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posted by martyb on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:19AM   Printer-friendly
from the things-are-looking-up dept.

An fMRI study has found evidence of a reduction in depressive symptoms after treatment with psilocybin:

A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can "reset" the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest.

The small study gave 19 patients a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin. Half of patients ceased to be depressed and experienced changes in their brain activity that lasted about five weeks.

However, the team at Imperial College London says people should not self-medicate.

There has been a series of small studies suggesting psilocybin could have a role in depression by acting as a "lubricant for the mind" that allows people to escape a cycle of depressive symptoms. But the precise impact it might be having on brain activity was not known.

Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-13282-7) (DX)


Original Submission

Related Stories

Ketamine Shows Promise as a Fast-Acting Treatment for Depression 14 comments

Ketamine could become an approved treatment for depression in the UK soon:

Ketamine has 'fast-acting benefits' for depression

Ketamine has "shown promise" in the rapid treatment of major depression and suicidal thoughts, a US study says. Ketamine has a reputation as a party drug but is licensed as an anaesthetic. The study found use of the drug via a nasal spray led to "significant" improvements in depressive symptoms in the first 24 hours. The Royal College of Psychiatrists said it was a "significant" study that brought the drug "a step closer to being prescribed on the NHS".

The report by researchers from Janssen Research and Development, a Johnson and Johnson company, and Yale School of Medicine, is the first study into ketamine as a treatment for depression that has been done by a drug company.

[...] The study found those using esketamine had a much greater improvement in depression symptoms at all points over the first four weeks of treatment. However, at 25 days the effects had levelled out. The study's authors suggest it could offer an effective rapid treatment for people severely depressed and at imminent risk of suicide and could help in the initial stages of treatment, as most anti-depressants take four to six weeks to become fully effective.

Also at Medical Daily.

Efficacy and Safety of Intranasal Esketamine for the Rapid Reduction of Symptoms of Depression and Suicidality in Patients at Imminent Risk for Suicide: Results of a Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study (DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.17060720) (DX)

Can a Framework Be Established for the Safe Use of Ketamine? (DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.18030290) (DX)

Related: FDA Designates MDMA as a "Breakthrough Therapy" for PTSD; Approves Phase 3 Trials
Study Suggests Psilocybin "Resets" the Brains of Depressed People
Ketamine Reduces Suicidal Thoughts in Depressed Patients
Studies Identify How Ketamine Can Reverse Symptoms of Depression
Over Years, Depression Changes the Brain, new Study Shows


Original Submission

Ketamine Reduces Suicidal Thoughts in Depressed Patients 34 comments

Study: Suicidal Thoughts Rapidly Reduced with Ketamine

Ketamine was significantly more effective than a commonly used sedative in reducing suicidal thoughts in depressed patients, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). They also found that ketamine's anti-suicidal effects occurred within hours after its administration.

The findings were published online last week in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Ketamine for Rapid Reduction of Suicidal Thoughts in Major Depression: A Midazolam-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial (DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17060647) (DX)

The reduction in SSI score at day 1 was 4.96 points greater for the ketamine group compared with the midazolam group (95% CI=2.33, 7.59; Cohen's d=0.75). The proportion of responders (defined as having a reduction ≥50% in SSI score) at day 1 was 55% for the ketamine group and 30% for the midazolam group (odds ratio=2.85, 95% CI=1.14, 7.15; number needed to treat=4.0). Improvement in the Profile of Mood States depression subscale was greater at day 1 for the ketamine group compared with the midazolam group (estimate=7.65, 95% CI=1.36, 13.94), and this effect mediated 33.6% of ketamine's effect on SSI score. Side effects were short-lived, and clinical improvement was maintained for up to 6 weeks with additional optimized standard pharmacotherapy in an uncontrolled follow-up.

