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Feb 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 4)

Genome Scenario

URL:www-btls.jst.go.jp/cgi-bin/GenomeScenario/index.cgi
  • Very interesting idea
  • Hard to understand
Before sequences of complete genomes were available, sequence analysis was relatively simple. One desired to find features in a given DNA or protein and compare them across a database of other sequences to find ones that were similar to them. When complete genomes became available, searching needs increased as researchers aimed at pulling subsets of information out of genomes and then subjected them to further analysis. The organizers of this interesting site recognized this need, dubbing it a scenario. Thus one could subject an entire genome to extracting DNA motifs and then subject those motifs to further analysis. In this system, analyses are built one on top of another using a relatively simple interface. While I think the design for using the site could be made considerably more user friendly (the writer of the instructions appears not to be a native English speaker), the idea is a great one.
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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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