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Feb 01, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 3)

Germ Blaster

  • Introduces players to different pathogens/treatments
  • None
Platform: iPad  
Cost: Free

If you’re going to play games on your iPad, they might as well be educational, right? (Conversely, if you’re going to learn about pathogens, there might as well be a game for that, right?) Such is the premise of Germ Blaster, a space alien-type game in which the player loads his/her syringe with an appropriate weapon to defeat incoming pathogens. The player’s health status is (naturally) given as the percentage of “immunity” remaining. To be successful, players must recognize that antibiotics won’t defeat prions, nor will antifungals have any efficacy against viruses. There certainly isn’t that much educational content in the game, but hey—it introduces players to “helminths”, so that should count for something. As for the game play itself, I gotta admit—it’s pretty tough!

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  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
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  • Good

*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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