January 1, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 1)
Strong Points: Reverse complement feature, easy to use
Weak Points: Not useful for translating long sequences
Scientists, lazy? While I shudder at the mere suggestion, I will admit that we scientists are always appreciative of anything that can help save some time. That is exactly what The Lazy Scientist app offers, providing easy-to-use resources at the DNA-to-protein interface. (Yes, that’s right—you can input a DNA sequence and immediately receive the corresponding protein sequence, without having to mess with that pesky RNA intermediate.) I will say that the DNA sequence-to-protein feature is actually not the best feature of the app, as it is not convenient when working with peptide chains of any significant length. The most useful feature in my opinion is the fact that from your DNA sequence, you can get the reverse, complement, or reverse complement sequence. Now this is handy for designing PCR primers. Notably, there is also an E. coli back translate feature, as well as a DNA codon table.