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May 15, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 10)

Communicating at an Unknown Rate

URL:www.johnkyrk.com
  • Informative animations
  • Uneven
ou want quirky? OK. Start with the title of this educational site. I’m not quite sure what it means. It certainly doesn’t describe (at least as I see it) the contents of the site, which are animations relevant to cell biology. Topic areas include amino acids/proteins, cell function overview, cell anatomy, cell membranes, chromosome structure, glycolysis, evolution, and more. Each of these uses animations to illustrate the various principles. The site scores points for its clever uses of an expanding calendar for showing the universe, beginning at 14 billion years ago to the present, but loses points for inaccuracies (the section entitled DNA makes RNA is misleading in places and wrong in other places—there are more than 64 tRNAs, for example, as well as more than two rRNAs). In places the videos are very informative, for example, translation, and in other places, like evolution, the motion just seems to get in the way.
  • 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.

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

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