Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Apple Teams with Genentech to Develop Free Accelerated Blast Tool

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 29 - Apple Computer and Genentech have partnered to develop an accelerated version of the Blast sequence alignment algorithm on Apple's G4 processor, Apple said Tuesday.

 

William Van Etten, an independent bioinformatics consultant who worked with Apple and Genentech on the project, announced the new capabilities during his talk on the use of Mac OS X as a bioinformatics development platform at the O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology conference.

 

The project began when Van Etten ported the original NCBI Blast algorithm to OS X in the spring. Genentech and Apple's Advanced Computing Group began developing a set of Blast enhancements in mid-summer. The enhancements, which must be patched into the OS X version that is now part of NCBI's standard distribution, are freely available as of Tuesday at http://developer.apple.com/hardware/ve/acgresearch.html.

 

A homology search of mouse chromosome 16 against human chromosome 21 using the default NCBI word size of 11 nucleotides required 45 minutes with the enhanced version, called A/G Blast. A similar search using an unmodified version of the algorithm would take over four hours, Van Etten said.

 
Van Etten noted that the original OS X port can run on any Apple computer, but the A/G Blast enhancements will only run on G4 processors.
The Scan

WHO Seeks Booster Pause

According to CNN, the World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters until more of the world has received initial doses.

For Those Long Legs

With its genome sequence and subsequent RNAi analyses, researchers have examined the genes that give long legs to daddy longlegs, New Scientist says.

September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.