Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Microsoft Windows


DIYABC is a software package for a comprehensive analysis of population history using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) on DNA polymorphism data. Version 2.0 implements a number of new features and analytical methods. It allows: (i) the analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data at large number of loci, apart from microsatellite and DNA sequence data; (ii) efficient Bayesian model choice using linear discriminant analysis on summary statistics; and (iii) the serial launching of multiple post-processing analyses. DIYABC v2.0 also includes a user-friendly graphical interface with various new options. It can be run on three operating systems: GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple Os X.

Concepts: Mathematical analysis, Linux, Apple Inc., Graphical user interface, Microsoft, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Operating system


Modern molecular methods have increased our ability to describe microbial communities. Along with the advances brought by new sequencing technologies, we now require intensive computational resources to make sense of the large numbers of sequences continuously produced. The software developed by the scientific community to address this demand, although very useful, require experience of the command-line environment, extensive training and have steep learning curves, limiting their use. We created SEED 2, a graphical user interface for handling high-throughput amplicon-sequencing data under Windows operating systems.

Concepts: Microsoft, Scientific method, Molecular biology, Computer, Microsoft Windows, Operating system, User interface, Graphical user interface


We present the latest version of the Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software, which contains many sophisticated methods and tools for phylogenomics and phylomedicine. In this major upgrade, MEGA has been optimized for use on 64-bit computing systems for analyzing bigger datasets. Researchers can now explore and analyze tens of thousands of sequences in MEGA. The new version also provides an advanced wizard for building timetrees and includes a new functionality to automatically predict gene duplication events in gene family trees. The 64-bit MEGA is made available in two interfaces: graphical and command line. The graphical user interface (GUI) is a native Microsoft Windows application that can also be used on Mac OSX. The command line MEGA is available as native applications for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX. They are intended for use in high-throughput and scripted analysis. Both versions are available fromwww.megasoftware.netfree of charge.

Concepts: Apple Inc., Macintosh, User interface, Linux, Operating system, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Graphical user interface


Reproducibility is vital in science. For complex computational methods, it is often necessary, not just to recreate the code, but also the software and hardware environment to reproduce results. Virtual machines, and container software such as Docker, make it possible to reproduce the exact environment regardless of the underlying hardware and operating system. However, workflows that use Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) remain difficult to replicate on different host systems as there is no high level graphical software layer common to all platforms. GUIdock allows for the facile distribution of a systems biology application along with its graphics environment. Complex graphics based workflows, ubiquitous in systems biology, can now be easily exported and reproduced on many different platforms. GUIdock uses Docker, an open source project that provides a container with only the absolutely necessary software dependencies and configures a common X Windows (X11) graphic interface on Linux, Macintosh and Windows platforms. As proof of concept, we present a Docker package that contains a Bioconductor application written in R and C++ called networkBMA for gene network inference. Our package also includes Cytoscape, a java-based platform with a graphical user interface for visualizing and analyzing gene networks, and the CyNetworkBMA app, a Cytoscape app that allows the use of networkBMA via the user-friendly Cytoscape interface.

Concepts: Microsoft, Linux, Personal computer, X Window System, Microsoft Windows, User interface, Operating system, Graphical user interface


DAMBE is a comprehensive software package for genomic and phylogenetic data analysis on Windows, Linux and Macintosh computers. New functions include imputing missing distances and phylogeny simultaneously (paving the way to build large phage and transposon trees), new bootstrapping/jackknifing methods for PhyPA (phylogenetics from pairwise alignments), and an improved function for fast and accurate estimation of the shape parameter of the gamma distribution for fitting rate heterogeneity over sites. Previous method corrects multiple hits for each site independently. DAMBE’s new method uses all sites simultaneously for correction. DAMBE, featuring a user-friendly graphic interface, is freely available from

Concepts: Inverse-gamma distribution, Gamma distribution, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Phylogenetics, Evolution, Biology, Molecular biology


