(Noel Casler/YouTube and National Archives)

Unlike Donald Trump, Noel Casler did not become a household name after working on the reality program The Celebrity Apprentice. But Casler's recent revelations regarding the President may gain him some notoriety.

Casler currently works are a stand-up comedian. During his act, Casler—who also worked on some of the broadcasts when the President owned the Miss Universe family of pageants—made some rather shocking allegations about Trump's activities behind the scenes.

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Any public health official interested in resolving North America’s opioid crisis should be looking towards national legalization of medical marijuana. That’s the conclusion of two new studies recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine, an American Medical Association journal.

“In this time when we are so concerned — rightly so — about opiate misuse and abuse and the mortality that’s occurring, we need to be clear-eyed and use evidence to drive our policies,” said W. David Bradford, an economist at the University of Georgia and an author of one of the studies. “If you’re interested in giving people options for pain management that don’t bring the particular risks that opiates do, states should contemplate turning on dispensary-based cannabis policies.”

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Humanity’s consumption of drugs is making its way down the food chain. Prescription drugs ranging from antidepressants, blood thinners, erectile dysfunction drugs and birth control pills to illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are working their way through human bodies and plumbing systems and into lakes, rivers, and oceans, where they are affecting fish and other wildlife. Eventually, they make their way up the food chain and return to us via the plants and animals we eat. Their impact on human health remains unclear, but some scientists are finding troubling impacts on aquatic life.

“We have every reason to suspect that the release of stimulants to aquatic environments is on the rise across the globe, yet little is known about the ecological consequences of this pollution,” said Emma Rosi-Marshall, a freshwater ecologist at the Cary Institute.

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hoto Essay At The Regional University Hospital Of Lille, Salengro Hospital, Department Of Neurosurgery. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

We have all heard horror stories about patients who remember or feel surgeries, even though they were under general anesthesia. While these cases are fairly rare, they shed light on the notion that when it comes to certain general anesthetics, our brains might be in more of a sleep and dreamlike state than previously realized.

Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland have revealed that even under general anesthesia, some parts of the human brain are still able to process sensations from their surrounding environment. This will occur even when the patient cannot recall any of it upon waking.

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Wikimedia Commons // Timothy Ruban

Before a potential drug is tested on humans, it must first undergo animal testing. The problem is, 30 percent of drugs that are used successfully on animals are toxic to humans. Another 60 percent of drugs that that work on animals fail to have any efficacy on humans.

An untold number of drugs that could be toxic or ineffective on animals could actually be helpful to humans, but we have no way of knowing it. Humans and mice, rabbits, dogs, and primates have many things in common, but in the end, we are simply different animals. Which means drug testing on non-human animals has limited value. Fortunately, scientists have come up with a better plan — based on computers.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 24: A man uses heroin under a bridge where he lives with other addicts in the Kensington section of Philadelphia which has become a hub for heroin use on January 24, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over 900 people died in 2016 in Philadelphia from opioid overdoses, a 30 percent increase from 2015. As the epidemic shows no signs of weakening, the number of fatalities this year is expected to surpass last year's numbers. Heroin use has doubled across the country since 2010, according to the DEA, part of an epidemic. Officials from Philadelphia recently announced that they want to become the first U.S. city to allow supervised drug injection sites as a way to combat the opioid epidemic. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Contrary to popular belief, Americans are not living longer. In large part due to alcohol and drug abuse, as well as suicide, life expectancy has dropped in the US for the second year in a row. This trend is particularly alarming, because life expectancy rates have been rising in many other developed countries over the last several decades. Clearly, something is amiss in American society.

As will surprise no one America is in the midst of a booming opioid epidemic. According to a report by CBS, overdose is now the leading cause of death for American adults under 50 years old. This sobering statistic demonstrates the brutality of addiction, particularly within the United States.

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[DIGEST: SHM, Chicago Tribune]

In September 2015, Martin Shkreli, the hedge fund manager and CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, caused widespread outrage when he obtained the manufacturing license for a drug known as Daraprim and raised its price 5,000 percent, from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. Daraprim, a generic drug known as pyrimethamine that is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines, was originally created 62 years ago as an antimalarial medication, but has since been found to be effective in treating infections caused by toxoplasmosis, especially in people with HIV and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Shkreli’s audacious move underscored the potential for price-gouging by pharmaceutical companies.

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