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Oct 15, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 18)

Tasmania’s Unique Flora

  • Diversity of images
  • Weak organization
Tasmania is another down-under place that is so near yet so far from Australia when it comes to distinctive fauna and flora. Indeed, the reputation for Tasmania being out of this world probably arises from their many unique mammals found nowhere else on Earth, but the plants of the region are in many respects equivalent in their unusualness. At the Tasmania’s Unique Flora site, visitors can begin to appreciate this diversity. The opening page is a bit of a scattered mixture of links to specific plants and to categories of plants. I particularly liked the section labeled Curiosities. The Lomatia tasmanica plant shown on the opening page of this section certainly meets the criteria for being unusual and beautiful, too. Ditto the Grass Tree, which sort of resembles a porcupine with a tall appendage in the middle. The pictures throughout are lovely, and though the site could use a bit better organizational scheme, it is worth a check for botanists.
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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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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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