Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

MAY15 2017

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) is the world's most widely read biotech publication. It provides the R&D community with critical information on the tools, technologies, and trends that drive the biotech industry.

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For more information, visit our website (, click on New Products, and search through our comprehensive new products database. New Products 34 | MAY 15, 2017 | | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News Best of the Web All of the links to the URLs described above are posted on GEN's website, To suggest a website for Best of the Web, please send the URL to Taralyn Tan ( Key Strong Points Weak Points Excellent Ratings Very Good Good 9 – HHHH HHH HH Bio-Link HHHH 9 Educational resources and information for students Bio-Link is one of the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) centers funded by the Nation- al Science Foundation. The ATE program exists to improve educational offerings that train technicians in biotechnology. For students and aspiring technicians, the Bio-Link website provides information about training programs around the country that offer various levels of certification: from one-year certificates requiring no previous college experience, to associate and bachelor's degrees, to post-baccalaureate certificates and master's degrees. The site also provides descriptions of various types of technician positions, such as those in the fields of biosafety, biomedical technology, bioinformatics, and com- putational biology. Instructors will also find the website to be incredibly useful, as they can browse the large collection of free educational resources contained within the Bio-Link instructional material and curriculum clearinghouse. Connected Researchers HHHH 9 Large collection of digital tools As Dr. Thomas Crouzier laments on his website, Connected Researchers, "I often feel like academic research is stuck in the 1990s . . . where are the Facebooks, the Kickstarters, the Google Docs for researchers?" With connectedresearchers. com, Dr. Crouzier hopes to bring communication among academics into the 21st century by compiling digital tools that improve the research workflow. The website includes links to a large number of such digital tools, making the web- site an excellent resource for scientists. Links on the page are organized by their function: exploring the literature, finding and sharing data and code, connecting with others, writing, publishing, evaluating research, and general tools for "at the bench and in the office." The website also includes a blog (typically consisting of one entry per month) that highlights specific tools. In total, there are many useful resources to be discovered on this website. Simons Foundation HHHH 9 Good organization, variety of resources Through various initiatives and generous funding opportunities for scientists, the Simons Foundation does much toward its stated mission to "advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences." In addition to information about funding op- portunities and currently funded fellows, the foundation's website includes a number of resources for the scientific community at large. These include human genomics data generated as part of the Simons Genome Diversity Project and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, research news, and the online science magazine Quanta. The website also includes information for up- coming research talks (all held in New York), as well as video recordings of past lectures. The website is nicely organized, making it easy for site visitors to browse multimedia resources, funding opportunities, and recent research news related to either mathematics or the life sciences. UCLA MDCUNE HHH 9 Well-developed educational modules The UCLA Modular Digital Course in Undergraduate Neuroscience Educa- tion (MDCUNE) is—in addition to being a mouthful to say—a fantastic resource for neuroscience educators and students alike. The website con- tains a collection of twelve digital, inquiry-based, neuroscience laboratory modules that are completely open access, thereby providing students from a range of institutions the opportunity to dive into topics like bioin- formatics, neuroanatomy, and behavior even in the absence of a physical laboratory space. The modules are diverse and include a virtual fish whose virtual neural circuit controlling its tail movement can be used to teach electrophysiology, an image database that allows students to explore sex differences in the song nuclei of songbirds, and a virtual rat ("Fraidy Rat") that can be used to teach about fear conditioning. Each module is accompanied by extensive resources, such as primary literature citations, tutorials, and student worksheets; in addition to the actual software/image files. RAW Graphs HHH 9 Wide variety of visualzations available, provides sample data – Detailed instructions unavailable, can be difficult to use So-called "publication quality" graphs are almost never the direct product of basic spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel; rath- er, researchers often export graphs and charts to a vector graphics editor like Adobe Illustrator to format them for publication. RAW Graphs is an open-source, online data visualization platform that aims to cut out the middleman by quickly generating beautiful data visualizations from user-inputted data. Those data can be uploaded as a file (e.g., .xlsx or CSV), uploaded from a URL, or simply copied and pasted from a spreadsheet application. From there, users se- lect a chart, specify the axes/dimensions from their inputted data, and customize their visualization by inputting additional parameters. The resulting visualization is immediately displayed on the screen, so users can adjust parameters and see the results in real time. The website also includes a blog, a gallery of users' visualizations, and a link to the documentation on GitHub. CDC Public Health Image Library (PHIL) HHH 9 Large image database – Cannot browse entire database As described in some detail on the website, the CDC's Public Health Image Library benefits many differ- ent groups of people, including healthcare providers, educators, librarians, researchers, students, public health practitioners, and the general public around the globe. PHIL is a collection of high quality images that are (in most cases) copyright cleared, and which can be downloaded free of charge from the website. These images, including photos, illustrations, and even some video files, span a variety of health-related topics such as developmental milestones, bioterrorism, environmental health, and public health. Site visitors can browse featured PHIL collections, or they can search the entire catalog by keyword. As there is no easy way to peruse the complete contents of the collection (such as via an alphabetical index of topics), the search feature is probably users' best bet.

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