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Archive 2017

Participation in the V International Conference on ‘’Novel Psychoactive Substances’’

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In 2017 October 23 to 24 our representative Hayk Kasparyan, the head of Drugs, Psychoactive Substances and Poisons Examinations Unit of Physical Technical Examinations and Chemical Expertises Department, took part in the V International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) was held on 23-24 October 2017 at the United Nation Office in Vienna, Austria.

The conference was opened by Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director, Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Welcome speeches were made as well by Ornella Corazza, University of Hertfordshire, Olivier Rabin, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Roumen Sedefov, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Justice Tettey, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In the course of the conference two parallel sessions took place. Particularly, The main objectives of this fifth event are to share evidence-based information on NPS and latest trends of misuse; improve the understanding of clinical treatment and management of NPS use; explore policy and legislative responses to NPS; develop innovative prevention measures for vulnerable individuals; identify public health implications of NPS and explore motivations and socio-cultural factors underlying NPS use.

On the second day of the conference, on October 24, H. Kasparyan made a presentation entitled "Forensic examination of synthetic drugs discovered in the Republic of Armenia in 2013-2016, including synthetic cannabinoids contained in herbal cigarette blends, which was of great interest to listeners.

Generally, there were 110 reports from 36 countries.

H.Kasparyan reinforced the ties acquired during the previous scientific events, established new contacts with the aim of further cooperation with the leaders of European and world leading forensic institutes, researchers and experts.

NEW POSSIBILITIES OF DNA SEQUENCING WORKSHOP WITH INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION

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A three-day scientific workshop entitled “DNA sequencing technologies and their application in practice” took place In Yerevan. It’s worth mentioning that this outstanding event, organized by the National Bureau of Expertises and Center of Medical Genetics and Primary Health Care, was held in Armenia for the first time.

This workshop brought together genetics from Japan, Sweden, Denmark and Georgia who together with our scientists discussed problems of development of DNA technologies sharing their best practice at the same time. Among the main topics were discussed the application of DNA sequencing technologies for diagnosis of hereditary diseases, bioinformation development of sequencing results and application of DNA sequencing technologies in forensic genetic examinations.

Representatives of the Ministry of Health and law enforcement agencies of Armenia, scientists of scientific and research institutes of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia also took an active part in the workshop. The event was opened by Kh.Muradyan, the acting director of the National Bureau of Expertises of the RA with a welcoming speech. Noting the importance of the implementation and development of DNA sequencing technologies in the Republic of Armenia, he wished the participants of the seminar fruitful and successful work.

In his opening speech at the workshop, the head of the Department of Medical Genetics of the Yerevan State University, the director of Center of Medical Genetics and Primary Health Care professor T. Sargsyan mentioned that application of DNA sequencing technologies will lead to a new level of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of hereditary diseases.

A.Hovhannisyan, the Head of DNA identification department of National Bureau of Expertises of the RA, emphasized that in addition to medical sphere DNA sequencing technologies can be used in the justice system, which allows you to reach a new level of forensic medical examination.

One of the Japanese guests of the workshop, Satoru Miyano, whose report was on “Challenging Big Cancer Sequence Data by Supercomputer and Artificial Intelligence” noted not only the importance of DNA technology, but also the role of supercomputer and artificial intelligence, which will help better understand the genome. He also mentioned that the workshop will serve as a bridge for further cooperation between Armenian and international leading scientists in this field of science.

Nino Kochiashvili, head of Department of Forensic Biology, Levan Samkharauli National Forensic Bureau (Georgia), noted the importance of exchanging experience between scientists from different countries. She said that currently, 250 examinations are carried out monthly in her department and 10 years ago about 250 examinations were conducted in the department in a year. N. Kochiashvili drew attention to the paramount importance of the development of DNA technology in the investigation of criminal cases. In particular, when identifying human biological material at crime scene, and also for identifying missing people during disasters.

In the course of the workshop more than 15 preliminary reports were presented. is The following are particularly noteworthy: Marie Allen (Sweden) “Massive Parallelle Sequencing of challenging forensic and historical DNA samples”, Masaki Hashiyada (Japan) “Various sequencing technologies, including NGS in forensic DNA profiling”, Yu-ichi Goto – “Systematic DNA analyses for the mitochondrial diseases in Japan”, Niels Tommerup (Denmark) “Mapping translocation breakpoints by next-generation sequencing”.

The participants of the workshop mentioned that this important scientific event provided opportunity to establish professional ties with colleagues from similar international institutions and in future will allow to realize in practice international scientific and technical achievements in DNA sequencing not only in scientific but also in forensic examinations realized in the Republic of Armenia. The workshop also allowed to identify the fundamental professional and organizational and legal tasks, as well as to outline the ways of their implementation.

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