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Downloads and Upgrades: Oct 15, 2010

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This week, MolSoft released a new version of its ICM-Browser and ActiveICM plugin.

According to the developers, this release of the browser lets users build and save annotated and interactive 3D molecules and display them in Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer; display fully interactive molecules and ligand pocket surfaces; add and optimize hydrogens to Protein Data Bank structures; calculate and display molecule surfaces; and save publication-quality molecular graphics files in a variety of image formats.


Exiqon, a Danish supplier of gene expression analysis products, has launched microRNA qPCR assay design software for use in designing custom qPCR assays and mRNA Detection probe software, which will be used to design locked nucleic acid probes to detect mRNA using in situ hybridization.

According to the company, the web-based microRNA qPCR assay design tool includes an advanced algorithm that evaluates more than 3,000 primer pair designs based on more than 60 different design criteria in less than 2 minutes. The mRNA Detection probe software evaluates more than 5,000 designs based on more than 20 design criteria in about a minute.


This week, the caBench-to-Bedside arm of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid announced that web-based support, including documentation and interactive forums, for the caB2B software suite is now available through the caGrid Knowledge Center.

The caB2B suite permits translational research scientists to search and combine data from virtually any caGrid data service.

The suite is composed of three components: a web application that provides query templates that allow easy search and retrieval of microarray data, imaging data, specimen data, and nanoparticle data across the grid; a client application that lets users create and execute queries across the caGrid data services; and a query component that consists of a diagrammatic view that lets users create a directed acyclic graph of the query that is to be executed and also helps the user to connect two or more classes to be searched.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.