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Apr 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 8)

Low-Dose Radiation Research Program

  • Great educational presentations, nice introduction to the research projects
  • None

If you’ve ever been required to take a radiation safety course, you may be familiar with the outdated teaching video that begins with the soft “click, click, click” of a Geiger counter, illustrating the presence of ambient radiation to which we are constantly exposed. Indeed, we are exposed to low doses of radiation on a daily basis, whether it is naturally occurring, as a result of occupation, or due to medical diagnostic tests. The Low Dose Radiation Research Program through the U.S. Department of Energy funds research projects that look at the biological response to low levels of radiation exposure (as you might have gathered by the title of the program). The website not only details a number of the research projects, but it also provides a wealth of information about radiation and its biological effects in general. The “Slide Shows” tab is especially educational, offering PowerPoint presentations that cover topics such as background radiation, genomic instability, and radiation dose.

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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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