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  1. Can I export the results tables to Excel from GeneTools?

    Yes, you can. The package directly links to Excel, automatically launching the program and entering the results on a worksheet. It is also possible to export GeneTools data as csv (comma separated variable) files which can be utilised with many software packages.

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  2. Can I get a background subtraction that copes with a non-uniform background on the gel?

    If you select Track Borders it takes a single pixel line down the side of the track and subtracts this pixel for pixel. You do, however, have to be careful that you do not have the edges of the track touching any bands as this can affect the result. Another possibility, avoiding problems caused by the track touching the bands, is to perform a combination of the pixel for pixel subtraction on the borders and the Lowest Slope. This is called Track Borders & Slope subtraction.

    A feature of GeneTools is the Rolling Disk background subtraction. The user selects a size of disc (defaults to 30 pixels) which rolls along the track histogram and very closely follows the natural background of the gel.

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  3. Can I analyse a gel that is distorted and the tracks have run unevenly down the gel?

    It is possible to analyse distorted gels. However, to get the most accurate results, you need more than one molecular weight standard. The software will automatically interpolate between the standards as you enter them, trying to follow any distortions within the gel. The more standard lanes you incorporate into the gel, the more accurate the analysis.

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  4. Can I analyse smiling tracks and bands?

    The software will automatically detect and compensate for distorted bands. This is achieved by drawing the band marker line to the same angle as the band, thereby correcting the grimace. There is no need for any time-consuming manual adjustments. The software even detects that grimacing of bands often increases in severity with increasing distance from the well position.

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  5. Can I use more than one standard on the same gel?

    Yes. The software will interpolate between them ensuring accurate results even on very distorted or smiley gels.

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  6. When counting colonies there are often groups which are close together. Can the software separate these?

    The software runs a separation technique when analysing a colony image. It counts the colonies initially found, then runs a separation algorithm before recounting them for the final result.

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  7. Can I count both blue and white colonies, and is this possible on the same plate?

    Yes, you can. Just set the relevant parameters in the sample properties dialog box.

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  8. How can I compare tracks from different gels, and are they background corrected?

    There is a facility for overlaying track profiles from different gels for comparison. There is no limit to the number of tracks and gels you can compare at any one time. You can also zoom in and print specific areas of interest within the comparison.

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  9. Is it possible to import images captured using other methods such as a scanner?

    You can import TIFF and BMP images into GeneTools for analysis. However, to maintain Good Laboratory Practice, the results table will include the line 'GLP Warning: This image was created from a non GLP source’.

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  10. My gel has run partially diagonally which means that the marker on the left side of the gel is vertical but the one on the right has started to smile. How can I analyse this?

    The analysis software will allow more than one standard to be set on a gel. By selecting the propagation technique, you can accurately analyse even very unevenly run gels. In this case, it is better to use two standards and then select “Use Nearest Standard” option. This will allow for distortions in the local area of the standard. An even more accurate way would be to use three standards and interpolate between them.

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  11. How do I get the best results from my GeneTools software with the minimum of manual input?

    Fundamentally, by obtaining the best image prior to analysis. It is most important to frame your sample properly, adjusting the zoom so that it fills as much of the screen as possible. Also the use of integration, either by Auto-exposure or manually, will brighten the image, making analysis easier. When using Auto-exposure do not worry about saturation of bands, the software will prevent this. The bigger and better the image you grab directly from the camera, the easier it is for GeneTools to perform an analysis quickly and automatically. If you obtain a good image, analysis can be carried out in as little as 10 seconds, with the touch of a single button.

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