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Feb 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 4)

BioGRID

URL:www.thebiogrid.org
  • Nice site design, many resources
  • Search options limited

Commuters everywhere will appreciate the fact that “gridlock” is something to avoid. Yet, I present here one type of GRID that scientists may not mind getting locked into for hours on end. BioGRID (more formally known as the Biological General Repository for Interaction Datasets) is a website that contains information about unique biological interactions. Fifty species are represented in the database, which can be searched by gene name, identifier, or keyword. (Unfortunately, though, there is no “function” search option, so searches for “apoptosis” or “metabolism” return no results.) Beyond simply searching the database, visitors can build and download custom interaction datasets, utilize a number of online tools and resources (such as network visualization tools), and also browse the interaction statistics for the site. There is a separate help wiki, yet even with this assistance it may take a bit of time to acquaint yourself with everything included in this website.

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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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