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Feb 01, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 3)

Weeds Gone Wild—Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas

URL:www.nps.gov/plants/alien
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We are under attack by aliens at this very moment! These aliens, however, have eschewed their spaceships. They need not arrive from distant galaxies. In fact, they can be found in the very ground on which we walk—they are not extra terrestrials at all. They are alien (non-native) plants, and the Plant Conservation Alliance’s Alien Plant Working Group wants you to know about them! These plants pose a serious threat to natural U.S. ecosystems, and this site is budding with information to help you learn more about the plants and what you can do to help. Included on the site are fact sheets for different invasive species, as well as a list of invasive plants in the U.S. So what’s a person to do when confronted with a conniving kudzu or the gumption of a garlic mustard? Well, eat it, of course! The recipes page offers a number of tasty solutions to the overgrowth problem. (But as they kindly remind you at the top of the page, please remember to refrain from deliberately planting these guys for the sole purpose of trying the recipes.)
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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.

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