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Jan 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 2)

Ontological Discovery Environment

  • Strong tutorial materials, very well-organized website
  • None

Step right up, ladies and gents, and witness the amazing ODE! That’s right–—the Ontological Discovery Environment. You want phenotype-centered gene information? Well, ODE has got it! It integrates across species, it bridges experimental platforms, it encompasses different tissue types—in short, it is a great tool to analyze existing gene sets to identify novel GeneSet relationships. With the tutorial pamphlet, demo video, and quick reference sheet, you’ll have everything you’ll need to get started, though, in reality the website is streamlined to make your investigations straightforward. Simply search for/upload sets of genes, collect the sets into projects, and analyze the sets. Users can search either for individual genes or GeneSets, which are compiled from six different species. The website is well organized and user-friendly. So what are you waiting for? Try your hand at ODE and see what you’ll discover!

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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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