The Riken Omics Science Center is partnering with CLC Bio Japan to provide researchers affected by the earthquake in Japan with a free online software environment for DNA, RNA, and protein analysis that will enable them to continue their research activities.
The OSC, one of 17 Riken centers, will provide dedicated servers and information technology support for the hosted offering. It will run the CLC Main Workbench software, which includes tools for gene expression analysis, DNA and protein sequence analysis, and RNA structure analysis among other capabilities.
Under the terms of the arrangement, local researchers will be able to log onto the servers, use the software, and access their results free of charge, Riken said.
The research institute noted that "many researchers in Japan situated in regions devastated by the recent earthquake … have been left without [bioinformatics] tools, disrupting research activities and holding back important scientific advances."
Yoshihide Hayashizaki, director of the OSC, said in a statement that "continuity of research may not seem like the highest priority" given many of the difficulties facing people in the affected regions, but added that he and his colleagues "felt that it is our duty to assist our colleagues in any way we can to help them get through this difficult time."