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Mar 01, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 5)

Laboratory Robotics Interest Group

  • Broad perspective
  • Nothing significant
Robotics is a topic I occasionally cover here. I’d do more, but I’m disappointed at the lack of informative sites on the topic. The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group is a special interest group of over 12,000 scientists and engineers with chapters all over the world—from San Diego and Texas to Germany and the rest of Europe. Like other professional society pages, this one has a lot of material that will not be of general interest. Some segments, however, are. They include the Presentations section, available in HTML and PDF, a discussion board for interactions, a career center, a sort of want-ads section called SwapShop, a set of hyperlinked listings of robotics-related companies, and much miscellany. A section labeled Different has photos and links to robotics applications that are, well, different. I found a lot to like at this site that goes a long distance beyond traditional professional society sites. Definitely worth a look-see.
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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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