January 1, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 1)


Strong Points: Nice descriptions of genes involved in various diseases
Weak Points: Graphical representations not explained, lack meaning




There’s no doubt that the GeneClues app—the brainchild of a company that specializes in 3D model visualizations of genetic information—is a beautiful app. It is also an incredibly frustrating app, as the user is not told what the beautiful graphics are actually depicting. The instructional video on the company’s (Quibble Genomics Institute) website also fails to explain the significance of the nodes and the connecting lines in the app’s genetic visualizations. However, if you can ignore the fancy graphics, there is actually a good deal of useful information contained within the app. By specifying a disease like Alzheimer’s, users are given a list of genes that have been implicated in that disease. Gene names are displayed on the left of the screen and a brief description of the selected gene (and its relation to the disease) is given on the right side of the screen. The app also provides PubMed links to the original citations.

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