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Nov 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 20)


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Yes, we are all familiar with what DNA is. Some bases and deoxyribose, throw in a phosphate backbone and some hydrogen bonding and bingo—you’ve got yourself the molecule of life. However, do we really ever take a moment to think about how DNA and DNA technology have transformed different fields? Such is the goal of ExploreDNA.co.uk, a website founded by John Rowlinson to give context to DNA in our lives. Articles written by experts in the field (though we are never told who those people are) discuss DNA in relation to agriculture, disease, law, forensics, and computer applications, to name some of the categories on the site. While I might disagree with the website’s assertion that “If you are searching for information on DNA, then this website may be the single best resource available for your quest,” I do think that this website does a nice job providing practical, general information about how the advent of new DNA technology has impacted various facets of society.

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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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