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Sep 01, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 15)

Human Oral Microbiome Database

  • Excellent information
  • Nothing significant
I’m not sure which month is National Dental Health month, but the first three entries here will make it seem like it is now. With a one in twelve chance of getting it right, maybe I’ll hit the jackpot (whatever that is). The human mouth is an amazing thing, and no, I’m not saying that just because this is an election year. It is home to over 600 prokaryotic species. That can’t be too much fun on a bad breath day. Amazingly, the majority of these organisms are “uncultivated and unnamed,” according to this interesting site that links DNA sequence data with phenotypic, phylogenetic, clinical, and bibliographic information. Sequences generated by the Human Microbiome Project are posted to the site as they become available. Hosted by the Forsyth Institute and supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the Human Oral Microbiome Database is a winner.
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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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