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Aug 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 14)

BioNumbers

URL:bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu
  • Interesting "BioNumber of the Month" feature, various search options.
  • Some weak citations

Quick—how many taste buds does a person have? How many cells are in an adult male C. elegans? What volume of an E. coli cell is occupied by RNA? Stumped? You clearly haven’t spent time on BioNumbers, a website dedicated to the compilation of numerical values important in biology. The database is sizable, with entries that span biochemistry, cell biology, medicine, and other areas. Citations are provided for all of the entries, although some are more useful than others. (For instance, the cited material can either be a primary journal article or it can be a website that, in turn, cites a source, which cites a source…) Despite this limitation, BioNumbers is a valiant attempt to “facilitate quantitative analysis,” a goal of the endeavor. Even if you don’t have a legitimate query related to your research, this site is a perfect place for random exploration.

  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good


*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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