Introducing Genome Wowser, The iPad App That Lets You Browse the Human Genome

You still can’t use Flash on it, but at least the iPad now allows you to swipe, pinch, and scroll through the entire human genome. A new app from the Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMi) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia lets users travel through the entire human genome–all 3 billion base pairs of it.

Genome Wowser–the name is derived from the Genome Browser Website set up by UCSC in 2000, but with additional “wow”–is kind of like a Google Maps for the genome. You can search for a specific gene by entering its name in the search box, or you can simply browse for points of interest. Annotations added by researchers serve as guideposts, offering insight into genes’ particular known or supposed expressions.

There’s also information embedded about epigenetics–how genes are modified by chemical processes, and all of that information is updated regularly. Factor in the upcoming versions that will include more than three dozen other species–including cats, dogs, chimpanzees, and 11 species of fruit flies–and Genome Wowser is a pretty powerful tool for geneticists and the scientifically curious alike. Try doing all of that on Kindle.