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ABI Releases Sequencer File Format in Bid to Boost External Software Development, Data Sharing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Applied Biosystems has released the genetic analysis data file format and a data file converter for its CE-based sequencer in hopes of enabling scientists and independent software vendors to develop bioinformatic applications that may “advance … data sharing” on its instruments, ABI said yesterday
 
The move, which an ABI spokesperson called “a big shift” for the tool vendor, is aimed at creating “a more collaborative environment that provides an open and widely accessible pool of resources that will enable customers and ISVs to develop and bring to market innovative new applications that will allow the research community to find more answers, faster and more cost effectively,” Dennis Gilbert, chief scientific officer for ABI, said in a statement.
 
The ABI spokesperson said participating researchers have the choice of either disseminating their developments for free or licensing them on their own or with ABI.
 
“As demand increases for software applications that address the challenges associated with generating, analyzing and managing research data in emerging areas of life science research such as DNA fragment, RNA, and genomic copy number analysis, a more open and collaborative software development approach has become necessary,” ABI said in the statement. 
 
ABI has already forged an undisclosed number of alliances with ISVs either on its own or as part of its participation in the BioIT Alliance. One of these has been with Geospiza, with which it recently disclosed plans to integrate its Genemapper and SeqScape genetic-analysis tools with Geospiza’s Finch Suite data management system.

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