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Jan 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 2)

Reptile Database

URL:www.reptile-database.org
  • Detailed information given for individual species
  • Poor site navigation/organization

The homepage for this site may be in-your-face with its graphics and color scheme, but don’t let the rainbow-hued navigation menu chase you away from this informative website. The Reptile Database is respectable in size, boasting just fewer than 10,000 species as of July 2013. Site visitors enter the massive database through one of six reptilian categories—lizards, snakes, tuataras, crocodiles, amphisbaenians, or turtles—although it doesn’t actually matter which one you choose, as they all direct you to the same index page. From that page users select a specific family to pursue (such as, say, wood lizards), and are finally routed to a page where they can select individual species. As you might have been able to tell from my verbose descriptions of site navigation, the organization of this website leaves something to be desired. However, if you are patient enough to click through multiple directories, you will find a great deal of information on all sorts of slithery or scaly creatures.

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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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