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May 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 10)

RNABase: The RNA Structure Database

URL:www.rnabase.org
  • RNA structure and data
  • Missing structures
Here’s a blast from the past—a site I reviewed back in the early days of this column that has grown up bigtime. This is due, no doubt, to the fact that our knowledge of RNA structures is growing with leaps and bounds, just as our knowledge of protein structures is as well. RNA structure is a fascinating subject, in my opinion at least, and is much more interesting than DNA structure, due to the abilities of RNA to form more stable duplexes than DNA and the resulting tendencies of self-paired RNA single strands to form 3-D structures. Witness the tRNAs, rRNAs, and ribozymes. If you want to get overwhelmed, click on the Complete Listing link on the opening page to scroll through the 1,168 RNAs whose structures are listed. I was disappointed that I couldn’t view structures for all of the entries, but the ones I saw were superb.
  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good


*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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