Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of living things, ranging from microscopic organisms up to the largest known animal, the blue whale. It is divided into many specialized fields including evolution, ecology, zoology, botany, genetics, microbiology and molecular biology. This science examines function, structure, origin, growth, evolution, distribution and taxonomy.
Biology is extremely relevant to our daily lives, as it helps us to understand how living things work, including the human body. Furthermore, the study of biology is crucial in the development of new food products, to protect the environmental quality of our world, and improving human health e.g. through the discovery of new medical treatments and tests for diseases.
Modern biology is founded on four main components: cell theory, evolution, gene theory, and homeostasis. Schools recognize the importance of biology to society, regarding it as one of the three most important branches of sciences, alongside physics and chemistry. Bioinformatics is a subdiscipline of biology and computer science concerned with the acquisition, storage, analysis, and dissemination of biological data, most often DNA and amino acid sequences.
Biology is at the cutting edge of scientific research and development. In the past 40 years, biology has advanced enormously revealing a wealth of information about the millions of different organisms inhabiting our planet, including, of course, ourselves. Biology continues to grab the headlines with much excitement being generated in the fields of synthetic biology (combining science and engineering) and genomics (the study of the genomes of organisms).
A good range of open source biology software is available for Linux. This article focuses on selecting our favorite tools which are extremely useful for biologists. We hope this feature offers a useful resource for biologists and students alike. With the diverse range of software, there should be something of interest here for all budding biologists. Here’s our legendary rating chart showing our top recommendations.
So, let’s explore the 9 biology tools at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.
|EMBOSS||The European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite|
|NAMD||Parallel, object-oriented molecular dynamics|
|GROMACS||Molecular dynamics simulator, with building and analysis tools|
|VMD||Displays, animates, and analyzes large biomolecular systems 3-D graphics|
|simuPOP||Forward-time population genetics simulation environment|
|MUSCLE||MUltiple Sequence Comparison by Log-Expectation|
|SeaView||Graphical user interface for molecular phyologeny|
|TREE-PUZZLE||Reconstruction of phylogenetic trees by maximum likelihood|
|TreeView X||Displays and prints phylogenetic trees|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.