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New research sheds light on potentially negative effects of cannabis

Carrie Cuttler.

Coughing fits, anxiety and paranoia are three of the most common adverse reactions to cannabis, according to a recent study led by Washington State University Assistant Professor of Psychology Carrie Cuttler.

Cuttler and her graduate students surveyed more than 1,500 college students on the type and frequency of adverse reactions they had experienced while using cannabis for their study in the Journal of Cannabis Research. They also collected information on the students’ demographics, personality traits, cannabis use patterns and motives for using the drug.

Cuttler and her graduate students found the most frequently occurring adverse reactions were coughing fits, chest/lung discomfort, and body humming, which a subset of the study group reported occurring approximately 30-40% of the time they were using cannabis.

Moving forward, Cuttler hopes the results of the study will be put to use by doctors, medical cannabis distributors and even bud tenders to give people a better idea of what could go wrong when they get high.

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Mirage News

WSU PhD researcher makes it back into the states

Travis King.

Travis King, a Ph.D. student and researcher in the School of the Environment at Washington State University, is back home after the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak forced him to shelter in Honduras.

“From getting to the airport in Honduras to getting out of the airport in Spokane was about 30 hours,” King explained.

King has spent the last four years living in Central America studying big cats and large mammals. When the coronavirus forced him to evacuate back to the states, he had to go through a long process before departing the country.

It wasn’t until Thursday when a commercial flight through United finally got him in the air and brought him to Houston before catching a later flight to Spokane.

With all of his traveling, he’s decided to self isolate for the next 14 days as he adjusts to being back home.
He’s unsure when he’ll be able to go back to Honduras for his research. In the meantime, he’ll focus on logistics with his network that’s still in the country.

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Mothering a Book: Recollections of a WSU Author

Melanie-Angela Neuilly

In her 2019 edited book Mothering From the Field: The Impact of Motherhood on Site-Based Research, WSU criminal justice associate professor Melanie-Angela Neuilly collected the experiences of academic researchers and mothers conducting their fieldwork while raising children. Neuilly’s own experience of juggling site work and motherhood in Nice, France, in 2014 is also chronicled.

Neuilly said she came to the book somewhat circuitously: In 2013, she obtained a WSU Seed Grant to conduct ethnographic field observations at a medico-legal institute in Nice. However, Neuilly was obtaining her green card then, and in the midst of a somewhat risky pregnancy. She got a no-cost extension on the grant and conducted her research in the summer of 2014, with her 3-month-old daughter and husband.

Neuilly’s book also includes two other WSU voices: Lindsay Marco, a doctoral student in counseling psychology, and Kimberly Garland-Campbell, a geneticist in wheat breeding in the USDA-ARS Wheat Health, Genetics and Quality Research Unit.

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WSU Insider

Ask Dr. Universe: How was popcorn discovered?

There’s nothing like popcorn in progress: the snapping kernels, the warm buttery smell, and the knowledge that a delicious snack will be ready in minutes. It gives you some good time to think and wonder: how did humans first start doing this?

Erin Thornton.

To find out where popcorn came from, I visited my friend Erin Thornton, an assistant professor of archaeology at Washington State University. Archaeologists study how humans lived in the past—including the things they ate.

To learn the story of popcorn, we have to trace the history of maize.

Long before maize, there was a plant called teosinte (tay-oh seen-tay). If you saw teosinte in person, you probably wouldn’t guess it’s the grandparent of your popcorn. “It doesn’t really look like modern maize at all because it lacks large cobs—instead it looks more like a weedy grass,” Thornton said.

We don’t know exactly who first discovered that popcorn can pop. But it’s a process that would have happened when people first started mixing dried kernels and heat.

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Dr. Universe

Investigation into body cameras finds nagging challenges for UK police

An Engineering & Technology investigation finds gaps in research on the benefits of police body-worn cameras, as well as shortcomings in the reporting of complaints against officers wearing them.

David Makin.

David Makin, an associate professor and director of the Complex Social Interactions Lab at Washington State University, argues police forces may have the ability to purchase body-worn cameras yet few have the infrastructure to analyse the footage. If footage is not analysed, its value is limited: “Failure to integrate the technology into organisational practice will relegate it to a cost expenditure and not a cost benefit.”

Makin mentions another area of concern in the United States: the involvement of private companies. “There’s also a move towards having private companies taking over some of the administrative tasks, including providing redaction, transcription, and generally managing the data.” Trusting private companies with sensitive material can backfire, especially if it is not encrypted and held securely.

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Engineering & Technology