June 1, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 11)
Strong Points: Many clipart images included in free app
Weak Points: Nothing major
To convey one’s experimental strategy in a scientific presentation, poster, or article, a simple diagram can do wonders. So how does one conjure up an eye-pleasing graphic? If you have the know-how (and you are artistically inclined) you can make it yourself in a graphic design software program. However, for the rest of us, the Bio Flowchart Lite app for the iPad just might do the trick. This free app allows users to easily create flowcharts using approximately 90 professional-looking clipart images that can be divided into eight categories including lab vessels, molecular biology, and cell culture. Images include agarose gels, micropipettes, stacks of petri dishes, organelles, and lab equipment, to name just a few. To construct the flowchart, users simply select images and use their finger to position them on the page in the desired locations. Using a copy and paste function, the resulting flowcharts can be exported as JPGs (such as via email).