News and Issues
Olfactory Dysfunction is a Harbinger of Mortality: "We believe olfaction is the canary in the coalmine of human health"
For older adults, being unable to identify scents is a strong predictor of death within five years, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Thirty-nine percent of study subjects who failed a simple smelling test died during that period, compared to 19 percent of those with moderate smell loss and just 10 percent of those with a healthy sense of smell. more »
A Scout Report: ABT (Ballet), Bunraku, Nate Silver, Cuba in Revolution and The Search for Extraterrestial Life
The Great Debate features a video of a public debate between renowned SETI scientist, Dan Werthimer, and skeptic, Geoff Marcy. Each side presents evidence for why we should - or shouldn't - believe that there really are other advanced civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy..."As we search for a universal language to communicate with civilizations beyond Earth, where should we start? Math? Pictures? Something else?" ... The American Ballet Theatre was founded in New York in 1939 by a group of dancers, choreographers, and producers enthralled with the magnetic Russian-born ballet master, Mikhail Mordkin...538 is a punchy online magazine that dissects sports, politics, economics, science, and other topics using a numbers-crunching lens more »
The study found that among all adults 18 to 80 years old, about 1 in 20 received a benzodiazepine prescription in 2008, the period covered by the study. Long-term use — a supply of the medication for more than 120 days — also increased markedly with age. Research has shown that benzodiazepines can impair cognition, mobility, and driving skills, and they increase the risk of falls. Most prescriptions for benzodiazepines are written by non-psychiatrists. more »
The National Alliance on Mental Illness report states that 42.5 million Americans suffer from some sort of mental illness, 19.7 million have a substance abuse problem and 8.8 million report that they have seriously considered suicide. The MHA report also ranks the mental health of young people across the states. Vermont, North Dakota and Wisconsin top the list. Nevada, New Mexico and Montana rank last. Still, 29 states plus DC did increase mental health spending. Fewer states increased their spending on mental health programs this year compared to last year, when a spate of horrific shootings by assailants with histories of mental illness prompted a greater focus on the shortcomings of the country’s… more »