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Dec 01, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 21)

RCSB Protein Data Bank

  • Great user interface and molecule viewer
  • None
Platform: iPad/iPhone  
Cost: Free

The RCSB Protein Data Bank (PDB) is a dear friend to many researchers, as it is a treasure trove of structural information for your favorite proteins. The accompanying app for the iPad/iPhone is equally enlightening, as it gives users access to the entire PDB database (with a wi-fi or cellular data connection required). The app includes all of the features of the website, such as the molecule of the month and the latest structures newsfeed, but certainly the most iPad/iPhone-friendly feature is the molecule viewer. While one can view the structures on the website, it is only with the app that users can freely rotate the molecule and zoom in and out with their fingers. Even if you are not in pursuit of information about a specific protein for your research, it is easy to lose yourself exploring the beautiful structures of the database.

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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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