Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

Best of the Web

More »
Aug 01, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 14)

The RNA Modification Database

URL:library.med.utah.edu/RNAmods/trnabase/
  • Nice collection of RNA info
  • Not tightly organized
RNAs are much more interesting molecules than DNA. Consider their multiple forms, the fact that they can act as catalysts of chemical reactions, and that they are often extensively modified chemically. That last property of these nucleic acids is the focus of this interesting collection, maintained at the University of Utah. The diversity of modification is amazing, with over 90 different nucleoside modifications. These include modifications in all the major forms of RNA including tRNA, rRNA, mRNA, tmRNA, snRNA, and even chromosomal RNAs. Organisms containing the modifications include representatives of archaea, eubacteria, and eukaryotes. The site’s approach to covering these modifications is a bit unsatisfying, with information loosely organized via links in a panel on the left side of the page and through a search function link at the top of the page. Results returned from the search engine showed structures, formulas, names, phylogenetic sources, and references. Clearly useful for researchers, the site could do more to be of general interest to others.
  • 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.

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

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?

More »