September 1, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 15)


Strong Points: Attractive graphics
Weak Points: Small collection of phenotytpes, no background information




The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a very important genetic model organism in biology. The FlyGenetics app offers a nice introduction to Drosophila genetics for students and researchers by providing images that illustrate common phenotypes. Sadly, the collection of phenotypes is small—only eight are included in the app—so hopefully this assortment will be expanded in future versions. In addition to providing images depicting phenotypes such as Curly or Scutoid, the app also includes images to facilitate the identification of male versus female flies, and virgin versus nonvirgin flies. Finally, the app includes a table describing common balancer chromosomes, though it unfortunately does not provide any background information describing, say, what a balancer chromosome actually is. Therefore, its utility to beginners in that regard is limited.