Absinthe has a terrible reputation; it’s believed to cause raging drunkenness, hallucinations, and death. Thujone, a chemical found in the wormwood used in absinthe brewing, was thought to be highly dangerous after a series of experiments by Valentin Magnan, where mice died and dogs barked at walls, leading to the ban on the green-tinged beverage. However, this was fuelled by fear and misinformation; Magnan used high concentrations of thujone in levels that absinthe couldn’t hope to reach.
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With drug overdose deaths on the rise, authorities are attempting to curb the epidemic by tracking and sharing information in real time. In one unique effort, a nonprofit in New York City is using drug-testing equipment and stamping or marking habits of dealers to identify drug batches that may endanger users. Other approaches are also being used, such as monitoring drug-related chatter on Reddit and analyzing local wastewater for opioid and other drug levels. With the combination of these efforts, researchers hope to put a dent in the opioid crisis and reduce overdose deaths. Read full article here