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Apr 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 7)

Structural Classification of RNA (SCOR)

URL:scor.lbl.gov/index.html
  • Useful database
  • Uninspired interface
SCOP, the popular website for the Structural Classification of Proteins, has been around for a long time, but I’ll wager most readers of this column have never heard of SCOR, the Structural Classification of RNA. Such, I suppose, is the reason this column exists. SCOR is a database aimed at providing a comprehensive examination of RNA motif structure/function. It does not perform structural analysis. The site has several facets to it. They include Structural Classifications (Internal Loops and Hairpins), Functional Classifications (Molecular, Motif, and Structural Models), and RNA Tertiary Interactions (seven subcategories). The site also contains JAVA applications for manipulating sequences for Windows, Mac, UNIX, and LINUX. A glossary and a useful set of links round out the site.
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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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