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September 15, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 16)

ApE (A Plasmid Editor)

  • Easy-to-use program, works across platforms
  • Nothing major

Do you drive yourself bananas trying to find a free, easy-to-use program to analyze plasmids, restriction digests, etc.? Well, you’ll go “ApE” over A Plasmid Editor, a program as simple in use as it is in name. ApE is free to download and runs across all three major platforms: Windows, OS X, and Linux/Unix. Within the program, users can view circular or linear maps of their DNA sequences. There is a feature to display the translation of the coding region, as well an option to identify and display restriction enzyme sites within the DNA. Users can perform “virtual digests” whereby they select a predefined DNA ladder, or specify their own, and visualize the theoretical DNA fragments. The website for ApE is nothing flashy or fancy (and for that matter, neither is the program itself), but it is fully functional and does the job well. This is a definite recommendation for any molecular biologist.

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