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Japan s NITE to Use GeneData Software for Microbial Genomics

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The Japanese National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) has purchased GeneData’s Phylosopher comparative genomics software and will begin testing the package on March 29.

NITE, with an annual budget of 1.2 billion yen (US$9.7 million), will use the equipment to help annotate the genomes of various microbes, including two heat-resistant microbes it has already sequenced, Pyrococcus horikishii and Aeropyrum pernix.

Currently, the institute is sequencing the genomes of a number of other microbes, including Sulfolobus tokodaii, Corina bacterium, Staphlococcus aureus, and Staphlococcus hemolyticus. The work at NITE covers a range of applications in health, environment, and energy, a spokesman said.

Phylosopher comprises a genome analyst that allows cross-genome comparisons to help identify related protein families, a target evaluator to narrow the range of possible target proteins based on possible side effects, and a functional analyst to help predict protein function, said Adesh Kaul, a spokesman for GeneData of Basel, Switzerland.

NITE also uses a variety of homology research tools, including Gambler and Blast, but the spokesman said they went for Phylosopher because of the precision and detail it promises.

— JSM

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