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December 01, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 21)

FlyPunnett Lite

  • Simple to use
  • Graphical depictions of crosses would be nice
Platform: iPad  
Cost: Free

Most people who have taken biology or genetics classes probably remember drawing out Punnett Squares to calculate the genotypes of the offspring from a particular genetic cross. While entertaining to a degree, Punnett Squares most certainly grow tiring after a while. This is likely to ring true for geneticists or researchers working in model organisms in which genetic crosses are very frequent, such as the fruit fly. The FlyPunnett Lite app (and the advertisement-free full version) aims to relieve Drosophila researchers of their Punnett Square burden. After simply entering the genotypes (three editable fields per parent, corresponding to the sex chromosomes and autosomes 2 and 3), app users can hit the “Breed!” button to display the corresponding offspring genotypes and frequencies. It would be nice if the information were displayed in a more Punnett Square-like format in order to graphically depict the calculation; however, the text display is clear and easy to read.

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