May 1, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 9)
Strong Points: Interactive map with information about metabolites
Weak Points: Background information very brief, can’t adjust size of map
MetNet (which stands for Interactive Metabolic Network) is a handy reference app for students of biochemistry. The app confronts viewers with a sprawling interactive map of major metabolic pathways including glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and the pentose phosphate pathway, among others. As the map doesn’t fit within the screen, users must scroll through the map by swiping across the screen. Within this map, users can tap on individual compounds to reveal a brief informational blurb about that metabolite. Some of the descriptions are more in-depth than others, but most of them seem to convey pertinent information for the student who is using the app as a study tool. The absolute size of the map cannot be adjusted, which makes it somewhat unwieldy. However, in addition to the interactive map the app also includes four static metabolic pathway maps for glucose metabolism, the citric acid cycle, glycogen metabolism, and lipid metabolism.