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Nov 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 20)


  • Freely downloadable molecular modeling program
  • Lack of tutorials, program only PC-compatible

It is unlikely that an ambiguous title like “ArgusLab” drives too much traffic to this website, which s a shame. ArgusLab is, in fact, the name of a molecular modeling program authored by Mark Thompson (as opposed to the name of a laboratory, as would be the obvious suspect). It is free to download, although it is unfortunately only PC-compatible. Do not be deterred by the blank screen that appears once you submit your registration form for the download as, paradoxically, the program can be downloaded not from the “Click here to get ArgusLab” link, but from the smaller, less conspicuous “Download” link on the left side of the page. The program includes features that allow one to build a polypeptide chain, execute ribbon rendering for proteins, display solvent-accessible surfaces, and more. There is not much in the way of tutorials, but there is a user’s group to (hopefully) answer any questions you might have.

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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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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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