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Sep 01, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 15)

NBII Life

URL:life.nbii.gov/dml/home.do
  • Well-organized images, nice collection of links
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Scientific acronyms always run the danger of being just downright annoying or extremely contrived, so I must give credit to the people of NBII for their new page, LIFE. LIFE stands for Library of Images From the Environment. (Clever, huh?) Admittedly, it is better than NBII itself, which stands for the less-than-descriptive National Biological Information Infrastructure. LIFE is pretty self-explanatory: it is a library of images of plants, animals, and the environment. And, it is an excellent library of images at that! Photos are nicely organized into ten categories: animals, environmental topics, fungi and lichens, interactions among species, landscapes, management, microorganisms, plants, research, and weather.  (Each of these categories is further divided into various sub-categories.) There is also an “NBII Kids” page, which includes coloring sheets, games, and puzzles. This website is a wonderful window to the world around us, highlighting plants, animals, and, well, LIFE in general.

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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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