When I started off with coding, I used to joke with the guys at my lab about the possibility to bring bioinformatics on mobile devices. I used to say that my fondest dream was to implement a BLAST application for iPhone. Some time later, someone actually did it on Android, with poor luck. Indeed, mobile devices are quite pointless for bioinfomraitcs, since you cannot really use such a unconfortable mean to do your job, and people would not really bring work on their phones, that are still very linked with private and fun usage. I fairly think that the Steve Job’s last prophecy about the end of the personal computers age will not accomplish for professionals, and that the most of the efforts in bioinformatics software production has to be made in desktop environments.
Someone just doesn’t agree. I have found this paper surfing on twitter, and it worths some lines on this blog, because you have to be a real geek to do stuff like this. DNAApp is a mobile application, available for Android and iOS, and developed in Singapore. Basically, it reads ab1 sequencing files, providing some tools for sequence processing such as reverse complementation, protein translation and searching for specific sequences, with some incorporated functions that would facilitate the harnessing of online Web tools for a full range of analysis.
The guys sharing this on twitter, were actually discussing whether this could be eligible as the most pointless bioinformatics paper in recent years. After a couple of months in working with experimentalists here in Santa Lucia Foundation in Rome, I don’t really agree. Very often, it’s really convenient to share data with people working on a bench, being out for some specific task, or just attending a conference. Experimentalists tend to be a little more “dynamic” than bioinformaticists, and having an application to rapidly view your data and make some quick exploration may be very appreciated.
The intent to provide a tool for bioinformatics analysis may thus fail, but the application may rally some good feedback from those working in wet-lab. Even if this surprised me quite a lot, I would not definetly brand this as totally pointless.
The application is available on Play Store and Mac App Store.