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Jun 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 12)

Tox Town

URL:toxtown.nlm.nih.gov
  • Fun to explore, lots of information
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Tox Town—doesn’t really sound like a pleasant place, does it? Well, if you take time to explore this website by the U.S. National Library of Medicine you’ll discover that we all actually live in Tox Town, surrounded by health hazards and toxic chemicals. Site visitors have the opportunity to explore six different environments, which each come with their own health hazards: city, farm, town, U.S. border regions, port, and U.S. southwest. With its colorful graphics the website appears, at first glance, to be directed exclusively to younger children; however, though the site does include teacher resources and can be used with students across a wide age range, the material presented in its full form is directed to a wider audience. This is evidenced by the fact that upon clicking each animated graphic, the site visitor is directed to information from sources such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

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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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