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Jan 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 2)

Microscope Imaging Station

URL:www.exploratorium.edu/imaging_station/index.php
  • Nice image/video gallery, good site organization
  • Background material is fairly basic

One can’t help but be lured into this entertaining, informative website. Using microscope images and videos as teaching tools, the Microscope Imaging Station provides a nice introduction to a variety of topics in biology. Although aimed at a younger audience, scientists of all ages can appreciate the wonderful images and informative blurbs with whimsical, news-like headlines. (For instance, some of the top stories are entitled, “Cancer: cells behaving badly” and “Frogs: princely models for science.”) Each feature is accompanied by “A Scientist’s View,” an audio file in which a researcher in the field discusses various aspects of the topic. Even researchers who find the background material to be too introductory should take a look at the movies and microscope images in the gallery. Categories within the gallery include, to name a few, stem cells, plankton, immune response, and cell motility.

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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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