A Programmer with a Passion for Genetics — Codes of Life App

Author: Skylar Bayer

It’s not everyday you get to put a plug in on your blog for your parents. So, I’m happy to announce that my dad, Bob Bayer, has created his first App for the Android smartphone — no small feat, mind you.

Logo of Codes of Life App

My father has been programming since 1981 (essentially the dawn of computer programming as we know it today). But just prior to that he had been a graduate student in a biological lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ever since graduate school, he’s been fascinated with the genetic code and all its mysteries. So, one of his recent projects has been creating a smartphone App that will help translate some of its secrets.

The Codes of Life App is a fun App that allows you to browse the standard genetic code. Using the known DNA codon table, you can piece together the DNA sequence that corresponds to a string of amino acids.

Let’s say you want to text your colleague in another lab the protein code for this really awesome-but-not-top-secret DNA sequence you put together for Big Foot — Codes of Life is the App for this!

Codes of Life screenshot of the Codon Table (3-letter amino acid codes).
Codes of Life screenshot of the DNA/amino acid Codon Table (3-letter amino acid codes).
DNA Codon table (3-letter DNA codes).
Corresponding DNA Codon table (3-letter DNA codes).
Texting your genetic code to your friends.
Texting your genetic code to your friends!

Seriously, though, this seems like a potentially great tool for anyone learning the genetic code and how it translates into proteins (and vice versa). Codes of Life can send a text message with either the 3-letter amino acid code, DNA, or RNA; or 1-letter amino acid code. As mobile devices become more universal tools in worldwide research, Apps like Codes of Life will be very helpful for communicating information between scientists. It’s also a great party trick!

See more at the Google Play’s page for the Codes of Life App. Alternatively, you can log onto Google Play’s website, click on Apps and search for “Codes of Life Bob Bayer.”

If there is enough demand, my dad might even be convinced to make a version for the iPhone platform!

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