April 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 8)
Strong Points: Clean site design
Weak Points: Not much content
In today’s world of tablets and smartphones, the NEBioCalculator may at first seem like it belongs under the “app review” section of this column. However, let’s not forget that bench scientists actually use their computers once in a while, too… The NEBioCalculator, an online tool from (you guessed it) New England Biolabs, provides a simple web interface for scientists to access a number of calculators relevant to molecular biology experiments. These include four DNA calculators (ligation calculator and three unit conversion calculators for double-stranded DNA), two RNA calculators (mass-to-moles and moles-to-mass conversions), and three general calculators (concentration from optical density, dilution calculator, and molarity calculator). The site is sleekly and minimally designed, thereby facilitating quick use of the calculators. There may not be a great depth of content here, but the tools that are on the site are quite useful.