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Oct 01, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 17)

EDS–Uppsala Electron Density Server

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At the EDS–Uppsala Electron Density Server, visitors will find a service for evaluating electron density of crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB). At first glance, the site doesn’t offer much more than a search engine from which one can retrieve data by entering either a four-character PDB code or a search string. Scratching to get at goodies beneath the surface, one discovers that the database includes over 50,000 entries from PDB, of which over 31,000 have structure factor information. Individual records retrieved by the search engine contain numerous hyperlinked pieces of information including nine different plots, numerous links for the same protein to other databases, and options for downloaded selected or complete collections of information from the site. This is a crystallographer’s dream site, though some may want to pay attention to the section entitled “Request for Help from Crystallographers.”
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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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