Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

Best Science Apps

More »
Jul 01, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 13)

Brain Lab

  • Nice simulation tools, Hodgkin-Huxley demonstration
  • Other features very limited
Platform: iPad, iPhone  
Cost: $0.99

While the repeated use of the terms “brain science” and “brain cell” (as opposed to “neuroscience” and “neuron”) throughout the app is a bit grating, I believe that any budding neuroscientist will enjoy what Brain Lab has to offer. The Brain Lab app is not so much an entire lab as it is an interactive simulation tool to introduce two models of neuron firing: the passive integrate and fire model and the Hodgkin-Huxley model. These two staples of any introductory neurophysiology course are presented here in a fun way that has users draw out current traces with their fingers onto the screen and then see the effect of those input currents on a neuron’s membrane potential. Beyond this use, the app is fairly limited; however, there are a lot of great ways in which it might be expanded. (One might say that it has a lot of “potential.”)

  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good

*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

More »