Magic Mushrooms Inspire Openness

A single dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient in 'magic mushrooms,' brings about a measurable and lasting personality change—'openness'—lasting at least a year. 

What's the Latest Development?

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University report that single doses of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient 'magic mushrooms,' were enough to bring about a measureable and lasting personality change—'openness'—lasting at least a year in nearly 60 percent of the 51 participants in a new study. "By 'openness,' they mean traits related to imagination, aesthetics, feelings, abstract ideas, and general broad-mindedness, the researchers said." The observed personality changes were greater than those that normally occur over an adult lifetime. 

What's the Big Idea?

The study, party funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, may lend more legitimacy to the idea, long held by the counter culture, that hallucinogenic drugs may be useful as part of a therapeutic psychological treatment. Roland R. Griffiths, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is currently investigating whether hallucinogens have "a use in helping cancer patients handle the depression and anxiety that comes along with a diagnosis, and whether it can help longtime cigarette smokers overcome their addiction."

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
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