynamic 4.3.3. Hyundai-Kia Korea: Mojo USA 4.3.4. Oak Ridge National Laboratory's 20-kilowatt wireless charging for electric vehicles 4.3.5. PRIMOVE Belgium 4.3.6. Yutong and ZTE China 5. DYNAMIC CHARGING OF VEHICLES 5.1. Introduction 5.2. Road maintenance concerns 5.3. Semi dynamic charging 5.4. Fully dynamic charging 5.4.1. Drayson Racing UK 5.4.2. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology 5.4.3. University of Tokyo Japan 5.4.4. Utah State University USA 5.5. Timeline 5.5.1. Volvo Sweden 5.6. Renewable electricity generation on motorways 6. ALTERNATIVES TO WIRELESS CHARGING FOR VEHICLES 6.1. Electric vehicles that are never charged externally 6.1.1. Introduction 6.1.2. Options for energy autonomous vehicles 6.2. Robotic charging 6.3. Gantries and catenaries 6.4. Robot arms 6.4.1. DBT-CEV France 6.4.2. PowerHydrant USA 6.4.3. Tesla solid metal snake USA 6.4.4. Volkswagen Germany 7. EXAMPLES OF INTERVIEWS 2015 7.1. BYD China 7.2. Hevo Power USA, WAVE USA, WiTricity USA 7.3. Idaho State Laboratory USA 7.4. Infineon USA/Germany 7.5. PowerHydrant USA 7.6. Qualcomm USA 7.6.1. Wireless Charging: Invitation Only Meeting 26 June 2015 7.7. University of Tokyo, Japan 7.8. WiTricity USA 7.9. XALT Energy USA For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/th84l5/wireless_charging


Hadler J.L.,Yale University | Clogher P.,Yale University | Hurd S.,Yale University | Mandour M.,State Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2011

Background. The epidemiology over time of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is unknown. Since 1999, increasing numbers of laboratories in Connecticut have been testing for ST rather than culturing for O157, enabling identification of non-O157 STEC. Methods. Beginning in 2000, Connecticut laboratories were required to submit ST-positive broths to the State Laboratory for isolation and typing of STEC. The ratio of non-O157:O157 from laboratories conducting ST testing was used to determine state-level estimates for non-O157 STEC. Patients with STEC were interviewed for exposure factors in the 7 days preceding illness. Incidence trends, clinical features, and epidemiology of non-O157 and O157 STEC infections were compared. Results. From 1 January 2000 through 31 December 2009, ST testing detected 392 (59%) of 663 reported STEC infections; 229 (58%) of the isolates were non-O157. The estimated incidence of STEC infection decreased by 34%. O157 and the top 4 non-O157 serogroups, O111, O103, O26, and O45, were a stable percentage of all STEC isolates over the 10-year period. Bloody diarrhea, hospitalization, and hemolytic uremic syndrome were more common in patients with O157 STEC than in patients with non-O157 STEC infection. Exposure risks of patients with non-O157 STEC infection differed from those of patients with O157 STEC infection primarily in international travel (15.3% vs 2.5%; P <. 01). Non-O157 types differed from each other with respect to several epidemiologic and exposure features. Conclusions. Both O157 and non-O157 STEC infection incidence decreased from 2000 through 2009. Although infection due to O157 is the most common and clinically severe STEC infection, it accounts for a minority of all clinically significant STEC infections. STEC appear to be a diverse group of organisms that have some differences as well as many epidemiologic and exposure features in common. © 2011 The Author Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.


