News in Brief

Deadly DNA: Technology Advances

In the 2002 thriller “Minority Report,” futuristic detectives use a watered down version of eugenics (the practice of selective human breeding) to catch criminals before they engage in any sort of misconduct.

In the real world, however, the crime scene investigation goes a little differently.

Eugenics are a touchy subject for most Californians, as the state was home to the unjust and, known to some as inhumane, eugenics movement in the early twentieth century.

As technology in crime scene investigations rapidly improves, DNA is becoming the focal point for catching criminals. Still, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, Simon Cole, feels it necessary to clarify the difference between DNA and the line drawn before eugenics.

Cole spoke at a lecture concerning criminal identification technologies in Pugh Hall Wednesday night.

“People now want to predict crime with a ‘crime gene’,” Cole said, according to the Independent Florida Alligator. “It’s never worked in the past.”

Cole hopes he has given people a “healthy skepticism” when it comes to studying DNA in crime scenes.

Morphine Used to Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome?

Drugs remain at the forefront of American controversy, from cannabis to over-the-counter pills.

Among the well-known mind altering substance comes morphine, a drug that has been used for years both in hospitals and on the street.

Now, morphine is being used to help treat soldiers who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder; a devastating illness that experts say hits about 20 percent of troops and veterans. This figure does not even take into account the masses of veterans and soldiers who do not step forward to receive help.

According to the Los Angeles Times, more than 400,000 military personnel have been diagnosed with PTSD since the 2003 invasion in Iraq.

New advances in the study concerning troops and morphine were published on Jan. 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine, saying that opiates like morphine can disrupt the way the brain keeps a memory – making it not so severe and less distinct.

Officials are toying with the idea of doing preemptive treatments for soldiers they deem to be unfit or emotionally unstable, but ideas are still in the early stages.

“The Cove” Screening  With Director at UCI

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Irvine Students Against Animal Cruelty will be co-hosting a free screening of the documentary, “The Cove.”

The screening will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Engineering Lecture Hall.

The film exposes the horrifying secrets behind the largest dolphin suppliers in the world in Taijii, Japan. Guards patrolling the cove prevent photography but a group of activists and a famous dolphin trainer were able to successfully infiltrate the cove to document its dark secrets.

“The Cove” has won 29 awards including an award from the Sundance Film Festival. Additionally, the film has also won the VH1’s Critic’s Choice Award for Best Documentary.

Director of the documentary, Louie Psihoyos, will also be attending and speaking at the film screening at UCI.