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May 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 10)

DNA Mania

URL:blog.isavoir.com
  • Interesting descriptions
  • A deep topic - not for everyone
What, exactly, is DNA Mania—something you’re likely to catch in a B-grade sci-fi movie? Something you contract as a molecular biology graduate student? I wondered about this as I scrolled through this interestingly named blog site. The opening page at press time had the following heading—Ontology, thesaurus, taxonomy meta-model, and semantic web. Semantic web is an attempt to create a universal medium to share information that involves transforming documents to have computer-processable meaning. The web part, of course, means it is happening on the web. Thus, the focus of this site is, at least partly, developing a vocabulary that makes sense to a computer. Yes, this is a deep subject, but there are implications and applications for scientists.
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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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