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May 01, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 9)

Center for Tropical Forest Science

URL:ctfs.si.edu/datasets/bci
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A small site with a small focus but perhaps big importance, the Center for Tropical Forest Science is a relatively small effort (50 hectare tree plot) established in 1980 in the tropical moist forest of Barro Colorado Island of Panama by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Six censuses of trees at least 10 mm in diameter of breast height have been performed. Amazingly enough, this constitutes over 350,000 trees, catalogued over the last 25 years. Visitors to the site can download the dataset and access similar datasets from other locations in Panama. With concerns about tropical rainforests at an all time high, projects such as these provide important data in the war of words going on with regards to this subject.
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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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