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May 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 10)

Learn About Spinal Muscular Atrophy

URL:www.learnaboutsma.org
  • Beautifully organized site, very informative
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You’ve probably heard of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an inherited disease characterized by weakening and atrophy of the muscles. However, you may not be familiar with the underlying cause of SMA, ongoing SMA research, or current therapies for SMA. That is why the people of the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory invite you to Learn About Spinal Muscular Atrophy through their website of the same name. The homepage of this beautifully designed site provides a clear overview of the site’s contents, succinctly describing each of the five sections of the site: What is SMA, SMA Science, SMA Therapies, Antisense Therapy for SMA, and Living with SMA. Briefly, the site’s contents include educational videos and animations, as well as interviews with doctors, patients, and Nobel Laureates.

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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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