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Visual cloning 2000

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  2. Visual cloning 2000

Distributed by Redasoft, Toronto, Canada (http://www.redasoft.com)

This is a new map-drawing and sequence analysis package from Redasoft. In its web pages the company promises that it has been designed to be intuitive, comprehensive and affordable, and without doubt these goals have been achieved to a very large degree; Visual Cloning 2000 is a substantial improvement on Plasmid, their previous package. Sequences can be imported from files, copied from the clipboard, downloaded from the internet as new maps, or inserted into pre-existing maps and several maps can be displayed at one time.

The display interface is clear and easy to understand; all function menus are displayed as large buttons. An excellent integral web-browser facilitates access of sequences via the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Sequence Retrieval System (SRS), or Redasoft cloning vector search engines. However, unlike other packages, Visual Cloning 2000 contains no database of commonly used vector sequences to save searching for vector sequences and assist in the creation of the vast majority of construct maps.

Several simple tools for sequence analysis and experiment design are included. A sequence viewer enables sequences to be viewed simultaneously as text and graphics, but this function is read-only. There are also tools for PCR primer design, subsequence searching, restriction analysis and prediction of open reading frames; these aren’t novel, but they quite adequate and very easy to use. The main strongpoint of the package is, however, the quality of the vector/insert maps. These are not only very clear, and rival those produced with more powerful packages, but can be manipulated easily to contain primer binding and restriction enzyme sites. In addition, they can be pasted into other desktop applications such as Word and Powerpoint without format alterations.

Visual Cloning 2000 is a sophisticated, user-friendly, mid-priced plasmid drawing package with limited analytical capabilities. It does not replace complex software suits such as Wisconsin Package (Genetics Computer Group Inc.) for hard-core sequence analysis and gene prediction, but its ease of use will ensure it a place on many a crowded computer desktop.