Hallucinogens, depression, and mental health

Featured article (this article has been added to the Science Primary Literature database): *Davis, A. K., Barrett, F. S., May, D. G., Cosimano, M. P., Sepeda, N. D., Johnson, M. W., . . . Griffiths, R. R. (2020). Effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy on major depressive disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, published online November 4, 2020. [PDF] [Cited by] “Importance:  Major depressive disorder (MDD)…

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Copper nanoclusters: applications

“A nanocluster is a type of nanoparticle in which researchers have pinpointed the precise arrangement of every atom, along with their bond lengths and bond angles. This detailed information enables researchers to predict the properties of related clusters, based on their composition and structures.” “Nanoclusters containing copper, silver and gold have potential uses as catalysts, or as nontoxic luminescent imaging agents in living cells” (Copper…

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Aging chimpanzees and aging humans: not that far apart

As humans and chimpanzees age, they exhibit similar patterns of social behavior. Aging behavior in humans was thought to be based on the ability to realize and understand that our lives were drawing to a close. But, that may not be the case. The similarities between aging humans and aging chimpanzees may point to a deeper evolutionary mechanism. Featured article: *Rosati, A. G., Hagberg, L.,…

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Technology will not protect us from human weakness–and can make it worse

“When we think about misinformation … we tend to focus on the presence of bad information — but really we should be focusing on the presence of doubt.” “A platform like YouTube or Facebook can claim to be building a “marketplace of ideas” by algorithmically presenting, say, a story about a new vaccine alongside a story claiming vaccines are dangerous. But what it is really…

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Is Facebook hazardous to our well-being?

Is use of Facebook (and other social media sites) a genuine hazard to our physical and mental health? Are the purported benefits of digital social media outweighed by the risks? Past research has found negatives and some positives. “Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen…

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Updated: Chatbots — propaganda is being taught how to speak

Bots–“simple computer scripts–were originally designed to automate repetitive tasks … sparing humans hours of tedium.”  But, bots “can also be used to operate large numbers of fake [social media] accounts, which makes them ideal for manipulating people.” As became evident after the 2016 election in the United States and from many other examples, not only do bot-operated fake social media accounts “broadcast extremist viewpoints,” but…

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