December 1, 2006 (Vol. 26, No. 21)


Strong Points: Useful for researchers
Weak Points: Narrow focus

I don’t mean to get personal, but when was the last time you thought hard about the tunicates? To refresh your memory, tunicates are a group of animals that include the sedentary ascidians (sea squirts). These are also animals with appearances only a mother sea squirt might love. Ah, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if you are a researcher of these organisms, you might see them differently from me. Irrespective of how you view these little guys, you’ve got to give a lot of credit to the Human Genome Center in Tokyo for hosting this unusual database, which contains descriptions of 12 transcription factors and 140 promoters. While this might be small enough to not require a search engine, the site nevertheless has one, providing presumably for the day when it expands to accommodate the growing body of sea squirt knowledge.