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Elementary, My Dear

Eagle Genomics has released a new version of its Elements of Bioinformatics table, a periodic table-like representation of all the currently available software for bioinformaticians as well as the years they became available.

Much like the chemical periodic table, each tool has a two-letter acronym. Each tool type — aligner, assembler, genome browser, and so on — is assigned a color and tools that fall into that category are grouped together. Clicking on the acronyms opens up a brief description of the software along with information about how to download it and what operating systems to use.

Other features of the table include a slider that allows you to go back to 1970 and see what tools were available back then, and compare the progress that has been made in bioinformatics through the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and right up to the present day.

Finally, the table also distinguishes between open source software, tools that are free for academics, and those that are sold commercially.