December 1, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 21)
Strong Points: Informative
Weak Points: Needs more breadth
You’d think from the multiexclamation point title that flaviviruses were something to be happy about. Sadly, that is not the case. Responsible for major human diseases like yellow fever, dengue, encephalitis, and hepatitis C, the flaviviruses are a serious group of pathogens. As pointed out on the site, flaviviruses contain a single, linear, positive sense RNA with sizes of about 10–11 kilobases (the site incorrectly identifies them as kilobase pairs). All flaviviruses are transmitted by arthropods, except hepatitis C, which is spread through contaminated body fluids. The site, which was created for a class at Stanford by Robert Siegel, is notable for a simple design but has suffered a bit by sacrificing breadth for simplicity. The pages, nevertheless, are informative reads.