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Mar 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 6)

Japanese Ant Image Database

  • Images and additional information included
  • Slightly difficult navigation

Japan is known for many things—for instance, its bustling cities and impressive technological advances. But a wide array of ant species? That’s one attribute that doesn’t often make headlines. While this information may not be found in any travel guides, there is an online guide to the wonderful ant diversity that Japan has to offer. The (aptly named) Japanese Ant Image Database features 273 species, with each species featured on its own page. The great thing about this image database is that each species page contains information beyond the photographs, including a distribution map, a physical description, and various miscellaneous remarks. The homepage for the database is a bit difficult to navigate, in that there is no prominent “enter database” or “search” field that is commonly found with databases of this type. Instead, users must navigate using the sidebar. There is a search feature, but it is really just a “browse by region” option.

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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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