1. Report this comment

    Foster Olive said:

    For microscopy based cell counting (i.e., labeled cells in immunohistochemically stained tissue), I recommend Tallymander ($3.99), a counting/tallying app. This app allows the flexibility of counting up to 5 different types of labels at once and customizing the name and color of each counter. For example, one counter can be named with the antigen of interest (i.e., c-fos) and assigned a green color for counting cells positively labeled with a green-emitting fluorophore such as FITC, while another counter can be named with another antigen of interest (i.e., a receptor protein) and assigned a red color for counting cells positively labeled with a red-emitting fluorophore such as rhodamine. The counters also allow for counting in addition or subtraction mode simply by touching the right or left side of the counter bar. The counters are easily re-zeroed with just a few taps. The app also offers mathematical funcions such as addition or subtraction of values from individual counters to create total cell counts, etc. This type of app is a welcome change to the tedious 1950’s style manual click-type counters.

    For neuroscientists who teach at the undergraduate level, I recommend 3D Brain (Free) produced by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. This app has a well-illustrated 3D brain that can be manually rotated 360 degrees horizontally or vertically. It currently has 29 labeled structures, each of which with a brief description of the function of the structure. Subcortical structures are shown with the cerebral cortex in transparent mode. Great for introductory biological psychology or neuroscience courses!

    M. Foster Olive, Ph.D.

  2. Report this comment

    Daniel Evanko said:

    The app is now available for download from the iPhone app store. Let is know what you think!

    I haven’t yet had a chance to try it myself and am looking forward to the opportunity when I take the train home tonight.

  3. Report this comment

    Chris Beitel said:

    (1) “But will such devices be used in wet-lab procedures? The lab environment can be a dangerous place for a high-tech personal cell phone…”

    You could put your phone on a clean bench and not spill on it.

    (2) “…and who wants to keep removing their gloves every time they go to a new step in a protocol?”

    You could use a stylus,

    My iPhone is endlessly important to my work – I use it to photograph whiteboards. They’re an essential part of my workflow, but not unless I can remember what I wrote. Copying by hand is a waste of time. With the iPhone I can work on a problem, make progress, snap a photo, and go on to something else. Later I can pull up past whiteboards on my MacBook. This is also great if you want to quickly share an idea for an algorithm or something with a collaborator at a distance, just draw it on the board, snap a photo, and email right from the phone.

  4. Report this comment

    Daniel Evanko said:

    Nice piece of information about the stylus. I wasn’t aware that anyone had created a stylus that would work on the kind of touch-sensitive screen used by the iPhone. It doesn’t allow multi-touch operations but for applications one would use at the bench this is probably fine.

  5. Report this comment

    Sidd K said:

    Any chance that the Nature app will be made for the Android OS?

  6. Report this comment

    Euan said:

    Sidd – yes, an Android version is forthcoming.

  7. Report this comment

    James King said:

    I find the conversion and tallying applications very useful and time saving.

    I actually own that stylus that was posted, I quickly realised that I wouldn’t be able to continuly use my hands and the a stylus was the ideal solution.

  8. Report this comment

    Juan Luis Herrera cortijo said:

    After observing my colleagues counting cells in the microscope, I developed a counter app for iPhone named eCounter.

    It’s not just another counter app. It emulates handheld and tabletop mechanical counters frequently used in the lab and is designed for heavy duty counting operations.

    You can create different counters and store them for later use, and you can group up to four counters in a multicounter.

    Individual counters keep track of their history count and can be shared among several multi counters. Counters history can be reviewed in text or graphic format and also can be sent by mail.

    Learn more at

    or at iTunes:

    Best regards:


  9. Report this comment

    Paul Rothenberg said:

    As an update to the prevalence of mobile apps in the life sciences , we’ve found adoption among scientists hasn’t “popped” yet — only 23% say they use one at least once a week. Although, the outlook in the lab is just as good as in the rest of the marketing world: Only 15% report they would “never” use one.