Wikipedia's entry on midazolam notes:

Midazolam, marketed under the trade name Versed, among others, is a medication used for anesthesia, procedural sedation, trouble sleeping, and severe agitation. It works by inducing sleepiness, decreasing anxiety, and causing a loss of ability to create new memories. It is also useful for the treatment of seizures

Related: 4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm
Study Suggests Psilocybin "Resets" the Brains of Depressed People


Original Submission

Hallucination Machine: Psychedelic Visuals in VR 10 comments

Researchers from Sussex University Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science have applied a modified version of Google's DeepDream algorithm to panoramic video:

The researchers used a modified version of Deep Dream to process a panoramic video of the university campus. Then they showed it to 12 volunteers, finding that the visual hallucinations were similar to those brought on by psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms.

The volunteers were asked questions like whether they felt a loss of control or a loss of their sense of self, and whether they saw patterns and colours. Their answers matched up closely with the results of a 2013 study [open, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2063-13.2013] [DX] into the experience of taking psilocybin.

In a second experiment, 22 participants were asked whether they felt any sense of temporal distortion, or a warped sense of time. In this case the responses were similar to those recorded after watching control videos.

That would seem to suggest the researchers' machine can replicate some, but not all, the effects of being high on psychedelic drugs. However, only a few volunteers have been tested so far, and they were a different group to those quizzed on psilocybin back in 2013.

This is just the beginning for the technology – the system is very flexible and can be tweaked in all kinds of ways. In the future, participants could even get to adjust the parameters of the experience themselves.

With better hardware, the algorithms could be run in real time and applied to an augmented reality view instead of a pre-recorded panoramic video.

Also at Newsweek.

A Deep-Dream Virtual Reality Platform for Studying Altered Perceptual Phenomenology (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-16316-2) (DX)

Related: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Study Suggests Psilocybin "Resets" the Brains of Depressed People


Original Submission

4/20: The Mary Jane Majority 56 comments

Past articles: 201520162017 👀

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out in support of federal cannabis decriminalization, just in time for 4/20:

The Minority Leader of the Senate is making it official the day before 4/20: He's down with legal weed. In an exclusive interview with VICE News, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed he is putting his name on legislation that he said is aimed at "decriminalizing" marijuana at the federal level. For Schumer, this is a shift. While he has backed medical marijuana and the rights of states to experiment with legal sales of pot, what he is proposing is a seismic shift in federal drug policy.

"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do. Freedom. If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?" Schumer said.

The legislation should be available within a week or so, and would remove cannabis (still listed as "Marihuana") from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of Schedule I substances. States would then be free to regulate or continue to prohibit the plant. Cannabis advertising would be regulated as are alcohol and tobacco advertising. (Also at NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and CNBC, as well as Reason taking a shot at Schumer for not doing it sooner.)

A majority of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, including, for the first time, a majority (51%) of Republicans, according to Gallup. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use. 29 states, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico have legalized medical use of cannabis, and another 17 states have legalized the use of cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis became available for recreational purposes in California on January 1.

Studies Identify How Ketamine Can Reverse Symptoms of Depression 26 comments

New studies zero in on roots of depression and why ketamine reverses it

[There's] been significant progress in unravelling the confusion over ketamine, with researchers identifying a ketamine derivative that tackles depression with far fewer side effects. And this week, a team of researchers at China's Zhejiang University announced that they've figured out where in the brain ketamine acts when it blocks depression, a finding that gives us significant insights into the biology of the disorder.

The new studies rely on the work of a number of other labs, which have identified a specific structure deep in the brain that's associated with depression. Called the lateral habenula, it's been associated with a variety of activities, the most relevant of which seems to be the processing of unpleasant outcomes and punishment. Electrodes implanted there have been used to relieve depression in at least one instance.

To test whether this might be the site of ketamine's activity, one team of researchers infused the drug directly into the lateral habenula of rats with depression-like symptoms; it blocked them. So did a separate chemical that inhibits the same proteins that ketamine acts on. Tracking the activity in the area, the researchers were able to show that there are bursts of activity in rats with symptoms of depression that are absent in healthy rats. The drugs that blocked depression suppressed these bursts.

