July 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 13)
Strong Points: Useful research database
Weak Points: Narrow focus
Pseudoknots are RNA structures that only a molecular biologist could get excited about. Known for over 20 years, pseudoknots are unusual secondary/tertiary structures of RNA molecules that resemble a knot and are more complicated than the basic secondary structures often shown for rRNAs or tRNAs. What, you may wonder, are the purposes or use of pseudoknots? A fair question, but not one for which the answer is fully known nor one about which I am conversant. That perhaps is a subject for another site. The purpose of this site is not answering questions of purpose but rather to allow users to retrieve sequences recognized in the literature as pseudoknots. As noted on the pages, collecting pseudoknot info is not a simple exercise, as these are often footnotes of papers and more importantly, not everyone agrees on whether given RNAs form such structures. Accordingly, notes are provided with the purported knots as “supported by” to identify who proposed the structure.