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May 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 9)

PharmGKB

URL:www.pharmgkb.org
  • Large amount of information
  • Site design is a bit overwhelming

With our ever-expanding knowledge of genetic variation and the increasingly more affordable genome sequencing methods, there is an emphasis on individualized medicine. That is because it has long been acknowledged that what works for person A doesn’t necessarily do the trick for person B. There is, in fact, an entire field devoted to the study of genetic variation and responses to drugs: pharmacogenetics. While the ambiguous title of this site doesn’t make it obvious (another example of loss of clarity for the sake of dropping a few syllables), this website is an excellent resource for those interested in pharmacogenetics. Data on the site can be accessed in one of five ways: by gene, by variant, by pathway, by drug/small molecule, or by disease. There is far too much information on the site to give an accurate representation of it in a single paragraph, but I can assure you that this PharmacoGenetic Knowledge Base is rock-solid.

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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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