January 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 2)
Strong Points: Nice “how to” section, easy to use
Weak Points: Only four viruses represented on the site
What’s the best way to get a virus to shut up? Well, to silence it, of course! And I think that siRNA (“small interfering” or “silencing” RNAs) will do just the trick. Lucky for researchers, the siVirus website provides the tools to achieve efficient antiviral siRNA design for HIV-1, HCV, SARS, influenza, and (coming soon) HBV. The “about siVirus” link takes you to the page that tells you everything you need to know about using the website. The basic procedure is: 1) select sequences for conservation analysis, 2) specify regions of interest, and 3) click “submit” to design the siRNAs. It is unfortunate that there are so few viruses represented on the site, as it limits the utility of the design tools to a select group of virologists,but for members of that group, it is definitely a resource worth utilizing.