October 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 18)
Strong Points: Large collection of links to applications/tools
Weak Points: Nothing major
Sometimes a website doesn’t need flourishes, a fancy page design, or beautiful graphics to be an online gold mine. Perhaps no group of scientists can relate to frills-free form and function than theoretical and computational researchers. Thus, it is only fitting that the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign provides a simple, straightforward, and very functional website to the rest of the scientific community. The Structural Biology Software Database gets straight to business: it is a list of 367 tools and applications, organized into 24 categories. Visitors can search the collection by keyword or simply browse the entries, which cover everything from biomolecular electrostatics and protein structure prediction to molecular docking and Monte Carlo simulations. The website might be quite plain to look at, but if you peer a bit closer, you’ll find that the database is a treasure chest in its own right.