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Nov 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 19)


  • Hierarchical organization of insect orders with pics
  • Dysfunctional identification guide
InsectAsylum wins some major points for a clever title, though if one takes it literally, it doesn’t really make any sense at all – not unlike the remainder of the site itself. Aimed at people interested in identifying insects, the site abounds with hierarchically organized information sorted into a Virtual Collection (27 of the 30 insect orders with sub-links to relevant images), an Identification Guide (organized in a rather bizarre fashion as a timed slide show!), a Blog (consists mainly of update information to the site rather than discussion of topics), a Gift Information Guide (care to buy a mug or tee-shirt with insect images on it?), and a rather redundant Shopping section (care to buy a tee-shirt or mug with insect images on it?). The most disappointing aspect of the site has to be the timed slide show for identifying insects. Surely they don’t expect anyone to use it for any practical purpose. The pics in the first section are pretty good, but the rest of InsectAsylum borders on the weird and is not especially useful.
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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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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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