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Nov 01, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 19)

Understanding Cancer

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Cancer has sadly become a fixture in today’s society, and with its prevalence comes the medical vernacular: metastasis, angiogenesis, routine screenings, radiation therapies, and on, and on. If you find yourself getting lost in it all (and you’re not alone), be sure to take advantage of the National Cancer Institute’s “Understanding Cancer” series. There are 14 topics in the series, ranging from blood stem cell transplants to HPV vaccine, and each topic comes in the form of presentation slides and accompanying notes. For some of the topics, the powerpoint presentation or pdf can be downloaded. The information is accessible for anybody interested in learning more about cancer, from the general public, to science students, to scientists. The colorful, graphic-rich slides are both interesting and informative, shedding light on topics that you might often hear on the news, but you may not fully understand in the context of today’s medical climate.

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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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