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Software Tools for Academics and Researchers

All of the STAR educational tools are freely available. To complement our educational software, the STAR website contains curriculum components/modules which can facilitate the use of STAR educational tools in a variety of educational settings. Students, teachers, and professors should feel welcome to download software and curriculum modules for their own use. We welcome your comments and feedback as you explore these educational tools.

Tools

StarBiochem is a molecular 3-D viewer that allows students to learn key concepts in structural biology in an interactive manner. This software allows for the visualization and manipulation of any of the structures present in the Protein Data Bank.

StarCellBiois a cell and molecular biology experiment simulator. In StarCellBio, students design, perform, and analyze their own cell and molecular biology experiments using three different experimental techniques: western blotting, flow cytometry, and microscopy.

StarGeneticsis a genetic cross simulator. Using StarGenetics students can performing virtual mating experiments between genetically different organisms across a range of traits.

StarORF facilitates the identification of the protein(s) encoded within a DNA sequence. Using StarORF, the DNA sequence is first transcribed into RNA and then translated into all the potential ORFs (Open Reading Frame) encoded within each of the six translation frames (3 in the forward direction and 3 in the reverse direction). This allows students to indentify the translation frame that results in the longest protein coding sequence.

StarHydro is an application for distributed hydrological analysis. It allows the user to delineate watersheds and explore various watershed statistics.

StarMolsim is a collection of molecular dynamics and atomistic materials modeling research software available via the web. It enables the user to run molecular dynamics simulations on a distributed compute cluster and retrieve the results, all from a web browser.

StarCluster is an open source cluster-computing toolkit for Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). StarCluster automates and simplifies the process of building, configuring, and managing clusters of virtual machines on Amazon’s EC2 cloud. StarCluster allows anyone to easily create a cluster computing environment in the cloud suited for distributed and parallel computing applications and systems.

StarHPC provides a virtual machine image configured for parallel programming in both OpenMP and OpenMPI technologies. StarHPC can be used with Virtual Box, VMware player, etc. to quickly get started with MPI and OpenMP programming.

Software Tools for Academics and Researchers All of the STAR educational tools are freely available. To complement our educational software, the STAR website contains curriculum

StarGenetics

StarGenetics is a Mendelian genetics cross simulator developed at MIT by biology faculty, researched-trained scientists and technologists at MIT’s OEIT. StarGenetics allows students to simulate mating experiments between organisms that are genetically different across a range of traits to analyze the nature of the traits in question. Its goal is to teach students about genetic experimental design and genetic concepts. For more information on StarGenetics click here.

Using StarGenetics

StarGenetics is freely accessible via the web. Press the Start button to get started.

Overview

StarGenetics can be used to teach simple genetics concepts that are appropriate for high school biology students as well as complex genetics concepts that are appropriate for advanced biology undergraduate students.In addition,StarGenetics allows for instructors to customize the exercises presented to the student. To find out how to create your own StarGenetics exerciseand for more information on the concepts that can be taught using StarGenetics, click here.

StarGenetics simulates genetic experiments using known model organisms such as Mendel’s garden peas, flies (Drosophila melanogaster), and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). StarGenetics simulate crosses in cows, which can be use to explore traits in organisms with similar genetics to humans. In addition, StarGenetics can simulate crosses between non-model organisms such as “smiley faces”, which are typically used for introducing genetic concepts to younger audiences. The following are the currently available visualizers for StarGenetics:

Examples of genetic experiments in each of the different StarGenetics visualizers (from left to right, clockwise): Fly, Peas, Cow, Smiley Face, Fish, andYeast visualizers. (Click on the image for a larger view)

StarGenetics StarGenetics is a Mendelian genetics cross simulator developed at MIT by biology faculty, researched-trained scientists and technologists at MIT’s OEIT. StarGenetics allows students