Ketamine blocks bursting in the lateral habenula to rapidly relieve depression (DOI: 10.1038/nature25509) (DX)

Astroglial Kir4.1 in the lateral habenula drives neuronal bursts in depression (DOI: 10.1038/nature25752) (DX)

Related: FDA Designates MDMA as a "Breakthrough Therapy" for PTSD; Approves Phase 3 Trials
Study Suggests Psilocybin "Resets" the Brains of Depressed People
Ketamine Reduces Suicidal Thoughts in Depressed Patients


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:33AM (18 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:33AM (#582448)

    Of course nobody should ever self-medicate with something as dangerous as *omg* Drugs™.

    They should wait until big pharma can create a molecule with roughly the same effect that's also highly addictive, unlike psilocybin mushroom, and most importantly, patentable.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:37AM (13 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:37AM (#582450) Homepage

      Government types don't want people to have the enlightening experience of psychedelics. They want people to stay stuck in their mental prisons and physically-addicted. That's where big pharma's opioids and readily-available CIA heroin come in.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:15AM (9 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:15AM (#582534)

        I think Government types are mostly concerned with psychedelics infiltrating things like the water supply - with such tiny doses having such dramatic effects, a one gallon jug dumped in a lake could be a serious problem.

        • (Score: 2) by SanityCheck on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:20AM (6 children)

          by SanityCheck (5190) on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:20AM (#582540)

          Or things like people on psychedelics freaking out and murdering innocent people... you know shit that normal people are concerned about.
          https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&q=high%20on%20mushrooms%20kills [google.com]

          • (Score: 5, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:32AM (4 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:32AM (#582548)

            Oh, hey, Reefer Madness [wikipedia.org] style propaganda has been put out on every schedule 1 drug in almost every media channel available.

            I think the junkies on Meth, PCP, and desperate to score their next rock of crack/push of H are a bigger concern than LSD users and the like - but, it's all relative, and thanks to propaganda the public's perception has no correlation with reality - but that's what's going to be addressed: the perception of problems.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:51AM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:51AM (#582567)

              Yeah it's propaganda. [deadspin.com] Not shit that actually happens. Fake news, huh? Yeah and I'm sure the headline makes it sound a lot worse than it actually was.

              You have something missing in your cortex if you thing people should ever be allowed to take shit that makes you do these type of things. Or you could just be deceptively evil.

              • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @07:05AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @07:05AM (#582569)

                People do this same type of shit on alcohol. Or without drugs because they are just psychotic to begin with.

                If there is such a thing as responsible alcohol use, there is responsible mushroom use. Millions have done it without murdering their friends.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @09:56AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @09:56AM (#582584)

                Look, let's keep it real, if we really cared about collateral damage we'd do something about guns. But no, that's our precious Freedom(tm) and this is teh bad drugs.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16 2017, @01:29AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 16 2017, @01:29AM (#582863)

              Be careful of not being a self-seeker. A century or so ago, would you have been on the British side in the Opium wars?

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Sunday October 15 2017, @09:56AM

            by sjames (2882) on Sunday October 15 2017, @09:56AM (#582585) Journal

            Chantix occasionally causes things like that too, but nobody in government seems too concerned about it.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @11:59AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @11:59AM (#582607)

          a one gallon jug dumped in a lake could be a serious problem.

          Won't somebody think of the fish!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:52PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:52PM (#582679)

        Psychedelics don't lead to enlightenment. If they did there would have been enough enlightened people that prohibiting them wouldn't have be been necessary.

        In truth, they're used in some traditions as part of the work towards enlightenment, not as the whole trip.people that claim otherwise are just using spirituality as an excuse to do what they already wanted to do

        What's more, there are other traditions that don't use drugs and outright ban all of them including legal ones not being used for medicinal purposes.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @08:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @08:14PM (#582749)

          A fair response but:

          If they did there would have been enough enlightened people that prohibiting them wouldn't have be been necessary.

