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


  • Software is easy to download and use
  • Nothing eye-catching about the software homepage

The best computer tools are those that just work. (A seemingly unprofound statement, I know, though I’m sure everybody has at least one story of a frustrating, nonintuitive computer program.) ImageJ is just that—a simple, clean-cut, useful tool to annotate and analyze images. It’s not much to look at—a simple toolbar that appears on your screen—but there is much more than meets the eye. This Java program runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, so you never have to worry about compatibility headaches. It’s fast, compatible with many image types, and offers many analysis functions such as distributions, histograms, and measurements. In addition to the freely downloadable software itself, the ImageJ homepage includes a nice collection of links ranging from imaging toolkits, to image-analysis software, to Java programming.

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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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