DNA viewing and analyzing application
4Peaks is a free chromatogram viewing program that helps molecular biologists visualize and edit DNA trace files. It is a comprehensive yet minimalist software that provides users with all the tools needed to view, analyze, and edit DNS sequences. This science app can handle most sequence trace file formats, including SCF, ZTR, EXP, BIO, and CTF. It also comes with support for protein and DNA analysis plug-ins.
4Peaks offers its users straightforward DNA analysis tools. The app has a user-friendly design with a basic search tool that you can employ to highlight a specific motif quickly. There are predefined ones that you can use, but you can also create your own. Additionally, the app has multiple translation dictionaries. With this, you can visualize the effect of mutations with minimal effort. As mentioned, the program supports the most used sequence file formats. You no longer need to convert them first using AppleScripts.
For more convenience, the program also comes with a Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) algorithm. This tool helps you compare your DNA sequences with other nucleotide samples hosted on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website. You only need to choose the ones you want to compare via the appropriate menu to get the comparison. As noted, the app has support for integrating user-developed plug-ins. With this, you can add app extensions to deal with specific tasks.
More than viewing sequence, it also works as a DNA sequence trace editor. It comes with the tools you need to edit missed or wrong base calls. Not only that, but it also lets you crop low-quality areas. You can also scale difficult-to-analyze regions horizontally or vertically for better reading. More, you can mark regions so that you can locate them again later. Finally, the app lets you print your sequences as a PDF to create a publication-quality figure.
All in all, 4PEaks is arguably the best tool that molecular biologists can use to trace DNA files. The app supports the most popular sequence file formats and comes with basic but efficient searching capabilities. Moreover, it allows users to edit sequences effortlessly and compare the result with other databases. It is no wonder that this app is the sequence viewer of choice for various research institutes.
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