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Jan 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 2)

GeneFisher - Interactive PCR Primer Design

  • Primer design
  • Non-alterable parameters
GeneFisher—fishing for genes, perhaps? Fishing genes out of genomes? Just fishing? The subtitle, Interactive PCR Primer Design, “hooked me” (get it?) but it shouldn’t have in retrospect. After all, isn’t all PCR design interactive? Nevertheless, digging deeper, I discovered a site with basic functions for identifying PCR primers. Users enter an email address, a name for the analysis, and a sequence. If you need to change the analyses performed, such as primer length, melting temperature, clamping, etc., you’ll wonder how to control these variables, as I did. The on-line manual refers to them, but there appeared to be no way to manipulate these on the opening page or through the two or three links shown. If you’re looking for bells and whistles, this isn’t the place to find them. If you want basic primer design, though, this is worth a shot.
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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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