Magic mushrooms permanently changes personality

psilocybin mushroom

psilocybin mushroom

Psilocybe cubensis, commonly referred to as magic mushrooms have the potential to make a lasting change to one’s personality. This is a preliminary conclusion from a study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers and published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

A single dose of ‘shrooms’ was enough to make a lasting impression on the personality in 30 of the 51 participants, or nearly 60%. Those who had a hallucinatory or mystical experience after consuming the mushrooms showed increased in the personality trait ‘openness’, which is closely related to creativity and curiosity. This increase was measured 2 months and even 14 months after the last session, which suggests long-term effects.

Study leader Roland Griffiths, a professor of psychiatry, finds this lasting impact on a personality trait remarkable: “Normally, if anything, openness tends to decrease as people get older.” Openness is one of five traits that were tested and the only one that changed during the study. Along with the other factors extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness, openness is one of the major personality traits that are known to be constant throughout one’s lifetime.

According to the researchers, this study is the first finding of a short-term means with which long-term personality changes can made. “There may be applications for this we can’t even imagine at this point,” says Griffiths. “It certainly deserves to be systematically studied.”

There is currently another study under way to determine whether or not psilocybin can help cancer patients deal with feelings of anxiety and depression.

 

Source:  azarius.pt

Fukushima fuel rods melted through concrete floor

Fukushima fuel rods may have completely melted:

Fukushima fuel rods may have completely melted

Fukushima fuel rods may have completely melted

Fuel rods inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have completely melted and bored most of the way through a concrete floor, the reactor’s last line of defence before its steel outer casing, the plant’s operator said.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said in a report that fuel inside reactor No 1 appeared to have dropped through its inner pressure vessel and into the outer containment vessel, indicating that the accident was more severe than first thought.

The revelation that the plant may have narrowly averted a disastrous “China syndrome” scenario comes days after reports that the company had dismissed a 2008 warning that the plant was inadequately prepared to resist a tsunami.

Tepco revised its view of the damage inside the No 1 reactor – one of three that suffered meltdown soon after the 11 March disaster – after running a new simulation of the accident.

It would not comment on the exact position of the molten fuel, or on how much of it is exposed to water being pumped in to cool the reactor. More than nine months into the crisis, workers are still unable to gauge the damage directly because of dangerously high levels of radiation inside the reactor building.

“Uncertainty involved in the analysis is significant, due to the uncertain nature of the original conditions and data used,” Tepco said in a report. It said the concrete “could have been penetrated”, but added that the fuel remained inside the reactor’s outer casing.

Previously, the firm had said that only some of the fuel had burned through its inner pressure vessel and dropped into the containment vessel.

“Almost no fuel remains at its original position,” Tepco said. The simulation shows that the fuel may have penetrated the concrete floor by up to 65cm, just 37cm from the reactor’s outer steel wall.

Tepco said that about 60% of the fuel in the two other reactors that experienced meltdown had dropped onto the concrete base, but had caused less damage.

After the tsunami, workers at the site stopped injecting reactor No 1 with water for about 14 hours, resulting in more serious damage than sustained by the two other reactors.

The company added, however, that fuel in all three reactors was being kept stable by cooling water, adding that the erosion had stopped.

It said the findings would not affect plans to bring the reactors to a safe state, known as cold shutdown, possibly by the middle of the month.

Japanese authorities may announce cold shutdown on 16 December, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Friday. That stage is reached when water used to cool the fuel rods remains below boiling point, thereby preventing the fuel from heating up again.

Stabilising the reactors is just the first stage of the operation to resolve the crisis. Tepco has said it won’t be able to begin removing the fuel for another 10 years. Decommissioning the plant could take at least 30 years.

Monsanto’s Linked to Serious Soil Damage

Monsanto’s Roundup Pesticide Linked to Serious Soil Damage:

Glyphosate

Glyphosate

Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide, is being linked to damaged soil and roots of treated plants, finds 15 years of study, according to a representative from the USDA. Fungal root disease has increased among farmers using the popular Roundup pesticide, particularly on the Monsanto genetically modified Roundup Ready seeds, according to Bob Kremer, a microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. GM corn and soybeans represent a majority of Roundup dependent crops grown in the U.S., and this “invisible” plight of changes in soil bacteria and increased presence of fungus could indicate larger problems ahead with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready and other GMO seeds. With so many farmers in the U.S. now dependent on glyphosate pesticides and genetically modified seeds, the implications of widespread soil fungus are tremendous as a resistant fungus could devastate farms. The presence of newly discovered glyphosate resistant “superweeds” are already taking a toll on farmers’ crops and machinery. The research also revealed that the controversial genetically altered crops are not showing signs of yielding more than conventional crops, despite that being one of the key selling points of genetically modified seed manufacturers including Monsanto. Nutrient deficiencies linked to the root disease problems are likely a limiting factor, Kremer says, and the fungal diseases could limit crop health and production even further in the future warranting significantly more research. Among the growing concerns over heavy use of glyphosate based pesticides are links to human and livestock health risks including cancer, fertility issues, birth defects, organ damage and neurological disorders.

Monsanto’s Roundup is causing DNA Damage

Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat:

Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat

Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat

There is a reason that masks are worn while applying herbicides and warning signs are erected upon recently sprayed land plots — herbicide exposure is known to cause serious health complications. New research has recently been released showing that glyphosate, the main active ingredient found in Monsanto’s Roundup Ultra Max, is causing both DNA and cellular damage to cells found in the mouth and throat. Seeing as the inhalation of herbicides and ingredients like glyphosate is very common, this research alone is enough to raise concern over the safety of such substances which are used on a major scale. The Institute of Science in Society reports:

…Monsanto’s formulated version of glyphosate called Roundup Ultra Max caused cellular damage and DNA damage including chromosomal abnormalities and ultimately killed the cells at higher concentrations. Importantly, DNA damage occurred at concentrations below those required to induce cell damage, suggesting that the DNA damage was caused directly by glyphosate instead of being an indirect result of cell toxicity.

