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Feb 01, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 3)

Genome Wowser

URL:bit.ly/W7Srpq
  • Many organisms, customizable viewing options
  • Significant load times
Platform: iPad  
Cost: Free

It only seems fitting that this whimsically named genome browser app was developed by a research group at a children’s hospital (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to be specific). This app brings the known-and-loved University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) genome browser to your iPad, allowing users to search for genes, navigate the results using the standard touchscreen maneuvers (pinch and zoom, etc.), and customize which annotation tracks are displayed on the screen. The annotations range from mapping and sequencing tracks, to genes and gene prediction tracks, to tracks displaying variation and repeats, among others. While the default genome is set to human, researchers will be pleased to know that the genomes of many other organisms are also included in the app, ranging from the more common (i.e., mouse and rat) to the exotic (i.e., panda and platypus).

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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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