Field of Science

Getting GeneSpring?

The post-docs have generated a lot of E. coli microarray data, so we need to reactivate our long-expired license to the GeneSpring software we use for array analysis. Unfortunately the rep won't return our calls.

GeneSpring has been bought out by Agilent. In the US a one-year license costs about $3300. But that's not the problem. In Canada it costs over $4000, even though our dollars are now at par because the US dollar has fallen against everything! The helpful GeneSpring/Aligent rep in the US tells us that we're forbidden to buy it directly from the US at the US price. But the Canadian rep won't return our calls or emails.

We could: 1. Buy it online through the US web site, paying the outrageously inflated Canadian price; 2. Wait for the Canadian rep to reply, hoping to be able to negotiate a better price; 3. Call Agilent in the US and complain (to someone higher than the nice rep) about the Canadian rep and price.

I think I'll start with 3 because it will make me feel less helpless, and then move on to 1.


  1. Why don't you try free solutions? I bet TMEV and Bioconductor would generate the same kind of analysis that GeneSpring would do.

    TMEV is quite graphical, but Bioconductor requires a little bit more of command line work.

  2. We love GeneSpring's interfaces, especially the one where it shows you the whole genome with all genes coded for expression level, and you can zoom in right to the basepair.

    We're not geeky enough to do command-line work unless its absolutely necessary. The array work is a small enough component of our research that we're not willing to make a big investment in learning the system.

    ...continuation of response postponed while I quickly check out TMEV...

  3. ...continuing

    OK, I've just flipped through 130 powerpoint slides from TIGR's TMEV training. Looks like it offers lots of statistical power (which we don't expect to need). The release notes mentioned a chromosome viewer so I downloaded the whole manual and looked at that section. It doesn't look nearly as flexible or intuitive as GeneSpring.

    I think I've talked the GeneSpring rep into a 15% discount so we'll probably go ahead and buy it.


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS