April 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 8)
Strong Points: Useful, easy to access
Weak Points: Needs primer functions
My quest for the best free online sequence analysis site continues with DNA 2.0 Inc.’s Bioinformatics Toolbox. First, the toolset is extensive, with groupings of Format Conversion (14 applications), Sequence Analysis (20 applications), Sequence Figures (seven applications), and Random Sequences (six applications). The Sequence Analysis section contains common functions, including codon plots, ORF finder, pairwise alignments, translate, protein molecular weight, and more. Notably absent was a primer prediction tool. The Sequence Figures section had a nice surprise, with two tools for coloring of aligned sequences. The randomizing tools also were a little unusual but obviously useful for determining significance of findings in sequences. Overall, the package wins big for ease of use (pasting sequences in text boxes), but loses a few points for its lack of primer functions.