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

The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo

URL:embryo.soad.umich.edu
  • 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.

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