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Jan 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

Bioinformatics, University of Wurzburg

  • Both downloadable and online analysis tools available
  • Each tool has the same URL as the homepage so you can't bookmark specific pages

Technology is swell, ain’t it? When in need of a good bioinformatics tool, we need not be confined to those available at our institutes, or even those created by research groups in our own country. Hailing all the way from Germany is the bioinformatics website of the Biocenter at the University of Würzburg. This site includes a number of analysis tools that range from simple online interfaces (such as the tool that searches DNA/RNA sequences for riboswitches, aptly named “Riboswitch Finder”), to fully downloadable software packages like inGeno. InGeno, the integrated genome and ortholog viewer (or simply, “that button with the penguin next to it”), provides tools to analyze genomic sequences of genomes that are phylogenetically closely related. It is compatible with every operating system under the sun (Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris), and the tutorial gives a nice introduction. Beyond those already mentioned, there are a few other tools, although there was at least one that wouldn’t open.

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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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