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Software and Online Tools

7 Types of  Software Apps You NEED in Your (Science) Life

Technology has advanced to the point that most of us check our phones the first thing every morning. Software apps allow us to have technology at our fingertips throughout our daily lives. But, what about our science lives? Yes, apps are just as useful for our science lives! Here are 10 that caught my eye.…

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5 Digital Tools to Increase Your Productivity in Research

Scientific research is a constant battle against time. Whether it is your Masters, PhD or Postdoc, you always feel the pressure to generate data for external validation. For that, you need to spend your time on the bench and not at the desk, but that can be hard. Unfortunately, non-laboratory tasks occupy a large segment…

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Crafting Multi-panel Images Into Figures

So, you’ve slaved away in the lab for months and now you’re ready to create your first figure –whether it’s for a thesis or a journal – way to go you! Now you could always use Word or PowerPoint to compile your first image, but don’t – ever do that! (And if you plan to…

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Investigating an Expression Quantitative Trait Locus (eQTL)

Thousands upon thousands of genetic variants are now associated with every disease and trait you can possibly think of. Such traits range from cancers to blood pressure, intelligence, height, weight… and many more! This is largely because of the advent of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, the vast majority of genetic loci associated with these traits are…

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Genomics Software – Doorways to Visualize Sequence Data

Are you tired of staring at all of your sequence data? Want to know the easiest way to look at it? For complex genomics data, an appropriate visualization tool is a must have. The right genomics software will make it easy-peasy to get some results as well as test all those ideas you have. Since…

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Resources for Becoming a Programming Biologist

Have you ever entertained the idea of learning to program? Have you tried but felt discouraged by the overwhelming amount of information out there? If you answered yes to both of those questions, I encourage you to try again with the following resources. Computer science is one of the best subjects to self learn.  …

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Brushing up on your excel skills, part 3

Having brushed up on our referencing, constructing calculations and basic functions, let’s move on to some intermediate functions that could potentially save you time and hassle in the lab. First up, filling! Filling Filling is my new favourite useful function in Excel, one that admittedly I didn’t know existed until very recently, but I’m making…

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BLAST OFF! The Basic Local Alignment Search Tool Explained

BLAST is the most popular bioinformatics online tool. But in order to properly use it, you have to understand that is not just a search query against a database but something far more complicated, and the information you get back far more…precious!

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Online Schools for Learning How to Play in the R Coding Arena

So, you come from a non-coding background, but given the rapid growth of your research results, you have accrued a pile of data that needs data mining. Now, you can leave this to your bioinformatics core facility, but if you’re curious to understand how they arrive at their conclusions (or you don’t have a BI…

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Harness the Power of BioEdit and Microsoft Excel for Quick BLAST Summaries

Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) remains the cornerstone of biological sequence analysis. When users have one or few queries, the data are easy to interpret based on the graphical output that the search provides. However, when you have to analyze hundreds or a few thousand queries, running graphical outputs can be computationally intensive, difficult…

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