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Nov 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 19)

Asclepius

URL:www.ig-ascleps.org/asclepius.htm
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A site that asks, on its opening page, the not-so-musical question, “Do you have a hard time finding good quality sites about Asclepiads?”, is happy to provide the answer too – “Well, look no further.” Asclepiads are, of course, members of the plant family Asclepiadaceae, a large group of plant species with over 200 genera and almost 3400 species. Known as the Milkweed family, the Asclepiads are ornamental succulents of which a few have medicinal uses. These include Asclepias fruticosa (pain relief), Hoodia gordonii (appetite suppression), and Xysmalobium undulatum (diarrhea and colic). At the Asclepius site, visitors will discover it is the product of an interest group formed in 1999 in Germany and is available in both German and English. Links to seed suppliers, nurseries, a discussion group, and a 3 CD set of over 3600 images of these plants are all available at the site.
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*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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