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March 01, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 5)


  • Nice organization
  • Certain areas of site sparse in content (materials and methods, images)

Never heard of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus? Perhaps you know this prickly critter by its alias—the purple sea urchin. Such is the focus of SpBase, the online home of the Sea Urchin Genome Database. SpBase presents the results of the sea urchin genome sequencing project, including links to various genome annotations. As a website for researchers studying S. purpuratus, SpBase provides a short list of molecular biology techniques used in sea urchin research, as well as an online clone-request form. There is also a discussion forum, although at the moment there don’t seem to be too many contributors. (There are also a lot of unanswered questions, so if you have sea urchin know-how, you can valiantly go online and rescue the researchers in distress.)

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