          That was just stupid and illogical. I can't even.

        • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday October 15 2017, @09:23PM

          by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Sunday October 15 2017, @09:23PM (#582767)

          Psychedelics don't lead to enlightenment.

          Probably not, but what mushrooms at least do is alter your perception enough so that you see everything with equal importance. Look at your faded jeans, they are actually more made up of white fibers than blue, you are just trained to perceive them as blue. Shadows become as important to your perception as the item casting the shadow. If you think about relationships (people, job,whatever) in your life at the time you'll maybe find you see things for what they are, not what you are trying to believe they are. Lots of little things like that. Hallucinations perhaps are simply your mind trying to reorder these various equalizations of perception into something "acceptable", I remember being briefly startled by a couple odd sights before I realized they were something familiar seen with a different perspective. Perhaps "bad" trips come to those whose perspective of the world is so fixed and important to them that any such reordering is perceived as an attack (or they just take too much) rather than something to experience and learn from, my guess would be that more introspective people would enjoy it more. If you can hold onto these newly equal perspectives you may end up enlightened, whatever that is, most likely though the euphoria from the experience will fade away and you will slip back into your normal ways.
          Be nice if one could legally experiment more, as things are I would have no idea how to get this sort of stuff any more.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:13AM (3 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:13AM (#582533)

      Early electro-shock therapy for extreme depression was surprisingly low-tech: 60Hz 120VAC applied directly to the temples. That also performed a kind of "reset" erasing quite a bit of memories. The joke is: you forget that your life sucks, so you're not depressed anymore. Generally, the effects are temporary, people in truly sucky lives, with a comorbid predisposition to depression, will return to their depressed state once they return to their normal day to day routine.

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:54PM (2 children)

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:54PM (#582647) Homepage Journal

        That's not what clinical depression is. Clinically depressed people are depressed no matter what kind of life they have. For example, did Robin Williams' life suck? Hardly!

        You are referring to the blues, quite different from depression. Wife left you? The blues. Dog died? The blues. Lost your job? The blues, not depression.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @07:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @07:41PM (#582734)

          The drug companies sure would like you to think that your chronic blues are nothing but a "chemical&bsp;imbalance" that just needs the help of a hormone regulator; you can make a lot more money treating someone for the rest of his life than you can curing him.

          What if psychedelics allow for the brain to process depressing thoughts without getting stuck in a useless cycle? Well, that might be a very good thing for a lot of people!

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:29PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:29PM (#582784)

          Clinical depression is defined as a state that impairs your normal daily functioning, regardless of whether your life actually sucks or not.

          The people we followed long term in the approval studies, ones who had failed 4 previous medication trials, often really did have sucky lives when you got to know what they were putting up with.

          Of course, it's all relative - even if you're Robin Williams you can't always do what you want to do, fix all the problems you want to fix, change all the things you want to change, and fixating on those aspects of life is what often spirals people into a completely ineffective / self-destructive pattern. Our CEO's family members' who committed suicide didn't have Robin Williams' fame pressures, but they did have his level of money and more, and that didn't stop them from spiraling down all the way to successful suicides.

  • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:35AM (3 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:35AM (#582449) Homepage

    I heard that DMT also works wonders for bad depression. I wouldn't know, though, because I never tried it and honestly don't like the after-effects of psychedelics. Psychedelics can also be very unpredictable and dangerous if you have a lot of bad blood.

    It's kinda like, if you're a daytime person, taking a nap and then waking up feeling in a different mood, like a different person, personality-wise. Had many good memories of dropping acid and watching cartoons with the volume off and Eminem playing in the background (so that it looks like the cartoon characters are talking the lyrics).

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:08AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:08AM (#582463)

      After telling him that smoking DMT is just like smoking burning plastic, the DMT informed him that he had two many arms, legs. toes and fingers.

