July 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 13)

URL:
http://bibiserv.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de/parnass

Rating:
Strong Points: Links to RNA sites
Weak Points: Not totally focused on RNA

Summary:
RNA folding is yet another amazing aspect of this oft-overlooked nucleic acid. Let’s face it, RNA is a pretty complex set of molecules. The potential of RNAs to form numerous secondary structures has been known at least as long as the sequence of rRNAs and tRNAs has been available. RNAs can make unusual base pairings, so predicting their occurrence is only a partially-solved problem in many cases. As seen at the paRNAss opening page, a single RNA can assume multiple secondary structures. Hence, understanding their potential has biological relevance. At the paRNAss site, the RNA folding problem (actually an RNA base-pairing problem) is the prime objective. Visitors will discover a wide-ranging and useful collection of links to RNA-related webpages within the RNA Studio section. Curiously as well as distractingly, the site also links to numerous sites totally unrelated to RNA folding, including some covering genome comparison, alignments, primer design, and evolutionary relationships. While these are all important topics, I must ask why they are included in a site focused on RNA folding.