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Jan 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 2)


  • Easy to use, free
  • None

Molecular biologists are always monkeying around with DNA—we amplify it, we cut it up, and we put the pieces back together. ApE (“A plasmid Editor”) is a free (yes, free!) downloadable DNA sequence editor program that offers comparable functionality to commercially available programs. Available for both PCs and Macs, ApE allows users to annotate DNA sequences with primer binding sites, coding regions, etc., and can display these features on graphic plasmid maps. The virtual restriction digest feature provides users with predictive gel images showing the expected fragment sizes. Online support for the software takes the form of a wiki page, the link to which is given on the ApE homepage. The software itself is easy to navigate and intuitive, so you should be able to get started in no time! (I would hurry and download the software soon, as the website hints at the possibility that it might not be free forever…)

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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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