Sunday, November 28, 2010

NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure

Making Bioinformatics Data More Accessible to Researchers Worldwid

BLAST on Windows Azure enables cloud-based analysis of vast proteomics and genomic data.Built on Windows Azure, NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure enables researchers to take advantage of the scalability of the Windows Azure platform to perform analysis of vast proteomics and genomic data in the cloud.

BLAST on Windows Azure is a cloud-based implementation of the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). BLAST is a suite of programs that is designed to search all available sequence databases for similarities between a protein or DNA query and known sequences. BLAST allows quick matching of near and distant sequence relationships, providing scores that allow the user to distinguish real matches from background hits with a high degree of statistical accuracy. Scientists frequently use such searches to gain insight into the function and biological importance of gene products.

BLAST on Windows Azure extends the power of the BLAST suite of programs by allowing researchers to rent processing time on the Windows Azure cloud platform. The availability of these programs over the cloud allows laboratories, or even individuals, to have large-scale computational resources at their disposal at a very low cost per run. For researchers who don’t have access to large computer resources, this greatly increases the options to analyze their data. They can now undertake more complex analyses or try different approaches that were simply not feasible before. more