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Mar 15, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 6)

Ingenue: Gene Network Simulation Software

  • Software
  • Very techie
From the Center for Cell Dynamics at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor comes Ingenue, a software package for gene network simulation. Unlike direct tests to detect interactions in cells, gene network simulations attempt to model biological complexity computationally. Keys to success using this approach include high level imaging and extensive tests of models for accuracy. The Ingenue approach facilitates high level collaborations of mathematicians, computer scientists, and experimental biologists. As noted at the site, though many downplay the roles of models in biology, the fact is that they are very successful modeling processes in population genetics and enzyme kinetics, so there is no reason they should not be effective in basic cellular biology as well. At the site, one can find a wealth of materials, including confocal movies, downloadable Ingenue software (Mac, Windows, Linux), and a description of relevant publications. A site for techies, to be sure, but an important one.
  • Key:
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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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