High-throughput single-cell technologies provide an unprecedented view into cellular heterogeneity, yet they pose new challenges in data analysis and interpretation. In this protocol, we describe the use of Spanning-tree Progression Analysis of Density-normalized Events (SPADE), a density-based algorithm for visualizing single-cell data and enabling cellular hierarchy inference among subpopulations of similar cells. It was initially developed for flow and mass cytometry single-cell data. We describe SPADE’s implementation and application using an open-source R package that runs on Mac OS X, Linux and Windows systems. A typical SPADE analysis on a 2.27-GHz processor laptop takes ∼5 min. We demonstrate the applicability of SPADE to single-cell RNA-seq data. We compare SPADE with recently developed single-cell visualization approaches based on the t-distribution stochastic neighborhood embedding (t-SNE) algorithm. We contrast the implementation and outputs of these methods for normal and malignant hematopoietic cells analyzed by mass cytometry and provide recommendations for appropriate use. Finally, we provide an integrative strategy that combines the strengths of t-SNE and SPADE to infer cellular hierarchy from high-dimensional single-cell data.

Concepts: SheepShaver, Mac OS 9, Apple Inc., Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Macintosh, Operating system


AliView is an alignment viewer and editor designed to meet the requirements of next generation sequencing era phylogenetic datasets. AliView handles alignments of unlimited size in the formats most commonly used, i.e. Fasta, Phylip, Nexus, Clustal and MSF. The intuitive graphical interface makes it easy to inspect, sort, delete, merge and realign sequences as part of the manual filtering process of large data sets. AliView also works as an easy to use alignment editor for small as well as large data sets. Availability: AliView is released as open-source software under the GNU General Public License, version 3.0 (GPLv3), and is available at GitHub ( The program is cross-platform and extensively tested on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows systems. Downloads and help are available at CONTACT: Supplementary information:

Concepts: Linux, Graphical user interface, Apple Inc., Macintosh, GNU General Public License, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Operating system


SUMMARY: We introduce a novel implementation in ANSI C of the MINE family of algorithms for computing maximal information-based measures of dependence between two variables in large datasets, with the aim of a low memory footprint and ease of integration within bioinformatics pipelines. We provide the libraries minerva (with the R interface) and minepy for Python, MATLAB, Octave and C++. The C solution reduces the large memory requirement of the original Java implementation, has good upscaling properties, and offers a native parallelization for the R interface. Low memory requirements are demonstrated on the MINE benchmarks as well as on large (n=1340) microarray and Illumina GAII RNA-seq transcriptomics datasets.Availability and Implementation: Source code and binaries are freely available for download under GPL3 licence at for minepy and through the CRAN repository for the R package minerva. All software is multiplatform (MS Windows, Linux and OSX). CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary information is available at the website

Concepts: Microsoft Windows, Computer program, Cross-platform, Source code, Mac OS X, C, Linux, Java


Although there are many commercially available statistical software packages, only a few implement a competing risk analysis or a proportional hazards regression model with time-dependent covariates, which are necessary in studies on hematopoietic SCT. In addition, most packages are not clinician friendly, as they require that commands be written based on statistical languages. This report describes the statistical software ‘EZR’ (Easy R), which is based on R and R commander. EZR enables the application of statistical functions that are frequently used in clinical studies, such as survival analyses, including competing risk analyses and the use of time-dependent covariates, receiver operating characteristics analyses, meta-analyses, sample size calculation and so on, by point-and-click access. EZR is freely available on our website ( and runs on both Windows (Microsoft Corporation, USA) and Mac OS X (Apple, USA). This report provides instructions for the installation and operation of EZR.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 3 December 2012; doi:10.1038/bmt.2012.244.

Concepts: Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Statistics, Mac OS, Apple Inc., Microsoft, Operating system


A new program called miXAFS for the analysis of X-ray absorption fine-structure (XAFS) data is presented. miXAFS can analyze the XAFS functions simultaneously for all measured X-ray absorption edges of the constituent elements in a sample under the constraints for the structural parameters over the edges. The program provides a surface plot of the R-factor as a function of two structural parameters, which is useful to validate the optimized structural parameters. The structural parameters can be obtained from the XAFS data in a few steps using the setting file and batch process. The program, which is coded in MATLAB and freely available, runs on Macintosh and Windows operating systems. It has a graphical user interface and loads experimental data and XAFS functions in a variety of ASCII data formats.

Concepts: User interface, Computer, Batch processing, Computer program, Data, Operating system, Microsoft Windows, Graphical user interface