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Sep 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 16)

TOPP-Tagging of Pacific Predators

  • Beautiful web design, great graphics
  • Many of the species pages are not yet up

It is certainly exciting to catch a glimpse of a whale out at sea, but the question remains: where do whales like to hang out when they’re not mugging for tourists aboard whale sighting boats? (For that matter, what do we know of the whereabouts of other sea creatures, like sharks and elephant seals?) We know a lot, due to the efforts of TOPP (Tagging of Pacific Predators), a project of the Census of Marine Life. Through the TOPP project, 22 predator species of the Pacific Ocean have been tagged. The beautiful TOPP website contains real-time tracking information for those species, as well as maps charting their past travels. Unfortunately, the nicely constructed predator-specific pages have only been created for 7 of the 22 species, so let’s hope that the others are, in fact, “coming soon.”

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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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