Good News on US life expectancy (Abstract Science, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1)
Also: The benefits of magic mushrooms for cancer patients, and the WHO declares coronavirus a global emergency
(Dan Vergano, Buzzfeed News, 1/30/20)
According to a recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics, the US life expectancy rate has risen for the first time in three years. These stats were helped in part by lower cancer mortality rates, along with decreases in deaths from overdoses in 14 states. In the bigger picture, however, rates have been about stagnant for the past ten years.
(Joseph Guzman, The Hill, 1/28/20)
Cancer patients who were given a dose of synthetic psilocybin in 2016 are still feeling the effects four years later, according to recent research. Of the patients contacted for follow-up, 80% reported decreased anxiety and depression, and credited the change to the drug. Psilocybin is the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms and is believed to have a direct effect on the area of the brain that engages in worrying.
(Doug Stanglin, Ken Alltucker, Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, 1/30/20)
The WHO declared the coronavirus a global emergency this week after the death toll reached 213. In the US, the first case of person to person transmission was reported. Outside of China, the WHO stated that 98 cases have been reported. WHO officials praised China’s response to the outbreak.
—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker