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May 01, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 9)

Viva Natura

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The Galapagos Islands blazed onto the international biodiversity scene all those years ago, thanks to Darwin. Founded not so many years ago, Viva Natura showcases the beautiful biodiversity of Mexico. On this site you’ll find gorgeous photographs of Mexico’s flora and fauna, as well as the environments they inhabit. A multimedia gold mine, this site also offers videos and sounds of some of the exotic creatures. If gazing at photographs is not stimulating enough for you, check out the “fun and education” section. Among other things, you’ll get to view what every girl and boy dreams of seeing at least once in life—the internal organs of a crocodile! The next time you play a trivia game with friends and the subject of crocodilian viscera comes up you can calmly answer, “Of course crocodiles lack a bladder. The urine is led to the cloaka from the mesonefros. Obviously.”
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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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