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Jul 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 13)


  • Links to RNA sites
  • Not totally focused on RNA
RNA folding is yet another amazing aspect of this oft-overlooked nucleic acid. Let’s face it, RNA is a pretty complex set of molecules. The potential of RNAs to form numerous secondary structures has been known at least as long as the sequence of rRNAs and tRNAs has been available. RNAs can make unusual base pairings, so predicting their occurrence is only a partially-solved problem in many cases. As seen at the paRNAss opening page, a single RNA can assume multiple secondary structures. Hence, understanding their potential has biological relevance. At the paRNAss site, the RNA folding problem (actually an RNA base-pairing problem) is the prime objective. Visitors will discover a wide-ranging and useful collection of links to RNA-related webpages within the RNA Studio section. Curiously as well as distractingly, the site also links to numerous sites totally unrelated to RNA folding, including some covering genome comparison, alignments, primer design, and evolutionary relationships. While these are all important topics, I must ask why they are included in a site focused on RNA folding.
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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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