      While my schoolmate readily agreed, he was overcome with the worst kind of horror when he was unable to figure out _why_

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:58AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @12:58AM (#582456)

    This was certainly my experience. I was in a very bad place because of work stress and an adversarial boss. It was so bad I was making plans to kill myself; real plans with expectation to carry through. A few days before I was going to do it, a friend offered me a chance to try them - why the hell not, I was going to end it all anyway, right? So I tried them and the next day it was literally like I had been rebooted and all the negative shit that had accumulated was cleared out. I could think clearly about how to solve my problems, change my job and get out of dodge. Psilocybin saved my life.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:33AM (2 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:33AM (#582475) Homepage

      Be sure to call your boss a "punk bitch-ass nigga" on your way out in front of all of his other subordinates.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:09AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:09AM (#582489)

        > Be sure to call your boss ...

        When their branch office was closed (~20 people laid off), friends of mine tapped into the paging system and played Johnny Paycheck, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIjEauGiRLo [youtube.com]
        The exit-interview crew from the main office didn't know what to do, couldn't find the phone closet.

      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:38AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:38AM (#582504)

        I did better than that - I force him to honour my contract by going to the University's legal team (there were shinnanigans he was trying) and made him pay all my relocation costs back to Australia from the US to get out of it. I ended up saving $6k and leaving a shitty place in victory instead of paying my own way home in debt.

        Seriously, fuck that guy.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:53AM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @01:53AM (#582478)

    There is no point in talking about treatment for people that need it they will either kill themselves or be shipped off to a "FEMA" camp soon enough it will never be available to people that need actual help because most people are sociopaths and psychiatrists are almost 100%

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @02:03AM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @02:03AM (#582479)

      It's easy to grow mushrooms compared to synthesizing other hallucinogens. But it would be real terrible if we let people self-medicate.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @02:56AM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @02:56AM (#582484)

        Growing mushroomws is real effort, takes space because of the high humidity necessary and is not simple as you make it out to be, also as with all these studies there is no dosage, and most people don't have the lab necessary to actually do it.

        -burring the poor

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @04:16AM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @04:16AM (#582519)

          Fruiting can be done in a small closet with an existing light fixture using a daylight LED bulb.

          Maintaining humidity can be done with a number of tricks. One of the easiest is to make a "cake" inside of a Ziploc Twist 'n Loc [ziploc.com] container or a similar twist container. The bottom is filled with a mix of vermiculite, brown rice flour, and water. Brown rice flour can be found at some grocery stores or milled yourself using cheap brown rice and an electric flour mill. This is sealed and put in a pressure cooker for sterilization. It won't melt because it is made of polypropylene. Poorer folks can get away with using a pot of boiling water instead of a pressure cooker.

          After sterilization and cooling, you can use a legally obtainable spore syringe to inoculate. You can do it in the open air, or use a still air box, which is just a large plastic tote with two holes cut out for your arms. You can use the bottom of a coffee can heated on the stove to melt the arm holes.

          Seal and store each ziploc. After 2-3 weeks, the cake should be complete. Then you open it, add some water, and close but not completely seal the lid to regulate humidity and gas exchange. Put it in the closet with a 5000K or 6500K LED on for half the day. Mushrooms will grow. Some may fail because of contamination, poor fruiting conditions, or other rookie mistakes but that is why you use 10 or 20 ziplocs at once.

          Psilocybin content can be estimated. P. cubensis are the most commonly grown mushrooms and have about 0.63% psilocybin, 0.60% psilocin, and 0.025% baeocystin by weight. Self-medicating people don't need exact dose. They can just take anywhere from 2 to 5 grams dried and get the life changing effect they are looking for.

          Total cost is at most $300 with no fancy lab needed. More detailed instructions for everything in the post can be found at https://www.shroomery.org/ [shroomery.org]

          • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:22AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:22AM (#582541)

            The next level up is using agar plates to transfer clean cultures in the still air box. You can use these [ziploc.com] which are also PP5 plastic. Poke a small hole in the side with a hot nail or drill and cover it with breathable tape. A heated mixture of agar powder, water, instant mashed potato flakes, and food coloring is added to each plate. Let them settle, then sterilize them in the pressure cooker.

