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Sep 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 15)

MIT Open Courseware

  • Variety of course handouts, video lectures
  • Type of resources varies between courses

Scientists are lifelong learners, continually absorbing information from journal articles, conferences, and discourse with colleagues. Sometimes, though, a more formal or organized form of learning is desired. In that case, where is the budding or established scientist to turn? I would suggest visiting the MIT Open Courseware website, a wonderful (and completely free!) site containing resources such as lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT courses. (Skip the tuition and watch the lectures for free? Yes I will, thank you very much!) The resources available through the site vary by course, but there are icons at the top of each course site to tell you what’s there. The site is by no means limited to science courses, although within that subject, visitors will find resources pertaining to biology, brain and cognitive sciences, chemistry, earth/atmospheric/planetary sciences, mathematics, and physics...certainly many lifetimes’ worth of learning!

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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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