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Nov 15, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 20)

Devonian Times

  • Brilliant idea done well
  • None
An informative site with a very clever opening page, “Devonian Times” reports on “All the news that is in the record.” They’re referring, of course, to the fossil record. The Devonian Period ran from 417–354 million years ago (MYA), and the creator of the site, Dennis Murphy, wins my high praise for putting this into a newspaper format. The top of the opening page identifies the paper’s home as Fram Formation, Euramerica with a date of Sunday, 382 MYA. Headline stories include a “Fishapod from the North” with a subheading of “Gaps in the Fossil Record are Diminishing.” Clicking on any of the story links leads visitors to informative stories on the fossil record. I can’t think of a better way to get people reading stories about evolutionary history. One of the best ideas I’ve seen in a long time.
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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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