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Jun 15, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 12)

Australian Museum

  • Research and Collections segment
  • Rest of site not as solid
At first, I was hesitant to include this site. Museum sites are usually aimed at general audiences and, while the content is often interesting, it typically doesn’t have a strong scientific perspective. As I was about to pencil in a different site for the month, I clicked on the section entitled “Research and Collections.” What I found there was a pleasant surprise and would be suitable for use in a college biology class. Within that subsection are information collections, including Invertebrates, Vertebrates, Anthropology, Earth Sciences, and more. In addition, there are (strangely) separate sections that overlap with the collections. For example, in Vertebrates, one can find “Fishes” and then there is a separate section on the same page for “Fish.” Both appear to point to the same information. With the exception of that rather minor set of annoyances, the Research and Collections segment is strong, with numerous pictures and a considerable amount of educational information. I’m glad I didn’t throw this one in the dump.
  • Key:
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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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