January 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 2)


Strong Points: Easy to use, free
Weak Points: None


Molecular biologists are always monkeying around with DNA—we amplify it, we cut it up, and we put the pieces back together. ApE (“A plasmid Editor”) is a free (yes, free!) downloadable DNA sequence editor program that offers comparable functionality to commercially available programs. Available for both PCs and Macs, ApE allows users to annotate DNA sequences with primer binding sites, coding regions, etc., and can display these features on graphic plasmid maps. The virtual restriction digest feature provides users with predictive gel images showing the expected fragment sizes. Online support for the software takes the form of a wiki page, the link to which is given on the ApE homepage. The software itself is easy to navigate and intuitive, so you should be able to get started in no time! (I would hurry and download the software soon, as the website hints at the possibility that it might not be free forever…)

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