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Jun 15, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 12)


  • Interactive photo/observation posting, great images
  • Educational information simply from Wikipedia

Through its page headers, iNaturalist.org conveys much excitement, urging visitors to “Explore! Your world!” “Learn! About life!” “Record! Add observations!” And indeed, if you are a nature enthusiast, there is much to be excited about on this interactive site. Under the “record” page, users can choose to create an account, which allows them to upload photos or record other observations from their own travels. The “explore” page allows one to peruse the observations of others, either by selecting locations from a map or by searching for keywords. The “learn” page is something to behold, as its homepage is filled with vibrant photos of plants, animals, fungi—you name it! The information pages are a bit disappointing as they are simply ripped from Wikipedia, but still, this site is a great way to explore the organisms of the world through the observations and experiences of fellow naturalists.

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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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