February 15, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 4)
Strong Points: Many search parameters
Weak Points: Some pages a bit busy
It’s a metallic element! It can help fend off a sore throat! It’s…a database of commercially available compounds? Yes, that’s right, ZINC can do it all! ZINC (the database, that is) is a free resource provided courtesy of the Shoichet Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. It contains…well…a lot…of compounds that can be used for structure-based virtual screening. (Two separate sections of the website place the total number of entries either at 13 million or 20 million.) Users can search/browse the collection by similarity to a particular chemical structure (there is a field in which one can draw the desired structure), or they can define specific chemical properties such as the number of rotatable bonds or the polar desolvation. Additional search parameters include vendor and availability of the compound.