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Team Presents Automated Nucleic Acid Structure Drawing Method

University of Maryland researchers reporting in Nucleic Acids Research describe an automated approach for drawing two-dimensional nucleic acids structures, which they call "fundamental to the communication of nucleic acids research." The team's RNAcanvas software offers a look at loop and stem structures based on nucleic acid residue sequences, with customizable elements, adjustable layouts, "point-and-click" structure-editing tools, and opportunities for incorporating tertiary interaction information. In addition, RNAcanvas "has many unique features and performance optimizations for large structures that cannot be correctly predicted and require manual refinement based on the researcher's own analyses and expertise," the authors write, noting that "future performance improvements will need to include new strategies for minimizing lag times when dragging portions of very large structures."