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VLX Design Suite, StarBlast, DNALinux 0.3, Bioknoppix, Bio::Prospect::


Teranode has launched the VLX Design Suite, a set of design tools for laboratory and in silico research. The product suite includes three products: VLX Research Designer for designing laboratory processes; VLX Biological Modeler for modeling and simulating biological systems; and the VLX Workgroup Server, which provides multi-user server functionality. Teranode said that the products are being piloted at Pfizer, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the University of Washington. VLX Research Designer and VLX Biological Modeler are available immediately for $1,000 per seat/per year. VLX Workgroup Server will be available in the first half of 2004 at a price to be announced. Academic and non-profit organizations are eligible for “significant discounts,” the company said.

DNAStar has scheduled a March release date for StarBlast, a tool that allows users to search DNA and protein sequence databases using a Windows or Macintosh desktop machine. StarBlast can be configured to run on a single laptop, within an Intranet, or over the Internet, the company said. DNAStar will provide a 30 percent discount off the StarBlast list price for customers who have current LaserGene or GenVision maintenance contracts, while all new DNAStar customers are eligible for an introductory 15 percent discount.

GenesDigitales of Quilmes, Argentina, has released DNALinux 0.3, a linux distribution oriented toward life science users. DNALinux, available at, includes bioinformatics software such as Blast, EMBOSS, and Hmmer, as well as genomic data for Arabidopsis, Drosophila, and Escherichia coli.

The University of Puerto Rico high-performance computing facility and the Puerto Rico Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network have also released a bioinformatics Linux distribution called Bioknoppix, which includes EMBOSS, Clustal, BioConductor, BioPerl, BioPython, and Rasmol, among other programs. It is available at

Bio::Prospect::, a Perl API for protein fold recognition with the Prospect Pro protein-threading application, is available at .pdf?download. The module, developed by the Genentech bioinformatics and protein engineering team, is available under the Academic Free License v. 2.0 (


Filed under

The Scan

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According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.