Sites of interest on the World Wide Web—edited by Rick Neubig and David Roman

Grow Your Own Protein

This month’s Molecular Interventions features an article by Vitale and Pedrazzini that brings focus on the use of plants for the production of recombinant proteins. While many people often think first to bacterial and insect cell expression systems, the viability of utilizing a plant’s secretory pathway for protein production provides an interesting approach to what can be a difficult process. The Pharma–Planta Consortium Web site ( describes the consortium’s aims to “develop efficient and safe strategies for the production of clinical-grade protein pharmaceuticals in plants” on behalf of the European Union. The site features links to related sites, as well as literature citations and an interesting FAQ about the process of using plants to generate recombinant proteins.


Mouse Models of Cancer

The article in this month’s MI by Goel et al. discusses the topic of chemoprevention and colorectal cancer. The National Cancer Institute has assembled a very useful site for accessing information about mouse models of a wide variety of cancers. The EMICE/Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium Web site ( contains a vast amount of information, organized in searchable databases ranging from cancer image databases to mouse repositories. The entries contain detailed information about the genetics of the mouse models, as well as availability, viability, and associated relevant literature linked through Pubmed. In particular, the “Learning Tools” section provides information for mouse model engineering, as well as statistics and histology for comparison of mouse models and human disease. There are also online books, journals, and mouse strain nomenclature guides. This resource should be very useful to anyone with an interest or research focus on understanding cancer.


For the Techies

The Open Bioinformatics Foundation (OBF) ( is an organization dedicated to supporting open-source programming in bioinformatics. The Web site contains useful information about bioinformatics programming meetings, as well as news servers and email discussion lists. The OBF stems from a variety of open-source bioinformatics projects, including BioPerl, BioJava, BioPython, BioMOBY, and others. The Web site is geared toward programming, but also contains some information for beginners, such as news articles about programming and bioinformatics. Furthermore, each area has an online source for scripts, links, and modules for tool development.


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