January 1, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 1)


Strong Points: Sugar structures
Weak Points: Not very sophisticated

Jon Maber is a faculty member at the University of Leeds who is also the author of a book entitled, “Data Analysis for Biomolecular Sciences.” While his book appears to focus on statistics of interest for biomolecular science students, the “meat” of his Website focuses on carbohydrate-related structure and metabolism. A Monosaccharide Browser, available as a Java applet, allows visitors to view space-filling 3-D Fischer projections of selected sugars by clicking on a name. Yes, this is not overly complicated and probably of limited use, but it is a simple way to view sugar structures, particularly rare ones, such as idose, lyxose, or altrose. I’ll wager most readers of this page couldn’t draw those structures from memory. In addition, sections on glycolysis and the citric acid cycle allow viewers to step through reactions in each cycle and even view animations (though I wasn’t able to get them to work on my computer system). It’s not a high-tech, rocket science kind of site, but it is useful for students new to biochemistry.