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

Your Genes, Your Health

  • Organization, great animations
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Remember when you were in school and genetics equated to Punnett squares over, and over, and over again? (Not that I’m complaining —I could happily Punnett all day.) Well, anyone who remembers genetics as merely Mendel and peas should definitely check out this site, one of the wonderful DNA Learning Center sites through the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Actually, anyone who ever wanted to know about hereditary diseases—through graphics and animations—should visit this site. There is a wealth of information on the topics of diagnostics, symptoms, treatments, and other aspects of hereditary diseases. The information is presented at a basic level (an agarose electrophoretic gel is described as looking “remarkably like Jello but doesn’t taste as good”), but the site provides enough information that it is interesting and useful for even a seasoned scientist.
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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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