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Jul 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 13)

J.Craig Venter Institute

  • Great site design, software packages
  • Nothing major

The J. Craig Venter Institute is a rock star in the field of genomics research, so it is appropriate that its website leaves an equally impressive mark in cyberspace as well. The page design is polished and the site is very well organized, with the homepage divided into sections corresponding to scientist spotlight, institute highlights, publications, news, and blogs. Visitors interested in particular projects/areas of focus of the institute can select from tabs such as genomic medicine, synthetic biology and bioenergy, and infectious disease. Yet, a real gem of the site can be found on the “research” page through the “software” tab. Organized into nine categories that include things like genome analysis and proteomics tools, the website provides 27 software packages. These include both downloadable programs and web-interface computational tools.

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  • Good

*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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