The Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMi) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently released a new app that will let anyone browse the human genome right from their iPad.
The free app, available now in the iTunes App Store, is being compared to a Google Maps of the human genome. Researchers and anyone curious can jump in and search for a specific gene or just freely browse the 3 billion base pairs — pinch, zoom and scroll through our biological blueprint.
“We feel that Genome Wowser provides immediacy to the human genome,” said Peter White, Ph.D., director of CBMi. “With this app, researchers can now access genomic data from anywhere with minimal effort, and they can immediately explore the genome visually by using the intuitive screen touches and gestures that have made the iPad® platform so powerful,” he added.
“With this app, I can hear about an interesting disease gene at a seminar and see its genomic and functional contexts in a few screen touches, including epigenetic and variation profiles, neighboring genes, and other critical associations you can’t determine from a simple web search,” said White. “Then, I can walk over to a colleague and share it with them, all in a few seconds.”
This kind of iPad app won’t just stop with the human genome. Apparently, there are over three-dozen different versions in the works that will focus on non-human genomes — dogs, cats, chimpanzees, elephants and even fruit flies. Maybe soon the damn things will be able to use Flash — I can dream, right?
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