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Dec 01, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 21)

A Protein Primer - A Musical Introduction to Protein Structure

  • Nice descriptions and implementation
  • Not much scientific relevance
If you’ve read this column for any period of time, you know that I like the offbeat. Consequently, I couldn’t resist this offering, which provides a musical introduction to protein structure. Yes, there are many sites like this one with similar ideas, but I’ll wager that none of them produce its interesting melodies. “A Protein Primer” accomplishes its magic by assigning increasing pitch to amino acids by their increasing hydrophobicity values and the duration of each note is set by the number of codons coding for it. I’m not a musician, but I’d find it hard to believe you wouldn’t appreciate the eerie beauty of the sequence of Calmodulin being played on your computer. My only complaint is that I’d like to be able to dump my own sequence into the site and have it play it back to me. Perhaps this will come in the future.
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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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