OnScreen Gene Transcription by OnScreen Science, Inc. (iPad)
(2)
Released: Feb 12, 2012
Version: 1.4
Size: 2 MB
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Ranking - Education (iPad)

OnScreen Gene Transcription

OnScreen Science, Inc.
Screenshot #1
Built for iOS 11. National Science Teachers Assoc. (NSTA) Recommends for Grade Level: 6-College (online Feb 2014)

OnScreen Gene Transcription shows in a detailed, visual, and memorable way how DNA's genetic code gets copied for use in a living cell. ** With NO ADS **

"A Best Science App. Highest Rating (Excellent)" Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, May 2013

See a 30-second preview video at nondummies.com or on YouTube.

Through the use of engaging 3D animations with a virtual double helix model, it makes clear and memorable how a recipe for a protein stored in a gene is made available for use by being copied nucleotide by nucleotide in the construction of a messenger RNA molecule. Students from middle school on up can learn from the app, as no advanced knowledge of chemistry is assumed. The model is exactly the same as the one found in OnScreen DNA Model, a companion app that teaches the structural details of DNA. Detailed commentary on what the animations demonstrate is available in a popover view.

The sequence of events in gene transcription unfold in three-dimensional simulations that don't skip over the need for unwinding the DNA after the strands have been separated. The formation of a hybrid DNA-RNA double helix during RNA construction is correctly shown instead of the two-dimensional ladder structure sometimes depicted. Important details about transcription that are often given short shrift or omitted altogether, such as the essential role the enzyme pyrophosphatase plays in the cell, are included.

Set the simulation to pause after each new significant step or pause it only when you want. Commentary on what is happening is literally at your fingertip in a popover. Rotate, translate, or zoom the model during the simulated transcription for a better view just by finger slide gestures. Background material on DNA and RNA are found in the Useful Stuff popover.

The ball-and-stick model has the advantage of clarity at the expense of atomic detail. The RNA Polymerase enzyme complex, while not shown in the view with the DNA model, so as not to obscure what is happening with bonds and strands, is depicted in the Sequence View below the model, thus making the point that it moves along the DNA, as it initiates and controls the reactions in transcription. We know of no other simulation of gene transcription on the internet or anywhere else that shows what happens as thoroughly as OnScreen Gene Transcription does.

What's new in version 1.4
Built for iOS 11, requires iOS 10. Basic app is the same: the only simulation of how the genetic information in DNA is copied to RNA in cells.
Our verdict: Good
  • + OnScreen Gene Transcription is a highly rated app (5-star).
  • + It is currently 75% off its regular price.
  • + The app is also at the lowest price we've seen.
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