Quantcast
Skip to content

Software and Online Tools

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.  …

Read More

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…

Read More

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!

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

How Bitesize Bio Gets Progressive Companies to Help You, the Working Scientist

Abstract: Whether it’s equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and requiring millions of dollars in R&D investments or standardized kits that relieve you of tedious grunt work day in and day out, you rely on the support of companies like our sponsors to provide you with the equipment and supplies you need. But beyond…

Read More

Brushing Up On Your Excel Skills: Part Two

Last time we brushed up on cell referencing and constructing formulae to use Excel for some basic and some slightly more advanced calculations. This time we’re going to move on to using some built-in Excel functions and go through how to apply all that we’ve done so far to a worked example that is relevant…

Read More

Brushing Up On Your Excel Skills: Part One

Microsoft Excel can be a really powerful, useful tool for certain kinds of data processing and record keeping, and the chances are you probably don’t even know how to use half of the functions it comes with! That’s OK, personally, I find Excel a bit less user-friendly than Word, but also it’s a programme I…

Read More

My 10 Favorite R Packages and the Cool Things You Can Do with Them

One of the best parts of R is how extensible it is. Over the years, the community has put together hundreds (thousands?) of amazing packages to make your workflow easier. The downside of this wealth is that it can be hard to find packages that do exactly what you want! Therefore, I’ve put together a…

Read More

The 9 Online Calculators You Need to Know About

When you think of a “calculator”, you probably think of the plastic gadget in your lab desk drawer or an app that came with your phone. But there are so many helpful calculators online that do a lot more than just add and subtract numbers. Here is a list of some of the wonderfully convenient…

Read More

Making the Most Out of Your Data with a Digital Lab Book

You will learn: How using an Electronic Lab Notebook will skyrocket your productivity Some of the features of Labfolder that will make your life in the lab dramatically easier How you can use Labfolder for free (yes, free!) and make sure you never lose any data again Summary: Keeping track of protocols, data and notes…

Read More

How Does BLAST Work?

More than a pun on the explosive growth of sequencing data, BLAST makes annotation and comparisons of similar sequences much easier. Created by a group at the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information in 1991, the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool is arguably the most heavily used tool for sequence analysis (that’s available for free,…

Read More

10 Favorite Online Tools for Molecular Biology

What did we do before the internet? And where would we be without handy online molecular biology tools? Apparently in the ‘olden days’ doing a simple gene or protein alignment required programs that used dynamic programming algorithms such as the Needleman-Wunsch and Smith-Waterman algorithms. These required long processing times and the use of supercomputers or…

Read More

8 more helpings of free PC Software for biological scientists

It’s been while since we talked about free PC software for biologists. So we thought we’d treat you to 8 more ideas that can turn you PC in to a super-bio-research-enabling-machine….. 1. Silvernote Standard Electronic note taking effectively clears the desktop of ideas scribbled on bar napkins, backs of envelopes and sticky notes. Silvernote is whitespace…

Read More

5 More iOS Apps for Scientists

Recently we’ve seen some great apps (here and here) that can be added to a scientist’s iPhone/iPad toolbox. In this next installment of iOS Apps for Scientists, let’s take a look at 5 free apps, including a couple which bring dozens of useful references under one “umbrella”, some tools to use while in the lab…

Read More

The Beginner’s Guide to LaTeX

For those of you who read the previous post about LaTeX and are interested in giving it a go, but just don’t know where to start, this article should get you on your feet. I used LaTeX to write my thesis and was (mostly) self taught, so I know how scary it is to begin…

Read More

14 Android Apps for Scientists

If you regularly use an Android device, then you might be curious to learn about some useful apps for scientists. Make the most of your smartphone or tablet with these 14 interesting (and free!) apps: 1. LabTimer, by GrayWolf Mobile Carrying a big, bulky timer around campus (and scavenging the lab for fresh button batteries!)…

Read More

4 Great Websites for Bench Scientists

Friends and colleagues are excellent sources of scientific information. The Internet is too, because it is a virtual library at your fingertips. If you are looking for a great solution to a common problem (i.e. how to eliminate RNAse contamination in a laboratory), the information is waiting for you. For help with more difficult problems…

Read More

LibreOffice: A Free Office Suite to Rival Microsoft’s

As scientists, our everyday tasks involve creating small notes, assembling a short report, a manuscript or even a book chapter, sketching illustrative diagrams, organizing numbers or other items in spreadsheets. Today, all of us, researchers depend more or less on computer programs to solve these tasks quickly and easily. These pieces of software called office…

Read More

10 More iPhone / iPad Apps for Bioscientists

In the time since Bala wrote his article for us about iPhone apps for bioscientists, many individuals and companies have jumped on the bandwagon to deliver some great new apps that you might find useful in the lab. Here’s my pick of the 10 best apps available at the moment: 1. Pubmed Library Price $9.99/£5.99…

Read More

Say Goodbye USB Sticks, Hello Dropbox

When you’re writing up your latest report, next paper or your PhD thesis, its best to get out of the lab and work somewhere where there are fewer distractions. Normally that means stuffing all of the work files you need onto a USB stick (or emailing them to yourself) so that you can work on…

Read More

Where Did Bio Begin For You?

Where did bio begin for you? That intriguing question has been the central focus of an interesting experience I just had. How this all started It began on a Saturday morning. After I woke up and fed my cat, and before making my own breakfast, I went straight to my computer to check which emails…

Read More

Evernote: Never Lose Data or Ideas Again

Evernote is an amazing FREE application that could change the way you record, store and retrieve your data, in the lab as well as at home. The idea behind Evernote, as shown on the right, is to allow you to capture all of your ideas and put them into your personal database on Evernote’s servers…

Read More

Hot Stuff at Addgene

Addgene, the non-profit plasmid repository, turned 5-years-old this year. That’s five years longer than some of the scientists Addgene first approached to deposit plasmids thought we would last (I can say “we” because I’m a Senior Scientist at Addgene). Not only have we lasted, but we’ve thrived. Addgene recently stored its 10,000th plasmid, and our…

Read More

Bio-Software for Linux

After Peter’s Introduction to Linux, those of you brave enough to accept the challenge will now have Linux installed on your machine so today I want to highlight to you some of the wonderful free software that is available for biologists using Linux. Before I start, I should mention that virtually all tools of modern…

Read More

Free Online Bioinformatics Tools

PapersIn recognition of a fresh new year and a fresh new direction for Bitesize Bio, I thought I’d start my tenure as the fresh new Bioinformatics “guru” by introducing you to a handful of websites that will help you locate established as well as fresh new and (mostly) free online molecular biology and bioinformatics databases…

Read More
Scroll To Top