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Nov 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 20)

ProNIT: Database for Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions

  • Ease of use, usefulness of info
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Finding useful thermodynamic information of interest to molecular biologists is not particularly easy. Over the 11 years I’ve done the column, I’ve only come across a handful of such sites. I’m happy to have identified a new one in ProNIT, whose thermodynamic data for protein-DNA interactions is “very useful for understanding the principles of molecular recognition.” Indeed it is, and indeed, this is an awesome collection of info. Visitors can locate desired information via either a simple or an advanced search engine. I found the advanced engine to be actually easier to use. Returned records include extensive basic protein information as well as thermodynamic information regarding binding and other parameters. Easily the most useful thermodynamic site I’ve seen for molecular biology.
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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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