March 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 6)
Strong Points: Useful tools
Weak Points: Nerdy-better descriptions needed
Wow! That’s a mouthful of a title. Does the material in the site merit such length? Readers, of course, will have to be the judges, but if I were to case a vote, I’d say yes. My reasoning is that there is a paucity of online sites dealing with RNA folding (let alone DNA folding). Michael Zuker, a name synonymous with RNA structure, is a prominent figure at the site, which includes software tools for predicting the secondary structure of RNA/DNA (surprise!) using thermodynamic methods. mFold, a program that performs these functions, can be downloaded at the site and can be accessed online, as well. Other programs include DINAMelt (predicting melting profiles of nucleic acids) and several specific applications for folding problems in RNA and DNA, for example, Quikfold, Zipfold, Tm server, and more. There’s a lot here for nerds of all ages.