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Sep 01, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 15)

PPDB

URL:ppdb.tc.cornell.edu
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Pop quiz—where do plastids come from? Answer—they’re derived from prokaryotic cells. Of course, we’ve all learned that chloroplasts have their own DNA, but what about nonchloroplast plastids? In some cases, they do as well. Leucoplasts, for example, can contain DNA and their own protein-making machinery. Before you get too excited, recognize that leucoplasts can be derived from the same pro-plastids that give rise to chloroplasts. Whew! Such is the exciting research I performed as a byproduct of reading through this interesting site. PPDB (Plastid Proteome Database) is an online site dedicated to proteomes and comparative proteomes of these interesting plant structures. Highlights include the section entitled Protein Function with a marvelously hierarchically organized collection of information about plastid proteins, replete with hyperlinks, Plastid Sub-Proteomes, and Comparative Proteomics. There is more on these informative pages than I have space for here. Check them out.
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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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