            Once you have the prepared plates, you can use them inside the still air box to clone a sample or create clean culture to use. Contamination should be apparent on the plates. Be careful not to cause a tragedy if you are flame sterilizing your knife and using isopropyl alcohol in the same box. Beginners will make contamination mistakes with the plates or improper handling when using agar to inoculate a jar, but experts can reduce contamination rates to near zero with these methods. This is your broke ass laboratory.

            • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:58AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:58AM (#582568)

              Once you master the agar techniques, you can move to grain and monotubs. This has more complicated steps and less room for error, but just look at the results [shroomery.org]. That is shroom porn.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @09:52AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @09:52AM (#582583)

              agar plate art [google.com]

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:17AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:17AM (#582562)

            Use a $30 food dehydrator to get the shrooms to cracker dry. It should take at least 6 hours. There are cheaper methods but this is the best and easiest. Store the dried mushrooms in an airtight container with a silicone gasket. You can add silica gel pillow packs which are a desiccant to keep it drier inside. If you buy these, make sure they are "rechargeable" aka can be heated in an oven at a low temperature to dry them.

            If you don't like the taste of mushrooms, you can put them in empty gelatin pill capsules. Use a dedicated coffee grinder to make a powder from the dried mushrooms. Use a quarter or 1/8 teaspoon to scoop up powder, and push the big end of the pill from the top to force powder in. Repeat until packed. I find that I can fit 0.2 grams of powdered shrooms in a "0" size pill [capsuleconnection.com] this way. Store these pills in another airtight container with desiccant if you aren't immediately using them.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:05AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:05AM (#582586)

          Or you can search for magic mushroom grow kit and find any number of suppliers in Amsterdam who will ship you everything you need and simple instructions. The most difficult part seems to be maintaining your house at a temperature suitable for humans to live in - can you manage that? ;)

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Hartree on Sunday October 15 2017, @02:06AM (4 children)

    by Hartree (195) on Sunday October 15 2017, @02:06AM (#582481)

    There are a number of street drugs that are under investigation for treating resistant depression. Ketamine is the one farthest along in the studies. It has the advantage of being a widely used anesthetic worldwide so the paperwork and restrictions are easier for researchers to deal with.

    On the other hand, MDMA, psilocybin and a number hallucinogens appear to have promise as treatments for various psychiatric disorders, but due to them being schedule 1 they are a major hassle for researchers to work with. We need a way that it can be less onerous in paperwork and restrictions to do work on these. We have researchers where I work that use cocaine to modulate dopamine levels in bees. That's the cocaine addled dancing bees that you may have read about as a puff piece news story a few years back. That the work of Dr. Gene Robinson in our entomology/genomic biology departments. I can guarantee he and his researchers aren't doing that just to get a toot. The paperwork is onerous.

    (Aside: There's very good reason for his work on the effect of cocaine on the waggle dance of bees. Currently in order to determine levels of neurotransmitters in bee brains which are used for a lot of neurological studies as a model organism you have to kill the bee, do chemical extractions and run it through a mass spec or other analytical system. It's expensive and problematic. Bee's dancing is easily observable and you can just have a grad student observe them (or a machine vision system if you want to get fancy). If you can get rough correlations between the observed dancing and neurotransmitter levels, or other measurable quantity in the bee's brain you can make research a lot easier.)

    (Further aside: This is of great interest to me as I suffer from chronic depression and have taken an antidepressant for many years. Though mine is easily treated, many cases are much harder to treat. I have members of my close family also with depression. In one person, it's been difficult to control and resulted in a suicide attempt that caused self injury. Scary stuff. I'd like to have a better array of tools for the doctors to be able to treat this and other mental illnesses.)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:12AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:12AM (#582490)

      (Aside: There's very good reason for his work on the effect of cocaine on the waggle dance of bees. Currently in order to determine levels of neurotransmitters in bee brains which are used for a lot of neurological studies as a model organism you have to kill the bee, do chemical extractions and run it through a mass spec or other analytical system. It's expensive and problematic. Bee's dancing is easily observable and you can just have a grad student observe them (or a machine vision system if you want to get fancy). If you can get rough correlations between the observed dancing and neurotransmitter levels, or other measurable quantity in the bee's brain you can make research a lot easier.)

