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DoubleTwist Offers its Genomic Annotated XML Format Free to Public

NEW YORK, July 9 - DoubleTwist released its genomic annotated XML format as a free, publicly available open standard, the company announced Monday.

AGAVE--Architecture for Genomic Annotation, Visualization and Exchange--was previously available only to DoubleTwist customers. It was originally developed by DoubleTwist as a bioinformatics architecture for high-throughput analysis of the human genome. 

"It showcases one of our tools and gives us good feedback to improve AGAVE," said DoubleTwist chief technology officer Edward Kiruluta of the decision to offer the format free. "Having more eyes look at it is a healthy thing."

"Multiple standards don't serve anybody," added Kiruluta. He said the company would consider integrating AGAVE into the Interoperable Informatics Infrastructure Consortium (I3C) standards "once we have more visibility on how things will work."

AGAVE partners include Sun Microsystems, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and BioTools.

DoubleTwist's next significant product will be a third release of its Prophecy annotated human genome database and software, slated to come out in several months, Kiruluta said.

In March, Oakland, Calif-based DoubleTwist laid off about ten percent of its workforce and withdrew its initial public offering. DoubleTwist spokesperson Nicole Litchfield said there are "no plans to revisit the IPO at this time" or have further lay offs. She also said the company was "not actively in fund-raising mode."

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