SOFTWARE WATCH | Map Protein Interactions

When Laurent Cocea lost his job in 2002, he immediately set to work creating his own company to solve a problem he had while still employed at Amgen in Toronto. "We had a team of students who spent six weeks mapping protein interactions," he says. "Once they did it, they couldn't edit it."

Now, thanks to "Dynamic Signaling Maps," a program Cocea designed, any researcher can map complex protein interactions in minutes, rather than weeks. And the best part is that, for the near future, the tool is available for free on the Web ( Cocea hopes to lure researchers into using the product through the free Web site (he's attracted more than 200 registered users so far) and eventually to charge their institutions, primarily biotechnology firms, to pay for licenses. Several other firms have developed...

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