I have an old calculator. So old that people laugh when they see it and then politely change the subject. Now I hide it like a guilty secret if I am using it and I see someone coming. I keep it in my desk drawer and only sneak it out to do quick simple arithmetic that I am too lazy to do by hand. Despite the shame, I will probably keep it forever. I cannot abandon it just because it is now old and extremely unfashionable. It was useful! It served me well throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies when I actually used the vast array of statistical functions it offers. I also used it a lot in the lab to do the many routine, small calculations required from day to day.
We have spent the last couple of months working on a calculator function for the Promega iPhone™ App. The contrast between the iPhone and my dusty old calculator is stark. The old one is a good general workhorse, the new one is a precision tool. The iPhone App calculator features the following molecular biology calculations:
Degrees Celsius to Fahrenheit to Kelvin
Micrograms to picomoles
Micrograms of linear DNA to picomoles of DNA ends
Molar ratio of insert to vector DNA
Absorbance at 260nm to amount of DNA, RNA, or oligo
Protein size and amount to picomoles
Coding capacity of DNA
We hope that iPhone users will find the iPhone App calculators handy and easy to use. Hopefully they will take the pain out of some of the routine calculations scientists have to perform frequently in the course of their work. The same calculators are also available on the Promega web site, so if you don’t have an iPhone, you can access them at promega.com/biomath
You can download the Promega App on the App Store. Try it out and see if it stands the test of time.
iPhone is a trademark of Apple, Inc.