February 15, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 4)
Strong Points: Wide Ranging
Weak Points: Quirky in places
No, as you probably guessed, this is not the global Website of a major pancake supplier. What this particular iHOP is, however, is not simple to explain. Most readers are probably familiar with reference databases, such as PubMed, and with sequence databases (like Entrez). iHOP is sort of a blend of these ideas, though without a lot of sequence info. Searching the database with a protein name, such as SNF2, brings up short, one-sentence descriptions of interactions of that gene with other genes, as reported in the literature. The number of hits is impressive, and retrieval of references is trivial. I found the interface to be quirky at best and mind-bending, at worst. Clicking on check-boxes brought unexpected actions, leaving me wondering at times what I was able to do at the site. I do, however, recommend iHOP, but wish the designers would put more effort into intuitive design.