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May 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 10)

Protein Evolution

URL:www.russelllab.org
  • Sleek site design, easy navigation
  • Nothing major

Colorful protein ribbon diagrams already have a lot going for them in the way of being visually appealing. So you can only imagine the awesome synergy of ribbon diagrams and a sleek, simple website design (look out!). Kudos to Rob Russell, a professor at the University of Heidelberg and the mastermind behind this website for his laboratory. (Though I should keep my praise in check—Dr. Russell did design his website from a free template, after all…) So what will one actually find on this site (beyond ribbon diagrams, that is)? The most useful aspect of the website is the “services” page. This page contains 14 links, articles, or other resources relevant to researchers who get pumped-up about proteins. These include 3SOM (a tool to analyze 3-D surface overlap maximization), a prediction tool for microRNA targets in Drosophila, and a website devoted to yeast complexes.

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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.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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