General musings from the MacVector team about sequence analysis, molecular biology, the Mac in general and of course your favorite sequence analysis app for the Mac!

Category Archives: Techniques

Howtos, tips and descriptions of various techniques for using MacVector.

Customizing BLAST alignment results to make mismatches more noticeable

When you run a Blast search, as well as a list of hits, you will get a list of alignments between your query sequence and each hit. As with most other text alignments in MacVector, identical matches are by default represented by a vertical line (a score greater than 1) and mismatches (whether similar or […]

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How to save contig consensus sequences from assembly projects

The MacVector Assembler module lets you create projects, populate them with Sanger Sequencing or NGS data files (or any sequences in a format that MacVector can read) and then assemble them using the popular phrap and/or Velvet assemblers. Typically, the result will be a collection of contigs that you might want to use in additional […]

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How to retrieve BLAST hits from the Aligned Sequences result tab

After a BLAST search, you can retrieve matching sequences from the Description List results tab. What you may not know is that you can do a similar thing from the Aligned Sequences result tab. One advantage of this approach is that (as in the example above) sometimes there are multiple accession numbers for a hit. […]

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Functional domain analysis of protein sequences using InterProScan

There’s a new tool in MacVector 15 that allows you to do functional domain analysis on your protein sequence using the InterProScan service. InterPro contains multiple databases of protein families, domains and motifs and InterProScan will submit a protein sequence to a search of these databases. It will also do extra analysis such as transmembrane […]

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Create your own Primer Database.nsub from an Excel spreadsheet

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way of converting that huge primer collection you have into a format that MacVector can use? Well, luckily there is! There is a utility called “Primer Converter” that you can download from our website. To use the utility you first need to get your primers into […]

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Restriction enzyme analysis in MacVector and REBASE

Although there are two different ways to perform restriction enzyme analysis with MacVector, there are also additional places where restriction enzyme sites are shown. All these tools use the same set of restriction enzyme files to recognise enzymes. These files are updated regularly from the REBASE database. The restriction enzymes are divided into multiple files. […]

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Know Your Alignments

We often get asked “how do I do an alignment” using MacVector? Well, the answer to that is always “it depends”, and it depends on what you want to learn about your sequence(s). Here’s a quick summary of the different types of alignments and what you would use them for: Multiple Sequence Alignment (File | […]

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Importing sequences/features from websites such as ENSEMBL or UCSC’s Genome Browser

Many Genome Browsers/databases allow you to browse and view genomes, or a specific gene/region, with a high degree of detail. For example ENSEMBL and the UCSC Genome Browser. However, many times you want to work with that data on your own Mac. As usual the easiest way to exchange sequence data is using the Genbank […]

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Creating cloning construction flowcharts in third party applications

We’ve previously discussed how every ligation is documented. You get a Frag annotation that contains the date, source sequence, enzymes used and any end modification that was done to that fragment during the ligation. However, we had regular requests to make it easier for users to document their constructs in other ways. For example, being […]

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A few tips on working with digested fragments in the Cloning Clipboard

The Cloning Clipboard is an easy, and flexible, way to design and document your cloning strategies. Here’s two tips on manipulating a single fragment. If you drag a fragment from the Cloning Clipboard to a vector, then you’ll get the ligate dialog. However, if you have already selected a pair of enzyme sites, then the […]

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