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Jun 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 12)

Visible Human Server

URL:visiblehuman.epfl.ch
  • Good instructions, easy to use
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The title to this site is fairly transparent—the webpage allows one to analyze the “visible human.” (You know, as compared to all of those invisible humans walking around.) Actually, these visible humans aren’t walking anywhere, as they are cadavers that were donated to science and cross-sectioned for our benefit. Using the dataset from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project, this site through the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is unique in its interactive features. In addition to the standard viewing application, in which one can travel slice-by-slice through the body, there are applets that allow one to construct 3-D animation sequences, extract slices from the datasets, and navigate through the knee, to name a few. Some of the features require you to log in, but registration is fast and (more importantly) free. Getting under someone’s skin has never been easier or more enjoyable.
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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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