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Feb 01, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 3)

DNA-Binding Motifs

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What you get here is a lot more than what you see at first glance. On the opening page of the rather vanilla DNA-Binding Motifs page is a set of links to structures for the four major protein motifs involved in DNA binding (helix-turn-helix, helix-loop-helix, zinc fingers, and leucine zippers). Clicking on any of the links brings up windows with Java-based molecular structures. Each window provides users with controls for highlighting residues in protein or DNA, the ability to view from any angle, and the ability to rotate the assigned structure in space. Wow! This is very cool. I just found a great tool for teaching these structures to my winter-term biochemistry students.
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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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