Saturday January 19, 2019

Mystery Solved: Iconoclast Musician Prince died of accidental drug overdose, says Medical Test report

The death of Prince Rogers Nelson due to a drug called fentanyl alerts drug associations in the U.S

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Prince Rogers Nelson. Image source Wikimedia commons

The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey, MN in US found the mystery behind the great musician’s death. Entertainer and Iconoclast in the true sense of the term, Prince’s death was due to drug overdose. The medical examiner said Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, self-administered a deadly dose of the synthetic opiate fentanyl by accident, a report released publicly on Thursday, June 2 said.

National Institute on Drug Abuse states, fentanyl, a schedule II drug, is typically used to “treat patients with severe pain.” As Minnesota Public Radio reports: “Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous opioid painkillers, said Dr. Charles Reznikoff, an addiction medicine specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center. “‘Fentanyl is what I call the Ebola of opioids. The reason I call it that is Fentanyl kills you quickly, very quickly, as opposed to many of the other opioids that take a long time and are less apt to kill you in overdose,’ Reznikoff said.”

Powder drugs. Image source Wikimedia Commons
Powder drugs. Image source Wikimedia Commons

“Seizures of fentanyl have increased significantly in the past couple of years. It’s one part of the country’s opioid epidemic,” says spokesman Lawrence Payne of Drug Enforcement Administration. Two-thirds of deaths in the U.S involved some kind of drug (opioids) as stated by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Payne also said that the Drug Enforcement Administration is seeing more and more fentanyl both alone and mixed with heroin.

A bottle of Heroin. Image source Wikimedia Commons
A bottle of Heroin. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

“From what we know, most heroin users are not aware of what they are consuming is in fact Fentanyl rather than heroin,” Payne told Carrie Johnson of NPR. “This can be attributed to a majority of the opiate-related overdoses we are seeing. The users are not accustomed to consuming such a powerful dose and most think it is the same dose of heroin rather than Fentanyl, which is 25 time to 50 times stronger.”

Prince’s overdose made him the most high profile victim of the opioid epidemic. Fentanyl is a prescription as well as a street drug, nobody knows how he (Prince) acquired this drug or why he was taking it.

Representatives from Prince’s office had contacted Dr Howard Kornfeld, nation authority on addiction, seeking help for the singer. The doctor immediately sent his son, but ultimately it was too late. Mr Andrew Kornfeld was among those who found Prince dead in the elevator at his Paisley Park compound.

by Vrushali Mahajan, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: Vrushali Mahajan 

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Partial Shutdown of US Delays Space Missions, But NASA Not Grounded

Other active space missions includes NASA probes OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons spacecraft that continue to gather data in Earth orbit and the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond, the report said

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People rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

The partial shutdown of the US federal government has had a serious impact on the country’s space agency NASA and development work on most future space missions has been slowed or suspended.

However, NASA has not been totally grounded by the partial government shutdown that began on December 22, after last-minute negotiations in Congress failed to end a budget standoff.

Over 95 per cent of the space agency’s employees have been furloughed. As a result, various research projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope has been put on hold, the Space.com reported on Wednesday.

Hubble suffered a mechanical problem that only furloughed NASA employees could repair.

Many workers also gathered outside the Johnson Space Center in Houston to protest the shutdown and its deleterious effects on their lives and the nation’s space programmes.

The Telescope facilities that have so far remained open during the shutdown will soon run out of money and cease operations.

This includes the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), a federally funded organization that operates the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the Green Bank Telescope and the Very Large Array (VLA), the report noted.

The partial shutdown become the longest on record after January 12, overtaking the previous record of the 21-day impasse in 1995-96 under then President Bill Clinton.

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US shutdown delays space missions but NASA not grounded: Report,

President Donald Trump and the Congress have been at loggerheads over his demand to include in the budget $5.7 billion funding for building a border wall along the Mexico border. Democratic leaders have rejected his call.

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), also called the “flying telescope” has also ceased operations since the shutdown.

The telescope, which is mounted to the fuselage of a Boeing 747 aircraft, has not flown since the shutdown began, the report said.

However, despite the shutdown some “excepted” employees remained at work, assisting astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and other space missions, the report said.

Also Read- National Clean Air Programme Should Set Higher Targets

Last week, astronauts aboard the ISS conducted a range of scientific experiments and public-outreach work. They engaged in an orbital Q&A with school kids and answered a variety of questions, from the nature of the research performed aboard the ISS to the type of training astronauts receive to whether your ears pop in space.

On January 13, a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule departed the orbiting lab for Earth, eventually splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The robotic Dragon brought down important scientific research and hardware for examination here on terra firma.

Other active space missions includes NASA probes OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons spacecraft that continue to gather data in Earth orbit and the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond, the report said.  (IANS)