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May 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 10)

The Elements of Bioinformatics

URL:elements.eaglegenomics.com
  • Great visual display, links included
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Ask a number of researchers working in genomics about their favorite sequence analysis and bioinformatics tools, and you’ll no doubt be inundated with a variety of genome browsers, genome assembly tools, and gene prediction tools, among other types of resources. With so many tools available, it is sometimes difficult to keep them straight; however, Eagle Genomics has created an excellent online resource to do just that. The Elements of Bioinformatics brilliantly organizes and summarizes a large number of bioinformatics tools via a Periodic Table-like display. The tools are organized into sixteen categories such as genomic assemblers, databases/warehouses, and gene prediction tools for mRNA and ncRNA, all of which are color-coded according to a key given above the table. The table is further divided into open source tools, tools free for academics only, and commercial tools. Clicking on any individual “element” brings up a short summary of what the tool does, other relevant information (such as compatible operating systems), and a link to the download.

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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.

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

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