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May 15, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 10)


  • Broad database
  • Nothing Significant
Here is a database of protein structures that almost everyone can relate to—disulfide bonds. Important covalent stabilizers of protein tertiary structure, disulfide bonds are the “other covalent” bonds (besides peptide bonds) of proteins. At the DSDBASE site, visitors can search a database of over 19,000 proteins (2,849 nonredundant) with over 2.4 million total disulfides. An interesting offshoot of this site is the use of 3-D information in the proteins to design site-directed mutants, thus creating new disulfide bonds that may act to stabilize desired protein structures in an engineering protein. This is a VERY interesting idea and undoubtedly one that protein engineers will be all over faster than you can say “peptide bond.”
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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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