Quick Questions: Molecular Biology Software Tools

Mitchell Isaacs misaacs at spam_me_not.student.usyd.edu.au
Sat Jun 9 05:59:58 EST 2001

<zerohourx at yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:2h54it412qelumk8p9gn8unq80haghktad at 4ax.com...
> Quick Questions: Molecular Biology Software Tools
> I am quite new to the molecular biology realm.  In fact I'm a computer
> science student in Toronto.  I've kindled an interest in the
> bioinformatics field and at present am wolfing down as much
> information about biochemistry and molecular biology as I can
> including information gathering of the actively used software tools in
> the industry.  I've already done some volunteer work for microarraying
> (created a microarray plate editor software tool) but I'm still
> unclear as to the answers to a few questions.  I find this field
> tremendously exciting and would like to provide needed software tools
> that better meet the researcher's needs.
> 1.  From what you've heard, experienced, or feel please tell me the 5
> most popular "commercial" computer software tools used within
> molecular biology.    If it's possible can you provide the price for
> each product.
You may want to narrow this down - are talking about sample tracking, data
analysis, image analysis, etc etc.

> 2.  What are the 5 most popular "freeware" computer software tools
> used within molecular biology?
Again, try narrowing this down a bit.

> 3.  What complaints do you have with the commercial and/or freeware
> computer software tools?
They tend to be too inflexible, but still have a whole load of useless
features. Also, they often don't link up too well - ie if you want to take
data from one tool & plug it into another it can be really quite tedious &

> 4.  What operating system (OS) would researchers "prefer" to use their
> software tools on: Unix/Linux, Mac,  or Windows?
In my experience - there are many molecular biologists whose computer skills
aren't that crash hot - so Windows or Mac would be preferable. I would put
my personal prefernce on Windows, not because I like Microsoft, but, a)
because I don't like Mac, tends to be expensive (and various other gripes),
and b) The software for preparing reports, handling your data seperately
from whatever tools you are using aren't as good (yet) in Linux - stay away
from Solaris in my opinion.

I feel I have the ideal situation - Linux network with Windows box, and
running X-Win32, I can virtually have a Linux system running at the same
time (you could also argue similarly for a linux box with VMWare - but more
processor intensive - XWin32 runs the session on a remote computer - so you
also need a fast network)


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