March 15, 2005 (Vol. 25, No. 6)
Strong Points: Many useful features for free
Weak Points: Geeks use it best
The open-source revolution is spreading in all directions. I’ve got to admit, I think any idea that makes Microsoft worry can’t be all bad. Molecular biologists will rejoice in the discovery of JEMBOSS, a graphical user interface for the European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite. Written as server-client applications, the client side is written in Java, enabling its use in Mac, Windows, and UNIX environments. JEMBOSS was derived from EMBOSS, which lacked the ease of use of the current version. The suite consists of about 100 programs that perform sequence alignments, rapid database searching, protein motif identification, pattern recognition, codon usage, and presentation tools. Like other open-source efforts, the price (free) is right, but you’ll have to be a bit of a techie to have the best success.