5 Digital Tools to Increase Your Productivity in Research

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…

Resources for Becoming a Programming Biologist

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.  …

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

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…

How to Start Using Coding to Automate Image Analysis Part 1: The Simple Process

Pat yourself on the back, you saw a post with the word “coding” in the title and you didn’t freak out or glaze over. That’s the first step. Coding seems to have such a stigma attached to it; people tend to think that it’s incomprehensible nonsense that they could never learn, and that it has…

How to Start Using Coding to Automate Image Analysis Part 2: Batch Processing Multiple Images

How to Start Using Coding to Automate Image Analysis Part 2: Batch Processing Multiple Images

In Part 1 of this article, I introduced you to using code for basic image manipulation in ImageJ and working with the command recorder to expand your coding vocabulary. I covered how to make a simple macro, how to edit it and then save it to be run again another time. If you skipped the…

Brushing Up On Your Excel Skills: Part One
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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…

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

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…

10 Favorite Online Tools for Molecular Biology

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…