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Mar 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 6)

Science Bulletins

URL:www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins
  • Excellent production, very informative
  • Mixture of deep and shallow content
The American Museum of Natural History has, as one might expect, an attractive site, with many visually pleasing pages on general topics in natural history. It was a pleasant surprise, though, to discover that, in addition to general information on things like volcanoes, astronomy, and tsunamis, the Science Bulletins section of the site has helpful coverage of biology and molecular biology that is not strictly aimed at general audiences. Probably the most interesting article at press time, in this regard, concerns a surprising discovery that survivors of the 1918 flu epidemic are still able to mount an immune defense against the virus that caused it. Previously, it was thought that immunity might give out much earlier. Other segments covered stem cells, cloning for conservation, and nicely produced videos on topics spanning all of biology. A pleasant but welcome surprise.
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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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