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Feb 01, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 3)

Welcome to the Biogeosciences

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How many combinations are possible for the various scientific prefixes? That thought comes to my mind as I look at the rather interesting Biogeosciences site. Anticipating the questions of many, the Biogeosciences site has a section entitled “Defining Biogeosciences” that is interesting and informative. Depicted as being at the interface of the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere, the biogeosciences are relevant for understanding the relationship between life on earth and geophysics. A scan of recent news articles at the site gives an idea of its focus—“Tracking Earth’s Oxygen Levels Provides Backdrop for Evolution;” “Does Mars Methane Indicate Underground Life?;” and “Diatom Genome Reveals Key Role in Biosphere’s Carbon Cycle.
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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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