The research comes shortly after Monsanto’s all-to-popular Roundup has been shown to be killing off human kidney cells – even at low doses. Scientists demonstrated in the research that Monsanto’s ‘biopesticide’ Bt, in addition to Roundup, cause direct toxicity to human cells. They found that at only 100 parts per million (ppm), the biopesticide led to cell death, while it only took 57.2ppm of Roundup to kill half of the cell population in their research. Turns out that the amount of Roundup shown to cause this damage is 200 times below agricultural use. Although harm caused by glyphosate and Roundup is thought to be experienced only by those spraying the herbicide, Roundup may actually causing harm to millions of people. Roundup is not only sprayed on the food we eat, but it is also used by countless households as a consumer herbicide product. Roundup is so prevalent that it has been found in 41 percent of the 140 groundwater samples tested from Catalonia Spain. Even more concerning, a recent German study found glyphosate in all urine samples tested in concentrations at 5 to 20-fold the limit established for drinking water. Despite the evidence stacking up against Monsanto, they continue to push their health-damaging products on the public through personal and commercial use.

Apple Inc. Riot’s

Riot at Foxconn Factory Underscores Rift in China

Riot at Foxconn Factory Underscores Rift in China

 The online postings were from a disturbance late Sunday that shut down a manufacturing facility in Taiyuan in north China, where 79,000 workers were employed. State-run news media said 5,000 police officers had to be called in to quell a riot that began as a dispute involving a group of workers and security guards at a factory dormitory. The unrest was noteworthy because the factory site is managed by Foxconn Technology, one of the world’s biggest electronics manufacturers and an important supplier to companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. A spokesman for Foxconn said the company was investigating the cause of the incident. But analysts say worker unrest in China has grown more common because workers are more aware of their rights, and yet have few outlets to challenge or negotiate with their employers. When they do, though, the results can be ugly and, because of social media and the Web, almost instantly transmitted to the world in their rawest and most unfiltered form. “At first it was a conflict between the security guards and some workers,” said a man who was reached by telephone after he posted images online. The man said he was a Foxconn employee. “But I think the real reason is they were frustrated with life.” The company said that as many as 2,000 workers were involved in the incident but that it was confined to an employee dormitory and “no production facilities or equipment have been affected.” Nonetheless, the plant was closed, the company said. Foxconn, which is based in Taiwan and employs more than 1.1 million workers in China, declined to say whether the Taiyuan plant made products for the Apple iPhone 5, which went on sale last week. A spokesman said the factory supplied goods to many consumer electronics brands. An employee at the Taiyuan plant said iPhone components were made there. Supply-chain experts say most Apple-related production takes place in other parts of China, particularly in the provinces of Sichuan, Guangdong and Henan. Apple referred questions to Foxconn. Labor unrest in Taiyuan, in northern China’s Shanxi Province, comes as strikes and other worker protests appear to be increasing in frequency this year compared with last year, said Geoffrey Crothall, spokesman for the China Labor Bulletin, a nonprofit advocacy group in Hong Kong seeking collective bargaining and other protections for workers in mainland China. Many of the protests this year appear to be related to the country’s economic slowdown, as employees demand the payment of overdue wages from financially struggling companies, or insist on compensation when money-losing factories in coastal provinces are closed and moved to lower-cost cities in the interior. But the level of labor unrest in China this year has not yet matched 2010, when a surge in inflation sparked a wave of worker demands for higher pay, Mr. Crothall said. The Taiyuan protest comes at a politically delicate time in China, with a Communist Party Congress expected in the coming weeks to anoint a new general secretary and a new slate of members for the country’s most powerful body, the Standing Committee of the Politburo. The government has been tightening security ahead of the conclave through measures like restricting the issuance of visas and devoting considerable resources to watching and containing disturbances like the recent anti-Japanese demonstrations. But the calendar may also be on Foxconn’s side. A weeklong public holiday starts this weekend to mark the country’s national day on Oct. 1. Factories across the country will close to allow workers to go home — and in the case of Foxconn’s Taiyuan factory, the dispersal of workers to hometowns could allow tempers to cool. Mr. Crothall said that while the cause of the latest dispute in Taiyuan remained unclear, his group had found an online video of the police there using a megaphone to address “workers from Henan” — the adjacent province to the south of Shanxi. The police officer said that the workers’ concerns would be addressed. Disputes involving large groups of migrant workers are common in China. In some cases, workers protest after believing that they have been promised a certain pay package and traveled a long distance to claim it, only to find on arrival that the details were different from what they expected. In other cases, workers from different provinces with different cultural traditions coming together in a single factory have clashed over social issues or perceived slights. The disturbance is the latest problem to hit Foxconn. Foxconn, which is part of Hon Hai Group of Taiwan, has been struggling to improve labor conditions at its China factories after reports about labor abuse and work safety violations. Apple and Foxconn have worked together to improve conditions, raise pay and improve labor standards, particularly since March when the Fair Labor Association, a monitoring group invited by Apple to investigate conditions, found widespread problems. Mr. Crothall said workers in China had become emboldened. “They’re more willing to stand up for their rights, to stand up to injustice,” he said, adding that damage to factory buildings and equipment still appeared to be unusual, occurring in fewer than 1 in 20 protests. The same Taiyuan factory was the site of a brief strike during a pay dispute last March, the Hong Kong news media reported then. Social media postings suggested that some injuries might have occurred when people were trampled in crowds of protesters.