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

Silencing Genomes

URL:www.silencinggenomes.org
  • Beautiful site, free worm strain order form
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RNA interference (RNAi) was a revolutionary method to manipulate gene expression, and it is routinely employed by laboratories around the world. With the help of the Silencing Genomes website by the Cold Spring Harbor, science teachers can now easily bring this technology into their classrooms. The website provides complete laboratory protocols—including background information and reagent recipes—and accompanying student question sheets for a series of classroom experiments that explore the use of RNAi in C. elegans. There are seven experimental modules in total, including observing and culturing C. elegans, inducing RNAi by feeding, and creating an RNAi feeding strain. As if these teacher resources weren’t enough, the site also has a “strain order” page on which teachers can request (for free!) up to ten different C. elegans strains to use in their classroom experiments.

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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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