PubMed | U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington State Public Health Laboratory, State Laboratory and New Hampshire State Public Health Laboratory
Type: | Journal: Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association | Year: 2015

Four LC-MS/MS methods were developed to quantify melamine (MEL) and cyanuric acid (CYA) in various pig tissues at or above the level of concern (2.5mg/kg). Pigs treated with 200mg/kg bw/day CYA daily for 7 days did not accumulate significant residue concentrations in muscle, liver or kidney. Pigs treated with 200mg/kg bw MEL daily for 7 or 28 days had MEL residues in muscles (3-13ppm), liver (2.8-14.1ppm) and kidney (9.4-27.2ppm). Treatment with MEL and CYA at 100mg/kg bw of each triazine daily for 7 days resulted in MEL (26-59ppm in muscle, 30-49ppm in liver and 367-6300ppm in kidney) and CYA (1.8-5.8ppm in muscle, 2.6-6.5ppm in liver and 303-7100ppm in kidney). Treatment with MEL and CYA at 1, 3 or 10mg/kg bw/day for 7 days did not result in residues greater than the level of concern in all tissues tested. Pigs dosed with 33mg/kg bw/day of MEL+CYA for 7 days contained residues above the level of concern only in kidney. Deposition of MEL and CYA depends on the tissue type (muscles, liver and kidney), dosage and whether the triazines are given alone or in combination.


PubMed | Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research, State Laboratory, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine and Zoological Garden Berlin AG
Type: | Journal: Veterinary microbiology | Year: 2016

Usutu virus (USUV) is an arbovirus within the genus flavivirus, which was first introduced to Southern Europe approximately twenty years ago causing epizootics among wild and captive birds. In Germany USUV was initially discovered in wild birds, mainly Common blackbirds (Turdus merula), in the Upper Rhine valley in southwest of the country in 2011 and has not spread much northwards since. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the still ongoing USUV epidemic is caused by two different USUV strains, USUV-Germany belonging to the USUV Europe 3 lineage and USUV-Bonn belonging to the USUV Africa 3 lineage. The two strains were introduced independently. In August 2015 a new USUV strain, named USUV-Berlin, was isolated in Vero cells from two carcasses of juvenile Great grey owls (Strix nebulosa) kept in the Zoological Garden Berlin, which had suffered from a hyperacute fatal systemic infection. Both owls carried high USUV genome loads. Full-length USUV genomes sequences were determined and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a close relationship with a Spanish mosquito-derived sequence from 2006. Immunohistochemical antigen detection in organ samples of the owls showed the typical USUV infection patterns. According to the phylogenetic analysis, USUV-Berlin belongs to the Africa 2 lineage, and can thus be distinguished from the other strains circulating in Germany. Repeated findings of different USUV strains suggest more frequent introductions into Central Europe and a higher mobility of this virus than assumed to date.


Malone E.M.,State Laboratory | Malone E.M.,Queen's University of Belfast | Elliott C.T.,Queen's University of Belfast | Kennedy D.G.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland | Regan L.,State Laboratory
Journal of AOAC International | Year: 2010

An LC/MS/MS method was developed and validated for the simultaneous identification, confirmation, and quantification of 12 glucocorticoids in bovine milk. The method was validated in accordance with the criteria defined in Commission Decision 2002/657/EC. The developed method can detect and confirm the presence of dexamethasone, betamethasone, prednisolone, flumethasone, 6α-methylprednisolone, fluorometholone, triamcinolone acetonide, prednisone, cortisone, hydrocortisone, clobetasol propionate, and clobetasol butyrate in bovine milk. Milk samples are extracted with acetonitrile; sodium chloride is subsequently added to aid partition of the milk and acetonitrile mixture. The acetonitrile extract is then subjected to liquid-liquid purification by the addition of hexane. The purified extract is evaporated to dryness and reconstituted in a water-acetonitrile mixture, and determination is carried out by LC/MS/MS. The method permits analysis of up to 30 samples in 1 day.


