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May 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 9)

ChloroP 1.1 Prediction Server

  • Useful analyses, free software
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I know I say this too often—“somehow I thought I’d covered this site before, but it doesn’t appear to be in my database”—but here I go anyway. The CloroP 1.1 Prediction Server is a simple online tool for predicting/identifying the presence of chloroplast transit peptide (cTP) sequences in a polypeptide. What, you nonbotanists may ask, is a cTP? Like signal peptides, cTPs are N-terminal amino acid sequences that target proteins for movement to the chloroplast. Identifying them is a snap with CloroP 1.1. Visitors simply paste one or more sequences in FASTA format into a textbox and the program does its thing. Up to 50 sequences and 200,000 amino acids per submission are allowed. Sequences are kept confidential and are deleted after processing, according to the site. Better yet, if you prefer to run ChloroP at your own site, it can be downloaded as a free, stand-alone package for academic users. Useful software, great policy.
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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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