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Michigan marking 1st day for legal, recreational pot

Michigan is officially the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than medical purpo..

Michigan is officially the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than medical purposes.

Thursday marks the first day for the legal recreational partaking of pot in Michigan following voters' strong endorsement in the Nov. 6 election.

Michigan is now among nearly a dozen states and the District of Columbia with legalized recreational marijuana. Still, retail shops are still months away and must involve state regulators.

Residents age 21 and older can possess or transport up to 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants out of public view. It can be consumed only at homes or other private property, though landlords and employers can prohibit it.

The move comes 10 years after Michigan voters approved medical marijuana.

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NHS told to ditch ‘absurd’ fax machines

The NHS will be banned from buying fax machines from next month – and has been told by the governmen..

The NHS will be banned from buying fax machines from next month – and has been told by the government to phase out the machines entirely by 31 March 2020.

In July, the Royal College of Surgeons revealed nearly 9,000 fax machines were in use across the NHS in England.

The Department of Health said a change to more modern communication methods was needed to improve patient safety and cyber security.

An RCS spokesman said they supported the government's decision.

In place of fax machines, the Department of Health said secure email should be used.

Richard Kerr, who is the chair of the RCS's commission on the future of surgery, said the continued use of the outdated technology by the NHS was "absurd".

He added it was "crucial" that the health service invested in "better ways of communicating the vast amount of patient information that is going to be generated" in the future.

The group's report from earlier this year found the use of fax machines was most common at the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust, which still relied on 603 machines.

Three-quarters of the trusts in England replied to the survey – 95 in total. Ten trusts said that they did not own any fax machines, but four in ten reported more than 100 in use.

Fax facts

  • The first "facsimile" machine was invented in 1842 by Scotsman Alexander Bain
  • Bain's invention worked by scanning a message written with special ink on a metallic surface. This picked up the electrical impression of the original and a telegraph circuit could be used to transmit it
  • By the beginning of the 20th Century, fax machines were being used commercially by organisations such as newspapers
  • After technological improvements by Japanese companies, fax machines became widespread in the 1970s and 1980s
  • The technology reached its peak around the end of the 20th Century, and was then gradually replaced by more modern methods of communication

Do you still use a fax machine? Get in touch by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk (more…)

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The athletes starving themselves for success

Anna Boniface seemed to have the world at her feet when finishing as the 2017 London Marathon's..

Anna Boniface seemed to have the world at her feet when finishing as the 2017 London Marathon's fastest amateur female runner.

Her performance earned her an England team place in that autumn's Toronto Marathon. The then 25-year-old finished the London race in two hours, 37 minutes and travelled to Canada six months later.

But 10 miles into her international debut, Anna's ankle fractured.

"It was the breakthrough that broke me," she tells BBC 5 live Investigates.

"It was horrible, I'd never not finished a race in my life. I thought I could just struggle to the end somehow, but I realised I would not be able to go on, I just had to sit on the kerb and wait."

But worse was to come for the Reading runner. In addition to the stress fracture of her ankle, tests found poor bone density, including osteoporosis in her spine, which made fractures a real risk.

These symptoms were all hallmarks of a condition called Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (Red-S).

This occurs when sports people restrict their diet in the belief that constant weight loss will keep improving performance, to such an extent that some of the body's functions begin to shut down.

The condition can cause a range of health problems in men and women including a drop in hormone levels, a deterioration in bone density, a drop in metabolic rate and mental health problems.

Anna, who works as a physiotherapist, admits she was aware of the condition but was so desperate to keep improving that she ignored the warning signs, which included not having a period for eight years. (more…)

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Asian longhorned tick is a growing threat in the US, but it’s not the main threat

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is alerting the public about the Asian longhorned tic..

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is alerting the public about the Asian longhorned tick, a species of tick not normally found in the United States that is known for its ability to mass-reproduce. Since its discovery in 2017, it has been spotted in several states, according to this weeks Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“The full public health and agricultural impact of this tick discovery and spread is unknown,” said Ben Beard, Ph.D., deputy director of the CDCs Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in a press release. “In other parts of the world, the Asian longhorned tick can transmit many types of pathogens common in the United States. We are concerned that this tick, which can cause massive infestations on animals, on people and in the environment, is spreading in the United States.”

There is a lot of mystery surrounding the Asian longhorned tick, so heres what you should know.

The Asian longhorned tick can produce offspring at 1,000 to 2,000 eggs at a time, just like the more than 850 species of other ticks. However, the Asian longhorned tick is unique for the fact that it doesnt need to mate to reproduce — it can do so all by itself. As a result, when an infestation occurs, hundreds to thousands of ticks can end up on an animal or person from a single tick.

New Jersey was the first state to report the tick after finding an infestation on a sheep. But since then, eight other states — Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia — have reported finding the tick on a variety of hosts, including people, wildlife, domestic animals and in the environmental.

To better understand the full potential impact of this tick discovery in the United States, the CDC says it is working with a network of federal, state, and local experts who specialize in veterinary and agricultural science and public health. Their goals include determining where the ticks are located, the kinds of pathogens they might carry that could infect people and how often they bite humans and animals. They also plan to develop prevention and control plans.

“In other countries, bites from these ticks can make people and animals seriously ill,” said Dr. Sloan Manning, medical director of Novant Health Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, told ABC News. “As of October 2018, no harmful germs have been found in the ticks collected in the United States”

Ticks are already very common in the U.S., living in areas with tall grass or around animals. They cant survive without feeding on blood, so when they find a host, they latch on and stay on.

Though ticks are often associated with Lyme disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Ehrlichiosis, Manning said that most of them wont be carrying these illnesses. Still, its important to remove them as the longer they stay on, the more likely they are to transmit a disease — if they are carrying one.

“It takes several hours for a tick to transmit bacteria into the skin,” Manning said. “If you think it has been attached for more than 24 hours or if youve developed a fever, rash or other typical symptoms, you should seek medical attention.” (more…)

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