Biology is an extremely visual discipline, so today’s students are fortunate to have access to technology that allows them to visualize various biological structures and processes instantaneously. The sheer number of options available for the iPad, however, can sometimes make it difficult to find truly useful apps. The nine apps linked below are appropriate for students at a variety of levels. From high school and middle school students to graduate students, this list includes something for everyone with everything from 3 dimensional molecular diagrams to GCSE coursework examples for British students.
3-D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool
By giving students the ability to visualize and stain virtual cells, this free app makes learning about cells and cellular structure both interactive and enjoyable. The app allows students to rotate cells 360 degrees for optimum visualization, zoom in on cell structures, stain their own cells and watch live cell videos. In addition, 3-D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool includes in-depth information on individual cell structures and how they work.
Dissection is an important tool for learning anatomy and physiology. Now, students can virtually dissect a rat on their iPads with no mess, no smell and without needing to sacrifice a real animal. This app provides a virtual rat, dissection tools and step-by-step dissection instructions. The virtual organs are rendered in 3-D and are viewable from different angles with a touch. In addition, detailed information on each organ is provided to enhance learning.
It is critically important for students of biology to understand DNA, and OnScreen DNA provides an interactive way for students to develop this understanding. This app allows students to view a model of the 3-D structure of the DNA molecule and to move and manipulate this model by touch. OnScreen DNA also includes simulations of such phenomena as denaturation and renaturation as well as background material about DNA.
Human Anatomy Atlas really makes use of the iPad’s powerful visual display capabilities, and many reviewers marvel at the level of detail provided by this app. This program includes male and female models and features more than 3,400 individual 3-D structures. View options include free rotation, fade and zoom. Students can use these options to create their own views or use any of the hundreds of preset study views that come with the application. For students of anatomy, physiology, medicine or allied health, this is definitely a must-have app.
Biological macromolecules are notoriously difficult for students to visualize due to their complexity and the limitations of flat images to convey the intricacy of these molecules. This app allows life science students to visualize complex proteins, DNA and drug molecules in 3-D on their iPads. iMolview allows students to choose different model styles, customize color representations, identify interactions, manipulate structures, spin models and superimpose structures.
Biology students need to understand basic chemistry and to be familiar with the periodic table. The Elements: A Visual Exploration makes gaining such familiarity a joy. Based on the bestseller “The Elements” by Theodore Gray, this app presents the periodic table in a new and exciting way. Each element is represented by an object, and every representative object is presented in glorious high definition. This app is much more than a periodic table with pretty pictures, however. It also includes information and helpful anecdotes about each element, tables of facts and figures and videos of real experiments.
All science students need access to a scientific calculator. This award-winning, free app is one of the most powerful and user-friendly calculators available for the iPad. In addition to all normal scientific calculator functions, this app includes spreadsheet-like templates for various scenarios, customizable templates, graphing functions, automatic save functionality for all calculations, access to a comprehensive calculation history and the ability to share templates with other users.
Ball & Stick
Students of biochemistry, organic chemistry, structural biology and pharmacology have always used models to visualize molecular structures and understand bonding. In the past, this meant using clay, wood or plastic to create physical models. This app provides the means for students to create complex molecular models without needing to carry around bulky modeling materials
When answering study questions or performing biology experiments, it is often necessary to convert between units of measurement. This app performs this task quickly and accurately. For greater efficiency, it also allows users to type in the desired units rather than requiring them to select categories and scroll through lists.
This is a guest post by Kristine. Kristine is a freelance writer who is passionate about her dogs, she exist to make a difference one step at a time.