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Feb 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 4)

Nematode and Selected Genomics

  • Many sequence databases and bioinformatics tools
  • None

The website for the Blaxter lab at the University of Edinburgh—which is subtitled, “Nematode and Neglected Genomics”—is the perfect place to visit if you are searching for genetic information for “misfit” organisms of the current genomics era. You won’t find DNA sequence information for Drosophila melanogaster or Mus musculus here; instead, you can browse sequence databases for 63 species of nematodes, 1 tardigrade species (or “water bear”), 9 species of molluscs, and 2 axolotl species, among others. In addition to the multiple sequence databases, the website includes a number of downloadable bioinformatics tools. These include transcriptome analysis tools such as peptide predictors and sequence annotators; tools for phylogenomics analyses such as a taxonomy database manager; DNA barcode analysis tools; and general genomics tools such as quality assurance tools for next-gen sequencing datasets.

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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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