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Mar 01, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 5)

The Second Law of Thermodynamics

  • Educational value
  • For nerds?
Most of us probably remember that the second law of thermodynamics relates entropy to disorder in the universe, but that is probably about it, if you're not a physical chemist, an engineer, or a biophysicist. This site may turn your perspective of the second law on its ear. How about the following as a description of the second law; "Energy spontaneously disperses from being localized to becoming spread out if it is not hindered from doing so." That is as concise a description of the second law as you may find. With an interest in educating visitors about the second law, this informative site provides an approachable way of looking at thermodynamics that is both refreshing and insightful. Written by Frank Lambert at Occidental College in L.A., The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a welcome alternative view of an otherwise dull subject that will open a few eyes.
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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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