December 1, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 21)

URL:
http://www.invitrogen.com/site/us/en/home/support/Research-Tools/iPhone-Apps-and-Widgets/3D-Cell-and-Cell-Staining-Simulation-Tool-iPad-App.html

Rating:
Strong Points: Can visualize structures in an actual cell
Weak Points: Too many product plugs

Platform:
iPad

Cost:
Free

Summary:

This app consists of two features: an interactive (rotatable and zoomable) animated 3-D cell, as well as an interface to apply cell structure-specific stains to an image of an actual cell. The animated 3-D cell is neat to play with, and users can click on each structure for a brief description of it. The cell-staining feature is unique in that it allows users to visualize actual stains on a real cell (as opposed to animated depictions). That said, this app is very clearly commercial in intent, and users cannot avoid product listings in either section of the app. Due to its unique features and educational value, I do think it is a worthwhile resource, though I certainly do wish that the overt commercial aspects (such as the “add to cart” feature) were removed.