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Feb 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 3)

SBS EpiTool Kit

URL:www.epitoolkit.org
  • Nicely designed site
  • Not much content beyond the prediction servers (such as links, etc.)

Computational biology is a fairly nascent field that really seems full of potential for the years to come. Offering their mathematically inclined minds to the field of vaccine development are the people of the Division for Simulation of Biological Systems at the University of Tuebingen. With the SBS EpiToolKit, you, too, can take advantage of computational analysis. Before you know it, you will soon find yourself on the “prediction pipeline”—that is, the four-step framework provided by the website. Users input their sequences, obtain sequence information, select desired alleles, and then obtain prediction results. (Predicting what, you ask? The Epitope server predicts MHC ligands or potential T-cell epitopes.) There is a second prediction service, OptiTope, that predicts the optimal set of epitopes to be used in designing epitope-based vaccines.

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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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