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Feb 01, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 3)


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Certainly ranking among the most obscure animals, tardigrades (also known as water bears) comprise a phylum of animals that includes over 700 different species. The Goldstein Lab at UNC Chapel Hill wants to tell you not only what tardigrades are, but also why the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini is an important research model. Dr. Bob Goldstein plans to use this species as a model to study the effects of developmental alterations on the evolution of morphology. On the lab website, one can find a number of intriguing images and videos of this tardigrade, including videos entitled, “water bears walking” and “far too many water bears.”  The lab has also posted a number of protocols on the site, as well as links to other tardigrade-centric sites. There is plenty to learn about these tiny tardigrades.

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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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