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Sep 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 16)

Pathway Commons

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When you think of “PC”, chances are you think about political correctness or personal computers. Yet, perhaps you will soon find yourself adding another definition to your mental acronym filing cabinet: Pathway Commons. Pathway Commons is a website whose name very much reflects its purpose (a novel concept among websites), which is to combine multiple pathway databases into one convenient website. Thus, when visitors to the site enter a gene name in the search field, they will receive pathway information procured from not one, not two, but ten independent pathway databases. These data sources are: BioGRID, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Cancer Cell Map, the Human Protein Reference Database, HumanCyc, SBCNY, INtAct, MetaCyc, MINT, the National Cancer Institute’s Pathway Interaction Database, and Reactome. Just look at those names—Pathway Commons is like the All-Stars team among pathway databases!

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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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