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


  • Good interactive exercises
  • Options very limited for biologists
Looking for interactive, online simulations for the life sciences? Have I got a URL for you. Enter the sciencecourseware address above into your browser and then sit back and peruse the offerings at this education-based site. Serving interests from the geological and environmental sciences to biology, Sciencecourseware provides interactive simulations, tutorials, and inquiry-based activities. All good, to be sure, but there is also a big ‘Gotcha.’ The actual offerings online that are freely available, at least for the biological sciences, are pretty limited. They consist of an exercise in Drosophila inheritance and several things listed as ‘in development’ or coming soon. If you click on the Biology Labs Online, you discover a group of 12 different lab activities, but access to the full content requires a paid subscription to Benjamin Cummings’ website. Hmm. The geologists and environmental scientists have it better off with several apparently free offerings. Let’s hope biologists get equality here and soon.
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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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