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

Scanning Electron Microscopy

  • Great images
  • Needs better educational content
If mathematics is the universal language of science, electron microscopy must be the universal medium of the nanoworld. It is difficult to quantitate the value of an image to convey information about tiny structures. The Scanning Electron Microscopy site, hosted at Iowa State University, focuses—pun intended—mostly on images in its beautiful Picture Library. These include pictures in categories of Insects, Biological, Submitted Samples, Materials, Etcetra, and Food. A section on Pseudocolor shows how color can be used to liven up an image. Longtime readers of this column know what a sucker I am for pictures, and the ones here certainly are worthy of mention. Two other components of the site—What is SEM and How Does the SEM Work—are pretty pedestrian.
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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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