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Feb 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 3)

PenBase - The Penaeidin Database

URL:www.penbase.immunaqua.com
  • Interesting info on novel peptides
  • Disappointingly small
Pop quiz—what are penaeidins? If you answered a group of antimicrobial peptides, you know a lot more about the topic of this site than I did when I discovered it. A group of peptides originally isolated from a shrimp, the penaeidins are involved in the innate immunity of some vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. They may be important for organisms that lack adaptive immunity, or so the opening page of the site says. The database hosted at this site called PenBase is a bit disappointing, at least in its number of entries—29. This is more of what I would call a list than a database. Visitors can Blast an unknown sequence against PenBase, and that may be its most useful function. Primer sets for amplifying these coding sequences are known. The novelty and economic potential of these molecules merit a serious scan of the contents of the site.
  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
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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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