Power J.D.,St James's Hospital | Kavanagh P.,St James's Hospital | Mclaughlin G.,St James's Hospital | O'Brien J.,Trinity College Dublin | And 5 more authors.
Drug Testing and Analysis | Year: 2015

4-Methylmethcathinone (2-methylamino-1-(4-methylphenyl)propan-1-one, mephedrone) is a psychoactive substance that has been associated with recreational use worldwide. Analytical data related to mephedrone are abundantly available but the characterization of by-products obtained during organic synthesis remains to be explored. This study presents the identification of a 1,2,3,5-tetramethyl-4-(4-methylphenyl)-1H-imidazol-3-ium salt (TMMPI), which was formed during the synthesis of mephedrone. When diethyl ether was added to the crude reaction product, solid material precipitated from the solution. Analytical characterization of TMMPI employed a range of analytical techniques including chromatographic analysis in combination with various mass spectrometric detection methods, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and crystal structure analysis. Additional confirmation was obtained from organic synthesis of the imidazolium by-product. When TMMPI was subjected to analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), isomerization and degradation into two distinct compounds were observed, which pointed towards thermal instability under GC conditions. A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based investigation into a micro-scale synthesis of mephedrone and three additional analogues revealed that the corresponding TMMPI analogue was formed. Interestingly, storage of mephedrone freebase in a number of organic solvents also gave rise to TMMPI and it appeared that its formation during storage was significantly reduced in the absence of air. The present study aimed to support clandestine forensic investigations by employing analytical strategies that are applicable to manufacturing sites. The imidazolium salts will most likely be found amongst the waste products of any clandestine lab site under investigation rather than with the desired product. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


PubMed | Liverpool John Moores University, State Laboratory, St James's Hospital and Trinity College Dublin
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Drug testing and analysis | Year: 2015

4-Methylmethcathinone (2-methylamino-1-(4-methylphenyl)propan-1-one, mephedrone) is a psychoactive substance that has been associated with recreational use worldwide. Analytical data related to mephedrone are abundantly available but the characterization of by-products obtained during organic synthesis remains to be explored. This study presents the identification of a 1,2,3,5-tetramethyl-4-(4-methylphenyl)-1H-imidazol-3-ium salt (TMMPI), which was formed during the synthesis of mephedrone. When diethyl ether was added to the crude reaction product, solid material precipitated from the solution. Analytical characterization of TMMPI employed a range of analytical techniques including chromatographic analysis in combination with various mass spectrometric detection methods, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and crystal structure analysis. Additional confirmation was obtained from organic synthesis of the imidazolium by-product. When TMMPI was subjected to analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), isomerization and degradation into two distinct compounds were observed, which pointed towards thermal instability under GC conditions. A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based investigation into a micro-scale synthesis of mephedrone and three additional analogues revealed that the corresponding TMMPI analogue was formed. Interestingly, storage of mephedrone freebase in a number of organic solvents also gave rise to TMMPI and it appeared that its formation during storage was significantly reduced in the absence of air. The present study aimed to support clandestine forensic investigations by employing analytical strategies that are applicable to manufacturing sites. The imidazolium salts will most likely be found amongst the waste products of any clandestine lab site under investigation rather than with the desired product.


McDonald M.,Central Meat Control Laboratory | Malone E.,State Laboratory | McBrtde J.,State Laboratory
Journal of AOAC International | Year: 2010

A novel and rapid method was developed and validated for the confirmation of endogenous and synthetic hormones in animal serum using LC/MS/MS. Detection of 17 β-estradiol and β-testosterone below the respective European Union-recommended levels of 0.1 and 0.5 μg/L was achieved, as was a required performance level of 0.1 μg/L for 17 a-estradiol and 0.5 μg/L for 17 a-testosterone, medroxyprogesterone17-acetate, and progesterone. The method was established with dilution of serum followed by ionexchange SPE, LC separation and MS detection with electrospray ionization, selected reaction monitoring, and positive/negative switching. Two characteristic transitions were monitored for each analyte. The method was applied to bovine, ovine, porcine, equine, and avian samples and validated according to European Commission Decision 2002/657/EC and accepted for ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation. An extended calibration curve allows naturally occurring levels of endogenous hormones to be quantified. Recoveries ranged from 97.3% for 17 a-testosterone to 102.0% for 17 a-estradiol. The decision limit CCa ranged from 0.02 ug/L for 17 a- and β-estradiol to 0.12 μg/L for progesterone. Detection capability CCβ ranged from 0.03 μg/L for 17 a-estradiol to 0.20 μg/L for progesterone.

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