DATABASE: The Little Molecules That Could

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Science  10 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5643, pp. 205
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5643.205c

Need the lowdown on the structure and function of particular bioactive compounds? Check out this new chemical database, an early offering from the ChemBank initiative at Harvard Medical School. The site caches data on molecules with biological effects. You can look up the chemical formula, structure, and activities for several hundred existing drugs and other small molecules, from the virus-blocker abacavir to the antibiotic Zyvox. Chemists could use the information as a guide for designing new compounds, for example, and biologists can locate molecules that spur a particular cellular reaction, helping reveal its mechanism.

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