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Apr 15, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 8)

BioForge

URL:www.bioforge.net/forge/index.jspa
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BioForge springs to mind when thinking of confusing sites. If you´re like me, you´ll spend considerable time figuring this one out. The language on the opening page is of little help. Start with its self description as an “Internet-based distributive community, based around a platform of tools to allow scientists in diverse locations to work together with each other, and with those who can apply and use their research.“ Clear as mud? How about “BioForge is a means to create a dynamic protected commons of new enabling technologies, available to everyone for improvement and to use in new innovations, both commercial and noncommercial.“ Talk about written by a committee! What BioForge does is facilitate interactions among scientists through its forums and attempt to cut through the confusing mishmash of patents that threaten to strangle innovation in biotechnology. Now, was that so hard to say?
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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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