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Jan 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 1)

HHMI: Bioethics

  • Very well written
  • Could be a bit broader
For basic molecular biology education, there is probably not a better place on the Web than the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) outstanding webpages on the subject. It was not a surprise, therefore, to find at the site a useful set of informative articles on the topic of bioethics. Serving as a companion to the organization’s DVD entitled “Ethics in Biomedical Research,” the information is organized in four sections – General Ethics, Animal Subjects, Genetic Alteration, and Scientific Integrity. Subsections inside each lead to additional information. The full text from the video on each section can be downloaded and links to relevant sites, such as the Office of Lab Safety are available. The writing is superb and the questions provided at the end of each video summary provide good discussion material. Though not a comprehensive coverage of the topic, HHMI’s Bioethics site stands tall.
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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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