April 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 8)


Strong Points: Very easy to use, many search parameters
Weak Points: None


Well, I can’t tell you the significance of its name (nor why the logo is a photo of the moon), but I can tell you that Rhea is a very handy database of chemical reactions. The collaborative brainchild of the Panda Chemoinformatics and Metabolism Group at the EBI and the Swiss-Prot Group at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Rhea is just plain easy to use. (And I’ll never complain about that!) Its search feature works exactly the way we all want search features to work: one can search by a number of parameters, including compound name, complete chemical equation, or citation. Additionally, the “wildcard” characters, ( “?” represents one character and “*” represents several characters), greatly increase the variety of search results returned. (For instance, the example given on the site: Searching for a?e?o* will return reactions that contain compounds like acetoin, acetone, or adenosine.)

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