Graphing Application for Molecular Biology

Completion Date: 

In November 2002 i spent a day in one of the molecular biology labs at the Boston University observing researchers working at their computers. I was surprised to see that the programs they were using to present their findings were standard graphic design applications: Illustrator, Photoshop and QuarkXpress. They explained that just about every published piece of scientific findings involved the creation of graphs using these design tools. No graphics software tailored to their specific needs — focusing on data instead of on visual formatting — existed.

My aim is to develop an application for molecular biologists that facilitates separation of form and content, as well as a visual interface that allows them to quickly and accurately build scientific graphs.

On the back-end, using XML, the application will provide a platform for embedding actual scientific data into the graph elements themselves, making them searchable and indexable, amongst other things. On the front-end, the application will aide in the separation of the science from design — choosing the right element vs. choosing what that element should look like.

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