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Oct 01, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 17)

USDA Plants

URL:plants.usda.gov
  • Vast coverage
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I was a bit surprised that I’ve never covered this site previously. If any group ought to know about plants, it is the USDA, so here goes it. The site delivers on its promise with a very broad approach to the topic. Highlights include an extensive database that “provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories. It includes names, plant symbols, checklists, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, crop information, automated tools, onward Web links, and references.” That’s not a small amount of info, and the site includes more than just the database. Other features include publications, plant classifications, a listing of threatened/endangered species, an image gallery with over 40,000 photos, and a useful collection of links. Whew! You expect a lot and get a lot here.
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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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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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