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Oct 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 18)

Structural Biology Software Database

  • Large collection of links to applications/tools
  • Nothing major

Sometimes a website doesn’t need flourishes, a fancy page design, or beautiful graphics to be an online gold mine. Perhaps no group of scientists can relate to frills-free form and function than theoretical and computational researchers. Thus, it is only fitting that the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign provides a simple, straightforward, and very functional website to the rest of the scientific community. The Structural Biology Software Database gets straight to business: it is a list of 367 tools and applications, organized into 24 categories. Visitors can search the collection by keyword or simply browse the entries, which cover everything from biomolecular electrostatics and protein structure prediction to molecular docking and Monte Carlo simulations. The website might be quite plain to look at, but if you peer a bit closer, you’ll find that the database is a treasure chest in its own right.

  • 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.

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

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