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Mar 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 6)

Hedgehog Signaling Pathway Database

  • Offers a variety of databases/online resources
  • Some sections of the site are still under construction

Oh, those crazy geneticists! Who thinks of naming a gene “Hedgehog”, anyway?  The name may be frivolous, but the Hedgehog Signaling Pathway is certainly not, as it is required during the embryogenesis of many organisms. The Hedgehog Signaling Pathway Database, through the San Francisco State University, provides a number of online tools for researchers studying this pathway. There are diagrams of Hedgehog signal transduction (though not the most polished diagrams I’ve ever seen), a list of genes involved in Hedgehog signaling, and a list of Hedgehog-related diseases and human mutations (along with links to relevant clinical trials).  Additionally, the “Stem Cells” tab provides links to scientific papers related to stem cells and the Hedgehog pathway.  Sadly, the “Hedgehog Expression in Tissues” page is still under construction, so I would continue to check back as this site continues to develop.

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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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