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‘I felt more joy than I thought possible’

‘I felt more joy than I thought possible’

Science
Science Photo Library"I had the full-blown mystical revelatory experience - the big psychedelic multi-coloured light and sound show." This is how Steve recalls his first dose of a hallucinogenic drug, psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms. His experience was part of a clinical trial that some scientists are calling a major step towards a revolution in the treatment of depression. It is a trial complicated by the fact that the drug it is testing is illegal. Psilocybin is a Schedule 1 controlled substance; its use is very strictly regulated. Part of the definition of a Schedule 1 drug is that it is not used medicinally. But this trial, which scanned of the brains of participants after their treatment with psychedelics, painted an extraordinary physical picture of the ...
More than eight million trees lost this winter in the UK

More than eight million trees lost this winter in the UK

Science
It is the untold story of the winter storms. More than eight million trees have been brought down and many are now threatened by another two named storms bearing down on Britain.Forest managers warn that already "catastrophic" damage will be made worse by Storms Dudley and Eunice.There are warnings that the heating climate is making our weather more severe and unpredictable, and that management and planting strategies must adapt more quickly.Forest ranger Richard Tanner says that he's never seen a real battlefield, but the west shore of Windermere now reminds him of photographs he has seen."It looks like someone's set off a bomb."All around are the giant root plates of fallen trees, some the size of caravans, studded with rocks torn from the earth."There's three tonnes of tree and then fiv...
Global computing’s carbon footprint is bigger than previously estimated

Global computing’s carbon footprint is bigger than previously estimated

Science
Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The world is more online than ever before, and as the digital economy continues to expand, so does the Internet's carbon footprint. According to a new study, published Friday in the journal Patterns, information and communications technology, or ICT for short, is responsible for a greater share of greenhouse gas emissions than previously estimated. When researchers at Lancaster University analyzed earlier attempts to calculate ICT's carbon footprint, they determined scientists had failed to account for the entire life-cycle and supply chain of ICT products and infrastructure. This would include, for example, the emissions produced by makers of ICT components, or the emissions linked with the disposal of ICT products. Scientists have previously pegged ICT's s...
Overall risk for global pandemics higher than previously thought, study finds

Overall risk for global pandemics higher than previously thought, study finds

Science
Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The COVID-19 pandemic may be the deadliest viral outbreak since the Spanish flu in 1918-19, but these events may not be as rare as previously thought, according to an analysis published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The assessment of new disease outbreaks over the past 400 years found that the probability of a pandemic with similar impact to COVID-19 in a given year is about 2%, the data showed. This means that a person born in 2000 had about a 38% chance of experiencing a major outbreak by now, the researchers said. That probability is only growing, highlighting the need to adjust perceptions of pandemic risks and expectations for preparedness, they said. "The most important takeaway [of our study] is that large pandemics lik...
More than 80 dead after rifle grenades land on Myanmar protesters

More than 80 dead after rifle grenades land on Myanmar protesters

World
More than 80 people have been killed by rifle grenades in yet more violent clashes between the military and protesters in Myanmar.Bodies were piled up in a pagoda in the town of Bago after Myanmar security forces opened fire on a protest against the 1 February military coup in the country. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) monitoring group said it believed there were 82 dead. Image: Heavy clashes erupted during demonstrations in Yangon. Pic: AP Protest organiser Ye Htut told news outlet Myanmar Now: "It is like genocide."They are shooting at every shadow." ...