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Best Science Apps

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

OnScreen Retrovirus

  • Great interface, easy navigation
  • None
Platform: iPad  
Cost: $1.99

The people at OnScreen Science are at it again, this time using their 3D nucleic acid model to simulate cDNA synthesis from a viral RNA template following infection by a retrovirus. Under the “useful stuff” tab, app users will find information on a variety of relevant topics such as DNA/RNA structure, reverse transcription, viruses and retroviruses, and retrotransposons. The screen can get a bit confusing, what with an RNA template strand and a growing DNA strand, but the app includes a key that is useful in clarifying which colors of the ball-and-stick model correspond to which nucleotides and bonds. As with the other apps from OnScreen Science, this app plays to the strengths of the iPad interface, with easy zoom-and-pinch and two-fingered navigation.

  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good