      Cool. I didn't realize scientists have figured out this out. Learning about something does not require measuring it carefully and correctly, apparently measuring something roughly correlated to it is enough. Go "science".

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:10AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:10AM (#582587)

        These are called biomarkers or surrogate markers when they are sufficiently reliable. The big one would be a blood draw to test all sorts of shit in your organs rather than extracting them and grinding them up.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @07:43PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @07:43PM (#582735)

          I know.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:24AM (#582543)

      I worked for a company that makes an implantable neurostimulator, initially released for epilepsy - it also shows some promise for depression. It got the depression indication because an investor came along, installed himself as CEO and basically ramrodded the indication through the FDA as quickly as humanly possible (took years.)

      I was there the day he "outed himself" in the cafeteria infront of all the employees - told about his family history of depression and suicide - and everybody already knew he was clearly manic-depressive himself. These are people for whom money is no problem whatsoever, and they're still killing themselves.

      The device itself is hit-or-miss for depression, just like epilepsy, and last I knew (10 years ago now), it cost around $30K to get one put in - not covered by insurance for depression, though many insurers do cover it for epilepsy.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Arik on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:19AM

    by Arik (4543) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:19AM (#582495) Journal
    Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert discovered this back in the 1960s.

    It's finally becoming safe to talk about their conclusions. Though apparently not to cite their research.
    --
    "This font is yours, not mine."
  • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:23AM (14 children)

    by t-3 (4907) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:23AM (#582497) Journal

    Interesting fact: Psilocybin passes through the body unchanged, it isn't metabolized. I read somewhere that Siberian nomads used to drink each others' piss to stretch the supply.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Arik on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:28AM (13 children)

      by Arik (4543) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:28AM (#582500) Journal
      I believe you are thinking of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_muscaria not psilocybin.
      --
      "This font is yours, not mine."
      • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:41AM (4 children)

        by t-3 (4907) on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:41AM (#582507) Journal

        I think you're right, thanks for the correction!

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:18AM (3 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:18AM (#582539)

          Stable molecules are also why flashbacks can happen sooooo long after ingesting the dose.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:22AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:22AM (#582563)

            I have not had any significant flashbacks. I feel cheated!

            Meanwhile the next hundredth person in line gets HPPD [wikipedia.org].

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:54PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:54PM (#582707)

              No, it is because it was a profound experience and something reminded the person about it.

              The smells of cooking from around the holidays can do it too -- or music.

              flashbacks from latent drugs in the system is just urban legend. if you have some actual citation of someone that actually provided a fluid or fat sample, or a donor cadaver that had enough to cause this, please post your links. the saving of urine due to amanaita muscaria varieities not breaking down is definitely not applicable to psilocybin mushrooms, nor lsd, or morning glory seeds or marijuana or... lots of things you might have a friend tell you in high school.

              what you say is what gets believed by people like jeff sessions who just want to ban it all because maybe it can be bad 10 years later while you are driving and you will kill a car full of kittens on their way back from a church fundraiser. stating that drugs not being broken down and causing flashbacks is irresponsible at best and dangerous at worst.

              next you'll tell us you have a 25 pound wad of chewing gum in your abdomen because it doesn't get digested and somehow never is excreted?

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:39PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:39PM (#582789)

              As I understand it, flashbacks come from the drug "caching" in fatty tissues, then when that particular fat is dissolved for whatever reason the drug is released... This kind of effect could be dramatically different depending on which way your lipid balance is flowing when you've got a concentration of the drug in your system.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:23AM (7 children)

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:23AM (#582542) Homepage Journal

        I was with a friend when we found it. The stem was the thickness of a broom handle.

