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Apr 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 8)

Botanical Dermatology Database (BoDD)

  • Large database, regular updates
  • Many ads, minimalist site design

Anyone who has had the misfortune of encountering poison oak knows all too well that plants can cause very pronounced dermatological symptoms. Yet, you may not be aware that there are hundreds of plant families whose members also produce dermatological effects. In case you happened to miss the 1979 publication entitled, “Botanical Dermatology,” you can click over to the Botanical Dermatology Database (BoDD) to explore this regularly updated electronic reincarnation of the 1979 text. Visitors can search the database, or they can browse the site via the plant families index. (The index can be accessed from the small link directly under the search box.) While the website cautions that none of the information should be used for diagnosis or treatment purposes, there are plenty of interesting tidbits to keep the curious mind engaged.

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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.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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