May 15, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 10)
Strong Points: Great visual display, links included
Weak Points: None
Ask a number of researchers working in genomics about their favorite sequence analysis and bioinformatics tools, and you’ll no doubt be inundated with a variety of genome browsers, genome assembly tools, and gene prediction tools, among other types of resources. With so many tools available, it is sometimes difficult to keep them straight; however, Eagle Genomics has created an excellent online resource to do just that. The Elements of Bioinformatics brilliantly organizes and summarizes a large number of bioinformatics tools via a Periodic Table-like display. The tools are organized into sixteen categories such as genomic assemblers, databases/warehouses, and gene prediction tools for mRNA and ncRNA, all of which are color-coded according to a key given above the table. The table is further divided into open source tools, tools free for academics only, and commercial tools. Clicking on any individual “element” brings up a short summary of what the tool does, other relevant information (such as compatible operating systems), and a link to the download.