Link About It: This Week’s Picks

An explosion of color in Stockholm, NASA's Mars precautions, updates to our perception of marijuana and more

NASA’s Preventative Measures Against Potential Martian Pathogens Although the risk is small that threatening organisms will make their way to Earth via the Martian rock samples currently being collected, NASA is taking precautions. These samples—set to arrive in the 2030s—will first be held in a receiving facility that’s “capable of safely containing the most dangerous pathogens known to science,” that also “prevents substances on Earth …

San Francisco Decriminalizes Psychedelics

San Francisco lawmakers unanimously approved a resolution that decriminalizes the use of psychedelics, such as psilocybin and ayahuasca. While this measure does not yet reverse the city’s criminal justice policy, it is a crucial first step toward this goal, urging police to treat psychedelics “amongst the lowest priority” and noting that the city should not use its resources “for any investigation, detention, arrest, or prosecution …

Psilocybin Drastically Reduces Drinking in Individuals Dealing With Alcohol Use Disorder

While psychedelics have been used in trials and treatment for alcohol disorders during the 1940s and ’50s, a recent study has revealed that psilocybin (the ingredient found in magic mushrooms) coupled with psychotherapy can reduce heavy drinking by 83% in just eight months. The study (published in JAMA Psychiatry) comes as part of the largest clinical trial of its kind at NYU Langone Center for …