April 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 7)
Strong Points: Useful research info
Weak Points: Dreadful interface with information
Since the title here isn’t overly informative, I’ll need to provide a bit of background. A powerful tool for studying molecular interactions is cross-linking. In this method, molecules are allowed to interact and then a chemical agent is introduced/activated that makes a covalent bond between structures close to each other. Thus, in the case of a ribosome, one can see which proteins are in close proximity by cross-linking and then assaying them to see which ones end up attached to each other by the crosslinker. The Database of Ribosomal Crosslinks is aimed at providing researchers with access to such experimental data. Yes, the site is a bit out of date, but the data is not, so I include it here for reference. Be forewarned—the information is not in a user-friendly format. Researchers outside of this field will have a hard time interpreting the contents.