        We wanted to clearly identify it so we used a field guide from the local bookstore.

        My friend told me there is the hippie amanita, a toxic amanita and one that goes will with salad.

        In the end we agreed it was pizza topping, but neither of us were certain so we let it rot in the fridge.

        To have finally identified the species required examining the spores with a good-quality microscope. We didn't own one so we stopped at this last step.

        Many years later I realized that I could get a bio student from the local university to check out the spores.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:27AM (4 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @05:27AM (#582547)

          I went "shroom hunting" with a couple of friends in college. One guy said he was all up to try them if we found any with purple spots. Me and the other guy were just along for something to do and had no intention of trying anything we found, probably ever - but definitely not before some idiot turned themselves into a guinea pig. Anyway, wandered in some random cow pasture for about an hour, found nothing.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:02AM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:02AM (#582556)

            I also tried wandering around a cow pasture. I found more mushrooms on the lawns the way over there and back. I didn't know anything about them and threw them out.

            It is legal to order a spore syringe in most of the USA, so you can start your guaranteed psilocybe cubensis [wikipedia.org] supply easily. The purple spots your friend was looking for was actually blue bruising. The first time you grow shrooms and handle them, you have an aha moment about the blue bruising. Just rubbing the stem of a fresh psilocin containing mushroom lightly should cause it to turn blue.

            Instructions on how to grow them are in another thread. It is much safer to grow from a spore syringe than taking a chance with wild mushrooms.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:34PM (1 child)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday October 15 2017, @10:34PM (#582786)

              I tried growing shiitake one year from plugs, had what looked like an ideal setup: swamp with downed trees. I plugged the trees and basically very little happened, ever - found out later from others that the particular weather pattern that year had really stunted everybody's shiitake crops, even when they carefully tended and watered them. In the end, even if I were growing them in a greenhouse (a very shady greenhouse, point being not on the ground in a swamp), I'd still feel uncomfortable consuming them without some significant effort in identification. Stuff like that grows when and where it wants, regardless of what you plant.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @11:55PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @11:55PM (#582812)

                Some fungi need very specific conditions to grow which can't be easily replicated yet. Such as truffles.

                Psilocybe cubensis tolerates more than what some of the culinary mushrooms can.

                If you follow the PF Tek [wikipedia.org] grow method or a variation on it, it will be obvious that you are getting magic mushrooms. The same techniques can be used for some culinary mushrooms.

                Outdoor grows are a harsh environment with more temperature fluctuations and contaminants fighting for the same resources.

                If you fuck up your indoor grow, you will not get a poisonous mushroom. You will a dead cake with mold or bacteria instead.

                Some have proposed spraying a field of manure with magic mushroom spores. It does not work as well as what you can get indoors.

                I looked it up and shiitake can be grown indoors [mushroompeople.com]. They say [rodalesorganiclife.com] the mushrooms have less vitamin D without exposure to sun and less nutrients if grown on sawdust or woodchips.

                I would spend some time at Shroomery [shroomery.org] and research cultivation of culinary mushrooms. Some can use the same PF Tek and brown rice flour methods as magic mushrooms. Others need sawdust or logs.

          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:58PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Sunday October 15 2017, @03:58PM (#582648) Homepage Journal

            When it's 80 degrees F at sunrise is when you'll find them.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:01PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @06:01PM (#582682)

          Back in college there was a student that thought he was buying magic mushrooms and wound up in a coma because they weren't what he thought they were.

          Whether or not these mushrooms are safe for a given use, it's not just about that, but knowing what you're getting, how much to take and knowing how to take it that matter as well.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @08:18PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15 2017, @08:18PM (#582750)

            If you grow them yourself from a spore syringe you can be sure of what you are getting. The blue bruising on the stems of fresh magic mushrooms is easy to spot.

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