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Mar 01, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 5)

MRPath Mouse Strain Phenotype Database

  • Easily accessed images, Java application runs quickly
  • Newer database doesn't yet have anatomical labels

Are you interested in exploring mouse anatomy, without having to break out the dissection tools? Well, the people at MRPath allow you to do just that, providing free, online atlases of MRI images of the entire mouse. The older Visible Mouse Atlas is a helpful tool to learn mouse anatomy, as colored labels corresponding to various anatomical features can be toggled on or off. The labels are also organized by system, so one can focus on the features of the nervous system, for example. The newer Mouse Strain Phenotype Database also consists of 3-D anatomical constructs of MRI images, but it showcases both male and female mice of a variety of strains. Whether you’re partial to c57’s or Balb/c’s, you can explore strain-specific anatomy. The only downside to this new database is that there are not yet anatomical labels.

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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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