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Mar 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 6)

The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo

  • Easy to browse data, well organized
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A website whose name says it all, the Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo site offers visitors an in-depth view of human embryos at 10 developmental stages (ranging from postovulatory days 28–56). The three-dimensional image datasets were acquired by magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM) over a number of years. (For you MRM aficionados out there, the collection includes images acquired by T1-, T2-, and Diffusion-weighted pulse sequences.) Visitors to the site first select a developmental stage, which subsequently allows them to browse photographs, animations, and MRI slices associated with that stage. The website contains a small list of links to related sites, and the technical information page provides the experimental details for specimen preparation and imaging. Overall, the website is easy to navigate and offers a fascinating glimpse into human development.

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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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