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May 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 9)

Toxin, Toxin-Target Database

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The sickly green color of the homepage (as well as the prominent biohazard sign) suggests that something sinister lurks within this website. Indeed, the name of the site confirms it—this is a database housing information for over 2,900 toxins ranging from pesticides to pollutants to drugs. The database combines data about the toxins with information about their biological targets, such that each toxin-specific page (on the website it’s referred to as the “toxin card”) contains a description of the toxin, alternate names, the chemical structure and chemical properties, as well as medically relevant information such as toxicity values, health effects, symptoms, molecular targets, and treatment. (As a side note, it’s fascinating how many targets some of these toxins have!) The site is well organized and clean in its design, and it is a fantastic resource for biologists.

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