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Jun 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 12)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

  • Good view of facility
  • Could do a better job on research component
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA, is one of 10 Department of Energy national labs. With an aim to provide facilities for fundamental research and innovation, the PNNL focuses on preventing/countering acts of terrorism, increasing U.S. energy capacity while reducing the dependence on imported oil, and reducing the effects of energy generation and use on the environment. Yes, that is a wide-ranging agenda! The lab has advanced capabilities in microbial and cellular biology, including strong programs in systems biology, cell biology/biochemistry, fungal biotechnology, proteomics research, and molecular computing. Visitors to the site can learn of the numerous PNNL research initiatives, access its publications, scan job-related material, and follow the latest news. Though the site could do a better job of emphasizing the excellent work being done at the lab, it is still worth a visit.
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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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