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Sep 01, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 15)

My Cancer Genome

URL:bit.ly/1ABg24O
  • Large collection of genes and drugs
  • No details provided for drug mechanisms
Platform: iPad/iPhone  
Cost: Free

Vanderbilt University’s My Cancer Genome app provides a great deal of information related to the genetics of cancer and genetically informed cancer therapeutics. The app is divided into two sections. On the “variants” page users can browse (or search) diseases, genes, and gene variants. For example, selecting a specific disease displays a description of that type of cancer as well as a list of associated genes and variants. The other section of the app deals with drugs, allowing users to browse by drug name, drug class, or target. Unfortunately, selecting on a specific drug class (such as topoisomerase inhibitors) only directs users to a list of other drugs of that class, rather than providing additional details about the mechanism of action of that class of drug.

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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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