Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

DEC 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 30 | DECEMBER 2017 | | Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News Best Science Apps Links to the apps described above are posted on GEN's website, To suggest an app for Best Science Apps, please send a link to Taralyn Tan ( Key Strong Points Weak Points Excellent Ratings Very Good Good 9 – HHHH HHH HH Todoist HHHH Platform: iPhone/iPad Available for Android: Yes Cost: Free ($29.98/year for premium) 9 Intuitive to use Organizing and keeping track of tasks is one of the most difficult and most essential components of laboratory work. Todoist is a useful app that makes it easy to keep track of everything that you have going on. The app al- lows users to create tasks that need to be completed and organize those tasks within projects. Projects can be further organized into subfolders, making it easy to distin- guish between different to-do lists contained in the same overarching project. Individual tasks can be assigned due dates, and the premium version of the app allows users to both set reminders for each task and to upload accompanying files to tasks. Projects can also be shared with other people, making Todoist an ideal app for coordinating tasks and experiments within a group of researchers. Staying on top of ex- periments and coordinating with collaborators can be difficult and time-consuming. Organizing tasks through Todoist can make it easier. SPARKvue HHH Platform: iPhone/iPad Available for Android: Yes Cost: Free 9 Many ready-made experiments – Need additional equipment for full utility SPARKvue, from Pasco Scientific, is a useful resource for sci- ence educators looking to bring more hands-on activities to their classroom. In combination with sensors that are avail- able from Pasco Scientific, the app allows students to record and analyze data collected from their environment right on their phone. The app can connect to the sensors through Bluetooth, and the ability to login to a shared session makes it easy to keep an entire classroom on the same page. The app also comes with experiment plans, which include in- structions for performing the experiment and background information necessary for understanding the purpose of the task. After data are collected, students can review and analyze their data through the app. The SPARKvue app is a great resource for teachers hoping to make their science classes more hands-on by incorporating real data collection into their science classrooms. Molecular Probes Flow Cytometry Reagent Guide HHH Platform: iPhone/iPad Available for Android: Yes Cost: Free 9 Clear protocols, built in timer – Limited to Invitrogen products The Molecular Probes Flow Cytometry Reagent Guide is a great app to have handy at the bench. The app covers a range of molecular biology techniques, including immunophenotyping, antibody labeling, and cell culture. The user can explore and order products related to each tech- nique, and go through protocols that detail how to use reagents properly. The protocols are informative, easy to read, and easy to follow, making them ideal for use during laboratory work. Additionally, timed steps in the protocols come with an in-app timer, making it easy for users to keep track of where they are in the process. The Molecular Probes Flow Cytometry Reagent Guide is a convenient and useful tool for anyone working with molecular biology who wants a quick and easy guide to basic protocols. R Programming Language Compiler HHH Platform: iPhone/iPad Available for Android: Yes Cost: Free 9 Quick outputs – Reference section could be longer Programming has become essential for looking at large datasets, and the R language is particularly useful for statistical analysis. With the R Programming Language Compiler app, you can now test and run scripts in R from your phone. The app provides a place to input your code, and the ability to run the code and see your output. Addition- ally, you can see which coding packages are included with the instal- lation of the app, and download more if you don't see the package that you need. The app allows you to save and export any code that you write and includes a short reference section with some example snippets of code. While you would still need a computer to run large datasets, the app is a useful testing ground for moments when you're inspired and need to test a piece of code right away. iTunesU HHH Platform: iPad/iPhone Available for Android: No Cost: Free 9 Easy to use – Most included science courses are introductory Science as a discipline demands that its members constantly seek, learn, and share information. The constant learning process is exciting and invigorating, but taking a full class can often be difficult, expen- sive, and time-consuming. iTunesU provides a solution to this prob- lem. The resource, which is free and often comes already downloaded with Apple products, provides an extensive catalog of courses from top universities around the world. Since the lectures are prerecorded, users are unable to participate in the class or complete assignments. However, this format allows users to peruse lectures at their own pace without any pressure to invest a lot of time into completing the entire course. The science catalog includes a wide range of classes, from courses on general chemistry to others about hacking consciousness. iTunesU is a great resource for anyone looking for a low-pressure envi- ronment to review material that they've learned in classes before or to explore and discover new information. Desmos Graphing Calculator HHH Platform: iPhone/iPad Available for Android: Yes Cost: Free 9 Accepts different inputs, easy to use Sometimes you just need to make a graph. If your TI-84 isn't handy, Desmos Graphing Calculator is a good backup to have. The app accepts both functions and tables of x and y values as inputs and allows you to make notes directly on your graph. Additionally, users can save their graphs to come back to later with the creation of an ac- count through the app. The app also has premade examples of a wide variety of graphs ranging from standard lines and parabolas, to linear regressions, to integrals and derivatives. The example graphs also allow you to adjust the values in the equation, making the app a useful tool for curious students to explore how changing the values of a graph changes its shape. The Desmos Graphing Calculator is a convenient resource for quickly and easily plotting data, or for anyone taking a class in mathematics.

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